Daily News, via SOTT.net aggregation.

Drugs and corruption: How US money propped up former Peruvian president Fujimori

Drugs and corruption: How US money propped up former Peruvian president Fujimori

Last month, the President of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, pardoned the country's former dictator, Alberto Fujimori, who had been convicted of authorizing extrajudicial murders and corruption. Thousands of protestors responded to the pardon by organizing in the streets of Lima. Many people wonder why Kuczynski issued this pardon to Fujimori, who embezzled as much as $600 million of public funds, according to Transparency International. After all, the current President had promised during his campaign to not pardon Fujimori. It appears that a quid pro quo prompted this decision. Kuczynski faced an impeachment vote stemming from his involvement with the Brazilian construction giant, Odebrecht, which has paid massive bribes to many high-level Latin American leaders in exchange for lucrative contracts. Thus, it was quite suspicious that Kuczynski's company received a $782,000 consulting fee from Odebrecht while he served as Peru's Minister of Economy.

Why the media is losing its mind over DACA

Why the media is losing its mind over DACA

The MSM's attempt to slam the President over alleged language covers up the real matter that Democrats offered a bum solution for immigration reform For three days now, the MSM has been screaming bloody murder about an alleged (and denied) vulgarity spoken by President Trump in a closed-door meeting about immigration reform and DACA. We have covered this media meltdown extensively in pieces you can link to here and here. But now, let's have a look into what the REAL news about DACA is, and we might even understand why the MSM is having such a meltdown. On January 12th, the American radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh noted during his program that although there was not any detail about this known yet, the apparent issue was that President Trump was outraged over the Democrats trying to hand him a total nothing-burger deal about immigration. We have to remember that one of President Trump's wishes is to get the United States to adopt a "merit based" immigration position, where the US screens people who want to come to live in the USA in regards to what they can and will contribute to the well-being of this nation. This is not a strange or barbarous position to take on immigration. Canada does it. Australia does it, Germany, Hong Kong, Denmark, New Zealand and other nations in the world probably do it as well. In fact, the United States itself ran with such a system up until the year 1952. Such a vetting process may go far in reducing the chance that elements who get in to a given nation will then attack it and its people.

US, Canada to host world summit on N. Korea, snubbed - Russia and China will receive a brief on results

US, Canada to host world summit on N. Korea, snubbed - Russia and China will receive a brief on results

Canada and the US are hosting a meeting on the Korean peninsula deadlock, gathering diplomats from 20 nations. Moscow and Beijing, however, are not invited, and will only be "briefed" on the outcome, Russia's FM Lavrov said. The meeting, held January 15-17, seeks to achieve the goal of a "secure, prosperous and denuclearized Korean peninsula," according to its organizers. "The Vancouver group of foreign ministers from across the globe will meet to demonstrate solidarity in opposition to North Korea's dangerous and illegal actions," reads the statement on the event issued by the Canadian government. There are 18 countries in the "Vancouver group" besides the US and Canada, including Denmark, Greece, Norway, New Zealand and others. The two major players - China and Russia - who are the immediate neighbors of North Korea and are definitely not keen on the prospect of a nuclear conflict on their borders, were not invited to the gathering for some reason. The choice of participating countries, a large part of which are at the periphery of the Korean standoff, has reportedly raised eyebrows even among diplomats of one of the closest US allies - Japan. Moscow and Beijing officials, however, were "welcomed" to attend the end of the meeting - basically just to check out its results. The proposal was turned down and criticized by both Russia and China. "We and the Chinese have not been invited, but we've been told 'The meeting will be today in the evening, the main meeting on [January] 16, come alongside with the Chinese on 16 in the evening, we'll tell you what we've agreed upon,'" Lavrov told a press conference on Monday. "It's obviously unacceptable."

Assault on civil liberties passes the House due to Democratic 'defections'

Assault on civil liberties passes the House due to Democratic 'defections'

If all Democrats had opposed the FISA Amendments and Reauthorization Act, they could have united with libertarian-leaning Republicans to block it. New York Congressman Jerry Nadler, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and one of the chamber's most ardent defenders of civil liberties, went to the floor of the House on Thursday with a simple request: that members reject the draconian FISA Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 2017. Nader's argument was pointed and powerful: "When we came to Congress, each of us took an oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States. I ask that each of my colleagues honor that oath today - and that we work together to defeat this bill, and to bring the right set of reforms to the floor without delay." He explained that the legislation, which has the backing of the White House and Republican leaders in the House, proposed to reauthorize the federal government's surveillance powers without adequate safeguards for the privacy rights of Americans. Noting that the legislation, which is supposed to protect against terror threats, "allows the FBI unfettered access to (federal database) information, for purely domestic cases, without a warrant," Nader asked: "What does that mean, in the era of Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump? It means that absolutely nothing stops the Department of Justice from trolling the database for evidence that you use marijuana, or failed to pay your taxes, or may be in the country unlawfully, or possess a firearm that you should not have."

Sanctions, subversion, and color revolutions: The US-directed disruption of elections in Cambodia

Sanctions, subversion, and color revolutions: The US-directed disruption of elections in Cambodia

After a nearly year-long marathon of daily, acrimonious accusations against Moscow for alleged, yet-to-be proven interference in the 2016 US presidential elections, Washington finds itself increasingly mired in its own hypocrisy - openly and eagerly pursing the very sort of interference abroad in multiple nations regarding elections and internal political affairs it has accused Russia of. A particularly acute example of this is Cambodia where recently, the government has begun uprooting and expelling US State Department-funded fronts and media organizations as well as arresting members of the US-backed opposition party while disbanding the party itself - for interfering in preparations for upcoming elections.

