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World News

TIMELINE: IRANIAN CONFLICT

Trump cancels secret US meeting with Afghan Taliban

BBC (Sep 8) – US President Donald Trump says he has called off peace negotiations with the Taliban that sought to end America’s 18-year war in Afghanistan.

Mr Trump tweeted he had been set to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and senior Taliban leaders on Sunday.

But he cancelled the secret meeting at his Camp David retreat after the militants admitted they were behind a recent attack that killed a US soldier.

The Taliban said Americans will “lose the most” for cancelling.

The talks were due to take place a few days before the anniversary of 9/11.

US-led forces overthrew the Taliban government in Afghanistan in the autumn of 2001, because the militants had given safe haven to the al-Qaeda network to plan the attacks on the US on 11 September.

Meanwhile the office of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani – who would have met separately with Mr Trump at Camp David, according to the US president – said real peace would only be possible when the Taliban agreed to a ceasefire and direct talks with the Afghan government.

Major Saudi Arabia oil facilities hit by Houthi drone strikes

The Guardian (Sep 14) – Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for a drone attack on the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia which is vital to global energy supplies.

The attacks on the processor and a major oilfield, operated by Saudi Aramco, on early Saturday sparked a huge fire, the kingdom’s interior ministry said.

According to Reuters, threes sources claimed the assault had disrupted output and exports, with one source claiming 5 million barrels per day of crude production had been impacted – nearly half the kingdom’s output.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia is shutting down about half of its oil output because of the incident. Authorities have not confirmed whether oil production or exports were affected.

A military spokesman for Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the strikes, saying 10 drones had been deployed in the attack.

The Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes on Yemen’s northern Saada province, a Houthi stronghold, on Saturday, a Reuters witness said. Houthi-run al Masirah TV said the warplanes targeted a military camp.

U.S. blames Iran for Saudi oil attack, Trump says ‘locked and loaded’

Reuters (Sep 15) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday the United States was “locked and loaded” for a potential response to the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, after a senior U.S. administration official said Iran was to blame.

Trump also authorized the use of the U.S. emergency oil stockpile to ensure stable supplies after the attack, which shut 5% of world production and sent crude prices soaring more than 19% in early trade on Monday, before moderating to show a 10% gain.

“There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!” Trump said on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, a senior U.S. official told reporters that evidence from the attack, which hit the world’s biggest oil-processing facility, indicated Iran was behind it, instead of the Yemeni Houthi group that had claimed responsibility.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said there was no evidence the attack came from Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis for over four years in a conflict widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Muslim rival Iran.

Saudi Arabia Says Iranian Weapons Used to Attack Oil Facilities

Bloomberg (Sep 16) – Saudi Arabia said preliminary findings show Iranian weapons were used in the attack on one of its key oil installations, but stopped short of directly blaming the Islamic Republic for the strikes that cut its crude output by half and rattled oil markets.

Ongoing investigations of “debris and wreckage” show “it belongs to the Iranian regime,” Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, told reporters in Riyadh on Monday. He said initial findings suggest the attack was not launched from Yemen, contradicting claims by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels that they carried out the attack using a swarm of long-range drones with more sophisticated engines.

“We are working right now to spot the launch point of those attacks,” he said.

US Special Forces Soldier Killed in Afghanistan a Week After Donald Trump Canceled Taliban Peace Talks

Newsweek (Sep 16) – The Taliban said more U.S. troops would die in the wake of President Donald Trump canceling a secret Camp David meeting with the militant group to end America’s longest war. Monday morning, an American Special Forces soldier was killed in Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Jeremy W. Griffin, 41, of Greenbrier, Tennessee, was killed in action by small arms fire while on an operation in the Sayyidabad District of Wardak province, located in the central and eastern regions of Afghanistan. A Pentagon source told Newsweek on condition of anonymity on Monday he died during surgery while doctors attempted to save his life.

Iran rules out talks as Trump blames Tehran for Saudi oil attack

Reuters (Sep 17) – Iran’s supreme leader on Tuesday ruled out talks with Washington after President Donald Trump blamed Tehran for a crippling attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities.

Saudi King Salman called on governments around the world to confront the threats to oil supplies and global economic stability posed by the weekend attack. European allies said the crisis should be addressed collectively.

