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The Power Hour Past News



Happy Holiday Season!!!  - We will return on January 2, 2017

Friday - December 23, 2016

Today In History:

1783 - George Washington returned home to Mount Vernon, after the disbanding of his army following the Revolutionary War.
1788 - Maryland voted to cede a 100-square-mile area for the seat of the national government. About two-thirds of the area became the District of Columbia.
1880 - Thomas Edison incorporated the Edison Electric Light Company of Europe.
1913 - The Federal Reserve Bill was signed into law by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The act established 12 Federal Reserve Banks.
1919 - The 1st ship designed to be used as an ambulance for the transport patients was launched. The hospital ship was named USS Relief and had 515 beds.
1922 - The British Broadcasting Corporation began daily news broadcasts.
1941 - During World War II, American forces on Wake Island surrendered to the Japanese.
1942 - Bob Hope agreed to entertain U.S. airmen in Alaska. It was the first of the traditional Christmas shows.
1968 - The crew of the U.S. Navy ship, Pueblo, was released by North Korea. The Captain of the Pueblo, Commander Lloyd M. Bucher, and 82 of his crew were held for 11 months after the ship was seized by North Korea because of suspected spying by the Americans.
1970 - In New York, the topping out ceremony for original One World Trade Center (North Tower) took place. The South Tower's ceremony took place on July 19, 1971.
1987 - Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, serving a life sentence for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ford in 1975, escaped from the Alderson Federal Prison for Women in West Virginia. She was recaptured two days later.
1997 - Terry Nichols was convicted by a Denver jury on charges of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter in the 1995 federal building bombing in Oklahoma City. The bomb killed 168 people.
2003 - The government announced the first suspected case of mad cow disease in United States.
2003 - A jury in Chesapeake, Va., sentenced teen sniper Lee Boyd Malvo to life in prison, sparing him the death penalty.
2009 - The parents who pulled the "balloon boy" hoax in hopes of landing a reality TV show, were sentenced to jail by a judge in Fort Collins, Colo.

World News

Syrian Army declares Aleppo under full control, ‘return of security’ to city
RT - The Syrian Army has regained control over all of Aleppo and has returned “security and stability to the city,” the army's general command said. The Red Cross has confirmed that a complex operation to evacuate those who "wished" to leave has been completed. The city has been liberated from "terrorism and terrorists" the statement said, as quoted by Syria's state SANA news agency. Aleppo will now mark a turning point in the war against terrorism, the Syrian Army statement said. “It strikes a smashing blow to the forces that backed a terrorism plot against Syria,” the statement added…. Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Thursday that the liberation of Aleppo from terrorism is a victory not just for Syria but for all those who are effectively contributing to the fight against terrorism, including Iran and Russia.

Japan’s cabinet approves record $43.6bn military budget amid tensions with China & N. Korea
RT - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet has approved a record $43.6 billion Japan military budget, increasing it for the fifth year in a row out of concerns over potential threats from China and North Korea. Abe’s cabinet signed off on a 1.4 percent increase in military spending, bringing the total to a record 5.13 trillion yen ($43.66 billion) for the fiscal year starting April 1. Experts say the plan is very likely to be approved by lawmakers. Meanwhile, China continues to claim disputed territories in the South China Sea, and North Korea has continued to carry out missile tests…. With regard to North Korea, Tokyo has invested in its own intercontinental ballistic missiles to assure that it is prepared to deliver a proportional response if attacked by Pyongyang. Part of the new technology has been developed jointly with the US, such as ship-based missile interception systems that could come in handy, as four missiles recently test-fired by North Korea landed a mere 240 kilometers from Japan.

Germany has 7,000 terror suspects at large and is finding it ‘almost impossible’ to monitor them, former UK intelligence chief says
Daily Mail - Germany is finding it 'almost impossible' to keep track of around 7,000 potential terror suspects in the country, a former British intelligence chief has warned. Richard Barrett, who was head of counter-terrorism at MI6, said the authorities were finding the number of 'live' cases unmanageable. The grim assessment came as German security services face difficult questions following the Berlin Christmas market massacre. It has emerged that the suspect, Anis Amris, a lifelong criminal, should have been deported months ago. The 24-year-old, who has a 100,000 euro reward on his head, was under surveillance by German intelligence for several months following his arrival in the country in 2015. He had been arrested three times this year and his asylum application was rejected, but deportation papers were never served and he disappeared. The Tunisian radical was known to be a supporter of Islamic State and to have received weapons training. He also tried to recruit an accomplice for a terror plot – which the authorities knew about – but still remained at large.

2.5 tons of fake plastic rice seized in Nigeria
RT - Amid skyrocketing food prices and inflation ahead of Christmas, Nigerian authorities have intercepted a shipment of some 2.5 tons of fake rice, supposedly from China. Health warnings have been issued and an arrest made. The 102 bags of fake rice, weighing 25kg (a little over 50lb) each and labeled ‘Best Tomato Rice’, are thought by customs officers to have been smuggled in through the port in Lagos, according to AFP. The port city is the country’s main commercial hub. The connection to China is being suggested after 'rice' made from plastic pellets was discovered at the same port last year. A suspect was arrested Wednesday, and warnings were immediately issued to steer clear of the rice, and definitely not cook it. It was upon cooking the rice that customs officials saw its sticky constitution, realizing it was not safe.

Ecuadorian Natives Detain Govt Troops as State Attempts to Give Their Land Away to Big Oil
The Free Thought Project - A bold action by indigenous peoples in Ecuador is providing a stark contrast to the situation of Native Americans over the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Kichwa de Sarayaku indigenous group has detained 11 government soldiers who were traveling through their territory in northeast Ecuador. The soldiers were going by canoe along the Bobonaza River, were not on duty and had not asked permission to enter the territory, according to the Kichwa. “For security reasons we have been obligated to isolate them to consult them about their purpose and where they were headed. Sarayaku guarantees their Human Rights,” a Kichwa statement read. Pictures of the soldiers sitting on benches inside a camp were also posted. The detainment comes as tensions flare once again over government-enabled corporate exploitation of native lands.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Donald Trump says he wants to ‘greatly strengthen and expand’ U.S. nuclear capability, a radical break from U.S. foreign policy
Washington Post - President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday called for the United States to expand its nuclear arsenal, after Russian President Vladi­mir Putin said his country’s nuclear potential needs fortifying, raising the specter of a new arms race that would reverse decades of efforts to reduce the number and size of the two countries’ nuclear weapons. In a tweet that offered no details, Trump said, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” During the campaign, Trump talked in one debate about the need to modernize the country’s infrastructure of nuclear weaponry, saying the United States is falling behind. But it is not clear whether Trump is thinking of increasing the number of nuclear weapons the United States possesses, or updating the existing supply. Trump’s tweet came shortly after Putin, during a defense ministry meeting, talked tough on Russia’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.
* Related: Putin calls for strengthening nuclear potential

Boeing CEO Promises Trump Air Force One Will Be Less Than $4B
Sputnik News - US President-elect Donald Trump met with top executives from Lockheed Martin and Boeing on Wednesday to begin negotiating for new aircraft that the incoming President previously criticized for 'out of control" costs. Trump’s meetings with Boeing and Lockheed were held separately in Palm Beach, Florida, and included senior defense officials. The next Air Force One will have "the best capability" at an affordable price point, Boeing chairman Dennis Muilenburg claimed, following the meeting. The aim of the talks was "to get costs down," Trump said, emphasizing "costs." The President-elect cried foul over a $4-billion price tag associated with the presidential plane, but Boeing is "going to get it done for less than that," the Boeing CEO said following the meeting. The Chicago-based aerospace giant must work with federal officials to create an aircraft to Pentagon specifications, including anti-missile defense systems. Boeing has yet to be awarded a contract for the physical production of the plane, but the company has started building out the plane’s systems. Government contracts analyst Kevin Brancato notes that the Pentagon has set aside $3.2 billion for the life-cycle of the two planes, from research and development to construction and acquisition…. Trump and the Lockheed Martin CEO conversed on the ever-contentious F-35 fighter jet program, though Trump would not commit to having gained any victories during the negotiations. "It’s a dance, you know" he said, indicating the discussions are still in the preliminary stages, adding that the F-35 program is “very, very expensive.”

Mysterious Military Flyover Above Manhattan Was A Trump “Emergency Relocation Drill”
Zero Hedge - One week ago, New Yorkers were captivated, and unnerved, by a 40-minute long military exercise in which one USAF C-130 and several HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters could be seen circling at very low altitudes above Manhattan. While the US military kept silent about the overflight, U.S. Air Force Col. Nicholas Broccoli, the vice commander of the Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing, said the aircraft were conducting “standard military training.” However, one look at the flight pattern of the plane shows there was seemingly little that was “standard” about a C-130 making dozens of circles over midtown Manhattan. Today we learn that the overflights were far more than simply “standard military training.” According to DNAinfo, the military airplane and two helicopters doing loops over Midtown last week were conducting an “emergency relocation” planning mission in case they needed to extract President-elect Donald Trump during an emergency or attack. Citing sources, DNAInfo said that the flyovers were part of an “emergency relocation drill” designed to identify locations, primarily in Central Park, where a chopper could touch down near Trump’s home inside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and 56th Street, and safely evacuate Trump and others from the city. “It was the military doing their homework,” one source said. “They were making plans how to remove him, mapping plans and strategizing,” added a second source. In the event of an emergency, the president would be whisked by the Secret Service north to the park, and then flown in a helicopter to the nation’s capital or a secret government site in Virginia or West Virginia, sources said. The aircraft models spotted during the exercise can fly long distances without refueling and can also refuel in mid-air if necessary, sources said. Surprisingly, the NYPD was given only short notice about the flyovers, and were never informed that the military would be using a plane as large a C-130 with its 130-foot wing span.

Obama Administration Scraps Entry-Exit Tracking System for Migrants from Muslim Countries
(AP) - The Obama administration is officially ending a post-9/11 era registration system for immigrant men from mostly Muslim countries. The decision to scrap the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System comes amid growing international terror fears and President-elect Donald Trump’s suggestions that he could ban Muslim immigrants from the United States. Trump said Wednesday, “You know my plans.” The NSEERS program was widely derided by civil libertarians as an effort to profile people based on race and religion. The administration hasn’t been using the program since 2011.

The U.S. is no stranger to interfering in the elections of other countries
LA Times - One professor's database cites 81 attempts by the United States to influence elections in other countries, notably in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. The CIA has accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 presidential election by hacking into Democratic and Republican computer networks and selectively releasing emails. But critics might point out the U.S. has done similar things. The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it’s done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University. That number doesn’t include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn’t like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring. Levin defines intervention as “a costly act which is designed to determine the election results [in favor of] one of the two sides.” These acts, carried out in secret two-thirds of the time, include funding the election campaigns of specific parties, disseminating misinformation or propaganda, training locals of only one side in various campaigning or get-out-the-vote techniques, helping one side design their campaign materials, making public pronouncements or threats in favor of or against a candidate, and providing or withdrawing foreign aid.

Texas Moves to Stop Future ‘Faithless Electors’
Breitbart - Texas leaders are moving quickly to prevent a repeat of Monday’s vote by two “faithless electors” who broke their vow to cast a ballot for the winner of the presidential vote in the Lone Star State. Bills have been filed in both houses for the upcoming legislative session creating penalties for electors who do not honor their pledge. Governor Greg Abbott has promised to sign the bill if it reaches his desk. Following the votes by two faithless electors in Monday’s Electoral College vote in the Texas State Capitol, State Senator-Elect Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) pre-filed Senate Bill 394 (attached below), the Texas Elector Accountability Act. The bill calls for a civil fine and a permanent prohibition against serving as an elector in any future presidential election.

Bongino: ‘Mainstream Media Normalizing Anti-Social Behavior Against Donald Trump’
Breitbart - “Mainstream media are normalizing anti-social behavior against Donald Trump,” former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino tells Breitbart News in an exclusive interview. Bongino, who served in the agency’s Presidential Protection Division for both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, says “unlike many in the mainstream media, I’ve actually interviewed people who have threatened the president. These are the ones who can have trigger moments that can happen based on something they’ve read or seen.” “That’s the problem I have with the media now,” Bongino says, noting that it applied a very different standard of reporting to President Obama than they are now applying to President-elect Trump. “The media had that gatekeeper role, when it came to reporting on comments about President Obama,” Bongino, who lost the Republican primary in Florida’s 19th Congressional District in 2016, says. “But with President-elect Trump, they are reporting every outlandish allegation, often without providing any balance in the story,” the former Secret Service agent and New York City Police Department officer says. The result, he says, is to “normalize anti-social behavior” against the President-elect. While it is hard to say exactly what triggers psychologically unbalanced individuals to undertake violent actions, one recent story sounds a warning bell that President-elect Trump’s personal security may require unprecedented levels of protection over the next four years.

Screaming lawyer chases down Ivanka Trump and yells at her as she sits with her kids on flight to Florida
Daily Mail - A passenger on a JetBlue flight accosted Ivanka Trump on Thursday morning. 'Your father is ruining the country,' said Dan Goldstein, a lawyer from Brooklyn, who had a child in his arms. He then began demanding to know why Ivanka was on the flight and not travelling on a private plane while she sat with her kids. Ivanka ignored him and tried to preoccupy her children with crayons while the man berated her. A fellow passenger said later that Ivanka told security and flight staff she did not want to make the incident a thing and have anyone removed from the flight…JetBlue released a statement on Thursday morning saying: 'The decision to remove a customer from a flight is not taken lightly. If the crew determines that a customer is causing a conflict on the aircraft, the customer will be asked to deplane, especially if the crew feels the situation runs the risk of escalation during flight.’… Members of Secret Service were on the flight with the family, but did not intervene and instead chose to let the airline handle the issue.

Missouri Bills Would Require Implementation of the Unconstitutional REAL ID Act
Tenth Amendment Center - Two bills prefiled for the 2017 legislative session would repeal a Missouri law prohibiting implementation of the Real ID Act and set the state on a course to participate in an unconstitutional national identification system. Rep. Kevin Corlew (R-Kansas City) prefiled House Bill 151 (HB151) on Dec. 6. Sen. Ryan Silvery (R-Kansas City) introduced a similar bill (SB37) in the Senate. The legislation would repeal current state law prohibiting “compliance with the goals or standards of the federal REAL ID,” and replace it with a program to issue REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses to those who want them. Under the proposed laws, Missourians would be allowed to opt out of the federally compliant ID. Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 and Pres. G.W. Bush signed it into law. The act essentially mandates a national ID system that relies on states to implement. Under the act, all 50 states were supposed to comply with the federal law by 2008. But, states rebelled against REAL ID for several reasons, including privacy concerns and the fact that Congress didn’t provide any funding for the mandates it imposes on states. To date, 27 states, including Missouri, remain non-compliant, nullifying the national ID system in effect…. Over the last year, the federal government has ramped up bullying tactics in an effort to force reticent states into compliance. On Oct. 13, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent letters to five states, denying their request for a time extensions to bring their driver’s licenses in compliance with REAL ID. Three other states, including Missouri, were already under the DHS gun. If the feds follow through on their threats, this means that in 2018, residents of Missouri may find themselves on a virtual no-fly list. They will need to have alternate ID, such as a passport, in order to clear TSA screening.

Chicago Gun Violence So High It Is Skewing National Murder Figures
Breitbart - …the Chicago Tribune reports that the number of murders in Chicago reached 755 by December 21. When these numbers are added to the murder figures of other cities, they raise the overall perception of violence considerably — particularly when it comes to the number of homicides.According to The Washington Post, the Brennan Center of Justice expects “the homicide rate for the country’s 30 biggest cities… to go up by 14 percent this year.” But that increase does not tell the whole story; namely, that “the killings in Chicago account for an astounding 43.7 percent of this overall increase in [homicides].” In other words, if year-end numbers do in fact show the anticipated “14 percent” jump in homicides nationally, the deaths in Chicago alone will account for nearly half of that increase. This means Chicago’s failed gun control experiment is affecting us all by making murder numbers appear higher across the nation than they actually are. These elevated numbers give Democratic politicians an opportunity to claim concealed carry is not effective, to claim more intrusive government policies are necessary to keep us safe, regardless of which city or state we call home. Baltimore has witnessed approximately 299 homicides year-to-date, and Washington D.C. has witnessed approximately 128. When combined with Chicago, the death numbers in these three Democrat-run, highly gun-controlled cities account for well over 50 percent of the murder spike that will be credited to America’s 30 largest cities.

