The Liberty Beacon – As Hungary’s battle for continued membership of the European People’s Party looms, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has warned that the European Union could face break up if Brussels continues to impose its pro-immigration stance.
Reuters – Finland’s government resigned on Friday after ditching plans to reform the healthcare system, a key policy, the Finnish president’s office said, throwing the country into political limbo.
Reuters – Venezuela shut schools and suspended the workday as the worst blackout in decades paralyzed most of the country for a second day on Friday, while China warned Western nations against meddling in the South American country’s domestic affairs.
RT – n art installation in Sweden will pay one “employee” a monthly salary for the rest of their lives to do whatever they wish, or nothing at all, in a project already being dubbed as “stupidity” and “a waste of taxpayers money.”
“The position holds no duties or responsibilities, other than that it should be carried out at Korsvägen,” the job postingstates. “Whatever the employee chooses to do constitutes the work.”
The employee will start in 2026 (applications will only begin in 2025) and receive a salary of $2,312 per month ($27,744 per annum), an annual salary increase of 3.2 percent, vacation time and a pension for retirement.
Anyone in the world may apply and the employee can do whatever they want while they’re on the clock apart from working another paid job. They may also quit or retire whenever they want at which point they will be replaced by another “worker.”
Simon Goldin and Jakob Senneby proposed the idea in which a person is employed to “work” at the station indefinitely, doing whatever they please and, in the process, becoming the work of art.
“In the face of mass automation and artificial intelligence, the impending threat/promise is that we will all become productively superfluous,” their proposal said. “We will all be ‘employed at Korsvägen,’ as it were.”
U.S. News, Politics & Government
ABC – Chelsea Manning, an anti-secrecy activist and former U.S. Army intelligence analyst whose release of classified information to WikiLeaks in 2010 sparked worldwide controversy over transparency in the military and whistleblower protections, was taken into custody at a federal court on Friday after a federal judge found her in contempt of court for refusing to answer questions before a secret grand jury.
In late January, Manning was subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in a sealed case out of the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia — the same district in which the government recently inadvertently revealed the existence of a sealed indictment against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.
On Friday, after refusing to answer the grand jury’s questions, U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton found Manning in contempt of court and ordered her to be held in jail until she decides to testify or until the grand jury concludes its work — which could be up to 18 months, a lawyer for Manning said.
Washington Post – A federal judge in Maryland cleared the way Thursday for the Trump administration to implement broad restrictions on transgender people serving in the military.
U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III rescinded an earlier order that he had issued to bar the administration from putting its policy in place.
The Supreme Court in January lifted similar injunctions in cases filed in California and Washington state, but the order issued in Maryland remained until Thursday.
In a six-page ruling, Russell said he had to follow the Supreme Court’s lead and could not make exceptions for transgender individuals in the Maryland case seeking to enlist or become military officers.
“The court is bound by the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the preliminary injunctions in their entirety,” Russell wrote.
The Defense Department said in a statement after the ruling that current policy allowing transgender troops to serve “will remain in effect until the Department issues further guidance, which will be forthcoming in the near future.”
Edward Griffin – Former Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort, 69, was sentenced to 47 months in prison by Judge T.S. Ellis on tax and bank fraud charges, despite Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recommendation of 19 to 24 years, which would have left him to die in prison. Manafort will be sentenced later in March in a separate case in Washington, DC. None of the charges against Manafort involved allegations of collusion with the Russian government, but are instead related to his lobbying work for the Ukrainian government. Mueller gave Tony Podesta, a Clinton insider, immunity in this case even though just like Manafort, he failed to file a FARA form in a timely manner.
The New American – As Democrats celebrate taking over several states in the 2018 mid-term elections, there is a movement to restrict their egregious planned infringement of precious rights. It’s called the “sanctuary county” movement, the “Second Amendment Sanctuary” movement, or the “Second Amendment Preservation” movement, and it’s based on the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
And the political subdivision closest to “the people” is the county. There are 3,000 counties in the United States, and most of them elect their chief law-enforcement officer, the county sheriff. Reuters reported on Monday that “a rapidly growing number of counties in [five] states are declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, refusing to enforce gun-control laws that they consider to be infringements on the U.S. Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”
Those states, so far, are Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Colorado, and New Mexico.
Voters in Washington State approved a bill last November infringing on the rights of gun owners living there by raising the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to 21, expanding background checks, and extending the waiting period to buy guns to 10 days. But Sheriff Bob Songer has a higher authority: the 22,000 citizens living in Kickitat County. Said Songer: “Unfortunately for the governor and the [state’s] attorney general, they’re not my boss. My only boss is the people who elected me to office.”
