RT – A US base and an Italian military convoy have come under attack in Somalia where foreign troops are stationed to support the government. In both cases the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility.
The Baledogle US special forces base, located some 100 kilometers from the country’s capital, Mogadishu, and used to train local commandos, was attacked on Monday. The militants used two car bombs to breach the facility’s perimeter and then proceeded to attack it with small arms.
Ars Technica – US and UK government officials are warning travelers of the possibility of a concealed Ebola outbreak in Tanzania after the World Health Organization reported that the government there is withholding information about possible cases of the deadly virus.
France 24 – The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Monday that destroying arch-rival Israel was an “achievable goal”.
“This sinister regime must be wiped off the map and this is no longer … a dream (but) it is an achievable goal,” Major General Hossein Salami said, quoted by the Guards’ Sepah news site.
Four decades on from Iran’s Islamic revolution, “we have managed to obtain the capacity to destroy the imposter Zionist regime”, he said.
Reuters – Police expect more violence on Hong Kong’s streets on Tuesday, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, after a chaotic weekend in which they fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters who set fires and threw petrol bombs.
There will be a “very serious violent attack,” the chief superintendent of the police’s public relations branch, Tse Chun-chung, told a news conference on Monday. “We are on the verge of extreme danger.”
Police said they arrested a total of 157 people, including 67 students, over the weekend and estimated nearly 100 petrol bombs were thrown. They said eight police officers were injured.
A group of hand-picked clerics meeting in Rome next week about the ecumenical needs of the Amazon could change the entire Catholic Church forever.
Daily Beast – n October 2017, when Pope Francis announced a Vatican synod on the Amazon region “to identify new paths for the evangelization of God’s people in that region,” few people beyond those who had to attend marked it on their calendars. But over the course of the last two years, as the church prepared for the synod, which will run from Oct. 6 to 27 in Rome, it’s become clear there may be no more important meeting in Francis’ entire papacy.
One item among the 146 topics on the agenda listed in the 45-page working document has eclipsed all others–including the pope’s focus on climate change and poverty. That is whether or not to allow married “viri probati”–men of proven virtue–to be ordained as priests for the purpose of delivering the big sacraments: baptism, confession, weddings and funerals, in far flung areas where no priests are present.
Bishop Rafael Cob, apostolic vicar of Puyo, Ecuador, who will be attending the synod in Rome, said that the Church must “respond to a concrete challenge in a concrete reality.”
“The Amazon is a geographically difficult region to evangelize, first because of its distance, its inaccessibility,” he told reporters at a press conference in Rome. “But there also is a lack of candidates who can or want to be priests with the issue of celibacy. So, logically, the Church is looking for new methods to respond to concrete challenges.”
But a phalanx of conservative Catholic clerics, led by American Cardinal Raymond Burke and a host of other traditionalists, are ready to demand the resignation of the pope if he signs off on such heretical matters. By allowing married men to become priests in remote areas, they fear, the church could pave the way to the abolition of celibacy. Their slippery slope concern is that next, ordained priests will be able to marry. Then, God knows what could happen, maybe even women would be allowed into the priesthood.
Biden on tape bragging about using us loan guarantees to manipulate political outcomes.
AP – The president’s lawyer insists the real story is a debunked conspiracy theory. A senior White House adviser blames the “deep state.” And a Republican congressman is pointing at Joe Biden’s son.
As the Democrats drive an impeachment inquiry toward a potential vote by the end of the year, President Donald Trump’s allies are struggling over how he should manage the starkest threat to his presidency. The jockeying broke into the open Sunday on the talk show circuit, with a parade of Republicans erupting into a surge of second-guessing.
In a series of tweets Sunday night, Trump said he deserved to meet “my accuser” as well as whoever provided the whistleblower with what the president called “largely incorrect” information. He also accused Democrats of “doing great harm to our Country” in an effort to destabilize the nation and the 2020 election.
Trump has insisted the call was “perfect” and pushed to release both documents.
CBS – Tonight, “60 Minutes” has obtained a letter that indicates the government whistleblower who set off the impeachment inquiry of President Trump is under federal protection, because he or she fears for their safety. These rapidly developing events began Tuesday when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ordered the investigation based on a phone call between Mr. Trump and the president of Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky asked Mr. Trump for missiles, Mr. Trump asks Zelensky for “a favor” to investigate Mr. Trump’s Democratic rivals.
Democrats say this is the type of collusion that was the focus of the Mueller investigation. And it appears Washington will be immobilized by this, 13 months before election day. President Trump says he is the victim of a Democratic smear, crooked media and treasonous spies. Tonight we will hear from the man in charge of the investigation, the president’s lead defender in Congress and Speaker Pelosi who, for months, resisted impeachment.