Atheist Group Demands Town Remove Nativity … But Town Refuses (‘It’s Here To Stay’)
Off the Grid News - Belen, N.M., is one such community. In 2015 the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to city officials, warning it that a year-round nativity located in a city park allegedly violated the U.S. Constitution. The atheist/agnostic organization wanted the nativity moved to private property, but a year later, it remains where it’s always been. “Belen” is Spanish for Bethlehem – the city where Jesus was born. “Our town was named Belen for a reason, because our founders wanted it to be named after Bethlehem and of course, what happened in Bethlehem was the birth of Christ, which is something we’ve expressed since our founding,” Belen Mayor Jerah Cordova told KOAT last year. “Where does it stop? If we don’t stand up for the nativity scene in the heart of Belen, next will they be asking us to change our name?”… Cordova’s attitude is similar to that of city officials elsewhere. In Franklin, Pa., the city council voted earlier this month to keep a nativity on public property despite a threat from FFRF. To help guard against lawsuits, the council decided to add some secular symbols near the nativity…. FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said she doesn’t think “religion or irreligion should be on public property.” But some communities still are surrendering. Gig Harbor, Wash., received a letter from FFRF and chose not to allow a local resident to put up a nativity on private property, as had been done in past years. That resident, John Skansi, told The News Tribune he was disappointed.
* Related: Vandals smash nativity scenes, abduct baby Jesus in PA, TN, NH

School-to-Prison Pipeline Complete — New Law Makes Schoolyard Fights a Felony
The Free Thought Project - On January 1, 2017, the state of Missouri will implement a public school policy sure to accelerate the descent into police state dystopia. The Hazelwood School District put out a memo to parents and guardians stating that, according to Missouri statute, fights at school or on buses will be treated as felonies — which can result in up to four years of prison, fines or probation…. Dear Parents/Guardians: We want to make you aware of a few new State Statutes that will go into effect on January 1, 2017, which may have a drastic impact on how incidents are handled in area school districts. The way the new statue reads, if a person commits the offense of an assault in the third degree this will now be classified as a Class E Felony, rather than a misdemeanor. If he or she knowingly causes physical injury to another person (hits someone or has a fight with another individual and an injury occurs) – one or both participants may be charged with a Felony…. It doesn’t stop there. Even attempts or threats to cause harm will be treated as a Class A misdemeanor, which can bring up to a year of prison time. If the assaulted person is considered a “special victim,” a Class D felony can be imposed which can mean up to seven years in prison.

Economy & Business

White House Claims Over 80% Of Low-Skilled Jobs Will Be Automated
Blacklisted News - In a seemingly benign report presented earlier this month about middle class incomes and innovation, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Jason Furman, claimed that jobs with a median wage paying less than $20 an hour have an 83% chance of being automated. Those with less than a high school education had a 44% chance of having their jobs automated. The report was presented to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on December 15. It tried to find solutions for the slowdown in middle class income and labor productivity growth.

Energy & Environment

Las Vegas Is Now Running Entirely On 100% Renewable Energy
True Activist - Popular Mechanics reports that the city has been working toward the goal for nearly a decade and was able to achieve the grandiose feat by launching Boulder Solar 1, a 100-megawatt solar panel plant located near Boulder City. In addition to powering Las Vegas, Boulder Solar 1 directs energy to on-site facilities with tree-shaped solar panels in the City Hall plaza, solar shade canopies at city parks, and an array of solar panels installed on roofs at the wastewater treatment plant. Only in 2008 did the city begin its renewable energy project. Sustainability programs encouraged residents and companies to reduce their electricity usage, and solar panels were installed on buildings within the city. To ensure the city can continue to run on green energy, it will start receiving power from Hoover Dam beginning at the end of 2017 – a first in history…. Review Journal relays that the city will save approximately $5 million each year, as the sustainable initiatives have caused the city of Las Vegas to reduce electricity usage by 30%. According to Mayor Carolyn Goodman, the city is now a “world leader in sustainability.”

Science & Technology

Google avoided billions in taxes by funneling money offshore
RT - Alphabet Inc.'s Google managed to save $3.6 billion in 2015 by shifting its profits to a Bermuda shell company, according to filings in the Netherlands. Google used Ireland and the Netherlands as intermediaries. According to files obtained by Bloomberg, Google used the so-called "Double Irish" and a "Dutch Sandwich" tax avoidance method. The scheme is complicated. First, Google’s taxes outside the US are sent to Ireland to Google Ireland Limited. Then, the profits are sent to the Netherlands, which is also acknowledged for low corporate taxes. Then, the money is sent from the Dutch subsidiary to a Bermuda shell company known as Google Ireland Holdings Unlimited, which has no employees but has the rights to Google's intellectual property. Bloomberg further reported that using the tax avoidance scheme Google sent 40 percent more of its profits in 2015 than in 2014. In total, Google has sheltered $58.3 billion from US taxation, according to parent company Alphabet’s filings. While Ireland closed the loophole last year, corporations may still enjoy it until 2020. The report may be of interest to the EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, who has recently been tackling inappropriate behavior of US companies on the European market. Just on Tuesday, the European Commission found Facebook guilty of providing misleading information before winning approval to buy the WhatsApp messenger in 2014. The company is facing a fine of up to one percent of annual sales. In August, Apple was fined €13 billion after a European investigation concluded Ireland provided the iPhone maker with a favorable tax rate. Vestager is also digging into major US corporations like McDonald’s, Starbucks and Chrysler.


Milestone Finally Reached in Dental Mercury Fight
Dr. Mercola - On December 13, Charlie Brown, president of Consumers for Dental Choice and The World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, announced an important victory. As of July 1, 2018, pregnant or nursing women and children under the age of 15 will no longer be allowed to receive mercury dental fillings, also known as amalgam fillings, anywhere in the European Union (EU)— 28 countries in all, with a population totaling more than half a billion people. “This landmark achievement still has to be officially ratified,” Charlie says, “but all three European Union institutions, the [European] commission, the Council [of the European Union] and the European Parliament have reached consensus. We are on the way to ending amalgam for the children of Europe and the children of the world.” Mercury-containing amalgam is a primitive, pre-civil war pollutant that has no place in modern dentistry. Compelling evidence shows that dental amalgams readily release mercury in the form of vapor every time you eat, drink or brush your teeth. A single amalgam filling may release as much as 15 micrograms of mercury per day; 10 micrograms per day is average. To put that into perspective, eating mercury-tainted seafood can expose you to about 2.3 micrograms per day, and that alone was enough for scientists to call for a worldwide warning in 2006. Brown, a former attorney general for West Virginia, has committed nearly two decades of his life to protecting children and grownups around the world from the dangers of mercury amalgam.

17 Reasons Why You Should Eat a Mango Every Day
Natural Blaze - One cup of mangoes (225 gms contain) contains the following percentages that apply to daily value. 105 calories. 76 percent vitamin C (antioxidant and immune booster). 25 percent vitamin A (antioxidant and vision). 11 percent vitamin B6 plus other B vitamins (hormone production in brain and heart disease prevention). 9 percent healthy probiotic fibre. 9 percent copper (copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes plus production of red blood cells). 7 percent potassium (to balance out our high sodium intake). 4 percent magnesium. 1. Fights cancer - Antioxidants like quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat present in mango protect the body against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. 2. Keeps cholesterol in check - Mango has high level of vitamin C, pectin and fibres that help to lower serum cholesterol levels. Fresh mango is a rich source of potassium, which is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps to control heart rate and blood pressure. 3. Skin cleanser - Mangoes help you unclog your pores and add freshness to the face. Mangoes are applicable to any skin type. They help clear clogged pores that cause acne. Just slice a mango into thin pieces and keep them on your face for 10 to 15 minutes and then take bath or wash your face and see the results. 4. Alkalizes the body - According to natural health, mango is rich in tartaric acid, malic acid and traces of citric acid that primarily help in maintaining the alkali reserve of the body….

Pet News

Terrifying Video Serves as Important Reminder When Traveling With Dogs
Dogington Post - A Colorado woman took to social media to warn dog owners just how important it is to consider your dog’s safety when they’re joining you on the road after her dash camera captured a dog jumping out of a window and right into the middle of traffic on I-70 in Lakewood. Erica Robles Kannely posted the video (below) to Facebook with the following caption: Oh wow! My heart is beating so fast after watching this video that Mike caught while driving on the highway today! This could have been so much worse!! Please share so people can see how dangerous it is to let our dogs look out the window! Thank God there was traffic so they weren’t going too fast! I am so guilty of letting my dogs look out the windows while I drive. But NEVER again! Remember, when traveling by car, to always secure your dog with a crash-tested vehicle harness or inside a crate. Also, check local laws – many require dogs to be restrained inside a vehicle.

Driving With Your Pet Is More Dangerous Than You Think (Video)
The Dodo - A new crash-test study from the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) analyzed how well several popular pet carriers, crates, pilot seats and harnesses kept dogs and cats safe during vehicle collisions — and the results were, well, alarming. As it turns out, many of the products that claim to secure our precious companions in the event of a crash actually offered little in the way of protection. The 2015 study, conducted by the CPA in partnership with Subaru of America, used weighted dog and cat dummies in the tests. No live animals were harmed. Eight models of carrier, designed to ride in vehicle cabins, were tested to see how they would withstand a simulated front crash at speeds of 30 mph. To be considered safe, the carrier needed to fully contain the dog within, and remain fixed to the securing points during the crash. Of those carriers, only two successfully met CPS's safety criteria. The others either detached from their anchors, or in some cases, failed to keep the animal inside…. CPS tested four pet crates for how the structure and anchor straps held up during collisions of 31 mph. To pass, crates needed to be secure enough to not contact the simulated rear seat, and the straps and crate needed to maintain structural integrity, ensuring the animal remained inside. Only one crate met these standards…. CPS tested four pet seats, each designed to keep pets secure to a vehicle's cabin seat but not enclosed. This is the first time pet seats have been subjected to a CPS study, and therefore a definition of "success" for these product has yet to be determined. That said, none of the brands tested kept the dummy animals secure in collisions of 30 mph. CPS expresses concerns that these products leave pets at risk…. CPS's recent tests did not include pet harnesses, which are supposed to keep pets restrained to seats with no form of enclosure, but the group did study eight of these products in 2013. Criteria for success required dummies to remain in the seat during the crash tests. Only one brand passed. [See article for links to individual summery results]

Thursday - December 22, 2016

Today In History:

1775 - A Continental naval fleet was organized in the rebellious American colonies under the command of Ezek Hopkins.
1807 - The U.S. Congress passed the Embargo Act, designed to force peace between Britain and France by cutting off all trade with Europe.
1864 - During the American Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman sent a message to U.S. President Lincoln from Georgia. The message read, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah."
1910 - U.S. Postal savings stamps were issued for the first time. They were discontinued in 1914.
1943 - Sporting goods manufacturers received permission to use synthetic rubber for the core of baseballs.
1941 - British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington for a wartime conference with U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt.
1956 - Colo, the first gorilla to be born in captivity, was born at the Columbus, Ohio zoo.
1961 - James Davis became the first U.S. soldier to die in Vietnam, while U.S. involvement was still limited to the provision of military advisers.
1984 - New York City resident Bernhard Goetz shot four black youths on a Manhattan subway. Goetz claimed they were about to rob him.
1991 - The body of Lt. Col. William R. Higgins, an American hostage murdered by his captors, was found along a highway in Lebanon.
1996 - A car bomb exploded in Belfast, injuring a known IRA supporter. Police suspected that Protestant loyalists were responsible for the attack.
2001 - Thirty Afghans, including two women, were sworn in as part of the new interim government in Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai was the head of the post-Taliban government.

World News

Putin says sanctions harming fight against terrorism, hopes Germany attack will bring West closer
RT - Vladimir Putin says that the rift created by anti-Russian sanctions is affecting cooperation in the battle against terrorism, while Russia’s foreign ministry says that recently introduced US sanctions “will not be left without reply.” “All these restrictions in the economic and political spheres drive apart states, and prevent us from joining forces in combating a common evil – terrorism,” said the Russian President during a meeting with Russia’s top legislators in Moscow on Wednesday…. Joint anti-terrorism and drug-trafficking operations between Russia and NATO have been suspended since Crimea’s secession from Ukraine in 2014. Efforts to build an anti-Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) coalition in Syria also suffered a high-profile collapse this autumn, though Moscow has discussed reviving the drive with the incoming White House administration. But relations with the US suffered a setback this week, when Washington announced a raft of new sanctions against individuals and state-connected companies, and two ships connected to Crimea on Tuesday. The Treasury said their aim was to “maintain pressure on Russia by sustaining the costs of its occupation of Crimea and disrupting the activities of those who support the violence and instability in Ukraine.”

Al-Nusra Claims Responsibility For Murder Of Russian Ambassador, Warns Of More Attacks
Zero Hedge - The Jabhat Fatah al-Sham organization (formerly the al-Nusra Front) claimed to be responsible for Monday's murder of Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov’s in Ankara. The terrorist group claimed responsibility via a letter which appeared on the Internet. The letter was written in Arabic. In its statement, the group said “one of the heroes of the Jaish al-Fatah, Mevlüt Mert Altuntas carried out the execution of Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov in Ankara,” because the world remains silent to what is taking place in Aleppo, no support comes to the Muslims in the Levant and for the victory of the Syrian people…. Signaling similar attacks in the future, the group also said the assassination of the Russian ambassador was the “first act of revenge” for the women, children and the elderly killed in Aleppo as well as all the Muslims killed across the world.

Berlin terror attack: Tunisian suspect was investigated over earlier terror plot
The Telegraph - It emerged that Anis Amri had been under covert surveillance for months but German police called off the operation in September. Ralf Jäger, the interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia state, said an investigation had been launched against as Amri, who was due to be deported, earlier this year on suspicion of "preparing a serious crime endangering national safety". He moved around Germany and lived in several places, Mr Jäger said. Since February this year he lived mostly in Berlin, but he had been back in North Rhine-Westphalia recently. The man is aged 21 or 23 and known by three different names, according to reports in the daily Allgemeine Zeitung and the Bild newspaper. Both said asylum office papers believed to belong to the man were found in the cab of the truck. The documents, which announced a stay of deportation, were found under the driver's seat of the 40-tonne lorry that barrelled through the Christmas market in the heart of the German capital…. A Polish man, killed with a gunshot, was found on the truck's passenger seat, said de Maiziere. He was believed to be the original driver of the Polish-registered vehicle. The 37-year-old Pole named Lukasz worked for his cousin Ariel Zurawski's transport company in northern Poland. Zurawski described him as a "good guy" and said his body showed signs of a struggle with the assailant or assailants. An autopsy indicated that the driver was still alive at the time of the attack, the daily Bild reported.

Is Saudi Arabia Funding Extremist Islamist Groups In Germany?
Zero Hedge - A newly-leaked German intelligence report states Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar are funding extremist Islamic groups in Germany. The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and Northern German public radio broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk saw the brief and raised concern regarding a reported increase in Salafism, an ultra-conservative movement within Sunni Islam, within Germany. The report, compiled by German domestic intelligence agency Bft and Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) allegedly accuses Saudi Arabia and the two Gulf nations of funding various Islamic institutions including mosques and religious schools, as well as individual strict preachers and conversion, or “dawah” groups. The three countries supported missionary groups as a “long-running strategy to exert influence,” according to the report. More specifically, the report called out the Saudi Muslim World League, Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad al-Thani Charitable Association and the Kuwaiti Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (which is banned in both the U.S. and Russia for allegedly supporting al-Qaeda). The report found that these organizations have strong ties to the governments of their home countries. Neither of the German intelligence agencies have confirmed the accuracy of the leaked report. There are some who say that say the leak was made intentionally so that Germany would cease controversial arm sales to Saudi Arabia…. Weeks before the leak, German authorities banned the Islamic missionary group Germany Die Wahre Religion (DWR), or “The True Religion,” after officials found was “bringing jihadi Islamists together across the country under the pretext of preaching Islam.”… If it is discovered that the Saudis are still funding extremist Islamic groups, it could prove devastating for the West, as Saudi Arabia has been considered one of the few Middle Eastern countries that the West can call an ally.

Austrian Gun Sales Quadruple as Migrant Crime Rises
Breitbart - Gun sales in Austria have “quadrupled” as citizens of that nation seek to secure means of self-defense in response to the “immigrant crisis” that has enveloped Europe. Earlier in 2016, the crisis led Austria to “began limiting the number of asylum applications it would receive.” But gun sales began to skyrocket prior to this move being made. According to The Local, the number of weapons permits issued in Vienna and Styria in particular in September 2015 more than “quadrupled in November (2015).” This is an indicator of the number of Austrians seeking out firearms for self-defense. And the increased demand for firearms has continued. On December 18, 2016, the UK’s Express reported that Jeffrey Pang—an employee of Joh Springer’s, Austria’s oldest gun store—said the buying “surge in firearm sales coincided with reports of robberies, rapes and break-ins since the migrant crisis began.” He added, “Following the rise in attacks, customers want pepper sprays, combat training, small concealed carry weapons.” “Our security level has diminished in the last couple months. You see the crowds They’re shouting, they’re drinking, there is no security anymore,” Pang said.

