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World News

U.N. Officials Say U.S. Planning ‘Tactical Assault’ on Iran As Trump Sends More Troops to Middle East

Information Liberation – President Donald Trump is sending 1,000 additional US troops to the Middle East as several UN officials told the Hebrew-language only Israeli newspaper Maariv that the US “plans to carry out a tactical assault on Iran in response to the tanker attack in the Persian Gulf on Thursday.”

From ABC News:

The United States is sending 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East, amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran. The decision follows last week’s attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman that the U.S. blamed on Tehran, with the Pentagon releasing new images on Monday that officials said show Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members removing an unexploded mine from one of the ship’s hulls.

“In response to a request from the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) for additional forces, and with the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in consultation with the White House, I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said in a statement on Monday.

The additional personnel are mostly part of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and force protection units, a U.S. official told ABC News.

From the Jerusalem Post, “U.N. officials: U.S. planning a ‘tactical assault’ in Iran”:

Is the US going to attack Iran soon?

Diplomatic sources at the UN headquarters in New York revealed to Maariv that they are assessing the United States’ plans to carry out a tactical assault on Iran in response to the tanker attack in the Persian Gulf on Thursday.

According to the officials, since Friday, the White House has been holding incessant discussions involving senior military commanders, Pentagon representatives and advisers to President Donald Trump.

The military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials further claimed.

“The bombing will be massive but will be limited to a specific target,” said a Western diplomat.

Trump says he would ‘certainly’ go to war with Iran ‘over nuclear weapons’, but not right now

RT – US President Donald Trump said he would consider military action against Iran to prevent it from getting nuclear weapons. The row between Tehran and Washington escalated after the US accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers.

“I would certainly go over nuclear weapons,” Trump told Time Magazine on Tuesday when asked what would make him consider declaring war on Iran. “And I would keep the other a question mark.”

The report did not specify whether the president elaborated on the scenario of launching a full-fledged armed conflict with the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program. When a reporter asked Trump if he was considering military action against Iran right now, he replied: “I wouldn’t say that. I can’t say that at all.”

His remarks came a day after the Pentagon said that it will deploy 1,000 extra troops to the Middle East “for defensive purposes.” The US blamed Iran for the attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Washington released a grainy video, allegedly showing Iranian sailors removing a limpet mine from one of ship’s hull, but did not provide any other evidence to support its case. Tehran rebuffed the allegations, saying that it had nothing to do with the incidents.

Jerusalem Post: U.S. Bombing Of Iran “Will Be Massive But Will Be Limited To A Specific Target”

Michael Snyder  – I write this article with a heavy heart.  In recent weeks I had come to the conclusion that there probably would not be a war with Iran in 2019, but now I have to admit that I was wrong.  U.S. officials were very quick to blame Iran for the attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, and President Trump’s advisers have reportedly been pushing him very hard to strike Iran.  President Trump had been hesitant to engage Iran militarily, but now it appears that he is going to give the war hawks in his administration exactly what they want. According to the Jerusalem Post, a bombing campaign is being planned that “will be massive but will be limited to a specific target”…

According to the officials, since Friday, the White House has been holding incessant discussions involving senior military commanders, Pentagon representatives and advisers to President Donald Trump.

The military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials further claimed.

“The bombing will be massive but will be limited to a specific target,” said a Western diplomat.

If this happens, it will start a war.

Iran is home to more than 81 million people, it is armed to the teeth, and it is the global central hub for Shia Islam.

It would be the biggest war that the United States has fought since World War II, and the Iranians would fight to the death and they would throw everything that they have at us.  That would include unleashing all Iranian and Hezbollah operatives in North America to conduct widespread terror operations. Blood would be spilled on a massive scale, and there would be great chaos inside our own nation.

Are we sure that we really want that?

Unfortunately, events are beginning to spin out of control very rapidly now.  On Monday, Iran announced that it will surpass the uranium stockpile limit that was established by Obama’s nuclear deal in just 10 days.