As of this writing, more than half of Washington’s 39 counties have pledged not to enforce the new restrictions, and five of them have passed resolutions to that effect.
More Colorado counties are declaring themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” as state-level Democrats continue pushing a gun confiscation law.
National Geographic – It doesn’t save energy, and it seems to put health at risk. Now, efforts to stop the twice-yearly time shifts are inching closer to success.
Each year, the approach of spring fills Scott Yates with a familiar sense of dread. The lengthening days and warmer weather are both signals that Yates—along with millions of U.S. residents—will soon be forced over an annual hurdle: shifting the clocks forward at the start of daylight saving time.
The impacts of this change, and the paired “falling back” of the clocks in autumn, run from mild annoyances to potentially severe consequences, including higher risk of heart attacks, fatal car crashes, and harsher judicial sentences. Yet with many business interests siding with the annual observance of daylight saving time—often incorrectly called daylight “savings” time—the pesky time change persists across most of the United States.
This year, dozens of states have bills proposing changes to daylight saving, and a scattering of states, including Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas have bills in progress to opt out of the shift entirely. This option would require the state to stay on standard time year round. But that’s often met by opposition, because this would mean the sun would rise and set an hour earlier than citizens are used to for most of the year.
In many states, people are favoring another option: staying on daylight saving time year round. Some experts suggest this could have positive health impacts—barbecue notwithstanding—since more evening light hours mean more physical activity, such as walks, trips to the park, and participation in sports.
To do so, however, the U.S. Congress would have to amend the Uniform Time Act—a step in the process that is yet to happen.
Still, many states are making strides. Last year, Florida passed a bill with overwhelming support that declared the state would go on year-round daylight saving time pending action by Congress. A similar proposition in Californiagained nearly 60 percent of the popular vote, though it still needs approval in the state legislature. Now, bills pending in Oregon and Washington State also propose year-round daylight saving.
While it’s unclear if Congress will approve of this move, it’s what many people want. “It’s all or nothing at this point,” Jonathan Lockwood, a Republican spokesperson in the Oregon capitol, says via email.
Still other states are trying out another route entirely: changing time zones. The contiguous U.S. is currently split into four bands of time—Pacific, Mountain, Central, and Eastern. So, if a state proposes to shift to the time zone directly east and then opts out of daylight saving time, the result is effectively the same as if they had just asked for year-round daylight saving time. Instead of needing a Congressional vote, however, this move could be approved by the Department of Transportation.
This is the solution that many New England states hope to adopt. New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut all have bills in the works to adopt year-round “Atlantic standard time,” a zone that lies to the east of Eastern standard time, and opt out of daylight saving.
The New American – House Democrats courageously sallied forth yesterday and passed a resolution condemning just about every form of hatred. Hatred of Jews. Hatred of Muslims. Hatred of minorities.
Oddly, the resolution inspired by the “anti-Semitic” remarks of one of its premier members, Somali Muslim Ilhan Omar, didn’t mention hatred of two groups: Christians and whites. It did, of course, mention “white supremacy” more than once.
And while the resolution detailed attacks on mosques and synagogues and FBI statistics, and even disinterred the 19th-century anti-Jewish Dreyfus affair in France, it somehow missed a hate crime of just a month or so ago: the despicable Two Minutes Hate visited upon Nicholas Sandmann after a “Native American” who turned out to be military faker hoaxed an entire nation.
The one thing the resolution didn’t mention? The hijabbed Muslim who spewed accusations of dual loyalty on the part of Israel supporters: Ilhan Omar.
Pelosi: Omar Not the Problem
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi explained Omar isn’t the problem. Rather, the problem is hate in general, and white haters in particular.
“I see everything as an opportunity,” the aging leftist told reporters, the New York Times reported. “This is an opportunity once again to declare as strongly as possible opposition to anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim statements,” and “white supremacist attitudes.”
“It’s not about [Omar]; it’s about these forms of hatred,” she said.
Thus, the resolution says, “whether from the political right, center or left, bigotry, discrimination, oppression, racism and imputations of dual loyalty threaten American democracy and have no place in American political discourse.” But again, for all its concern about “white supremacy,” including attacks on “Native Americans,” it somehow missed the attack of “Native American” supremacists, backed by the media, on white, high-school Catholic boys.
