By Ian Allen – The government of Saudi Arabia is spying on expatriate dissidents in Canada using commercially available software designed by an Israeli company, according to researchers at the University of Toronto. This is alleged in a new report published on Monday by the Citizen Lab, a research unit of the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, which focuses on information technology, international security and human rights. The report’s authors say they have “high confidence” that intrusive surveillance software is being deployed to target the electronic communications of Saudi dissidents, including Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi activist who has been living in Canada’s Quebec province for nearly 10 years.
The Kremlin said before the two-day visit by Putin and top Russian ministers that the “key feature” would be the signing of a $5bn deal for the S-400 air defence system, despite the risk of US sanctions against countries buying Russian defence equipment.
Al Jazeera – The US has charged seven Russian military intelligence officials over the alleged hacking of doping agencies and other organisations, as part of a joint crackdown with Western allies on a series of major cyberattacks attributed to Moscow.
The US Justice Department indicted the officers on Thursday for conspiring to hack computers and steal data in a bid to delegitimise international anti-doping organisations and expose officials who revealed a Russian state-sponsored athlete doping programme.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
USA Today – President Donald Trump on Monday predicted his administration would ban so-called bump stocks in a matter of weeks.
Speaking on the one-year anniversary of the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden that he had already informed the gun lobby. He said the move, which he has previously promised to make, had been hampered by red tape.
Activist Post – Recently, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed a number of new gun control bills into law while vetoing several others.
Even though California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, the Democratic-controlled legislature met and pushed a number of gun control bills through both houses that were then sent to the Governor’s desk. The proposed new bills were written largely in response to the Parkland Florida school shooting in February of 2018 that claimed the lives of seventeen students and teachers.
n many ways, the bills that Governor Brown signed into law echo very similar laws that were passed and signed into law by Governor Rick Scott of Florida. That being said, Governor Brown also signed a number of laws that are far more restrictive than the ones Governor Scott signed into law earlier as well.
Perhaps the most notable of the bills that Governor Brown signed into law was raising the legal age from eighteen to twenty one years to purchase rifles and shotguns from licensed dealers. Governor Scott signed a very similar bill for Florida earlier this year. The California law applies not only to California residents buying guns from licensed dealers in the state, but also those making online purchases.
Governor Brown also signed into law a bill that imposes a lifetime ban on owning firearms for California residents who have been convicted of serious domestic violent charges as well as those who have been hospitalized twice within one year AND who have been deemed by medical health professionals to be a danger to themselves and/or the general public. However, the law also includes a provision that those subject to the law will have the right to petition the California court for the right to purchase and possess a firearm.
Another bill that became California law after Governor Brown’s signature was a requirements that applicants for concealed gun licenses must complete a minimum of eight hours of firearms safety training under an approved instructor, and that the training must furthermore include a live firing exam to demonstrate that the applicant is competent with the firearm.
Washington Times – U.S. Capitol Police said Wednesday they have arrested a man they believe responsible for stealing and releasing personal information of senators online, apparently as part of the opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Police charged Jackson A. Cosko, 27, with threats, witness tampering, unauthorized access of a government computer, identity theft, burglary, unlawful entry and publicizing restricted personal information. The charges include both federal and local offenses.
Jackson Cosko has a LinkedIn profile saying he’s a Democratic operative who worked in the Senate until earlier this year. Online records show he was a legislative correspondent for Sen. Maggie Hassan.
Military Times – A Navy veteran from Utah was arrested Wednesday in connection with packages suspected to contain ricin that were mailed to Pentagon and Navy leadership on Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Salt Lake City confirmed to Military Times.
William Clyde Allen III, 39, was arrested late Wednesday and taken into custody, said U.S. attorney’s office spokeswoman Melody Rydalch.
A former enlisted sailor who spent four years in the Navy nearly two decades ago, Allen is expected to be formally charged Friday, Rydalch said.
The envelopes of castor seeds, the base of a deadly toxin, were addressed to Defense Secretary James Mattis and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, defense officials said.
The parcels triggered alarms Monday during security screening at a mail processing center that is on the Pentagon campus, but not inside the building.
