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World News


Iran vows ‘extraordinarily significant’ nuclear move coming

Al Jazeera – Tehran increases pressure on European signatories to the historic 2015 nuclear pact before weekend deadline.

Iranian officials ratcheted up pressure before a weekend deadline for European nations to come up with a solution for Iran to sell its oil abroad after the United States withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed devastating sanctions.

President Hassan Rouhani threatened on Wednesday to take additional steps and accelerate its nuclear activities if Europe fails to provide a solution by Friday.

“Iran’s third step is of an extraordinarily significant nature,” Rouhani said, without detailing what that would entail, adding a “decree will be announced today or tomorrow”.

“I see that it’s unlikely a conclusion will be reached with Europe today or tomorrow,” he said, suggesting European powers have another two months to resume talks to save the landmark nuclear accord.

“They know what we want, and we know what they want.”

A short time after Rouhani’s statement, US officials announced new sanctions on Iran, this time targeting a shipping network it said was run by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to allegedly smuggle oil.


As the U.K. Turns: More Brexit Drama, Delay, and Dithering in British Parliament

The New American – More than three years after voters in the U.K. decided to leave the European Union, ham-handed legislators in the country can still not figure out just how to do so. Days after new Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked the Queen to prorogue Parliament for five weeks in the lead-up to the October 31 leave deadline, Parliament has struck back, passing legislation that essentially takes a no-deal Brexit off the table, severely hampering Johnson’s ability to garner a better deal for Great Britain in its divorce from the European Union.

The no-deal or “surrender” bill, as Johnson refers to it, is now in the hands of the House of Lords, where some Brexiteers had hoped it could be held up until Parliament is prorogued next week. But it now appears that the legislation will be done on Friday in the House of Lords and be sent on for royal assent.

The Benn Bill, named after Labour MP Hillary Benn, ties Johnson’s hands in negotiations and virtually assures that he will need to go and ask the EU for yet another delay, this time probably until January 31 of 2020.

After the 327-299 vote, Johnson immediately called for a general snap election, something the opposition Labour Party has been harping about for two years. But Johnson failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to trigger a new election as Labour, apparently, has changed its mind on new elections.

Johnson accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of “a cowardly insult to democracy” in choosing not to back a new election, which has been a priority of the Labour Party up until now. According to Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell, a Labour MP from Hayes and Harlington, the Labour Party still desires a new election but its priority, for now, is stopping a no-deal Brexit at all costs.


U.S. News, Politics & Government


Head of UN Global Communications Says Illegally Entering the U.S. is a Right

Infowars – Follows Ilhan Omar’s call for UN to take control of US-Mexico border.

The head of United Nations Global Communications says that it is a “right” for migrants to illegally enter the United States.

Writing on Facebook, Melissa Flemming asserted that, “the right to seek asylum is enshrined in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights & was made binding by the 1951 Refugee Convention.”

“It is never a crime to seek asylum in another country even if one enters a country irregularly,” she added.

As head of communications, Flemming, who is American, is also the spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the same organization that Rep. Ilhan Omar advocated take control of the US-Mexico border last week.

“We should do what any other country does by dealing with this situation in a serious way,” Omar said during an immigration forum in south Minneapolis.

“So, we have to bring in the United Nations high commissioner on refugees, an agency that has the expertise and the training to handle massive flows of refugees humanely.”


Major League Soccer club bans Utah couple from waving ‘Betsy Ross flag’ at games

Fox – For many Americans, the 13-star “Betsy Ross flag” is a symbol of America’s victorious fight for independence from Britain.

But two die-hard soccer fans in Utah say Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake asked them to take down a Betsy Ross flag they were waving in the front row at a recent match because the team dubbed the star-spangled banner a “symbol for hate groups.”

Randolf and Diana Scott, season ticket holders who have attended every home game for the team at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, came decked out in team jerseys and hats but also brought a version of the original American flag featuring 13 white stars in a circle to represent the union of the original 13 colonies.

