Daily News, via SOTT.net aggregation.

SJW librarian accuses libraries 'promoting and proliferating whiteness'

SJW librarian accuses libraries 'promoting and proliferating whiteness'

White men and their ideas take up too much space in libraries, a social justice-obsessed librarian has declared, stopping just short of suggesting we burn all those oppressive white men's books to make way for diversity. "White dudes writing about white ideas, white things, or idea, people and things they stole from POC [people of color] and then claimed as white property" are hogging all the space in American libraries, and it's perpetuating centuries of racial inequity, Massachusetts Institute of Technology librarian Sofia Leung has claimed in a post that tiptoes around the question of what is to be done with this "so-called 'knowledge.'" Her outburst was retweeted by the Library Journal - a publication normally devoted to discussing the preservation of knowledge rather than the rejection of entire categories of it. "Libraries filled with mostly white collections indicates that we don't care about what POC think, we don't care to hear from POC themselves, we don't consider POC to...

Peril in the sky: Japan's US-made F-35A planes made seven emergency landings during flight tests and drills

Peril in the sky: Japan's US-made F-35A planes made seven emergency landings during flight tests and drills

Japan's F-35A jet crash in Pacific Ocean earlier this month has brought to fore more incidents in which several U.S.-made jets had to make emergency landings, local media said on Wednesday. According to Japanese daily Mainichi, five of the 13 stealth fighter aircraft bought by Japan made emergency landings in seven incidents from June 2017 to January 2019 during flight tests and drills. "Of these, two emergency landings were due to faults recorded in the recently crashed jet," the daily said quoting Japanese Defense Ministry. "Unplanned returns to base were made after the planes reported issues with systems relating to fuel, hydraulics and other parts. Excluding one case of an error by the aircraft's monitoring systems, the remaining six saw the fighters inspected and parts replaced before they were confirmed safe to fly," the daily added.

Gallup poll: US church membership at all-time low

Gallup poll: US church membership at all-time low

Church membership in the U.S. is at an all-time low, according to a new Gallup poll. The survey, released Thursday, shows that 50 percent of Americans last year said they belong to a church, synagogue or mosque, representing an all-time low. That figure was 70 percent or higher between 1937 and 1976 and averaged 68 percent from the 1970s through the 1990s, according to Gallup. The drop-off has occurred over the past two decades, with a 20-point decline since 1999. More than half of the decline in the past 20 years has been in the past decade, with more Americans saying they have no religious affiliation. The percentage of Americans who say they aren't affiliated with a religion has jumped from 8 to 19 percent since 2000.

Man with 'demonic eyes' and 'vampire' fangs murders woman, leaves teeth marks on neck

Man with 'demonic eyes' and 'vampire' fangs murders woman, leaves teeth marks on neck

A man with black demonic black eyes and vampire fangs has been arrested after allegedly killing a female tattoo master and leaving bite marks on her neck. Tattoo master Tatiana Podvashetskaya, 27, was found dead in her rented apartment in the city of Ternopil in western Ukraine's Ternopil Oblast region. The woman's body was found by the apartment owner who came to carry out repairs, according to reports. When the unnamed owner entered the flat, she saw Podvashetskaya lying on the floor in a pool of blood and called emergency services. Witness Oleg, who lives next door, said to local media: 'The woman was lying in a pool of blood. A knife was sticking out of her stomach.'

Opioid sting: US federal prosecutors charging medical professionals for health care fraud and pushing opioids

Opioid sting: US federal prosecutors charging medical professionals for health care fraud and pushing opioids

Updated at 11:25 a.m. ET Federal prosecutors are charging 60 doctors, pharmacists, medical professionals and others in connection with alleged opioid pushing and health care fraud, the Justice Department said Wednesday. The charges came less than four months after the Justice Department dispatched experienced fraud prosecutors across hard-hit regions in Appalachia. The cases involve more than 350,000 prescriptions for controlled substances and more than 32 million pills - the equivalent of a dose of opioids for "every man, woman and child," across Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and West Virginia, said Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski. "You can rest assured, when medical professionals behave like drug dealers, the Department of Justice is going to treat them like drug dealers," added Benczkowski, who runs the DOJ's criminal division. Those charged include 31 doctors, seven pharmacists, eight nurse practitioners and seven other licensed medical professionals, the...

Sun halo seen over Norfolk, England

Sun halo seen over Norfolk, England

Yesterday's brilliant sunshine brought a fascinating phenomenon to Norfolk skies. Angela Cole, of Cromer, saw a strange circle around the sun around 12.15pm on Tuesday, April 16 when she was visiting her mum in Beeston Regis. Her husband, who was in nearby Sheringham, also snapped a photo of the heavenly halo. After a spot of online research they believe they identified the outlandish aura: a -22 degree halo. Mrs Cole said: "Anyone who looked up at the sky would have seen it. Rainbows come and go, but this was there for quite a while. It must have been there for half-an-hour. I've never seen anything like it before."

