Daily News, via SOTT.net aggregation.

Lake Tahoe ski resorts hit by 3 feet of snow in 24 hours

Lake Tahoe ski resorts hit by 3 feet of snow in 24 hours

Mother Nature turned the snow back on Thursday, dumping nearly 3 feet of fresh powder in 24 hours at ski resorts around Lake Tahoe. Along with dumping deep snow, this winter storm also is causing operational problems at some resorts. Heavenly Mountain Resort is on a delayed opening. Heavenly is planning on opening at 10 a.m. Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is closed for the day.

Charged with neglect: Vegan parents almost starve their five-month-old son to death

Charged with neglect: Vegan parents almost starve their five-month-old son to death

A vegan Florida couple allegedly almost starved their five-month-old son to death after switching out his doctor-prescribed formula for an internet concoction made of mashed potatoes. Julia French, 20, and Robert Buskey, 31, of Titusville, Florida, were charged with neglect after investigators found the infant weighed only 8 pounds, 8 ounces after being recorded at birth at 7 pounds, 9 ounces, according to WFTV news. The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) said the boy was obviously malnourished with his ribs visible and eyes appearing sunken. 'At one point, when the child was doing good and healthy and gaining weight, he was on an organic formula and they changed it on their own,' said Titusville Police Detective Lauren Watson. 'I've never seen a child to this level, this close to possible death.'

A string of hoax bomb threats force multiple evacuations in Moscow

A string of hoax bomb threats force multiple evacuations in Moscow

A spate of anonymous bomb threats to institutions in Moscow has led to several evacuations, although no explosives have been found, Russian authorities say. The state TASS news agency quoted an unidentified law enforcement source as saying e-mailed threats late on February 14 and early the next day prompted the evacuation of some 5,000 people from at least 10 institutions, including the Russkoye Radio broadcaster, two major railway stations, and two remand prisons. The evacuations were canceled after the buildings were searched and no explosives found. Anonymous bomb threats have become a particular problem in Russia in recent years. On February 5, dozens of buildings in Moscow and the surrounding region, including the seat of the Moscow regon's government, were evacuated following threats that turned out to be hoaxes.

Missouri deputies caught putting mud on surveillance camera to block view

Missouri deputies caught putting mud on surveillance camera to block view

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department launched an internal affairs investigation after an Imperial resident filed a complaint about the actions of three deputies, which were recorded on a home security system. Ashley Mathis first noticed something unusual Sunday night. "I was getting ready for bed, we'd been gone all day. And I looked over at the monitor, because it sits on the desk in our bedroom and noticed that camera 1 is black," said Mathis. Mathis and her fiancé, Gary Schuetz, backed up the video for camera 1 and saw three deputies walked into their yard earlier in the day while the couple was gone. Then the video shows one of the deputies reaching up and putting something on the lens, blocking its view. The security camera turned out to have mud on the lens. "I want to know what they were here for," said Schuetz.

BEST OF THE WEB: Yellow Vest spokesman hints at next stage: 'Paramilitaries are ready to overthrow the government'

BEST OF THE WEB: Yellow Vest spokesman hints at next stage: 'Paramilitaries are ready to overthrow the government'

The so-called Yellow Vest protests have been raging across France since mid-November, with the movement calling for the resignation of French President Emmanuel Macron over his government's policies. The official Twitter account of an Italian political show, Piazzapulita, released a video of an interview with a man they claim is Christophe Chalençon, one of the leaders of the yellow vests movement. While the footage, apparently filmed on a hidden camera, shows only the legs of a man, he can be heard speaking about the ongoing unrest in France. The man, who is alleged to be Chalençon, is heard saying that if anything happens to him, French President Emmanuel Macron would end up on the guillotine.

Leftist hysteria continues unabated: French schools to change 'mother & father' to 'parent 1 and 2' under new law

Leftist hysteria continues unabated: French schools to change 'mother & father' to 'parent 1 and 2' under new law

French schools are set to replace the words 'mother' and 'father' with 'Parent 1' and 'Parent 2' following an amendment to a law which passed through French Parliament this week. The new naming convention is ostensibly aimed at ending discrimination against same sex parents but critics argue that it "dehumanises" parenthood and may lead to rows over who gets classified as 'Parent 1.' The amendment, passed Tuesday as part of a wider plan to build a so-called "school of trust," will also enforce mandatory school attendance for all three-year-olds. "This amendment aims to root in law children's family diversity in administrative forms submitted in school," said Valérie Petit, MP for the majority REM party of President Emmanuel Macron.

The peace candidate: Tulsi Gabbard presents bill to stop Trump from pulling out of INF treaty

The peace candidate: Tulsi Gabbard presents bill to stop Trump from pulling out of INF treaty

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has introduced a bill to Congress which would prevent President Donald Trump from withdrawing the US from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Speaking at a press conference on Friday morning, Gabbard said that Trump's decision to pull out of the 1988 treaty was "reckless," was "exacerbating a new Cold War" with Russia, and could spark another arms race. "Walking away from this agreement doesn't solve our problems, it makes them worse. It doesn't bring us closer to peace, it moves us closer to war," she said. Gabbard said she was introducing the bill, called the "INF Treaty Compliance Act," not only to prevent the escalation of a new Cold War, but to "stop more American taxpayer dollars from being wasted on military adventurism that makes our people and our country less safe." She said that rather than scrapping the treaty, the US should be working to expand it and bring in other countries, including China. The bill...