“Diana bought it for me actually, because my other flag was kind of old and falling apart,” Randolf told Salt Lake City’s FOX 13.

Stadium personnel asked the couple to take the flag down or risk being asked to leave.

“They kept telling us if he wasn’t going to take it down, we were going to be rejected from the game,” Diana said.

After being repeatedly asked to do so, they eventually put the flag away.

“He asked me — he’s like, ‘So what’s the purpose of the flag?'” Randolf said. “I was like, ‘Well, ’cause we love America.'”


US Military Experts Say “America Needs” A.I. to Control Nuclear Missiles

Activist Post – According to two U.S. military researchers, the United States needs a “Dead Hand” that would ensure an automated, rapid response to any nuclear threat.

Their solution? To fit the U.S. nuclear arsenal with artificial intelligence (AI) controls.

In a column for military blog War on the Rocks, U.S. nuclear warfare experts Adam Lowther and Curtis McGiffin suggest that AI is precisely the solution for what they see as a lagging U.S. response system to threats.

The two men make the claim that the current NC3 system is dependent on outdated Cold War technology, posing the danger that it “may be too slow for the president to make a considered decision and transmit orders” in case of a nuclear attack on the United States.

The authors are well aware that such a proposed system invokes the horrifying apocalyptic imagery of U.S. science fiction films, noting:

Admittedly, such a suggestion will generate comparisons to Dr. Strangelove’s doomsday machine, War Games’ War Operation Plan Response, and the Terminator’s Skynet, but the prophetic imagery of these science fiction films is quickly becoming reality.

And while the Cold War may long be a thing of the past, experts claim that such a system “that might seem unfathomable” remains necessary “to reinforce the desired deterrent effect” of the U.S. war machine in the face of rivals’ nuclear modernization programs while giving a boost to second-strike capabilities.

The potential application of artificial intelligence tech to nuclear warfare is hardly a fresh concept. The United Nations University explains that during the height of late 20th century nuclear rivalry between the U.S. and the former USSR, both countries’ respective military leaderships explored the option of bolstering their nuclear capabilities with varying degrees of AI.

However, the Soviet Union was the only country to develop a semi-automated nuclear launch mechanism to ensure an all-out nuclear response in case their leadership was decapitated in the form of the Dead Hand system.

However, the authors of the article suggest that their hypothetical AI nuclear system would be superior to Dead Hand because “the system itself would determine the response based on its own assessment of the inbound threat,“ meaning that a nuclear explosion wouldn’t be necessary before the system launched an attack.

Experts have warned, however, that AI could increase the risk of grave miscalculations and the destabilization of international relations.


It’s Official: US Visa Can Be Denied If You or Your Friends Are Critical of American Policies

The Mind Unleashed – The U.S. is now demanding visa applicants provide their social media profiles on nearly two dozen platforms.

There have been several interesting developments in the United States government’s war on free speech and privacy.

First of all, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP), which is responsible for actual entry of travelers into the country, has now declared that it can legally access phones and computers at ports of entry to determine if there is any subversive content which might impact on national security.

“Subversive content” is, of course, subjective, but those seeking entry can be turned back based on how a border control agent perceives what he is perusing on electronic media.

Unfortunately, the intrusive nature of the procedure is completely legal, particularly as it applies to foreign visitors, and is not likely to be overturned in court in spite of the Fourth Amendment’s constitutional guarantee that individuals should “…be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

Someone at a port of entry is not legally inside the United States until he or she has been officially admitted. And if that someone is a foreigner, he or she has no right by virtue of citizenship even to enter the country until entry has been permitted by an authorized US Customs and Border Protection official. And that official can demand to see anything that might contribute to the decision whether or not to let the person enter.

And there’s more to it than just that. Following the Israeli model for blocking entry of anyone who can even be broadly construed as supporting a boycott, the United States now also believes it should deny admittance to anyone who is critical of US government policy, which is a reversal of previous policy that considered political opinions to be off-limits for visa denial.

