News 18 – Russia fired on and then seized three Ukrainian ships on Sunday, accusing them of illegally entering its waters in the Sea of Azov, in a dramatic spike in tensions that raises fears of a wider escalation.
France24 – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on Monday to introduce martial law for 60 days, a statement on his website said, though it needs parliamentary approval to come into force.
The decision came a day after Russia fired at and captured three Ukrainian vessels, triggering a sharp escalation in tensions between the two countries.
Parliament was expected to debate the decree later on Monday though a televised session of a parliamentary committee unanimously supported it.
Ukrainian legislation on martial law allows for a slew of curbs, including restrictions on movement and peaceful assembly, curfews, and restricting the media, though Poroshenko’s decree made no specific references to such restrictions.
Daily Mail – US Border Patrol shot tear gas and rubber bullets at a group of migrants, including toddlers, as members of the caravan tried to storm the border.
Children were screaming and coughing in the mayhem at the San Ysidro Port of Entry when American agents tried to push the surging Central Americans back.
They started to use crowd control on Sunday afternoon when migrants tried to cut a hole in the concertina wire gap on the Mexican side of the fence.
The tensions prompted US officials to close the crossing between Tijuana and San Diego, stopping thousands of people travelling legitimately between the US and Mexico.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she would not put up with this ‘lawlessness’ and threatened harsh punishments on ‘anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our sovereignty’.
She later added that border personnel were ‘struck by projectiles thrown by caravan members’. She condemned those responsible for their ‘dangerous’ actions that were ‘not consistent with peacefully seeking asylum’.
>> RELATED VIDEO: ‘YES WE CAN’: Videos Show Migrants Trying to Break Border Wall
Breitbart – President Donald Trump urged Mexico on Monday to send the growing flow of migrants from South America back to their countries of origin.
“Mexico should move the flag-waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it any way you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A.”
More than a hundred migrants who tried to rush through the border were turned back as American agents fired tear gas at the approaching crowds.
Global Research – Lost in much of the media was the fact on Tuesday, the White House signed a memorandum allowing troops stationed at the southern border of the United States to engage in some law enforement roles and use lethal force, if necessary — a move that legal experts have cautioned may run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act.
The new “Cabinet order” was signed by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, not President Donald Trump. It allows “Department of Defense military personnel” to “perform those military protective activities that the Secretary of Defense determines are reasonably necessary” to protect border agents, including “a show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary), crowd control, temporary detention. and cursory search.”
Breitbart – Pop superstar Rihanna accused the United States Border Patrol of “terrorism” Sunday over their use of tear gas to stop migrants from illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
Rihanna posted a screenshot of a tweet describing the use of tear gas on Instagram, captioning it with the word, “terrorism.”
Daily Caller – New York Democratic Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday compared members of the migrant caravan attempting to enter the United States to Jews fleeing Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.
Members of the caravan on Sunday rushed the border at the San Ysidro port of entry, which connects Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol closed the port of entry in response and reportedly used tear gas to disperse the crowd of migrants.
Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to denounce the treatment of the caravan members.
Telegraph – Chinese researcher claims he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies – twin girls whose DNA he said he altered with a powerful new tool capable of rewriting the very blueprint of life.
If true, it would be a profound leap of science and ethics.
A US scientist said he took part in the work in China, but this kind of gene editing is banned in the United States because the DNA changes can pass to future generations and it risks harming other genes.
Many mainstream scientists think it’s too unsafe to try, and some denounced the Chinese report as human experimentation.
The researcher, He Jiankui of Shenzhen, said he altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments, with one pregnancy resulting thus far. He said his goal was not to cure or prevent an inherited disease, but to try to bestow a trait that few people naturally have – an ability to resist possible future infection with HIV, the Aids virus.
He said the parents involved declined to be identified or interviewed, and he would not say where they live or where the work was done.
There is no independent confirmation of He’s claim, and it has not been published in a journal, where it would be vetted by other experts. He revealed it on Monday in Hong Kong to one of the organisers of an international conference on gene editing that is set to begin on Tuesday, and earlier in interviews with The Associated Press.
“I feel a strong responsibility that it’s not just to make a first, but also make it an example,” He said. “Society will decide what to do next” in terms of allowing or forbidding such science.
BBC – Rejecting the Brexit deal will be risky and lead to “division and uncertainty”, Prime Minister Theresa May will say to MPs who oppose her plan.
Her Commons speech comes after the 27 other EU leaders approved the terms of the UK’s exit at a summit on Sunday.
Mrs May now has to persuade politicians in the UK Parliament to back the deal.
But cabinet ministers admit she faces an uphill struggle, with Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, the DUP and many Tory MPs set to vote against it.
Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party has said it will review its parliamentary pact with the Conservatives – which props up Mrs May’s government – if the deal is approved by MPs.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said his party will oppose the deal, calling it “the worst of all worlds”.
>> RELATED ARTICLE: UK parliament to vote on Brexit deal on December 11
BBC – A British academic who was jailed for spying in the United Arab Emirates has been freed after a pardon.
Matthew Hedges, 31, denied spying and said he had been researching his PhD.
His wife, Daniela Tejada, who appealed for clemency, said she was “elated” and “can’t wait to have him back home”.
The UAE issued the pardon as part of a series of orders on the country’s National Day anniversary. However, a spokesman said Mr Hedges was “100% a secret service operative”.
Mr Hedges is out of detention and on his way to the British embassy in the UAE, a family spokeswoman said.
Fox – senior Russian diplomat has warned that the planned U.S. withdrawal from a Cold War-era arms control pact could critically upset stability in Europe.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Monday that if the U.S. deploys intermediate range missiles in Europe after opting out of the treaty banning their use, it will allow Washington to reach targets deep inside Russia.
U.S. President Donald Trump declared his intention last month to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty over alleged Russian violations. Moscow has denied breaching the pact and accused Washington of violating it.
Ryabkov warned that if the U.S. stations the currently banned missiles in Europe, Russia will have to mount an “efficient response,” adding that “no one will benefit from those developments.”
The Gateway Pundit – The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is seeking to unseal the exact charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — and the judge hearing the case was appointed by Bill Clinton.
n what appears to have been a copy and paste error in a filing, it was revealed last week that the Justice Department has filed secret charges against Assange. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is seeking access to any criminal complaint, indictment or other charging documents relating to the case.
The US government is arguing that the press and the public have no right to know what the charges against the publisher actually are.
“In either event, the government is not required to publicly acknowledge which of those two possibilities happens to be the case with respect to any individual,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg wrote in a filing. “The First Amendment does not require the government to confirm or deny the existence of criminal charges in this case.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer added that the charges “would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter,” according to a report from Bloomberg.
The judge in the case is Leonie Brinkema, who was appointed by Clinton in 1993.
In 2017, Brinkema was the second judge to order a stay of an executive order by President Donald Trump, which was widely considered by the right to have been an act of judicial activism. The order would have temporarily halted immigration from certain terrorism hotbeds to the US. In an article for the New Yorker titled, ‘Another Judge Has a Problem With Trump,’ Amy Davidson Sorkin wrote about Brinkema’s decision — and belief that Trump’s national security concerns were a “sham.”
U.S. News, Politics & Government
CNN – An associate of Roger Stone said Monday he is refusing to sign a plea deal offered by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Jerome Corsi, whose role in Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election largely revolves around the possibility that he was an intermediary between Stone and WikiLeaks, said he was offered a deal to plea on one count of perjury.
“They can put me in prison the rest of my life. I am not going to sign a lie,” Corsi told CNN in a phone call.
Asked what happens now that he is refusing, Corsi responded: “I don’t know.”
RT – Iraq War veteran and former Republican congressional candidate Jesse Kelly has been banned from Twitter for unclear reasons, becoming yet another conservative personality to be kicked from the platform.
Kelly’s account on Twitter was disabled on Sunday, drawing anger from many conservative commentators, as the ban was apparently affected with no prior notice.
A guessing game started about what might have prompted Kelly’s suspension, while liberal Twitter welcomed the move, accusing the Marine Corps vet of stoking violence.
Kelly was deployed to Iraq before retiring from the Marine Corps in 2004. In 2010, he ran as a Republican for the US House of Representatives seat in Arizona, losing to Democrat and gun control advocate Gabrielle Giffords by a single point.
In 2012, he attempted to secure the same seat in the Arizona special election, also without success.
Kelly is the host of “The Jesse Kelly Show” on a talk radio station in Houston.
The former Marine has been a frequent guest on Fox News, ironically predicting his Twitter ban in his latest appearance on Fox’s ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight,’ while talking about the suspension of right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from Twitter and Facebook in August.
“That’s the point, Tucker. And they are coming for you and me next,” Kelly told Carlson. While disagreeing with Jones and calling him a “nutjob,” Kelly firmly believes free speech rules should apply to everyone.
Daily Mail – Adults 65 and older will soon outnumber children for the first time in America’s history, it has been revealed.
The US Census Bureau released new projections this year that showed the country’s changing – and aging – demographics.
By 2030 all baby boomers will be older than age 65 and one in every five Americans will be retirement age.
The Census Bureau said that deaths will ‘rise substantially’ between 2020 and 2050, meaning the country’s population will naturally grow very slowly.