Nancy Pelosi: We could not ignore what the president did. He gave us no choice. So it wasn’t any change of mind. I always said we will follow the facts where they take us. And when we see them, we will be ready. And we are ready.
ABC – President Donald Trump’s first Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser, who resigned after a year in the office, said on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday that he is “deeply disturbed” and “frustrated” by the “entire mess” that began in July with Trump’s phone call with a young Ukrainian president and suddenly this week sparked a firestorm of calls in Congress to impeach the president following the disclosure of an extraordinary whistleblower complaint.
“I’m deeply disturbed by this as well, and this entire mess has me frustrated,” said former Homeland Security advisor Tom Bossert, now an ABC News contributor.
The Hill – President Trump on Monday suggested House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) be arrested for treason, a crime punishable by death or prison time, for exaggerating parts of the president’s call with Ukraine’s leader.
In a series of morning tweets, Trump ripped Schiff and the anonymous whistleblower who raised concerns about Trump’s conduct on the call with the president of Ukraine, the latter of which has accelerated a Democratic impeachment inquiry into Trump.
“Rep. Adam Schiff illegally made up a FAKE & terrible statement, pretended it to be mine as the most important part of my call to the Ukrainian President, and read it aloud to Congress and the American people,” Trump tweeted. “It bore NO relationship to what I said on the call. Arrest for Treason?”
The Hill – Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) urged administration officials who disagree with President Trump to “come out of the shadows,” stating in a Monday op-ed published in The Washington Post that more whistleblowers should come forward.
“Those of you who are still there, it is time to come out of the shadows,” Meeks wrote. “Our nation does not need covert agents of democracy. It needs intrepid whistleblowers willing to step forward and defend the institutions this president has dragged into the dirt with him.”
Meeks addressed his op-ed to an anonymous White House employee who wrote an op-ed for The New York Times a little more than a year ago about being part of the resistance to Trump.
“Last year you wrote that ‘many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office,’” Meeks writes. “That strategy is clearly no longer working — if it ever did.”
Meeks then described various incidents and policies the anonymous employee failed to prevent, in addition to the Ukraine controversy at the heart of a new impeachment drive by House Democrats.
“And how many of you are left? With each passing day, the Trump administration trades patriots for sycophants who will support anything this president says or does to stay in his good graces,” Meeks writes.
The Hill – Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is reportedly urging members of her caucus to focus on their constitutional duties, and not President Trump, as the House moves forward with an impeachment inquiry.
Pelosi and top House Democrats doubled down on that focus during a private conference call with members Sunday afternoon, emphasizing the need to put congressional responsibility ahead of politics.
“I’m in Texas and they have a saying here: ‘Don’t Mess with Texas.’ Well, I say, ‘Don’t Mess with the Constitution, Mr. President,’ ” Pelosi said, according to an aide on the call.
The aide said the speaker told members the inquiry “isn’t about politics” or partisanship — “It’s about patriotism,” she said.
“The idea that this has anything to do with whether you like him or not — forget that. That’s about the election. This is about the Constitution,” Pelosi said, according to an aide.
The call was first reported by Politico.
Market Watch – Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger blasted President Donald Trump on Sunday night after the president quoted a Fox News contributor who warned of possible civil war if he is impeached.
The Illinois congressman, who is an Iraq War veteran, was the highest-profile Republican to criticize Trump, who Sunday night tweeted a quote by pastor Robert Jeffress earlier in the day on Fox News: “If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.”
Trump actually misquoted Jeffress, who said on Fox News: “I’m afraid it will cause a Civil War-like fracture.”
Kinzinger was outraged by Trump’s tweet. “I have visited nations ravaged by civil war. @realDonaldTrump I have never imagined such a quote to be repeated by a President. This is beyond repugnant,” he said.
Denver Post – A monthly Denver drag show for children gained momentum Sunday, drawing more than 100 participants despite demonstrations outside pitting “antifa” activists against “Colorado Proud Boys” and religious critics of gender-bending dress-up activity.
Mothers and fathers escorted carefully-coiffed kids, mostly aged 7 to 12, through the fracas as about 60 demonstrators squared off. High-decibel activists on both sides came ready for a fight, wearing helmets, masks and goggles with some clutching Plexiglas shields.
Denver police kept the peace. Seven parked cruisers and armed officers with pepper spray held ground between opposing factions for more than two hours, until demonstrators left as the three-hour show began on a stage in the Mile High Comics store in northwestern Denver. Sgt. Chris Archuleta said no arrests were made.