How Israel's extremist rabbis are fuelling a holy war in Israel

How Israel's extremist rabbis are fuelling a holy war in Israel

In which country did a senior, state-salaried cleric urge his followers last week to become "warriors", emulating a group of young men who had murdered a woman of another faith? The cleric did so with impunity. In fact, he was only echoing other highly placed colleagues who have endorsed a book - again without penalty - urging their disciples to murder babies belonging to other religions. Where can the head of the clergy call black people "monkeys" and urge the expulsion of other religious communities? Where does a clerical elite wield so much power that they alone decide who can marry or get divorced - and are backed by a law that can jail someone who tries to wed without their approval? They can even shut down the national railway system without notice. Where are these holy men so feared that women are scrubbed from billboards, college campuses introduce gender segregation to appease them, and women find themselves literally pushed to the back of the bus? Is the country Saudi...

No joke! Ukraine's presidential choice: an oligarch, a gas princess or a comedian

No joke! Ukraine's presidential choice: an oligarch, a gas princess or a comedian

For some time, it was assumed that Yulia Tymoshenko would challenge Petro Poroshenko for the Ukrainian presidency in next month's election. However, out of nowhere, Vladimir Zelensky has now emerged as the frontrunner. For Ukrainians able to vote in next month's presidential election, the choice is now pretty clear. There are three options: the incumbent oligarch anti-Russia hardliner, the femme fatale of Kiev's political scene, or a comedian best known for playing a fictional president in a popular TV drama. While his candidacy originally inspired much bemusement, nobody's laughing now at Zelensky. Because the entertainer has surged into a nine-point polling lead with just six weeks left before the big day. Right now, here's the state of play: Zelensky 26.9 percent, Poroshenko 17.7 percent, and Yulia Tymoshenko 15.8 percent. Asked why they favor the newcomer, 54 percent of his backers cite his status as a fresh face, who's up against a number of figures who've been on the...

Lightning strikes kill at least 12 across Uttar Pradesh, India

Lightning strikes kill at least 12 across Uttar Pradesh, India

Lightning strikes killed at least 12 people, including four schoolchildren, across Uttar Pradesh on Thursday as many parts of north India were lashed by snow, thunderstorms and hail. The bad weather left PM Narendra Modi stranded for four hours at Dehradun's Jolly Grant airport in the morning, preventing him from flying to Rudrapur, near Haldwani, for a public rally. In Delhi, morning showers and hailstorms at isolated places led to the diversion of six flights and left many more delayed. The city saw intermittent showers till evening. Friday is expected to be cloudy with the possibility of light rain or thundershowers.

BEST OF THE WEB: Chelyabinsk to Cuba: The Meteor Connection

BEST OF THE WEB: Chelyabinsk to Cuba: The Meteor Connection

On February 1, 2019 a bright meteor crossed the sky over Cuba just in the middle of the day. The phenomenon, that was followed by a "smoke trail" (a characteristic cloud left by the burn in the atmosphere of a meteoroid) and a sonic boom, was witnessed by thousands of locals and tourists in the region of Pinar del Rio (western side of the island). Almost at the same time of the impact, a cruise ship was leaving the Havana harbor and on board, Rachel Cook, an American tourist and blogger, was making a timelapse of the undocking process. Without knowing, she was recording one of the few videos known to date of the falling meteor. Meanwhile, 400 km away, in Ft. Myers beach, Florida, a web cam of the EarthCam network was filming the midday activities in the beach. Luckily, the camera was aimed at the right direction to record the meteor from afar. Just a couple of minutes after the event, social networks, especially Instagram and twitter, received a flood of tens of videos and...

Facebook to silence 'anti-vaxxers': Social media giant says it may reduce or remove 'harmful posts' about vaccinations as WHO says misinformation is to blame for global surge in measles

Facebook to silence 'anti-vaxxers': Social media giant says it may reduce or remove 'harmful posts' about vaccinations as WHO says misinformation is to blame for global surge in measles

Facebook is considering taking action against harmful and misleading content posted by 'anti-vaccination' activists on the social network. Democrat US Congressman Adam Schiff had written to Facebook, as well as Google, asking them to address the issue of 'anti-vaxx' content on the platform. In its response to Schiff, Facebook wrote that it is looking into removing misinforming content about vaccinations from recommendations to its users and to 'demote' it in searches on its platform. Comment: Misinformation abounds all over mainstream media where Big Pharma owns 70% of the advertising and therefore the narrative. In a letter to to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's CEO Sundar Pichai, Schiff wrote: 'As a Member of Congress who is deeply concerned about declining vaccination rates, I am requesting additional information on the steps that you currently take to provide medically accurate information on vaccinations to your users, and to encourage you to consider additional steps...