DHS, acting in response to pressure from the White House, now believes it can adequately determine hostile intent from the totality of what appears on one’s phone or laptop, even if the material in question was clearly not put on the device by the owner. In other words, if a traveler has an email sent to him or her by someone else that complains about behavior by the United States government, he or she is responsible for that content.


House Dems investigate Pence stay at Trump’s Doonbeg, Ireland resort

Fox – House Democrats are investigating Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to stay at President Trump’s golf resort in Doonbeg, Ireland, claiming the move could have possibly violated the emoluments clause in the Constitution and is “of significant interest” as the House Judiciary Committee considers whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the president.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., penned a letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Secret Service Director James Murray late Thursday, seeking information about Trump’s “apparent promotion and solicitation of foreign and U.S. government business at Trump Organization owned or affiliated properties.”

Nadler’s committee is already investigating alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption and other alleged abuses by the president, but claimed that the vice president’s stay at Doonbeg, as well as Trump’s proposal to host the 2020 G-7 summit at Trump National Doral Golf Club outside Miami, were “potential violations of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution,” and noted that they are “of significant interest and grave concern to the Committee as it considers whether to recommend articles of impeachment.”

“The Doral and Doonbeg cases are just two of the many examples of the solicitation or receipt of foreign government spending to the benefit of the President’s private financial interests,” Nadler wrote. “While White House officials have repeatedly claimed it is easier for Secret Service and law enforcement to secure the President’s resorts when he and the Vice President travel, there has been no confirmation by law enforcement or the Secret Service to support the practice of spending taxpayer dollars on the President’s businesses.”

He added: “The impact that the President’s business interests may have on his official conduct and American foreign policy interests demands scrutiny by Congress-as does the use of taxpayer dollars on properties or businesses benefitting the president.”


Alex Jones Loses Appeal, Sandy Hook Lawsuit Moves Forward

NPR – Infowars founder Alex Jones has lost another legal battle against families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. 

Jones must now pay all costs associated with an appeal filed against a parent of a Sandy Hook Elementary School victim, says the Texas Court of Appeals.

Neil Heslin’s six-year-old son Jesse Lewis was killed during the mass shooting in 2012. Heslin filed a motion of contempt against Jones when he refused to release internal Infowar documents and emails related to Sandy Hook. Heslin’s attorney Bill Ogden says the refusal brought the case to a standstill.

“As soon as he filed his notice of appeal the case stopped. We never got the discovery, we never got the answers to our questions for deposition, we never got any documents,” Ogden said. “They objected to everything and said the court doesn’t have this power.”

Lawyers for Jones did not immediately respond to requests for comment. His claims that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged led several families of Sandy Hook victims to file defamation lawsuits against Jones. 

“We hope that the defense will stop trying to roadblock, just giving us the information and letting us get to the bottom of this,” Ogden said, “and getting this case closed, rather than trying to drag it out and making it as difficult as possible on these parents after what they’ve done to them.”

Jones currently has lawsuits filed against him by multiple families of Sandy Hook victims in Connecticut and Texas. Ogden, who represents Heslin with the Houston-based firm Farrar & Ball, said the costs of the appeal process could likely total thousands of dollars.

Based on some of the “sister suits” in progress in Connecticut filed by other victims’ families, Ogden anticipates “tens of thousands of documents” to be turned over in the discovery process if Jones complies. In the meantime, they plan to file a motion for sanctions against Jones for discovery abuse.


Republican states, politicians join NRA in backing gun-maker Remington in Sandy Hook massacre case

The Daily Sheeple – Ten states and nearly two dozen members of Congress are joining the National Rifle Association in supporting gun-maker Remington Arms as it fights a Connecticut court ruling involving liability for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Officials in the 10 conservative states, 22 House Republicans and the NRA are among groups that filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday and Wednesday. They urged justices to overturn the Connecticut decision, citing a much-debated 2005 federal law that shields gun-makers from liability, in most cases, when their products are used in crimes.

Remington, based in Madison, North Carolina, made the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle used to kill 20 first-graders and six educators at the Newtown, Connecticut, school on Dec. 14, 2012.

