06.05.2018

Thank you. This post is a breath of fresh air in a world where everyone has seen and heard it all and nothing’s shocking anymore. I admire your skill and whatever it is that enables you to do that. I couldn’t dissect a dead frog in high-school biology. Although I have no problem slicing up any kind of meat from the grocery store.

There was this pretty good mini-series just recently on AMC called The Terror about  Franklin’s lost expedition of 1845. There is some serious cannibalism in the last three episodes and I can’t wrap my head around being that hungry that I could do that.

Tuesday, Jun 5, 2018

Prostitutes at the Brussels-North red-light district strike today after one of their colleagues is found murdered this morning, says their professional association. (Het Laatste Nieuws)

Miss America pageant eliminates swimsuit competition The Miss America organization has eliminated the swimsuit portion of its competition for the first time in its 96-year history. “We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance,” said Miss America chairwoman Gretchen Carlson. “It’s going to be what comes out of their mouth that we’re interested in, when they talk about their social impact initiatives.” Carlson said the competition would focus on the talent and interview phases to determine scholarship awards, rather than operate as a beauty pageant. “We’re moving forward,” she said, “and evolving in this cultural revolution.” Source: Good Morning America

A 2–5-metre (6 ft 7 in–16 ft 5 in) wide asteroid named 2018 LA was estimated (before impact) to have an 82% chance of having impacted Earth today, with several corroborating reports from Botswana. An OFM media report from near Klerksdorp, North West province, South Africa, describes “‘a light’ falling from the sky” at 18:49 (UTC+02:00) Saturday night. (NASA) (Minor Planet Mailing List) (Project Pluto)

Penka, a pregnant cow from Bulgaria, faces death because, according to European Union rules, she lacks the required paperwork to re-enter her country after having strayed into Serbia. (Deccan Chronicle)

Google reports that they will not renew a contract with the U.S. military to develop machine learning algorithms for drones. (BBC)

In an effort to quell unrest caused by IMF-driven reforms, King Abdullah II of Jordan appoints Omar Razzaz as Prime Minister. (Reuters)

Trump disinvites Eagles from White House Super Bowl ceremony The White House announced Monday that President Trump has canceled a visit by the Philadelphia Eagles set for Tuesday because some players are taking a knee during the national anthem, in protest of police brutality in the United States. The Eagles were supposed to visit the White House in celebration of their Super Bowl win earlier this year. In a statement, Trump said some members of the team “disagree with their president because he insists that they proudly stand for the national anthem, hand on heart.” In response, the mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, called Trump a “fragile egomaniac.” Source: The Associated Press

Billionaire David Koch to retire from Koch Industries, political network Citing health issues, billionaire David Koch, 78, will step down from his roles at Koch Industries and the political activism network he runs with his brother, Charles Koch. “Unfortunately, these issues have not been resolved, and his health has continued to deteriorate,” Charles wrote in a letter sent to Koch Industries employees Tuesday. This news comes just one day after the Kochs’ political network announced a major new campaign against President Trump’s tariffs. Long reviled on the left for their economic policy, in recent years the Kochs have made allies on both sides of the aisle on issues like immigration and criminal justice reform. Koch Industries is the second-largest private company in the United States. Source: CNBC, USA Today

Chinese state media say that an explosion at an iron ore mine in Benxi, Liaoning, kills 11 people while 25 others remain trapped after the blast. (Reuters via DNA)

 

Monday, Jun 4, 2018

The Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States announces the arrest of an employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency whom they have charged with spying on the behalf of China. (BBC)

In a new filing, special counsel Robert Mueller accuses Paul Manafort of witness tampering. (Vox)

Microsoft announces that it is acquiring code repository GitHub for US$7.5 billion in stock, pending regulatory review. (The Verge)

Starbucks executive chairman and former CEO Howard Schultz retires from the company. (The New York Times)

Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a law – voted by the State Duma on 22 May and approved by the State Council on 30 May – with countermeasures against actions of the United States and other “unfriendly” countries. (TASS)

According to multiple sources, North Korea has fired the top three military officials and replaced them with younger loyalists. One of the three new appointees, general Ri Yong-gil, was inaccurately “reported” in 2016 as having been executed. (WTVA) (BBC)

Hani Al-Mulki resigns as Prime Minister of Jordan following protests against economic reforms. (Al Jazeera)

 

Sunday, Jun 3, 2018

Volcán de Fuego in Guatemala erupts, leaving at least 62 people dead, 300 others injured, and forces the closure of La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City. (The Guardian) (CBS News)

Wildfires in the American states of California, Colorado and New Mexico now burn 31,000 acres (13,000 ha) of land, causing thousands to evacuate their homes. (CNN)