Trump said on Monday that it looked like Iran was behind the strike at the heart of the Saudi oil industry, which cut 5% of global production, but stressed he did not want to go to war. Iran denied it was to blame.

US shares info with Saudi Arabia that blames Iran for oil field attack: report

Fox (Sep 17) – Iran was the staging ground for the weekend attacks on the massive Saudi Arabia oil field, according to U.S. intelligence that was shared with the kingdom, a report said.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported that the intelligence report—that was not shared publicly—indicated that Iran raided the massive oil field with at least a dozen missiles and 20 drones.

The State Department did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News on Tuesday morning. The Journal’s report said that a Saudi official indicated that the U.S. intelligence was not definitive. The official told the paper that the U.S. did not provide enough evidence to prove without a doubt that Tehran’s hand was involved.

Background: Who are the Houthis and why are they fighting the Saudi coalition in Yemen?

The Guardian (Nov 21, 2018) – The Saudi- and United Arab Emirates-led coalition fighting in Yemen is under unprecedented pressure from the international community to end its involvement in the war after the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Since the coalition intervened in 2015, Yemen has become the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, according to the UN. Rights groups say up to 56,000 people have been killed, half of the 28 million-strong population are starving and the country is suffering the worst cholera epidemic in modern history.

But who are the coalition fighting, and why has the war descended into a stalemate? Yemen’s Houthi rebels are a decades-old resistance movement, born in opposition to Saudi Arabia’s religious influence. Although they cannot hold out forever against the coalition’s air power and blockades, they say they are determined not to give up.

Origins as an anti-Saudi resistance group

The Houthi movement was founded in the 1990s by Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, a member of Yemen’s Zaidi Shia minority, which makes up about one-third of the population. Hussein was killed by Yemeni soldiers in 2004, and the group is now led by his brother Abdul Malik.

The Zaidis, once a powerful force in north Yemen, were sidelined during the 1962-70 civil war and then further alienated in the 1980s as Salafist Sunni ideals gained prominence across the border in Saudi Arabia, which exported the ideology to Yemen. In response, Zaidi clerics began to militarise their followers against Riyadh and its allies.

The intermittent insurgency gained support from Shia Yemenis fed up with the corruption and cruelty of the long-time authoritarian president and Saudi ally, Ali Abdullah Saleh, particularly during the aftermath of 9/11 and the US invasion of Iraq.

Role in the Arab spring

Popular protests and several assassination attempts forced Saleh to resign in 2012. The Houthis, as one of the only revolutionary groups with military experience, steadily gained control of territory outside their northern heartlands.

As they grew more powerful they pulled out of transition talks aimed at creating a new and stable Yemeni government after Saleh’s downfall. In 2015 they allied with their former enemy Saleh, seizing the capital, Sana’a, and overthrowing the new president, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Goals in Yemen’s civil war

The Houthis’ slogan, known as the sarkha, or scream, is “God is great, death to America, death to Israel, curse on the Jews, victory to Islam.” Apart from the resistance narrative, the Houthis have no stated political or governance goals for Yemen, despite the fact they are currently in control of both Sana’a and Hodeidah, a Red Sea port city through which 80% of the country’s imports flow.

Throughout the war the Houthis have been accused of torturing and killing journalists and critics, siphoning off aid supplies, using civilian infrastructure as a shield for military activity and persecuting the country’s Jewish and Baha’i minorities.

Relationship with Iran

The Houthis have variously said their tactics are modelled on those of the Viet Cong and resistance movements in Latin America as well as Lebanon’s fearsome Shia Hezbollah, with which they have obvious kinship.

Both Hezbollah and Iran have increased their provision of guns, missiles, military training and funds for the Houthi war effort since 2014, happy to see their Saudi enemies expend soldiers and money on the Yemeni stalemate.

The extent of Tehran’s influence over the Houthis’ decision-making processes is unclear, however. The Houthis have acted expressly against Iran’s advice on several occasions during the war, including a demand not to take over Sana’a in 2015.

Hong Kong protesters form human chain as government offers concessions

NBC – Hundreds of protesters formed torch-lit human chains in the mountains of Hong Kong on Friday, the latest in what have now been months of demonstrations gripping the semi-autonomous region.

Armed with lanterns, mobile phones and torches, the activists climbed Lion Rock and Victoria Peak, two hills above the city.