Scientists predict the human brain could be connected to the internet in 'next few decades'

Scientists predict the human brain could be connected to the internet in 'next few decades'

A new research study suggests that human brains could be merged with technology significantly sooner than many expect, perhaps "within decades." Known as the "Human Brain/Cloud Interface" (B/CI), researchers at the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing in California have suggested that nanorobots could be implanted into the human body and connect to a network in real-time. "These devices would navigate the human vasculature, cross the blood-brain barrier, and precisely autoposition themselves among, or even within brain cells," the study's senior author, Robert Freitas, Jr., said in a statement. "They would then wirelessly transmit encoded information to and from a cloud-based supercomputer network for real-time brain-state monitoring and data extraction."

Sibling rivalry: 'Mo-Mo' twins spotted 'boxing with each other' in mother's womb during ultrasound scan

Sibling rivalry: 'Mo-Mo' twins spotted 'boxing with each other' in mother's womb during ultrasound scan

Twins bring twice the happiness to their parents. They can also bring twice the headache. A pair of identical twin sisters have been spotted apparently fighting with each other while they were still in their mother's womb. In the trending video from China, the two foetuses were seemingly kicking and hitting each other as their mother underwent an ultrasound scan at four months pregnant. The twins' father, 28-year-old Mr Tao, said the footage was filmed by him when he accompanied his wife to an antenatal check late last year in the city of Yinchuan. Mr Tao told Chinese news outlet The Paper that he found it amusing to see his unborn daughters seemingly 'boxing with each other for a few rounds'.

VIPS fault Mueller probe and criticize refusal to interview Assange

VIPS fault Mueller probe and criticize refusal to interview Assange

The bug in Mueller's report to be released Thursday is that he accepts that the Russian government interfered in the election. Trump should challenge that, says VIPS. MEMORANDUM FOR: The President FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) SUBJECT: The Fly in the Mueller Ointment Mr. President: The song has ended but the melody lingers on. The expected release Thursday of the redacted text of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election" will nudge the American people a tad closer to the truth on so-called "Russiagate." But judging by Attorney General William Barr's 4-page summary, the Mueller report will leave unscathed the central-but-unproven allegation that the Russian government hacked into the DNC and Podesta emails, gave them to WikiLeaks to publish, and helped you win the election. The thrust will be the same; namely, even if there is a lack of evidence that you colluded with...

Moreno denies Assange arrest was not revenge but the 'sovereign decision of Ecuadorians', as Quito street protests continue

Moreno denies Assange arrest was not revenge but the 'sovereign decision of Ecuadorians', as Quito street protests continue

Ecuador's president Lenin Moreno claimed the expulsion and arrest of Julian Assange had nothing to do with the US pressure or himself seeking revenge for damaging leaks, telling RT these are all insinuations by his predecessor. Assange spent almost seven years holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London until last week, when Moreno abruptly revoked his political asylum. The WikiLeaks co-founder was immediately arrested by UK police on charges of skipping bail and under a sealed US indictment. Former president of Ecuador Rafael Correa, who was the one to provide protection to the journalist and publisher back in 2012, slammed Moreno for the move, calling him the "greatest traitor in Ecuadorian history." The incumbent president acted because he wanted to receive benefits from the US and get revenge on Assange for publishing documents about Moreno's "blatant corruption," Correa told RT.

Charges demanded after off-duty police officer attacks and injures 19yo Texas woman

Charges demanded after off-duty police officer attacks and injures 19yo Texas woman

An off-duty Nacogdoches police officer working security for an apartment complex is at the center of what has become a controversial arrest. The officer, Josh Anders, said he approached a group of young women in the parking lot Wednesday due to ongoing issues with criminal activity at the complex in the 1600 block of Cardinal Street, according to police. Anders requested help from on-duty officers when several of the women refused orders not to leave while a trespassing investigation was underway, police said in a statement. Anders said two of the women resisted arrest, police reported. Anders required medical attention for minor injuries after the incident, police said. One suspect walked away, while Lindsey Ogbonna, 19, of Nacogdoches, was arrested and is facing a resisting arrest charge, according to police. A criminal investigation into the alleged assault on the officer is ongoing and further charges may be filed, police said.

US Justice Department has released Mueller report on Trump-Russia 'collusion' investigation

US Justice Department has released Mueller report on Trump-Russia 'collusion' investigation

The US Department of Justice has released the full report on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into claims President Donald Trump colluded with Russia. The two-year probe 'did not establish' any collusion happened. Attorney General William Barr announced the report's release at a press conference on Thursday morning. He repeated several times that the report establishes that neither Trump nor any other American "conspired or coordinated" with Russia's supposed effort to influence the 2016 election. That effort, the report claims, consisted of the Internet Research Agency's alleged social media manipulation, and the GRU's supposed hacking of DNC emails and handing them over to WikiLeaks. Both have been repeated almost from the moment of Hillary Clinton's surprise loss to Trump in 2016. The report does outline contacts between Russians and Trump associates, mostly related to business or of exploratory nature. "The Russian contacts consisted of business connections,...

