Daily News, via SOTT.net aggregation.

US to sign historic deal with Taliban, Trump announces, beginning end of US war in Afghanistan and withdrawal of American troops

US to sign historic deal with Taliban, Trump announces, beginning end of US war in Afghanistan and withdrawal of American troops

After a week-long deal to reduce violence across Afghanistan, the U.S. and the Taliban are set to sign a historic agreement Saturday that would see U.S. troops start to withdraw, according to a statement issued Friday afternoon by President Donald Trump. "Soon, at my direction, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will witness the signing of an agreement with representatives of the Taliban, while Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will issue a joint declaration with the government of Afghanistan. If the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan live up to these commitments, we will have a powerful path forward to end the war in Afghanistan and bring our troops home," Trump said. Pompeo is headed now to Doha, Qatar, where the U.S. and the militant group have engaged in talks for over a year and a half and the signing ceremony is expected to take place. At the same time, Esper is expected in that joint statement to reaffirm U.S. support for the Afghan government, long rejected by the Taliban...

Pentagon vows not to let Russia, China deny West's space superiority

Pentagon vows not to let Russia, China deny West's space superiority

A senior Pentagon official has warned that China and Russia are stepping up efforts to develop sophisticated space capabilities in a bid to deny the United States and its allies of their current superiority. James Anderson, performing the duties of deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, told a House of Representatives panel on February 27 that China and Russia are developing sophisticated on-orbit capabilities and an array of space weapons capable of targeting nearly every class of U.S. space assets, many of which were developed when there were few threats in space. In his written testimony to the House Armed Services Committee's strategic forces subcommittee, Anderson said the United States is responding to the threat by "transforming its space enterprise, fielding resilient architectures, developing space war-fighting expertise, and working closely with allies in combined operations." Space Force General John Raymond, chief of space operations, told lawmakers that the...

Hillary Clinton is launching a podcast and Twitter has a few suggestions: 'The Shillary Show?'

Hillary Clinton is launching a podcast and Twitter has a few suggestions: 'The Shillary Show?'

News that failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is planning to launch her very own podcast has been met with a collective eye roll and plenty of sarcasm on social media. Clinton is planning to launch the podcast in late spring, "just in time for her to have a powerful new megaphone during the 2020 election," Politico reported on Thursday. The show will be co-produced by iHeartMedia, which distributes a bevy of right-wing radio shows as well as the left-wing Joe Rogan Experience, which has endorsed Clinton's 2016 archrival Bernie Sanders for president.

Mother furious after finding out school policy forbids her daughter from saying 'no' when asked to dance

Mother furious after finding out school policy forbids her daughter from saying 'no' when asked to dance

Alicia Hobson's 11-year-old daughter, Azlyn, was counting down the days until the Valentine's Day dance at her Utah middle school. "She was so excited she could barely sleep," Hobson told TODAY Parents, noting that the sixth grader picked out her outfit a week ahead of time. "It was supposed to be the best day ever," Hobson, 37, said. But it wasn't.

How plants have been using humans

How plants have been using humans

We think we're so clever, but perhaps we underestimate plants. Edible flora have long evolved ways to move seeds away from their parents to survive and thrive - and humans are just another part of their grand plan, argues Robert Spengler from the Max Planck Institute in Germany. "Note that if the apple does not fall far from the tree, then the apple seedlings will be overshadowed by the parent tree and not survive," he says. "Therefore, the apple tree put extensive amounts of energy into producing high-sugar fruits in order to entice animals to spread the seeds." This included the earliest hominids, long before humans started consciously domesticating plants through breeding, Spengler writes in the journal Trends in Plant Science. A largely theoretical paper, it was inspired by early scholars of evolution such as Darwin and Humboldt - and many of his ideas came to fruition while sitting across from the Schiller Garden House in Jena, where Humboldt famously spend his summers...

BEST OF THE WEB: The left's insistence on pushing drag culture on children will only create resentment towards queers

BEST OF THE WEB: The left's insistence on pushing drag culture on children will only create resentment towards queers

Another day, and another piece of media is circulating the web that depicts a child in an uncomfortable situation. This time a drag queen dances suggestively for a small girl. The video, uploaded on Tiktok, opens with a scantily clad male with his rear cheeks hanging out, crawling on hands and knees towards the child sitting in a chair. Taking on the air of a scene from a strip club, patrons of the restaurant clap and cheer. He then stands up with his short shorts, leaving little to the imagination, dances a bit, and then kneels next to the girl, as he says something to her while jiggling his booty. This most recent event is yet another incident in a long list of them that have occurred throughout the past couple years. Girls at Pride events have engaged with men partaking in pup-play. A child drag queen named "Lactatia" of all things, stood for a photo op next to a naked man. Another drag kid named Desmond danced on stage in female attire as men threw money his way. A sexual...

'Kid looks traumatized': Viral TikTok video showing drag queen dancing for little girl enrages Twitter

'Kid looks traumatized': Viral TikTok video showing drag queen dancing for little girl enrages Twitter

An unsettling TikTok video, showing a drag queen dancing provocatively for a young child while adults cheer and laugh, has sparked outrage online, with many wondering how exactly the odd situation materialized. The video shows the dancer, who is wearing a tight top with hot pants and high-heels, on the floor crawling toward the girl, who appears to be about five or six years old. She then walks away and returns to the girl, shaking her hips before bending down, embracing the child and kissing her cheek. The 28-second long clip went viral on Friday, although it's unclear when or where it was recorded. A caption on the video explains that the "sweet little girl asked her mom to get a better view" of the drag queen.