India announces it successfully tested a Agni-V ICBM missile at a base near Odisha coast. (Defence Aviation Post)

TV Slovenia exit polls show that Janez Janša’s anti-immigration Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) would win a plurality of 24.4% of the votes. List of Marjan Šarec (LMS), the party of the mayor of Kamnik, would follow with 12.6%. (Reuters)

 

Saturday, Jun 2, 2018

The first legal bare-knuckle boxing match in U.S. history, titled the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships, takes place in Cheyenne, Wyoming. (Sydney Morning Herald) (USA Today)

More than 80 homes have now been destroyed by the Kilauea eruption. (KTLA)

Thousands protest in Amman and other Jordanian cities, despite King Abdullah II ordering a freeze on controversial fuel and electricity price increases.  (The Guardian)

 

 

Friday, Jun 1, 2018

Pedro Parente, the head of Brazil Petrobras, resigns among protests related to diesel fuel prices. (BBC)

The CDC reports that five people have died and 197 have been hospitalized in the United States, in the largest incidence of E. coli since the 2006 North American E. coli outbreak. (BBC)

Visa card payments are disrupted throughout Europe due to a network failure. The disruption results in large queues at supermarkets and petrol stations. Mastercard and American Express say they were not affected. (BBC)

According to civil sources reported by SANA, the US-led coalition kills 8 people in an airstrike near al-Shaddadi, southern Hasaka. (Eurasia Review)

U.S. President Donald Trump officially announces that the summit will resume as scheduled following a White House meeting with North Korean general Kim Yong-chol. (BBC)

A Department of Defense report presented to the United States Congress estimates at 499 the number of civilian deaths in US military actions during the year 2017, with more than 450 reports remaining to be assessed. The casualties occurred in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. (CNN)

An Uber driver in Denver, Colorado, United States, fatally shoots a passenger after a conflict on the Interstate 25 highway. A portion of the highway is placed on lockdown following the incident. (NBC News via MSN)

THE END

http://takimag.com/article/all_in_a_days_leave_theodore_dalrymple#axzz5HZK3W6Cy

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05.30.2018

Thursday, May 31,  2018

http://theweek.com/articles/774994/seattles-amazon-tax

http://www.businessinsider.com/southwest-plane-lands-after-passenger-smokes-marijuana-report-2018-5

The Federal Reserve wants to soften the Volcker Rule on big banks The three members of the Federal Reserve Board voted unanimously on Wednesday to advance a proposal that would roll back the Volcker Rule, which prevents banks from making risky bets with depositors’ money. The Volcker Rule, part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, has been in effect since April 2014 and is meant to keep banks in check in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Wall Street has complained about the rule ever since, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that regulators are trying to “replace overly complex and inefficient requirements with a more streamlined set of requirements.” The proposal is now open to 60 days of public comment. The Federal Reserve is supposed to have seven governors. Source: The Hill

 

Wednesday,  May 30,  2018

Harvey Weinstein is indicted for rape charges by a New York City grand jury. (CBS)

Arkady Babchenko, who was reported dead after being shot yesterday in Kiev, appears on live television in Ukraine, stating that the assassination was staged. (BBC)

Top North Korean official Gen Kim Yong-chol meets with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York City to discuss the summit set to be held in June. (BBC)

A consortium led by the Institute of Cetacean Research, which is linked to Japan’s Ministry of Fisheries, reports that 333 Antarctic minke whales were killed in last year’s “scientific survey”. 122 of the whales were pregnant, and 114 immature. (Smithsonian)

According to Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, talks with Greece on Macedonia’s name are in a final phase. Zaev says that if a compromise name for the country is agreed upon, it will be put to a referendum. (RFE/RL)

Report: Trump asked Sessions to rescind his recusal from Russia probe President Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation during a dinner in Florida in March 2017, The New York Times reported Tuesday. Sessions refused. He had flown to see Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach because he needed to discuss Trump’s travel ban days after his Russia recusal, and the president wasn’t taking his calls. Trump reportedly berated Sessions and demanded his loyalty. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating this incident as part of his probe into whether Trump tried to obstruct justice, the Times reported. Mueller’s team has interviewed several current and former White House officials about how Sessions was treated by Trump. Sessions was interviewed in January. Source: The New York Times

Trump: ‘I wish’ I didn’t pick Jeff Sessions for attorney general President Trump publicly bashed his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, on Twitter Wednesday after The New York Times reported he had pressured Sessions in March 2017 to reverse his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. Trump quoted Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who had appeared on Fox News to defend the president, writing: “[If] I picked somebody to be the country’s chief law enforcement officer and they told me later ‘oh by the way, I’m not going to be able to participate in the most important case in the office,’ I would be frustrated too … There are lots of really good lawyers in the country, he could have picked somebody else!” Trump added his own comment after Gowdy’s quote: “And I wish I did!” Source: Donald J. Trump, The Week