Analyst claims Assange can explain DNC leak, Seth Rich murder, Trump-Russia case

Analyst claims Assange can explain DNC leak, Seth Rich murder, Trump-Russia case

On 11 April, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after being deprived of asylum and Ecuadorian citizenship by Quito. Speaking to Sputnik, Adam Garrie, director of Eurasia Future, explained how the Trump administration could benefit from questioning Assange and who is interested in muting the journalist. Julian Assange is the man who can finally reveal who handed the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) documents to WikiLeaks in 2016 and thus sort the "Russian interference" issue once and for all. The question then arises as to whether Donald Trump would jump at the opportunity to unveil this mystery in case Assange is extradited to the US. "Anything is possible in that respect", Adam Garrie, a geopolitical analyst and director of Eurasia Future, told Sputnik. "Trump's justice department could attempt to attain what in US courts is called a plea bargain in respect of Assange. Essentially, if Assange were to discard his own policy of...

IMF execs refuse to recognize Guaido as Venezuela's 'interim president' - a twist the US didn't see coming

IMF execs refuse to recognize Guaido as Venezuela's 'interim president' - a twist the US didn't see coming

Majority of the IMF executive committee members failed to recognize Juan Guaido as "interim president" of Venezuela. The director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, said Saturday that majority of the organization's executive committee members have failed to recognize opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido as the "interim president" of Venezuela. "It has to be a large majority of the membership actually recognizing diplomatically the authorities that they regard as legitimate," Lagarde said in a press conference at the IMF and World Bank spring meetings in Washington. This sets back the effort of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who said Saturday that he had had discussions with the IMF about the process for recognizing Guaido as Venezuela's leader. "There were discussions we had this week at the IMF about that, and what their process would be to do that," he said. The IMF, based in Washington is one of the instruments used by the United States President...

Too little, to late? Poroshenko, reinvented, offers apologies, new promises and slick moves

Too little, to late? Poroshenko, reinvented, offers apologies, new promises and slick moves

There is one presidential candidate Ukrainians have become accustomed to watching sing and dance on stage. It is not incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. And yet there the 53-year-old was, gyrating and pumping his fist beside yellow-overall-clad rockers at a campaign rally at Kyiv's Olimpiyskiy Stadium on April 14. Fighting for his political survival -- one week before the election. Then, in another act his aides said was unscripted, Poroshenko led a gushing crowd of a few thousand people inside the 70,000-seat stadium for nearly an hour, rousing them with patriotic chants and posing for selfies with supporters. Hours earlier, at a press conference that was supposed to be a debate with comedian and presidential front-runner Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Poroshenko made his case for a second term and pleaded for another chance to deliver on promises that many Ukrainians say have been unfulfilled during a presidency that has seen his popularity plummet. Zelenskiy refused to attend...

Çatalhöyük: The Stone Age settlement where humanity took its first steps toward city life

Çatalhöyük: The Stone Age settlement where humanity took its first steps toward city life

The Konya Plain stretches for hundreds of miles across central Turkey. Almost 60 years ago, in a remote spot some 30 miles from the regional capital of Konya, a team of archaeologists began exploring two small hills. A fork in a local footpath and the two mounds themselves gave the site its modern name. Fork (çatal in Turkish) and mound (höyük) combine to form Çatalhöyük. Today the site is regarded by UNESCO as the most significant human settlement documenting early settled agricultural life. Founded over 9,000 years ago on the bank of a river that has since dried up, Çatalhöyük is believed to have been home to an egalitarian Stone Age society who built distinctive homes, arranged back-to-back without doors or windows. They went in and out through openings in the roof. On the inside, they left wall paintings and enigmatic figurines. These dwellings also played an important role in their funerary practices: Residents buried the dead under their homes. At its peak, the town...

N. Korea tests mysterious 'tactical guided weapon' after a failed Trump-Kim summit

N. Korea tests mysterious 'tactical guided weapon' after a failed Trump-Kim summit

Kim Jong-un has supervised the test of a new "tactical guided weapon" just months after the summit in Vietnam failed to achieve any results as the US continues to demand unconditional denuclearization before any sanctions relief. The North Korean leader personally observed the new weapon test on Wednesday, KCNA said, without providing details, other than saying it has a "peculiar mode of guiding flight" with a "powerful warhead." "The completion of the development of the weapon system serves as an event of very weighty significance in increasing combat power," Kim said. The White House said it was aware of the weapons test report but refused to issue a comment.

'You will fail again, like in the Bay of Pigs': US is rebuffed by Cuban officials

'You will fail again, like in the Bay of Pigs': US is rebuffed by Cuban officials

Cuban officials didn't even need to look for a punchline for their response to new US sanctions, announced on the same day that, almost six decades ago, the failed US-sponsored invasion of the socialist island began. On April 17, 1961, a well-armed group of Cuban exiles, who were trained and financed by the CIA, landed in the Bay of Pigs with the aim of overthrowing Fidel Castro's government. But the invaders faced a strong response from the Revolutionary Armed Forces and surrendered after just three days of fighting, while the US faced a massive international backlash for plotting the coup. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez was quick to remind Washington of the embarrassing blunder, writing on Twitter: "Aggressive escalation of US against Cuba will fail. As in Giron (Bay of Pigs), we shall overcome." Rodríguez blasted the sanctions, which he called "an attack against International Law and the sovereignty of Cuba and third states." The head of the US Division in the Cuban...