A survivor and relatives of nine victims of the massacre filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Remington in 2015, saying the company should have never sold such a dangerous weapon to the public and alleging it targeted younger, at-risk males in marketing and product placement in violent video games.

Citing one of the few exemptions in the 2005 federal law, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in March that Remington could be sued under state law over how it marketed the rifle. The decision overturned a ruling by a state trial court judge who dismissed the lawsuit based on the federal law, named the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

The federal law has been criticized by gun control advocates as being too favorable to gun-makers, and it has been used to bar lawsuits over other mass killings.

The Connecticut case is being watched by gun control advocates, gun rights supporters and gun manufacturers across the country because it has the potential to provide a roadmap for victims of other mass shootings to circumvent the federal law and sue firearm makers.

One of the supporting papers filed this week was by officials in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.


Walgreens, CVS and Kroger Join Walmart, and Ban Open Carry of Firearms in All Stores

Off Grid Survival – In the latest attack on law-abiding gun owners, 4 more retailers announced they would be implementing Walmart’s policy of banning the open carry of firearms in their stores, even in states where “open carry” is allowed.

Walgreens , CVS, and Wegmans announced the new policy Thursday afternoon, following announcements from Kroger on Wednesday and Walmart on Tuesday.

This is how they plan to kill the 2nd amendment

This is no accident that 5 major retailers all decided within days of each other to ban firearms in their stores.

I believe this is a coordinated effort by the left to kill the second amendment by banning firearms in stores throughout the country, and stopping the sale of ammunition. Think about it; They don’t have to get rid of the second amendment. If they can get retailers to stop selling ammo, and stop allowing customers to carry inside their stores they have essentially worked out a way to shred the second amendment without ever passing another law.

Walmart essentially gave all of these smaller retailers cover when CEO Doug McMillon asked other retailers to follow their lead. In McMillon’s memo to Walmart Employees, he encouraged other retailers to act “to make the overall industry safer.”


Trump Urges Supreme Court to Act on ‘Illegal’ DACA

Newsmax – President Donald Trump started his Friday morning by posting a flurry of tweets aimed at the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, saying the order signed by his predecessor in 2012 was illegal.

Trump first quoted Christopher Hajec, the director of litigation for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, in a thread of three tweets.

President Donald Trump started his Friday morning by posting a flurry of tweets aimed at the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, saying the order signed by his predecessor in 2012 was illegal.

Trump first quoted Christopher Hajec, the director of litigation for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, in a thread of three tweets.

“The Immigration Law Institute’s Christopher Hajec says, ‘The Supreme Court has to look at whether DACA is lawful. What they are looking at now is whether Trump’s recision of DACA is lawful. Must consider lawfulness of DACA itself. Looks very odd that President Trump doesn’t have the discretion to end the program that President Obama began in his discretion,'” Trump wrote.

“‘That program was unlawful to begin with. I think it’s very unlikely that the SCOTUS is going to issue an order reinstating what it believes is an unlawful program. DACA Is unlawful.'”

Trump added, “President Obama never had the legal right to sign DACA, and he indicated so at the time of signing. But In any event, how can he have the right to sign and I don’t have the right to ‘unsigned.’ Totally illegal document which would actually give the President new powers.”

A short time later, Trump said the DACA issue is heading to the Supreme Court and that the justices on the bench will have to issue a decision.

“DACA will be going before the Supreme Court. It is a document that even President Obama didn’t feel he had the legal right to sign – he signed it anyway! Rest assured that if the SC does what all say it must, based on the law, a bipartisan deal will be made to the benefit of all!” Trump wrote.


Economy & Business


Uh Oh: U.S. Layoffs Rise 38 Percent – Highest Level For August Since 2009

Michael Snyder – We continue to get more numbers that indicate that U.S. economic activity is really starting to slow down.  According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the number of layoffs in the United States was 38 percent higher in August than it was in July.  A 38 percent increase in one month is more than just a little bit startling, and many believe that if this momentum continues we could soon be facing an avalanche of job losses similar to what we witnessed in 2008.  And without a doubt, all of the other economic numbers that have been rolling in lately also confirm that the U.S. economy is heading into harder times.  But is our country ready to handle another major economic downturn?

