The New American – Proponents of socialized medicine like to remind Americans that the United States spends more per capita on healthcare than any other industrialized nation without necessarily getting the best results. Instead, they suggest emulating European welfare states with their national healthcare systems.
According to a report from Agence France-Presse, however, one of the crown jewels of the welfare state, Sweden, spends extravagantly on healthcare yet finds its prized universal healthcare system succumbing to the same forces that have doomed all other such programs, with waiting lists growing ever longer and doctors, nurses, and hospitals becoming ever scarcer.
Swedes, on average, pay over half their income in taxes, and their government’s healthcare spending is the third highest in the European Union. And what do they get for it?
Swedish law stipulates patients should wait no more than 90 days to undergo surgery or see a specialist. Yet every third patient waits longer, according to government figures.
Patients must also see a general practitioner within seven days, the second-longest deadline in Europe after Portugal (15 days).
WND – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif said Sunday that the Iranian government has worked closely with billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) organization.
Zarif made the remarks in response to questions raised in the Iranian parliament. According to Zarif, the activity began before he entered his current position, and he boasted that he had succeeded in “keeping the activity organized.”
OSF has funded a number of far-left organizations in Israel which seek to change the policy of Israel’s government.
BBC – A fire has gutted the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, the oldest scientific institution in the country.
Most of the 20 million items it contained, including the oldest human remains ever found in the Americas, are believed to have been destroyed.
The cause of the blaze is not known. No injuries have been reported.
WND – Leaders of Derby Cathedral, an Anglican church in England, say they are allowing their building to be used to screen films showing full female nudity, human sacrifice and graphic sex.
After all, it’s nothing “God hasn’t seen before.”
According to the U.K.’s Premier Christian Radio, several of the movies, which are part of the QUAD in Residence movie-screening series, are horror films “The Wicker Man” and “Don’t Look Now.”
The cathedral’s dean told the BBC the films won’t be “showing God anything that he hasn’t seen before.”
He told Premier in a statement, “We are looking forward to welcoming all those who want to enjoy these diverse special screenings and my hope is that it will encourage the people of Derby and Derbyshire to discover their cathedral.
AFP – An Israeli military official said Tuesday the army had carried out some 200 strikes in Syria over the past 18 months against mainly Iranian targets, a rare confirmation of such action.
Sputnik – The White House stated Tuesday that Washington, together with its allies, was ready to respond to a possible chemical attack carried out by the Syrian government forces. Prior to that, the Russian Defense Ministry warned that Syrian militants were preparing to stage fake attacks to blame them on the Syrian army.
U.S. News, Politics & Government
Fox -N ike’s announcement Monday it would make Colin Kaepernick the face of its “Just Do It” campaign sparked a firestorm on social media — and literal fires, too.
Ex-CIA Director John Brennan and former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad joined a strangely diverse chorus of support for Kaepernick.
Brennan, CIA Director from 2013-2017, tweeted his support for the former quarterback-turned-social-justice-activist.
RT – Nike’s shares have dropped 2 percent after the company’s decision to use Colin Kaepernick as the face of a new ad campaign, though the step has proved idiocy still knows no bounds as protesters ‘boycott’ and sabotage merchandise.
Kaepernick was recently announced as one of the faces of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign, posting a black-and-white close-up of himself on Instagram on Monday featuring the Nike logo and “Just do it” slogan, along with the quote: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Fox – Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing turned into a political spectacle within moments of Tuesday’s kickoff, as top Democrats tried to overtake the session with a rapid-fire string of objections and protesters shouted and screamed from the audience.
The Hill – Planned Parenthood is targeting Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in a six-figure ad buy released on the day of his Senate confirmation hearing.
The TV ads will air in Washington, D.C., and Alaska, home of Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R), a key vote in the confirmation process.
The ads in D.C. will air through next weekend on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. Ads in Alaska will air on TV and radio.
The ads highlight the “risk” Kavanaugh’s nomination poses to abortion access in the U.S. and urges senators to vote against his confirmation.
The Hill – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday picked fellow Republican and former Sen. Jon Kyl to succeed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the Senate ahead of 2020, when a special election will be held for a permanent successor.
WND – The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case seeking to overturn a Supreme Court precedent that has hindered property owners from protecting their rights in federal courts.
Knick v. Scott Township in Pennsylvania centers on an ordinance that effectively has turned a woman’s private 90 acres into public property.
Rose Mary Knick sued, but a federal court refused to hear her federal claim, citing the 1985 U.S. Supreme Court decision Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank. The ruling held property owners must take their federal property rights claims to state courts before going to federal courts.
But state courts refused to take Knick’s case, and her defender, the Pacific Legal Foundation, contends the Supreme Court has given the right to private property second-class status. It’s the only right guaranteed by the Constitution not directly enforceable by federal courts, Pacific Legal points out.