SOTT FOCUS: Turkey's Eurasianist Moment: The importance of Idlib and Russia

SOTT FOCUS: Turkey's Eurasianist Moment: The importance of Idlib and Russia

Turkey and Russia have enjoyed a good relationship over the past years. The Islamist President of the Republic, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (aka the Prez), and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (aka the Czar) have enjoyed very cordial connections in that time - having spoken approximately 40 times over the phone and about 24 times face-to-face since 2016's Coup-that-was-no-Coup, according to data provided by BBC Türkçe. Gone are the days that the Republic of Turkey's internal and external affairs were encapsulated in Atatürk's famous phrase 'Peace at Home, Peace Abroad' (20 April 1931). That was then and this is now, and now is the New Turkey, a nation of believers led by an overly ambitious Tayyip Erdoğan:

Nearly 2 in 5 Americans won't buy Corona BEER over virus concerns — survey

Nearly 2 in 5 Americans won't buy Corona BEER over virus concerns — survey

Americans are ditching Corona beer in droves over concerns about the coronavirus epidemic, according to a pair of surveys, with as many as 38 percent of beer-drinkers supposedly forgoing the beverage in misguided germaphobia. Eyes rolled and jaws hit the floor across America on Friday as social media users chanced upon an irresistible CNN headline "revealing" over a third of Americans "would not buy Corona under any circumstances now." Had nearly two in five US residents really sworn off the popular beer brand out of fear of succumbing to the much-hyped epidemic?! The press release heralding the survey results merited a closer look, though the 38 percent number was — technically — true. 5W Public Relations found only 4 percent of habitual Corona drinkers were willing to put down their favorite beverage because of the virus, while an eyebrow-raising 14 percent would cease ordering it in public, perhaps concerned the next guy at the bar would think they were one of the infected. Some...

'Defund racist border wall!' Warren's 'solution' to coronavirus crisis causes mass eye-rolling on Twitter

'Defund racist border wall!' Warren's 'solution' to coronavirus crisis causes mass eye-rolling on Twitter

Senator Elizabeth Warren announced a bill that would use funding for President Donald Trump's "racist border wall" to combat the coronavirus outbreak - a plan that is earning plenty of eye rolls on social media. Warren is not letting the coronavirus crisis go to waste. The Massachusetts senator tweeted on Thursday a bill that would move funding from construction of the southern border wall in the US to the Department of Health and Human Services and US Aid to fight the disease. The senator warned that the virus poses a "serious health, diplomatic and economic threat." Her bill would remove "all funding" from Trump's "racist border wall" to "combat" the disease.

Israeli helicopters strike targets near Golan, injuring at least 3 Syrian troops

Israeli helicopters strike targets near Golan, injuring at least 3 Syrian troops

Israeli helicopters have struck Syrian Army positions in the Golan Heights, leaving at least three wounded, Syrian state media reported. The rocket attacks follow earlier reports of an Israeli drone strike in the same region. The rockets struck army positions in Quneitra early on Friday morning local time, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA). Early reports suggest the attack targeted the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, which works in tandem with the Syrian Army. An Israeli drone strike late on Thursday, near the village of Hader, reportedly killed one civilian, according to local news agencies. Quneitra Governor Humam Dibyat identified the casualty as a police officer.

'Aggressive designs': Pakistan blasts India's $3bn arms deal with Washington for 'destabilizing already volatile region'

'Aggressive designs': Pakistan blasts India's $3bn arms deal with Washington for 'destabilizing already volatile region'

Islamabad has voiced concern over a recent multi-billion dollar weapons deal signed between Washington and New Delhi, insisting its nuclear-armed rival is upsetting stability in southern Asia. On the heels of the $3 billion exchange inked last week - which will see India purchase 24 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters from US arms giant Lockheed Martin - Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said the move was alarming and revealed New Delhi's hostile intent toward Islamabad. "Pakistan has concerns regarding defense deals with India, particularly the sale of sophisticated weapon systems to India which we believe would further destabilize an already volatile region," Farooqui told reporters on Thursday, adding that Pakistan takes "the rhetoric and threatening language" of Indian leaders "very seriously."

NY Post reporter mocks veteran Indian journalist at Trump media briefing, Twitteratti furious

NY Post reporter mocks veteran Indian journalist at Trump media briefing, Twitteratti furious

A journalist for the New York Post has invoked the ire of Twitter after video footage went viral, in which she appears to mock an Indian reporter addressing US President Donald Trump at a formal event. Journalist Ebony Bowden pulled faces, furrowed her brow in disbelief and rolled her eyes, before asking a colleague "Who is this guy?" during a press briefing at the White House earlier this week. "This guy" was none other than Raghubir Goyal, editor of the India Globe and a White House reporter since the Carter administration. Goyal had asked Trump about India-US relations following his first visit to the country, but Bowden's playacting in the background of the feed is what grabbed many people's attention, leading some to claim she had "not a drop of self awareness."