Flashback…Rothschilds Want Iran’s Banks   

American Free Press – Could gaining control of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran (CBI) be one of the main reasons that Iran is being targeted by Western and Israeli powers? As tensions are building up for an unthinkable war with Iran, it is worth exploring Iran’s banking system compared to its U.S., British and Israeli counterparts.

Some researchers are pointing out that Iran is one of only three countries left in the world whose central bank is not under Rothschild control. Before 9-11 there were reportedly seven: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Cuba, North Korea and Iran. By 2003, however, Afghanistan and Iraq were swallowed up by the Rothschild octopus, and by 2011 Sudan and Libya were also gone. In Libya, a Rothschild bank was established in Benghazi while the country was still at war.

Islam forbids the charging of interest, a major problem for the Rothschild banking system. Until a few hundred years ago, charging interest was also forbidden in the Christian world and was even punishable by death. It was considered exploitation and enslavement.

Since the Rothschilds took over the Bank of England around 1815, they have been expanding their banking control over all the countries of the world. Their method has been to get a country’s corrupt politicians to accept massive loans, which they can never repay, and thus go into debt to the Rothschild banking powers. If a leader refuses to accept the loan, he is oftentimes either ousted or assassinated. And if that fails, invasions can follow, and a Rothschild usury-based bank is established.

The Rothschilds exert powerful influence over the world’s major news agencies. By repetition, the masses are duped into believing horror stories about evil villains. The Rothschilds control the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the IMF, the World Bank and the Bank of International Settlements. Also they own most of the gold in the world as well as the London Gold Exchange, which sets the price of gold every day. It is said the family owns over half the wealth of the planet—estimated by Credit Suisse to be $231 trillion—and is controlled by Evelyn Rothschild, the current head of the family.

Objective researchers contend that Iran is not being demonized because they are a nuclear threat, just as the Taliban, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Muammar Qadaffi were not a threat.

What then is the real reason? Is it the trillions to be made in oil profits, or the trillions in war profits? Is it to bankrupt the U.S. economy, or is it to start World War III? Is it to destroy Israel’s enemies, or to destroy the Iranian central bank so that no one is left to defy Rothschild’s money racket?

It might be any one of those reasons or, worse—it might be all of them.

Swedish Gay Pride Boss, Foreign Ministry Official Allegedly Groom ‘Teenage Boy’

Sputnik – A fictitious 14-year-old boy’s account established by investigative journalists to examine the spread of paedophilia in the Swedish LGBT community has received over 100 propositions, among others from a “key person in the Pride community” and a Foreign Ministry official.

A Stockholm (gay) Pride manager has been caught in a paedophile scandal involving a fake teenage boy persona Svenska Dagbladet‘s journalists established to examine the spread of child abuse on LGBT forums.

According to the newspaper, over 100 men contacted “David” when they found out that he was a 14-year-old. Within a few minutes, sex invites started “welling in”, Svenska Dagbladet wrote.

One of the men who arranged a meeting with the fictitious boy was a Stockholm Pride manager, whom the newspaper described as a “key person in the (gay) Pride Movement”. According to the newspaper, the man talked about BDSM sex with the boy and promised to “teach him everything”. He also asked intimate questions about sex and described himself as “dominant” while expressing his desire to meet the boy for sex. The man also asked “David” to send photographs and videos of his body.

“The board and management of Stockholm Pride currently have no knowledge of the connection between the man in the article and Stockholm Pride. Should it turn out that it is a person working within our organisation, we will take powerful measures immediately. We are now investigating the issue further internally”, Stockholm Pride said in a press release, pointing that the man’s actions constitute illegal grooming.

Svenska Dagbladet identified another man who tried to meet “David” at Sergels Torg square as a senior manager at the Foreign Ministry, which, however, declined to comment the information.