Friday marks the Mid-Autumn Festival, a day when families traditionally gather to gaze at the moon and eat mooncakes, while children swing colorful lanterns from the end of sticks.

After scaling the peaks, the protesters joined arms and chanted “Stand with Hong Kong, fight for freedom.”

This echoed the 28-mile human chain they formed in August, inspired by 1989 Soviet-era protests across the Baltic states in Europe.

BBC Tells Schoolchildren There Are ‘over 100’ Genders

Breitbart – The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) tells primary schoolchildren that there are over 100 genders as part of its “Teach” video series, which has some concerned parents and observers up in arms.

“You know, there are so many gender identities,” declares the head teacher in response to child’s question. “We know that we have got male and female, but there are over 100, if not more, gender identities now.”

The video for schoolchildren aged 9-12 is part of nine new BBC Teach films produced as support material for the personal, social, and health education (PSHE) curriculum in UK schools.

Telegraph columnist Celia Walden has written a scathing review of the program, which she calls “noxious nonsense” that poisons children’s minds, a product of the modern “Emperor’s New Clothes gender diversity narrative.”

BBC is indulging in the “propagation of misinformation,” Ms. Walden writes, thereby betraying its journalistic duty “to deal not in fads, but facts.”

By “willfully warping their minds,” she continues, BBC is contributing to making the new generation of children “as self-obsessed as the supposed grown-ups.”

Explosion at Russian research lab that stores smallpox virus: officials

Fox – A virus research center in Russia — one of two places in the world that houses the smallpox virus — exploded on Monday, officials said.

The blast at the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology, or “Vector,” left one employee injured and the building, located in Koltsovo, near the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, survived without structural damage, according to a statement from the facility.

The suspected gas explosion happened on the fifth floor of the 6-floor concrete building during scheduled repairs, Russian-owned news agency TASS reported.

Nikolai Krasnikov, the head of Koltsovo — which is known as a science city — said no biohazardous material was being stored where the blast occurred, and that there’s no threat to the population. He added the worker who was injured suffered burns and is in intensive care.

The facility in Russia, created in 1974, is one of two places that stores the variola virus, otherwise known as the deadly infectious smallpox disease. The other location is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga.

China social credit system will affect businesses, not just citizens 

CNBC – China is making changes to the local business environment, in a move that’s expected to vastly increase the amount of data companies must share with the central government.

Chinese authorities want to collate information from businesses operating in China — domestic and foreign firms alike — and integrate them into a centralized digital database, according to a report released Aug. 28 by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, in cooperation with China-focused consultancy Sinolytics.

While Beijing insists the system is meant to create a “fair, transparent and predictable” business environment, there are concerns about how the government might use the data, especially in light of escalating trade tensions with the U.S.

The new system could also bring China significantly closer to its goal of tracking the actions of people and businesses so that it can reward behaviors it likes and punish behaviors it doesn’t — the so-called “social credit” system.

The new database enables the government to track and monitor the activities of all businesses in China. It also seeks to improve how companies comply with the law, and raises the penalty for those working with partners involved with fraudulent activity.

A test version of the massive database — called the National “Internet+Monitoring” System — is likely to be released in September, and a final version by the end of the year, according to the EU Chamber and Sinolytics report.

Joerg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, said at a press event on Aug. 28 that the new system can help level the playing field between domestic and foreign businesses in China. It can also enforce Chinese law better since there’s less room for “fiddling by government officials,” he added.

“We think it has a clearing effect on China,” he said.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

America celebrates Constitution Day 2019

Fox – Tuesday marks a big day for thousands of people across the United States.

Tuesday is Citizenship Day and Consitution Day.

This day is observed each year on Sept. 17.

On this day over 200 years ago, members of the U.S. Consitutional Convention signed the Constitution.

Students walk out of Mississippi school in protest after prayer group told it may no longer meet during class hours

The Blaze (Sep 12) – Students at Tylertown High School in Tylertown, Mississippi, staged a massive walk-out on Wednesday, after their longtime prayer group was notified that it would no longer be allowed to meet during instruction hours.

District officials say the new rule applies to all extracurricular activities and the club — called First Priority — is not being singled out. Nonetheless, protesters insist they won’t return to class until their worship program is allowed to continue as it has for the past 15 years.

“Take Two Aspirin and Call Me By My Pronouns” – SJW BS in medical school ed.