New "art selfie" app sparks privacy concerns about Google building facial recognition database

New "art selfie" app sparks privacy concerns about Google building facial recognition database

A new feature of Google's Art & Culture app, which allows users to find their art doppelganger by uploading a selfie, is being dubbed by some as a "facial recognition database." The new update to the app, which has been in existence for more than a year, has unleashed a frenzy of activity online as users post images of their painting lookalike.

Syria's de-mining operation uncovers ancient Greek mosaic floor

Syria's de-mining operation uncovers ancient Greek mosaic floor

Ancient Greek mosaic floor piece found in Hama countryside in Syria During a routine mine excavation the Syrian Engineering corps found a strange looking slab of material underneath the earth. After some careful digging what they uncovered shocked all parties, an ancient Greek mosaic floor. Syrian authorities for archaeology were contacted urgently and the process of professional excavation began. The Syrian engineers were shocked that such pieces of human history had survived being in the countryside of Hama city which faced heavy battles between the Syrian government and opposition forces.

US traps itself with new Syrian policy: Unsustainable military occupation, pushes Turkey to reinforce Astana agreement

US traps itself with new Syrian policy: Unsustainable military occupation, pushes Turkey to reinforce Astana agreement

The Trump administration policy in Syria is finally coming into daylight. It has decided to permanently separate north-east of Syria from the rest of Syria with the rather comical idea that this will keep Iranian influence out of Syria and give the U.S. a voice in a final Syrian settlement. This move lacks strategical foresight: The U.S.-led Coalition against Islamic State is currently training a force to maintain security along the Syrian border as the operation against ISIS shifts focus. The 30,000-strong force will be partly composed of veteran fighters and operate under the leadership of the Syrian Democratic Forces, CJTF-OIR told The Defense Post. ... "The Coalition is working jointly with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to establish and train the new Syrian Border Security Force (BSF). Currently, there are approximately 230 individuals training in the BSF's inaugural class, with the goal of a final force size of approximately 30,000," CJTF-OIR Public Affairs Officer Colonel Thomas F. Veale said. ... Veale acknowledged that more Kurds will serve in the areas of northern Syria, while more Arabs will serve in areas along the Euphrates River Valley and along the border with Iraq. The SDF and the Kurds are under control of the PKK/YPK, a terrorist organization that is nearly daily fighting and killing Turkish forces within Turkey. The Arabs which ostensibly shall seal the area against off from the rest of Syria are most likely tribal forces that were earlier aligned with the Islamic State.

Terrorism ruled out after explosion causes building collapse and multiple injuries in Antwerp, Belgium

Terrorism ruled out after explosion causes building collapse and multiple injuries in Antwerp, Belgium

Several people have been wounded after an explosion caused damage to a number of buildings in Antwerp, Belgium. Police believe the incident is not terrorism related. At least one building collapsed after an explosion rocked the Paardenmarkt area in Antwerp on Monday night. The explosion at the Italian restaurant Primavera was so powerful that it caused damage to three buildings.

SOTT FOCUS: California Mudslides, a Sign of Worse to Come?

SOTT FOCUS: California Mudslides, a Sign of Worse to Come?

13 years to the day since the La Conchita landslide killed 10 people following a deluge, the same stretch of southern California between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles was hit with another deluge that produced instant and devastating mudflows. With the area torched by the Thomas Wildfire the preceding month, the heavy rain that fell on 9-10 January produced instant run-off from higher ground that washed away everything in its path, all the way down to the ocean. As more dead bodies are found in the disaster zone, local authorities have gradually increased the death toll - which currently stands at 20 - while they report that another 8 people remain missing. The surge also injured about 200 people and destroyed or damaged about 500 homes in Montecito, Santa Barbara County - located just a few kilometers from La Conchita - and washed out a 30-mile stretch of the 101 Freeway. From above, the debris flow appears to have converted the wealthy neighborhood - which is home to mega-stars like Oprah and Ellen - into a brown swamp.

While you weren't looking: 4 privacies you didn't know you lost

While you weren't looking: 4 privacies you didn't know you lost

We all know that privacy is a thing of the past, right? Followers of The Corbett Report will see past the metadata lie and the PRISM limited hangout to the underlying reality of the all-pervasive Big Brother surveillance grid. CALEA and the Stellar Wind. The CIA spying on you through your dishwasher. And who can forget the dolls that spy on your children? Heck, even the normies no longer scoff at the "conspiracy theorists" who warn that every one of your electronic gadgets is listening to everything you say and beaming that information off to third parties. Now they just think that's a good thing. I mean, how do you order a dollhouse for the doll that spies on you? By surfing and clicking? Pfff. But Alexa and their technocratic police state brethren are only the most obvious examples of how our privacy has been obliterated in recent years (even in our own homes). Here are four privacies you didn't even realize you lost.

From Siberia to Crimea: A look back at US-Russian relations and imperial interests

From Siberia to Crimea: A look back at US-Russian relations and imperial interests

One is tempted to conclude that the Washington foreign-policy establishment has learned little over the past century Strolling the cavernous and well-appointed halls of Russia's carefully renovated Central Naval Museum [Центральный Военно-морской Музей] near the Neva River in St. Petersburg, one can find an assortment of interesting artifacts, not least the small skiff in which Peter the Great learned to sail more than three centuries ago now. Among the many captured battle standards from Sweden, Turkey and Germany that are proudly displayed, a few of the expansive oil paintings took me by surprise. There was, for example, a picture depicting the Russian fleet at anchor off of Kodiak in Alaska during the mid-eighteenth century. Another showed the Soviet Navy's first submarine kill by torpedo on July 31, 1919. On that day, the British destroyer HMS Vittoria was sunk by the Bolshevik submarine Pantera under the command of Alexander Bakhtin. I had known, of course, that Allied forces intervened in the Russian Civil War during 1918-22, but was not aware that the intervention had occasioned such deadly incidents.