Kim Kardashian West talks prison reform with Trump Reality star Kim Kardashian West went to the White House Wednesday to discuss prison reform with President Trump. Already the socialite has been in contact with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, to advocate for the pardon and release of 62-year-old Alice Marie Johnson, who is more than two decades into a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to offer advance details of the Wednesday visit, only confirming it would happen. “Happy Birthday Alice Marie Johnson,” Kardashian West tweeted earlier Wednesday. “Today is for you.” Source: Politico

 

Tuesday,   May 29, 2018

U.S. television network ABC cancels its recently revived sitcom Roseanne following a controversial tweet from Roseanne Barr about former U.S. President Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. (BBC)

The U.S. Government announces a 25% import tariff on US$50 billion of Chinese goods with “industrially significant technology”. A full list of affected products will be published on June 15. Investment restrictions and enhanced export controls are to be announced on June 30. (NPR)

Four Libyan leaders (Fayez al-Sarraj, Khalifa Haftar, Aguila Saleh and head of the Council of State Khaled al-Mishri) endorse a statement calling to hold “credible, peaceful” elections on 10 December. (The Guardian)

The End

Lil_Tay_https://youtu.be/oEhhZTk-Q0U

 

KarolG_MiCama_https://youtu.be/8-mloCL49vs

 

BeckyG_NattiNatasha_https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEf423kYfqk

 

Nicki_Minaj_https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eppa0RXRU-I

 

Migos_CardiB_NickiMinaj_https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9v_rtaye2yY

 

Bhad_Bhabie_https://youtu.be/tsp7IOr7Q9A

 

Hi_Bichhttps://youtu.be/1NyMSWqIJDQ

CardiB_Drip_https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0620RC1PWU

liltay_dope_https://youtu.be/J768BKRb0RM

05.25.2018

 

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/washingtons-pax-americana-cartel/

 

Friday,  May 25, 2018

President Trump awards the Medal of Honor to Navy Seal Britt K. Slabinski for his actions during the Battle of Takur Ghar. (Tampa Bay Times)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeXwYGfYPQU

U.S. President Donald Trump cancels the scheduled summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, citing “tremendous anger and open hostility” in a recent statement by North Korea. Trump states that a summit can still happen, but warns that the military is ready if needed. (CNN)(The Washington Examiner)

North Korea sets off a series of explosions to demolish the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site to build confidence before the scheduled summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. (NBC News)

After Trump cancels summit, North Korea says it’s ready to meet ‘at any time’ On Thursday, President Trump pulled out of a historic summit in Singapore with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, which had been scheduled for June 12, calling it “a truly sad moment in history.” Sadly, “it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting” due to increasing tensions,” Trump wrote. In response, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan said Friday his country is ready to meet with the U.S. “at any time.” Kim said Trump’s decision to pull out of the meeting wasn’t “the world’s desire,” Kim Jong Un “had focused every effort” on the summit, and the U.S. and North Korea must meet in order to take care of the “grave hostilities” between the countries. Source: The Washington Post, The White House

Experts predict a near normal Atlantic hurricane season The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1, and scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday shared their forecast, saying they expect to see a near normal season. The season ends Nov. 30, and hits its peak mid-August through mid-October. The scientists predict a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms with winds of 39 mph or higher, and of those, five to nine could turn into hurricanes, including one to four major ones, ABC News reports. To become a hurricane, winds must reach 74 mph or more. The average hurricane season has 12 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes. Source: ABC News

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States predicts a near- or above-average hurricane season for 2018. (NOAA)

A senior Iranian official asks European powers to come up with a “plan B” before the end of May, so that Iran may decide “within weeks” whether to stay in the agreement. (Reuters)

A Dutch official from the international Joint Investigation Team tells reporters the Russian Armed Forces were responsible for the shootdown. The Russian Defence Ministry denies its units were involved. (BBC)

Burkina Faso breaks diplomatic relations with Taiwan. (The Washington Post)

American film producer Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to the NYPD on sexual misconduct charges. (BBC)

U.S. President Donald Trump posthumously pardons boxer Jack Johnson who was convicted for “taking his white girlfriend across state lines for ‘immoral’ purposes” in 1912. (CNN)

End Friday

 

05.24.2018

Thursday, May 24,  2018

The NFL announces a new policy regarding kneeling for the anthem, requiring any players on the sidelines to stand. Thus, players will now be allowed to remain in the locker room while the Star-Spangled Banner is played, fining players who refuse to stand on the sidelines. (The Baltimore Sun)