EU agrees on tougher gun laws amid increased terror threat
RT - EU states have reached an agreement on stricter gun controls following a wave of attacks which have terrorized Europe over the past two years. The move aims to limit the means by which extremists could obtain deadly weapons legally. The EU Commission announced that 28 members reached a political agreement with the European Parliament to tighten gun control laws which have been in place since 1991. The debate on stricter gun control measures has persisted since 2015, following the Paris attacks, which left 130 people dead…. The main changes to the Firearms Directive include placing a ban on semi-automatic firearms. “These include automatic firearms transformed into semi-automatic firearms, long semi-automatic firearms of length less than 60cm, long semi-automatic firearms with loading devices of more than 10 rounds, and short semi-automatic firearms with a loading device of more than 20 rounds,” the Commission stated.

5 Arrested After Egyptian Police Bust Staged Photo Shoot Of "Wounded Aleppo Children"
Zero Hedge - Readers who have been following the crisis in Aleppo have seen media reports of videos and photos allegedly originating from innocent children victims, pleading against the advance of the Assad forces. And while there have been various accusations that these clips, like the infamous "chemical attack" YouTube clip from 2013, were staged, such reports were promptly slammed by the mainstream media as "fake news" and roundly ignored. However, if one ever needed a reason to be skeptical of claims, photographs, and/or videos coming out of the region, and the MSM's appeals to readers emotions based on fabricated facts, Egyptian authorities have just provided it. Egyptian police arrested five people in Port Said, Egypt for making staged "wounded children" photos, which they were planning to use to misrepresent on social media as photos of destruction and injured people in Syria's Aleppo, the Egyptian Interior Ministry said on Monday. The group also made fake videos that purport to show the wreckage of air strikes in Aleppo. The shooting team, which included the photographer's assistants and parents of the children, was detained in the Egypt's province of Port Said," the Ministry said on Facebook…. The Facebook statement said the videographer, his assistants, and the parents of two children who appear in the footage were detained after a trail led police to them at a building site awaiting demolition. The five have reportedly admitted they were planning to distribute their footage on social media, which was supposed to show an eight-year-old girl in a white dress and bandages, covered in red stains while holding a teddy bear.

Christians and Muslims alike appear to have come together in the Syrian city of Aleppo to celebrate Christmas (Videos)
David Wolfe - In a video documenting the gathering, a crowd of people can be seen cheering as a band plays and a giant Christmas tree is lit. Among the crowd, people hold Syrian, Russian and Hezbollah flags. According to Russian Television, this was the first Christmas gathering to be held in Aleppo since the civil war broke out in 2012. Russian officials say the war is now over as Syrian troops have reclaimed Aleppo – the country’s second largest city – from rebels. That doesn’t mean the conflict is all over yet. At one point during yesterday’s Christmas festivities, an explosion went off meters away from the crowd. Russian Television reports there were no casualties. Still, many in the international community are remembering the event for the fact that it brought hundreds of civilians together in a region that has seen intense disorder and bloodshed over the past three years.
* Related: Explosion disrupts Christmas celebrations in Aleppo

US Returns Part Of Okinawa’s WWII-Occupied Land To Japan
Press TV - The United States government has officially returned a large chunk of occupied land on Okinawa Island to Japan, but is pushing ahead with plans to stay on the prefecture despite public outrage. US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy joined Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Wednesday in a ceremony to mark the handover of over 4,000 hectares (about 10,000 acres) of land that the US had occupied after the Second World War. The land was part of a zone commonly known as the Northern Training Area, located inside a vast US military base complex on the Pacific island. The return was the largest of its kind since 1972, when Washington gave back a large part of the island to Japan. Despite the latest move, 17 percent of Okinawa still remains under US occupation.

Spanish banks may be forced to pay billions to swindled mortgage holders
RT - A ruling by the European Court of Justice may force Spain's biggest banks to pay back over €4 billion to clients who signed mortgage contracts that prevented them benefiting from falling interest rates. According to the ruling, the banks will be obliged to reimburse customers for what they lost on mortgages before May 2013, when Spain's Supreme Court declared them invalid if not presented clearly. The ruling exposes banks such as BBVA, Banco Sabadell, Caixabank, Banco Popular and Liberbank. Spanish banks introduced the so-called "floor clauses" as a safety net during the financial crisis, and most of them have since removed them. The lenders have prepared €5 billion for compensations. Most of Spain's home mortgages are linked to the 12-month euro interbank offered rate or Euribor. The benchmark has fallen, but households are not able to benefit from this.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Judge OKs Trump University settlement, deadline set to 2 days before he’s sworn in as president
RT - On Tuesday evening, US District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel issued an order for Trump University to pay $25 million to settle fraud lawsuits over the president-elect’s educational real estate program. US President-elect Donald Trump agreed in November to settle with more than 6,000 students who say they were cheated by his Trump University with false promises of teaching them his real estate tricks. Trump University ceased giving classes in 2010. The decision to settle solves two class-action lawsuits and a fraud case filed in 2013 by the New York attorney general. The $25 million settlement must be handed over to the plaintiffs' lawyers by January 18, 2017, just two days before Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony. If the University is unable to do so, Trump himself has to come up with the money…. The settlement includes $21 million for the former students, while the rest goes to the New York attorney general. The plaintiffs’ attorneys have already agreed to waive their fees, and have been working on the case pro bono. The deal would refund about half of the fees that students of Trump University had paid, which were typically between $1,500 for a three-day seminar, and $35,000 for an in-person mentorship program. The suit states that “Eligible Class Members will receive payments estimated to amount to 50% of what they spent on the Trump University Live Events, less any refunds received.” As part of the settlement, Trump and Trump University did not have to admit to any wrongdoing. “President Trump is pleased to have this case behind him so he can focus on every important issue facing this country,” Trump’s attorney Daniel Petrocelli previously said. “He was willing to sacrifice his personal interests to put this behind him and move forward,” the lawyer said back in November.

FBI Warrant For Clinton Emails Released As Democrats Slam Decision: “I Am Appalled”
Zero Hedge - Since November 8th, disaffected Democrats have tried and failed repeatedly to undo the 2016 Presidential election. First their was the failed recount effort launched by Jill Stein, an obvious front for the Clinton campaign, in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Embarrassingly, that effort actually resulted in a wider margin of victory for Trump but not before Stein wasted $7 million raised from devastated Hillary supporters…. Now, with the Electoral College vote done and no other options left, the angry, demoralized dems have turned their fury toward the FBI with allegations that the warrant issued for Anthony Weiner’s computer did not “give rise to probable cause” which must therefore imply some nefarious collusion between James Comey, Trump and Putin. Per Bloomberg, attorney Randol Schoenberg sued for the warrant to be released and has since expressed that he is “appalled” by its contents which failed to present “probable cause.” Schoenberg said he sought the documents because he couldn’t figure out why a judge found there was probable cause that a crime was committed, given that the FBI had already concluded its investigation of Clinton’s e-mails and not charged her. “I see nothing at all in the search-warrant application that would give rise to probable cause,” attorney Randol Schoenberg, who sued on Dec. 12 for the release, said in an e-mail after reviewing the documents. A judge is required to find probable cause that a crime may have been committed before issuing a warrant. “I am appalled,” he added. We assume Schoenberg simply missed the following two paragraphs which point out that FBI agents, without reviewing contents, happened upon “thousands of emails” sent to/from Huma Abedin using State Department email addresses around the same time they know that classified information was sent out over unclassified systems.

Gun Range Owner Reveals Secrets to Bypassing California’s Upcoming AR-15 Ban (Video)
Adan Salazar - Standard AR-15 rifles will no longer be allowed to be sold or bought under new California laws set to go into effect January 1, 2017, the owner of a gun range explained in a recent interview. Standard AR-15 rifles will no longer be allowed to be sold or bought under new California laws set to go into effect January 1, 2017, the owner of a gun range explained in a recent interview. Despite the AR-15 he uses as an example requiring a special tool in order to detach the magazine, Belemjian says the feature, which in the past allowed the gun to bypass detachable gun magazine restrictions, means the gun would be in violation of the new laws. Under the new law, a “fixed magazine” is now defined as “an ammunition feeding device contained in, or permanently attached to, a firearm in such a manner that the device cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm action.” Belemjian also described other features on his example centerfire, semi-automatic rifle that would make it illegal, such as the aforementioned detachable magazine and any of the following features: a collapsible, or adjustable, or foldable stock; a pistol grip that protrudes below the trigger guard; a forward pistol grip; and a flash hider. But, “if I remove the flash hider, remove the forward pistol grip, put a fixed stock on it and change out this [pistol] grip, guess what? It’s not an ‘assault weapon’ anymore; now it does not meet the definition.”

Economy & Business

U.S. Economic Confidence Surges To The Highest Level That Gallup Has Ever Recorded
Zero Hedge - Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index has now risen to the highest level that Gallup has ever seen… Americans’ confidence in the economy continues to gradually strengthen after last month’s post-election surge. Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaged +10 for the week ending Dec. 18, marking another new high in its nine-year trend. The latest figure is up slightly from the index’s previous high of +8 recorded in both of the prior two weeks. The first positive double-digit index score since the inception of Gallup Daily tracking in 2008 reflects a stark change in Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy from the negative views they expressed in most weeks over the past nine years. […] the results of CNBC’s All-America Economic Survey after the election was nothing short of historic… The CNBC All-America Economic Survey for the fourth quarter found that the percentage of Americans who believe the economy will get better in the next year jumped an unprecedented 17 points to 42 percent, compared with before the election. It’s the highest level since President Barack Obama was first elected in 2008 […] On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at yet another all-time record high. That was the 17th record close since election day, and overall the Dow is up a whopping 8 percent during that time span…. But of course not everything is rainbows and unicorns. Signs of trouble continue to erupt all over the U.S. economy, and there are many that believe that Trump will be facing some very serious economic concerns very early in his presidency.

Energy & Environment

Small New Jersey Town Sues DuPont for $1.1 Billion over Alleged 100-Million-Pound Toxic Waste Dumping
AllGov - A small town in New Jersey has sued DuPont for $1.1 billion, claiming it dumped more than 100 million lbs. of toxic waste into soil and water near the Delaware River, “a disaster worse than Exxon Valdez” that will take 1,000 years to clean up. The site has been linked to cancer clusters in the area. Thousands of New Jersey residents have sued DuPont for contaminating their drinking water. One such case was settled in 1993 for almost $40 million. In another case, DuPont paid $800 per household.

MAP: The thousands of U.S. locales where lead poisoning is worse than in Flint
Reuters - In all, Reuters found nearly 3,000 areas with recently recorded lead poisoning rates at least double those in Flint during the peak of that city’s contamination crisis. And more than 1,100 of these communities had a rate of elevated blood tests at least four times higher. The poisoned places on this map stretch from Warren, Pennsylvania, a town on the Allegheny River where 36 percent of children tested had high lead levels, to a zip code on Goat Island, Texas, where a quarter of tests showed poisoning. In some pockets of Baltimore, Cleveland and Philadelphia, where lead poisoning has spanned generations, the rate of elevated tests over the last decade was 40 to 50 percent…. To identify these locations, Reuters examined neighborhood-level blood testing results, most of which have not been previously disclosed. The data, obtained from state health departments and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tracks poisoning rates among children tested in each location. The resulting portrait provides a granular look at places where decades-long U.S. efforts to stamp out lead poisoning have fallen short.

Science & Technology

Kids Connecting on Social Media Are Less Satisfied With Real Life
Bloomberg - Kids who spend more time chatting on social websites feel reduced satisfaction about all parts of their lives except for their friendships, research from the Institute of Labor Economics shows. Looking at a national sample of British children between the ages of 10 and 15 collected from 2010 to 2014, the researchers found that spending one hour a day chatting on social networks reduced the probability of a kid being completely satisfied with his or her life overall by about 14 percentage points. Children might have been exposed to cyber bullying, had less time left over to do other things that would have improved their well-being, or may have made comparisons about their lives against others, the researchers suggest. Why does this matter, economically? Childhood experiences are important in shaping how they'll succeed as adults, the authors say, so it makes sense to pay attention to something that's putting a dent in the early happiness of future workers.

Study: Even “100% Safe Listening” Headphones may Cause Hearing Problems
Natural Society - A products recommendation website recently tested 30 sets of children’s headphones to see which ones have the greatest potential to damage kids’ hearing…. When The Wirecutter, a product recommendations website, tested 30 sets of children’s headphones, it found that half of them did not restrict volume to the promised limit. The worst headphones produced sound so loud that it could damage kids’ hearing in just minutes.When The Wirecutter, a product recommendations website, tested 30 sets of children’s headphones, it found that half of them did not restrict volume to the promised limit. The worst headphones produced sound so loud that it could damage kids’ hearing in just minutes…. According to a 2015 report by Common Sense Media, half of 8- to 12-year-olds listen to music daily, and nearly 2/3 of teenagers do. It’s not just the volume that can be dangerous to hearing; the longer you listen to something at a high volume, the more damage you can do to your ears. And while 80 decibels doesn’t sound much louder than 70 decibels, it’s actually twice as loud. That means 90 decibels is 4 times as loud as 70 decibels. You get the idea. The sound of a lawn mower is about 100 decibels, and is safe for only about 15 minutes; noise at 108 decibels, however, is safe for less than 3 minutes.
* Related: The Best Kids Headphones


Antipsychotic drugs increase risk of death for Alzheimer’s patients
What Doctors Don't Tell You - Antipsychotic drugs are routinely given to Alzheimer’s patients—but they increase the risk of death by 60 per cent. And the patient is twice as likely to die if he or she is given two or more antipsychotics. The most dangerous time is when the patient first starts taking the drug, say researchers from the University of East Finland, and haloperidol and risperidone were the two most lethal antipsychotics. The researchers came to their conclusions after they analysed the treatment of 57,755 people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s between 2005 and 2011; of these, 27 per cent were given an antipsychotic, and they were compared to healthy people who weren’t taking the drug. The trouble is, say the researchers, none of this is news: it was established 10 years ago that antipsychotics can be lethal, and should be used only rarely, and for the most difficult cases, such as to treat agitation or aggression. Despite these concerns, antipsychotics are still routinely used, and are a common therapy for Alzheimer’s and dementia, the researchers say.

Serious Dangers of Synthetic Scents Include Asthma, Cancer and Kidney Damage
Natural News Blogs - Synthetic scents or fragrances are basically a mixture of different ingredients which include allergens, respiratory irritants, carcinogens, and so on. These fragrances are mostly found in cosmetic products, detergents, cleaning material, air fresheners and so on. In fact, there are high amounts of scents in hair products, over 95 percent of conditioners and shampoos have synthetic scents. Studies show that most of the chemicals in these products are not listed on the labels…. In the same study, most participants reported experiencing migraines, respiratory problems, skin problems, asthma attacks, and mucosal symptoms when exposed to fragrances…. The Breast Cancer Fund says that you can reduce the risk of breast cancer by avoiding synthetic scents. These scents disrupt hormones which consequently increases the risk of cancer. Some sprays and liquids actually contain styrene (a chemical found in cigarette smoke and car exhaust). This is one of the ingredients that have been linked to cancer. Research shows that exposure to one common ingredient in fragrances phthalates can cause autism in children. Which means pregnant women should avoid exposure to synthetic scents. Note that evidence shows, these ingredients will be present in breast milk if you use fragrances during pregnancy and when breastfeeding. Research shows that scents from Cologne can worsen symptoms for people with asthma. Fragrances can also cause breathing problems for normal people. The allergic reactions caused by synthetic scents include sinus irritation, breathing problems, migraines, skin reactions and so on.