WSJ – Opinion piece at the WSJ by a former dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school, who argues that medical school too is being invaded by progressive dogma and “woke” causes.

Quote:

The American College of Physicians says its mission is to promote the “quality and effectiveness of health care,” but it’s stepped out of its lane recently with sweeping statements on gun control. And that isn’t the only recent foray into politics by medical professionals. During my term as associate dean of curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school, I was chastised by a faculty member for not including a program on climate change in the course of study. As the Journal reported last month, such programs are spreading across medical schools nationwide.

Why have medical schools become a target for inculcating social policy when the stated purpose of medical education since Hippocrates has been to develop individuals who know how to cure patients?

A new wave of educational specialists is increasingly influencing medical education. They emphasize “social justice” that relates to health care only tangentially. This approach is the result of a progressive mind-set that abhors hierarchy of any kind and the social elitism associated with the medical profession in particular.

These educators focus on eliminating health disparities and ensuring that the next generation of physicians is well-equipped to deal with cultural diversity, which are worthwhile goals. But teaching these issues is coming at the expense of rigorous training in medical science. The prospect of this “new,” politicized medical education should worry all Americans.

. . .

As concerns about social justice have taken over undergraduate education, graduate schools have raced to develop curricula that will steep future educators in the same ideology. Today a master’s degree in education is often what it takes to qualify for key administrative roles on medical-school faculties. The zeitgeist of sociology and social work have become the driving force in medical education. The goal of today’s educators is to produce legions of primary care physicians who engage in what is termed “population health.”

. . .

Where will all this lead? Medical school bureaucracies have become bloated, as they have in every other sphere of education. Curricula will increasingly focus on climate change, social inequities, gun violence, bias and other progressive causes only tangentially related to treating illness. And so will many of your doctors in coming years.

Meanwhile, oncologists, cardiologists, surgeons and other medical specialists are in short supply. The specialists who are produced must master more crucial material even though less and less of their medical-school education is devoted to basic scientific knowledge. If this country needs more gun control and climate change activists, medical schools are not the right place to produce them.

US baby born on 9/11 at 9:11 weighs 9lb 11oz

BBC – A US mother says her newborn daughter is a “little miracle” after she was born on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at 9:11pm weighing 9lb 11oz.

Little Christina Brown came into the world at Methodist LeBonheur Hospital in Germantown, Tennessee.

Rachel Laughlin, head of women’s services at the hospital said such a coincidence was extremely rare.

“I’ve worked in women’s services for over 35 years, and I’ve never seen a baby’s birthdate, time of birth, and weight all be matching numbers,” she said.

Christina’s parents say that when she is older they will share with her the significance of her birth.

Sackler family ‘funnelled $1bn into different bank accounts’

BBC – he billionaire Sackler family “funnelled” at least $1bn (£800m) to different banks, including accounts in Switzerland, officials said.

The Sacklers own Purdue Pharma, which is accused of fuelling the US opioid crisis through drugs like OxyContin.

Purdue is currently facing legal action brought by more than 2,000 plaintiffs, including almost two dozen US states.

Forbes estimates the Sacklers are worth $13bn, but many states claim the family has more money hidden abroad.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James said that she has requested records from 33 financial institutions. However, the $1bn in wire transfers were revealed in records from just one institution.

OxyContin maker goes for – bankruptcy!

Reuters – Purdue’s board met Sunday evening to approve the long-expected bankruptcy filing, which the company is pursuing to restructure under terms of a proposal to settle the widespread litigation.

Purdue, which filed for Chapter 11 protection in a federal bankruptcy court in White Plains, New York, reached a tentative deal to resolve lawsuits with 24 states and five U.S. territories, as well as lead lawyers for more than 2,000 cities, counties and other plaintiffs, the company said.

Federal Lawsuit Over Shooting Death Of LaVoy Finicum Dismissed

The Daily Sheeple (Sep 10) – An Oregon judge on Friday dismissed a federal lawsuit related to the death of rancher Robert LaVoy Finicum, who was shot January 26, 2016, by Oregon State Police. Finicum was one of the armed militants who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and was shot as he left his vehicle while authorities tried to arrest him at a roadblock. Finicum’s death was ruled legally justified.