Even though there have been moments of difficulty over the past decade, we truly haven’t seen anything like this since the last recession.  In fact, the latest job cut numbers that we just got from Challenger, Gray & Christmas are the highest that we have seen during any August since 2009

Employers also announced the most layoffs of any August since 2009, the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said.

Job cuts rose 38 percent over July, with 53,480 positions to be slashed from employer payrolls, led by workforce reductions in health care, which had been a mainstay of recent job creation, the tech sector and manufacturing.

So why is this happening?

Well, certainly there are many factors at play, but Andrew Challenger has singled out “the trade war” as one of the biggest reasons

“Employers are beginning to feel the effects of the trade war and imposed tariffs by the US and China,” Andrew Challenger, the firm’s vice president, said in a statement.

Other nations are really starting to feel the effects of the trade war as well.  This week, Germany reported a startling drop in new manufacturing orders


Capital Controls in Argentina Demonstrate Dangers of Government-Controlled Money

Bitcoin News – The current financial system, with governments and central banks controlling the flow of money, creates impediments for people’s economic freedom. Among them is the danger that the ruling class will try to hide its mismanagement of the country’s affairs by preventing people from voting with their wallets and trying to secure their savings on safer shores. The latest example of this comes from Argentina where capital controls are now back in effect.

Just An(other) Emergency Measure

President Mauricio Macri of Argentina re-introduced capital controls on Sunday in an effort to prevent further collapse of the peso (ARS) exchange rate and a possible default on government bonds. All citizens were barred from making over $10,000 worth of conversions to foreign currency per month. Companies now have limitations on their ability to legally purchase dollars on the open market without authorization, crucial for trading with international partners or to give out dividends to shareholders overseas.


Energy & Environment


Hurricane Dorian now: Storm makes landfall along North Carolina coast

ABC – Hurricane Dorian made landfall along Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, Friday morning as the state’s low-lying islands and waterfront communities brace for flash flooding and dangerous storm surge.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned residents who didn’t heed earlier evacuation warnings to stay indoors and “hunker down” until the storm passes.

“Hurricane Dorian is ready to unleash its fury on our state,” Cooper said Thursday.

Over 330,000 homes and businesses were without power across the Carolinas Friday morning as a result of the storm, now a Category 1 hurricane.


US lifts ban on old-style light bulbs

BBC -The US is scrapping a ban on energy-inefficient light bulbs which was due to come in at the beginning of 2020.

The rule would have prohibited the sale of bulbs that do not reach a standard of efficiency, and could have seen an end to incandescent bulbs.

Many countries have phased out older bulbs because they waste energy.

But the US energy department said banning incandescent bulbs would be bad for consumers because of the higher cost of more efficient bulbs.

The Department of Energy said it had withdrawn the ban because it was a misinterpretation of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

Specifically, the law stipulated that restrictions on bulbs could only be implemented when it was economically justified, Shaylyn Hynes, a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy, told the New York Times.

Activists say the government has come under pressure from manufacturers.

It makes zero sense to eliminate energy-saving light bulb standards that will save households money on electricity bills and cut climate change emissions,” Appliance Standards Awareness Project executive director Andrew deLaski told the Washington Post. 


Plastic showing up in Lake Michigan fish, drinking water, beer

Chicago Tribune – Plastics pollution in global waters has become one of the most complex issues of the 21st century. Scientists have identified giant gyres of garbage accumulating in offshore ocean currents. Examinations of dead whales and other large marine animals show they’ve ingested plastic items, like garbage bags. Researchers say that plastic litter in the oceans is poised to outweigh the amount of fish by 2050.

Meanwhile, microplastics, particles that start out smaller than 5 millimeters or are broken down from larger items, have been found in the falling rain in Colorado, carried by the wind to remote regions of the Pyrenees mountains in France and surfaced in drifting snow in the Arctic.