Federal judge bars Trump from blocking Twitter users A federal district court judge in New York has ruled that it is unconstitutional for President Trump to block users on Twitter. The president’s Twitter feed was ruled to be a “public forum,” and by blocking users, he is in violation of the First Amendment. Part of the decision came down to the fact that when Trump blocks a user, they are no longer able to reply to his tweets, Reuters reports. “Once it is a public forum, you can’t shut somebody up because you don’t like what they’re saying,” argued U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald earlier this year. The lawsuit was filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute and Columbia University and a handful of Twitter users. Source: Reuters, Knight First Amendment Institute

North Korea slams Pence’s ‘ignorant’ comments, threatens scrap summit North Korea is again threatening to not attend a summit next month with President Trump, with the country’s vice minister of foreign affairs blasting Vice President Mike Pence for his “ignorant” comments comparing North Korea to Libya. Choe Son Hui said North Korea will “neither beg the U.S. for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us.” During a Fox News interview Monday, Pence said it would be a “mistake” for North Korea to “play” Trump, and Washington could return to the “Libya model.” Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi agreed to give up his nuclear weapons in 2004, and he was overthrown and killed in 2011, after a U.S.-European intervention. Source: The Associated Press

Democrats, John Kelly, will now attend classified FBI informant briefing Only two members of Congress — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) — will be at a noon Justice Department briefing on Thursday about an FBI informant who contacted members of President Trump’s campaign in 2016. But after protests from Democrats and some Republicans, there will be a second briefing at 2 p.m. with the Gang of 8 — the top Senate and House leaders and intelligence committee members from both parties — plus Gowdy. Despite a previous assurance that none of Trump’s aides would attend, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly will be at both briefings. The briefing will be conducted by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Director of Intelligence Dan Coats. Source: Politico, The Associated Press

Dutch investigators conclude Russian army downed MH17 Dutch investigators have concluded that a Russian anti-aircraft missile brigade is responsible for shooting down a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane over eastern Ukraine in 2014. The disaster resulted in the deaths of all 298 people on board. Russia has repeatedly denied involvement in shooting down MH17, and has used its veto power at the United Nations to block an international tribunal over the incident. Dutch investigators say they are convinced Russia is behind the attack because they managed to identify a specific BUK missile system that was used, which was traced to a brigade based in Kursk, in western Russia. MH17 had been traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down. Source: BBC, The Guardian

 

Wednesday,  May 23,  2018

Iran sets seven conditions to stay in the JCPOA Iran deal after the U.S. withdrew. One of these conditions is that European banks should safeguard trade with Iran. (Al-Arabiya)

Iranian truck owners and drivers start striking in seven provinces to protest poor working conditions. (VOA) (The Washington Post)

The United States issues a health alert in China, following a government employee reporting “abnormal sensations of sound and pressure”, one in a range of physical symptoms, from late 2017 through to April 2018. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the State Department is moving medical teams into place in Guangzhou, adding that the incident was “entirely consistent” with reported “sonic attacks” in Cuba in 2016 and 2017. (CNN)

The Pentagon announces that it has “disinvited” China from this year’s biennial Rim of the Pacific naval exercise, after China announced in January that it had accepted the United States’ invitation. (Politico)

The European Commission recommends to remove France from the excessive deficit procedure which it entered in 2009. (Deutsche Welle)

The Turkish Central Bank raises its “late liquidity window” rate from 13.5% to 16.5% in a move to counter the slide of the Turkish lira over the last three weeks. Other rates are left unchanged. (Bloomberg)

Italian President Sergio Mattarella accepts Giuseppe Conte as Prime Minister. Conte is now going to form his government, supported by the Five Star Movement and League. (BBC)

 

Tuesday,   May 22, 2018

Syrian government forces declare Damascus and its surroundings “completely safe” for the first time since 2011, after taking Yarmouk Camp and Hajar al-Aswad from ISIL. (CBS News)

Israel announces it is the first country to use the new F-35 Lightning II fighter jet in combat operations. (BBC News)

At least 16 people are killed and 38 wounded in Kandahar, Afghanistan, by the accidental detonation of a container of explosives while security forces were attempting to dispose of it. (Al Jazeera)

U.S. President Donald Trump states there is a “very substantial chance” that the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un next month may not occur. (BBC News)

The Chinese Finance Ministry announces it will cut import duties on passenger vehicles from 25% to 15% starting on July 1, just days after China and the U.S. agreed to a ceasefire in their recent trade hostilities. (CNN)