Sweden has the most LGBT pride festivals per capita of any place in the world, with over 30 different celebrations going on throughout the country. The biggest and best known is Stockholm Pride, the largest LGBT celebration in Scandinavia since 1998. The Swedish LGBT community enjoys the support of the country’s leading politicians and political parties, most high-ranking officials and even even key institutions such as the Armed Forces, which last year held a pro-LGBT campaign titled We Don’t Always March Straight.

54 Jimmy Buffett fans from US fell ill during group trip to Dominican Republic, travel agent says

Fox – About half the members of a Jimmy Buffett fan club from Oklahoma who traveled to the Dominican Republic in April got sick, the group’s travel agent confirmed.

Dana Flowers, a member of the Central Oklahoma Parrothead Association, is also the group’s travel agent. He said about 54 out of the 114 visitors who stayed at the Hotel Riu Palace Macao in Punta Cana fell ill during the trip.

“It was headaches, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, severe diarrhea and chills and fevers that type of thing,” Flowers said. “About the third day in, we started to notice people not making it to events that we had scheduled and that’s when we realized that people were getting sick.”

He said at that time, visitors just assumed that it was “food poisoning or something of that nature.”

“The common thread with everybody that did get sick is that they swam in the swim-up bar pool and/or they had a drink from the swim-up bar,” Flowers said. “So it could be related to that pool.”

Two members from the group tested positive for salmonella upon their return home after seeing doctors, he said.

Senior trip to Dominican Republic descends into disaster after group falls ill   

NY Post – A group of Oklahoma teens’ senior trip to the Dominican Republic was ruined when they fell sick with a mysterious illness.

The recent Deer Creek High School graduates flew on June 8 to the embattled Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, where at least two Americans have died and others have fallen ill, news station KOTV reported.

Liz McLaughlin said her daughter, Libby, was among seven members of the group who fell sick — and they have “no idea what’s going on.”

“We just don’t know what is happening,” McLaughlin told the news station. “Is it the water? Is it the ice? Is it the food? Is it the food handling? Is it the pesticides?”

For the first day, the teens enjoyed themselves hanging out on the beach. But after dining at the resort’s Japanese restaurant, the trip took a turn for the worse, according to KOCO.

“I just woke up, and my stomach was cramping and I was sweating,” Bennet Hill told KOCO. “I was freezing.”

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Supreme Court Justices Split Along Unexpected Lines In 3 Cases

NPR – With less than two weeks left in the U.S. Supreme Court’s term, the justices handed down four decisions on Monday. Defying predictions, three were decided by shifting liberal-conservative coalitions.

Here, in a nutshell, are the results, as well as the fascinating shifting votes:

Dual sovereignty upheld, with Ginsburg, Gorsuch dissenting

In a 7-2 vote, the court reaffirmed its 100-year-old rule declaring that state governments and the federal government may each prosecute a person separately for the same crime, without violating the Constitution’s double jeopardy clause. Dissenting were the court’s leading liberal justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and one of its most conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch.

Racial gerrymandering case thrown out with a mix of liberals, conservatives

Spurning pleas from Virginia Republicans, the court let stand decisions by lower courts finding that 11 state House districts were racially gerrymandered in violation of the Constitution. The Supreme Court said the Republican-dominated Virginia House of Delegates had no legal standing to appeal to the Supreme Court on its own when the state Senate and the state’s attorney general had decided against appealing.

Ginsburg wrote the opinion for the 5-4 majority. She was joined by conservative justices Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas and liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Dissenting were conservative justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as liberal justice Stephen Breyer.

Uranium ban upheld again with an ideological mix

The court upheld Virginia’s ban on uranium mining. In a 6-3 vote, the justices said that the state law was not superseded by the federal Atomic Energy Act.

One traditional 5-4 split

The only classic conservative-liberal split on Monday came in a case testing whether a private corporation that runs a public access TV channel in New York City is a public forum that, like a public park, cannot discriminate against speakers.

The court, in a 5-4 vote, concluded that the public access channel was owned by Time Warner, not by the city. And because it was privately owned, the channel could not be sued for refusing to air a movie.

Kavanaugh wrote the decision for the five conservative justices, declaring that “[M]erely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function.”

