Daily News, via SOTT.net aggregation.

11 alleged members of Gambino crime family arrested in mob bust

11 alleged members of Gambino crime family arrested in mob bust

Eleven alleged members of the Gambino organized crime family were locked up Thursday on federal charges including threatening people who owed them money, telling one in a conversation captured by wiretap to pay $100,000 or else lose his teeth. Court papers cite other recordings giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the internal fallout from the slaying of a Gambino leader, Franesco "Franky Boy" Cali, earlier this year outside his Staten Island home. Federal authorities said the racketeering case against the legendary crime family once run by notorious mob boss John Gotti shows loansharking, obstruction of justice, bribery and other crimes are still business as usual. Some defendants have already gone "to prison, were released and allegedly went right back to breaking the law," said William Sweeney, head of the FBI's New York office.

Putin: Russia won't stop gas transit through Ukraine when Nord Stream 2 becomes operational

Putin: Russia won't stop gas transit through Ukraine when Nord Stream 2 becomes operational

Commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is a commercial project, does not mean that Russia will abandon gas transit through Ukraine, said Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday. While meeting with German business executives in Sochi, he said: "The pipe laying of the Nord Stream 2 is close to completion now; its commissioning will make it possible to double Russian gas supplies over the Baltic route." He added: "This will be an extra contribution to satisfying the demand in Germany and other countries." The Russian president added that Nord Stream 2 "is a purely commercial project" and the government is not participating in it.

Social rot: 20 yr-old woman with 4 exclusive lovers to have a baby 'raised' by all

Social rot: 20 yr-old woman with 4 exclusive lovers to have a baby 'raised' by all

Tory Ojeda, 20, from Jacksonville, Florida, lives with three of her four partnersMet Marc, 18, at school and started relationship with Travis, 23, two months laterAlso found love with their long-term friends Ethan, 22, and Christopher, 22 Tory and Chris found out that they were pregnant in May, while she got engaged to Travis in JulyA polyamorous woman has fallen pregnant by one of her four partners after they went away together - but says they will raise the baby as a 'family'. Tory Ojeda, 20, from Jacksonville, Florida, met one of her partners Marc, 18, in high school and then started a relationship with Travis, 23, two months later. Their love story began three years ago and she has since announced her engagement to Travis in July. She also found love with their long-term mutual friends Ethan, 22, and Christopher, 22. While seven months ago, Tory and Chris found out that they were pregnant with a baby girl.

FLASHBACK: Vaccine boom, population bust: Study queries the link between HPV vaccine and soaring infertility

FLASHBACK: Vaccine boom, population bust: Study queries the link between HPV vaccine and soaring infertility

A plague is spreading silently across the globe. The young generation in America, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, Australia — in virtually every western country — is afflicted by rapidly increasing rates of infertility. This spring, the United States reported its lowest birth rate in 30 years, despite an economic boom. Finland's birth rate plummeted to a low not seen in 150 years. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently introduced a string of reforms aimed at stemming the country's "deep demographic declines." The government of Denmark introduced an ad campaign to encourage couples to "Do it for Denmark" and conceive on vacations, and Poland produced a campaign urging its citizens to "breed like rabbits." Something — or things — are robbing young women and men of their capacity to procreate and public health admits it doesn't have a clue where to start to fix the emerging priority. The "population bomb" we were all endlessly warned about by environmentalists failed to...

Why capitalism works - and how it can improve

Why capitalism works - and how it can improve

Comment: Jonathan Haidt calls the following the piece "the best short analysis of capitalism" he has seen. I was a socialist in college. I read magazines like The Nation and old issues of The New Masses. I dreamed of being the next Clifford Odets, a lefty playwright who was always trying to raise proletarian class consciousness. If you go on YouTube and search "David Brooks Milton Friedman," you can see a 22-year-old socialist me debating the great economist. I'm the one with the bushy hair and the giant 1980s glasses that were apparently on loan from the Palomar lunar observatory. The best version of socialism is defined by Michael Walzer's phrase, "what touches all should be decided by all." The great economic enterprises should be owned by all of us in common. Decisions should be based on what benefits all, not the maximization of profit. That's not what "democratic socialists" like Bernie Sanders are talking about, but I get why some of their socialist concerns are popular. Why...

Canadian politics: New cabinet, empty platitudes, interventionism - in other words, a repeat Trudeau

Canadian politics: New cabinet, empty platitudes, interventionism - in other words, a repeat Trudeau

For however long it lasts, Canada's incoming government has doubled down on its doublespeak, using 'woke' discourse to push corporate welfarism at home and interventionism abroad. There was little fanfare within Canada around the new group that will attempt to steer the country's governmental agenda over the next four years. 'Attempt to', of course, because Justin Trudeau will seek to downplay his NATO Summit gaffe and row with US President Donald Trump when he reconvenes parliament on Thursday as prime minister of a minority government. Trudeau's Liberals won enough seats in Canada's 338-member House of Commons to form a government but also failed to repeat their 2015 showing after dropping 27 seats. They also lost over a million votes compared to the last election, finishing second in the popular vote. Given the evident signs of a decline in support, Trudeau looked to curry favor with voters by making a surprise announcement. It was certainly a surprise to everyone to hear that...