Double standards: Rand Paul defends Trump's 'sh*thole' remark, blasts Lindsey Graham's hypocrisy

Double standards: Rand Paul defends Trump's 'sh*thole' remark, blasts Lindsey Graham's hypocrisy

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) defended Donald Trump's "sh-thole" remark and blasted Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for his hypocrisy in the same breath on Sunday morning - like a boss. Appearing on Meet the Press, Senator Paul was asked about why Trump has not apologized for the immigration remark that sent the mainstream media into a tearful tailspin. "There are two different standards here, in 2013, Lindsey said the exact same thing that the president did except he used the word 'hell hole,'" Senator Paul said. "'You can't have everybody coming up from every hell hole to here,'" he quoted his colleague as saying.

Meet the Russia expert who worked on two of Fusion GPS' most controversial projects: Edward Baumgartner

Meet the Russia expert who worked on two of Fusion GPS' most controversial projects: Edward Baumgartner

Sen. Dianne Feinstein's unilateral release of the Senate Judiciary Committee's August interview with Fusion GPS cofounder Glenn Simpson was applauded by those who called it a win for transparency - and a nail in the coffin of GOP lawmakers' attempts to distract from the probe into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Others, however, viewed the content of Simpson's testimony as validation of a talking point often repeated by President Donald Trump and his allies in the media and Congress: Fusion GPS was working both for the Russians and against Trump - albeit on separate projects - during the 2016 election. The accusation lacks the necessary nuance - Fusion was working for an American law firm, Baker Hostetler, that had been hired by a Russian holding company, Prevezon, as part of a money laundering case in New York's Southern District court. Baker Hostetler hired Fusion to look into the wealthy investor Bill Browder, who had told the Justice Department that Prevezon was implicated in a $230 million tax fraud scheme that was uncovered by Browder's tax attorney, Sergei Magnitsky, in 2008. The research Fusion did on Browder made it back to Baker and, inevitably, to Prevezon's Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya. In late 2015, Fusion was hired by the Republican megadonor Paul Singer to work on an entirely separate project: opposition research on Trump. That research, according to Simpson's testimony, was done using open-source information and covered a wide range of subjects, including the Trump family's reported use of sweat shops in Asia and South America to produce Trump-branded merchandise.

Ecomomists in agreement: Trump, not Obama, gets credit for the booming economy

Ecomomists in agreement: Trump, not Obama, gets credit for the booming economy

Who deserves credit for the booming economy? This is not a petty argument. How voters answer the question could well determine whether Democrats retake the House of Representatives come November. Trump and Obama (and their admirers) are slugging it out, both claiming that it is their policies that have led to the ongoing economic expansion, steady job growth and higher stock prices. Happily for President Trump, the pros agree with him. A recent survey of economists suggest it is President Trump, and not Obama, who should be taking a bow. The Wall Street Journal asked 68 business, financial and academic economists who was responsible for the strengthening of the economy, and most "suggested Mr. Trump's election deserves at least some credit" for the upturn. A majority said the president had been "somewhat" or "strongly" positive for job creation, gross domestic product growth and the rising stock market. The pros cite the White House's push for lighter regulation and the recent tax bill as critical to a pro-growth environment; more than 90 percent of the group thought the tax bill would boost GDP expansion over the next two years.

FLASHBACK: Orthodox TV hits the airwaves, Russian style

FLASHBACK: Orthodox TV hits the airwaves, Russian style

Meet Konstantin Malofeev - the devout and fervently pro-Putin founder of Orthodox channel Tsargrad TV On a sunny afternoon in Moscow, the Russian tycoon Konstantin Malofeev is holding court in the studios of his newly launched television channel Tsargrad TV, dressed in a designer suit, a blue silk handkerchief peeking from his breast pocket. Above him is a makeshift cathedral cupola weighing in at half a tonne. Behind him are 24ft-high windows through which the Kremlin's red towers are visible, their glass communist stars glistening. Malofeev, who has the cheeks and figure of a man who likes a good meal, is in a buoyant mood. In a sign of his growing clout, he has just had lunch with two of the richest oligarchs on the Forbes list. Yelena Mizulina, a leading conservative senator, who has come to Tsargrad's offices, is patiently waiting for the businessman to fit in a tête-à-tête before he departs on his summer holiday. Over the past few years, Malofeev, 41, has morphed into one of Russia's most influential businessmen and lobbyists, in part thanks to his devout Russian Orthodox faith and conservative values, now back in vogue during Vladimir Putin's third term. As the founder of private equity firm Marshall Capital Partners, Malofeev accumulated substantial personal wealth, largely through an investment in the Russian telecoms giant Rostelecom. (His friend Igor Shchegolev, a fellow Russian Orthodox and now Putin adviser, was telecoms minister at the time.) Now he is paying it back as a self-styled Christian philanthropist and one of Putin's loudest ideological supporters.

Trump support among blacks has doubled since 2016, defying racism claims

Trump support among blacks has doubled since 2016, defying racism claims

Two new polls show President Donald Trump's rising support among black voters, highlighting his political gains from pushing employers to hire Americans instead of lower-wage migrants. The growing support from blacks - despite furious Democratic claims of racism - could become a shocking political validation in November when Trump will face millions of upper-income Democratic voters who are angry at his "Buy American, Hire American" policies. Among black men, Trump's "2017 average approval rating significantly exceeds his 2016 vote share," admitted a January 11 article in the Atlantic by author Ronald Brownstein. "23 percent of black men approved of Trump's performance versus 11 percent of black women," said the article. That score averages out to 17 percent, or twice the 8 percent score he was given in the 2016 exit polls. In November 2016, Trump got 13 percent support among black men and 4 percent support among black women, according to the exit polls. That very low support was critical to his victory in the Democrats' now-demolished "Blue Wall" states. The poll was "a cumulative analysis of 605,172 interviews SurveyMonkey conducted with Americans in 2017," according to the Atlantic.