Pet News

The Biggest Threat to Your Dog’s Health in 2017
Dogington Post -The issue of overweight dogs is on the rise, and there are many factors contributing to this alarming trend. Poor food choices and a sedentary lifestyle are the two main components…. It’s no surprise that the biggest health threat to pets in 2017 is obesity,” says Dr. Ernie Ward, Petplan Veterinary Advisory Board member and founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. “When you consider that over half of the nation’s dogs and cats are now overweight or obese, it literally is a growing problem.” This year, Petplan challenges pet parents to get out and get active with furry friends to avoid the extra “fluff” that can exacerbate many of Petplan’s most commonly claimed conditions, including… Tummy troubles: Let’s face it — pudgy pets eat more than they should. And overeating can easily lead to vomiting and diarrhea, Petplan’s #1 claimed conditions year after year — in fact, Petplan sees an average of 900 claims every month just for tummy troubles! And the cost for relief averages at $850. The Big C: There have been some indications that certain types of cancer are more common in overweight or obese pets, and that can put a bump in pet parents’ budgets — the average vet bill for cancer is $2,033. A gimpy gait: Lameness, or general limping, is often caused by arthritis — and extra pounds mean extra stress on pets’ joints (and wallets — the average cost to treat lameness is $966). Not-so bee’s knees: Pets who pack on the pudge are also at a greater risk for cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries from added joint stress and weak muscles. CCL injuries are the priciest of Petplan’s common conditions, costing an average of $3,480 to repair. On the go: Several things can cause a urinary tract infection in pets, but obese animals may be more at risk because they can’t clean those hard-to-reach places. The average cost to treat UTIs? $590!…

Wednesday - December 21, 2016

Today In History:

1620 - The "Mayflower", and its passengers, pilgrims from England, landed at Plymouth Rock, MA.
1913 - Arthur Wynne published a new "word-cross" puzzle in the "New York World" in England. The name was later changed to "crossword."
1944 - Horse racing was banned in the United States until after the end of World War II.
1945 - U.S. Gen. George S. Patton died in Heidelberg, Germany, of injuries from a car accident.
1968 - Apollo 8 was launched on a mission to orbit the moon. The craft landed safely in the Pacific Ocean on December 27.
1978 - Police in Des Plaines, IL, arrested John W. Gacy Jr. and began unearthing the remains of 33 men and boys that Gacy was later convicted of killing.
1988 - 270 people were killed when Pan Am Boeing 747 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, due to a terrorist attack.
1990 - In a German television interview, Saddam Hussein declared that he would not withdraw from Kuwait by the UN deadline.
1991 - Eleven of the 12 former Soviet republics proclaimed the birth of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
1996 - After two years of denials, U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted violating House ethics rules.
1998 - The first vaccine for Lyme disease was approved.
2001 - The Islamic militant group Hamas released a statement that said it was suspending suicide bombings and mortar attacks in Israel.
2002 - Larry Mayes was released after spending 21 years in prison for a rape that maintained that he never committed. He was the 100th person in the U.S. to be released after DNA tests were performed.

World News

US Army Deploys Tanks To Europe Ratcheting Up Tensions With Russia
Zero Hedge - On December 16, US tanks and armor vehicles arrived in the Netherlands to be deployed in a storage depot located in the province of Limburg. The facility, the former Eygelshoven military base near Kerkrade, will be used to keep and maintain tanks, armored vehicles and heavy artillery pieces for a US armored brigade combat team. In January, the US Army in Europe is due to deploy a total of 4,000 American troops and around 2,000 military vehicles on a rotational basis to Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltic nations. NATO forces will move to the Baltic States in early spring. In an overtly provocative move, an American battalion will be stationed in Poland near the border with Kaliningrad, Russia’s Baltic enclave…. The deployment breaches the Russia-NATO Founding Act (1997). By signing the document NATO pledged not to seek »additional permanent stationing of substantial ground combat forces» in the nations closer to Russia «in the current and foreseeable security environment». Signed 20 years ago, the agreement appears all but dead amid the alliance's push to beef up its military presence on its eastern flank.

Terror Expert: Migrants Radicalized After Coming West, Attacks Impossible to Stop
Kit Daniels - The Christmas market attack in Berlin was “impossible to prevent” because many migrants aren’t radicalized until long after they’ve come west, says a German terrorism expert. The expert, Rolf Tophoven, said the German government knew an attack like the one on Monday, which killed 12, was likely to happen given the overflow of migrants into Germany – and the ISIS propaganda chief who told followers to use any means necessary to kill “infidels,” including knives and trucks. “If a radicalized fanatic decides to use a truck as a weapon, you don’t stand a chance, unless you know about him and his plans in advance and arrest him before he can act,” expert Rolf Tophoven told Deutsche Welle. “It’s impossible to check all vehicles in the EU or to seal off all Christmas markets to protect them from any danger.”…. Even if authorities were able to properly vet all of the migrants, many of them aren’t radicalized until well after they’ve settled in Western society. “The authorities are aware of a lot, but with the number of people coming in, it’s simply impossible to ensure a thorough enough vetting process for every single one of them,” Tophoven stated. “Plus, the radicalization process often doesn’t begin until they are in Europe.”

Berlin attacker ‘still at large’ after police ‘arrest wrong man’, according to reports
London Independent - Police have arrested the wrong man in the hunt for a lorry driver who killed at least 12 people in a suspected terror attack on a Christmas market, according to German media reports. Sources told Die Welt a Pakistani man detained near the scene of the massacre in Berlin is not believed to be linked to the atrocity, meaning the attacker is still on the run. “We have the wrong man,” the newspaper quoted a Berlin police official saying. “And therefore a new situation — that the real attacker is still at large and can do more harm.” A spokesperson for Berlin police said he could not confirm the report when contacted by The Independent. Germany’s top prosecutor, Peter Frank, said the massacre could have been carried out by more than one person, adding that the suspect in custody “may not have been the perpetrator or belong to the group of perpetrators”

Thwarted Peace? Assassination of Russian Ambassador “A False Flag Operation By the West”
Mac Slavo - Was this event staged to thwart peace talks between Turkey and Russia to prevent an end to the Syrian war? It is bizarre enough to have even mainstream sources suggesting the whole thing could have been – an inside job. Putin was reportedly about to announce a total ceasefire across Syria. This shooting happened just before Russia and Turkey were scheduled to hold peace talks with Iran concerning Syria – but now, officials from both countries will be dealing with an investigation of this assassination. These peace talks were planned without the involvement or participation of the United States or United Nations in what was being referred to as “a snub to Washington”. Now, several Russian officials, including Putin, are convinced it was an effort at sabotage by the West; and President Erdogan has made similar statements for the Turkish side. According to Unilad, President Putin vowed to find out who ‘directed’ the gunman’s hand: [Putin said:] “This murder is clearly a provocation aimed at undermining the improvement and normalization of Russian-Turkish relations, as well as undermining the peace process in Syria promoted by Russia, Turkey, Iran and other countries interested in settling the conflict in Syria.” Meanwhile, Erdogan called the assassination a provocation aimed at destroying bilateral ties. [Erdogan said] “I believe this is an attack on Turkey, the Turkish state and the Turkish people, and also a clear provocation … [in terms of] Turkish-Russian relations. I am sure our Russian friends also see this fact. Both Turkey and Russia have the will not to be deceived by this provocation.” Several Russian figures went further, suggesting an all-out false flag effort to derail the peace talks.

Russian diplomat 'found dead from gunshot wounds at home just hours after ambassador killed at art exhibition'
The Mirror - A Russian diplomat has been found dead from gunshot wounds at his home, it is reported. Petr Polshikov, 56, was discovered with a bullet injury to his head at his flat in Moscow's Balaklavsky Prospekt, according to local media. The alleged shooting came just hours after the news broke of the assassination of Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov. Karlov was killed by his police protection officer who screamed “Allahu Akbar” and “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria.”… In Polshikov's shooting, reported by Ren TV early today, two empty bullet shells were found in the high-ranking diplomat's flat. A gun was also reportedly discovered under the sink in the bathroom. The circumstances of the incident remain unclear, and it is understood police are examining all possible theories as to Polshikov's death…. Polshikov was said to be a senior figure in the Latin American department of the Russian foreign ministry. Some reports claim he had left the Foreign Ministry, but it is unclear if he worked for any other branch of the Russian government.

Explosion disrupts Christmas celebrations in Aleppo
RT - A well-attended Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in the Syrian city of Aleppo was rocked by an explosion meters away from the gathered crowd. No casualties have been reported. “We saw a huge flash of light,” reported RT’s Lizzie Phelan, who was covering the event, in an online broadcast. “At least half of the people on the square immediately fled.” Phelan said that eyewitnesses were unsure if the explosion was produced by a launched mortar or a planted explosive device.

US extends sanctions against Russia over Ukraine – Treasury statement
RT - Seven Russian individuals, eight entities and two vessels have been added to the US sanctions list over the conflict in Ukraine, the US Treasury Department said in a statement. Moscow said it reserves the right to respond asymmetrically. The Treasury also named 26 subsidiaries of Russian Agricultural Bank and gas producer Novatek, both of which had already been sanctioned in 2014. The American sanctions on those firms are relatively narrow, prohibiting the US citizens from dealing in certain kinds of debt with the companies, Reuters reported. "Today's action is in response to Russia's unlawful occupation of Crimea and continued aggression in Ukraine," John E. Smith, acting director of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement…. The sanctioned companies include Institut Stroiproekt and Karst, which are both involved in the construction of the Kerch Bridge, which is to link Crimea and Russia. Crimean Railway, Crimean Ports and entities linked to Sovfracht vessel operator were also blacklisted by the Treasury…. In response, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that Moscow will answer the extension of US sanctions with “asymmetric” measures at a time that it sees fit.

"Gold Is Now Effectively Illegal" In India - The Consequences Of Creating A Cashless Society (Video)
Zero Hedge - Jayant provides the clearest explanation of where India is (and where it is going) in the brief interview with's Maurice Jackson ... There are clear signs that in a very convoluted way, possession of gold for investment purposes will be made illegal. Expect capital controls to follow. Assaults on people’s private property and the integrity of their homes through tax-raids continue. In a recent notification, government has made it clear that any ownership of jewelry above 500 grams of gold per married woman will be put under the microscopic scrutiny of tax authorities. Steep taxes and penalties will be imposed on those who cannot prove the source of their gold. In India’s Orwellian new-speak this means that because bullion has not been explicitly mentioned, its ownership will be deemed to be illegal. Courts will do what Modi wants. Huge bribes will have to be paid. Sane people are of course cleaning up their bank lockers. The secondary consequence of this will be a steep increase in unreported crimes, for people will be afraid of going to the police after a theft, fearing that the tax authorities will then ask questions. At the same time, the gold market has mostly gone underground, and apparently the volume of gold buying has gone up.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Berlin Truck Attack Puts U.S. Cities on High Alert
Daily Mail - Police are boosting their presence at holiday villages and major sites around cities such as New York, Chicago and Boston as the US remains on high alert. It comes after a Christmas market in the German capital was deliberately targeted by a man, who is believed to have used a hijacked 25-tonne lorry to murder 12 people and injure 48 more. And in New York, police confirmed highly trained specialist units and its anti-terror squad would be deployed to high profile locations around the city. Also under close surveillance by the security services are the world-famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, Times Square and Herald Square, home to department store Macy's. In a statement, the NYPD said: 'The NYPD is monitoring the events in Germany and around the world. 'The Department has moved highly trained teams, including the Critical Response Command, to high profile locations around New York City. Meanwhile, Chicago Police also confirmed they would be ramping up their presence at the annual Christmas market in in an outdoor plaza in downtown Chicago. … in Boston, the city's mayor Martin J. Walsh confirmed barriers would be put in place in a bid to protect the 'Boston Winter' holiday market in City Hall Plaza…. News of the increased security comes after President-elect Donald Trump called the incident in Berlin a 'horrifying terror attack' and added it would push the US and its 'freedom-loving partners' to take on ISIS…. However, President Barack Obama has yet to comment on the incident as he is currently enjoying his annual Christmas vacation in Hawaii.
* Related: Video: As World Leaders Condemn Berlin Attack, Russian Ambassador Assassination, Obama Golfs

Los Angeles Plans $10M ‘Legal Fund’ for Illegal Immigrants
Breitbart - Los Angeles officials announced that a $10 million illegal immigrant fund would be set up to pay for the legal expenses of those facing deportation under the incoming Trump administration, according to the Los Angeles Times. The “LA Justice Fund” is a joint effort by the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, where the county’s Board of Supervisors will put forward $3 million and the city is expected to designate at least $1 million for the fund. The remaining funds will be gathered from “philanthropic groups,” according to the Times. Los Angeles is the latest city to create a somewhat taxpayer-funded effort to pay for illegal immigrants’ legal expenses, as Chicago has recently set up a similar fund to shield illegals, according to the Chicago Herald. Under Trump’s immigration plan, illegal immigrants with a criminal record will be deported and a southern border wall will be built under a massive infrastructure program.

California Electors Pass ‘Russian Hacking’ Resolution
Breitbart - The 55 members of the Electoral College from California cast their votes unanimously for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton — and passed a resolution calling for an investigation into Russian hacking and interference in the election. Christine Pelosi, daughter of U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), serving as the elector from the elder Pelosi’s 12th congressional district, offered the resolution during her remarks on the floor of the meeting, the Associated Press reports: We do not let the politics of personal destruction drive the narrative of scandal over policy, stop us from standing up, speaking up, answering our call to service, and making a difference … That is why I move that we, California’s electoral college members, demand an independent, bipartisan investigation into Russian interference into our election and steps we can take to protect the integrity of our democracy going forward. The resolution was reportedly passed unanimously. However, the American public is apparently not as concerned about Russian hacking allegations as Democrat electors are. A new Morning Consult poll released Tuesday suggests that only one-third of Americans believe Russia influenced the election.

As the Coup Against Trump Fails, the Threat Against His Life Rises
Paul Craig Roberts - The use of the presstitute media to deny Trump the Republican presidential nomination failed. The use of the presstitute media to deny Trump victory in the presidential election failed. The vote recount failed. The effort to sway the Electoral College failed. But the effort continues. The CIA report on Russia’s alleged interference in the US presidential election ordered by Obama is in process. Faked evidence is a hallmark of CIA operations. In their determination to seal Trump’s ears against environmental concerns, a group of environmentalists plan to disrupt the inauguration. This in itself is of little consequence, but chaos presents opportunity for assassination. Trump himself seems to think he is in danger. According to MSNBC, Trump intends to supplement his Secret Service protection with private security. As there is evidence of CIA complicity in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (film shows Secret Service agents ordered away from JFK’s limo immediately prior to his assassination), Trump, who is clearly seen as a threat by the military/security complex, is not being paranoid. MSNBC implies that Trump’s private security is to suppress protesters, as if government security forces have shown any compunction about suppressing protesters.

Economy & Business

More borrowers are losing Social Security benefits over old student loans
MarketWatch - About 114,000 student loan borrowers over 50-years-old are losing out on a portion of their Social Security benefits because of an old student loan and the number of borrowers over age 65 facing this predicament has increased 540% over the last decade, according to a report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office, the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress. The government provides federal student loan borrowers with a variety of options to avoid defaulting on their loans, but once a borrower defaults the feds have access to incredible powers to collect on the debt, including garnishing Social Security benefits, wages and tax refunds…. The report indicates that often collections on student loans are increasingly pushing seniors closer to the financial edge. The government has to leave borrowers with a minimum of $750 in Social Security benefits, but that floor was created in 1996 and hasn’t been adjusted for changes in cost of living. In 2016, the poverty threshold for a single adult was $990. About 67,300 borrowers have had their benefits garnished below the poverty line, compared with 8,300 in 2004…. More than 70% of the $1.1 billion collected through Social Security benefits to pay off student loans only applied to fees and interest — meaning that those funds likely barely made a dent toward paying back the borrower’s debt. More than 50% of borrowers at least 50-years-old who are losing out on Social Security benefits had no portion of that offset applied to their principal.

Tis The Season For Credit Card Debt: This Christmas Americans Will Spend An Average Of 422 Dollars Per Child
Economic Collapse - For many Americans, the quality of Christmas is determined by the quality of the presents. This is especially true for our children, and some of them literally spend months anticipating their haul on Christmas morning. I know that when I was growing up Christmas was all about the presents. Yes, adults would give lip service to the other elements of Christmas, but all of the other holiday activities could have faded away and it still would have been Christmas as long as presents were under that tree on the morning of December 25th. Perhaps things are different in your family, but it is undeniable that for our society as a whole gifts are the central feature of the holiday season. And that is why so many parents feel such immense pressure to spend a tremendous amount of money on gifts for their children each year. Of course this pressure that they feel is constantly being reinforced by television ads and big Hollywood movies that continuously hammer home what a “good Christmas” should look like…. Another new survey has found that close to half the country feels “pressure to spend more than they can afford during the holiday season”… The SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI) annual Holiday Financial Confidence survey reveals that 43 percent of Americans feel pressure to spend more than they can afford during the holiday season. Pressure to overspend is up four percent since the survey was first conducted in 2014 by Harris Poll, but down slightly from a high of 46 percent last year. Ultimately, much of this spending ends up going on credit cards, and credit card debt is one of the most insidious forms of debt.

Energy & Environment

Obama Blocks Offshore Driling In Arctic, Atlantic Oceans
Zero Hedge - In a move that will likely be overturned promptly by the administration of Donald Trump, president Obama on Tuesday formally blocked offshore oil and gas drilling in most of the Atlantic and Arctic Ocean, responding to a call from environmentalists who say the government needs to do more to prevent drilling in environmentally sensitive areas of U.S.-controlled oceans. The president had been expected to take the action by invoking a provision in a 1953 law that governs Outer Continental Shelf offshore leases, and he did just that to block drilling in federal waters in the Arctic's Chukchi Sea and most of its Beaufort Sea. He also protected 21 underwater canyons in the Atlantic Ocean from drilling. Furthermore, Canada will block drilling in all of its Arctic Ocean acreage, a moratorium officials will review every five years, the White House said…. U.S. acreage in the Arctic is estimated to contain 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The industry has opposed government efforts to block drilling there, saying the U.S. will hurt the rural Alaskan economy if it prevents oil production, and also cede an economic advantage to other Arctic countries like Russia, which has more relaxed rules on drilling.