USA, China and the geopolitics of lithium

USA, China and the geopolitics of lithium

For several years since the global push to develop mass-scale Electric Vehicles, the element Lithium has come into focus as a strategic metal. Demand is enormous in China, in the EU and in the USA at present, and securing control over lithium supplies is already developing its own geopolitics not unlike that for the control of oil. China Moves to Secure Sources For China, which has set major targets to become the world's largest producer of EVs, developing lithium battery materials is a priority for the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period. Though China has its own lithium reserves, recovery is limited, and China has gone to secure lithium mining rights abroad. In Australia, Chinese company Talison Lithium, controlled by Tianqi, mines and owns the world's largest and highest grade spodumene reserves in Greenbushes, Western Australia near Perth. Talison Lithium Inc. is the world's largest primary lithium producer. Their Greenbushes site in Australia produces today some 75% of...

Russia suspends Fordow facility medical research after Tehran's uranium enrichment response to US pressure

Russia suspends Fordow facility medical research after Tehran's uranium enrichment response to US pressure

The Russian research project at Iran's Fordow nuclear site has been put on hold, after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment. The US earlier said it will be revoking the sanctions waiver for the facility. TVEL, a company that is part of Russia's atomic agency Rosatom, said on Thursday that its work to convert Fordow to the production of radioactive isotopes for medical purposes has been suspended. TVEL said in a statement: "The enrichment of uranium and the production of stable isotopes can't be carried out in the same space, since trace amounts of uranium, incompatible with the use of the resulting isotopes for medical purposes, will inevitably appear in the air and on the equipment." In order for the project to resume, the hardware used for uranium enrichment has to be dismantled and the facility decontaminated, TVEL said, adding that it notified the Iranian side of the situation. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov pointed on Thursday that Moscow wasn't giving up on the project,...

NATO summit: RT's Ruptly video agency producer detained, questioned and banned entry under 'Terrorism Act'

NATO summit: RT's Ruptly video agency producer detained, questioned and banned entry under 'Terrorism Act'

The accreditation of RT's Ruptly video agency at the NATO summit in London was withdrawn without any explanation, while its producer was detained by UK police and questioned under the Terrorism Act. NATO's 70th anniversary gathering, which took place in the British capital on Tuesday and Wednesday, was a big event and Ruptly, of course, couldn't ignore it. The agency applied for press credentials beforehand and received an accreditation approval letter via email. So the assigned producer went to routinely pick up his pass to be able to film at the summit. The organizers asked him to wait in the lobby where "he was approached by a plain clothed man, who presented a police warrant and requested he went in for questioning," Ekaterina Mavrenkova, Ruptly chief content officer, told RT on air. The producer said he was detained and interrogated under the Terrorism Act, with the officers searching him and his belongings. Before being released, the man was told that Ruptly's accreditation...

Atrocities by terrorists against Syrian children ignored by Western media covering conflict from comfort of offices elsewhere

Atrocities by terrorists against Syrian children ignored by Western media covering conflict from comfort of offices elsewhere

Western media, filing their reports on Syria from safe offices in New York and London, ignore atrocities committed almost daily against children and civilians by terrorists in Idlib. A recent report compiled by the US coalition's primary anti-Assad "evidence" producers has condemned the alleged Syrian/Russian targeting of civilians in Idlib. In familiar fashion, the Guardian accepted the White Helmet version of events without any apparent fact-checking or verification. Claims by the notorious terrorist-linked group and its PR agency, Syria Campaign, that 304 children and 11 "rescue workers" had been killed since April 2019 went unchallenged by one of the foremost "humanitarian" war-promoting media outlets - one that has sustained and nourished the criminalization of the Syrian government and its allies since 2011.

Iran claims its ballistic missile and space launch program in line with UN resolution, not in violation of deal

Iran claims its ballistic missile and space launch program in line with UN resolution, not in violation of deal

Iran says it will "resolutely continue" its ballistic missile program. Tehran claims the program does not violate the deal it signed with Western powers in 2015, and accuses the West of selectively interpreting a UN resolution. "Iran is determined to resolutely continue its activities related to ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles," the country's UN envoy Majid Takhte Ravanchi wrote in a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday.