The dispute arose when township officials abruptly adopted an ordinance that requires landowners to open their property to the public if there are claims that a historical gravesite exists on the land, as WND reported.
Economy & Business
Reuters – Mercedes showed on Tuesday how it is “aggressively” gunning for top spot in upscale battery cars market currently dominated by Tesla, as it unveiled the EQC, its first fully electric car, at an event in Stockholm.
Sputnik – In the last year, the Reserve Bank of India bought 8.6 metric tons of goal, its first big purchase since 2009.
Sputnik – The United States officially launched a trade mitigation package to help farmers hit with retaliatory tariffs from foreign nations, US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a press release on Tuesday.
Energy & Environment
Reuters – Tropical Storm Gordon has shut 9.23 percent of daily crude oil production in the U.S.-regulated Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Tuesday.
Breitbart – Pope Francis on Saturday issued a call to action against pollution, describing the state of ocean littering as an “emergency,” while the church’s sex abuse scandal intensifies.
In honor of World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, Francis made the appeal in a message to galvanize Christians and others to work to save what he hails as the “marvelous,” God-given gift of the “great waters and all they contain.” The pope said efforts to fight plastic litter must be waged “as if everything depended on us.”
Fox – A federal report published Tuesday found that staff shortages and a lack of trained personnel slowed the U.S. government response to Hurricane Maria, a storm estimated to have killed nearly 3,000 people in Puerto Rico.
Good News Network – An inexpensive new kind of solar power has just been launched in Australia and it could signal the start of a groundbreaking new market for renewable energy.
Professor Paul Dastoor has created organic solar panels that can be printed using conventional printers.
By using electronic inks that are printed onto sub-millimeter thin plastic sheets, the panels can be produced for less that $10 per square meter and installed by a few people within a single work day.
Science & Technology
Nextgov – The commission is looking for an off-the-shelf tool to flag important social media posts on public sites across the web.
Social media has become such a powerful tool it can affect the very institutions that underpin society. The Securities and Exchange Commission is well aware of this, prompting officials to seek out an out-of-the-box tool to monitor and flag posts that could have an effect on financial markets.
In order to keep tabs on the never-ending flow of statements on the various social media platforms, SEC is looking for a complete, web-based tool to scrape the major sites for keywords on relevant topics. When a keyword pops, the tool should send an email alerting the appropriate SEC staff.
The commission issued a solicitation Thursday for a commercial off-the-shelf social media monitoring tool from a small business—under $27.5 million—with a finished product ready for use. “The SEC is NOT seeking sources for development of a new solution or customization of a product to acquire/add the required capabilities,” it states.
Gardening, Farming, & Homesteading
Mercola – Mushrooms contain some of the most potent natural medicines on the planet. Of the 140,000 species of mushroom-forming fungi, about 100 of them have been studied for their health-promoting benefits
Mushrooms are excellent sources of antioxidants, copper, vitamin D and other nutrients many don’t get enough of in their diet.
It’s important to make sure your mushrooms have been organically grown, as they absorb and concentrate whatever they grow in. Most conventional mushroom producers use pesticides.
The ability to control your growing conditions is just one reason to consider cultivating your own mushrooms. While a bit different from growing other fruits and vegetables, just about anyone can do it.
Basic instructions for growing mushrooms in logs, fruiting, harvesting and storage are included in this article.
Reuters – hina reported a new case of African swine fever in Xuancheng in Anhui province on Monday, the second in the city in as many days, raising the risk for farmers as the disease spreads rapidly in the world’s top pork producer.
Mercola – Raw milk vending machines provide a convenient outlet for residents in many countries to stock up on what is considered a healthy and wholesome food
Self-service machines may be found at farmers markets and small farms as well as in shopping centers and near schools and playgrounds.
Farmers are connected to the units via a real-time cellphone app, which sends out an alert if there’s a temperature change and even lets farmers check into the machine’s status at any time; inspectors are also given key cards so they can access the machines.
While many Europeans are free to enjoy a glass of crisp raw milk anytime they like courtesy of self-serve vending machines, in North America selling raw milk is often forbidden.
In Canada, it’s illegal to sell or give away raw milk, a law that’s enforced in many provinces and is punishable by fines and, in some cases, jail time.
Mercola – Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, flavonoids found in fruits with blue, red or dark purple hues, as well as other beneficial phytochemicals including caffeic acid, catechin, quercetin, kaempferol and tannin.
Phytochemicals in blueberries have known antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antiproliferative properties, and are thought to play a beneficial role in brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders.
When study participants between the ages of 60 and 75 years consumed freeze-dried blueberry in an amount equivalent to 1 cup of fresh blueberries daily, they experienced improved cognition after just 90 days.
When kids aged 7 to 10 years consumed blueberry drinks, cognitive performance improved in a matter of hours.