Police in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, India, kill nine people who protested against Vedanta Resources’ copper smelter operation, alleging that it is a major source of pollution and a risk to fisheries. State Minister D. Jayakumar says that it was “unavoidable” that the people were shot. National Congress opposition leader Rahul Gandhi calls the killings “state sponsored terrorism”. (Reuters)

THE END

05.22.2018

Tuesday,   May 22, 2018

Trump meets with DOJ officials to expand probe into FBI informant President Trump on Monday met with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and asked the Justice Department to expand its investigation to “include any irregularities with the FBI’s or Justice Department’s tactics concerning the Trump campaign.” On Sunday, Trump initiated an inquiry into a report that an American academic working as an FBI informant met with several members of his 2016 campaign in the early days of the agency’s investigation into Russian election meddling. Trump demanded that the Justice Department look into whether Obama administration officials coordinated surveillance of his campaign for political reasons. Reports on the matter said there was no evidence the informant was embedded in the Trump campaign, as Trump suggested. Source: The Washington Post, Reuters

Syrian government regains full control of Damascus for 1st time since 2011 The Syrian military said Monday that after fighting for a month, it has captured an area of southern Damascus from the Islamic State, and the capital is now, for the first time since the country’s civil war began in 2011, under full government control. They were able to take back the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk and the Hajar al-Aswad district, and will now focus on the territory held by rebels in southern Syria. A monitoring group said that 1,600 people, including hundreds of ISIS militants, left southern Damascus on Saturday and Sunday, and went toward the eastern desert after agreeing to a deal with the Syrian government. Source: The Associated Press

 

Monday,  May 21, 2018

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. will impose the “the strongest sanctions in history” on Iran if it does not meet various demands, including ending its nuclear program and leaving the Syrian Civil War. (Reuters)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejects Pompeo’s demands, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif accuses the U.S. of repeating past mistakes. (Al Jazeera)

Sony agrees to a $2.3 billion deal where they will buy a controlling interest in EMI Music Publishing. The deal will mean that Sony would indirectly own 90% of the record label and its two million songs. (BBC)

Paraguay opens its embassy in Jerusalem, making Paraguay the third country, after the United States and Guatemala, to transfer its diplomatic mission in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (AP via Politico)

The U.S. Supreme Court votes 5–4 to allow companies to enforce contracts which bar employees from entering class action lawsuits. (The Washington Postvia Concord Monitor)

 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Lava continues spewing from fissures on Kilauea, Hawaii, reaching the Pacific Ocean and critically injuring one person. (CNN) (1 News Now)

Mayor Yiannis Boutaris of Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki, is hospitalized after being assaulted by a group of nationalists at a Greek genocide remembrance event. (BBC)

Incumbent President Nicolás Maduro wins the presidential election amidst allegations of massive irregularities by his main rivals. (Reuters)

The Vegas Golden Knights become the first expansion team to make the Stanley Cup Finals in their first season since 1968. (CBS Sports)

 

Saturday,  May 19, 2018

The electoral commission announces the results of the May 12 elections. Muqtada al-Sadr’s list wins most seats, followed by Hadi al-Amiri and Haider al-Abadi’s groups. (Reuters)

Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation says Russian-led militants have mounted 43 attacks on Ukrainian troops in Donbas in the past 24 hours, using artillery systems and 120mm and 82mm mortars 10 times, with no casualties among the Ukrainian servicemen. According to intelligence data, two militants are killed and three others wounded. (UNIAN)

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle takes place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. They are given the titles the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. (BBC)

The United States and China say through a joint statement that they will not impose new tariffs on each other after reaching an initial agreement on the trade framework. (CNN)

The state security of Saudi Arabia arrests seven women’s rights activists, whom the pro-government media presented as “traitors to the fatherland,” for allegedly working with foreign entities. These arrests take place a little more than a month before the driving ban for women is lifted. (The Independent)

The Islamic Association of China, a government-affiliated and the country’s top Islamic regulatory body, announces through a letter on its website that all mosques should raise the national flag; the letter comes in light of the country’s newly revised Regulations on Religious Affairs which intensifies punishments for unsanctioned religious activities and increases state supervision of religion. (The Times of India)

Edouard Fritch is re-elected to a second term as President of French Polynesia following the victory by his Tapura Huiraatira party in the general election. Fritch’s Tapura Huiraatira won 39 of the 57 seats in the Assembly of French Polynesia. (Radio New Zealand International)

 

Friday,  May 18, 2018

Sergei Skripal is discharged from hospital after two months. (BBC)

school shooting takes place at Santa Fe High School in Texas, United States. Eight students and two teachers are killed and thirteen others are injured. (KTRK-TV)(BBC)

Cambridge Analytica files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. (CNN)