Therefore, channel operators cannot be sued for violating the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. At first blush, at least, the decision would seem to preclude First Amendment lawsuits against private platform operators, like Twitter and Facebook, though Kavanaugh warned that the decision should not be read “too broadly.”

Dissenting were the court’s four liberal justices.

What’s still left?

On Thursday, the court is expected to hand down more of the 20 remaining decisions on its docket. Among those are the three blockbuster cases of the term:

  • The American Legion v. American Humanist Association: a case from Maryland that tests whether a giant World War I memorial in the shape of a Latin cross is, as the challengers maintain, a symbol of Christianity that violates the Constitution’s ban on establishment of religion. The objectors are seeking its removal to private property and an end to taxpayer funding of the cross.
  • Rucho v. Common Cause (North Carolina) and Lamone v. Benisek (Maryland): cases from North Carolina and Maryland that test whether there is any constitutional limit to extreme partisan gerrymandering that serves to entrench one-party domination of congressional seats in states that are more narrowly divided.
  • Department of Commerce v. New York: State and local governments are challenging the Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The Census Bureau’s own experts have warned that adding the question will lead to a serious and uneven undercount of the population, with potentially profound political consequences.

These three decisions (and 17 others) remain in the wings.

Supremes make major ruling regarding Christian bakers

WND  – U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday sidestepped another opportunity to determine if LGBTQ rights trump the Constitution’s protection of the exercise of religion.

Nevertheless, they ruled in favor of the owners of an Oregon bakery, Sweetcakes by Melissa, who declined to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. The ruling vacated a state court decision against Aaron and Melissa Klein, eliminating a $135,000 fine. And it directed state appellate judges to reconsider the case in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Colorado baker Jack Phillips.

Supreme Court ruling deals potential blow to Paul Manafort as he battles state charges

Fox – A Supreme Court ruling in the case of an Alabama man who pleaded guilty to a gun charge could have major implications for the unrelated white-collar case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in New York — by keeping him exposed to another set of charges, even if he ultimately wins a presidential pardon.

At issue in the Alabama dispute was whether the “dual sovereignty doctrine” — which allows a person to face both state and federal charges for the same offense — violates the Fifth Amendment’s Double Jeopardy Clause. On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled it does not.

“Although the dual-sovereignty rule is often dubbed an ‘exception’ to the double jeopardy right, it is not an exception at all,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the opinion. “On the contrary, it follows from the text that defines that right in the first place.”

This clears a path for prosecutors in New York to continue their case against Manafort, who already has been convicted of federal crimes that include bank and tax fraud. Had the court ruled the other way in Monday’s case, Gamble v. United States, and eliminated the dual sovereignty doctrine, a pardon from President Trump would have left Manafort free and clear.

But with the doctrine still in place, the New York case complicates matters since presidential pardons only affect federal cases, not state ones.

“No one is beyond the law in New York,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said in a statement when the indictment was announced. Manafort is facing 16 counts in that indictment, including conspiracy, residential mortgage fraud, and falsifying business records. The charges are based on allegations similar to ones related to his federal convictions.

Trump vows removal of ‘millions of illegal aliens’ starting next week

Washington Post – President Donald Trump said in a tweet Monday night that U.S. immigration agents are planning to make mass arrests starting “next week,” an apparent reference to a plan in preparation for months that aims to round up thousands of migrant parents and children in a blitz operation across major U.S. cities.                                President Donald Trump said in a tweet Monday night that U.S. immigration agents are planning to make mass arrests starting “next week,” an apparent reference to a plan in preparation for months that aims to round up thousands of migrant parents and children in a blitz operation across major U.S. cities.

“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” Trump wrote, referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “They will be removed as fast as they come in.”

Large-scale ICE enforcement operations are typically kept secret to avoid tipping off targets. In 2018, Trump and other senior officials threatened the mayor of Oakland, California, with criminal prosecution for alerting city residents that immigration raids were in the works.