NXIVM sex-cult prosecutors claim evidence for illegal Clinton campaign contributions seeking "political influence"

NXIVM sex-cult prosecutors claim evidence for illegal Clinton campaign contributions seeking "political influence"

US Attorney Richard Donoghue asked a federal judge last month for permission to present a mountain of new evidence in the NXIVM sex-cult trial - including evidence of an "illegal scheme to exceed contribution limits to a presidential primary campaign," in the "hopes of obtaining political influence to advance their own agenda," according to a March court filing. "At the suggestion of a political operative, who has since pleaded guilty to an unrelated New York state bribery charge also involving campaign contributions, the contributions were "bundled" and presented to the candidate at a fundraising event attended by conspirators," the filing continues.

Heard the latest? Putin's vast riches are hidden at Costco!

Heard the latest? Putin's vast riches are hidden at Costco!

What if we all woke up one morning and everybody understood the Russian mentality? Just think, instead of listening to fairytales about Russia and Vladimir Putin, the world would be able to swiftly wade through mountains of negative bullshit to see the truth. This is the story of the "other" Vladimir Putin, the one whose meager salary and means were just revealed. The angry pirates that tried to rob Russians of their legacy hate Vladimir Putin. They also hate the Russia Putin and his colleagues are trying to lift up. The Bill Browders, Mikhail Khodorkovskys, George Soros, and even Russian media tycoons like Vladimir Gusinsky are the poster boys for the banking elite's vendetta against Russia's leader. Browder got a crooked U.S. Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act, a ludicrous law to punish Russia and Putin for not knuckling under to the supra-capitalists bent on stealing their country's vast wealth. But the larger plan grows more evident with each passing Washington Post Russophobia...

Azaria's legacy: Settlers execute Palestinians, soldiers destroy video evidence, media parrot the lie

Azaria's legacy: Settlers execute Palestinians, soldiers destroy video evidence, media parrot the lie

Let's begin with the facts. About two weeks ago, on April 3rd, a Palestinian named Muhammad 'Abd Al Fatah, a resident of the Hirbat Qais near Silfit, stoned several cars with Israeli registration plates near the Beita village square. A settler named Yehoshua Sherman fired several shots at 'Abd Al Fatah from within his vehicle; then Sherman left his vehicle, and advanced towards 'Abd Al Fatah, who was taking cover, and he and another Israeli shot him several times, wounding him; the two, advancing towards the bleeding and unarmed Al Fatah, murdered him as he lay bleeding on the ground. So far, everything according to SOP, standard operating procedure. Immediately afterwards, the IDF Spokesman announced 'Abd Al Fatah was killed "while carrying out a knife attack." There was no knife and no knife attack, but hey, it's the IDF Spokesman. Lying is what it does. So far, everything according to SOP.

Record-breaking snow season breaks Sierra Nevada drought

Record-breaking snow season breaks Sierra Nevada drought

Tons of snow the past several months have catapulted parts of the Sierra Nevada Range into the record books, busting a year-long drought at the same time. Now that we're halfway through April, we're over the hump as far as the meat of the snow season. But many peaks got a dusting the past couple days (April 15 and 16, 2019) - a dusting, that is, compared to storm totals from earlier this year. Adding It Up Many ski resort owners in the region reported record February snowfall. In late March, Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley each had more than 50 feet of snow on the ground. The latest round of snow this week only dumped up to six inches in many spots, but as more snow melts throughout the spring, the liquid equivalent will be recorded as part of the total precipitation statistics.

Where the money goes: Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's secret charity activities

Where the money goes: Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein's secret charity activities

Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein may have stopped trumpeting his million-dollar donations to charities in light of accusations he molested dozens of underage girls. But he continues to quietly distribute his wealth-including to the nonprofits of Deepak Chopra, Elton John and a doctor linked to President Trump-through a shadowy private foundation called "Gratitude America, Ltd.," The Daily Beast has learned. Gratitude America, Ltd. was launched in 2012 to back "organizations around the world that seek to celebrate the United States of America and the American Ideals," the group stated in its application for tax-exempt status. Those ideals, the nonprofit added, include "liberty, equality, democracy, individualism, unity, and diversity." At the time, Epstein was three years out of jail, but disturbing allegations from his alleged victims, including one who claimed Epstein kept her as a "sex slave" for his famous friends, continued to hound him. Epstein apparently needed some...

Search for more dead in Papua New Guinea's highlands landslide continues after 8 killed

Search for more dead in Papua New Guinea's highlands landslide continues after 8 killed

Search and rescue efforts in Papua New Guinea's Highlands are continuing after at least eight people died in a landslide. The devastating slip burst through at least two remote villages in Enga province on Monday, destroying homes and crops. Mackenzie Smith reports.