Delusional Killary hints at Trump grudge match: Democrats approach political extinction

Delusional Killary hints at Trump grudge match: Democrats approach political extinction

The former First Lady just can't let it go. The belief that the presidency was denied her in 2016 by a thousand conspiracies is tempting her to enter the 2020 race at a time when Democrats desperately need new blood. With uncanny timing, Hillary Rodham Clinton has hit the international talk show circuit, triggering heated speculation that she may be planning a last-minute plunge into the Democratic primaries against a disappointing field of nominees. The temptation of getting another shot at Donald Trump, who beat Clinton in 2016 despite losing the popular vote, appears to have become an idée fixe for the former secretary of state. On the UK's Graham Norton Show, Clinton gave a very unconvincing denial that she was entertaining any presidential ambitions when she commented, "Right now, I'm not, at all, you know, planning that. I'd have to make up my mind really quickly, because it's moving very fast."

Shale's debt-fueled drilling boom is ending

Shale's debt-fueled drilling boom is ending

The financial struggles of the U.S. shale industry are becoming increasingly hard to ignore, but drillers in Appalachia are in particularly bad shape. The Permian has recently seen job losses, and for the first time since 2016, the hottest shale basin in the world has seen job growth lag the broader Texas economy. The industry is cutting back amid heightened financial scrutiny from investors, as debt-fueled drilling has become increasingly hard to justify. But E&P companies focused almost exclusively on gas, such as those in the Marcellus and Utica shales, are in even worse shape. An IEEFA analysis found that seven of the largest producers in Appalachia burned through about a half billion dollars in the third quarter.

Cheeky conman erects fake Russia-Finland border, tricks illegal migrants into paying him to cross it

Cheeky conman erects fake Russia-Finland border, tricks illegal migrants into paying him to cross it

An industrious conman made a hefty sum of money from four illegal migrants for a walk in the forest, making them believe they were crossing the Russian border. The group, however, was later nabbed by legit Russian border guards. Details of the bizarre affair were revealed to the media by the Border Service of the Federal Security Service on Tuesday. The incident occurred last week when the border guards apprehended a group of four illegal migrants from South Asia and their guide, also said to not be a Russian citizen.

Israeli bulldozers kill man as they demolish homes of 50 Palestinians in West Bank

Israeli bulldozers kill man as they demolish homes of 50 Palestinians in West Bank

A Palestinian man was killed on Thursday after his car was hit by an Israeli military bulldozer as it demolished Palestinian homes in the town of Beit Kahil in the southern West Bank. They belonged to four Palestinians who had been detained by Israel and accused of killing a 19-year-old former Israeli soldier in the Gush Etzion area of Israeli settlements in the West Bank in August. The PalTimes news organization shared images of the destroyed homes on their Twitter account.

Michigan just had the wettest water year in 119 years of records

Michigan just had the wettest water year in 119 years of records

It should be no surprise that Michigan has had abundant precipitation over the past year. The Great Lakes water levels are a good sign of the above-average precipitation. Now NOAA has given us the numbers on just how much precipitation has fallen across Michigan. First, there are two different calendars to track precipitation amounts. A common timeframe used for water from precipitation is called a "water year," which runs from Nov. 1 of one year to Oct. 31 of the next year. A water year is often used because some of the snow that falls in November and December isn't melted and released into the soil until the next spring. The other calendar for precipitation is simply a Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 timeframe. The water year from Nov.1, 2018 to Oct. 31, 2019 has been declared the wettest water year on record across Michigan. Records date back to 1901 for this type of data. The whole state of Michigan average 39.85″ of precipitation in the water year.

Australia bushfires merge to form 'mega fire' north of Sydney

Australia bushfires merge to form 'mega fire' north of Sydney

Several Australian bushfires have combined to form a "mega fire" that is burning out of control across a swath of land north of Sydney, authorities said, warning they cannot contain the blaze. New South Wales Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers on Friday said "there are probably more than eight fires in all" that have merged to form what has been dubbed a "mega fire" in an area of the national park forest. The blaze was burning across 300,000 hectares (740,000 acres) - with a front roughly 60km (37 miles) wide - within an hour's drive of Australia's largest city, which was again subsumed in a soup of toxic smoke. "There is just fire that whole way," said Rogers, who added that firefighters could do little more than get any residents out, protect property and hope for an end to fire-friendly dry and windy conditions.

That was the snowiest November Calgary has seen in over 50 years

That was the snowiest November Calgary has seen in over 50 years

Calgary just broke a weather record dating back more than half a century. This past month marked the fifth snowiest November that YYC had seen since the record began, and the snowiest November that the city had experienced since 1966! According to YYC Weather Records, the Twitter account keeping track of these sorts of things, Calgary saw a grand total of 47.4 cm of snowfall between November 1 and November 30, 2019.

Youtube CEO Wojcicki boasts of new algorithm, army of 10,000 censors that have disappeared 'controversial content' by 70%

Youtube CEO Wojcicki boasts of new algorithm, army of 10,000 censors that have disappeared 'controversial content' by 70%

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki tells Lesley Stahl what the video platform is doing about hate speech in an interview Sunday on the CBS newsmagazine program '60 Minutes.' Wojcicki told '60 Minutes' that Google employs 10,000 people to focus on "controversial content." She described their schedule, which includes time for therapy. Stahl also said there are reports that the "monitors" are "beginning to buy the conspiracy theories." "What we really had to do was tighten our enforcement of that to make sure we were catching everything and we use a combination of people and machines," Wojcicki explained. "So Google as a whole has about 10,000 people that are focused on controversial content."