A Boeing 737 crashes shortly after taking off from Havana, Cuba, with 104 passengers and nine crew on board. Only three people are reported to have survived the crash. One survivor later dies from her injuries. (CNN)(BBC)

Two more cases of ebola reported in the city of Mbandaka in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 25 people have died this year in the country from the disease, with a wider outbreak feared. (The Guardian)

All 34 Roman Catholic bishops in Chile offer to resign after Pope Francis accused them of destroying evidence of sexual crimes. (Reuters)

THE END

05.18.2018

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/opinion/israel-defend-gaza-border.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

Phenomena_Muppets_https://youtu.be/cVGAxMo-kiw

 

 

 

Friday,  May 18, 2018

Senate confirms Gina Haspel as CIA director The Senate on Thursday voted 54-45 to confirm Gina Haspel as the director of the CIA. Haspel had faced fierce criticism for her involvement in previous CIA torture programs, including at a “black site” in Thailand in 2002. Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), who was absent from the vote as he undergoes cancer treatment away from the Senate, had urged his colleagues to vote against Haspel, calling her previous actions “disqualifying.” During her testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Haspel had declined to say the CIA’s actions were “immoral,” but in a letter released earlier this week, she said that “the enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken.” Haspel will be the first woman to lead the CIA. Source: C-SPAN, NBC News

Paul Manafort’s ex-son-in-law entered plea deal with federal prosecutors Jeffrey Yohai, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s former son-in-law and business partner, reached a secret plea deal with federal prosecutors earlier this year that requires him to cooperate in other state and federal investigations, according to several news organizations. One of Special Counsel Robert Muller’s two criminal indictments against Manafort charges him with bank fraud for allegedly instructing an unidentified son-in-law to pretend he was living in a Manhattan apartment that was being used as a rental property. Mueller’s team interviewed Yohai last June and reportedly remains interested in what he knows about Manafort. Manafort, who invested in failed real estate deals with Yohai in California and New York, has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Source: Reuters, Politico

Trump decries Russia investigation, accuses Democrats of spying President Trump on Thursday claimed to be the victim of “the greatest witch hunt in American history,” in the wake of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s report concluding that Russia sought to swing the 2016 election specifically for Trump. The investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia’s meddling began one year ago, and Trump marked the occasion by accusing Democrats of collusion instead. He also claimed that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign using an “embedded informant,” referring to a National Review report alleging such a plot. Trump exclaimed: “If so, this is bigger than Watergate!” Source: Twitter

Poisoned ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal released from the hospital Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was released from the hospital on Friday, more than two months after he and his daughter Yulia were found slumped over on a park bench in Salisbury, England, after being exposed to a Novichok nerve agent. Yulia Skripal was released from the hospital on April 9 and moved to a secure location. The U.S. and European allies blamed Russia for the poison attack and expelled diplomats and presumed intelligence agents. Sergei Skripal, 66, was a Russian military intelligence officer who Russia jailed for passing on secrets to Britain, then released in a 2010 spy swap. Source: BBC

 

 Thursday, May 17,  2018

North Korea cancels high-level talks with South Korea in protest of United States–South Korea joint military exercises. (Bloomberg)

North Korea warns that it might cancel talks with the United States if the U.S. keeps insisting that North Korea will “unilaterally” abandon its nuclear weapons program, similar to the disarmament of Libya. The White House says it is hopeful the planned summit will still happen. (The Washington Post)(Reuters)

White House unconcerned about North Korea’s threat to cancel Trump summit North Korean state media announced Wednesday that leader Kim Jong Un may reconsider meeting with President Trump in Singapore next month if the United States continues to demand that Pyongyang give up its nuclear weapons program. The nation would refuse to make a deal based on economic rewards from the U.S. in exchange for denuclearization, North Korea’s vice minister of foreign affairs said. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the Trump administration had “fully expected” North Korea to make such threats, and said Trump was still open to the meeting. When asked about the summit, Trump said, “We’ll see what happens,” noting that North Korea had not canceled the plans. Source: Reuters, The Guardian

Denmark announces the partial withdrawal of its special forces from Iraq following the collapse of ISIL in the country. (Channel News Asia)

The summit at Kīlauea erupts and sends a plume of ash and smoke 30,000 feet (9.1 km) into the air. (CNN) (BBC)

Voters in Burundi go to the polls for a referendum to amend the constitution to allow current President Pierre Nkurunziza to stay in office until 2034. (The Guardian)

 

Wednesday,  May 16,  2018

Taliban forces claim to have taken control of the western city of Farah after two days of fighting. It is the second provincial capital to be temporarily taken over, after a similar assault on Kunduz in 2015. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