Economy & Business
USA Today – General Motors is poised to close factories in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland and Canada, and slash 15 percent of its salaried workforce in a sweeping cost-cutting plan designed to boost its profits.
The Detroit-based automaker said it would end production by the end of 2019 at its Lordstown Assembly plant in northeast Ohio; its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant in southeast Michigan; its Oshawa Assembly plant in Ontario; its Baltimore Operations parts plant; and its Warren Transmission Operations plant in southeast Michigan.
Assembly plants are job juggernauts. GM has about 1,500 employees at the Detroit plant, 1,600 at the Lordstown factory and 2,500 in Oshawa.
The announcement comes ahead of next year’s contract talks with the United Auto Workers union, which could potentially lead to decisions to devote vehicles to those facilities.
But there’s a serious chance that the plants close for good.
CEO Mary Barra is seeking to reposition GM for a future defined by self-driving cars, ride-sharing networks and electric vehicles.
Mint Press News – A new Department of Defense Inspector General’s report, released last week, has left Americans stunned at the jaw-dropping lack of accountability and oversight. The glaring report revealed the Pentagon couldn’t account for $6.5 trillion dollars worth of Army general fund transactions and data, according to a report by the Fiscal Times.
The Pentagon, which has been notoriously lax in its accounting practices, has never completed an audit, would reveal how the agency has specifically spent the trillions of dollars allocated for wars, equipment, personnel, housing, healthcare and procurements allotted to them by Congress.
Beginning in 1996 all federal agencies were mandated by law to conduct regular financial audits. However, the Pentagon has NEVER complied with that federal law. In 20 years, it has never accounted for the trillions of dollars in taxpayer funds it has spent, in part because “fudging” the numbers has become standard operating procedure at the Department of Defense, as revealed in a 2013 Reuters investigation by Scot Paltrow.
Reuters – U.S. stocks rose on Monday, fueled by gains in retailer shares during a prime holiday shopping period, while European stocks rallied after signs that Italy was preparing to rework spending plans that have fueled tensions with the European Union.
Energy & Environment
CBS – One of the worst November snowstorms in Chicago history hammered the city and suburbs Sunday night and early Monday, dumping more than 7 inches in the city, and up to a foot in some northwest suburbs.
ABC – Over 1,300 flights were canceled on this post-Thanksgiving Monday as a dangerous snowstorm tore through the Midwest before heading to the Northeast as rain.
Airlines were forced to cancel over 1,200 flights on Sunday as snow blanketed parts of the Midwest on the busiest travel weekend of the year.
Airlines are now overloaded as the cancellations bleed into Monday — and heavy rain is hitting Northeast airports, making matters worse.
There were 1,331 flight cancellations as of Monday afternoon, with Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport feeling the brunt of the impact with 1,084 cancellations.
Science & Technology
AP – A NASA spacecraft designed to burrow beneath the surface of Mars landed on the red planet Monday after a six-month, 300 million-mile (482 million-kilometer) journey and a perilous, six-minute descent through the rose-hued atmosphere.
Flight controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, leaped out of their seats and erupted in screams, applause and laughter as the news came in.
A pair of mini satellites trailing InSight since their May liftoff provided practically real-time updates of the spacecraft’s supersonic descent through the reddish skies. The satellite also shot back a quick photo from Mars’ surface.
Reuters – .S. Supreme Court justices on Monday appeared open to letting a lawsuit proceed against Apple Inc <AAPL.O> that accused it of breaking federal antitrust laws by monopolizing the market for iPhone software applications and causing consumers to overpay.
The nine justices heard an hour of arguments in an appeal by the Cupertino, California-based technology company of a lower court’s decision to revive the proposed class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in California in 2011 by a group of iPhone users seeking monetary damages.
The lawsuit said Apple violated federal antitrust laws by requiring apps to be sold through the company’s App Store and then taking a 30 percent commission from the purchases.
The case may hinge on how the justices apply one of the court’s past decisions to the claims against Apple. That 1977 precedent limited damages for anti-competitive conduct to those directly overcharged rather than indirect victims who paid an overcharge passed on by others.
Daily Mail -This is the astonishing moment dozens of tiny robots fell from the sky when they malfunctioned at a drone show in China.
More than 300 of the brightly-coloured machines were sent to Haikou by drone-maker High Great for the start of the Hainan International Tourism Island Carnival.
The month-long event began with a light show on Friday featuring the high-powered drones.
Mercola – The article, which is well worth reading in its entirety, is adapted from Twenge’s book “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What That Means for the Rest of Us.”