BEST OF THE WEB: How US hardliners ensured Soviet withdrawal did not lead to peace in Afghanistan

BEST OF THE WEB: How US hardliners ensured Soviet withdrawal did not lead to peace in Afghanistan

Thirty years after the withdrawal of the last Soviet forces from Afghanistan, the US is still fighting the monster they helped create in their anti-Soviet crusade. February 15, 1989. The date when the Soviet Army left Afghanistan for the last time. Trying to defend the left-wing government in Kabul from US-backed mujahideen had cost the Soviet Union countless millions of rubles and the lives of over 15,000 soldiers. So you can understand why Mikhail Gorbachev wanted out. He actually wanted to withdraw earlier. But the Kremlin's proposals for a negotiated settlement were blocked by neocons in the Reagan administration, who met attempts at compromise from Kabul and Moscow with intransigence and increased support for the most militant factions. Gorbachev warned of the global consequences of an extremist takeover in Afghanistan, but his words went unheeded. The US, in their determination to give the Soviet Union its own Vietnam, helped create a Frankenstein monster which they are still...

Trump declares a national emergency for border crisis

Trump declares a national emergency for border crisis

President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency, allowing him to build his long-promised border wall without congressional approval. Trump is also expected to sign a bill granting limited funding towards the wall. Speaking to reporters outside the White House before the signing on Friday, Trump said he will declare a national emergency, a move that will allow him to corral funding from other parts of the government to fund the US-Mexico border wall. "We're declaring it for virtual invasion purposes," Trump told reporters. "Drugs, traffickers and gangs." The president is also expected to sign a spending bill that will avert a second government shutdown, but will only provide $1.3 billion towards building the wall, a fraction of the $5.6 billion requested by Trump late last year.

Moscow cops may get AR-googles with automatic facial recognition

Moscow cops may get AR-googles with automatic facial recognition

The Moscow police may get a tool similar to what their Chinese counterparts have tested - augmented reality goggles that help officers identify people by matching them against a central database. A wearable device with facial recognition allows an officer to identify suspects on the wanted list by comparing people they interact with against a list of fugitives. If there is a match, the glasses will simply mark the person he should check for ID. Chinese police patrolling the Zhengzhou East high-speed rail station in the Henan province got their gadgets last year for a pilot project. It's not yet clear if or when the law enforcement in Moscow will get their version, but work on the technology is underway, the mayor's office confirmed to the RBC news website. According to the report, the Russian capital considers expanding on its cooperation with a firm called Ntechlab, the developer of the FindFace facial recognition technology. Their algorithm is already analyzing footage from some...

Trump: McCabe a "disgrace to the FBI & country" after Russia probe admission

Trump: McCabe a "disgrace to the FBI & country" after Russia probe admission

In his first interview about the Russia probe since he was summarily fired by President Trump just 26 hours before he was set to retire and collect his pension, and while the possibility of criminal charges over his attempts to cover up his leaks to the press, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe sat for an interview with CBS about the early days of the Russia probe. In an excerpt of the full interview, which is set to air on Sunday, McCabe described how he quickly moved to start the Russia probe a day after meeting with Trump in May 2017 in the days after James Comey's firing, over fears that he would soon be fired. After authorizing the investigation into Trump's Russia ties, McCabe sought to ensure that the investigation - which was eventually rolled into the probe eventually taken over by Special Counsel Robert Mueller - would be on "solid ground" even if he was booted from the FBI.

The new censorship: Amazon under fire for selling 'gay cure' books

The new censorship: Amazon under fire for selling 'gay cure' books

LGBTQ advocates are incensed following revelations this week that multinational e-commerce giant Amazon is selling gay conversion therapy books, "promoting hatred, abuse, and self-harm," in the process. Award-winning author and LGBTQ rights activist Damian Barr raised the issue online, accusing Amazon of taking sides by allowing people to profit by pushing harmful, pseudoscientific 'treatments.' Comment: If they were truly taking sides, they wouldn't be selling pro-LGBT books, which they are, in spades. Among the contentious titles available on Amazon's website are 'A Parent's Guide To Preventing Homosexuality,' 'Healing Homosexuality, Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality,' and 'How a Gay Boy Became a Straight Man.'

'Symbol of oppression': Swedish swimming chief steps down after criticizing Muslim headscarf

'Symbol of oppression': Swedish swimming chief steps down after criticizing Muslim headscarf

The head of Swedish Swimming Federation Ulla Gustavsson has been dismissed from the role after taking a swipe at the traditional Muslim headscarf, calling it a "symbol of oppression, child marriage and genital mutilation." Gustavsson's criticism of the headwear was prompted by a local ad that showed a boy and a Muslim girl participating in shooting competitions. The boy was dressed in a white T-shirt and blue jeans, and was next to a girl who was wearing a hijab. Both were holding air guns in their hands. The advert provoked a bitter reaction from Gustavsson, who considered it inappropriate for Swedish society. The ad, which was aimed at promoting an inclusive environment in Swedish sport, was lambasted by the swimming chairwoman. She said that the air gun in conjunction with the headdress reflected the wrong values, which went against gender equality.