The lawsuit was filed in January 2018 in U.S. District Court of Oregon by Ryan Payne, Shawna Cox and others who were associated with the Bundy family’s 2016 occupation of the wildlife refuge. They claimed that FBI agents, Oregon State Police and other officials violated their civil rights by using excessive force and “ambushing” them on the day Finicum was shot and killed.

Chief District Court Judge Michael Mosman dismissed all counts in the lawsuit Friday (Sep 7), saying “It’s time to put a fork in this case.”

Family of deceased abortion “doctor” discovers remains of 2,246 unborn babies in his house

NaturalNews  – An Illinois abortionist who recently passed away was hiding a little secret from the world: He liked to stockpile the fetal remains of the unborn human babies he murdered.

According to reports, Dr. Ulrich Klopfer had been holding on to the corpses, or what was left of them, of some 2,246 unborn children, which were recently discovered in his home by his family following his passing.

The Will County abortionist had reportedly already been engaged in questionable behavior before this, as his medical license was suspended back in 2015 after he failed to report an abortion he performed on a 13-year-old girl.

Now, it has become clear that Klopfer may have been crazy all along, as he was secretly collecting the fetal remains left over from abortions he performed at his “Women’s Pavilion” practice in South Bend, Indiana.

An attorney for Klopfer’s family has stated that the discovery was made while loved ones were going through Klopfer’s belongings following his passing on September 3. The family was also in the process of making arrangements with a local coroner.

Reports indicate that the 2,246 dead babies inside Klopfer’s home were “medically preserved,” meaning Klopfer knew what he was doing in keeping them as “specimens” for a reason that as of yet remains unknown.

Will County authorities are currently in the process of investigating the case to figure out why Klopfer had these dead babies in his possession, and what he was doing with them. And Klopfer’s family has agreed to fully cooperate with them throughout the process.

These same authorities have told the media that they have not found any evidence that Klopfer was performing abortions or any other medical procedures inside his home.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Claims to Know Who Really Killed His Father and is Out to Prove It

Activist Post  – Robert F. Kennedy Jr., son of the assassinated younger brother of John F. Kennedy who served as a U.S. attorney general and New York senator, has claimed “compelling evidence” exists that his father was killed by former Lockheed Aircraft employee and alleged former CIA operative, Thane Eugene Cesar.

The assassination of the progressive presidential candidate often referred to as simply RFK—who marched with both Martin Luther King, Jr. and farmworker leader Cesar Chavez and was expected to continue his older brother’s legacy—was a key moment in the 20th-century history of the United States.

The accusation, published on Kennedy Jr.’s Instagram account, is just the latest confirmation that the late politician’s family remains doubtful over the official explanation that RFK’s assassin was 24-year-old Palestinian refugee Sirhan Sirhan, who had launched an assassination attempt against the presidential candidate on the night of July 5, 1968.

The then-senator had just concluded a speech greeting his primary win in California before he was murdered at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. His son, who was only 14 at the time, was later seen as a lead pall bearer at his father’s funeral in iconic photographs.

Cesar, who died last Wednesday at the age of 77 in the Philippines, had long been tied to the assassination of RFK by historians, according to Heavy.

Economy & Business

Trump Wants Zero Or NEGATIVE Interest Rates To Help With The National Debt

SHFTPlan (Sep 12) – President Donald Trump has tweeted his support for zero or lower interest rates in the wake of a massive and crippling national debt. Not only is that a raw deal for those Americans who have saved up for an emergency, but it’ll help little in the face of the monstrous mountain of debt the United States has managed to rack up.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon this week said bank executives have discussed imposing certain fees on consumers if rates fall to zero. That’s already a problem because if interest rates fall to zero or worse, go into the negative, you’ll be paying the banks interest to hold your money.  Trump on Wednesday tweeted that the Fed “should get our interest rates down to ZERO, or less,” allowing the federal government to refinance its massive debt at a lower cost according to USA Today.

Ron Paul Warns: Interest Rates Are Going Negative & The Fed Can’t Stop It

SFHTPlan – A former congressman from Texas, Dr. Ron Paul, says that the United States won’t be the exception when negative interest rates crush the economy. Dr. Paul is warning negative interest rates are coming, and the Federal Reserve cannot stop it.

“We will join the rest of them and go to total negative rates in hopes that that will be the solution,” Dr. Paul told CNBC’s “Futures Now” on Thursday. “We’ve never had as many currencies in negative interest rates. $17 trillion worth of bonds [are] in negative interest rates. It’s never existed before. And, that’s a bubble. So, we’re in the biggest bond bubble in history, and it’s going to burst.”