Breitbart – A Wall Street Journal report states the White House, after reviewing FBI interview reports regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s past, found “no corroboration of the allegations of sexual misconduct” against the judge.
It is unknown whether the White House has concluded a full review of all FBI interview documents.
New York Times – If Donald Trump were, at some point in his Presidency, to turn to or even, in some wild way, to expand on some of the more dubious practices of the immediate post-9/11 years—mass surveillance, indefinite detention, torture—how might a Supreme Court that included Brett Kavanaugh react? One way to answer that is to ask how Kavanaugh acted back when he was close to what might be called the scene of the crime: he was an associate White House counsel, from 2001 to 2003, when some of his colleagues were turning out memos effectively allowing torture and throwing together plans for Guantánamo and military commissions that lacked crucial constitutional underpinnings. Some of the most notorious of the “torture memos,” as they became known, had been addressed to his boss, Alberto Gonzales, then White House counsel. Later, Kavanaugh was a staff secretary for President George W. Bush.
PBS – Forty-five billion dollars. That’s how much the Pentagon says the Afghan war is costing American taxpayers, and with no end in sight they may have to keep footing that bill for years to come.
Lawmakers, skeptical about the prospects of victory, grilled the Trump administration Tuesday on the direction of the nation’s longest-running war, now in its 17th year. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing comes after a wave of shocking militant attacks in Kabul that killed more than 200 people.
Eaglerising.com – The video features 6-year-olds writing letters from one male story character to another male story character, imploring him to marry the other.
Featuring pupils from Bewsey Lodge Primary School — which is in Warrington, in England’s Cheshire region — the video shows children pen a note from “Prince Henry” to his servant “Thomas.”
The students’ teacher, Sarah Hopson, told the BBC what was happening in the video — which, at the time of this writing, has been viewed more than 180,000 times.
“This class of 6-year-olds is learning about gay marriage. In this fairy tale, the prince wants to marry his [male] servant. And the children are writing a love letter,” Hopson said.
She noted that she believes it’s important for children to learn about gay marriage at such a young age because those same children would “go out into that world and find this diversity around them, and they’ll find that out at a young age as well.”
“[T]he more [children] can be accepting at this age, you’re not going to face it further on, because the children will be accepting now and will be accepting this diversity around them,” she added.
According to Bewsey Lodge Primary School’s website, the school teaches “PSHE,” which stands for “Personal, Social, and Health Education.” Under the PSHE umbrella, topics like transgenderism, sexuality, and relationships are discussed. PSHE is taught from nursery age to year 6. Additionally, the school has “non-gender-specific” uniforms.
Economy & Business
CNN -If you want to glimpse the future of retail, check out an Amazon Go store.
Economic Collapse – U.S. bonds have not fallen like this since Donald Trump’s stunning election victory in November 2016. Could this be a sign that big trouble is on the horizon for the stock market? It seems like bonds have been in a bull market forever, but now suddenly bond yields are spiking to alarmingly high levels. On Wednesday, the yield on 30 year U.S. bonds rose to the highest level since September 2014, the yield on 10 year U.S. bonds rose to the highest level since June 2011, and the yield on 5 year bonds rose to the highest level since October 2008. And this wasn’t just a U.S. phenomenon. We saw bond yields spike all over the developed world on Wednesday, and the mainstream media is attempting to put a happy face on things by blaming a “booming economy” for the bond crash. But the truth is not so simple. For U.S. bonds, Bill Gross says that it was a lack of foreign buyers that drove yields higher, and he says that this may only be just the beginning…
And, according to Gross, the carnage may not end here: “Lack of foreign buying at these levels likely leading to lower Treasury prices,” echoing what we said last week. And as foreign investors pull back from US paper, look for even higher yields, and an even higher dollar, which in turn risks re-inflaming the EM crisis that had mercifully quieted down in recent weeks.
Energy & Environment
The Guardian – Just 90 minutes from Toronto, residents of a First Nations community try to improve the water situation as the beverage company extracts from their land.