FBI opens inquiry into Ryan Adams' relationship with 14yo fan after N.Y. Times exposé

FBI opens inquiry into Ryan Adams' relationship with 14yo fan after N.Y. Times exposé

One day after the New York Times published a bombshell exposé of Ryan Adams alleging he had exchanged explicit messages with a minor, the FBI has opened an inquiry into the singer-songwriter's communications with the younger fan, theTimes reported Thursday. FBI agents from the Crime Against Children Squad in the bureau's New York office began the steps of opening a criminal investigation on Thursday, the newspaper reported. Those steps include interviewing the woman that the Times reported on, who is no longer a minor, and gathering evidence of the correspondence. If corroborating evidence is found to substantiate the Times' original account, the agents could take further steps to gather evidence, including subpoenaing phone records. Adams has not been contacted by any member of a law enforcement agency, including the FBI, Adams' lawyer, Andrew Brettler, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Black snow falls in Siberian region

Black snow falls in Siberian region

Prosecutors in Kemerovo region are reportedly checking the cause of black snow over three cities in the coalmining region - Prokopyevsk, Kiselyovsk and Leninsk-Kuznetsky. Pictures shared by locals show alarming black winter scenes with one comment reading: 'Is this what snow looks like in hell?' Others have claimed there is a beauty in the bleak snowscapes. Local media have blamed the gloom on local plants processing coal. Director general of Prokopyevskaya factory Anatoly Volkov explained to Vesti-KUzbass TV channel that a shield stopped working at his plant protecting the air from coal powder.

'Will they promote BDSM next?' Russian PR manager sues Reebok over 'face-sitting' ad

'Will they promote BDSM next?' Russian PR manager sues Reebok over 'face-sitting' ad

Russian PR manager Oleg Voronin has filed a lawsuit against Reebok Russia, claiming that the controversial "face-sitting" ad promotes "destructive ideas" and undermines moral principles. Voronin who is himself the head of a PR company called Glavpiar, stressed in his lawsuit that the kind of promotion used by Reebok badly impacts the entire PR market, making customers associate "shock advertising" with something vulgar and indecent. Now he is seeking for a monetary compensation of 200,000 rubles ($3,000) for emotional distress caused by the advertisement. Talking to RT Sport, Voronin said that there should be some limits and a moral code for PR agencies promoting various brands. "First of all I think it's too much to use toilet humor in promotional campaigns," Voronin said. "I have been cooperating with various companies, using 'shock advertising,' but even the most provocative ad we have created is nothing in comparison with the Reebok campaign. I think there should be some limits...

Did this Russian cause Brexit, too? Deep State mouthpiece Bellingcat names '3rd GRU officer' in Skripal poisoning saga

Did this Russian cause Brexit, too? Deep State mouthpiece Bellingcat names '3rd GRU officer' in Skripal poisoning saga

Bellingcat claims that a high-ranking Russian military intel officer named Denis Sergeev was in the UK under the alias of Sergey Fedotov at the time of the poisoning drama in Salisbury - and, "notably," on eve of the Brexit vote. The UK-based organization that touts itself as a citizen-journalism outfit published a report on Thursday, saying that Sergeev is the real name of the man who it previously connected to the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and another poisoning case in Bulgaria. The report is part of a series in which Bellingcat offers "open source" or leaked data to connect the Salisbury affair with the GRU, the Russian military intelligence agency. The fresh report fails to explain the chain of reasoning that led Bellingcat to believe that Fedotov and Sergeev are the same person, focusing instead on the background of Sergeev and the travel history of Fedotov. However, it promises to publish the evidence later, saying it was obtained despite the Russian...

Trump will sign spending bill, declare national emergency and 'other executive action' to build the wall

Trump will sign spending bill, declare national emergency and 'other executive action' to build the wall

President Donald Trump will sign spending legislation to prevent a government shutdown while declaring a national emergency to try to build his proposed border wall, the White House confirmed Thursday. "President Trump will sign the government funding bill, and as he has stated before, he will also take other executive action - including a national emergency - to ensure we stop the national security and humanitarian crisis at the border," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. It came before both chambers of Congress easily passed a measure to keep the government open past a midnight Friday deadline. "The President is once again delivering on his promise to build the wall, protect the border, and secure our great country," she added, as Trump prepared to approve legislation allocating about a quarter of the money he sought for barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border. If Trump follows through, lawmakers and the White House would dodge their second partial...