Heavy metal diet: Meteorite-consuming microbes could offer clues on how life formed on Earth

Heavy metal diet: Meteorite-consuming microbes could offer clues on how life formed on Earth

Meteorites may not sound appetizing, but for one strange microbe they're breakfast, lunch and dinner. The creature's bizarre eating habits could help unlock mysteries about how early life forms endured harsh conditions on Earth. Metallosphaera sedula, a highly resilient microbe able to withstand extreme temperatures and highly acidic environments, can survive solely on a diet of space rocks, new research published in Scientific Reports has found. The finding not only sheds light on how organisms could survive on other planets, but provides valuable insight into how early life on Earth may have thrived on nutrients imported from deep space. "Meteorites may have delivered a variety of essential compounds facilitating the evolution of life, as we know it on Earth," the study said.

4 Renowned scientists expose major IPCC shortcomings: "Models Clearly Erroneous"

4 Renowned scientists expose major IPCC shortcomings: "Models Clearly Erroneous"

The Munich Climate Conference 2019 Last weekend the climate conference by the Germany-based European Institute for Climate and Energy EIKE took place in Munich, despite threats by leftist radicals. More than a dozen leading international climate experts presented views that severely challenge mainstream alarmist climate science. 1. Alps glaciers smaller than today during much of the Holocene Among the speakers was Prof. em. Christian Schlüchter is a leading Swiss geologist who studied the glaciers of the Alps in great detail for decades. In his talk he reported his findings from very old timber found in and below glaciers, and what those ancient tree remnants tell us about the glacial epochs of the Alps.

Student Egor Zhukov given 3-year suspended sentence for spreading extremism online over Moscow protests

Student Egor Zhukov given 3-year suspended sentence for spreading extremism online over Moscow protests

A university student and YouTube blogger will spend three years on probation after a Moscow court sentenced him for inciting "extremism" during the unauthorized opposition protests that rocked the Russian capital this summer. Egor Zhukov has been found guilty of "publicly calling for extremism on the internet," the judge stated, as quoted Russian news agencies. He will also be barred from using "communication networks" for two years, the verdict says. Ahead of the Friday hearing, prosecutors asked the court to sentence Zhukov, a popular YouTuber and political science student, to four years in prison. He was released on the spot and was met by a cheering crowd of supporters waiting for the verdict outside the courthouse.

Show's over, folks? Farage loses three more Brexit Party MEPs to the Tories

Show's over, folks? Farage loses three more Brexit Party MEPs to the Tories

It has not been a great election campaign for Nigel Farage by all accounts. He gave up more than 300 seats to the Conservatives in the first week of his campaign after a number of candidates quit and then had members turning on him and calling him a traitor. Now, three Brexit Party MEPs have announced they are quitting too in order to back Boris Johnson and the Conservatives in the general election. Jacob Rees-Mogg's sister Annunziata, Lance Forman and Lucy Harris today said they had resigned the whip to back the prime minister's push to 'get Brexit done'. It follows the decision yesterday to sack John Longworth, the former director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, for 'repeatedly undermining' Mr Farage's election strategy. Ms Rees-Mogg, MEP for the East Midlands and a former Conservative candidate, said: 'We need a strong Leave-supporting government to deliver the Brexit 17.4 million voted for. The Conservatives are the only option for Brexit supporters and democrats...

Will Greta accept the offer?

Will Greta accept the offer?

Eeyore!! Source - 20 Minutos Editora

Sailor kills 2, wounds 1 before taking own life at Hawaii's Pearl Harbor base

Sailor kills 2, wounds 1 before taking own life at Hawaii's Pearl Harbor base

A U.S. Navy sailor shot and killed two civilian employees of the Defense Department and wounded a third before killing himself at Hawaii's Pearl Harbor military installation. Rear Adm. Robert Chadwick, commander of Navy Region Hawaii, said the shooting occurred near Dry Dock 2 in the Naval shipyard at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Chadwick said the male shooter "has tentatively been identified as an active-duty sailor assigned to USS Columbia," a nuclear-powered Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine. Chadwick said the names of the shooter and his victims would not be released until next of kin had been notified. He said the wounded civilian is in stable condition at a local hospital. A motive for the shootings has not been identified, and it is not known whether the victims were random or known to the shooter. Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is home to nine Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, a guided missile cruiser and 15 attack submarines, plus the U.S. Air Force Pacific Command.