Fed poised to cut rates as Trump keeps up pressure

The Hill – The Federal Reserve is likely to cut interest rates this week, a move that comes amid growing pressure from President Trump and new uncertainties about the global economy.

The Fed is expected to announce Wednesday that it will cut its baseline interest rate for the second consecutive meeting. After cutting rates in July for the first time since 2008 during the recession, the Fed is almost certain to nudge down borrowing costs to counter rising fears of a global recession and slowing U.S. job growth.

But while lower interest rates may relieve some pressure on the U.S. economy, a moderate cut will likely do little to appease Trump as he scrambles to regain leverage in his trade war with China.

Energy & Environment

NYC says 1 million kids can skip school for ‘climate strike’!
Axios – School districts are debating what position to take after New York City announced that 1.1 million public school students could skip classes without penalties to join the global youth climate strikes Friday, the New York Times reports.

Science & Technology

‘I was very much a person the most powerful government in the world wanted to go away’

The Guardian – The man whose state surveillance revelations rocked the world speaks exclusively to the Guardian about his new life and concerns for the future

The world’s most famous whistleblower, Edward Snowden, says he has detected a softening in public hostility towards him in the US over his disclosure of top-secret documents that revealed the extent of the global surveillance programmes run by American and British spy agencies.

In an exclusive two-hour interview in Moscow to mark the publication of his memoirs, Permanent Record, Snowden said dire warnings that his disclosures would cause harm had not come to pass, and even former critics now conceded “we live in a better, freer and safer world” because of his revelations.

In the book, Snowden describes in detail for the first time his background, and what led him to leak details of the secret programmes being run by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s secret communication headquarters, GCHQ.

He describes the 18 years since the September 11 attacks as “a litany of American destruction by way of American self-destruction, with the promulgation of secret policies, secret laws, secret courts and secret wars”.

Snowden also said: “The greatest danger still lies ahead, with the refinement of artificial intelligence capabilities, such as facial and pattern recognition.

“An AI-equipped surveillance camera would be not a mere recording device, but could be made into something closer to an automated police officer.”

He is concerned the US and other governments, aided by the big internet companies, are moving towards creating a permanent record of everyone on earth, recording the whole of their daily lives.

While Snowden feels justified in what he did six years ago, he told the Guardian he was reconciled to being in Russia for years to come and was planning for his future on that basis.

He reveals he secretly married his partner, Lindsay Mills, two years ago in a Russian courthouse.

While he would rather be in the US or somewhere like Germany, he is relaxed in Russia, now able to lead a more or less normal daily life. He is less fearful than when he first arrived in 2013, when he felt lonely, isolated and paranoid that he could be targeted in the streets by US agents seeking retribution.

“I was very much a person the most powerful government in the world wanted to go away. They did not care whether I went away to prison. They did not care whether I went away into the ground. They just wanted me gone,” he said.

He has dispensed with the scarves, hats and coats he once used as disguises and now moves freely around the city, riding the metro, visiting art galleries or the ballet, joining friends in cafes and restaurants.

Could ‘killer robots’ spark the next war? Ex-Google engineer warns machines could carry out ‘atrocities’ and cause ‘large-scale accidents’ that lead to global unrest

Daily Mail – A former Google engineer has expressed fears about a new generation of robots that could carry out ‘atrocities and unlawful killings’.

Laura Nolan, who previously worked on the tech giant’s military drone initiative, Project Maven, is calling for the ban of all autonomous war drones, as these machines do not have the same common sense or discernment as humans.

Project Maven focused on enhancing drones with artificial intelligence (AI) to distinguish enemy targets from people and other objects – but was discontinued after employees protested the technology in development, calling it ‘evil’.

Nolan, who left Google in 2018 in protest against the US military drone technology, is now calling for all drones not operated by humans to fall under the same ban as chemical weapons, according to The Guardian.

‘What you are looking at are possible atrocities and unlawful killings even under laws of warfare, especially if hundreds or thousands of these machines are deployed,’ Nolan, who now works with the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, explained to The Guardian.

‘There could be large-scale accidents because these things will start to behave in unexpected ways.