In their own words: Nurses against circumcision

In their own words: Nurses against circumcision

Childbirth is miraculous, beautiful, traumatic, and overwhelming, all at the same time, for both the baby and the mother. But for many children born today, squeezing through the birth canal is the easy part. Soon after birth, males born to North American women routinely face amputation of a fully functioning, healthy organ - the foreskin. Circumcision is so commonplace in North America, it has long been considered the norm. The World Health Organization estimates the male circumcision rate in the U.S. to be 76% to 92%, while the rates in most of the Western European countries are less than 20%. Globally, more than 80% of the world's men are left intact. An intact penis is not rare - an intact penis is the norm. Medical professionals tell parents that circumcision is relatively painless, just a snip and it is over. Nothing could be further from the truth. Aside from the rare but possible complications, which include mutilation of the penis or death, the practice of circumcision is...

US investor & top partners of Baring Vostok equity fund detained in Moscow on fraud allegations

US investor & top partners of Baring Vostok equity fund detained in Moscow on fraud allegations

A Moscow district court has ordered the detention of the founder and senior partner of Baring Vostok private equity, as part of an ongoing inquiry into fraud allegations. Other employees were also taken into custody. Michael Calvey, a US citizen, was detained in the Russian capital on Friday along with other Baring Vostok associates, Vagan Abgaryan, Philippe Delpal, and Ivan Zyuzin, the firm said in a statement. It said the arrests have nothing to do with the company's activities but relate to a dispute around Russia's Vostochny Bank. Moscow's Basmanny court is set to consider the next legal motion soon, according to the spokesperson Yunona Tsaryova. Investigators are reportedly seeking the arrest of all the defendants in the case.

Drone sightings disrupt flights at Dubai International Airport

Drone sightings disrupt flights at Dubai International Airport

Flights were briefly halted at Dubai International Airport, which handled nearly 90 million passengers last year. Flights at Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest in the world, were disrupted on Friday after sightings of a drone flying nearby. The airport told the AP news agency that it halted flights from 10:13am to 10:45am (local time) over "suspected drone activity". It said flights were later resumed.

Russian toddler who survived 30 dire cold hours under rubble of collapsed building comes home

Russian toddler who survived 30 dire cold hours under rubble of collapsed building comes home

The Fokins family must have a most qualified guardian angel looking after their baby boy. On New Year's Eve their home folded in on itself after a blast, and the toddler spent over 30 hours in freezing cold under rubble. Little Vanya will be celebrating his first birthday in a new home come Saturday. He and his mom Olga were finally released from a Moscow hospital this week, after doctors confirmed that the ordeal he went through left him almost without a scratch. Many call it nothing short of a miracle. Cradle turned into death trap The Fokins, a family of four, lived in an apartment building in Magnitogorsk, a large city in the Russian southern Urals famous for its metal industry. On the morning of December 31, it was rocked by a powerful blast, which the authorities say was caused by a gas leak. Two 10-storey stacks of apartments came down, killing 39 people and injuring 17 others. Vanya, his mother and three-year-old brother were sleeping in their apartment, which was located...

There are no independent countries in the world - Putin

There are no independent countries in the world - Putin

Europe can't oppose the US deployment of missiles, even if it is contrary to their interests, because no country can be truly independent these days, Vladimir Putin believes. The Russian president thinks "the modern world is the world of interdependency" and there are no truly independent countries these days. "Do you think European countries want missiles in Europe? Nobody wants it. But they keep silent. Where is their sovereignty?" Putin asked during his visit in Sochi.

Finian Cunningham: US-led anti-Iran circus in Warsaw unravels as farce

Finian Cunningham: US-led anti-Iran circus in Warsaw unravels as farce

A conference in Warsaw this week was billed as reinstating the US' lead role in diplomacy for the Mideast. The absence of Russia and other European leaders only served to expose the ill-conceived summit and Washington's isolation. When the forum was initially planned last year by the Trump administration, the purpose was to bring Washington back in from the diplomatic cold which it had opted for by abandoning the international nuclear accord with Iran. Trump's tearing up of the Iran deal in May 2018 had isolated the US from other signatories: Russia, China and the Europeans. By holding a high-level conference on Iran, the idea was to burnish Washington's diplomatic standing in the Middle East. The trouble was that from the outset most would-be participants saw the real agenda of the meeting as an attempt by Washington to drum up international support for further antagonizing Iran with economic sanctions. Comment: Or, if you're Netanyahu, declaring "a common interest of war with...

Regime Change Template: The ocean of lies on Venezuela recalls the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq

Regime Change Template: The ocean of lies on Venezuela recalls the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq

There are clear and disturbing parallels between the events that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the current frenzy promoting regime change in Venezuela. From the state actors to the massive disinformation campaign, Washington and its "coalition of the willing" appear to be following the same old imperialist formula. The Canary spoke to activist journalists Mike Prysner and Fiona Edwards about the parallels between the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq and current events in Venezuela. Prysner was 19 years old when he was deployed to Iraq in March 2003. He is now an anti-war activist, producer and writer for The Empire Files, and co-host of the Eyes Left podcast. Edwards, meanwhile, is a national officer of Stop the War coalition (a central organising force against the Iraq invasion) and a writer on Latin America.