Instead the resolution included a few “whereas” clauses referencing anti-Muslim bigotry even as it avoided, for instance, the Muslim terror attack on a homosexual night club in Orlando, Florida, in 2016, and the ongoing Islamic slaughter of Christians in the Middle East. Thus did a resolution meant to denounce anti-Jewish hatred from a Muslim end in a resolution denouncing hatred of Muslims.
The New American – Democratic legislators have introduced two virtually identical resolutions in the Hawaii Senate urging Congress to consider a constitutional amendment to either repeal or clarify the Second Amendment.
After spouting a list of “whereas” statements targeting every American’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms — including one such whereas that asserts the Second Amendment is a “collective right” in which “United States citizens do not have an individual right to possess guns and that local, state, and federal legislative bodies possess the authority to regulate firearms without implicating a constitutional right” — both SR 29 and SCR 42 conclude with an egregious resolve; stating:
BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2019, the House of Representatives concurring, that the United States Congress is urged to propose and adopt a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution pursuant to article V of the United States Constitution to clarify the constitutional right to bear arms; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the United States Congress is requested to consider and discuss whether the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution should be repealed or amended to clarify that the right to bear arms is a collective, rather than individual, constitutional right.
This proposal to deny Americans their right to posess firearms underscores the serious dangers of amending the federal Constitution in this current age. And although neither resolution is an application to Congress to call a convention for proposing amendments, also known as a “convention of states” or constitutional convention (Con-Con), under Article V, they offer a preview into the type of amendments that a Hawaii delegation to such a convention would propose, should one be called by Congress.
In fact, Hawaii lawmakers have already suggested a convention to propose, among one of its aims, an amendment to do just that. In 2012, liberal Democratic state legislators introduced House Concurrent Resolution 114, a radical leftist Con-Con application that sought to repeal the Second Amendment, declare ObamaCare to be constitutional, and to abolish the Electoral College.
The Hill – House Democrats passed a sweeping electoral reform bill in a 234-193 party-line vote on Friday.
The For The People Act, better known as H.R. 1 — spearheaded by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) — aims to expand voting rights, implement new ethics rules and increase transparency in elections, according to its proponents.
The bill includes provisions to enable automatic voter registration, strengthen resources to stave off foreign threats on elections and make Election Day a national holiday for federal workers.
Portions of the bill appear to directly take aim at President Trump, including language requiring the president and vice president and candidates for those positions to disclose a decade’s worth of their tax returns.
But Republicans have blasted the bill as a power grab by Democrats, arguing it limits free speech and overreaches on states rights. Top Republicans have also slammed Democrats for failing to work across the aisle on bipartisan reforms, with many saying there are provisions in the bill they could have supported.
Language that would create a 6-to-1 federal campaign match on small donations has been one of the most controversial for Republicans, who argue taxpayer dollars should not be used for campaign purposes.
“The most important bill that the democrat socialist majority has is to take more of your money and give it to the politicians who want to vote for this bill. How ironic,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on the floor ahead of the vote.
Reuters – U.S. senators demanded accountability for slum-like housing conditions on military bases across the country Thursday, with one calling for a criminal investigation of private landlords granted vast power over tenant housing.
“There are clear indications of fraud,” Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, drawing applause from the crowd. “I would recommend that these issues be referred to the United States Department of Justice.”
Blumenthal did not offer details during the hearing. Yet other senators described military families being charged questionable fees or being sickened by dangerous housing conditions. Last month, a survey of military families found deep dissatisfaction, countering a far rosier picture of tenant satisfaction presented by private contractors managing base housing.
During Thursday’s hearing, the secretaries and chiefs of staff overseeing the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines told Congress of the steps they are taking to resolve escalating complaints of substandard housing. The Senate hearings were prompted by a Reuters investigation detailing health and safety concerns afflicting base housing, and describing how military families are armed with few rights to challenge powerful private industry landlords.
Economy & Business
RT – Despite the trade war against China and numerous import tariffs imposed on a number of countries, the US trade deficit hit a 10-year high of $621 billion last year, the US Commerce Department reported.
Reuters – Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies sued the U.S. government on Thursday, saying a law limiting its American business was unconstitutional, ratcheting up its fight back against a government bent on closing it out of global markets.
Energy & Environment
The Liberty Beacon – Bolstering global demands to #BreakFreeFromPlastic and end the world’s worsening pollution crisis, a new study from the United Kingdom shows that “microplastics are being found absolutely everywhere.”
“It’s no use looking back in 20 years time and saying: ‘If only we’d realized just how bad it was,’” lead researcher Christian Dunn of Bangor University in Wales told the Guardian. “We need to be monitoring our waters now and we need to think, as a country and a world, how we can be reducing our reliance on plastic.”