Floods largest disaster to hit Iran in 15 years - nearly 80 killed so far

Floods largest disaster to hit Iran in 15 years - nearly 80 killed so far

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani says all institutions must take necessary measures to prevent any further flood-related financial losses and fatalities. In a telephone call with the governors of the flood-hit regions, President Rouhani stressed the importance of public awareness prior to the start of the second wave of torrential rains. Meanwhile, the international federation of Red Cross has called the deluge the largest disaster to hit Iran in more than fifteen years. The Iranian Red Crescent Society also says the natural disaster has killed nearly 80 people so far. Severe floods have hit at least two dozen provinces since mid-March.

Liberals furious with Sanders for Fox town hall: Why no complaints when Obama and Clinton appeared?

Liberals furious with Sanders for Fox town hall: Why no complaints when Obama and Clinton appeared?

Liberal pundits are enraged with Bernie Sanders for his appearance on "destructive" Fox News, and with other Democrats for following suit, all while forgetting Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did the same to no ado. Fox News could never be mistaken for a liberal news channel. From President Trump's frequent phone-in exclusives on Fox & Friends to former host Bill O'Reilly's invectives against Democrats, immigrants, and rock music, the network makes its political leanings well known. However, Fox is still a news network, and even in hyper-partisan, Trump-era America, news networks interview political candidates from both parties. Fox aired a town hall with Sanders on Monday night, an event that saw the Vermont Senator's ideas - chief among them universal health care and tax hikes on the wealthy - resonate with the studio audience and draw more than 2.5 million viewers at home.

Lake Eyre in Australia transforms from parched desert to prosperous waterway

Lake Eyre in Australia transforms from parched desert to prosperous waterway

Australia's legendary inland sea is filling, greening the desert and attracting wildlife and tourists from far and wide. Lake Eyre in northern South Australia is Australia's biggest lake and the thirteenth largest in the world when full. It is also the lowest geographical point of the island nation at 15m below sea level. The usually dry lake system in the state of South Australia - believed by early European settlers to be home to an enormous inland sea - is about 500km from the coast and only fills about four times a century. The last time it was full was 1974 but water from tropical cyclone Trevor and wet season rains in outback Queensland are flowing to the lake through a network of rivers that drain into a basin covering a sixth of Australia - about the size of Spain.

'Wikileaks' revelations reporting the depth of U.S.-Israel relationship has been a great resource to us

'Wikileaks' revelations reporting the depth of U.S.-Israel relationship has been a great resource to us

Yesterday the New York Times published a juicy piece about Democratic Party apparatchik Neera Tanden that included a revelation from the Wikileaks dump of documents from the Democratic National Committee in 2016: Tanden hosted Benjamin Netanyahu for a fawning interview at her thinktank, the Center for American Progress, even as Netanyahu was trying to undermine President Obama's Iran deal, so she could recruit a pro-Israel board member, Jonathan Lavine, who gave the organization $1 million last year. The Times' reliance on Wikileaks to provide important information about our political process is a timely reminder of the public role of the man dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy last Thursday, headed for criminal proceedings related to his obtaining and publishing government documents. Julian Assange is a journalistic source. I've been in the news business for a long time and I've always been told to protect sources. And by the way, not all these sources had great character or...

Turkmen capital inundated after heavy rains across region

Turkmen capital inundated after heavy rains across region

The streets of Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, were flooded after severe rains that began on April 13. Weeks of heavy downpours have taken a toll on the region, causing deaths and extensive damage from flooding in Iran and Afghanistan.

Russia hits Ukraine with export ban on oil and related products in response to sanctions

Russia hits Ukraine with export ban on oil and related products in response to sanctions

Russia has banned exports of oil and petroleum products among other goods to Ukraine, as well as blacklisting certain imports from the country in response to Kiev's sanctions against Moscow. Apart from oil, the expanded restrictions on specific Ukrainian goods include engineering products, consumer goods, and metal products, worth almost US$250 million as of 2018, according to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The full list of blacklisted imports was published on the government website on Thursday. The embargo, which comes into effect immediately, includes bulldozers, pipes and pipe laying vehicles and other items. The document also says that the shipments of coal, gasoline and diesel fuel will be restricted starting from June 1. Supplying these will be possible only under special government orders. The new sanctions also forbid some exports from Ukraine, including clothing, shoes, socks among other goods. The measure comes in retaliation to Kiev's new sanctions against Moscow,...

Palestinian prisoners win a notable battle with Israeli authorities after hunger strike

Palestinian prisoners win a notable battle with Israeli authorities after hunger strike

Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails won a small but significant victory April 15 when the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) agreed to several key demands voiced by 400 prisoners who had been on an open-ended hunger strike. Under the settlement, the IPS agreed to provide three-times-weekly access to (supervised) payphones so prisoners could call their families. It moved numerous prisoners from solitary cells back to the general population and made other concessions to the hunger strikers. The hunger strikers' apparent victory came just two days before Palestinian Prisoners' Day, an observation held annually on April 17 to draw attention to the plight of the thousands of political prisoners held - many for very long terms and many without any fixed term at all - in Israel's broad network of military prisons. The Egyptian government played a role in mediating the April 15 settlement - presumably in connection with its ongoing efforts to de-escalate the hostilities between...