4 more face criminal charges in Flint water poisoning scandal
RT - Michigan’s attorney general has filed charges against four more people involved in the decisions that led to the Flint water crisis, including felony counts with multiple 20-year sentences, citing a fixation on finances and “numbers over people.” All too prevalent and very evident during the course of this investigation there has been a fixation on finances and balance sheets. This fixation has cost lives,” Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday. “This fixation came at the expense of protecting the health and safety of Flint. It is all about numbers over people, money over health.” “We are announcing charges that reach a higher level of responsibility. We are announcing charges against four individuals, two former state appointed emergency managers, and two employees for the city of Flint.” Former Flint emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose were charged with multiple 20-year felonies for their failure to protect the city’s residents from health hazards caused by contaminated drinking water.

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

12 Unusual, Off-Grid Uses For Onions (No. 5 – Removes Splinters!)
Off the Grid News - 1. Natural pesticide. You can rub a peeled onion on your skin as a simple – and smelly – bug repellent. You also can help keep bugs out of your garden with an onion spray…. 2. Soothe bites, stings and minor burns. Simply place a freshly cut onion slice on the affected area of your skin to soothe the pain and swelling. 3. Ease a sore throat. Onion tea doesn’t taste great, but it does the job. Boil one cup of water with the peels of half a medium onion. Remove onion and sip to soothe a painful throat. 4. Fight dizziness and fainting. You can use onions in place of smelling salts. Place a piece of freshly cut onion under the nose of someone who is feeling faint, and it will decrease the feeling of light headedness. 5. Remove a splinter. Got a nasty splinter that won’t budge? Try taping a piece of raw onion to the area for about an hour. Afterwards, the splinter should be easier to remove. 6. Polish metal. Mix crushed onion with water. Then dab the mixture on the metal surface with a soft cloth. Rub until clean. 7. Remove rust from knives. Simply plunge your rusty blade into an onion several times and then wipe dry for a rust-free surface….


Alert: Lithium Batteries the Death Traps At The Back Of The Drawer
Natural Blaze - We all have one…a junk drawer. The place we shove things that we will want again, but we’re not sure when and items which just don’t have another ‘home’…. The deaths of several children in the UK has been linked to these drawers…or rather a particular item we often store in them: Lithium batteries. The small round shape, nice and shiny attracts young children almost immediately. Now a child choking on a battery is bad enough but lithium batteries are responsible for far more than choking hazards. These small batteries don’t even have to be broken, chewed or damaged in any way to cause a terrible death from internal bleeding. Once inside the body the battery creates an electrical current, and that current causes a build up of sodium hydroxide the common name of which is caustic soda. The caustic soda burns through the oesophagus and continues on to burn through major blood vessels leading to catastrophic internal bleeding. Even after removal, if enough sodium hydroxide has built up the burning will continue causing death anything up to a week later. Once major internal hemorrhaging starts it is all but impossible to stop, death is almost inevitable. Put all batteries, but lithium batteries in particular in a tin, box or some kind of container that’s stored well out of the reach of children. Even just a few minutes sucking on one of these batteries can trigger the reaction and leave the child with severe oral burns that can, in the worst cases, leave them with injuries that will affect them for life.

Video: NICU Nurse with 30 Years Experience Quits Over Premature Infants Being Harmed by Vaccines
Health Impact News - The VAXXED film crew recently interviewed a nurse in California who has worked as a NICU nurse for nearly 30 years. She states in the interview that she is retiring early, because she can "no longer do what we were taught to do." She goes on to state that her philosophy on vaccines has changed, because she does not believe they are safe. She explains how it is routine to vaccinate premature infants, and that even though she brought in documentation, including medical journal studies, explaining that they should not be vaccinating these premature infants, that doctors will not change the procedure. So she decided to retire early, rather than continue harming these vulnerable babies.

This Hospital Prescribes Fresh Food From Its Own Organic Farm
EcoWatch - Five years ago, when Lankenau Medical Center was confronted with evidence that it was serving the unhealthiest county in Pennsylvania, the hospital decided to embrace the findings with an unconventional approach: building a half-acre organic farm on its campus to provide fresh produce to patients…. Because the doctors, nurses and other staff were not farming experts, the hospital paired with Greener Partners, a nonprofit advocate for local food systems in Pennsylvania, to build and maintain what would become the Deaver Wellness Farm. Onyekere, who heads community needs programs for the hospital, oversees the project. Since the farm's launch in 2015, it has provided more than 4,000 pounds of organic food to hospital patients at no cost. The produce is used for educational demonstrations and served in the hospital cafeteria…. While patients wait for appointments, medical assistants bring in fresh kale, broccoli, tomatoes, eggplant, arugula and other produce for them to select. The hospital also provides recipes, and, during an appointment, physicians use the produce to show how a patient can make healthier lifestyle choices. In the Lankenau waiting rooms, hospital employees lead nutrition courses and food demonstrations. An employee might bring in the materials for a carrot salad, discuss the nutritional significance of each of its ingredients and then chop and assemble the salad in front of patients. Afterward, patients are given the ingredients and a recipe to try at home…. Lankenau is not the nation's only hospital-run farm. Others include St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, both in Michigan; and St. Luke's University Health Network in Pennsylvania. But Onyekere is aware of none that have so extensively incorporated their own organic food into hospital life.

Pet News

Need Help With Vet Bills or Pet Food? There ARE Resources Available!
Dogington Post - We can all agree that before bringing an animal into your heart and home, it’s important to be prepared for the financial responsibilities – veterinary care, quality food and treats, preventative measures, etc. – that come along with pet parenthood. However, over the course of that 15-20+ year commitment, things happen. Jobs are lost, injuries or accidents make it impossible to work, economies take a hit. Unfortunately, in many cases of financial hardship, it’s the family pet that suffers. Fortunately, there IS help available! Below is a list of national and state-specific organizations that assist pet parents in need of financial assistance. These organizations understand that the very best place for a pet is with the family that loves them. Some provide help paying veterinary bills, some help with food, some offer free or low-cost spay and neuters, while others assist pets that meet specific requirements.

Tuesday - December 20, 2016

Today In History:

1790 - The first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating at Pawtucket, RI.
1803 - The United States Senate ratified a treaty that included the Louisiana Territories from France for $15 million. The transfer was completed with formal ceremonies in New Orleans.
1820 - The state of Missouri enacted legislation to tax bachelors between the ages of 21-50 for being unmarried. The tax was $1 a year.
1860 - South Carolina became the first state to secede from the American Union.
1879 - Thomas A. Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, NJ.
1928 - Mail delivery by dog sled began in Lewiston, ME.
1946 - The Frank Capra film "It's A Wonderful Life" had a preview showing for charity at New York City's Globe Theatre, a day before its "official" world premiere. James Stewart and Donna Reed star in the film.
1946 - In Indochina (Vietnam), full-scale guerrilla warfare between Vietnam partisans and French troops began.
1998 - In Houston, TX, a 27-year-old woman gave birth to the only known living set of octuplets.
1999 - Vermont Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples were entitled to the same benefits and protections as wedded couples of the opposite sex.
2001 - The U.S. Congress passed a $20 billion package to finance the war against terrorism taking place in Afghanistan.
2001 - The first British peacekeepers arrived in Afghanistan to help the nation heal after decades of war.

World News

Russian ambassador to Turkey shot dead by gunman in Ankara art exhibition (Videos, Photos)
Daily Mail - The Russian ambassador to Turkey was tonight shot dead by an off-duty Turkish police officer at an art gallery in Ankara in 'revenge' for the conflict in Syria. Ambassador Andrei Karlov, 62, was repeatedly shot in the back at close range by a gunman shouting: 'Allahu Akbar (God is Great). We die in Aleppo, you die here!' He also screamed: 'Only death will take me out of here.' The gunman has been identified as Mevlüt Mert Altintas, 22, a member of Ankara's police riot squad. He reportedly fired into the air before taking aim at the ambassador. Three others were also injured, according to local media.... The killer was later shot dead after a 15-minute standoff with police.... He shouted: 'Allahu Akbar' ('God is greatest') and then talks about pledging allegiance to jihad in Arabic. Switching to Turkish, he then said: 'Don't forget about Syria, don't forget about Aleppo. All those who participate in this tyranny will be held accountable'. He also screamed: 'Stand back! Stand back! Only death will take me out of here. Anyone who has a role in this oppression will die one by one.' It is believed he used his police ID to bypass security staff at the exhibition. One pro-Kremlin news website reported that Mr Karlov was shot 11 times. He was taken to hospital but later declared dead.

Putin says Turkey ambassador murder is ploy to wreck Syrian peace process
Reuters - President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that the killing of Russia's ambassador to Turkey was a despicable provocation aimed at spoiling Russia-Turkey ties and derailing Moscow's attempts to find, with Iran and Turkey, a solution for the Syria crisis. In televised comments, Putin, speaking at a special meeting in the Kremlin, ordered security at Russian embassies around the world to be stepped up and said he wanted to know who had "directed" the gunman's hand.... "A crime has been committed and it was without doubt a provocation aimed at spoiling the normalization of Russo-Turkish relations and spoiling the Syrian peace process which is being actively pushed by Russia, Turkey, Iran and others," said a stern-faced Putin. "There can only be one response - stepping up the fight against terrorism. The bandits will feel this happening."... "We must know who directed the killer's hand," Putin told Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Sergei Naryshkin, the head of his SVR foreign intelligence service, and Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the domestic FSB security service.

Berlin truck crashes into Christmas market
Washington Times - In a rerun of the Bastille Day terrorist attack in Nice, a truck driver plowed his vehicle through a bustling Monday evening Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, causing mass carnage for which the Islamic State quickly took credit. The Berlin police said on Twitter, according to a translation by The Washington Times, that “we can confirm 9 deaths.” The department has told German media that at least 50 more people were injured.... The Berlin police said the truck contained two men, one of whom “died on the spot.” A man suspected of being the driver “was arrested in the vicinity.” “The backgrounds are still unclear,” the Berlin police wrote on Twitter. But according to the German newspaper Die Welt, “indications are gathering that the arrested truck driver is Pakistani.” The Twitter feed of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Force said that the Islamic State was claiming credit for the Berlin attack, based on jihadist accounts the IPMF tracks using encrypted technology.... Die Welt reported, citing eyewitnesses, that the truck was driven into the crowd without having its lights on, which “would indicate that the deed was planned.”... According to multiple German news outlets, the truck had Polish plates and was en route back home from Italy, and German police confirmed that the dead man was a Pole. According to Die Welt, truck owner Ariel Zurawski said his cousin had custody of the truck, but he had had no contact with him since the afternoon. “I’ve known him since my childhood. I vouch for him,” he told Die Welt. About the dead man in the truck, Sky News reported that “there is some information that … he might have been killed before the attack.”
* Related: VIDEO: The Truth About the Berlin Christmas Market Attack

US Press Silent as Syria Presents Evidence of US-Backed Rebels Using Mustard Gas on Civilians
The Free Thought Project - Amid a blackout by U.S. corporate media - who are now unironically waging a war against ‘fake news’ - Syria handed over evidence to an international watchdog organization reportedly proving rebels used chemical weapons against civilians. Syrian authorities gave documents and samples evincing the use of mustard gas by rebels to the mission of the Technical Secretariat of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) - a group of eight experts from the United States, the U.K., Australia, Slovakia, and Slovenia, who have been stationed and working in Damascus at the behest of the Syrian government since December 12. “We have provided all the documents to the mission, they were vetted and accepted,”.... In January, the samples will be delivered to the Hague — site of OPCW headquarters - via a charter flight.... While the West continues to accuse the Bashar al-Assad Syrian government of using chemical weapons against civilians - an allegation vehemently denied by both Syria and its ally, Russia - no solid evidence has yet been discovered suggesting as much. Daesh, the self-titled Islamic State, is widely suspected to have used chemical weapons; but the evidence given to the OPCW mission was believed to have been used by anti-government rebels — as in, the laughably-monikered ‘moderate rebel’ terrorists trained and supported by the U.S. to fight the former.

HuffPo: ‘Women to Blame’ for New Year’s Sex Attacks
Breitbart - A Syrian refugee columnist for the Huffington Post has said that women are mostly to blame for the New Year’s Eve sex attacks across Germany last year. Aras Bacho, 18, tweeted that women should not be out alone at night. In a perhaps revealing statement about the attitudes of Syrian refugee men, Bacho — who writes frequently for the Huffington Post’s German website — said: “Most of the time the women are to blame. To be alone at night. On the other hand, the refugees should behave”. He tagged the tweet “Silvester” or “New Year’s” in German. His tweet, on his verified account, has been live for over 5 days at the time of publication, and the Huffington Post shows no signs of relieving him of his duties as a columnist, with his latest column being filed 5 days after the offending tweet…. Bacho moved to Germany from Syria five years ago and has become a regular columnist on migrant issues across German media. He has previously said that people who are unhappy with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open border policies should leave the country.

IMF's Lagarde keeps job, escapes penalty after negligence conviction in France
Yahoo News - International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde kept her job and escaped punishment on Monday despite a conviction on negligence charges by French judges over a state payout made while she served as France's finance minister in 2008.... In Monday's ruling, the judges did not find negligence in Lagarde's decision to seek an out-of-court settlement with tycoon Bernard Tapie. But they said her failure to contest the award to him of about 400 million euros ($417 million) was negligent and led to a misuse of public funds.... "The context of the global financial crisis in which Madame Lagarde found herself in should be taken into account," Martine Ract Madoux, the main judge on the case, said in explaining the absence of any sentence. She also cited Lagarde's good reputation and international standing as reasons why the court did not order a punishment. The charge against Lagarde could have carried a sentence of up to a year in prison.... The case was only the fifth ever heard by a special French court created in 1993 to try government ministers. The court of 15 judges, including 12 lawmakers, has never handed down a firm prison sentence.

Ministers using middle men and mobile phones to circumvent Theresa May 'ban' on making contact with Nigel Farage
The Telegraph - The news came after Mr Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party claimed Cabinet ministers had been banned from talking to him by the Prime Minister. There is speculation that Mr Farage will be made a trade adviser to Mr Trump, forcing ministers to deal with the Ukip MEP over UK/US trade talks.... This has forced some ministers to create their own back channels to make contact with Mr Farage, and so – they hope – the team around Mr Trump.... Mr Farage said: “If you wanted to get business from the biggest company in the world and there was someone there that had the contacts and connections, the first thing you do is to employ that person. "I find the fact that Downing Street don't want to acknowledge me, have banned Cabinet ministers from even talking to me, it shows you the sort of very small-minded, petty, tribal level that British politics is at - it's a shame." Quizzed on his relationship with the president-elect and what he would compare it to, he said: "I can't make big decisions, but I tell you what I can do, what I genuinely can do. "It is I can help to be a bridge between the government in this country and the new trade department in this country and not just Donald Trump, but his team and his administration. And I would like to do that."

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Donald Trump surpasses 270 votes in Electoral College to formally win presidency
Breitbart - There were many protesters but few faithless electors as Donald Trump won the Electoral College vote Monday — ensuring that the billionaire will become America’s 45th president. An effort by anti-Trump forces to persuade Republican electors to abandon the president-elect came to practically nothing and the process unfolded largely according to its traditions. Trump’s polarizing victory Nov. 8 and the fact Democrat Hillary Clinton had won the national popular vote had stirred an intense lobbying effort, but to no avail. Even one of Trump’s fiercest Republican rivals, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, said it was time to get behind the president-elect. With several states still voting, Trump had 304 votes and Clinton had 169. It takes 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency. Texas put Trump over the top, despite two Republican electors casting protest votes.
* Related: First "Faithless Elector" Emerges In Minnesota, Refuses To Vote For Hillary Clinton
More Electors Mutiny Against Hillary: Three Cast Votes For Colin Powell, One For "Faith Spotted Eagle"

Awesome! GOP Electors Sing “God Bless America” as They March to Statehouse to Vote For Trump (Video)
The GatewayPundit - In response to the Democrat effort to undermine the American Electoral College, some electors are fighting back. They’re showing the side they’re on. And they’re doing it by singing while they march. And note what they have on their sign: “Thank You President Elect Donald J. Trump – Make America Great Again”
* Related: Liberal LOSERS Cry & Complain After Wisconsin Electors Vote For TRUMP!

Obama rushes out 11th-hour regulations targeting coal mining
Washington Times - At virtually the last possible moment, the Obama administration on Monday rolled out new regulations making it even more difficult and more costly to mine coal in the U.S., a final shot against the already beleaguered coal industry as the president leaves office. The Interior Department’s [1,648-page final] Stream Protection Rule will go into effect 30 days after its official release and publication in the federal register, meaning it likely will be implemented Jan. 19 — one day before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.... The broad new rules require coal companies to “to avoid mining practices that permanently pollute streams, destroy drinking water sources, increase flood risk, and threaten forests.” More importantly, companies themselves will be required to test and monitor the conditions of all streams that could be affected by their mining, “before, during and after their operations,” the Interior Department said. The testing is meant to provide baseline data that would help government agencies determine if there had been any pollution due to coal mining.... influential Republicans in Congress say the proposal will not survive long past Jan. 20.