However, it’s only been in the last decade that research into plastics pollution has gained urgency in the Great Lakes, the planet’s largest system of freshwater.

Plastic debris makes up about 80% of the litter on Great Lakes shorelines. Nearly 22 million pounds enter the Great Lakes each year — more than half of which pours into Lake Michigan, according to estimates calculated by the Rochester Institute of Technology. Regardless of size, as plastics linger in the water, they continue to break down from exposure to sunlight and abrasive waves.

Microplastics have been observed in the guts of many Lake Michigan fish, in drinking water and even in beer. Perhaps the most worrisome aspect is that the impact of microplastics on human health remains unclear. Plastics are known to attract industrial contaminants already in the water, like PCBs, while expelling their own chemical additives intended to make them durable, including flame retardants.

Because the problem is virtually invisible, sometimes it’s hard to attract attention to it.


Science & Technology


Attorney General of 8 States and D.C. Investigating Facebook for Possible antitrust violations 

Washington Post – Regulators have signaled growing concerns about the breadth of Silicon Valley’s power and the industry’s access to vast amounts of proprietary data

New York is leading a multistate investigation of Facebook for possible antitrust violations, Attorney General Letitia James announced Friday, kicking off a bipartisan wave of independent state inquiries targeting the social media giant as well as Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

James will work with the attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and the District of Columbia on an inquiry focused on “Facebook’s dominance in the industry and the potential anti-competitive conduct stemming from that dominance,” according to a news release.


Amazon tests Whole Foods payment system that uses hands as ID

NY Post – Forget the titanium Apple Card — Amazon’s latest payment method uses flesh and blood.

The e-tailing giant’s engineers are quietly testing scanners that can identify an individual human hand as a way to ring up a store purchase, with the goal of rolling them out at its Whole Foods supermarket chain in the coming months, The Post has learned.

Employees at Amazon’s New York offices are serving as guinea pigs for the biometric technology, using it at a handful of vending machines to buy such items as sodas, chips, granola bars and phone chargers, according to sources briefed on the plans.

The high-tech sensors are different from fingerprint scanners found on devices like the iPhone and don’t require users to physically touch their hands to the scanning surface.

Instead, they use computer vision and depth geometry to process and identify the shape and size of each hand they scan before charging a credit card on file.

The system, code-named “Orville,” will allow customers with Amazon Prime accounts to scan their hands at the store and link them to their credit or debit card.

It’s accurate to within one ten-thousandth of 1%, but Amazon engineers are scrambling to improve it to a millionth of 1% ahead of its launch, the source said.


Left-Handed Gene Finally Found

Nexmax – For the first time, scientists have found four spots on your DNA that might determine whether you wield your pen with your left hand.

Of the four gene regions, three are associated with proteins involved in brain development and structure, according to a genetic analysis of about 400,000 people in the United Kingdom, including more than 38,000 left-handers.

The study also found that “in left-handed participants, the language areas of the left and right sides of the brain communicate with each other in a more coordinated way,” said Dr. Akira Wiberg, a University of Oxford medical research fellow who did the analysis.

“This raises the intriguing possibility for future research that left-handers might have an advantage when it comes to performing verbal tasks, but it must be remembered that these differences were only seen as averages over very large numbers of people, and not all left-handers will be similar,” he said in a news release from UK Research and Innovation, which funded the study.

The findings were published Sept. 4 in the journal Brain.

Scientists already knew that genes play a role in determining handedness. Studies of twins suggest that genes account for 25% of the variation in handedness, but the genes had not been pinpointed.

“Around 90% of people are right-handed, and this has been the case for at least 10,000 years. Many researchers have studied the biological basis of handedness, but using large datasets from UK Biobank has allowed us to shed considerably more light on the processes leading to left-handedness,” Wiberg said.

The study also found links between the genetic regions involved in left-handedness and a very slightly reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, and a very slightly higher risk of schizophrenia.