Moscow warns Islamic AND anti-Islamic terrorist a rising threat to Europe and beyond

Moscow warns Islamic AND anti-Islamic terrorist a rising threat to Europe and beyond

"Anti-Islamic terrorism," which involves "psychopaths and murderers" fueled by racism and nationalism, is on the rise not only in Europe but all around the world, the director of Russia's security service has warned. "A phenomenon of anti-Islamic terrorism is becoming a serious challenge," Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Thursday. He suggested that deep divides between immigrants and natives are fertile soil for "the rise of nationalist sentiments... and right wing, neo-racist radicalism." The emergence of cold-blooded psychopaths and murderers who harbor plans to slaughter Muslims is becoming an alarming trend not only in Europe, but in the rest of the world. The official referred to the New Zealand tragedy on March 15, when 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant opened fire on Muslim worshippers at two city mosques as they gathered for Friday prayers. It was the worst shooting in the country's history, leaving 50 people dead and many more...

Newly discovered letter suggests ISIS leader Baghdadi still alive and kicking

Newly discovered letter suggests ISIS leader Baghdadi still alive and kicking

The status of the most wanted man in the world remains unknown, but authorities are continuing to piece together clues indicating that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is at least alive. Documents revealed this month by The Sunday Times showed that ISIS leadership had not only tasked members with "bringing in migrants" as a means to funnel finances and fighters from the crumpled "caliphate" in Syria into Europe and orchestrate attacks, but one letter in-particular among the document trove was specifically addressed to Baghdadi. The December-dated letter, reportedly signed by six leaders, detailed the terrorist outfit's blueprint for operations in the wake of lost territory - ranging from bank robberies to computer hacking to vehicle rammings. Another letter to Baghdadi late last year, signed by ISIS commander Abu Taher al-Tajiki, lays out an array of potential target sites for striking in Europe. The letters underscore that not only is ISIS seemingly devoted to overseeing global...

Bolton says Venezuela sanctions serve as warning to countries like Russia against helping Maduro

Bolton says Venezuela sanctions serve as warning to countries like Russia against helping Maduro

US National Security Advisor John Bolton has signaled that Washington's latest sanctions on Venezuela are a "warning" to "external actors" against deploying military assets to support the government of Nicolas Maduro. The US imposed new sanctions on the Central Bank of Venezuela on Wednesday, restricting US transactions and cutting off access to US dollars. It also targeted Cuba with sanctions, including travel restrictions. Bolton said the measures should be seen by other powers, including Russia, as a warning against providing any help for Maduro government, which the Trump administration has branded "illegitimate." Comment: And if the U.S. says so, it must be true, and everyone else must fall in line. Obviously. Bolton said Russia's recent deployment of military planes to Venezuela posed a "threat to security" in the region, just two months after the US openly attempted to instigate a military coup in the country. He said Russia's "provocative" action was a threat to...

Over 220 killed as recent torrential rains wreak havoc in South Asia

Over 220 killed as recent torrential rains wreak havoc in South Asia

Footage on television show several vehicles trapped in waist-deep water Torrential rains followed by flash floods have claimed over 220 lives across India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, officials and local media said Wednesday. The Met Office has forecast more rains in the next 24 to 48 hours as the region is under the grip of a westerly cycle of thunderstorms and gusty winds. Thunderstorms in northern, central and western Indian states late on Tuesday have killed at least 50 people, local media reported. The most affected state was Rajasthan from where 21 deaths were reported, said Ashutosh Pednekar, relief officer in the state, told Anadolu Agency.

Communication skills: Raising your words, not your voice

Communication skills: Raising your words, not your voice

Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder. - Rumi One of the most common sources of conflict among people is in the way we communicate. Oftentimes, conflicts do not arise because of the diversity of opinions and beliefs. Diversity is necessary for thought exchange and ultimate growth. The true source of conflict, rather, is in the way we express our opinions and communicate disagreement. A blaming, sometimes even aggressive tone of voice can seep into our language, which invites confrontation instead of collaboration, and conveys a closed 'my way or no way' kind of approach. Looking back on my past, I can recall myself during my childhood years, when anything felt possible. In my world, full of playfulness, creativity, and fun, things were straightforward and clear. Whenever I was hungry, I made sure my mother knew about that. When I was afraid, sad, or upset, I said so. Whenever I wanted anything, I asked for it.

BEST OF THE WEB: Massive pro-Assange protest erupts in Ecuador's capital - President Lenin quashes it with riot police

BEST OF THE WEB: Massive pro-Assange protest erupts in Ecuador's capital - President Lenin quashes it with riot police

Riot police have attacked scores of people who flooded onto the streets of Ecuador's capital and branded their president a "traitor." Protesters were venting anger at the decision to hand Julian Assange over to the UK. The massive rally in Quito was held to voice unease over the role Ecuador played in arranging for Julian Assange's arrest last week in London. The situation became more tense when police - wearing heavy riot gear - clashed with protesters, using batons to chase them down the street. A Ruptly video shows some protesters being beaten and taken to the ground amid the demonstration.