WHO bumps coronavirus threat assessment to 'very high' global risk - and other recent developments

WHO bumps coronavirus threat assessment to 'very high' global risk - and other recent developments

World Health Organization (WHO) is now worsening its risk assessment of the coronavirus to a "very high" on the global level. The virus has already spread to at least 48 countries besides its hotbed, China. "We have now increased our assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact of COVID-19 to very high at global level," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told media at the agency's headquarters in Geneva. As of Friday, 4,351 cases, including 67 deaths, have been registered across 48 countries outside of China. While several nations are experiencing "linked epidemics of COVID-19," the majority of the coronavirus cases "can still be traced to known contacts or clusters of cases." "Since yesterday, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Netherlands and Nigeria have all reported their first cases. All these cases have links to Italy," Ghebreyesus said.

Pompeo dangles empty gesture of 'help' to Iran, despite years of sanctions

Pompeo dangles empty gesture of 'help' to Iran, despite years of sanctions

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has criticized Iran's healthcare infrastructure while offering empty gestures of help, adding insult to injury after years of devastating sanctions have deprived the nation of lifesaving supplies. Pompeo's dismissive take on Iran's struggle with the coronavirus epidemic verged on scornful, managing to gloss over the US' role in creating the supply and drug shortages exacerbating the outbreak, and to slam Tehran for not sharing "enough" information in just a few short sentences during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Friday. Pressed by Democratic congressman David Cicilline (Rhode Island) to explain precisely how Washington was putting aside its "maximum pressure" economic offensive against Iran to help fight an epidemic that doesn't respect geopolitical alliances, the diplomat chose his words carefully. He stated only that the US has "made offers to the Islamic Republic of Iran to help" with medical relief. Their healthcare...

Craig Murray: Your man in the public gallery - The Assange Hearing Day 3 and 4

Craig Murray: Your man in the public gallery - The Assange Hearing Day 3 and 4

In yesterday's proceedings in court, the prosecution adopted arguments so stark and apparently unreasonable I have been fretting on how to write them up in a way that does not seem like caricature or unfair exaggeration on my part. What has been happening in this court has long moved beyond caricature. All I can do is give you my personal assurance that what I recount actually is what happened. As usual, I shall deal with procedural matters and Julian's treatment first, before getting in to a clear account of the legal arguments made. Vanessa Baraitser is under a clear instruction to mimic concern by asking, near the end of every session just before we break anyway, if Julian is feeling well and whether he would like a break. She then routinely ignores his response. Yesterday he replied at some length he could not hear properly in his glass box and could not communicate with his lawyers (at some point yesterday they had started preventing him passing notes to his counsel, which I...

US lists leader of Iraqi militia as 'global terrorist'

US lists leader of Iraqi militia as 'global terrorist'

The United States has declared the leader of the Iran-backed Kataib Hizbullah (KH) militant group in Iraq a terrorist following a number of recent rocket attacks on bases hosting U.S. and other foreign troops in Iraq. A State Department official on February 26 said the United States had listed Ahmad al-Hamidawi, head of the armed faction of the group, as a "specially designated global terrorist." The action will freeze U.S. assets that he might hold and make any transactions with him a crime. Kataib Hizbullah wasdeclared a terrorist group in 2009. "Today we are intensifying our pressure on this terrorist group," Nathan Sales, the State Department counterterrorism chief, told a news conference.

Physicists accidentally discover new way to manipulate electric charge, promising monumental changes in technology

Physicists accidentally discover new way to manipulate electric charge, promising monumental changes in technology

American physicists believe that they have discovered a strange state of matter entirely new to science - and they did it all completely by accident. Famously, many of the greatest scientific discoveries have been accidental. Alexander Fleming let bread go moldy and discovered penicillin. Archimedes splashing about in the bath stumbled upon how to measure the volume of a solid. It's perhaps an indictment of the modern world's overly-regimented and bureaucratic scientific community that such unintentional breakthroughs never seem to happen anymore. Western university-industrial complexes are burdened with never-ending paperwork, and huge resources devoted to ethical and health and safety requirements. These modern innovations have their benefits, of course, but they do have a major downside, in that they completely smother the more spontaneous side of the scientific method. But now, a team of scientists at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, have made an exciting and...

"Mumbo Jumbo": Bojo dismisses UK's farmer's fears that food standards set to be lowered

"Mumbo Jumbo": Bojo dismisses UK's farmer's fears that food standards set to be lowered

Britain's farmers have taken a swipe at Boris Johnson, warning that slashing standards would be "the work of the insane", after the prime minister attacked resistance to US food as "mumbo jumbo". The president of the National Farmers' Union insisted that nothing is more important than what people will eat after Brexit. "This is not hysteria. This is not mumbo jumbo," she said. The comments are a direct response to the prime minister championing US food in a speech earlier this month, when he insisted "pretty well-nourished" Americans disproved "hysterical fears". And they come after George Eustice, the environment secretary, hinted that acid-washed chicken - if not chlorine-washed - would be allowed on sale in the UK after its departure from the EU. Comment: Nourished with chemically treated chicken, irradiated produce, GMOs and lashings of glyphosate? World's life expectancy ranking: US set to plunge to 64th by 2040

Assange defense team's chambers' connection to conman William Browder is cause for concern

Assange defense team's chambers' connection to conman William Browder is cause for concern

Edward Fitzgerald, QC, is on the defense team at the Julian Assange extradition hearings. He is co-head of London's Doughty Street Chambers and head of its Extradition section. Seems appropriate. I wrote in November of my concern that several people connected to chambers with members working for Assange were also working for Assange's persecutor, the U.S. government. And that several were public supporters of a key U.S. asset in the promotion of Russiagate and Russophobia, the conman and fraudster William Browder. I was lectured by social media posters on the fact that chambers are not law firms with direct involvement in cases, but rather like taxi dispatchers, matching lawyers with clients who call for services. Now consider this Doughty Street publication from 2015. Fitzgerald's name is at the top. He writes, "Dear Colleague, Welcome to the first edition of the Doughty Street Chambers Extradition Bulletin." He explains this will provide useful information to British lawyers. So,...