Trump and his senior immigration adviser, Stephen Miller, have been prodding Homeland Security officials to arrest and remove thousands of family members whose deportation orders were expedited by the Justice Department this year as part of a plan known as the “rocket docket.”

California governor says Republican Party is headed ‘into the waste bin of history’

The Hill – California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in an interview published Monday said the Republican Party is headed for the “waste bin of history.”

In an interview with Politico, Newsom compared national Republicans to the GOP in California in the 1990s.

California Republicans were once a force, but have seen their power disappear over the last two decades.

Washington Republicans will “go the same direction — into the waste bin of history, the way Republicans of the ’90s have gone. That’s exactly what will happen to this crop of national Republicans,” Newsom told Politico.

Former California Gov. Pete Wilson’s (R) push for a ballot measure in 1994 that prohibited illegal immigrants from gaining access to public schools and health care has been widely linked to the GOP’s erosion in the state.

Newson drew a connection between that and today’s politics.

“America in 2019 is California in the 1990s,” he told Politico. “The xenophobia, the nativism, the fear of ‘the other.’ Scapegoating. Talking down or past people. The hysteria. And so, we’re not going to put up with that. We are going to push back.”

School Officials Complain as Trump’s Migration Reforms Redirect Funds to American Children

Breitbart – President Donald Trump’s migration reforms are cutting the flow of taxpayer funds to the American teachers and schools that welcome the children of illegal migrants, say education industry insiders.

Federal funding for Baltimore’s John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School has declined because many adults migrants are refusing to enroll in federal anti-poverty welfare programs, the New York Times reported June 16. The migrants are avoiding the welfare programs because of fear they will get deportation notices instead of green cards:

The southeast Baltimore school lost more than $240,000 for the next school year after it was dropped from a federal anti-poverty program, called Title I, which doles out billions of dollars to the country’s poorest schools. That loss is a fraction of its $4.8 million budget for next year, but the money covered three staff positions and kept class sizes in the 30s. The Title I status also attracted teachers, who were eligible for tuition grants from the federal government for teaching poor children.

In this cash-short school district here, official poverty rates in at least a dozen schools serving high populations of English-language learners have plummeted in the last four years, while the material well-being of many of those students has not really changed.

The concern is driven by President Donald Trump’s various regulatory efforts to deter migration by keeping migrants from enrolling in welfare and aid programs, including Medicaid and food stamps. Those aid programs allow employers to hire migrants and Americans at wages far below what is needed to prosper in the United States.

Publisher ceasing sales of Nobody Died At Sandy Hook this month

Black Listed News – Due to ongoing litigation, Moon Rock Books Publishing will no longer sell Nobody Died At Sandy Hook: It was a FEMA Drill to Promote Gun Control after June 30, 2019.

While the publisher is no longer a party to Pozner vs. Fetzer, et al., all proceeds from book sales will go to the Moon Rock Books Legal Defense Fund, as legal fees have and continue to mount, and Jim Fetzer and Mike Palecek are still embroiled in this litigation.

Former FBI agent who investigated Greitens indicted in St. Louis as part of perjury investigation

STL Today – The former FBI agent hand-picked to investigate a criminal invasion-of-privacy case against then-Gov. Eric Greitens has been indicted on seven felony charges in St. Louis, according to an indictment unsealed on Monday.

William Don Tisaby, 66, of Trussville, Ala., was indicted Friday on six counts of perjury and one count of tampering with physical evidence. Tisaby has been under investigation by a special prosecutor who is looking into allegations that he lied during a March 2018 deposition in the lead-up to Greitens’ criminal trial.

The indictment accuses Tisaby of concealing a series of documents from defense attorneys and lying under oath during the deposition “about matters that could substantially affect, or did substantially affect, the course or outcome of the Greitens case.”

“Eric Greitens should still be governor,” said Scott Rosenblum, one of Greitens’ former lawyers. “This was a misguided prosecution from the very beginning. It’s one of the worst cases of prosecutorial misconduct that I have seen in my 36 years of practicing criminal defense law.”