Trump turns on ally Pakistan

Trump turns on ally Pakistan

Henry Kissinger rightly noted that it's often more dangerous being an ally of the United States than its enemy. The latest victim of this sad truism is Pakistan, a loyal ally of the US since the dawn of our era. President Donald Trump's visceral hatred of Muslims (never mind what kind, or why, or where) erupted this week as he ordered some $900 million in US aid to Pakistan to be abruptly cut off. Trump accused Pakistan of lying and deceiving the US and providing a safe haven to Afghan resistance forces of Taliban ('terrorists' in US speak) battling American occupation forces. Comment: Is this a fair Trump assessment: a presumed 'visceral hatred of Muslims' equates sudden funding cut-off? Or is it the safe-haven for terrorists excuse touted by Tillerson, and the unqualified liberties the US takes over Pakistani land that has fueled the rebuff? Frustrated and outwitted in Afghanistan, US imperial generals, Pentagon bureaucrats, and politicians have been trying to cast blame on anyone they can find, with Pakistan the primary whipping boy. Next in line is the notorious Haqqani network which is blamed for most US military failures in Afghanistan, though its active combat role is modest. I knew its founder, old man Haqqani. In the 1980's, he was the golden boy of the CIA/Pakistani-led effort to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan.

US military, besides training Syrian militants, does not care if they choose to fight for terrorist organizations

US military, besides training Syrian militants, does not care if they choose to fight for terrorist organizations

The United States Central Command (CENTCOM), the United States military branch responsible for North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, has admitted to a journalist that they only train militants and does not care if they join internationally recognized terrorist organizations afterwards. Sharmine Narwani, an award winning journalist, asked a CENTCOM spokesperson what they thought of US-trained "rebels" allying with Al-Qaeda. In response to the question, the spokesperson responded with "We don't 'command and control' these forces - we only 'train and enable' them...Who they say they're allying with, that's their business."

Oldest discovery of its kind: Ancient icy tomb of a Scythian prince, anticipate hidden treasures

Oldest discovery of its kind: Ancient icy tomb of a Scythian prince, anticipate hidden treasures

Archaeologists working in Siberia have discovered an undisturbed ancient kurgan - a tomb of a Scythian prince. The tomb appears to be both the oldest and largest of its kind ever recorded in southern Siberia, according to a press release from the Swiss National Science Foundation. Gino Caspari, an Swiss archaeologist with Bern University, first identified an intriguing circular structure while studying high-resolution satellite imagery of Siberia's Uyuk River Valley and suspected it could be a kurgan, according to the press release. A collaboration between Caspari and researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences as well as the State Hermitage Museum carried out a preliminary dig over the summer of 2017; they found that Caspari had been right. A paper describing the research was published in the scientific journal Archaeological Research in Asia. The tomb, Tunnug 1, lies in a southern Siberian swamp that's part of the Russian republic of Tuva. Caspari told Newsweek that the tomb dates to a crucial period around 3,000 years ago, between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, when "radical social changes" began to give rise to a nomadic culture. Little is known about this period, largely because very few archaeological remnants from it have yet been recovered. Tunnug 1, Caspari said, gives researchers a "huge chance" to learn more about this era of Eurasian prehistory.

Harder for Canadians to legally immigrate to the US due to Trump's policies and criteria

Harder for Canadians to legally immigrate to the US due to Trump's policies and criteria

It's not just immigrants from Haiti and Africa, Donald Trump's skepticism of all kinds of immigration has produced a change in culture that's forcing Canadians to jump through more hoops, over a longer period of time, to win approvals. Canadians trying to move to the United States are regularly facing more paperwork, tougher scrutiny and longer waiting times than Canadians did before Donald Trump became president, immigration lawyers in both countries say. Trump is known for his vocal stands against illegal immigrants, refugees, and immigrants from non-white countries he finds undesirable. At the White House on Thursday, he reportedly asked lawmakers why the U.S. has to accept immigrants from "shithole countries" like Haiti, El Salvador or African nations, instead of taking more from countries like Norway. In fact, Trump is also making immigration harder for people from wealthy, largely white advanced economies, including America's northern neighbour. Trump has not changed the law. Rather, said 12 lawyers contacted by the Star, his skepticism toward immigration of all kinds has produced a change in culture and policy within the bureaucracies that handle immigration cases.

Russian media tries to work out source of attack on Syria air base, suggest terrorists 'achieved a new technological level'

Russian media tries to work out source of attack on Syria air base, suggest terrorists 'achieved a new technological level'

The last day of 2017 turned out to be one of the gloomiest for the Russian military in Syria. First, one of its helicopters crashed north of Hama due to a technical failure, killing two servicemen. Then, rumors spread that on Dec. 31 militants had shelled the Russian Khmeimim air base, which President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had visited about three weeks beforehand.

Germany's central bank to include Chinese yuan in foreign exchange reserves

Germany's central bank to include Chinese yuan in foreign exchange reserves

Germany's central bank has decided to add the Chinese currency to its foreign exchange reserves, according to Bundesbank board member Andreas Dombret. The move could further boost the international status of the yuan. Speaking at a finance forum on Monday, he said the decision was taken last year after the European Central Bank (ECB) switched €500 million ($611 million) worth of its US dollar reserves into yuan. The move reportedly reflects the increased use of the Chinese currency and Beijing's importance as one of the eurozone's biggest trading partners. "It is not a major amount but it is something that we decided on and that we want to be part of," Dombret told Bloomberg. "The fact that the renminbi [yuan] is now included in the SDR (Special Drawing Rights) basket and the fact that the ECB has decided to do that are both factors we thought about."