Assange extradition fight ropes in Trump's new intel chief Richard Grenell

Assange extradition fight ropes in Trump's new intel chief Richard Grenell

Attorneys for Julian Assange, who is fighting a U.S. extradition request on espionage and computer hacking charges, plan to introduce evidence in the WikiLeaks founder's extradition hearing involving President Donald Trump's new intel chief Richard Grenell. Gareth Peirce, a lawyer representing Assange in his extradition proceedings in London, plans to argue this week that the process to try to extradite her client was abused from early on. Representatives for Assange's defense team say they expect to introduce recordings and screenshots of communications of a close Grenell associate, including a secondhand claim that Grenell was acting on the president's orders. Grenell's sudden embroilment in Assange's extradition fight comes at an inconvenient time, as Democrats and national security veterans criticize him as ill-suited and unqualified to be the acting director of national intelligence. And it threatens to spotlight his close relationship with President Trump, feeding the...

Mali & France square off after French 'anti-terrorist' troops accused of rowdy behavior

Mali & France square off after French 'anti-terrorist' troops accused of rowdy behavior

A Malian envoy to France has accused French troops that form part of a counterterrorism force in the country of rowdy behavior in its capital city. Paris has dismissed the allegations as "not only false, but unacceptable." The rebuff was issued by Defense Minister Florence Parly's office on Thursday. Branding remarks by Malian Ambassador Toumani Djime Diallo as "indecent," it argued that the French troops are risking their lives to protect the West African country from terrorism. "Rather than channeling and spreading false accusations, we expect the ambassador of Mali to devote all his energy to... achieving success for everyone," the statement read, as cited by AFP. The allegations concerning bad behavior by French troops - those attached to its fabled Foreign Legion in particular - were made by Diallo on Wednesday. Speaking during a public hearing alongside his colleagues from Niger, Mauritania, Chad and Burkina Faso, the diplomat claimed that some soldiers of the elite military...

Congressman threatens Don Jr. with 'serious altercation' over claim Dems 'HOPE' people get coronavirus & die so as to derail Trump

Congressman threatens Don Jr. with 'serious altercation' over claim Dems 'HOPE' people get coronavirus & die so as to derail Trump

Democratic Rep. John Garamendi had some harsh words for Donald Trump Jr. after the president's son said Dems "seemingly hope" the coronavirus comes to the US and "kills millions." The coronavirus is not only a pandemic, it's also now a political tool for Republicans and Democrats to lob across the aisle at each other. California Congressman Garamendi perhaps went further than any politician has so far when he spoke about the disease and the political response to it in the US while appearing on MSNBC on Friday. Garamendi was particularly upset with Donald Trump Jr. over an earlier statement the president's son made about Democrats seeming to want people in the US to get sick so President Donald Trump looks bad. "He shouldn't be near me when he says that," Garamendi said of Trump Jr. "There would be a serious altercation."

'War of nerves': Turkey goes 'all-in' to stop Syrian advance in Idlib - releases the refugee Kraken

'War of nerves': Turkey goes 'all-in' to stop Syrian advance in Idlib - releases the refugee Kraken

Tensions in Syria's Idlib province show no signs of abating, with the Syrian Army pressing the offensive against militants while Turkey still seems to be hell-bent on stopping it. Will the situation boil over into open war? Recent days have seen another spiral of tensions between Ankara and Damascus over the troubled northwestern Syrian province of Idlib - the last major stronghold of extremists and militants. At least 22 Turkish soldiers deployed to Idlib were killed in an airstrike launched by the Syrian Air Force on Thursday, according to Ankara. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier issued an ultimatum to the Syrian Army, demanding it retreats from Turkish observation posts in Idlib by Sunday. A spokesman for his AK Party said that the Turkish Army is ready to step in as soon as the deadline set by Ankara expires. But the Syrian Armed Forces, which are still engaged in fierce clashes with militants that include an Al-Qaeda affiliate, clearly have no intention of pulling...

Milwaukee Miller brewery shooting: Six Molson Coors workers, including shooter, dead in rampage - UPDATE

Milwaukee Miller brewery shooting: Six Molson Coors workers, including shooter, dead in rampage - UPDATE

In one of the worst shootings in Wisconsin history, a gunman killed five people — and then himself — during a rampage Wednesday afternoon on the Milwaukee campus of Molson Coors. The shooter was identified as a 51-year-old man who worked for the company, the home of Miller Brewery for more than a century. All of the shooting victims died. There were no reports of injuries. The identities of the victims and the shooter were not released Wednesday. Police did say, however, that the victims' families have been notified. Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said at an early evening news conference that police were checking on the whereabouts of more than 1,000 employees. "We have to check off employees one by one," he said. By 9:30 p.m., that had been done and all employees at the brewery had been allowed to go home, Morales said at a news conference. "Milwaukee is grieving today," said the police chief. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett noted at the late evening news conference that the...