George Zimmerman files $100M lawsuit against Trayvon Martin's family and Florida prosecutors

George Zimmerman files $100M lawsuit against Trayvon Martin's family and Florida prosecutors

George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Florida, neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012, and his lawyer have filed a $100 million lawsuit against prosecutors, Martin's family, their attorney and a book publisher over allegations that one of the trial's key witnesses was "an imposter." Zimmerman's civil attorney Larry Klayman filed the multi-million lawsuit in Polk County Circuit Court in Florida. Klayman alleges in the 36-page lawsuit, where Zimmerman is the sole plaintiff, that Martin's parents Sybrina Ford and Tracy Martin as well as their attorney Ben Crump falsely inserted Rachel Jeantel into the case after the Sanford Police Department closed the investigation in March 2012 as "self-defense." The lawsuit claims then 18-year-old Jeantel was "an imposter and fake witness" and the catalyst to get Zimmerman arrested and charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was cleared of all charges after the weeks-long televised trial....

Institutional Inertia: Is enough being done to protect children from Aluminum toxicity?

Institutional Inertia: Is enough being done to protect children from Aluminum toxicity?

Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust. For most of human history, aluminum was not bioavailable; however, it became so in the late 1880s when chemists developed and patented the smelting process that helped turned the metal into the fixture of modern life — and the omnipresent "ecotoxin" — that it is today. Roughly 130 years later, it is no exaggeration to say that aluminum has become an active (albeit unhelpful) "participant in human evolution."

Medicinal mushrooms cut herpes suffering time in half

Medicinal mushrooms cut herpes suffering time in half

The herpes virus afflicts millions of people worldwide, causing painful blister-like sores that are often embarrassing. There is no known cure, and medications have a long list of potential side effects and a "take it forever" prescription. Did you know that there is a clinically proven, natural way to provide relief that is growing right under your feet? Mushrooms, both wild and cultivated, have been prized for their medicinal value for more than 2,000 years. A staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ganoderma lucidum or lingzhi mushroom, commonly called reishi, are among the rarest and most prized of therapeutic, edible fungi. Deemed by ancient healers as the "mushroom of immortality," reishis are large, dark mushrooms with a shiny, slick surface and "woody" texture, which is unsurprising, considering that they grow on old, hardwood trees. In order to meet culinary and medicinal demands for this valued mushroom, reishis are now actively cultivated in different varieties,...

Suggestion of Death: Cancer takes toll as new Roundup trials near

Suggestion of Death: Cancer takes toll as new Roundup trials near

For the last five years, Chris Stevick has helped his wife Elaine in her battle against a vicious type of cancer that the couple believes was caused by Elaine's repeated use of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide around a California property the couple owned. Now the roles are reversed as Elaine must help Chris face his own cancer. Chris Stevick, who often mixed Roundup for his wife and tested the sprayer used to dispense the weed killer, was diagnosed last month with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Unlike Elaine's aggressive type of NHL known as central nervous system lymphoma, Chris's cancer is a type that tends to grow slowly. He was diagnosed after a physical examination showed abnormalities in his blood and prompted further tests.

280 killed, 2.8 million affected by East Africa floods, UN says

280 killed, 2.8 million affected by East Africa floods, UN says

At least 280 people have been killed and more than 2.8 million others affected by unusually heavy rainfall and flooding in eastern Africa, the UN humanitarian agency said on Thursday. The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said homes, infrastructure and livelihoods have been destroyed and damaged in the hardest-hit areas, and the risk of communicable diseases including cholera is rising. "Primarily driven by the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), the heavy rains are likely to persist into December and to intensify in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda," OCHA said in its latest regional Flash Floods Update. The UN agency said the annual short rains which ordinarily last from October to December have been exceptionally heavy in Kenya and affected more than 160 000 people in 31 of the country's 47 counties. "At least 132 people have reportedly died, including 72 who were killed by a landslide which buried their homes in West Pokot County," said OCHA. The storms have caused...

Punting the propaganda: Pelosi lectures Americans that impeachment not really about Ukraine but all about... Russia!

Punting the propaganda: Pelosi lectures Americans that impeachment not really about Ukraine but all about... Russia!

For Americans still confused why exactly Democrats want to impeach President Donald Trump - something about Ukraine, maybe? - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has helpfully clarified that it's all about Russia and always has been. Briefing reporters on the impeachment inquiry on Thursday, Pelosi (D-California) made sure to point out that "this isn't about Ukraine, this is about Russia." "Russia. It's about Russia. Russia invading eastern Ukraine ...all roads lead to Putin. Understand that." That may come as a surprise given the Democrats' recent line of argument that Trump must be impeached because he tried to force new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open a corruption investigation into the gas company that had Joe Biden's son Hunter on its board - a "quid pro quo" that qualified as bribery and election interference, somehow.