This was the seventh “Drag For All Ages” show in the Mile High Comics building, an industrial warehouse located near the Quigg Newton Homes housing complex. Each month, the demonstrations have intensified.
Activist Post – Activists in Oakland have ramped up efforts to take a first step toward limiting the impact of federal programs that militarize local police.
American Friends Service Committee (AFCS) will host a community town hall on policing and military equipment in support of efforts to pass a city ordinance requiring approval by the Oakland City Council for the acquisition of military equipment, and use policies and reporting for military equipment that the Oakland Police Department has or obtains in the future.
As AFCS points out, “Oakland has no policy for the acquisition or use of militarized equipment. Oakland PD can acquire and use military equipment of all kinds – anywhere, at any time, with no policy for its use or public reporting of what it has or how it is used.” The organization notes, “Several studies conclude police departments that acquire military-grade equipment are more likely to use violence and are no more successful in reducing crime.”
An ordinance requiring council approval for the procurement of military equipment by law enforcement would take a first step in limiting police militarization in Oakland. As the AFCS noted, police departments often obtain military equipment from the federal government in complete secrecy. Requiring local government approval would bring the process into the open and provide an opportunity for concerned residents to stop the acquisition through their local representatives.
Activist Post – For many years, Silicon Valley parents (aka tech inventors) have been sending their kids to private low-tech schools and limiting their use of tech, whereas other American families are being told that providing “high tech” educations is what’s best for their kids. An increasing number of experts and studies continue to warn that this is definitely NOT best for kids (see 1, 2, 3), and it’s not just about eye damage (see 1, 2) from excessive screen use.
When students at a private school in Australia were given a choice between a high-tech education or no-tech education, they chose no-tech. When American families aren’t given a choice, some are removing their kids from schools. From The New York Times:
The seed of rebellion was planted in classrooms. It grew in kitchens and living rooms, in conversations between students and their parents.
It culminated when Collin Winter, 14, an eighth grader in McPherson, Kan., joined a classroom walkout in January. In the nearby town of Wellington, high schoolers staged a sit-in. Their parents organized in living rooms, at churches and in the back of machine repair shops. They showed up en masse to school board meetings. In neighborhoods with no political yard signs, homemade signs with dark red slash marks suddenly popped up.
Silicon Valley had come to small-town Kansas schools — and it was not going well.
“I want to just take my Chromebook back and tell them I’m not doing it anymore,” said Kallee Forslund, 16, a 10th grader in Wellington.
Eight months earlier, public schools near Wichita had rolled out a web-based platform and curriculum from Summit Learning. The Silicon Valley-based program promotes an educational approach called “personalized learning,” which uses online tools to customize education. The platform that Summit provides was developed by Facebook engineers. It is funded by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician.
Then, students started coming home with headaches and hand cramps. Some said they felt more anxious. One child began having a recurrence of seizures. Another asked to bring her dad’s hunting earmuffs to class to block out classmates because work was now done largely alone.
“We’re allowing the computers to teach and the kids all looked like zombies,” said Tyson Koenig, a factory supervisor in McPherson, who visited his son’s fourth-grade class. In October, he pulled the 10-year-old out of the school.
In a school district survey of McPherson middle school parents released this month, 77 percent of respondents said they preferred their child not be in a classroom that uses Summit. More than 80 percent said their children had expressed concerns about the platform.
The resistance in Kansas is part of mounting nationwide opposition to Summit
WSJ – The Federal Reserve Bank of New York added $63.5 billion to the financial system Monday, using the market for repurchase agreements, or repo, to relieve funding pressure in money markets.
Bloomberg – Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman warned that war between his country and Iran would lead to a “total collapse of the global economy” and should be avoided.
In comments that echo clear signals from the Trump administration that it doesn’t want to resort to conflict to punish Iran for disputed attacks on Saudi oil facilities, the prince said a “political and peaceful solution is much better than the military one.”
“Oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes,” he said of any war. Still, the world needed to take “strong and firm action to deter Iran” or see further escalations, the prince said in an interview for CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday.
Daily Mail – UK workers are sabotaging and assaulting workplace robots in an attempt to stop them taking their jobs, finds study.
It’s a common science fiction depiction of the future, artificial intelligence overthrows the human race.
But for some manual workers they have found their own ways of stopping the robots’ rise to world domination – by confusing them.
The study by De Montfort University in Leicester which looked into the use of robotics in healthcare concluded that UK workers are particularly apposed to the introduction of the intelligent machines into the work place.
Compared to Norway where the study found co-working robots are often given affectionate names and welcomed.