The British government renationalises the Virgin Trains East Coast-operated East Coast Main Line. The Department for Transport will run the rail service until 2020. (Reuters) (BBC)

Michigan State University announces that it will settle with sexual assault victims of Larry Nassar for over $500 million. (AP via WKAR)

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee releases 2,500 pages of documents related to a June 9, 2016 meeting between Donald Trump campaign officials and Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya. (NPR)

 

Tuesday,   May 15, 2018

The Israeli Army reports some 4,000 Palestinians hold violent protests in five locations along the Gaza border, throwing Molotov cocktails at troops and burning tires. The Israeli Army kills two protesters and injures more than 100 others using live fire and tear gas. (The Jerusalem Post)

The United States Treasury Department announces new sanctions on Iran central bank governor Valiollah Seif and assistant director Ali Tarzali for allegedly helping the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Quds Force support Hezbollah. (Bloomberg)

The United States and six Arab states of the Persian Gulf add more sanctions on Hezbollah leaders Hassan Nasrallah and Naim Qassem. (Arab News)

Russian President Vladimir Putin opens the auto part of the 19-kilometre (12 mi)-long road-and-rail Kerch Strait Bridge connecting Crimea with Russia. (Reuters)

A Hamburg court upholds a 2017 ban on passages of Jan Böhmermann’s poem Schmähkritik. (Reuters)

Former President of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou is sentenced to four months in prison on charges he leaked classified information from a wiretap. (The Los Angeles Times)

The ruling party of India, the Bharatiya Janata Party, wins state assembly elections in Karnataka. (Business Standard)

George Soros’ Open Society Foundations announces that it is moving its operations in Budapest to Germany. (CNN)

THE END –for Friday may 18

05.15.2018

 

 

cardi_B_https://youtu.be/KiBS-dbv_x0

 

Tuesday,   May 15, 2018

Scores of Palestinians killed in protests against U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem Israeli gunfire along the Gaza Strip killed 61 Palestinian protesters and injured at least 1,200 more on Monday, Gaza health officials said, and Israeli tear gas fatally suffocated a young child. The fighting occurred along the Gaza border fence Monday as thousands of demonstrators gathered ahead of the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. President Trump announced late last year that he would move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital. The decision, and Israel’s crippling blockade of Gaza, ignited weeks of protests at the border, with Israeli troops killing dozens of Palestinians. President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, both White House advisers, attended the embassy’s inauguration Monday. Source: The Associated Press, Reuters

Supreme Court rules that states can allow betting on sports The Supreme Court struck down a federal law prohibiting states from allowing sports betting Monday, siding with New Jersey, which seeks in part to revitalize Atlantic City. Liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor were the only dissenters. “The legalization of sports gambling is a controversial subject,” the opinion reads. “Supporters argue that legalization will produce revenue for the states and critically weaken illegal sports betting operations … Opponents contend that legalizing sports gambling will hook the young on gambling, encourage people of modest means to squander their savings and earnings, and corrupt professional and college sports.” The justices determined that the legalization of sports gambling “requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make.” Source: Supreme Court, The Washington Examiner

 

Monday,  May 14, 2018

Tens of thousands of Palestinians protest on the border of Gaza. The Israeli Defense Forces reports some in the crowds were planting or hurling explosives, and that many were flying flaming kites into Israel. The Gaza Health Ministry reports at least 58 killed and over 2,400 wounded by Israeli forces using live fire and tear gas. (The New York Times) (The Guardian)

On the 70th anniversary of the formation of Israel, the US becomes the first country with an embassy in Jerusalem after a dedication ceremony featuring Israeli leaders and White House advisers. (NPR)

 The Dutch government, following similar moves by the United States and the United Kingdom, announces that it is phasing out the use of antivirus software products from the Russian company Kaspersky Lab “as a precautionary measure”. (Nasdaq)

Six-time Israeli Premier League champion Beitar Jerusalem Football Club officially renames itself Beitar Trump Jerusalem F.C. for U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the embassy. (The Guardian)

 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

 U.S. President Donald Trump says in a tweet that he is working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to get the Chinese telecom company ZTE “back into business, fast.” ZTE suspended its main operations after the U.S. Department of Commerce banned American companies from selling to the firm for seven years as punishment for ZTE breaking an agreement reached after it was caught illegally shipping U.S. goods to Iran. (CNBC)

A man from Queens is arrested after threatening to “kill” NBA commissioner Adam Silver. (NY Post)

French transport workers strike, reducing train services on SNCF, due to privatisation efforts. (Le Point)

 

Saturday,  May 12, 2018

Israel closes the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Gaza after it is heavily damaged by a Palestinian arson attack, saying that humanitarian cases will still be allowed through while the damage is being repaired. Kerem Shalom is the border crossing where most goods transit into the blockaded territory. (Voice of America)