Threat of Russia-Turkey-NATO war over Idlib? A US foreign policy godsend

Threat of Russia-Turkey-NATO war over Idlib? A US foreign policy godsend

Turkey is calling for NATO's protection after 33 of its soldiers were killed in an apparent Syrian airstrike in Idlib, allegedly while fighting in terrorist ranks. In the regional chaos that ensues, only one player stands to gain. Speculation over what's to come next has seen #article 5 trending on Twitter in the hours following the attacks, after Omer Celik, spokesman for Turkey's ruling AKP party, indicated to reporters in Ankara that he was looking at requesting formal NATO protection against Damascus and, by proxy, the Russian air force. "We call on NATO to [start] consultations. This is not [an attack] on Turkey only, it is an attack on the international community. A common reaction is needed. The attack was also against NATO," Celik told Turkish media. Article 5 of the NATO treaty says an attack on one member is an attack on them all. The US State Department also condemned the attack, stating that it stands by its "NATO ally Turkey." It further stated that it continues to...

Gabbard: Candidates for president must condemn election interferences by US intel agencies

Gabbard: Candidates for president must condemn election interferences by US intel agencies

Reckless claims by anonymous intelligence officials that Russia is "helping" Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are deeply irresponsible. So was former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's calculated decision Tuesday to repeat this unsubstantiated accusation on the debate stage in South Carolina. Enough is enough. I am calling on all presidential candidates to stop playing these dangerous political games and immediately condemn any interference in our elections by out-of-control intelligence agencies. A "news article" published last week in the Washington Post, which set off yet another manufactured media firestorm, alleges that the goal of Russia is to trick people into criticizing establishment Democrats. This is a laughably obvious ploy to stifle legitimate criticism and cast aspersions on Americans who are rightly skeptical of the powerful forces exerting control over the primary election process. We are told the aim of Russia is to "sow division," but the aim of corporate media and...

Trump campaign is suing New York Times for libel regarding Russia story

Trump campaign is suing New York Times for libel regarding Russia story

U.S. President Donald Trump's reelection campaign has filed a libel lawsuit against The New York Times (NYT), accusing it of falsely asserting a trade-off between Russian officials and the president's 2016 campaign. The lawsuit was filed on February 26 with the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, the state's trial-level court, and is the first time Trump's political operation has taken legal action against a U.S. news outlet since he took office. Specifically, the litigation concerns an opinion piece published in March 2019 and written by Max Frankel, the newspaper's executive editor from 1986 to 1994. It was headlined "The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo" with a subhead adding, "The campaign and the Kremlin had an overarching deal: help beat Hillary Clinton for a new pro-Russian foreign policy." Quid pro quo is a Latin term meaning a favor in exchange for a favor. The lawsuit argues that this assertion "is false" and that the NYT published the essay "knowing it would...

Turkey can't contain Europe-bound Syrian refugees: 'No longer in position to hold them'

Turkey can't contain Europe-bound Syrian refugees: 'No longer in position to hold them'

Turkey is no longer able to contain millions of displaced Syrians and has reached "full capacity," Ankara's ruling AK party said in a fresh threat to open the floodgates into Europe as tensions over Idlib reach boiling point. With Ankara vowing to go "all in" to halt a Syrian Army offensive to retake Idlib province from rebel militias, AKP spokesman Omer Celik suggested Turkey would soon allow hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees to pour into Europe, a threat repeatedly made by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the past. "Turkey can not bear the pressure of the new refugees, we now say that Turkey is at full capacity," Celik told CNNTurk early on Friday. While the spokesman noted Turkey's refugee policy remains "the same," he said "We are no longer in a position to hold refugees" amid an expected influx of newly displaced Syrians. An earlier report at Reuters cited an unnamed Turkish official who said much the same, although the official went further in stating that police,...

Israel builds new Jews-only bypass road on more stolen Palestinian land

Israel builds new Jews-only bypass road on more stolen Palestinian land

Israel is building yet another bypass road for use by Jewish settlers only and, yet again, it is stealing Palestinian land to do so. The land in question is in Huwwara, to the south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank. The 7-kilometre road will start from the village of Zaatara and pass through land owned by Palestinians in Huwwara, Beita and Odala. Until now, the access route in the area has been shared by Palestinians and Jewish settlers — whose presence is illegal under international law — who often use it to raid and terrorise the residents of the local villages. Since the Israeli government decided to build the road last April, it has led to the seizure of more than 40 hectares of land from the surrounding Palestinian villages. According to Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of the settlements file in the northern West Bank, Israeli bulldozers have been razing everything on the land near a military checkpoint outside Huwwara. The plans for the bypass of the...

Massive fire erupts near Paris train station Gare de Lyon; protesters at nearby Congolese concert suspected

Massive fire erupts near Paris train station Gare de Lyon; protesters at nearby Congolese concert suspected

A major fire has broken out in the vicinity of the iconic Paris train station, Gare de Lyon. The blaze prompted the evacuation of the station, while the public is advised to avoid the area. The fire erupted near the station late on Friday. Footage from the scene shows open flames in the street outside the landmark, as well as a large plume of black smoke billowing over the area.