Tisaby’s indictment also lodges a series of claims against Gardner: that she failed to correct Tisaby’s lies, failed to report them to police, and made incorrect statements to defense lawyers and a judge.

The events put Gardner’s law license and political future at risk.

Flashback…US Intelligence Officer: “Every Single Terrorist Attack In US Was A False Flag Attack”

Collective Evolution (May 15, 2015) – Apart from documents that have outlined supposed terrorist threats, like Al-Qaeda, and their connection to US intelligence agencies, like the CIA, there are a number of whistleblowers that have come out adding more fuel to the fire. Because not many are even aware of these documents, letting people know about a truth that can be hard for people to accept, let alone ponder the possibility is very important. It’s just one aspect of the veil that’s been blinding the masses for quite some time now.

The latest whistleblower is David Steele, a 20-year Marine Corps intelligence officer, and the second-highest-ranking civilian in the U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence. He is a former CIA clandestine services case officer, and this is what he had to say:

“Most terrorists are false flag terrorists, or are created by our own security services. In the United States, every single terrorist incident we have had has been a false flag, or has been an informant pushed on by the FBI. In fact, we now have citizens taking out restraining orders against FBI informants that are trying to incite terrorism. We’ve become a lunatic asylum.”

Flashback…American Cops Now Steal More Property than All US Burglars Combined

Free Thought Project (November 17, 2015) – For decades now, federal government and their cohorts in law enforcement have been carrying out theft of the citizenry on a massive scale. We’re not talking about taxes, but an insidious power known as Civil Asset Forfeiture (CAF).

The 1980’s-era laws were designed to drain resources from powerful criminal organizations, but CAF has become a tool for law enforcement agencies across the U.S. to steal money and property from countless innocent people.

No criminal charge is required for this confiscation, resulting in easy inflows of cash for law enforcement departments and the proliferation of abuse. This phenomenon is known as “policing for profit.”

In the last 25 years, the amount of “profit” stolen through CAF has skyrocketted.

According to the US Department of Justice, the value of asset forfeiture recoveries by US authorities from 1989-2010 was $12,667,612,066, increasing on average 19.5% per year.

In 2008, law enforcement took over $1.5 billion from the American public. While this number seems incredibly large, just a few years later, in 2014, that number tripled to nearly $4.5 billion.

When we examine these numbers, and their nearly exponential growth curve, it appears that police in America are getting really good at separating the citizen from their property — not just really good, criminally good.

To put this number into perspective, according to the FBI, victims of burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses in 2014.

That means that law enforcement in America has stolen $600,000,000 more from Americans than actual criminal burglars.

When police surpass the criminal accomplishments of those they claim to protect you from, there is a serious problem.

Economy & Business

Facebook launches a new cryptocurrency called Libra

CNBC – Facebook is unveiling an ambitious plan to create a new digital currency and financial system to transform the way money moves around the world, and not just on its own apps.

It’s leading a consortium to create an open-source digital currency called Libra, set to launch in the first half of next year. The goal is for developers to create services for consumers to send money around the world easily and for free — with the same convenience as sending a photo or a message.

The Libra currency, as described in this white paper, will not be run by Facebook, but rather by a nonprofit association supported by a range of companies and organizations. But Facebook does have a plan to profit from it with a new subsidiary, Calibra, which is building a digital wallet of the same name for storing and exchanging the currency.

The financial information from your digital wallet will not be used for ad targeting on Facebook’s platforms because the two divisions will be kept totally separate, the company said.

Trump announces new US-China trade talks ahead of his G20 meeting with Xi

RT – The diplomatic delegations from the US and China will have talks prior to a meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping at the upcoming G20 summit in Japan later this month, the US leader said.

Energy & Environment

Magnitude 6.5 earthquake strikes off coast of Japan -USGS

Reuters – An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 struck off the coast of Japan on Tuesday, the United States Geological Survey said.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the quake, which hit 85 km ( 53 miles) northeast of the island of Honshu, but Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued a warning for a 0.2-1.0 metre tsunami along the north west coast of the main island.