Dunn worked with a team of scientists and postgraduate students as well as the environmental group Friends of the Earth to test 10 rivers and lakes, including the Thames River in London and two sites in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, for microplastics.
Microplastics are tiny particles that have broken away from large plastics such as synthetic clothing or discarded food containers. Much of the concern over microplastic contamination has come from studying ocean pollution, but researchers also have found particles in sea turtles’ bellies, many marine mammals, and even human stools.
Fox – A woman in South Florida has reportedly become one of the first in the country to receive a prosthetic iris to repair the one in her left eye that has been damaged since childhood.
When Katheryn Mercer was 12 years old, her left iris was damaged when a fly-away tennis ball hit her in the face, according to CBS Miami.
“I was having fun with my friend and I was done with my set. I went to sit down and someone screamed, ‘Look out!’ And I turned to look to see what I was looking out for and I got nailed right in the eye with a tennis ball,” she told the news station.
The incident left Mercer with a reported “noticeably damage iris.”
“It was difficult,” she said. “I went through my entire childhood being ‘different.’”
But roughly two weeks ago, Mercer underwent a procedure to receive an artificial iris, or a “surgically implanted device to treat adults and children whose iris (the colored part of the eye around the pupil) is completely missing or damaged due to a congenital condition called aniridia or other damage to the eye,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in May 2018 when the federal agency approved the first stand-alone prosthetic iris in the country.
Miami – A leopard species, believed to have been completely extinct, has been spotted in southeast Taiwan for the first time in over 30 years, prompting a push to protect the big cat from hunters and habitat damage.
Science & Technology
Toms Guide – Don’t look now, but there’s another Y2K-like computer-calendar problem on the way, and this one arrives in just one month: April 6, 2019.
That’s the day millions of GPS receivers will literally run out of time, rolling over their time counters back to zero, thanks to limitations in timekeeping for older GPS devices. Many navigation systems may be affected, such as on ships or older aircraft, although your smartphone will be fine.
But because GPS satellites are also crucial to digital timekeeping used by websites, electrical grids, financial markets, data centers and computer networks, the effect of April 6 may be even more wide-ranging.
“I’m not going to be flying on April 6,” said one information-security expert during a presentation at the RSA 2019 security conference in San Francisco this week.
To be fair, this has happened once before, on Aug. 21, 1999, and planes didn’t start crashing then. But today, we’re much more dependent on GPS to time everything that happens on Earth down to the last nanosecond.
“The effects would be more widespread [today] because so many more systems have integrated GPS into their operations,” said Bill Malik, the Trend Micro vice president who said he wouldn’t fly April 6, in a private conversation with Tom’s Guide.
Comment – Is this how they are stealthily doing the 5G roll-out city by city?
Tallahassee.com – It was clear from Wednesday’s workshop where commissioners stand on whether the city of Tallahassee should get into the high-speed internet business.
Commissioners Jeremy Matlow, Elaine Bryant and Dianne Williams-Cox favored wanting to issue a request for proposals on a feasibility study and continue talks, along with developing options.
Mayor John Dailey and Commissioner Curtis Richardson were a hard no, each saying they couldn’t get behind the $280 million price tag to create the necessary infrastructure.
Matlow, a freshmen commissioner, requested to workshop the topic after hearing from residents about the possibilities of fiber optics on the campaign trail last year.
“A lot of people see what other cities are doing, such as Gainesville and Chattanooga, and asked why can’t we do that here,” he said. “That’s the question we’re trying to answer: Can we do that here?
“When we look to the future, are we really laying out the infrastructure we need to be competitive on an economic basis,” he added. “We try to recruit companies here that require high speeds so there are a million different ways to enter this, including public-private partnerships.”
The New American – Amazon Prime has been removing anti-vax documentaries from its streaming service after a CNN Business report criticized the amount of anti-vaccine content available on the service.
The New American – President Trump vowed at his State of the Union address “that America will never be a socialist country.” But legendary economist Dr. Thomas Sowell sounded a more pessimistic note this week, saying that as far as avoiding a dystopian socialist future goes, “I wouldn’t bet on it.”
Breitbart – Major tech companies including Dell, IBM, and HP are reportedly concerned that China may be spying on them through power cords and plugs manufactured in the country.
CNBC, citing a report from Nikkei Asian Review, claimed that the companies are fearful “that China could be spying on them using power cords and plugs,” and “have asked their Taiwanese suppliers to shift production of some components out of the mainland.”