Shallow 6.4-magnitude quake hits 158km WNW of Hihifo, Tonga

Shallow 6.4-magnitude quake hits 158km WNW of Hihifo, Tonga

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 jolted 158 km WNW of Hihifo, Tonga at 13:04:47 GMT on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The epicenter, with a depth of 10.0 km, was initially determined to be at 15.217 degrees south latitude and 175.021 degrees west longitude.

Trump not considering sending thousands more troops to Mideast to counter Iran - Pentagon

Trump not considering sending thousands more troops to Mideast to counter Iran - Pentagon

The Pentagon is throwing cold water on a report from the Wall Street Journal that President Trump could decide as soon as this month to dispatch thousands more troops and dozens more ships to the Persian Gulf region to counter Iran. The report suggested that as many as 14,000 additional U.S. troops could be sent, which would be "significant expansion of the U.S. military footprint in the Middle East." "This reporting by the @WSJ is wrong," tweeted Pentagon Press Secretary Alyssa Farah, "The U.S. is not sending 14,000 troops to the Middle East to confront Iran."

World Snow Wrap, December 6 - Huge snow totals again in California, more snow in Europe and Japan

World Snow Wrap, December 6 - Huge snow totals again in California, more snow in Europe and Japan

While summer snowfalls in Australia generated a bit of novelty value early this week, the real action is in the Northern Hemisphere, as it should be at this time of year with significant snowfalls in the US, Europe and Japan. The totals coming out of California are huge with seven-day totals of 2.4 metres and there is more on the way with another three-day storm set to drop 70-80cms by early next week. If you're on the fence about escaping the heat, smoke, bushfires and blue bottles of an Australian summer read on, you may just be convinced to book that airfare for somewhere cold and snowy. USA The Sierras are renowned for big storm totals and the past week is a very good example, from zero snow a week ago to seven-day totals of one to 2.4metres on the upper mountains, Kirkwood in California with the top reading. Not surprisingly, avalanche danger is high and mountain ops teams have been working hard to manage the snow and get more lifts and terrain open at all the Tahoe resorts...

Exceptional 23,000 year old "Venus" discovered in Amiens, France

Exceptional 23,000 year old "Venus" discovered in Amiens, France

The prehistoric site of Renancourt, in Amiens, has been known for many years and long remained one of the few sites providing evidence for human presence in northern France during the Early Upper Paleolithic (35,000 - 15,000). Discovered in 2011, during an Inrap diagnostic operation, the site of Amiens-Renancourt 1 has been under full excavation since 2014. During the 2019 season, an exceptional Gravettian "Venus," some 23,000-years-old, was discovered. A Paleolithic hunting camp

'Expulsion of Russian diplomats over Berlin murder case suits trend of blaming Moscow for everything, whether it's true or not'

'Expulsion of Russian diplomats over Berlin murder case suits trend of blaming Moscow for everything, whether it's true or not'

Germany seems to be joining the cohort of those playing the old-time blame-Russia game, having expelled two diplomats citing Moscow's unwillingness to help probe a murder of a suspected terrorist on its soil. On a sunny day in August, Zelimkhan Khangoshvili - formerly a Chechen militant suspected of terrorist activity in Russia and a Georgian national - set off for his last walk through the Kleiner Tiergarten park located in one of Berlin's central boroughs. Not long after that, he was shot dead in broad daylight by an assassin who allegedly used a silenced pistol to do the job. The high-profile murder case returned to the spotlight when Berlin made a bold move expelling two Russian diplomats.

'Where's the grilling you gave Corbyn?' UK TV breakfast show hosts slammed online for giving BoJo easy ride with 'cosy chat'

'Where's the grilling you gave Corbyn?' UK TV breakfast show hosts slammed online for giving BoJo easy ride with 'cosy chat'

British TV breakfast show presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby received a brutal backlash on social media after a cuddly "selfie" pic with Boris Johnson went viral following the UK prime minister's interview. Johnson has faced widespread criticism for failing to agree to an interview with the BBC's flagship political presenter Andrew Neil, who is seen as a notoriously tough and forensic interrogator. Every other party leader has agreed to one - apart from the current PM. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had appeared on ITV's This Morning program earlier in the week, where he received a tough grilling from Schofield and Willoughby on his party's handling of the issue of anti-Semitism. In sharp contrast, the pair failed to ask Johnson one question on the Tories' record of tackling Islamophobia within the party.

Two of the biggest US earthquake faults might be linked

Two of the biggest US earthquake faults might be linked

A controversial study argues that at least eight times in the past 3,000 years, quakes made a one-two punch off the west coast of the United States. A quake hit the Cascadia fault off the coast of northern California, triggering a second quake on the San Andreas fault just to the south. In some cases, the delay between the quakes may have been decades long. The study suggests that Cascadia, which scientists think is capable of unleashing a magnitude-9 earthquake at any time, could set off quakes on the northern San Andreas, which runs under the San Francisco Bay Area. Several earthquake scientists told Nature that more work is needed to confirm the provocative idea. Researchers have long considered the two faults seismically separate.