Echoes of Jaws as Cape Cod learns to live with rise of the great white shark

The Guardian – A booming seal population is drawing the apex predator to the Massachusetts peninsula where contact with humans follows.

When beachgoers arrive at Cahoon Hollow Beach in Wellfleet on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod peninsula, the first thing they see is a large sign displaying a photo of a great white shark.

“WARNING” it reads. “Great white sharks hunt seals in the shallow water at this beach. People have been seriously injured or killed by sharks along this coastline.”

It is a little less than two miles north of here at Wellfleet’s Newcomb Hollow Beach that 26-year-old Arthur Medici was attacked and killed by a great white while boogie boarding last September. His death represented the only fatal shark attack in the United States last year and the first such death in Massachusetts since 1936.

Steven Spielberg’s 1975 blockbuster Jaws, which takes place in a fictional New England sea resort town reminiscent of Cape Cod’s communities, branded a fascination and fear of great whites into the American consciousness. Cape Cod embraced the notoriety, making the animal somewhat of a mascot: the great white appears on T-shirts and shop signs and regular screenings of Jaws are held during the summer. In Massachusetts, you can even get the apex predator on your license plate.

But now, like the fictional town of Amity in Jaws, Cape Cod worries about what the arrival of deadly attacks will mean for its tourist economy.

Science & Technology

Scientists reverse engineer 3D facial models using info ‘stored in brain’

RT – In groundbreaking research that could revolutionize witness evidence, scientists in Scotland say they’ve successfully constructed 3D facial models using information from someone’s brain as they recalled a familiar face.

The work, carried out by neuroscientists from the University of Glasgow, was published Monday in the journal Nature Human Behavior. Their findings will be the “cornerstone for greater understanding of the brain mechanisms of face identification,” according to the team, and could have a future in AI and gaming technology, as well as eyewitness testimony.

The team of 14 scientists initially tested the theory by determining what specific facial information they recalled to identify four other colleagues from memory. Then, researchers had volunteers compare faces which were either the same age, gender or ethnicity, but differed in terms of their facial identity.

Eventually the team was able to “crack the code” of what defines visual identity and generate it with a computer program. Over many trials, the group finally devised a method to reconstruct the information taken from a person’s brain to recreate a specific identity from memory.

The main hurdle in this scientific breakthrough was understanding the information people store in their memory to recognise a specific face, “but we have developed a tool which has essentially given us a method to do just that,” said Philippe Schyns, Professor of Visual Cognition at the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology.

Schyns explained that the team could graphically render the information by “reverse engineering the information that characterizes someone’s identity, and then mathematically representing it.

Health

Toxic Fluorinated Chemical (PFAS) Found in Supermarket Foods. Beef, Pork, Chicken, Milk, Bread, Eggs, Green Beans

Global Research – Laboratory tests conducted nearly 20 years ago that have gone largely unreported found high levels of the toxic fluorinated chemical known as PFAS a number of popular supermarket foods.

The tests were commissioned by 3M, the giant chemical company that first manufactured the two most notorious members of the PFAS family, PFOS and PFOA. Last year, 3M paid $850 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the state of Minnesota that showed the company knew for decades about the health hazards of PFAS but hid that information from the public.

According to documents published in June 2001, a 3M-commissioned study found PFOA and PFOS in samples of beef, pork, chicken, milk, green beans, eggs, bread and other foods purchased in six cities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. EWG first cited the 3M study in a Dec., 2002 petition to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, urging inclusion of PFOA and PFOS in the agency’s National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals.

The chemicals, which have been linked to cancer, weakened childhood immunity and other diseases, were detected in six of 11 food types tested. PFOA was found in four of 18 samples of milk, and PFOS or PFOA in three of 18 samples of ground beef. PFOA was also found in samples of green beans, apples and bread. Levels detected ranged from 500 to 14,700 parts per trillion, or ppt.