Children today cannot even fathom a life pre-internet — a life where school work involved visits to libraries and phone calls required you to stay in one spot, since the telephone was attached to the wall. Kids spend an inordinate amount of time on their smartphones, communicating with friends (and possibly strangers) via text, Twitter and Facebook, and work to keep up their Snapstreaks on Snapchat.
Even toddlers are proficient in navigating their way around a wireless tablet these days. Twenge discusses the online habits of Athena, a 13-year-old Texan, saying:
“She told me she’d spent most of the summer hanging out alone in her room with her phone. That’s just the way her generation is, she said. ‘We didn’t have a choice to know any life without iPads or iPhones. I think we like our phones more than we like actual people.’”
Twenge, who has studied generational differences for two and a half decades, notes that a generation typically becomes defined by changes in beliefs and behaviors that gradually and naturally arise along a more or less natural continuum. The post-millennial generation, however, is radically different. Twenge notes “abrupt shifts in teen behavior and emotional states” emerged suddenly around 2012.
Millennials, distinguished by a pronounced individualistic streak, stand in sharp contrast to those following, in whom the drive for independence and individualism has virtually vanished.
According to Twenge, the social impact of smartphones and tablets “has not been fully appreciated, and goes far beyond the usual concerns about curtailed attention spans.” Perhaps most importantly, smartphones have changed the way teens interact socially, and this has significant ramifications for their psychological health.
Teens today are far less likely to want to get a driver’s license than previous generations, and a majority of their social life is carried out in the solitude of their bedroom, via their smartphones. As of 2015, 12th-graders spent less time “hanging out” and socializing with friends than eighth-graders did in 2009.
While this makes them physically safer than any previous generation, this kind of isolation does not bode well for mental health and the building of social skills required for work and personal relationships.
Detroit Free Press – A Grand Rapids-based hospital system has denied a heart transplant to an ailing 60-year-old woman, recommending that she first try to fund raise $10,000 on her own.
In a Nov. 20 letter that has since gone viral on social media, a nurse with Spectrum Health’s Heart & Lung Specialized Care Clinics told the patient that a heart transplant committee determined that she isn’t currently eligible for the transplant because she needs more secure financing for the expensive immunosuppresive drugs necessary to keep her body from rejecting the new organ.
“The committee is recommending a fundraising effort of $10,000,” the nurse wrote.
The hospital declined Free Press requests for an interview Sunday.
Common Sense Home – Why subject yourself and those who are close to you with a chemical cocktail when you can make perfume with non-toxic ingredients? Learn how to make perfume with essential oils and enjoy these blends for self-confidence, stress relief and more. These are great for your own use or as a gift. You may not find an exact match for your favorite perfumes, but you may find a new favorite signature scent.
For a listing of which oils are top, middle and low notes, visit her post: “Make Your Own Perfume“. Jo has graciously allowed me to share some of her recommended perfume blends. Check out the article for perfume recipes.
Dr. Axe – Next time you’re at the grocery store, think about this: It’s estimated that more than 75 percent of the processed food lining the shelves consists of genetically engineered ingredients. (1) And this is just one of the many scary GMO facts we are facing today.
You may remember the days when GMOs weren’t even a topic on anyone’s radar. When did these “frankenfoods” get created? In the U.S. circa 1994, a genetically modified tomato known as the Flavr Savr (created by a California-based company called Calgene) became the first commercially grown genetically engineered food to be approved for human consumption.
Fast forward to current times, and the list of what is being genetically modified is growing longer and wider with even GMO salmon getting the thumbs up for animal genetic modification. And what about crops? Well, that’s just through the roof for some: 92 percent of corn, 94 percent of soybeans and 94 percent of cotton produced in the U.S. were genetically modified strains as of 2015. (2)
Are GMO foods safe? According to the Institute of Science in Society, “It is clear that genetic modification is inherently hazardous, as it invariably result in unpredictable and uncontrollable changes in the genome and the epigenome (pattern of gene expression) that impact on safety.” (3)
Some people say there are GMO foods pros and cons, but I think you may agree that the dangers or cons far outweigh the potential so-called “benefits.”
Top 12 GMO Foods: (5)
This is only a partial GMO foods list. These new GMO apples and potatoes do not turn brown when exposed to air. Scientists are using double stranded RNA to silence a gene that causes apples and potatoes to go brown. (6)
Other common food ingredients that are often GMO: (7)
5 Major Risks for GMO Foods
Why are GMOs bad? Since they are still relatively new to human consumption, GMO foods dangers are still continuing to be discovered, but let’s take a look at the some of the possible GMO foods health risks we know about so far.
According to the Center for Food Safety, these are some of the main human health concerns at this time: (11)
Best Alternatives to GMO Food (+ How to Avoid!)