The Israeli Air Force destroys a Hamas tunnel more than a kilometer long that headed from Beit Hanun, Gaza towards Israel. (The Jerusalem Post)

Israeli singer Netta Barzilai wins the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Portugal, with her song Toy. This is Israel’s first Eurovision win in the 21st century and fourth overall. (The Guardian)

Relatives of the 66 people killed in the crash sue Apple alleging that an overheating iPad caused the disaster. (Patently Apple)

After Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe insisted North Korea settle the issue of Japanese citizens adbucted by North Korea, North Korean state media KCNA accuses Japan of disrupting peace efforts before the planned North Korea–U.S. summit. (The Japan Times)

Voters in Iraq go to the polls. One quarter of the 329 seats in the Council of Representatives must go to women. (CNN)

A low turnout is reported, but no bombings at polling stations. (AP via The Spokesman Review)

A court in Milan lifts the consequences of Silvio Berlusconi’s 2013 tax evasion sentence. He is now allowed to participate in elections again. (Corriere della Sera) (La Stampa)

 

Friday,  May 11, 2018

Senior Hamas member Yehiyeh Sinwar suggests that tens of thousands of Palestinian protestors will storm the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip tomorrow. (ABC News)

U.N. urges ‘immediate halt to all hostile acts’ between Iran and Israel On Thursday night, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged “an immediate halt to all hostile acts and any provocative actions” by Israel, Iran, and Syria “to avoid a new conflagration in the region.” Early Thursday, in retaliation for a missile attack on the Golan Heights, Israel sent missiles and fighter jets into Syria, targeting “dozens” of Iranian assets as well as Syrian air-defense systems. The missiles left 23 dead, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. This is the most serious escalation in long-simmering tensions between Iran and Israel in years. On Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi criticized Israel’s strike as a “fabricated and baseless” attack on Syria’s sovereignty. Source: CNN, The Independent

The Israel Defense Forces again open fire with tear gas and live ammunition on Palestinian protesters, following 6 weeks of protests. One person is killed and 146 others wounded, with some protesters throwing stones and burning tyres. (The Independent)

Three Israelis are arrested after filming themselves attempting to fly a kite carrying an incendiary device into the Gaza Strip, in reference to the same tactic used by protestors in Gaza. The kite crashes on Israeli territory where it starts a small fire. (Haaretz)

Egypt announces that the Rafah Crossing into Gaza will be opened for four days starting next Saturday. Egypt usually opens the border for humanitarian reasons every two or three months for two or three days at a time. (Wafa.ps)

The owner of Cheeki Rafiki, a yacht that capsized in the Atlantic in 2014 with the loss of four lives, is given a suspended sentence in England for the accident. He was earlier convicted of operating the vessel unsafely but acquitted of manslaughter. (BBC)

Mount Merapi in Java, Indonesia, erupts. Authorities order evacuations and the closure of Adisucipto Airport in Yogyakarta. (Newshub)

A fire destroys almost all of the approximately 710 commercial premises of a important market in Lima, Peru. The fire is exacerbated by flammable products stored in many of the stores. One person was injured and also there were allegations of looting. (La República) (Radio Capital)

James Harrison, an 81-year-old Australian whose blood was used in the development of a treatment for Rh disease that has been credited with saving the lives of over 2 million infants in his country alone, donates blood plasma for the final time, after having regularly donated for over 60 years. (CNN)

Russian authorities say that they foiled a plot by Siberian terrorists to attack a Victory Day march attended by President Vladimir Putin and visiting IsraeliPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Twenty suspects are detained. (The Times of Israel)

SpaceX launches Bangabandhu-1, Bangladesh’s first geostationary communications satellite, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, United States. (Business Insider)

Scientists at MetService record a wave measuring 23.8 metres (78 ft) high in the Southern Ocean near Campbell Island, New Zealand, making it the largest wave ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere. (BBC) (Fox News)

23 killed as Israel attacks Iranian targets in Syria Early Thursday, Israel said it sent missiles and fighter jets into Syria, targeting “dozens” of Iranian assets, including weapons depots, intelligence centers, and logistics sites, as well as destroying Syrian air-defense systems. The missiles left 23 dead, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. This is the most serious escalation in long-simmering tensions between Iran and Israel since Syria’s civil war started in 2011. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended Israel’s actions, saying Iran had “crossed a red line” by firing missiles toward Israel. “Whoever prepares themselves to attack us will be attacked first,” said Netanyahu. Israel reportedly targeted an arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that is fighting alongside Syrian troops, in retaliation for Iran’s attack on the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Source: CNN, The Independent

THE END