Last week, EWG and the Environmental Defense Fund released results of recent tests by the Food and Drug Administration that found PFAS in food, including meat, seafood and dairy products; sweet potatoes; pineapples; leafy greens; and chocolate cake with icing. Those tests found PFOS in nearly half of the samples of meat and seafood, with levels between 134 and 865 ppt, but the FDA had not publicly disclosed the results.

Resveratrol Shows Beneficial Effects in Ulcerative Colitis

Green Med Info – Resveratrol is a plant compound similar to flavonoids. It is found in the low levels of the skin of red grapes, red wine, cocoa powder, baking chocolate, dark chocolate, peanuts and mulberry skin. Red wine is perhaps the most recognized source of resveratrol, however, red wine contains only one milligram per glass. Most resveratrol supplements use Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) as the source.

There has been a great deal of hype regarding resveratrol as a dietary supplement and recent human clinical studies are showing tremendous promise in a variety of applications. A study published in the May, 2015 issue of the Archives of Medical Research indicates that it can help patients with ulcerative colitis.

In a study sponsored by the National Nutrition and Food Technology of Iran, researchers sought to evaluate the effects of supplementation with resveratrol on inflammation and quality of life in patients with active UC in a double-blind, placebo-controlled format. The 50 eligible patients with active mild to moderate UC were given either 500 mg of resveratrol or a placebo capsule for 6 weeks. Serum inflammatory markers and quality of life assessments were conducted at baseline and at the end of the study.

Results showed that resveratrol supplementation led to a significant reduction in plasma levels of key inflammatory markers. Specifically, in the resveratrol group, the level of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), highly sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) all showed statistically significant reductions. In contrast, no change was seen in the placebo group. Clinical evaluation also indicated a significant drop in the Clinical Colitis Activity Index Score decreased significantly in the resveratrol group, when compared with the placebo group.

The researchers concluded, “6 weeks supplementation with 500 mg resveratrol can improve quality of life and disease clinical colitis activity at least partially through inflammation reduction in patients with UC.”

Wild Lettuce – Sleep Aid and Pain Reliever

Common Sense Home – Wild lettuce has a long history of use as a sleep aid and pain reliever. We’ll cover how identify and use wild lettuce, potential side effects, and how to get rid of it if it’s taking over your yard and garden.

Wild lettuce is native to Eurasia, but has naturalized throughout most of North America, and also Hawaii.

Wild lettuce blooms from mid-summer to fall. Flowers are small and yellow,  about 1/3″ across and 1/2″ in length – somewhat like a skimpy dandelion flower.

Flowers have between 5 and 20 toothed petals. Multiple flowers are produced on each plant, and an individual plant can stay in bloom for about a month. The plants produce a white, milky sap.

Greater wild lettuce (L. Virosa) has a similar growth habit and appearance, but the leaves are more lance shaped with finely toothed edges. L. serriola has coarsely toothed leaves.

Is Prickly Wild Lettuce Edible?

These plants are the ancestors of garden lettuce, and the young leaves are bitter but edible. Eat leaves raw or cooked.

As the plants mature, the bitterness becomes more pronounced and they get downright unpleasant to eat. Dry conditions also make the leaves more bitter. (This is similar to dandelion leaves.) The texture of the leaves is similar to spinach or a hardy lettuce (with prickles), so excess cooking makes the leaves very mushy.

Plants for a Future shares that the young stems can be cooked and used as an asparagus substitute, and the seeds can be refined to produce an edible oil. The oil is also used to make soap, paints, and varnishes.

Medicinal Use

The leaves and latex of the plant are gathered when the plant is in flower. Wild lettuce acts as a sedative and muscle relaxant. It also soothes the respiratory system and relieves muscle and joint pains.

Here’s the kicker – the plants vary in the amount of active compounds. Some people see benefits, some don’t. If you’ve seen claims on the internet about harvesting and using opium lettuce for natural pain relief to replace narcotics, please be aware that results may vary.

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