SOTT FOCUS: Statin Drugs - The Real Reason Official Guidelines Still Demonize Fats Despite the Evidence?

SOTT FOCUS: Statin Drugs - The Real Reason Official Guidelines Still Demonize Fats Despite the Evidence?

Nina Teicholz, investigative journalist and author of the International bestseller The Big Fat Surprise, wrote an article for the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) in September 2015, which makes the case for the inadequacy of the scientific advice that underpins the Dietary Guidelines (Teicholz, 2015). The title of the article was "The scientific report guiding the U.S. dietary guidelines: is it scientific?" Ian Leslie writing for The Guardian reports that the response of the nutrition establishment was ferocious: 173 scientists - some of whom were on the advisory panel, and many of whose work had been critiqued in Teicholz's book - signed a letter to the BMJ, demanding it retract the piece (Leslie, 2016). Prominent cardiovascular and nutrition scientists from 19 countries called for the retraction. However, to this day, the article remains published. The BMJ has officially announced that it will not retract the peer-reviewed investigation after stating that two independent experts conducted formal post-publication reviews of the article and found no grounds for retraction (Sboros, 2016). Yet, behind every mainstream medical practice, strict questionable guidelines are still followed faithfully every day. Doctors are still following cholesterol targets that are often unattainable without cholesterol lowering drugs, but many do try to achieve their targets with extremely low fat diets recommended irresponsibly in dietary guidelines. Unfortunately the rest of the world has followed suit on these dietary changes. Traditional high fat foods have been given up for the low fat scam. Promoters of the highly touted Mediterranean diet, with its olive oil and 'low animal fat', fail to mention the fact that there are still fat loaded recipes that were passed from generation to generation among the Mediterranean people. Lardo di Colonnata with its cured strips of fatback and herbs and spices; Greek barbecue which often involves an entire lamb roasted on a spit; or the kokoretsi which is made from the internal organs of the lamb - liver, spleen, heart, glands - threaded onto skewers along with the fatty membrane from the lamb intestines, all of these are foods of the long-lived Mediterranean people. Yet the 'American style Mediterranean Diet' selectively picks foods from the diet of the Mediterranean people to give the picture they desire. Ironically, many of the Mediterranean people have adopted this Americanized version of the 'Mediterranean Diet'.

SOTT FOCUS: Why is The Trump Administration Selling Weapons to Ukraine?

SOTT FOCUS: Why is The Trump Administration Selling Weapons to Ukraine?

Last month, the Trump administration approved the largest US sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine since 2014 by approving a commercial license authorizing the export of sniper systems to Ukraine for $41.5 million. A few days later, the antitank Javelin missiles that the Ukranian government requested were added to the sale - the total package is now valued at $47 million. Although the US State Department announced the measure as providing Ukraine with "enhanced defensive capabilities as part of our effort to help Ukraine build its long-term defense capacity", Russia has rightly suggested it will exacerbate the conflict. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated that the US has become an accomplice in the war and that the sale makes it impossible for Russia to remain "indifferent". Writer Daniel Larison calls Trump "a fool" for arming Ukraine, as Russia will respond more aggressively and will always outmatch whatever support the US gives, because it has far more at stake. The situation will lead to a "fruitless and unnecessary competition with another major power" - a power that Trump promised barely a month earlier to seek a good relationship with. Likewise, Professor Stephen Cohen is right when he says it doesn't make any geopolitical or strategic sense.

SOTT FOCUS: Even Ethnic Male Feminists Aren't Safe From #MeToo

SOTT FOCUS: Even Ethnic Male Feminists Aren't Safe From #MeToo

Apparently the intersectional victim hierarchy has finally been made clear. Women are at the top, even above ethnic minority males when it comes to #MeToo. At least that seems to be the lesson from the latest #MeToo allegations, this time against minority comedian and 'woke' male feminist Aziz Ansari.

Macron vs May: France to offer UK Brexit trade deal in exchange for migrants & money

Macron vs May: France to offer UK Brexit trade deal in exchange for migrants & money

Britain could be backed into a corner and forced to take on more migrants and refugees - while paying millions of pounds to France - as French President Emmanuel Macron seeks to extend his influence in the European Union. The young French leader is rumored to be plotting an offer for UK Prime Minister Theresa May which would rid northern France of its migration problem, and see a new border force area funded with British pounds. Given the growing animosity towards Britain as Brexit looms, and Macron's popularity, Downing Street may have no choice but to accept. And Macron has a trump card to play - if May agrees, he will offer French approval for a post-Brexit trade agreement.

Campaign website of President Vladimir Putin up and running

Campaign website of President Vladimir Putin up and running

Incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin will be running in the coming presidential election scheduled for March 18, 2018, which will be his fourth, as an independent candidate this time The campaign website of Russian President Vladimir Putin who will be running for the nation's highest office as an independent candidate this coming March got started at putin2018.ru. According to Elena Shmeleva, co-chair of Putin's campaign office, plans are to make this website as informative and convenient as possible.