Thomas, a university student and mother of five, has lived without running tap water since the age of 16. Her children lack access to things commonplace elsewhere, like toilets, showers and baths. For washing and toilet usage, they use a bucket.
It is a challenging existence, full of frustration, exhaustion and health problems, and reminiscent of life in some developing countries. But this is not the “third world”. It is Canada, which regularly ranks as one of the United Nations’ top places in the world to live. Moreover, this Native community is located in prosperous southern Ontario, 90 minutes from Canada’s largest and richest city, Toronto.
Meanwhile, while Thomas and her family do without water, the beverage company Nestlé extracts millions of litres of water daily from Six Nations treaty land.
Mercola – Following Hurricane Florence, at least 132 CAFO waste lagoons had released pig waste into the environment or were at risk of doing so
It’s estimated that 5,500 pigs and 3.4 million chickens drowned due to Florence flooding.
Before-and-after satellite images from the U.S. Geological Survey of a section of North Carolina coastline clearly show massive amounts of brown sludge pouring from inland waterways to the coast.
Liquefied pig waste may sicken people and contaminate water with pathogens like salmonella, giardia and E-coli.
Hog waste leaching or overflowing into waterways can also lead to algae overgrowth, depleting the water of oxygen and killing fish and other marine life in expansive dead zones.
Science & Technology
Bloomberg – The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources.
You won’t see a single cashier, cash register, or self-service checkout stand. Such things have no place in the future. You simply walk in, grab what you need, and go. Amazon bills your credit card as you pass through the turnstile on your way out. Moments later, an app in your phone provides a receipt detailing what you’ve bought, what you paid, and even how long you spent inside.
Despite the small presence, the stores, which rely upon sophisticated image recognition software and artificial intelligence, promise to upend the retail experience.
Amazon runs three Go stores in its hometown of Seattle and another in Chicago. It plans to open others in New York and San Francisco soon and, according to a recent Bloomberg report that Amazon declined to comment on, as many as 3,000 others by 2021.
BBC – The quest for extreme selfies killed 259 people between 2011 and 2017, a 2018 global study has revealed.
Researchers at the US National Library of Medicine recommend that ‘no selfie zones’ should be introduced at dangerous spots to reduce deaths.
These would include the tops of mountains, tall buildings and lakes, where many of the deaths occurred.
Drowning, transport accidents and falling were found to be the most common cause of death.
But death by animals, electrocution, fire and firearms also appeared frequently in reports from around the world.
Free Thought Project – his week, on Oct. 3, every single cellphone in the United States will receive a text message from president Donald Trump and there is no way to stop it.
While it likely won’t be the case for future alerts, Wednesday’s test text message will not have anything to do with politics. Instead, it is a nationwide test of a new system called a “presidential alert” which was recently created and will be implemented by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The government claims the new FEMA system will only be used in case of a crisis which affects the entire nation—like an imminent nuclear attack. As we’ve yet to have a crisis which has effected every single town in every single state simultaneously—even on 9/11—the justification behind this measure seems sparse at best.
Mercola – Air pollution affects your health indoors and outside; using satellite data, the Health Effects Institute found that 95 percent of the world is breathing polluted air
A recent study demonstrates exposure to household cleaners, a source of indoor air pollution, affects the gut microbiome of young children and increases their risk of obesity.
Obesity carries a high cost to the individual and society as it increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and several cancers; it was also added as a qualifying disability under the Americans with Disability Act in 2011.
.One of the primary reasons to regularly clean is removing many of the toxic chemicals accumulating in house dust, but commercial cleaners only introduce more; consider nontoxic alternatives you may make at home using common household staple ingredients
Dr. Axe – Experts agree: There may be multiple causes for the rise in obesity in recent decades, but one major factor is the drastic increase in portion sizes.
Trick Your Brain Into Wanting Less: 10 Tricks!
What’s the best way to retrain your brain into eating less food — or eating more of the nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods that contribute to a healthy body? I’ve included several specific tips below, but it all comes down to mindful eating. If you want to decrease how much you eat, you’’ll need to begin with intentionality, which will take time and effort.