At least 20 snowy owls spotted this fall in Wisconsin

At least 20 snowy owls spotted this fall in Wisconsin

The beautiful and majestic snowy owl has made its return to Wisconsin. "At least 20" snowy owls have been documented in Wisconsin as of November 25, the state Department of Natural Resources says. The owls have been spotted in 12 counties so far, ranging as far north as Bayfield and Door County, and as far south as Milwaukee County. Most of the owls photographed so far are adults, which the DNR says suggests a low number of births on arctic breeding grounds during the summer.

Two die, one injured in Lagos pipeline explosion

Two die, one injured in Lagos pipeline explosion

Two yet-to-be-identified persons lost their lives on Thursday during the fire incident that razed some parts of the Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area of Lagos State. Another yet-to-be-identified victim, who was said to have sustained "70 degree burns," was taken to the Igando General Hospital, where doctors are reportedly battling to save his life. The PUNCH gathered that the three victims were having a bath in a stream in the area to cleanse themselves spiritually when the fire started and subsequently burned two of them to death. According to residents in the area, the pastor conducting the spiritual cleansing, upon sighting the fire, ran away and abandoned the victims.

Paleoartist sketches what modern animals would look like using techniques applied to dinosaurs to highlight flaws in approach

Paleoartist sketches what modern animals would look like using techniques applied to dinosaurs to highlight flaws in approach

Dinosaurs have always been illustrated as a bony lot, and is it any wonder when much of what palaeontologists have to base their reconstructions on are bones? Palaeoartist C. M. Kosemen believes that there was more to the shapely dinosaurs than has been depicted, including larger layers of fat and areas of soft tissue. He believes Hollywood is to blame for giving dinosaurs their skeletal 'monster' image. In a series of sketches Mr Kosemen has set about making that point by re-imagining modern day animals from their skeletons.

Wolves kill close to 20 dogs in recent months in Estonia

Wolves kill close to 20 dogs in recent months in Estonia

Wolves in Estonia have killed close to 20 dogs over the autumn and early winter, according to a report on ERR current affairs show Aktuaalne kaamera. Experts blame malnourishment, though are at a loss to explain it, saying there are no food shortages in the sparsely-populated forest areas that wolves usually inhabit. Security video footage taken in a Raplamaa back-yard this autumn showed three wolves entering the premises and frolicking about with two resident dogs. The footage circulated on social media; however not all such lupine-canine interaction ends as happily. On man living near Vaida, south of Tallinn, lost his six-and-a-half-year-old West Siberian dog while hunting. The dog had picked up a reindeer trace, but later encountered wolves. Half and hour later, it was found dead, the owner told Aktuaalne kaamera. August Kuuse who breeds West Siberians at Vaida said that many hunters no longer use dogs to hunt smaller wildlife in particular, such as raccoon dogs (kährik) and...

At least 26 people killed by landslides caused by heavy rain in Burundi

At least 26 people killed by landslides caused by heavy rain in Burundi

At least 26 people have died and more are missing after heavy rain triggered landslides Cibitoke province, northwestern Burundi. Burundi's Ministry of Public Safety and Disaster Management said in a statement on 05 December that the landslide occurred in Nyempundu, Gikomero and Rukombe in Nyamakarabo zone, Mugina commune in Cibitoke province. Provisional assessments say that 26 people have died, 07 were injured and 10 people are still missing. Some media reports say the death toll has since climbed to 38. Search operations are still in progress. The Ministry said that houses, crops and livestock have also been damaged. Heavy rain fell between 04 and 05 December, 2019. Images show that complete hillsides have fallen away in several locations. The area is still extremely unstable and the governor of Cibitoke, Joseph Iteriteka, urged people living in affected locations to evacuate their homes until further notice.

Video shows stunning meteor fireball light up sky over Houston, Texas

Video shows stunning meteor fireball light up sky over Houston, Texas

Reports of fireballs flashing through the night sky have steadily increased since 2006, according to data from the American Meteor Society. Sometimes referred to as "shooting stars," fireballs, which are very bright, fast-moving meteors that appear to streak across the sky leaving behind a luminescent trail, are tracked by the organization, which encourages and promotes interest in meteoric astronomy. So far this year, the organization has tracked nearly 300 events around the world compared to 2006, when only three events were reported, data showed. Comment: The uptick in meteor fireball sightings continues as sott.net has been reporting for years now. On Thursday, the agency received roughly 50 reports about a fireball seen over Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. The majority of the reports came from Houston, according to the data.