US re-brands mosques as ISIS bases to avoid criticism over Syrian casualties, analyst says

US re-brands mosques as ISIS bases to avoid criticism over Syrian casualties, analyst says

For several months now, the US-led coalition in Syria has been deliberately targeting mosques - religious objects that have protected status under international law. The trick is to say that they are no longer actually 'mosques'. There are rules on what types of targets the US military is not allowed to bomb to avoid direct civilian deaths and long-term harm from damage to civilian infrastructure. Mosques, of course, are on the list, along with schools, hospitals, embassies, and refugee camps. Yet since October of last year, the US-led coalition had apparently changed its approach to hitting mosques in eastern Syria as its warplanes prop up Kurdish militias trying to take over what is left of territory held by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

BEST OF THE WEB FLASHBACK: An Eccentric Tradition: The Paradox of 'Western Values'

BEST OF THE WEB FLASHBACK: An Eccentric Tradition: The Paradox of 'Western Values'

It is no secret that former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is a fan of Western values. On more than one occasion he has lamented what he calls "the great Australian silence" - the neglect of "the Western canon, the literature, the poetry, the music, the history and above all the faith without which our culture and our civilisation is unimaginable." Abbott's predecessor, John Howard, is also known as a stout defender of the Western tradition and its values, and he too worries that we are losing our connection to it: "When we think of our civilisation, we lack an integrated understanding of the contribution of the early Romans and Greeks, the framework of what is frequently called the Judaeo-Christian ethic." Further afield, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron has preached the importance of Christian values for Britain. More recently, and perhaps unhelpfully for the cause, Donald Trump has jumped on the bandwagon. In a rare moment of coherence, Trump delivered a speech...

Train your mind to work smarter, not harder

Train your mind to work smarter, not harder

Office politics. Dictatorial bosses. Coworkers' emotions bouncing up and down and sideways. Hi-tech tools that keep changing and updating. An uncertain economy and a volatile job market. Escalating levels of expectation. Loss of direction. Too much to do. Too little time. Not enough sleep. Whether you work in a traditional or progressive environment, on your own or in a sea of cubicles, work life is full of challenges. Most of us are beholden to the income we receive from our jobs, and beyond that, we get up and go to work because we have a real desire to contribute to the greater good. Turning away from work is not an option for most of us, so we buck up and throw ourselves into the challenges of the workplace. Some of us are doing well, successful and satisfied. But too many of us are not happy at work. We're stressed out and quite possibly confused. We may appear to be effective, but gnawing issues like those above can make work secretly (or not so secretly) a drag. That's not...

Australian river swells to 37 miles wide due to flooding, creates its own weather system

Australian river swells to 37 miles wide due to flooding, creates its own weather system

A river has gone from thin and dry to 37 miles (60 kilometers) wide in a matter of weeks as a result of floods in northeast Australia, satellite imagery shows. Images released by NASA show the change to the Flinders River -- one of Australia's longest waterways -- over the past month, with flooding there at its worst in more than half a century. The #FlindersRiver is experiencing its most significant flooding in more than 50 years with major flooding to continue well into next week. Flood plumes spill into the Gulf of Carpentaria as seen from Japan's Himawari-8 satellite: https://t.co/bZgs9WKObB pic.twitter.com/cr2S4N9RUX — Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) February 13, 2019

US judge orders medical examiner to turn over all files regarding death of RT founder Mikhail Lesin

US judge orders medical examiner to turn over all files regarding death of RT founder Mikhail Lesin

A Washington judge has ordered the city medical examiner to turn over dozens of autopsy records and other files in the investigation of Mikhail Lesin, the former Russian press minister who was found dead in a D.C. hotel room under suspicious circumstances more than three years ago. The February 13 ruling came in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by RFE/RL, which has sought the files as part of its ongoing probe into Lesin's November 2015 death. Once a powerful media adviser to President Vladimir Putin, Lesin fell out of favor sometime around 2012 and had largely been out of sight before his body was found in the Dupont Circle Hotel. Despite the official conclusion that his death was "accidental," suspicion has focused on whether he was killed to keep him from sharing information with the Justice Department.

Shallow 6.2 magnitude earthquake hits northern Mid-Atlantic Range

Shallow 6.2 magnitude earthquake hits northern Mid-Atlantic Range

An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter Scale struck northern Mid-Atlantic Range region on Thursday (local time). The quake hit at a depth of 10 km and took place at 7:57 pm, according to United States Geological Survey (USGS). No tsunami warning has been issued so far. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a mid-ocean ridge located along the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. In the North Atlantic, the ridge separates the Eurasian and North American plates, and in the South Atlantic, it separates the African and South American plates. Source: ANI

5G wifi: A global health catastrophe in the making

5G wifi: A global health catastrophe in the making

Disclosure about 5G - and its considerable risk for humanity - is occurring within the United Nations. This is thanks to longtime UN staff member and whistle-blower Claire Edwards, who recently contacted me with this powerful story which touches all of humanity and our shared future. Watch the interview above, or on YouTube here or on Facebook here. - Josh del Sol Beaulieu The first eight months of WWII with no fighting was called The Phoney War. Using millimetre waves as a fifth-generation or 5G wireless communications technology is a phoney war of another kind. This phoney war is also silent, but this time shots are being fired - in the form of laser-like beams of electromagnetic radiation(EMR) from banks of thousands of tiny antennas[1] - and almost no one in the firing line knows that they are being silently, seriously and irreparably injured. In the first instance, 5G is likely to make people electro-hypersensitive (EHS).[2] Perhaps it was sitting in front of two big computer...