Companies including Lite-On Technology and Quanta Computer have reportedly moved to Taiwan in response to concerns from their American customers, which include Google, Facebook, Dell EMC, IBM, and HP.
PHYS.ORG – Stars over eight times more massive than the sun end their lives in supernovae explosions. The composition of the star influences what happens during the explosion.
A considerable number of massive stars have a close companion star. Led by researchers at Kyoto University, a team of international researchers observed that some stars exploding as supernovae may release part of their hydrogen layers to their companion stars before the explosion.
“In a binary star system, the star can interact with the companion during its evolution. When a massive star evolves, it swells to become a red supergiant star, and the presence of a companion star may disrupt the outer layers of this supergiant star, which is rich in hydrogen. Therefore, binary interaction may remove the hydrogen layer of the evolved star either partially or completely,” says postdoctoral researcher Hanindyo Kuncarayakti from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Turku in Finland and the Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO. Kuncarayakti is a member of the researcher team that made the observations.
As the star has released a significant part of its hydrogen layer due to the close companion star, its explosion can be observed as a type Ib or IIb supernova. A more massive star explodes as a type Ic supernova after losing its helium layer due to the so-called stellar winds. Stellar winds are massive streams of energetic particles from the surface of the star that may remove the helium layer below the hydrogen layer.
“However, the companion star does not have a significant role in what happens to the exploding star’s helium layer. Instead, stellar winds play a key role in the process as their intensity is dependent on the star’s own initial mass. According to theoretical models and our observations, the effects of stellar winds on the mass loss of the exploding star are significant only for stars above a certain mass range,” says Kuncarayakti.
The research group’s observations show that the so-called hybrid mechanism is a potential model in describing the evolution of massive stars. The hybrid mechanism indicates that during its lifespan, the star may gradually lose part of its mass both to its companion star as a result of interaction as well as due to stellar winds.
“By observing stars dying as supernovae and the phenomena within, we can improve our understanding on massive star evolution. However, our understanding of massive star evolution is still far from complete,” states Professor Seppo Mattila from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Turku.
Daily Mail –
Deep in the heart of Microsoft’s sprawling Redmond campus is a building few Microsoft employees, let alone outsiders, have ever seen.
Known only as Building 87, it is home to Microsoft’s hardware design team, and has seen the birth of everything from Microsoft’s Surface tablets and laptops to its Xbox console and controllers.
Dailymail.com was given a rare glimpse inside the lab, where a mini factory churns out prototype parts day and night.
Labs inside the building also run experiments on Microsoft workers, analysing everything from the tiniest movement of their hands as they move a mouse to 3D head scanners using dozens of cameras to capture features to help design headsets.
Sputnik – Though heart attacks in the US overall are on the decline, younger adults are bucking the trend by having more, recent research scheduled to be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific session later in March shows.
Care 2 – The truth is, there are numerous nutrients that can cause or contribute to anxiety or depression when they are in low supply or deficient. Here are 9 you should consider exploring if anxiety and/or depression are a part of your life.
Care2 – While many people consider antibiotics the best medicines against bacterial illnesses, they are increasingly outsmarted by the bacteria they were intended to kill. Fortunately, a growing body of research shows that essential oils may be the best kept secret against bacterial infections. Here are 7 of my favorite antibacterial essential oils:
NaturalNews – No matter where you are in the world, drinking water is essential to your survival. But while it has tremendous health benefits, water can also be a source of dangerous poisons. Many people are currently at risk of arsenic exposure with every single glass of water that they drink. But according to new research, there are ways to effectively get around this.
In a recent study that was conducted at the Mailman School of Public Health in Columbia University, researchers found that there was a significant reduction in exposure to arsenic in drinking water after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a new regulation on maximum levels of arsenic in 2006. According to the researchers, there was a decline of 17 percent in levels of urinary arsenic, which equates to a reduction of roughly more than 200 cases of bladder and lung disease every year.
However, the same study also found that there was no reduction in arsenic exposure rates among those who use private wells, which are not considered to be under federal regulation. This means that people who drink from these wells are still at a considerable risk of arsenic exposure, and it shows that federal drinking water regulations have a “critical role” in decreasing exposure and protecting human health, according to a report on the study.
Good News Network – For the last five years, Marquardt has played taps from the balcony of his home in Excelsior, Minnesota; he still visits cemeteries almost every day in order to play taps for dozens of military graves; and he regularly volunteers for Bugles Across America, a nonprofit that recruits trumpeters to play taps at military funerals.
Though Marquardt told the Star Tribune that he is about to turn 70 years old in April, he has no intention of stopping his labor of love.