Now would be a great time for the US to stop meddling with Haiti

Now would be a great time for the US to stop meddling with Haiti

Earlier this week, President Trump allegedly disparaged Haiti, describing it as "sh*thole." The response has been what you might expect. It's been a torrent of demands for apologies from the Trump administration and commentary on how "troubling" Donald Trump's views are. Upon hearing of such comments supposedly directed at Haitians, a well informed person might be tempted to think "if only this were the worst thing a US president has inflicted upon the Haitian people." But, as is typical for the American left and the mainstream media, uttering mean words is the worst thing a politician can do. Actively meddling in another country's internal affairs and undermining its elections? Well, that's no big deal - unless you're Russia, of course. Indeed, anyone who has any familiarity at all with the history of US-Haiti relations knows that the US has a long, well-established habit of intervening in the island nation - often in a brutal manner.

America's Civil War - It's here, it's real and it's now

America's Civil War - It's here, it's real and it's now

For nearly twenty-five years I have been writing in this space about war: that is, the wars we have waged against other countries. I've heard every possible rationalization for these conflicts, from "weapons of mass destruction" to "he's killing his own people" to babies being bayoneted in their incubators and on down the line. Now that I've reached a milestone in my career as a chronicler of this kind of folly, and thought I'd seen it all, I've come upon something entirely new and that totally outdid my experience and expectations: civil war in America. Oh, and you should hear the rationales! They make George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Richard Perle come off like paragons of honesty and rectitude. According to a coalition of forces including the Democratic party, the FBI, the CIA, and most of the "news" media, the country has been taken over by Vladimir Putin and the Russian State: President Donald J. Trump is an instrument in their hands, and the independence of the United States has been fatally compromised: the President and his top aides are taking their orders from the Kremlin.

Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries dies unexpectedly at 46

Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries dies unexpectedly at 46

The Irish singer-songwriter's publicist confirmed Monday that The Cranberries frontwoman had passed away in London while in town for a recording session. A statement put out by the publicist said that O'Riordan could provide no details as to the cause of death. "Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time," the statement said.

Canadian Liberals in 2017: "No Nafta!" - Canadian Liberals in 2018: "Trump bad, save Nafta!"

Canadian Liberals in 2017: "No Nafta!" - Canadian Liberals in 2018: "Trump bad, save Nafta!"

Have thousands of Canadian citizens been duped to defend a policy that has gutted hundreds of thousands of Canadian Productive Jobs? Sadly, Yes. Up until recently, it was still popular to hear self-proclaimed "nationalist" Canadians denouncing the destructive effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)[1]. "NAFTA kills national productivity", "NAFTA creates an addiction to cheap labor", "NAFTA empowers corporations to hold more authority than sovereign governments" were the common slogans repeated by informed citizens all across Canada for years. Today, one year after the death of the Trans Pacific Partnership (aka: "NAFTA of the Pacific") such accusations cannot be said to be fallacious by any measure as 23% of all factory jobs were lost from 2000-2014 in Canada alone and over 1 million (28%) factory jobs were lost over the same interval in the United States. Outsourcing those jobs to "cheap labor" Mexico for $1/hour employment resulted not only in an addiction to keeping Mexico as underdeveloped as possible but also resulted in a flood of illegal immigration into the United States by Mexican citizens who could no longer suffer the hopeless economic conditions thrust upon them by the Anglo-American elites[2].

Lavrov: US forcing Europe to abandon Russian gas & buy more expensive American LNG

Lavrov: US forcing Europe to abandon Russian gas & buy more expensive American LNG

The United States is afraid of fair competition in the energy sector, and is hampering the implementation of the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. "There is reprisal in the energy sector against North Stream 2. It is the US which is calling it politicized, leading to a split in Europe, and the strangling of Ukraine," he said at a press conference on Monday.

Spoiled Chelsea Clinton dares to lecture Trump on Haiti, forgetting her family's historic robbery of the island

Spoiled Chelsea Clinton dares to lecture Trump on Haiti, forgetting her family's historic robbery of the island

James Woods delivers kill shot to spoiled brat Chelsea Clinton. Chelsea Clinton thought it would be a wise idea to lecture Trump on Haiti. The balls on Chelsea! A Clinton lecturing anyone on Haiti is quite amazing. Given the fact that the Clinton's went into Haiti and pillaged the country out of billions of dollars in relief aid, one would think the Clinton mafia would have best kept silent on the entire "s**thole" debate.

#MeToo founder backing the push to enact Child Victims Act

#MeToo founder backing the push to enact Child Victims Act

The woman credited with founding the #MeToo movement is now also backing the push in New York to make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice as adults. Tarana Burke is expected to formally call for the Child Victim's Act passage later this month at a public forum at SUNY Stony Brook focused on expanding the #MeToo movement on Long Island.

KKK posted propaganda material in Virginia ahead of Martin Luther King Jr weekend

KKK posted propaganda material in Virginia ahead of Martin Luther King Jr weekend

Police are investigating after residents in northern Virginia complained of receiving leaflets from the Ku Klux Klan. The flyers make reference to Martin Luther King Jr, the slain civil rights leader. "The preliminary investigation revealed that the fliers appear to contain propaganda material and were most likely distributed due to the close proximity of the day the nation honors the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King Jr's birthday," said Leesburg police spokesman Sam Shenouda in a released statement. The first complaint was received late Friday evening. By Saturday morning there were four reports. Police have refused to release images of the flyers due to the ongoing investigation. "While all these incidents are taken very seriously, at this time, the material appears to have been distributed randomly and was not specifically targeting any particular individual(s)," Shenouda added.

The government and anti-father feminism promotes divorce and the war on fatherhood

The government and anti-father feminism promotes divorce and the war on fatherhood

For whatever reason, social conservatives focus considerable political effort on abortion, gay rights, and obscenity, but pay scant attention to divorce. Perhaps they think that ship has sailed for good, whereas other battles still offer winnable stakes. Perhaps too few look at our "family courts" and see a culture war; or perhaps too many lack the conviction to fight it. And when conservatives do target divorce, rather than lobby for legal reform of the "no-fault" divorce system, or changes in the way courts award custody or child support, they have preferred to employ the tools of ministry, treating divorce primarily as a moral problem rather than a political one; its attendant social evils as a consequence of sin, not of bad policy.