Obama Pardons 78 Inmates, Shortens 153 Sentences
Opposing Views - President Barack Obama just broke the record for the most ever presidential clemency grants on a single day, after he pardoned and commuted the sentences of 231 inmates on Dec. 19. After the president granted 78 pardons and 153 commutations just days before Christmas, Obama has now commuted the sentences of 1,176 inmates in federal prisons, and he has more than doubled the number of pardons he gave in the last seven years of his term, most of which were mandatory-minimum drug sentences, notes USA Today.... As he prepares to leave the White House in 32 days, the president is looking to cut into the backlog of clemency cases waiting on his desk, which totaled 1,937 pardon requests and 13,042 commutation petitions on Nov. 30.... Indeed, Donald Trump has spoken out against Obama's pardons – of which both Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton granted more than the current president so far – and commutations, of which Obama has granted far more than the total from all presidents since Harry S. Truman – saying that Obama has freed "bad dudes," according to Business Insider. "These are people who are out, they're walking the streets," Trump said of Obama's clemency acts at an August campaign rally. "Sleep tight, folks."

Judge orders unsealing of search warrant in Clinton email probe
Politico - A federal judge has ordered the unsealing of a search warrant that played a role in the controversial public renewal of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email just before the presidential election. The warrant was issued by a federal magistrate in late October, after the FBI requested permission to search emails contained on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The FBI discovered the Clinton-related emails after initially seizing the laptop during a probe over Weiner's alleged sexually explicit online exchanges with a minor. U.S. District Court Judge P. Kevin Castel issued an order Monday that the warrant linked to the Clinton probe and related records be unsealed at noon Tuesday, unless a higher court steps in. The judge acted after E. Randal Schoenberg, a California lawyer who mainly investigates art thefts, filed a suit seeking to force unsealing of the files. The records to be unsealed will show how the FBI framed its arguments for the search warrant to access the emails. An affidavit submitted when seeking the warrant could reflect what the FBI told the magistrate involved about how likely the emails were to contain evidence of a crime.

Economy & Business

100 CEOs Have as Much Retirement Savings as 116 Million Americans
Common Dreams - While many Americans are facing a "frightening retirement reality," 100 CEOs are looking at "colossal nest eggs" and can look forward to monthly retirement checks of over $250,000 for the rest of their lives.... In fact, these 100 CEOs have retirement funds that total $4.7 billion. That's as much as the retirement savings of the 41 percent of U.S. families with the smallest nest eggs—that's 116 million people. The report also notes that 37 percent of U.S. families have no retirement wealth at all. The retirement divide is even greater when accounting for race. The CEOs' combined retirement funds are equal to the retirement savings of 59 percent of African-American families and 75 percent of Latino families. Topping the list is Progressive CEO Glenn M. Renwick, who can expect a monthly retirement check of $1,035,733. How does that compare with regular workers lucky enough to have 401(k) plans? With an average balance at the end of 2013 of $18,433, these workers can count on a monthly check of just over $100.

Energy & Environment

Missouri Bill Would Allow People to Opt Out of Smart Meters; Undermine Federal Program
Tenth Amendment Center - A bill prefiled in the Missouri legislature for the 2017 session would ensure customers can opt out of installing “smart meter” technology on their homes and businesses. Passage of the bill would allow Missourians to protect their own privacy, and it would take a step toward blocking a federal program in effect. Rep. Tim Remole (R- Excello) prefiled House Bill 196 (HB196) on Dec. 12. The legislation would require utilities regulated by the Public Service Commission to allow customers to choose between smart meters and traditional meters, and would prohibit utilities from disincentivizing traditional meter usage. Smart meters monitor home energy usage in minute detail in real time. The devices transmit data to the utility company were it gets stored in databases. Anybody with access to the data can download it for analysts. Without specific criteria limiting access to the data, these devices create significant privacy issues. Smart meters can also be used to remotely limit power usage during peak hours. HB196 would require utilities to encrypt data communicated by a smart metering network. Law enforcement agencies would be required to get a warrant of lawful court order before accessing any such data…. While encrypting smart meter data and warrant requirements for law enforcement address some of the privacy issues, refusing to allow a smart meter on your property is the only sure-fire way to ensure your energy use data won’t fall into the hands of government agents or private marketers, or end up stored in some kind of government database. Passage of HB196 would make opting out an option for Missourians and give them control over their own privacy.

3,000 US Cities Have Worse Water Contamination than Flint, Michigan
Sputnik News - ... a recent study of poisoning levels across the US has shown close to 3,000 areas throughout the country where contamination rates greatly outpace Flint’s, but only receive a fraction of the attention. A combination of government negligence and corruption led to five percent of Flint’s children being diagnosed with lead poisoning. A new examination, conducted by Reuters, found that in places like Warren, Pennsylvania, 36 percent of tested children had high levels of lead, and in major cities like Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Baltimore had elevated rates of 40 and 50 percent over the last ten years.... These areas are similar to Flint in that their contamination issues stem from industrial waste, plumbing, aging paint, and governmental negligence, though locals do not receive nearly the amount of funding of Flint. Using US Census Data, Reuters found that nearly 300 zip code areas (with an average population of 7,500) and 2,606 census tracts (areas with up to 4,000 residents apiece) had rates of lead poisoning that doubled Flint’s.

Science & Technology

Fancy Devices May Track More Than Your Steps
LifeZette - Care to know who else is keeping an eye on all of your health-related activities?... Estimated sales for fitness trackers in 2016 alone were $102 million.... A new study raises privacy and security risks, showing that advertisers and Big Pharma companies want consumers' personal health data badly. And it's so easy for them to get it. Researchers at American University and at the Center for Digital Democracy, both based in Washington, D.C., found that a "weak and fragmented health-privacy regulatory system fails to provide adequate safeguards." The report, "Health Wearable Devices in the Big Data Era: Ensuring Privacy, Security, and Consumer Protection," looks at how much more data will be collected about consumers as the use of personal fitness trackers becomes more widespread — and the technology more sophisticated. "The extent and nature of data collection will be unprecedented," the authors note. "Biosensors will routinely be able to capture not only an individual's heart rate, body temperature, and movement, but also brain activity, moods, and emotions. These data can, in turn, be combined with personal information from other sources — including health-care providers and drug companies — raising such potential harms as discriminatory profiling, manipulative marketing, and security breaches."


Surgeon faces disciplinary hearing for reversing diabetes ‘inappropriately’
What Doctors Don't Tell You - An orthopaedic surgeon is facing disciplinary proceedings for reversing a patient’s diabetes ‘inappropriately’. Dr Gary Fettke, an Australian doctor who has already been barred from advocating a high-fat diet, had recommended the approach to his patient. Although the patient’s type 2 diabetes reversed, Dr Fettke had gone against current dietary advice, which recommends a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet to prevent heart disease and diabetes. The new charge was made almost immediately after a secret hearing of Australia’s medical regulator, the Australian Health Practitioner’s Regulatory Authority (AHPRA), had banned Dr Fettke from talking about a high-fats diet or treating patients with it. In his testimony, Dr Fettke, who practises in Tasmania and lectures at the local university, had told the AHPRA: “My patients are lying around in hospital with obesity-related conditions, amputated limbs and non-healing rotting flesh. I believe it is the nutritional advice that they have been given that has put them there in the first place.” He said that the evidence for the low-fats diet was “wanting in substance and riddled with vested-interest politics.” The case against Dr Fettke was brought by a dietitian, who has remained anonymous, on the grounds that he wasn’t qualified in nutrition, and so wasn’t trained to give advice on diet. Since proceedings began, Dr Fettke has suffered threats and harassment…

Natural ways to combat chronic insomnia
(NaturalHealth365) Ashwagandha outperforms Ativan - Also known as Withania somnifera, winter cherry, and Indian ginseng, ashwagandha has been revered in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries as a rasayana – an anti-aging herb that promotes health of body and mind. Modern research confirms the ability of ashwagandha to reduce stress and anxiety, which are strongly associated with sleep disorders…. Melatonin promotes restful sleep naturally - A hormone produced by the pineal gland in response to darkness, melatonin helps regulate the sleep/wake cycles. Since melatonin levels decrease with age, supplementation can be particularly effective for elderly people. In addition, try to avoid artificial light from computers, T.V.’s or mobile devices – at night – because that will block the production of melatonin needed at night…. Tryptophan, the calming amino acid, improves both mood and sleep - Sleep disorders are associated with depletion in serotonin, a mood-stabilizing neurotransmitter. Tryptophan helps your body produce serotonin – along with melatonin – and researchers have found that boosting serotonin levels can help reverse anxiety and insomnia…. ryptophan can even have a positive effect on obstructive sleep apnea, a dangerous condition that can raise risk of heart disease. In a study published in Bulletin of European Physiopathology and Respiration, people who took 2500 mg of tryptophan at bedtime showed marked improvement in sleep patterns, and spent more time in REM sleep – an important component of a good night’s sleep….

Edible Food Parts You Never Knew You Could Eat
Dr. Axe - Across America, food “scraps” are often trimmings, skins and seeds tossed in the garbage. But as I started investigating these “waste products,” I quickly found many of these actually serve as edible food parts with robust nutrition. In fact, many ancient cultures, including Chinese medicine and Native American remedies, tapped the healthy compounds in some of the edible food parts below. 1. Squash Scraps - Squash blossoms aren’t just for honeybees. In fact, scientists found that the spinasterol compound isolated from squash flowers harbored anticarcinogenic potential. The concentrated form of spinasterol applied to skin tumors in a mice study decreased the number of tumors by 65 percent. (2) You can eat the blossoms raw in salads, but they are notoriously delicious fried. For a healthier version, coat in egg whites, almond flour and lightly fry in avocado oil. Squash skins - …the skin is raging with powerful antioxidants that mop up harmful free radicals. Perhaps the best part? The oven-dried samples showed higher phenolics and antioxidant activity values, perhaps due to increased bioactivity after roasting it in the oven. 2. Kiwi Skins - The fuzzy texture of kiwi fruit is strange to some, but others liken it to the skin of a pear or a peach. The kiwi industry encourages people to eat the fruit’s skin, noting that the skin contains triples the amount of fiber as the fruit. Not peeling the skin also provides more vitamin C. Always wash the skin and choose organic whenever you can. 3. Corn Silk - Based on folk remedies, corn silk has been used as an oral antidiabetic agent in China for years, thanks to its potential impact on blood sugar levels. Corn silk contains proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, calcium, potassium, magnesium, fixed and volatile oils, steroids such as sitosterol and stigmasterol, alkaloids, saponins, tannins and flavonoids. Over time, researchers also discovered corn silk harbors anti-fungal properties, too. Corn silk has also been used in many parts of the world for the treatment of edema, as well as for cystitis (a common cause of cloudy urine), gout, kidney stones and certain prostate problems…

Monday - December 19, 2016

Today In History:

1776 - Thomas Paine published his first "American Crisis" essay.
1777 - General George Washington led his army of about 11,000 men to Valley Forge, PA, to camp for the winter.
1842 - Hawaii's independence was recognized by the U.S.
1843 - Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" was first published in England.
1957 - Air service between London and Moscow was inaugurated.
1959 - Walter Williams died in Houston, TX, at the age of 117. He was said to be the last surviving veteran of the U.S. Civil War.
1972 - Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific, ending the Apollo program of manned lunar landings.
1986 - The Soviet Union announced it had freed dissident Andrei Sakharov from internal exile, and pardoned his wife, Yelena Bonner.
1986 - Independent counsel Lawrence Walsh was appointed to investigate the Iran-Contra issue.
1989 - U.S. troops invaded Panama to overthrow the regime of General Noriega
1998 - U.S. President Bill Clinton was impeached on two charges of perjury and obstruction of justice by the U.S. House of Representatives.
1998 - A four-day bombing of Iraq by British and American forces ended.
2000 - The U.N. Security Council voted to impose sanctions on Afghanistan's Taliban rulers unless they closed all terrorist training camps and surrender U.S. embassy bombing suspect Osama bin Laden.
2003 - The new design for the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site were released. The building slopes into a spire that reaches 1,776 feet.

World News

Liberation of E. Aleppo has allowed ‘genuine’ separation of ‘moderate rebels’ from radicals – MoD
RT - The Russian backed operation in eastern Aleppo has allowed for a “genuine” separation of radicals from the ‘moderate opposition,’ opening a “new window of opportunity” for a ceasefire in other places in Syria, says the Russian Defense Ministry. The operation to liberate eastern Aleppo has, in fact, proven unique, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday…. According to Konashenkov, “first and foremost, it is about a genuine and complete separation of militants of the so-called ‘moderate opposition’ from the irreconcilable radicals, thanks to the efforts of Russian officers from the Reconciliation Center.” Konashenkov stressed that Moscow has managed to accomplish “what for a year our American partners considered to be impossible to implement in practice.” An obligation to pressure ‘moderate opposition’ to differentiate themselves from the terrorists in Syria was part of Russia-US agreements signed in Geneva in February and September…. Nearly 3,500 militants from eastern Aleppo have surrendered to the Syrian government, while thousands have seized the chance to leave through special corridors with light weapons. The evacuation was partly halted on Friday after militants tried to leave the city with heavy weapons, which is not permitted under the agreement allowing them to exit eastern Aleppo.

Syrian "Rebels" Attack, Burn Aleppo Evacuation Buses
Zero Hedge - Five buses were attacked and burned by “armed terrorists” while en route to militant-held villages after an evacuation deal was struck between the Syrian government and rebels, Syrian state television has reported. According to Reuters, the deal was reached earlier on Sunday, citing al-Ikhbariya TV news. It will see the remaining militants and their families evacuated from east Aleppo in return for the evacuation of people in militant-held villages in Idlib province, al-Foua and Kafraya. As BBC adds, the convoy was traveling to Foah and Kefraya, besieged by rebel fighters. Pro-government forces have been demanding that people be allowed to leave the mainly Shia villages in order for the evacuation of east Aleppo to restart, with thousands of people waiting to leave in desperate conditions, reports say.... Despite delays caused by disagreements over the new evacuation plan, convoys were said to be traveling to both eastern Aleppo and the government-held villages in Idlib province on Sunday.... It had reported earlier that the "moderate rebel" group Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formerly known as the Nusra Front, was preventing buses entering the villages. As a reminder, earlier in the year, Jabhat Al-Nusra, rebranded itself Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, a cosmetic change which was apparently sufficient to convince the US government to brand them "moderates" and send them arms and equipment, equipment which today may have been used against innocent Syrian citizens.

Hospitals in Italy Ordered to Kick Out Patients to Make Way For Migrants
Paul Joseph Watson - Il Giornale reports that a scandal is brewing after government officials told hospitals to discharge their existing patients so that hundreds of “refugees” arriving in Porto Torres could be sent for health check ups. The advisory tells staff that they need to send patients home in the morning if possible and in the afternoon by the latest, and that doctors and nurses should prepare themselves for “a load of very heavy work”. According to the report, “approximately 198 men, 126 women and 68 children” arrived at Porto Torres in one night alone. Another report described the order as “a communication between madness and total ruthlessness”. In 2014 and 2015, a staggering 320,000 migrants arrived on Italian shores. Boats are often sent to just off the coast of Libya to rescue huge numbers of “refugees”. This is by no means the first instance of native Italians being moved aside to make way for migrants. Last month, we reported on an 80-year-old hotel owner who was forced by police to house numerous migrants in his small guest house. Video footage shows Luigi Fogli pleading with authorities as the African migrants take up residence. “Do you want to put them in my apartment too?” Fogli cries as his protest falls on deaf ears. Similar cases are happening across the country, with DMF reporting, “In some places, as in the incident described above, the proprietors resist; in other cases they cooperate and defence is left to the local citizens.” Later that month, Italy’s Minister of the Interior Angelino Alfano announced that the program would be accelerated and that citizens who resist the “requisition” of their private property to house migrants could be thrown in prison.

Berlin whistleblower behind German-NSA secret data leak, not Russian hackers – sources
RT - Russian hackers are not the source behind the recent WikiLeaks release of leaked secret data on German-US intelligence cooperation and a parliamentary inquiry into it, Der Spiegel reports, citing unnamed security officials who have indicated it’s an inside job. The respective German officials are “confident” that the documents published by WikiLeaks were not obtained through a cyberattack last year on the Parliament (Bundestag), allegedly committed by Russian hackers. “Contrary to various media reports, there is absolutely no indication that the documents were stolen during a cyberattack on the Bundestag in the year 2015,” Der Spiegel writes, citing its own source. Back then, the intruders seized some 16 GB of information…. According to the latest information, Bundestag police, a separate security unit, now assume that the source for the WikiLeaks release of some 2,400 documents was from within the parliament itself, an unnamed spokesperson confirmed, according to Der Spiegel. “Following the release of confidential documents from the NSA Investigation Committee [in the German parliament], the Bundestag police are investigating the perpetrators in the parliament,” the outlet says.