Jonathan Payne, Professor of Work, Employment and Skills, said: ‘We heard stories of workers standing in the way of robots, and minor acts of sabotage – and not playing along with them.’
Adding: ‘The UK seems to have a problem with diffusion and take-up of technology.’
Weather Channel – At least eight Montana school districts canceled classes Monday after a weekend of heavy snowfall that smashed records.
The September snow storm created hazardous travel conditions and knocked out power across the northern Rocky Mountains on Saturday and Sunday.
Montana’s Gov. Steve Bullock issued an executive order declaring an emergency in the state because of the severe early season storm.
“With an unprecedented winter storm throwing our state a surprise in September, state and local governments are working closely together to protect the health and safety of Montanans and our top priority is making sure that happens,” Bullock said in a news release.
According to the release, the areas hardest hit include Cascade, Flathead, Glacier, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Pondera, and Teton counties and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Glacier County, and Pondera County also issued local emergency declarations.
RT – China’s largest oil and gas producer CNPC has announced the discovery of an oilfield that could hold over a billion tons of reserves in the northwest of the country.
According to CNPC, the proven reserves at Qingcheng oilfield in the Ordos basin stand at 358 million tons, while its estimated reserves could reach 693 million tons.
A total of 640,000 tons of oil will be produced in the oilfield this year, and the annual output is expected to reach three million tons in the near future, according to Li Luguang, vice president of PetroChina (a subsidiary of CNPC).
The company also reported some 740.97 billion cubic meters of newly added proven shale gas reserves, which have been explored in southwest China’s Sichuan Basin. It plans to produce 7.7 billion cubic meters of shale gas this year and expand the output to over 10 billion cubic meters by the end of 2020.
The Sichuan shale gas blocks have a total proven reserve of 1.06 trillion cubic meters, according to CNPC.
AL – An extremely rare cardinal has birders and biologists flocking to Shelby County, Alabama this week, as images of a yellow cardinal have circulated around social media.
Auburn University biology professor Geoffrey Hill said the cardinal in the photos is an adult male in the same species as the common red cardinal, but carries a genetic mutation that causes what would normally be brilliant red feathers to be bright yellow instead.
Alabaster resident Charlie Stephenson first noticed the unusual bird at her backyard feeder in late January and posted about it on Facebook. She said she’s been birding for decades but it took her some time to figure out what she was seeing.
“I thought ‘well there’s a bird I’ve never seen before’,” Stephenson said. “Then I realized it was a cardinal, and it was a yellow cardinal.”
Stephenson said she would not give out her address or specific location due to fears that people would flock in to get a look at the bird, but said she lives near the new Thompson High School in Alabaster. She shot some video of the bird.
Wired – Just north of the Tennessee River near Huntsville, Alabama, there’s a six-story rocket test stand in a small clearing of loblolly pines. It’s here, in a secluded corner of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, that the US Army and NASA performed critical tests during the development of the Redstone rocket. In 1958, this rocket became the first to detonate a nuclear weapon; three years later, it carried the first American into space.
The tangled history of nukes and space is again resurfacing, just up the road from the Redstone test stand. This time NASA engineers want to create something deceptively simple: a rocket engine powered by nuclear fission.
A nuclear rocket engine would be twice as efficient as the chemical engines powering rockets today. But despite their conceptual simplicity, small-scale fission reactors are challenging to build and risky to operate because they produce toxic waste. Space travel is dangerous enough without having to worry about a nuclear meltdown. But for future human missions to the moon and Mars, NASA believes such risks may be necessary.
It’s not the first time NASA has flirted with nuclear rockets. In the 1960s, the government developed several nuclear reactor engines that produced propulsion much more efficiently than conventional chemical rocket engines. NASA started scheming about a permanent lunar base and a first crewed mission to Mars by the early ’80s. (Sound familiar?) But as with so many NASA projects, nuclear rocket engines soon fell out of favor and the office in charge of them shut down.
There were technical hurdles too. While the concept of nuclear rocket engines is simple enough—the reactor brings hydrogen to blistering temperatures and the gas is expelled through a nozzle—designing reactors that could withstand their own heat was not.
RT – The 5G technology boom could be explosive for smartphone makers, according to Goldman Sachs. The Wall Street bank significantly increased its 5G smartphone estimates for next year.
Goldman’s analyst Rod Hall pointed to his supply chain research indicating “much higher” 5G device sales than previously expected.
“We are increasing our 2020 5G smartphone estimates to 120 million from 50 million as the supply chain continues to indicate much higher 5G device sales, particularly in China, than we have been forecasting,” Hall said.