Sumo's chief referee to resign over sexual harassment of a junior official

Sumo's chief referee to resign over sexual harassment of a junior official

Top-ranked sumo referee Shikimori Inosuke has been suspended by the Japan Sumo Association (JSA) and is expected to resign for sexually harassing a junior referee during a regional tour in December. The incident occurred in Okinawa, Japan when Inosuke, who was reportedly drunk, repeatedly kissed the teenage referee and touched his chest. The victim has declined to file charges. The JSA suspended the referee for three tournaments is expected to accept a formal resignation from him in May, after his ban has been lifted. Inosuke, who has previously been involved in drunken incidents, apologized to the association for his behavior, but insisted he couldn't remember the harassment. "At this time, following in succession after the assault issue, we had this incident of Inosuke's inappropriate acts. I'm sorry for this," JSA Chairman Hakkaku said at a news conference on Saturday, The Japan Times reported.

Why do hurricanes form eyes?

Why do hurricanes form eyes?

Scientists still don't really know A cyclone's eye is a place of safety and a sign of danger. Inside the eye, winds are calm and no rain falls. Blue skies are usually visible overhead. But ending up inside a storm's eye is bad news - the eye is ringed by the eye wall, where the storm's most powerful winds swirl. And when an eye forms, it's a sign that a cyclone has grown more organized, and more powerful. It's a key step on the road to becoming a fully-fledged hurricane.. So, meteorologists watch cyclonic eyes carefully. Those strange, still spots convey invaluable information about what destruction a storm will wreak. And yet, despite researchers' intense focus on the phenomena, cyclone eyes are barely understood. A paper published in 2006 found hundreds of explanations for cyclone eye formation, many of them explicitly contradicting one another.

Facebook shuts down several pro-Palestine pages

Facebook shuts down several pro-Palestine pages

Palestinian activists decry move as flagrant violation of freedoms of opinion, expression. Facebook has unilaterally closed several pro-Palestine pages for "incitement" claims in a move Palestinians describe as flagrant violation of freedoms of opinion and expression. Israeli officials, including Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked recently met with Facebook representatives, who were threatened with prosecution if they did not meet Israeli demands to delete the accounts of several Palestinian activists.

Ukraine: Ex-PM claims 8 million have emigrated since western backed coup

Ukraine: Ex-PM claims 8 million have emigrated since western backed coup

Ukraine's former PM claims more than eight million citizens have emigrated since the Western-backed Maidan in 2014. If he's right, it adds to growing suspicions that Kiev's population calculations are utterly out of whack. Posting on Twitter, Nikolay Azarov noted: "More than 8 million Ukrainians left the country after the coup: 4.4 million went to Russia, 1.2 million to Poland, others went to other countries. Neither Libya, nor Syria, nor Afghanistan, nor other war-torn countries saw such a mass emigration." While the numbers at first seem extreme, they might not be totally outlandish. Polish officials admitted in spring of last year that more than one million Ukrainians were officially working in their country. And that was before Schengen visa-free access began, which may have swelled numbers engaged in the informal economy.

OMG, another Kremlin plot: Anti-Russian conspiracy theorists ridiculed for claiming Moscow behind Chelsea Manning's Senate bid

OMG, another Kremlin plot: Anti-Russian conspiracy theorists ridiculed for claiming Moscow behind Chelsea Manning's Senate bid

Anti-Russia conspiracy theorists have developed another outlandish claim, stating that Moscow is behind Chelsea Manning's Senate bid, since she's taking on an incumbent who is against so-called "Russian aggression." US whistleblower Chelsea Manning confirmed her bid for a Senate seat for the state of Maryland on Sunday, releasing a campaign video alongside a tweet which simply stated: "Yup, we're running for Senate." Manning says she's running because "we need someone willing to fight... we need to stop expecting that our systems will somehow fix themselves." But that reason seems too straightforward for those who apparently believe that everything related to US politics is somehow tied to Russia. Comment: 'Yup, we're running': Chelsea Manning releases campaign video confirming US Senate bid

Lebanon: PM Hariri lauds Hezbollah, wants 'best of relations' with Iran

Lebanon: PM Hariri lauds Hezbollah, wants 'best of relations' with Iran

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has called for his county to be kept out of regional conflicts, lauding the Hezbollah resistance movement for doing its part to de-escalate the tensions. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Hariri said he was open to Hezbollah continuing to participate in the government following the elections slated for May. "Hezbollah has been a member of this government. This is an inclusive government that has all the big political parties, and that brings political stability to the country," Hariri said during Wednesday interview, defying pressure from Saudi Arabia to confront the resistance movement.

UK scrambles two RAF Typhoon fighter jets to intercept Russian planes - Defense Ministry spokesman

UK scrambles two RAF Typhoon fighter jets to intercept Russian planes - Defense Ministry spokesman

Britain scrambled two Royal Air Force Typhoon jets from Scotland to intercept Russian planes close to the United Kingdom's airspace, a defence ministry spokesman said. The Typhoons took off from RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, Scotland, at around 9:30 am to tackle the alleged encroachment. A RAF spokesman said: "This is a live operation and therefore we will not be providing any additional information until the mission is complete." The Russian plane model is yet to be identified as the operation is still ongoing. French and Belgian air forces have reportedly also been deployed to tackle the situation.