Ukrainian comedian who starred in TV show about guy who pulls off incredible election victory... is about to pull off incredible election victory!

Ukrainian comedian who starred in TV show about guy who pulls off incredible election victory... is about to pull off incredible election victory!

Latest polling in Ukraine suggests that the actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who has eschewed traditional political campaigning and given little insight into his policy positions, is set to win a crushing victory in Sunday's presidential election. Zelenskiy is known for his television series Servant of the People in which he plays a history teacher who wins a shock victory in presidential elections. He is now odds-on to pull off the feat in real life, after capitalising on widespread disappointment with the incumbent, Petro Poroshenko, who won elections in 2014 after the Maidan revolution kicked out the previous government. A poll released earlier this week gave Zelenskiy 72% of votes from those who said they were certain to vote, against 25% for Poroshenko. Other polls have also given Zelenskiy an overwhelming lead.

BEST OF THE WEB: Chief architect of Notre Dame: 'We installed new detection system in 2010, and completely rewired the cathedral, so the fire wasn't caused by electrical short-circuit'

BEST OF THE WEB: Chief architect of Notre Dame: 'We installed new detection system in 2010, and completely rewired the cathedral, so the fire wasn't caused by electrical short-circuit'

French media reports citing an interview with the former French Inspector-General for Historic Monuments Benjamin Mouton, who oversaw the installation of state-of-the-art fire prevention systems in the Notre Dame Cathedral in 2010, and who was responsible for the building from 2000 to 2013, cast doubt on today's leak to the Associated Press that the fire was likely caused by an electrical short-circuit. Benjamin Mouton was interviewed live on TV on Monday evening as the fire continued to burn the 850-year-old symbol of French culture and history. Here's what he had to say: "I don't understand this at all. The fire's spread is extremely curious. With really old oak like that, it's super-hard, so you'd need a lot of smaller wood to first get the fire hot enough for the oak beams to burn. In 2010 we replaced all the electrical wiring, so there's no way this was sparked by a short-circuit. We put new wiring in place according to modern standards. And we went even further; we installed...

World bully: US targets Cuba with more sanctions, 'to restrict tourism' - Bolton

World bully: US targets Cuba with more sanctions, 'to restrict tourism' - Bolton

The US is targeting Cuba with additional sanctions, including restricting travel to the island nation, limiting remittances, and sanctioning additional entities, White House national security adviser John Bolton said. US citizens sending remittances to Cuba will be limited t $1,000 per person per quarter, Bolton said on Wednesday. Non-family travel will be restricted to reduce "veiled tourism" that benefits the Cuban government and military, he added. "Through the Treasury Department, we will also implement changes to end the use of 'U-turn transactions,' which allow the regime to circumvent sanctions and obtain access to hard currency and the US banking system," Bolton said in a speech to veterans of the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, when CIA-backed Cuban exiles tried to overthrow Fidel Castro's revolutionary government.

Farage's Brexit Party set to storm EU elections with shock win following surge in polls

Farage's Brexit Party set to storm EU elections with shock win following surge in polls

The new Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage, is on course to cause a political earthquake at next month's EU Parliament elections, with a new survey showing his anti-EU group ahead of both Labour and the Tories. YouGov, one of Britain's main polling companies, has Farage's Brexit Party at 27 percent, five points ahead of Labour and well ahead of PM Theresa May's Conservatives at 15 percent, with just a few weeks to go until elections on May 23. The newly-formed party has surged 12 percent in less than a week, with Farage's former party, UKIP, suffering the most from the pro-Brexit group's incarnation, plunging seven percent over the same period.

HeH+: Universe's first molecule finally detected in space

HeH+: Universe's first molecule finally detected in space

Within 100,000 years of the Big Bang the very first molecule emerged, an improbable marriage of helium and hydrogen known as a helium hydride ion, or HeH+ In the beginning, more than 13 billion years ago, the Universe was an undifferentiated soup of three simple, single-atom elements. Stars would not form for another 100 million years. But within 100,000 years of the Big Bang, the very first molecule emerged, an improbable marriage of helium and hydrogen known as a helium hydride ion, or HeH+.

Husband killed, wife fighting for life after being attacked by pet deer in Victoria, Australia

Husband killed, wife fighting for life after being attacked by pet deer in Victoria, Australia

A 47-year-old man has died and his wife is fighting for life after they were attacked by their pet deer in north-east Victoria. Paul McDonald was feeding the deer at his property in Moyhu, near Wangaratta, about 8.20am today when the animal attacked. "At some point while he was in the enclosure he was attacked by the deer," Acting Senior Sargent Paul Purcell said. Mr McDonald's wife, Mandi, 45, and their son rushed to provide assistance when they heard a noises. Mandi entered the enclosure and was also attacked before the couple's son dragged her away from the family pet.