Rape survivor set on fire by gang of men in India

Rape survivor set on fire by gang of men in India

An Indian woman has been set on fire on her way to a court hearing to testify against two men who had allegedly raped her. The 23-year-old is in a critical condition in hospital with 70 per cent burns after she was set upon by five men in the city of Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. They dragged her to a field, doused her with petrol and set her alight. It is the latest in a series of brutal attacks against women in India which have caused a wave of outrage across the country. Last week, a 26-year-old veterinary doctor in Hyderabad was gang-raped, then asphyxiated to death and her body burned and dumped. Days later, in the state of Bihar, a teenager was allegedly gang-raped and killed before her body was set on fire. In response, thousands have taken to the streets in protest this week, demanding better protection of women. In Thursday's assault, two of the attackers were said by police to be the same men the victim filed rape charges against in March. The young woman was on her way to a...

Phishing thieves or yet another phantom menace? US goes after 'Russian-based Evil Corp'

Phishing thieves or yet another phantom menace? US goes after 'Russian-based Evil Corp'

Hackers known as 'Evil Corp' have been charged and sanctioned by the US for allegedly stealing over $100 million via phishing and malware attacks and being Kremlin spies - though Russia helped US authorities in going after them. The US Department of Justice unsealed the indictments against Russian nationals Maksim Yakubets and Igor Turashev on Thursday, accusing them of international computer hacking and bank fraud schemes dating back to 2009. A $5 million bounty was offered for the arrest of Yakubets, the largest such reward for a cyber crime case ever. Yakubets and Turashev have "led one of the most sophisticated transnational cybercrime syndicates in the world" for over a decade, said US Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott Brady. He accused the duo of being behind the malware known first as Bugat, then Cridex and Dridex, used "across the globe in one of the most widespread malware campaigns we have ever encountered." After the indictment was revealed, the US...

Spanish explosives experts defuse grenade at Madrid center for minors

Spanish explosives experts defuse grenade at Madrid center for minors

A team of explosives experts on Wednesday safely destroyed a training grenade after the weapon was thrown over the wall of a center for minors in the Hortaleza district of Madrid. According to police sources, the device was military grade, and placed inside a plastic bag. "These artifacts carry a small explosive charge... but they do carry one," the same sources said. The migrant center has been the target of a number of attacks, the most serious of which was an attempt by 30 youths to enter the premises on October 30. According to sources at the center, a security guard "found a grenade inside a trash can on the basketball court" at 11am on Wednesday. "The police were called in, and they stopped anyone from coming in or leaving." Images to which EL PAÍS has had access show an area inside the center that had been cordoned off. The center while the explosives experts were at work. By 12.15pm, the explosives experts had safely destroyed the device, having concluded that it was a type...

Ikigai: The Japanese secret to living a long and more fulfilling life

Ikigai: The Japanese secret to living a long and more fulfilling life

For Japanese workers in big cities, a typical work day begins with a state called sushi-zume, a term which likens commuters squeezed into a crowded train car to tightly packed grains of rice in sushi. The stress doesn't stop there. The country's notorious work culture ensures most people put in long hours at the office, governed by strict hierarchical rules. Overwork is not uncommon and the last trains home on weekdays around midnight are filled with people in suits. How do they manage? The secret may have to do with what Japanese call ikigai. There is no direct English translation, but it's a term that embodies the idea of happiness in living. Essentially, ikigai is the reason why you get up in the morning. To those in the West who are more familiar with the concept of ikigai, it's often associated with a Venn diagram with four overlapping qualities: what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.

London fog: The NATO alliance is an empire in crisis

London fog: The NATO alliance is an empire in crisis

Officially, the NATO summit in London was a huge success and alliance is strong and united. Yet even the mainstream media aren't buying this any more, seizing on high-school-style gossip to mock the alliance leaders. US President Donald Trump is playing the summit off as "great progress," singling out the promised increases in military spending. "Thank you NATO," he declared in a slick video tweet produced by the White House on Wednesday. Thank you @NATO! #NATOLondonpic.twitter.com/8gJeXZxwpH — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2019 Meanwhile, both Trump's domestic critics and the hostile mainstream press were busy hyping the president's early departure as a sign he is mentally unstable, a thin-skinned "snowflake," and "privately viewed with a mixture of mirth and alarm" (The Guardian). Trump justified skipping the final press conference by saying "we did so many over the past two days," which is true enough. It was inevitable, however, that it would be interpreted in...

To give something for nothing — The importance of mindful volunteering

To give something for nothing — The importance of mindful volunteering

Every day we receive fresh solicitations requesting our time, our money, and our attention to various causes. It is not enough simply to live our lives, we must somehow justify our existence beyond earning a living and paying our taxes. According to a VolunteerHub estimate, one out of four people in the U.S. volunteer their time and effort with an average value of $24.14 per hour. The average is 22-23 percent in Europe and 19 percent in Australia. The site states that volunteering improves health and chances of gaining employment by 27 percent. So it is not an entirely selfless act. I come not to praise volunteering but to consider its benefits and our motivations; to reflect on my experience that has led me to question what we are giving and what we are getting as volunteers. Such an assessment becomes more urgent as groups and individuals face decisions about where to invest limited resources in resolving crises such as global warming and inequities of wealth, freedom, and...