B'Tselem reports at least 19 Palestinians have lost an eye from Israeli fire during Gaza protests

B'Tselem reports at least 19 Palestinians have lost an eye from Israeli fire during Gaza protests

Since the Great March of Return began in Gaza two years ago, an estimated 19 Palestinians have lost an eye as a result of Israeli fire, Israeli human rights group B'Tselem said in a new report this week. B'Tselem collected testimony from three Palestinians who were injured in their eyes during the Great March of Return in order to highlight Israel's use of "crowd control" measures as lethal weapons. The report details the cases of a 20-year-old young woman named Mai Abu Rawida, 10-year-old boy Muhammad Abu Raidah, and 28-year-old Saed Mahani, who all lost one of their eyes after being shot by Israeli forces in the face with "crowd dispersal" measures.

Brazen unmasked thieves nonchalantly raid London electronic store in broad daylight

Brazen unmasked thieves nonchalantly raid London electronic store in broad daylight

This is the shocking moment a group of brazen thugs rip thousands of pounds of electrical equipment from displays at a Currys PC World store. A member of the public recorded them walking into the Orpington, Greater London, branch on Wednesday and taking tablets, mobile phones and laptops. The men, who appear to be in their late teens or early 20s, are seen ripping products from the stands, with one shouting he will kill anyone who tries to stop them. Comment: It's worth noting that he doesn't have an English accent. During the incident members of staff can be seen standing close to the group but unable to stop them walking out with the gadgets.

Former housekeeper sues Israeli PM's wife for abuse as fresh scandal hits Netanyahu's family

Former housekeeper sues Israeli PM's wife for abuse as fresh scandal hits Netanyahu's family

Wife of Israeli Prime Minister, Sara Netanyahu, is facing charges over allegedly causing "pain and suffering" to an unnamed former housekeeper at the Netanyahus' official residence, her attorney Opheer Shimson has announced. According to the housekeeper, cited by the attorney, she worked between June and November 2019. She had to quit her job due to not only sustaining continuing verbal abuse from Netanyahu's wife but also due to sustaining physical injuries after a fall allegedly caused by her "tyrannical demands". "She adored the prime minister and saw her work at his home as a form of national service. But she's been traumatized by her experience. Everyone knew what was going on there, and no one can say otherwise", the attorney stated. Shimson also said that the former housekeeper kept a record of Sara Netanyahu's berating comments in her diary, which will serve as evidence in the case under which the accuser demands $190,000 in damages. The woman's attorney read out some of...

#BlackBookBloomberg:Twitter & Bloomberg campaign accused of censoring tweets with Epstein docs, fueling claims billionaire linked to dead pedophile

#BlackBookBloomberg:Twitter & Bloomberg campaign accused of censoring tweets with Epstein docs, fueling claims billionaire linked to dead pedophile

Apparent efforts to quash discussion of the documented relationship between billionaire Democratic candidate Mike Bloomberg and billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein have only added more fuel to the fire on social media. The link in itself is nothing new, as photos of Bloomberg with Epstein's alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell have been circulating for months. There have also been calls for Democratic primary debate moderators to ask the former New York mayor about his relationship with the deceased pedophile. But several Twitter users are now claiming their accounts were locked when they posted screenshots of Epstein's "little black book" showing a listing for "Bloomberg Mike" just beneath neocon UK ex-PM Tony Blair. "I apologize for doxxing Jeffrey Epstein and his pedophile friends," one of the affected users sarcastically tweeted after he was allowed back onto the platform. Word got around that "Bloomberg or his campaign is apparently now reporting people for bringing up the...

Mad 'sultan' Erdogan now claims Syria's Idlib province as Turkish territory

Mad 'sultan' Erdogan now claims Syria's Idlib province as Turkish territory

On February 26th, Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's President, told his Islamist political party that Idlib, which is the most heavily jihadist of all of Syria's provinces and the province where Syria had been sending jihadists who had been defeated but not killed by the Syrian army elsewhere in the Syrian war, is now permanently under Turkey's protection, and belongs to Turkey — Turkish territory. Russia's RT news headlined on the 26th, "'We're the hosts there': Erdogan says Turkey won't pull back from Syria's sovereign territory, gives Assad ultimatum to retreat", and reported that, The Turkish leader has ruled out withdrawal from Idlib, where his forces are backing militants fighting the Syrian Army. He also gave Damascus an ultimatum to retreat beyond Turkey's observation posts placed on Syrian soil. "We will not step back in Idlib. We are not the guests in this realm, we are the hosts," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a meeting of his AK party on Wednesday. Vowing to bring "the regime's...

The boss who put everyone on 70K, five years on

The boss who put everyone on 70K, five years on

In 2015, the boss of a card payments company in Seattle introduced a $70,000 minimum salary for all of his 120 staff - and personally took a pay cut of $1m. Five years later he's still on the minimum salary, and says the gamble has paid off. Dan Price was hiking with his friend Valerie in the Cascade mountains that loom majestically over Seattle, when he had an uncomfortable revelation. As they walked, she told him that her life was in chaos, that her landlord had put her monthly rent up by $200 and she was struggling to pay her bills. It made Price angry. Valerie, who he had once dated, had served for 11 years in the military, doing two tours in Iraq, and was now working 50 hours a week in two jobs to make ends meet.