Maduro Halts Cash Ban Amid "International Sabotage" Conspiracy Theory; Blames Obama, US Treasury
Zero Hedge - Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro suspended the elimination of the nation’s 100 bolivar bill until Jan. 2 after the government’s decision to pull its largest denomination note out of circulation left the country short of cash, deepening Venezuela's economic crisis, and sparking violent protests and looting. As Bloomberg reports, Maduro’s decision to extend use of the most-widely-used bill came as the president said replacement higher-denomination notes were unavailable because three planes transporting them to the country were “victims of international sabotage.”.... He did not give details of the alleged sabotage.... Since last Sunday’s shock announcement that almost all 100-bolivar notes were being called in by the government to combat the hoarding of currency so worthless that it needs to be weighed to be spent, the past week’s daily scenes of frustrated people crowding banks and automated teller machines to deposit the bills culminated Friday in utter exasperation following Maduro’s announcement late Thursday that the new money would be late.... Despite claims about fighting criminals, foreign influence, and corruption, ordinary Venezuelans are those most affected by the government’s fiscal whims. Already suffering from inflation that is wiping out the nation’s savings and purchasing power – the IMF calculates that inflation will rise to 470% by the end of the year, and 1,660% in 2017 – ordinary citizens are now forced to scramble to meet the government’s absurdly tight deadline.

Putin Lashes Out At Obama: "Show Some Proof Or Shut Up"
Zero Hedge - Putin has had enough of the relentless barrage of US accusations that he, personally, "hacked the US presidential election." The Russian president's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on Friday that the US must either stop accusing Russia of meddling in its elections or prove it. Peskov said it was "indecent" of the United States to "groundlessly" accuse Russia of intervention in its elections. You need to either stop talking about it, or finally show some kind of proof. Otherwise it just looks very indecent”, Peskov told Reporters in Tokyo where Putin is meeting with Japan PM Abe, responding to the latest accusations that Russia was responsible for hacker attacks. Peskov also warned that Obama's threat to "retaliate" to the alleged Russian hack is "against both American and international law", hinting at open-ended escalation should Obama take the podium today at 2:15pm to officially launch cyberwar against Russia. Previously, on Thursday, Peskov told the AP the report was "laughable nonsense", while Russian foreign ministry spox Maria Zakharova accused "Western media" of being a "shill" and a "mouthpiece of various power groups", and added that "it's not the general public who's being manipulated," Zakharova said. "the general public nowadays can distinguish the truth. It's the mass media that is manipulating themselves." Meanwhile, on Friday Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister told state television network, Russia 24, he was "dumbstruck" by the NBC report which alleges that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in an election hack.

China’s Top Grain Producing Province Bans GM Crops
Sustainable Pulse - Farmers in northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, China’s top grain producer, will be prohibited from growing Genetically Modified (GM) crops, according to a provincial regulation passed on Friday. The regulation will become effective on May 1, 2017. Growing of GM corn, rice and soybean will be banned, while illegal production and sales of GM crops and supply of their seeds will also be prohibited. The new regulation also bans illegal production, processing, sale and imports of edible GM farm produce or edible farm products that contain GM ingredients. It requires all GM food be sold in a special zone, clearly indicated in stores. The decision comes after 91.5 percent of responses in a survey in the province in October raised objections to GM crops. “We support the research and development of transgenic technology, but we should be cautious in applying the techniques in crop production,” said Yao Dawei, director of the provincial legislature…. Russia will also be very pleased with the news from Heilongjiang province, which is the Chinese province with the longest border with Russia. Russia has a full ban on GM crops in place.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Obama Threatens to Send “Clear Message” to Russia… Then Boards a Plane to Hawaii for 2 Weeks
The GatewayPundit - NBC News reported: President Barack Obama on Friday defended his early response to suspicions that the Russian government attempted to influence the 2016 election and appeared to threaten retaliation against those plotting cyberattacks against America. “Our goal continues to be to send a clear message to Russia, and others, to not do this,” he said, adding “Because we can do stuff to you.” He urged that U.S. investigations of cyberattacks should not become a “political football.” “I think we handled it the way it should have been handled,” he said during his final scheduled news conference of 2016. Then after his final presser Obama boarded a plane to Hawaii for two weeks. Putin must be shaking in his boots. Obama’s vacations have cost taxpayers over $85 million.

'Faithless' Electors Will Not Receive Intelligence Briefing, NPR Says
Zero Hedge - The list of Democrat electors that demanded an intelligence briefing on Russian interference in the election prior to casting their vote continued to grow. As of last night we noted that 40 democrats had signed the petition and, as of this morning, the list has grown to 55. Not surprisingly, the list is loaded with disaffected Hillary supporters from Democratic strongholds like California and Virginia…. As The Hill reports, sources to NPR said the electors will not receive any national intelligence before they cast ballots this Monday.

NSA Whistleblower Destroys Obama's Russia Narrative - "Hard Evidence Points To An Inside Leak, Not Hacking"
Zero Hedge - A group of retired senior intelligence officials, including the NSA whistleblower William Binney (former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA), have posted an open letter on that destroys the Obama administration's "Russian hacking" narrative. Within the letter, Binney argues that, thanks to the NSA's "extensive domestic data-collection network," any data removed remotely from Hillary Clinton or DNC servers would have passed over fiber networks and therefore would have been captured by the NSA who could have then analyzed packet data to determine the origination point and destination address of those packets. As Binney further notes, the only way the leaks could have avoided NSA detection is if they were never passed over fiber networks but rather downloaded to a thumb drive by someone with internal access to servers.

A CIA-led Coup Against American Democracy Is Unfolding Before Our Eyes
Paul Craig Roberts - The extraordinary lies that are being perpetrated by the media and by members of the US government have as their obvious purpose the prevention of a Donald Trump presidency. There is no other reason for the extraordinary blatant lies for which there is not a shred of evidence. Indeed, there is massive real evidence to the contrary. Yet the coup proceeds and gathers steam. President Eisenhower warned us more than a half century ago of the danger that the military/security complex presents to US democracy. In the decades since Eisenhower’s warning, the military/security complex has become more powerful than the American people and is demonstrating its power by overturning a presidential election.... In my opinion, former and present members of the US government and the media would not dare to so obviously and openly participate in a coup against democracy and an elected president unless they expect the coup to succeed.... The only ones speaking against the coup are the voters who elected Trump—all of whom are alleged to have been deceived by Russian fake news— the Russian government, and the 200 websites falsely described by the Washington Post and the secret organization PropOrNot as Russian agents. In other words, those objecting to the coup are the ones described by the coup leaders as those who made the coup necessary.... Therefore, we should take very seriously the expectation of success that those who control levers of power are demonstrating.

Judge Jeanine Slams "Hopeless" Michelle: "Americans Rejected You And Everything You Stand For" (Video)
Zero Hedge - Yesterday we noted Michelle Obama's appearance on Oprah in which she hinted that Trump's election was the end of "hope" for America, saying "now we're feeling what not having hope feels like." The comments from Michelle have received a lot of backlash over the past two days but perhaps no one has crushed her new "hopelessness" narrative better than Judge Jeanine Pirro of Fox News. Pirro's opening monologue last night was full of epic one-liners slamming the First Lady's comments....below are a couple of favorite quotes but the full video is definitely worth a listen. ”This from a woman, who in 2008, at 44 years old, said for the first time in her life she was proud of her country when her husband was running for president. And now, 8 years later, you're out of "hope," Michelle?" "An outrage is when your husband struts up to the microphone at a national prayer breakfast and tells Christians to get off their high horses because Christians are afraid of Muslim terrorists cutting their heads off." "Like the 13 hours those heroes were on a rooftop in Benghazi, your all powerful husband never bothered to explain to us where he was and what he was doing that night. All we know is that the only power that he was ready to unleash was Air Force One to fly to Las Vegas for a fundraiser the next morning so that you guys could live the life another four years in the White House." "Michelle, you may not realize it, but Americans rejected you and everything you stand for. They know what hope is. Hope is when people, 30,000 at a time, stand in line, in the cold, with their children, hoping to get the glimpse of a man they think can change the course of their lives from the downward spiral that you and "Mr. Hope & Change" have put them on." "I'll tell you what "Hope & Change" is, "Hope & Change" is when people show up 20,000 strong, after an election, desperate to see the man who actually brought back jobs, almost a 1,000, when your husband said it was impossible to bring them back at Carrier.”…

Sheriff Joe Arpaio: Obama's Birth Certificate a Forgery
Newsmax - Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio held a press conference on Thursday to release information he says proves that President Barack Obama's long form birth certificate is a forgery. Arpaio said he received information in 2011 that indicated the certificate could have been forged, and he consulted forensic experts from around the world who agree it is not authentic. Arpaio and his team are not claiming that Obama was not born in Hawaii, but only that the long form birth certificate is not authentic…. "We had to follow the evidence," Arpaio said before turning the briefing over to lead investigator Mike Zullo. Zullo showed video of Obama's birth certificate alongside one of a person named Johanna Ah'Nee. Zullo said that the forensic experts found "nine points of forgery" from which parts of Zullo's birth certificate was copied to the one purporting to be Obama's. Among them was a stamped date that had the exact same angle. By comparison, a set of twins born five minutes apart had birth certificates where the stamp did not align exactly…. Arpaio would not take questions from the media afterward, but called on Congress to look into the matter.
* Related: Video: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Releases New Information on President Obama's Birth Certificate

U.S. to disclose estimate of number of Americans under surveillance
Reuters - The U.S. intelligence community will soon disclose an estimate of the number of Americans whose electronic communications have been caught in the crosshairs of online surveillance programs intended for foreigners, U.S. lawmakers said in a letter seen by Reuters on Friday. The estimate, requested by members of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, is expected to be made public as early as next month, the letter said. Its disclosure would come as Congress is expected to begin debate in the coming months over whether to reauthorize or reform the so-called surveillance authority, known as Section 702, a provision that was added to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 2008. “The timely production of this information is incredibly important to informed debate on Section 702 in the next Congress— and, without it, even those of us inclined to support reauthorization would have reason for concern,” said the letter signed by 11 lawmakers, all members of the House Judiciary Committee…. Section 702 will expire on Dec. 31, 2017, absent congressional action. It enables two internet surveillance programs called Prism and Upstream that were revealed in a series of leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden more than three years ago. Prism gathers messaging data from Alphabet Inc's Google, Facebook , Microsoft, Apple and other major tech companies that is sent to and from a foreign target under surveillance. Upstream allows the NSA to copy web traffic flowing along the internet backbone located inside the United States and search that data for certain terms associated with a target.

Obamacare subsidies set to increase by $10 billion as costs spiral out of control
Washington Times - The federal government will spend $42.6 billion to subsidize customers’ Obamacare plans, up from $32.8 billion this year, the Center for Health and Economy said, amid widespread questions over the law’s ability to survive. Premiums for Obamacare’s benchmark plans are expected to spike an average of 22 percent next year, but under the complex law’s operations, taxpayers finance most of the costs. As a result, the average monthly government bill for each Obamacare customer will rise from $291 this year to $367 next year, the analysis found. “That’s not sustainable,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, Texas Republican and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which will have a major hand in trying to rewrite the health care law when Congress convenes next month. Lawmakers also fear there is costly fraud in the program. The Government Accountability Office on Thursday said federal and state-run exchanges approved coverage for nine out of 12 fictitious enrollees who signed up outside of the normal enrollment period because of major live events, such as losing coverage or getting married.

Church Faces Fines For Giving Shelter to Homeless People
REALfarmacy - Homeless community members have been using the church for shelter during the late night hours to get away from the bitter cold. Since Maryland winters are extremely rough, the church became a lifesaver for many who otherwise had slept out on the street. The church has been able to provide shelter to these homeless individuals without many complaints from the surrounding community. However, Chester Bartko’s property line lies just behind the church, and has insisted that the church put an end to providing shelter to those in need. Bartko has alerted local officials about the church’s actions repeatedly. He has also said that one of his apple trees has been ruined by the church’s homeless visitors., but these reports have no been confirmed. The church does not have the proper permits that would allow homeless visitors to reside there overnight. Because of this, the city is demanding that the church pay a $12,000 fine by December the 18th.

Update: Judge Orders School To Allow Charlie Brown Christmas Poster
Off the Grid News - Charles E. Patterson Middle School clinic aide Dedra Shannon had placed a large poster of Linus on her door with the words from the classic cartoon, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord … That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown – Linus.” On Thursday, a Bell County judge issued a temporary order, ruling the poster could be placed back on the door as long as it also had the words “Ms. Shannon’s Christmas Message.” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also appeared in court, supporting Shannon. “Religious discrimination towards Christians has become a holiday tradition of sorts among certain groups,” Paxton said following the decision. “I am glad to see that the court broke through the left’s rhetorical fog and recognized that a commitment to diversity means protecting everyone’s individual religious expression.”… The Killeen Independent School District board on Tuesday voted 6-1 to develop new guidelines for the school system related to Christmas decorations, essentially affirming the principal, who had ordered it taken down. The suit, filed by Texas Values, had argued, in part, “The inclusion of Bible verses or religious messages on student or teacher-sponsored holiday decorations does not violate Texas law.”

Maine Gas Distributor Won’t Deliver to Trump Supporters
LifeZette - Michael Turner, owner of Turner LP Gas in Skowhegan, Maine, recorded a voicemail greeting that leaves little question as to his feelings for those in his community who supported Trump. “Thank you for calling Turner LP Gas. If you voted for Donald Trump for president, I will no longer be delivering your gas — please find someone else,” the message states. Turner isn’t the first person to refuse to do business with Trump voters — in late November, Mathew Blanchfield, CEO of an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based marketing firm, issued a statement saying he would no longer work with Trump supporters. But unlike Blanchfield, who lives in a county that voted solidly for Hillary Clinton, Turner lives in a county that overwhelmingly supported Trump. Trump won Somerset County, Maine — in which Skowhegan is located — 57.73 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 35 percent.

Energy & Environment

This Pipeline Would Cut Through America's Most Celebrated Hiking Trail
EcoWatch -The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline would carry natural gas 300 miles from northwest West Virginia to southern Virginia, crossing the Appalachian Trail and clearing trees on its way. Cutting through one of the most celebrated hiking trails in America, the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline threatens wildlife habitat, recreational lands and the health of local Appalachia communities, while setting a terrible precedent of building energy infrastructure through our national forests. The construction of the pipeline sets a dangerous precedent, requiring the clearing of 125 foot wide corridor of forest lands protected by the Forest Service's Roadless Rule. Under the protection of the Roadless Rule, these unspoiled forest lands are protected from road building, logging, mining and other development…. Through Dec. 22 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is seeking public input on the proposed plan to build the Mountain Valley Pipeline. We need to speak up and tell FERC Secretary Kimberly Bose to revise the current plan and more directly address the pipeline's lasting impacts on the Appalachian Trail and adjacent wildlands, like Brush Mountain Wilderness Area and Peter Mountain Wilderness Area…. Undermining the Forest Service Roadless Area Conservation Rule sets a dangerous pattern for the nearly 58.5 million acres of wildlands protected from road construction, mining and timber harvesting…. Add your voice: No natural gas pipeline through the Appalachian Trail!

Science & Technology

Washington Post automatically inserts Trump fact-checks into Twitter
Ars Technica - In an apparent first for any American news outlet, the Washington Post released a Chrome plug-in on Friday designed to fact-check posts from a single Twitter account. Can you guess which one? The new "RealDonaldContext" plug-in for the Google Chrome browser, released by WaPo reporter Philip Bump, adds fact-check summaries to selected posts by President-elect Donald Trump. Users will need to click a post in The Donald's Twitter feed to see any fact-check information from the Washington Post, which appears as a gray text box beneath the tweet. With the extension installed, Trump's Twitter account now includes dozens of fact-check notes on any post with a statement that WaPo's editors deem inaccurate or misleading. In these cases, the added gray box includes a simple headline, a few explanatory sentences, and a link to a longer WaPo article that offers fuller context.

George Soros Is Funding Facebook's "Third-Party Fact Checking" Organization Targeting "Fake News"
Zero Hedge - Just yesterday, Facebook posted the following press release to their website detailing their plans to use a "third-party fact checking organization," known as The Poynter Institute, to flag "fake news." The role of the "fact checkers" will be to review news stories and flag anything they deem to be "fake" so that it can be deprioritized on Facebook's news feed. Of course, that raises any number of questions including what will be deemed to be "fake news" (e.g. will dissenting opinions be deemed "fake") and who exactly gets to oversee such a powerful position that basically has been given carte blanche to censor media outlets of their choosing? Surely such an organization would have to be an extremely transparent, publicly funded, bi-partisan group, right? Well, not so much apparently. A quick review of Poynter's website reveals that the organization is funded by the who's who of leftist billionaires including George Soros' Open Society Foundations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar's Omidyar Network. Well that seem fairly bipartisan, right?