Former Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke beaten in Connecticut prison

Former Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke beaten in Connecticut prison

Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, who last month received a 6-year, 9-month prison sentence for the murder of teenager Laquan McDonald, has been assaulted by prison inmates in his cell in Connecticut, his wife said Wednesday. Van Dyke was transferred earlier this month to a federal prison in Connecticut. Hours after his arrival, he was placed in the general population before being assaulted in his cell. His wife, Tiffany, is planning to hold a news conference, tentatively scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, to protest the attack on her husband. "We are all petrified and in fear for Jason's life," Tiffany Van Dyke told the Sun-Times. "Jason just wants to serve his sentence. He does not want any trouble. I hope prison officials will take steps to rectify this right away. He never should have been in the general population."

Turkey aiming for S-400 missile deal with Russia despite US threats to cancel offer of F-35s and Patriot missiles

Turkey aiming for S-400 missile deal with Russia despite US threats to cancel offer of F-35s and Patriot missiles

Ankara will stay on course to get the Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft system despite Washington's carrot-and-stick offer of alternative Patriot missiles and threats to jeopardize other arms deals, a top Turkish MP has confirmed. There will be no change to the multi-billion deal Moscow and Ankara inked back in 2017, according to Volkan Bozkir, head of Turkish parliament's foreign affairs committee. Bozkir, who is in Washington this week, said purchasing the S-400 has nothing to do with Turkey's plans to possibly buy the Patriots as well. "With regard to Patriots, if the opportunity is at a level we desire, we have expressed we could also buy those too," he stated. Expanding on that, the Turkish MP said Ankara had already paid most of the price for the S-400s and the weapons systems are expected to arrive in November.

Scientists: Chimp sign language & human communication follow the same rules

Scientists: Chimp sign language & human communication follow the same rules

Gestures used by chimpanzees to communicate with each other follow some of the same rules intrinsic to human language, according to a study of wild chimps living in Uganda. Raphaela Heesen, at the University of Roehampton in the UK, and colleagues analysed video recordings of more than 2000 uses of 58 different types of "play" gestures used by chimps living in the Budongo Forest. They found that more frequently used gestures were shorter in duration, and that longer signing sequences were made up of shorter, syllable-like gestures. These two patterns are known to apply to all human languages.

Pied Piper device that lures tumors out of the brain hailed as a 'game changing' breakthrough

Pied Piper device that lures tumors out of the brain hailed as a 'game changing' breakthrough

The Tumor Monorail, a device which tricks aggressive brain tumors into leaving the brain into an external container, making them far easier to treat and kill, has been described as a "breakthrough device" by the FDA. The monorail, affectionately dubbed the 'Pied Piper,' mimics the brain's white matter to attract cancerous tumors and stop them from spreading deeper into the brain, greatly reducing their lethality in the process. More specifically, the device contains physical structures and pathways similar to those in the brain along which cancer tumors are prone to traveling. "The tumor monorail device is a true game-changer in how we think about treating brain tumors," said Barun Brahma, a neurosurgeon at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, who has been a member of the research team since its inception. "This device affords clinicians the ability to surgically treat these [inoperable] tumors with a minimal approach."

Florida man accused of being 'fake doctor' after claiming to cure diabetes

Florida man accused of being 'fake doctor' after claiming to cure diabetes

Investigators say Hipolit-Gonzalez has never had a medical license of any kind in the state of Florida. Deputies say Hipolit-Gonzalez arranged to meet a patient at a home on February 7 and, when the patient arrived, he was asked to fill out papers and pay $160. Deputies say Hipolit-Gonzalez then checked the patient's blood pressure and then put a band around his head and asked him to hold a metal rod connected to a machine on a table that began making beeping noises once it was turned on.

At Trump summit Netanyahu declares "common interest of war with Iran" sparking backlash from Tehran

At Trump summit Netanyahu declares "common interest of war with Iran" sparking backlash from Tehran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stole the show during a Trump administration summit in Warsaw, Poland focused on "peace and security" in the Middle East when he said the meeting would be helpful "to advance the common interest of war with Iran." Although the the statement was quickly scrubbed from social media and replaced with a message of "combatting Iran," the Iranian government, and many others, took notice. The initial statement was made in a press release issued by the Prime Minister's office this afternoon in Poland. "From here I am going to a meeting with 60 foreign ministers and envoys of countries from around the world against Iran. What is important about this meeting - and this meeting is not in secret, because there are many of those - is that this is an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries, that are sitting down together with Israel in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran."