Terrorist documents found by Sputnik in liberated northern Syria shed light on reign of terror exacted on locals

Terrorist documents found by Sputnik in liberated northern Syria shed light on reign of terror exacted on locals

Deals between terrorist groups, salary slips for radical fighters, the arrest records of a mock justice system are some of the many documents found by a Sputnik correspondent while exploring areas in northern Syria that were recently liberated from terrorist rule. The documents seemingly left behind after a hurried exit during the approach of government forces, shed light on the reign of terror exacted on the local civilian population. Blood Contracts A contractual agreement found in a makeshift prison -a former shopping mall - in the town of Hraytan just north of Aleppo, dictated an agreement whereby a local subsidiary of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham* terrorist organisation, Fursan al-Khilafah, was to buy the war services of another, smaller group which calls itself Kitabat Ansar. The document stipulated that the latter would be paid a wage and receive a share of the loot. Fursan al-Khalifah also promised to treat Kitabat Ansar's injured and pay compensation for those who would be killed.

BEST OF THE WEB: Asteroid invasion: Since three years ago, Earth has had an additional moon! - UPDATE

BEST OF THE WEB: Asteroid invasion: Since three years ago, Earth has had an additional moon! - UPDATE

In the skies above Earth, astronomers with the Catalina Sky Survey have spotted what might be a new friend: an asteroid temporarily captured by our planet's gravity, what we call a minimoon. Comment: Perhaps not temporarily! We may be watching history in the making. It's named 2020 CD3, a small chunk of likely carbonaceous rock between 1.9 and 3.5 metres (6.2 and 11.5 feet) in diameter. And here's the kicker - the rock's trajectory indicates it's been in orbit for around three years already. The near-Earth neighbourhood is a relatively busy place, with boatloads of asteroids zipping past. The precise numbers, however, are unclear; estimates put the number at millions, but as of February 25, the number discovered was only 22,211. Comment: Indeed, and it's an increasingly busy place. That's because asteroids are really small, we don't know where they are (so we don't know where to look), and they typically don't give off a lot of light, even when they're reflecting sunlight. Comment:...

Heavy snowfall in the Alps - up to a meter in 48 hours

Heavy snowfall in the Alps - up to a meter in 48 hours

A major snowstorm is currently underway in the Alps. Snowfall is widespread across the region but so far heaviest in the north and west. The snow is still falling and new stats are arriving every few moments but so far amongst the biggest accumulations have been reported in France and Switzerland. Crans Montana has reported the most snow - a metre in the past 48 hours, but it looks like more resorts will pass the metre mark by the weekend. Quite harsh winter conditions on Axalp, Switzerland yesterday (1500m asl), as the cold front passed over the Alps.Thanks to Rene Cattin for the report. Posted with permission. pic.twitter.com/05cp6xEqLl — severe-weather.EU (@severeweatherEU) February 28, 2020

Spectacular daytime meteor fireball explodes over Croatia and Slovenia - Shockwave sets off earthquake detectors

Spectacular daytime meteor fireball explodes over Croatia and Slovenia - Shockwave sets off earthquake detectors

A spectacular meteor fireball exploded over Croatia and Slovenia in the northern Balkans today at 10:34 local time (09:34 UTC), Feb 28th. There are numerous reports of a loud sonic boom with the accompanying shockwave which was strong enough to show up on seismographs as an earthquake. The Dubrovnik Times reports that in Zagreb, there was a strong rumble and tremors. A tremor was felt throughout the city, so at first everybody thought that it was an earthquake.

Netanyahu calls for annexing Jordan Valley and Jewish West Bank settlements one week before elections

Netanyahu calls for annexing Jordan Valley and Jewish West Bank settlements one week before elections

Just one week before elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced his approval of 3,500 new illegal settler homes in the highly contested 'E1' area of the central occupied West Bank. "I have given instructions to immediately publish for deposit the plan to build 3,500 housing units in E-1," Netanyahu said in a speech on Tuesday, adding that the plans "had been delayed for six or seven years." Israel's plans for the E1 corridor, which has been in the works since 1995, has been consistently delayed due to pressure from the international community, including the EU and former US administration.

33 Turkish soldiers killed in Idlib airstrike as Erdogan chairs emergency meeting with US & NATO on Syria

33 Turkish soldiers killed in Idlib airstrike as Erdogan chairs emergency meeting with US & NATO on Syria

At least 33 Turkish servicemen have been killed in an airstrike in Syria's Idlib province, while an unspecified number of soldiers were injured. Turkish officials attributed the strike to the Syrian military. "In Idlib, Turkey's armed forces were targeted by the regime elements in an airstrike," Hatay province Governor Rahmi Dogan told the media late on Thursday. While he originally said that nine soldiers had been killed, minutes later the death toll was revised to 33, the Turkish Anadolu Agency (AA) reported, citing the governor. More Turkish servicemen have been injured in the airstrike, but their number is so far unclear. Dogan's statement comes amid a high-level Turkish security meeting, reportedly chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and presumably focused on the incident.