Vegans and vegetarians may have higher stroke risk

BBC – People who eat vegan and vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease and a higher risk of stroke, a major study suggests.

They had 10 fewer cases of heart disease and three more strokes per 1,000 people compared with the meat-eaters.

The research, published in the British Medical Journal, looked at 48,000 people for up to 18 years.

However, it cannot prove whether the effect is down to their diet or some other aspect of their lifestyle.

Diet experts said, whatever people’s dietary choice, eating a wide range of foods was best for their health.


Low vitamin D linked to adolescent behavior problems

Mercola – Children with vitamin D deficiency between the ages of 5 and 12 years were 1.8 times as likely to display behavior problems in later childhood, when they were 11 to 18 years old.

“Externalizing” problems, such as aggressive and rule-breaking behaviors, were more common in adolescents who were vitamin D deficient as children.

Low levels of vitamin D binding protein, which transport vitamin D in the blood, were also linked to aggressive behavior and symptoms of anxiety and depressive mood compared to higher levels.

In separate research, lower vitamin D status was associated with increased emotional problems, peer relationship issues and behavioral difficulties among children




Saints QB Drew Brees defends himself after appearing in video produced by anti-LGBTQ group

USA Today – New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Thursday defended his participation in a video that was released by the religious organization Focus on the Family, a group that is widely recognized as anti-LGBTQ. 

Focus on the Family has, among other things, promoted “conversion therapy,” a radical pseudoscientific practice that aims to change an LGBTQ person’s sexual orientation. Brees drew criticism in the days following the release of the video because of its connection to the organization.  

Thursday, in front of his locker, Brees strongly defended himself. He released a video statement shortly before the Saints locker room opened to reporters, then spent several minutes answering questions in front of his locker.

Brees took umbrage with what he considered to be a sensationalist headline, referencing a report in Big Easy Magazine that fell under the headline “Drew Brees records video for Anti-LGBTQ religious organization.” He began his media session by asking the reporters gathered around him who had seen the video if they thought it was a fair headline.

“In the video, is there any mention of any group outside of just talking about National Bring Your Bible to School Day? … No there wasn’t,” Brees said. “It’s not written anywhere on it. I don’t say anything about it. The only thing I was promoting was encouraging kids to bring their Bibles to school National Bring Your Bible to School Day, to live out your faith with confidence, and I gave my favorite Bible verse.

“So we can sit here and say that’s not a very fair headline — that headline was not representative of what that video was about at all. Am I right in saying that? I think that’s fair. … Why would you post a headline like that? Why? Why would you post a headline like that when that’s not what the video had anything to do about?”

The video, which does not explicitly mention Focus on the Family, starts with Brees bringing up his favorite Bible verse. He goes on to encourage children to participate in National Bring Your Bible to School Day. 

“I want to encourage you to live out your faith on Bring Your Bible to School Day, and share God’s love with friends. You’re not alone,” Brees said in 23-second video clip.


Extra News


Why Are Marriage Rates Down? Study Blames Lack Of ‘Economically-Attractive’ Men

Study Finds – Marriage rates have steadily declined over the past few decades, and now researchers from Cornell University are offering up a possible explanation: there just aren’t as many economically-attractive men for unmarried women to meet as there used to be.

Previous studies had attempted to answer why marriage rates are on the decline, but most focused solely on gender ratio discrepancies as opposed to looking into the specific socioeconomic characteristics that make a particular man and woman a good match.

First, the study’s authors examined data collected on recent marriages between 2007-2012 and 2013-2017, gathered as part of the American Community Survey’s cumulative 5-year marriage statistics. That data was used to estimate the financial and sociodemographic characteristics of unmarried women’s potential husbands by creating economic profiles that resembled real husbands who had married comparable women. These potential husband estimates were then compared to actual population data on unmarried men across national, state, and local locations.

Researchers found that these estimated potential “dream” husbands had an average income about 58% higher than the actual unmarried men currently available to unmarried women. These synthetic husbands were also 30% more likely to be employed than real single men and 19% more likely to have a college degree.

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