‘Which is why any advanced weapons systems should be subject to meaningful human control, otherwise they have to be banned because they are far too unpredictable and dangerous.’

The former Google employee also noted that other factors such as radar signals or unusual weather patterns could wreak havoc on the weapon’s system, as it ‘doesn’t have the discernment or common sense that the human touch has’, said Nolan.

In addition to being unpredictable, the killer robots can only be tested in the battlefield.

Health

Benefits Of Chia Seeds: More Than 10 Scientifically Proven Facts About Chia

Off Grid News – The benefits of chia seeds are nothing short of stupefying. While the seeds may seem small, they are packed with many benefits for the human body. Further, chia seeds are growing in popularity as more people discover its benefits.

Benefits Of Chia On The Skin

  1. They Make An Amazing Facemask
  2. Repair The Skin And Delay Aging

Benefits Of Chia On Your Hair

  1. They Help Your Hair Grow
  2. Gives Your Hair A Shine
  3. Maintain Hair Color Longer

Health Benefits Of Chia

  1. Help With Digestion
  2. Great For The Health Of Your Heart
  3. Helps Treat Diabetes
  4. Help Fight Breast And Cervical Cancer
  5. Are Good For Dental Health
  6. Increased Energy

Other health benefits include:

  • Improved Brain function
  • Increased joint comfort
  • Improved mood
  • Tougher immune system
  • Relief of PMS symptoms

Statins Shown to Extend Life by Mere Days

Mercola – A 2015 systematic review of statin trials found that in primary prevention trials, the median postponement of death was just 3.2 days. In secondary prevention trials, death was postponed 4.1 days

  • A 2018 review presents substantial evidence that total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels are not an indication of heart disease risk, and that statin treatment is of “doubtful benefit” as a form of primary prevention for this reason
  • Tactics used in statin studies to exaggerate benefits include excluding unsuccessful trials, cherry-picking data, ignoring the most important outcome — an increase in life expectancy — and using a statistical tool called relative risk reduction to amplify trivial effects
  • If you look at absolute risk, statin drugs benefit just 1% of the treated participants. Out of 100 people treated with statins for five years, one person will have one less heart attack
  • Statin trials minimize health risks by using a run-in period. Participants are given the drug for a few weeks, after which those who suffer adverse effects are simply excluded, thereby lowering the perceived frequency and severity of side effects

FDA Cracks Down on CBD Oil – Not Approved as a Supplement

Health Impact News – Unless the FDA makes an exception, consumers will lose access to affordable CBD oil. Action Alert!

Over the last couple of years, ANH has been reporting on the many benefits of CBD oil, a non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plant. Among other things, CBD oil is extremely helpful in managing pain.

You might think that, in the midst of a crippling epidemic of opioid addiction, a public health agency would be interested in preserving access to affordable, non-addictive pain remedies.

But the FDA could shut the door permanently on consumer access to affordable CBD oil, unless concerned citizens make their voices heard.

You’ll recall from our previous coverage that the main obstacle is this: the FDA has approved a CBD drug, Epidolex, for the treatment of a rare form of childhood epilepsy. The drug will reportedly cost $32,500 a year.

Because CBD oil was likely not sold as a supplement before 1994, and no “new supplement” notification was filed on CBD before it was investigated as a drug, it cannot legally be sold as a supplement.

So far, the FDA is treading lightly. They’ve announced that putting CBD supplements, or foods to which CBD has been added, into interstate commerce is illegal.

The agency has sent warning letters to several CBD companies for making illegal disease claims. In these warning letters, however, the FDA notes that, for the above-cited reasons,

“CBD products are excluded from the dietary supplement definition.”

In other words, if it wanted to, the agency could put its foot down and move against any company selling CBD supplements.

There is a growing consensus that the best way to protect CBD supplements is for FDA to provide an exemption for CBD oil—that is, despite the existence of a CBD drug, to allow the continued sale of CBD supplements.

There are efforts in motion to accomplish this goal in Congress, but they do not go far enough. The House of Representatives has approved an amendment to an appropriations bill that would allocate funds for the federal government to start the necessary processes to set a safe level of CBD for consumers to use each day, but it doesn’t provide an exemption for CBD from FDA rules.

There is an amendment coming before the Senate Appropriations Committee that would exempt CBD oil, but it also leaves it to the FDA to determine how much CBD can be sold in supplements.

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