US & Israeli-made arms left by terrorists found in Syrian countryside, again

US & Israeli-made arms left by terrorists found in Syrian countryside, again

The cache is just the latest hoard of weapons and supplies found by Syrian forces as they have advanced to clear the country from a diverse assortment of terrorists seeking to overthrow the country's government to establish an Islamist caliphate. Authorities in the Daraa countryside in southern Syria have showed off a fresh cache of armaments left behind by terrorists as they fled the area, with the Syrian Arab News Agency posting photos of the massive haul, featuring a wide assortment of weapons, some of them made in the USA and Israel. The catch includes a wide variety of rifles, heavy machine guns, mortar shells and RPG rounds, grenades and an assortment of ammunition of various calibers, with walkie-talkies and field hospital equipment also in the mix. The photos show that some of the equipment is brand new in what appears to be its original packaging.

Huawei CEO: US sees 5G technology as 'strategic weaponry' like the nuclear bomb

Huawei CEO: US sees 5G technology as 'strategic weaponry' like the nuclear bomb

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei has blasted Donald Trump's fixation on 5G competition with China, likening the technology to a "nuclear bomb" for the US president. Zhengfei also promised to support a "no-spy agreement" with Germany. "Unfortunately, the US sees 5G technology as a strategic weapon," Zhengfei said in an interview with German Wirtschaftswoche and Handelsblatt newspapers. "For them it is a kind of nuclear bomb," he added.

Maxine Waters & Elijah Cummings sign secret MOUs to target Trump

Maxine Waters & Elijah Cummings sign secret MOUs to target Trump

Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Elijah Cummings and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters executed a secret Memorandum of Understanding to "target" President Trump and subpoena all his financial and banking records, according to a letter sent to Cummings from ranking committee member Rep. Jim Jordan. Further, Jordan's letter indicates that other MOUs have apparently been signed and agreed to with House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Ca, who has promised to continue investigations into the president despite findings by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office that there was no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. Attorney General William Barr released a summary of Mueller's 400 page report several weeks ago and the redacted version of the report is expected to be released by the DOJ this Thursday. On Monday, Jordan sent a memorandum explaining his objections to the partisan behavior of...

AIPAC and the US Federal Election Commission

AIPAC and the US Federal Election Commission

Reviewing AIPAC's history since its 1963 creation reveals a consistently well-organized campaign of manipulation and evasion of the US election law as one necessary ingredient to its invincible image on Capitol Hill. The American Israel Political Affairs Committee has long claimed it is not a political action committee, that they do not endorse candidates nor provide financial donations to political campaigns. As with all things involving AIPAC, there is another side to the story. As the result of a 1988 Sixty Minutes interview by Mike Wallace, it became clear that AIPAC had a long history of involvement in US electoral politics as it targeted non-AIPAC members of Congress for defeat with the use of "80 shell-front pro-Israel PACs." Unfortunately, Wallace never inquired whether AIPAC was in compliance with the Federal Election Commission laws. It comes as no surprise to know they were not and continue to resist efforts at accountability or adhering to the standard rule of...

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow confirms that 3 FISA applications were denied in 2016

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow confirms that 3 FISA applications were denied in 2016

During a rather innocuous podcast discussion panel yesterday, one of President Trump's personal lawyers Jay Sekulow mentioned the FBI had three FISA applications denied by the FISA court in 2016. [Podcast Here - Note comment at 25:05] The denials were always suspected; however, until now no-one in/around the administration has ever confirmed. Jay Sekulow did not expand on his statement and did not explain where the information was derived from; however, if accurate this may explain the backstory to why FISA Judge Rudolph Contreras was recused. This issue has been nagging many people since the recusal notation in December 2017.

French journalist: France is burning - two churches are vandalized each day & no one gives a f*ck

French journalist: France is burning - two churches are vandalized each day & no one gives a f*ck

French journalist Maxime Lepante warns that France's history is "in the process of burning down" as a result of two churches being vandalized every day and that political and religious leaders don't "give a f*ck." Lepante highlighted recently released statistics that show there were 1062 anti-Christian acts in 2018, compared to just 100 anti-Muslim acts. Throughout 2018, no less than 875 churches in France were targeted. "Two churches were vandalized per day," said Lepante, adding, "This government, this regime....including the Pope, including the cardinals, shut their mouth, say nothing when our churches are being vandalized, and in contrast, the minute there is a mosque that has a pot of pork sausage in front of it, there's immediately arrest and prison for the person who did it....apologies from the whole of France, the stigmatization of racism and so on, it's an absolutely unbearable double standard!"

The MSM's cringiest hot takes after Notre Dame fire

The MSM's cringiest hot takes after Notre Dame fire

Watching perhaps the most visceral act of live destruction on TV since 9/11, it was hard to find the right words. But that didn't stop the media reaching for the wrong ones. After all, what better time to push your political agenda? "At a moment like this, how foolish it seems to pretend that we are not all Europeans. We stand with France in its hour of heartbreak. We will never, ever, turn away," is the note on which the Guardian finished its editorial, as the fire was still rummaging inside Notre Dame Cathedral.