The Vaccine Reaction – On Sept. 19, 2019, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order, “Modernizing Influenza Vaccines in the United State to Promote National Security and Public Health.” Describing mass use of influenza vaccines “to combat seasonal flu” and influenza pandemics as “strengthening our Nation’s public health and security,” he announced the establishment of a National Influenza Vaccine Task Force. The Task Force will develop a five-year national plan to reduce “reliance on egg-based influenza vaccine production” in the United States and increase the country’s “capacity of alternative methods” for producing influenza vaccines that “allow more agile and rapid responses to emerging influenza viruses.”1
The Executive Order also directs the Task Force to:
The Task Force is specifically directed to look at ways to work through the director of the CDC to “increase influenza vaccine use through enhanced communication and by removing barriers to vaccination.”1
The Task Force will consist of a senior official from each of the following departments, agencies and offices: Department of Defense; Department of Justice; Department of Agriculture; Department of Veterans Affairs; Department of Homeland Security; Food and Drug Administration; CDC; National Institutes of Health; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The Executive Order directs the Task Force to submit a report on its plan to the President within 120 days.1
On Sept. 20, the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases awarded the University of Maryland’s Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health in Baltimore a $200 million grant to develop more effective influenza vaccines and, ultimately a “universal” influenza vaccine.2
During the second half of last year’s “flu season,” the influenza vaccine was estimated to be only nine percent effective.3
According to Kathleen Neuzil, MD, who directs vaccine research at the University of Maryland, “Eliminating influenza is the goal. It will certainly be a challenge, but in seven years we hope to have a better vaccine, or a lot of better vaccines.” The research, which will be conducted under a program called Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Center (CIVIC) will “address the need to develop and test influenza vaccines that protect against new and emerging strains, and ultimately prevent more disease,” says Dr. Neuzil.2 4
“Development of a better flu vaccine and ultimately a universal flu vaccine is important and life-saving work,” says U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.2
“A universal vaccine would protect against, if not all, a great array of influenza strains and could be given every 5 or 10 years or whatever it is,” says William Schaffner, MD, medical director for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. “Every healthcare encounter would be an opportunity to provide that vaccine, not just every fall.”2
WBAL-TV 11 in Baltimore reports that the vaccine research that will be conducted under the grant to the University of Maryland will include “clinical trials and challenge studies in special populations such as children, pregnant women and the elderly.”5
Stat News – It’s never an easy business to predict which flu viruses will make people sick the following winter. And there’s reason to believe two of the four choices made last winter for this upcoming season’s vaccine could be off the mark.
Twice a year influenza experts meet at the World Health Organization to pore over surveillance data provided by countries around the world to try to predict which strains are becoming the most dominant. The Northern Hemisphere strain selection meeting is held in late February; the Southern Hemisphere meeting occurs in late September.
The selections that officials made last week for the next Southern Hemisphere vaccine suggest that two of four viruses in the Northern Hemisphere vaccine that doctors and pharmacies are now pressing people to get may not be optimally protective this winter. Those two are influenza A/H3N2 and the influenza B/Victoria virus.
NaturalNews – Aloe vera juice comes from the aloe vera plant, a succulent from the genus Aloe. The leaves of this plant contain a gooey, thick gel that is made into aloe vera juice, which can offer a bevvy of health benefits.
NaturalNews – The kidneys are small, bean-shaped organs that serve the body in many ways. To improve your kidney health, eat fresh fruits and vegetables like apples, cucumbers, and garlic.
However, the kidneys can be overburdened by environmental toxins and an inflammatory diet. When your kidneys aren’t working properly, you may experience several problems, such as:
Maintain your kidney health by avoiding salty, processed junk foods and incorporating the kidney-friendly foods listed below into your diet.
Sustainable Pulse – Nestle SA is increasing checks on the coffee it buys, after recent tests showed beans from some countries had levels of the weedkiller glyphosate that are close to a regulatory limit, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
The world’s largest coffee roaster has informed suppliers of Indonesian and certain Brazilian beans of the new procedures, which go into effect starting Oct. 1, according to memos seen by Bloomberg. The company says the new measures “should be temporary” until producing countries correct the application of glyphosate.
The move comes at a time when many countries have either banned or are seeking to prohibit the use of glyphosate, used in the Roundup weedkiller. Bayer AG, which spent $63 billion buying the product’s maker, Monsanto, is now facing billions of dollars worth of lawsuits claiming it causes cancer.
LA Times – Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill that will allow California athletes to earn money from the use of their names, images and likenesses, despite warnings from the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. that the measure would upend amateur sports.