Marine commandant banishes Confederate symbols from all Corps installations

Marine commandant banishes Confederate symbols from all Corps installations

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger has ordered all Confederate-related paraphernalia to be removed from Marine Corps installations, his spokesman confirmed on Wednesday. A document showing the commandant's decision appeared online on Wednesday, though it did not say when all of the Confederate-related paraphernalia needed to be removed by. Berger's spokesman confirmed to Task & Purpose that the commandant had sent a directive to his senior staff ordering all installations to get rid of symbols of the Confederate States of America.

BEST OF THE WEB: Israel bombs Syria: how long can this go on?

BEST OF THE WEB: Israel bombs Syria: how long can this go on?

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russia believe the war on terror has priority over and above any Israeli provocations. Syria and Russia are of necessity avoiding a 'battle between wars', a term used by Israel to sneak in and hit-and-run an enemy target not sufficiently important to trigger an all-out war. Eliminating jihadists on the Aleppo-Idlib front is far more critical to Syria than responding to Israeli attacks on the Syrian army's military capability and its destruction of military warehouses. Israel's military command understands Syria's priorities and is taking advantage of the situation. It has carried out hundreds of attacks in Syria on various targets in different Syrian cities, without changing the balance of forces and capabilities. But stopping Israel's arrogant violations of Syrian sovereignty will become an easy task when Damascus is ready to direct its guns towards Israel. In fact, despite over 400 Israeli attacks on Syria since the beginning of the war in...

Yes, we have no bananas: Canary Islands banana plantations heavily damaged by windstorm

Yes, we have no bananas: Canary Islands banana plantations heavily damaged by windstorm

The windstorm of February 22 and 23 has caused severe damage to banana plantations in the islands of Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera, Gran Canaria and, to a lesser extent, El Hierro. It is estimated that about 8,000 plots have been affected by this storm. The north of Tenerife, especially the plantations located in Puerto de la Cruz, is among the most affected areas, with up to 80% of the plants on the ground, and severe damages to those that are still standing. The municipalities of Guía de Isora and Adeje have also been affected by this storm. In this area, where around 90% of this season's fruit had already been harvested, the prospect is that the consequences of the damage will actually be felt in the next season.

Chinese scientists desperately researching coronavirus discover that it shares human cell binding site with HIV, Ebola

Chinese scientists desperately researching coronavirus discover that it shares human cell binding site with HIV, Ebola

Chinese scientists have reported that the coronavirus ripping through populations worldwide is much more likely than its close cousin Sars to bind to human cells, as it contains unexpected genes which link it to HIV and Ebola. The research comes from Nankai University in the north Chinese city of Tianjin. Published on February 14, it has already become one of the most viewed papers on the platform, indicating the massive interest both in China and abroad for the latest findings on the virus. It is well-known by now that 2019-nCoV shares over 80 percent of its DNA with Sars virus, making the cause of the 2002/3 outbreak in Southeast Asia its closest genetic relative. Sars invaded the human body by binding to a receptor protein, called ACE2, on the membranes of cells. But this was ultimately the downfall of that virus — ACE2 is rare in the cells of healthy people, which limited the spread of Sars significantly, resulting in it burning itself out by 2004. In the end, only about 8,000...

'Epstein didn't kill himself' float rolls through a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans

'Epstein didn't kill himself' float rolls through a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans

A disturbing float with a Hillary Clinton dummy strangling a Jeffrey Epstein figure rolled through a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans last week. In a video, shared on Twitter by Paul Blair, the brightly-colored float is seen being pulled by a John Deere tractor. At the front of the float, the Clinton dummy is seen with its hands around the neck of a dummy that appears to be Epstein dressed in an orange prison uniform. The first sign on the tractor appeared to say: 'If ever I cease to live.'

The Waco siege: What happened when the Feds laid siege to the Branch Davidian compound

The Waco siege: What happened when the Feds laid siege to the Branch Davidian compound

The siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, is an important event in American history because it directly led to one of the biggest terrorist attacks on American soil - the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building. It's not necessary to defend this act of terrorism to understand why the entire freedom movement of the time was so incensed by it. Indeed, it stood as a symbol of federal overreach and the corruption of the Clinton Administration. It's important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the siege of Waco, just as it is important to do so with the siege of Ruby Ridge or the attack on the American consolate in Benghazi. With every event, it is important to stick to the facts and what can be extrapolated from them to make the strongest argument about what went wrong and why, and what could be done differently in the future. Background: Who Are the Branch Davidians? The Branch Davidians were a tiny offshoot of mainstream Seventh-Day Adventism. This...

Believing misconceptions and misinformation surrounding energy solutions could be rather costly

Believing misconceptions and misinformation surrounding energy solutions could be rather costly

Environmentally-friendly solutions are a dime a dozen. But if you look closely, you'll find that some claims are misleading at best, and at worst, simply wrong. Conversely, there are solutions that sound harmful to the environment but are actually viable, clean energy alternatives. Common misconceptions for both categories can prove costly in more ways than one. And two rather popular misconceptions concern electric vehicles and nuclear energy. It's common to hear that electric vehicles are "zero-emissions vehicles," meaning they emit no greenhouse gases while a user drives them. While technically true, this is far from the whole picture, because what also matters is the lifetime environmental impact of an electric vehicle.