DNA analysis finds food poisoning bacteria caused Mexican epidemic

DNA analysis finds food poisoning bacteria caused Mexican epidemic

It is well known that when Europeans arrived in the New World they brought with them appalling diseases to which the indigenous population, having never been exposed to them before, were particularly susceptible. Very large numbers died of from illnesses including smallpox, measles, mumps and influenza. These acknowledged killers, however, were comparatively late arrivals in Europe's brutal colonisation. In Mexico, at least, another disease laid waste to the locals, starting in 1545, very soon after the invaders landed. And with the next disease came a new word, growing out of the local tongue: cocoliztli, meaning pestilence, or epidemic. Between 1545 and 1550, a disease roared through the indigenous Mexican population, killing an estimated 800,000. And while there is plenty of evidence to support the fact that the epidemic took place, until now there has been precious little to identify the pathogenic culprit. Researchers led by Ashlid Vagene of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, have now unmasked the killer. To do so they extracted biological material from between the teeth of 24 corpses interred in a cocoliztli cemetery in the town of Teposcolula-Yucundaa in the Oaxaca region of Mexico.

Lavrov says Washington does not want Syrian territorial integrity

Lavrov says Washington does not want Syrian territorial integrity

Washington's actions indicate that it does not want to preserve the territorial integrity of Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during his annual Q&A news conference in Moscow. Lavrov slammed the US initiative to create a "Border Security Force" using Kurdish SDF militias along the Syrian border with Iraq and Turkey, as well as along the Euphrates River Valley.The announcement that this area may fall under the remit of the 30,000-strong US-led forces triggers serious concerns that there may be a "partition of Syria," according to the minister.

A warning for Democrats, and all Americans, about who's waiting in the wings

A warning for Democrats, and all Americans, about who's waiting in the wings

Many Americans, at least most in my circle, are enjoying watching Donald Trump self-destruct. It's bad for the country, but to some of us it's as much fun as watching a train wreck. And maybe if the Democrats can get their act together, they can win back the House in 2018 and the Senate and White House in 2020. Trump is making it look like it might be easy. Comment: The author seems to be under the illusion that Democrats are even capable of offering solutions in Washington to what is the systemically pathological problem of greed, corruption and hysteria we've been seeing. The Dems aren't ; they are too "far gone" as illustrated by this recent story: Democratic Senators publish disturbing and profoundly racist report on Russia But I have a warning for Democrats, and indeed for all Americans. For God's sake, don't elevate the likes of former CIA directors Michael Hayden and John Brennan and the former director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, to the position of "senior statesmen." They are not the voices of reason, either for the Democrats or for anybody else. They are monsters who have ignored the Constitution, the US code, and international law. They have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. We should shun them, not celebrate them. Hayden is probably the most public of the three. The former director of both the NSA and the CIA has never seen a camera that he didn't want to get in front of. He's a regular on the Sunday morning talk shows, the cable news networks, and even Comedy Central. He sucks up to the right and then sucks up to the left if he thinks it'll get him a little screen time. But let me tell you something from personal first-hand experience: I am convinced that he's a danger to the American way of life.

Possible nova in southern Constellation Musca

Possible nova in southern Constellation Musca

Following the posting on the Central Bureau's Transient Object Confirmation Page about a possible Nova in Musca (TOCP Designation: PNV J11261220-6531086) we performed some follow-up of this object through a TEL 0.50-m f/6.8 reflector + CCD + focal reducer from MPC Code Q62 (iTelescope Observatory, Siding Spring). On images taken on January 15.57, 2018 we can confirm the presence of an optical counterpart with R-filtered CCD magnitude ~6.3 at coordinates: R.A. = 11 26 14.95, Decl.= -65 31 24.1 (equinox 2000.0; Gaia DR1 catalogue reference stars). This transient has been reported to CBAT/TOCP by Rob Kaufman, Bright, Victoria, Australia. Discovery image (taken with Canon 650D & 55mm lens) is available here. He also posted a low-resolution spectrum that "shows strong hydrogen emissions as well as FeII lines": Below you can see our confirmation image (single 30-sec exposure through a 0.43-m f/6.8 reflector + CCD), click on it for a bigger version:

Pope Francis: Fears of mass migration are legitimate, migrants should respect the laws and culture of host countries

Pope Francis: Fears of mass migration are legitimate, migrants should respect the laws and culture of host countries

In a nuanced address Sunday for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis seemed to walk back earlier statements denouncing "xenophobia," acknowledging instead that fears associated with mass migration are logical and justifiable. "Local communities are sometimes afraid that the newly arrived will disturb the established order, will 'steal' something they have long laboured to build up," Francis said in a Mass celebrated with migrants and refugees living in Rome Sunday. "These fears are legitimate, based on doubts that are fully comprehensible from a human point of view." Whereas it is normal to experience these fears, the Pope said in his homily, it may be wrong to let them control our actions. "Having doubts and fears is not a sin," he said. "The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection. The sin is to refuse to encounter the other, the different, the neighbour, when this is in fact a privileged opportunity to encounter the Lord."

Israeli "ethicist" says Ahed Tamimi should stay in prison because she might slap again

Israeli "ethicist" says Ahed Tamimi should stay in prison because she might slap again

One month after she slapped a soldier in occupied Nabi Saleh, 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi faces a final bail hearing today at court. Tamimi has been imprisoned since December 19 for the December 15 incident. The Israeli prosecution is trying to make Ahed Tamimi a terrorist. And now Israel's greatest ethical authority (not by me though), Professor Asa Kasher, has come to join the chorus. Yesterday, Kasher appeared as a commentator on Ahed's case. In news coverage for the Dutch NOS Journaal, he is seen viewing a video of her slap (see link from 7:47).