Sounds about right: Russia calls latest US sanctions 'just another schizoid story'

Sounds about right: Russia calls latest US sanctions 'just another schizoid story'

Russia is not afraid of sanctions and new penalties won't hugely harm the economy, according to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. However, he added that the measures may slow development. The latest bill pushing a fresh round of economic sanctions against Moscow was introduced to US Congress by Senators Lindsey Graham and Bob Menendez. It is the second attempt to expand anti-Russia penalties after the previous version was defeated last year. If approved, the new package will target Russia's banking and energy sectors, as well as its foreign debt. Medvedev added that potential US sanctions demand special attention from the country's government and the Central Bank of Russia. The top government executive also urged state officials to drop the careless approach to the issue. "These sanctions do effect our economy. But they do not cause any substantial damage. We will continue to follow our path. But there's no doubt that they are not helpful, because they slow down growth," Medvedev...

The Saker interviews economist Michael Hudson on Venezuela

The Saker interviews economist Michael Hudson on Venezuela

Introduction: There is a great deal of controversy about the true shape of the Venezuelan economy and whether Hugo Chavez' and Nicholas Maduro's reform and policies were crucial for the people of Venezuela or whether they were completely misguided and precipitated the current crises. Anybody and everybody seems to have very strong held views about this. But I don't simply because I lack the expertise to have any such opinions. So I decided to ask one of the most respected independent economists out there, Michael Hudson, for whom I have immense respect and whose analyses (including those he co-authored with Paul Craig Roberts) seem to be the most credible and honest ones you can find. In fact, Paul Craig Roberts considers Hudson the "best economist in the world"! I am deeply grateful to Michael for his replies which, I hope, will contribute to a honest and objective understanding of what really is taking place in Venezuela. The Saker

Impressive gustnado forms in Guatemala

Impressive gustnado forms in Guatemala

On 13th February a spectacular gustnado surprised the residents of Sololá in Guatemala. In a matter of minutes, the phenomenon spread through social networks and the media, due to its unusual character and its large size reports tiempo. Although widely shared as a tornado or dust devil, the Guatemalan National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology confirmed it was a gustnado. A gustnado is a short-lived, ground-based swirling wind that can form on the leading edge of a severe thunderstorm.

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: West coast USA snow records verify jet stream shift

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: West coast USA snow records verify jet stream shift

Most snow in 70 year across Seattle and parts of Washington State, Record snow pack Mammoth Mnt, California, new wind record set Mauna Kea Hawaii, tornado in Guatemala mid-winter and more snow n the way to break all totals in Seattle back to 1915. More storm warnings for west coast USA and B.C.

Democratic darling Kamala Harris packed California prisons with people for selling pot

Democratic darling Kamala Harris packed California prisons with people for selling pot

At least 1,560 people were sent to state prisons for marijuana-related offenses between 2011 and 2016 Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) admitted in an interview this week to using marijuana, an act that landed thousands in prison while she was California's Attorney General and opposed legalization of the drug. The drug use admission to the "Breakfast Club" came as part of Harris' attempt to erase the reputation she earned as a California prosecutor. She is now calling for legalizing marijuana as a first step to end the War on Drugs, but opposed marijuana legalization during both her 2010 campaign for Attorney General and 2014 re-election campaign, when she notably lost support from the marijuana industry after she laughed at her Republican opponent for supporting legalization. Under Harris's six-year tenure, hundreds were sent to state prisons for marijuana-related offenses, crime records show.

New live-imaging technique reveals cellular repair mechanism for plugging leaky biological barrier

New live-imaging technique reveals cellular repair mechanism for plugging leaky biological barrier

Suppose you live in a brick house and notice cracks in the mortar that let in cold air, rain and insect pests. You might call a brick mason to repair those leaks and to restore the barrier that keeps the great outdoors from getting inside. In much the same way, sheets of cells in our bodies called epithelial tissues coat our organs, creating wall-like barriers that protect us from bacteria, viruses and other disease-causing invaders. And when potentially harmful gaps between these cells emerge, a molecular switch gets flipped to call the repair crew and fix the leaks. Using a novel live-imaging technique they developed, University of Michigan researchers have achieved the first direct detection of short-lived leaks in epithelial tissues as they occur. Their new microscopy barrier assay also allowed them to discover that the repair mechanism involves local activation of a protein called Rho.

Ethnic cleansing: Israel cuts water supply off to 17 Palestinian communities in West Bank

Ethnic cleansing: Israel cuts water supply off to 17 Palestinian communities in West Bank

Israeli forces this week opted to cut off water supply lines feeding into more than a dozen communities in the West Bank city of Hebron, according to the Palestine News Network. In total, the changes will affect 17 Mafasir Yatta communities, where an estimated 1,500 Palestinians reside. The Wednesday move has been largely criticized by locals as yet another Israeli measure to force Palestinians away from their home in order to expand settlements, PNN reported. A 2009 Amnesty International report on Palestinian access to water supplies notes that "Palestinian consumption in the [Occupied Palestinian Territories] is about 70 litres a day per person - well below the 100 litres per capita daily recommended by the World Health Organization - whereas Israeli daily per capita consumption, at about 300 litres, is about four times as much."