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

EPA Recommends Deregulating Highly Invasive GE Grass
Natural Society - The EPA released a final environmental impact statement on December 7 giving the green light to creeping bentgrass, a highly invasive type of grass genetically engineered by Monsanto and Scotts Miracle Gro-Co. to withstand what would normally be a lethal dose of glyphosate. The agency recommended the deregulation of the plant because it “is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk.” Nothing could be further from the truth, based on past experience. The grass was developed by the companies primarily for use on golf courses, but in the past, bentgrass has escaped from “controlled” plots and invaded irrigation ditches, river banks, and the Crooked River National Grassland in Oregon. It crowds out native plants and the wildlife which depends on them, according to the Center for Food Safety (CFS). CFS said that Monsanto and Scotts have spent more than 10 years and millions of dollars trying to exterminate bentgrass escapes, but have been unsuccessful. Despite this, the USDA seems poised to grant the industry’s request that the department relinquish any authority over the genetically modified grass. So far, the GE bentgrass has illegally contaminated at least 3 counties, and its ultralight seeds and pollen have been impossible to eradicate, CFS said. In fact, GE creeping bentgrass was declared a noxious weed in Oregon’s Malheur County in 2016.

The Indoor Winter Garden: 5 Vegetables You Didn’t Know You Could Grow In Hanging Baskets
Off the Grid News - Dwarf varieties are best for hanging baskets. Compact plants that produce small, light fruits will keep your baskets healthy and manageable. Some plants, like tomatoes, have varieties bred specifically for baskets. For others, such as cucumbers, choose cultivars with smaller fruit. 1. Tomatoes: There are lots of great choices when it comes to tomatoes. Florida Basket and Micro Tom are just two of the varieties bred for baskets and pots. Tomatoes that mature early, such as Tumbler F1 and Tumbling Tom, are also good choices for growing indoors. 2. Peas and beans: As a cool weather crop, peas are particularly well-suited to growing indoors during the winter. Since they can tolerate light frosts, you don’t need to worry about the vines getting too close to frosty windows. Keep your beans more protected, though, because they prefer warmer temperatures. Both peas and beans require only about six hours of sunlight daily. Plan to water once a day and fertilize once a week for best results. 3. Cucumbers: Choose your cucumber varieties carefully. Some, like Carmen, are bred to grow indoors — or, rather, in greenhouses. These cultivars have a high propagation rate, high yields, good disease resistance, and most importantly for the indoor gardener, they self-pollinate. However, Carmen produces large 14-16 inch fruit, which will be difficult to manage in hanging baskets. 4. Salad greens: Lettuce and other salad greens like kale and spinach are cool weather crops, and are well-suited to growing in your home’s cooler nooks and crannies. They are also very easy to grow from seed. However, these veggies do need a lot of light — 14 to 16 hours a day is ideal. 5. Strawberries: Strawberries grow well indoors as well as in hanging baskets. The best variety for indoor baskets is the Alpine strawberry, which produces small, fragrant and flavorful fruit. Strawberries do just fine in regular indoor temperatures and need only six hours of sunlight per day. Plan to fertilize about every 10 days, and break out your cotton swabs, because you’ll need to pollinate your strawberries as well.


CBD Ban? DEA Tries to Reclassify Non-THC Cannabis Oil as Schedule 1
Natural Blaze - A CBD ban appears to have been put in place by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), an agency of the US Government. Two days ago on their website, they posted a notice that they had made a “new rule“, effective Dec. 14th 2016, to classify “marihuana” (their antiquated spelling, not mine) as a schedule 1 drug. What this means is that CBD (cannabidiol) extracts which have trace amounts of, or absolutely no THC, and are therefore non-psychoactive, are now reclassified to be on par with psychoactive or THC-containing cannabis, heroin, LSD and peyote. This latent stunt by the DEA is sure to be met with fierce resistance by a legion of Americans who are well aware of the health benefits of the cannabis plant. Legally speaking, the move is also highly dubious in nature, given that the DEA is by definition part of the executive branch of government (tasked with carrying out laws and enforcing them), not the legislative branch of government (tasked with making laws).… This strange new DEA rule is going against the tide of the recent movement to legalize marijuana or cannabis, as was evidenced in the recent November 2016 elections where California, Maine, Massachusetts and other states voted to make it recreationally or medically legal. You can be sure that many cannabis lawyers, businesses and consumers are going to do their utmost to stop governmental overreach and prevent a CBD ban from occurring.

Tocotrienols: A new way to combat cancer
(NaturalHealth365) With the recent discovery by scientists that two natural substances can target and remove aging and “senile” cells, the battle against cancer is moving in promising new directions. Research has confirmed that the combination of quercetin and a form of vitamin E – called tocotrienols – works to rid the body of the aging cells that are a major cause of chronic inflammation and disease – while simultaneously promoting the health and growth of normal cells. When “old” cells stop dividing, they stop creating new cells. These obsolete cells also lose the ability to die off, a condition called cellular senescence. Senescent cells then accumulate in the body, emitting pro-inflammatory chemicals – promoting aging and increasing cancer risk. However, there is a scenario in which cellular senescence is desirable. Triggering senescence in malignant cancer cells not only stops their uncontrolled replication, but causes them to die. By clearing away senile cells and inducing aging in malignant cells, quercetin and tocotrienols could stop tumors from growing…. The current recommended dose of quercetin is 500 to 800 mg a day for three months to rid the body of senile cells, followed by a maintenance program of 150 mg a day. Benefits have been seen with dosages of tocotrienol ranging from 40 to 400 mg a day. For chemopreventive effects, experts recommend 150 mg of tocotrienol a day for 90 days, followed by a maintenance dose of 100 mg a day.

9 natural antifungal remedies to eliminate candida overgrowth
(NaturalHealth365) Candida albicans, the most common type of yeast that causes infection in humans, is actually a type of fungus. …uncontrolled candida overgrowth can cause a wide range of symptoms, including mood swings, “leaky gut,” brain fog and depression. (keep reading for some great antifungal remedies) Caprylic acid: Caprylic acid is probably the “gold standard” of natural candida treatment. This beneficial fatty acid has been clinically proven to kill candida albicans – while helping to restore natural stomach acidity. For maximum benefit, you can obtain your caprylic acid in the form of coconut oil, which also contains the natural antifungals lauric acid and capric acid. Grapefruit seed extract: Grapefruit seed is a potent antifungal agent that is also packed with bioflavonoids and antioxidants. It not only attacks candida by breaking down yeast cell walls, but also enhances the immune system and helps to repair damaged liver cells. Oil of cloves: Oil of cloves is another effective antiseptic and antifungal that quickly kills candida cells while simultaneously boosting the immune system. Its active ingredient, a compound called eugenol, gives cloves their spicy flavor – and their antifungal powers. Make a tea from clove oil by adding 15 to 30 drops of the oil to warm water; you can drink the tea up to three times daily. If you find the taste objectionable, you can flavor it with a few drops of cinnamon essential oil. Cinnamon: Studies show that even multidrug-resistant varieties of candida yeast are susceptible to cinnamon…. To make cinnamon tea, simply boil a few cinnamon sticks in water for 30 minutes, then let them steep until the mixture is cool enough to drink….

Healthy 3 Ingredient No Bake Oatmeal Cookies
The Big Man's World - You only need three ingredients and five minutes to whip up these healthy 3 ingredient no bake oatmeal cookies! Chewy and refined sugar free, these cookies are suitable for those following a gluten free, dairy free and vegan diet- The perfect healthy snack! Ingredients: 1. 1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats (Can sub for oat bran, quick oats or oat flour, however see notes) 2. 1/2 cup smooth almond butter (Can sub for any nut butter) 3. 1/2 cup brown rice syrup (can sub for any sticky sweetener however see notes) 4. Chocolate chips/fruits etc (optional)…

Pet News

45 Cats Infected with Rare Bird Flu, Officials Fear it May be Spreading
The Catington Post - Veterinarians and public health expects became quite concerned when 45 cats at Animal Care and Control in Manhattan, New York, came down with a rare strain of the bird flu. Influenza A virus, known as low pathogenic avian influenza H7N2, has been identified in the 45 cats housed at the Manhattan shelter. While the virus poses a low risk to humans, health officials are concerned that it could have infected additional cats that have already been adopted from the shelter…. Symptoms of the flu include persistent cough, lip smacking, runny nose, and fever. Officials are urging anyone who adopted a cat as recently as November from the shelter in Manhattan to call the Health Department at 866-692-3641 for care instructions and to keep their cat separated from other animals if they show any of these signs. To date, one of the infected cats – an older kitty who had underlying health issues – has died as a result of pneumonia from the infection. This flu virus is spreading from cat to cat and may be able to spread to other animals and possibly even humans. Officials are also advising these pet owners to call the Health Department if they develop fever with a sore throat, fever with a cough, or red, inflamed eyes.

Friday - December 16, 2016

Today In History:

1773 - Nearly 350 chests of tea were dumped into Boston Harbor off of British ships by Colonial patriots. The patriots were disguised as Indians. The act was to protest taxation without representation and the monopoly the government granted to the East India Company.
1944 - During World War II, the Battle of the Bulge began in Belgium. It was the final major German counteroffensive in the war.
1950 - U.S. President Truman proclaimed a national state of emergency in order to fight "Communist imperialism."
1981 - The U.S. Congress restored the $122 minimum monthly social security benefit for current recipients.
1991 - The U.N. General Assembly rescinded its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism by a vote of 111-25.
1993 - The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for negotiations on a comprehensive test ban.
1995 - Many U.S. government functions were again closed as a temporary finance provision expired and the budget dispute between President Clinton and Republicans in Congress continued.
1995 - NATO launched a military operation in support of the Bosnia peace agreement.
1998 - The U.S. and Britain fired hundreds of missiles on Iraq in response to Saddam Hussein's refusal to comply with U.N. weapons inspectors.
2000 - U.S. President-elect George W. Bush selected Colin Powell to be the first African-American secretary of state. Powell was sworn in January 20, 2001.
2001 - In Tora Bora, Afghanistan, tribal fighters announced that they had taken the last al-Quaida positions. More than 200 fighters were killed and 25 captured. They also announced that they had found no sign of Osama bin Laden.
2001 - Cuba received the first commercial food shipment from the U.S. in nearly 40 years. The shipment was sent to help Cuba after Hurrican Michelle hit Cuba on November 4, 2001.
2001 - A British newspaper, The Observer, reported that a notebook had been found at an al-Quaida training camp in southern Afghanistan. The notebook contained a "blue print" for an bomb attack on London's financial district.
2009 - Astronomers discovered GJ1214b. It was the first-known exoplanet on which water could exist.

World News

US MANPAD supplies should worry Pentagon, not ‘small arms' seized in Palmyra – Russian military
RT - The US-led coalition should worry about potential deliveries of US arms to Syria rather than weapons left behind in Palmyra, as the city fell again into the hands of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), the Russian Defense Ministry said. The response came after a Wednesday report given by US Lieutenant-General Stephen Townsend, commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led coalition fighting the terrorist group Islamic State. Asked by journalists, the general voiced concerns over reports that Islamic State militants captured weapons in Palmyra which could be used against American troops and their allies. “We believe it includes some armored vehicles and various guns and other heavy weapons, possibly some air defense equipment,” he said, adding that “if the Russians and the regime don’t strike it, we will.” The Russian Defense Ministry described the stash of weapons as “a few small arms and several disabled military vehicles that cannot pose any threat to the international coalition.” “The thing that should really worry Gen. Townsend is the latest permission of the US Congress to deliver American MANPADs to the Syrian militants in 2017,” Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian ministry, said. He added that it “was not hard to guess who will get them after they are delivered to Syria.” The Russian general warned the US against using the authorization to deliver anti-aircraft weapons to Syrian rebels, saying that expecting the weapons to be used “against aircraft of one side only” would be wishful thinking, and was not supported by the previous record of arms transfers to the region.

Hundreds leave besieged east Aleppo on first day of evacuation
The Guardian - More than 2,000 people have been evacuated from besieged districts of east Aleppo under a deal brokered by Turkey and Russia and overseen by the Red Cross, and thousands more are expected to make the journey in the coming hours and days. Thursday’s evacuations, carried out using ambulances and green buses, will end months of deprivation and suffering for some of the desperate residents of east Aleppo. They have been living under siege in a shrinking patch of land controlled by the opposition, surviving bombardment by forces loyal to the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Iranian-backed militias and the Russian air force. More than 1,000 people are thought to have been killed in the Syrian government’s latest campaign in Aleppo, and tens of thousands more have been displaced…. The effort to treat and house tens of thousands of civilians, many of whom have had no access to medicine or much food for the past several weeks, is likely to be immense. The Turkish government has said it is prepared to receive the wounded and is readying refugee camps to house as many as 80,000 people in northern Syria and inside Turkey.

EU MPs debate stripping Poland of voting rights after new law restricts public meetings
RT - Adoption of a controversial law limiting freedom of assembly in Poland provoked a wave of criticism at home and prompted the EU parliament to discuss the possibility of stripping Poland of its voting rights within the bloc. The debate was provoked by an adoption of amendments to the Polish freedom of assembly law that give priority to the rallies that authorities deem to have “national importance." The move has been sharply criticized by the opposition, as well as some human rights groups and even the Polish Supreme Court, as disproportionate and unjustified. The legislation proposed by the MPs from the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) Party and passed by the Polish Senate late Tuesday envisages the possibility for any group to “book” a place for holding “periodical” rallies for up to three years with the consent of local authorities. All rallies held at the specified place by other groups and organizations during that period would be regarded as illegal, Polish Gazeta Wyborcza daily reports. In addition, any counter-rallies could be held no closer than 100 meters away from the place “reserved” by the authorities for a specific organization. The bill, which is still pending approval by the Polish president, also provides a legal basis for prioritizing those rallies that the authorities see as “nationally important” – such as those dedicated to commemoration of historical events.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

‘Russian Hacking’ a “Disinformation Campaign” Against Trump, Says Congressman
Paul Joseph Watson - Intelligence agencies are refusing to brief members of Congress on claims that Russia hacked the U.S. presidential election, as Rep. Peter King charged that false information is being leaked to the media as part of a disinformation campaign to discredit Donald Trump. “There is no consensus opinion, and yet we find it in the New York Times and the Washington Post and yet the House Committee on Intelligence was told nothing about this,” said King. “This violates all protocols and it’s almost as if people in the intelligence community are carrying out a disinformation campaign against the president elect of the United States,” added King, noting that someone in the House or Senate could also be leaking false information. “Somebody has the time to leak it to the New York Times and the Washington Post but they don’t have the time to come to Congress and it’s the House Committee on Intelligence that has the absolute jurisdiction over the CIA and the intelligence community,” said King, emphasizing that he had seen no evidence for that claim that Russia hacked anything and that it was more likely an attempt to discredit Trump’s administration. “Why didn’t they tell the House Intelligence Committee?” asked King. “If something so dramatic happened between November 17th and this week to change their assessment, didn’t they have the obligation to come before the Congress and tell us that.” Nobody at the CIA is speaking, no one’s on the record, if it is true they’re leaking it and that’s a crime,” added King, concluding that the whole thing “stinks”…. Meanwhile, NBC News is reporting that, “U.S. intelligence officials now believe with “a high level of confidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in the covert Russian campaign to interfere in the U.S. presidential election.”

Long-Shot Bid to Block Trump Arrives at Electoral College Monday
Bloomberg - The Electoral College’s 538 members gather Monday at 50 state capitols to cast the ballots that matter the most when it comes to electing a U.S. president. Normally sedate affairs that pass with little notice, this year’s proceedings have been injected with a bit of drama and a dash of uncertainty with an unprecedented campaign by a small group of electors to overturn the results of Election Day. The attempt to deny Donald Trump the presidency by trying to convince Democratic and Republican peers to back someone else is almost sure to fail. But it injects still more rancor in what already has been a divisive political season and serves as a capstone for a 2016 presidential election that will go down as one of the oddest in U.S. history. Behind the drive is a group calling itself Hamilton Electors, led by two Democratic electors from western states. The name is a nod to Alexander Hamilton and his explanation of the need for the Electoral College, an entity the first U.S. Treasury secretary said existed to make sure that “the office of the president will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”

"They Are Standing Strong By The Will Of Our Voters" - GOP Crushes Democrats' Hopes, Confirms Electors Back Trump
Zero Hedge - While a liberal group responsible for fomenting the Electoral College rebellion claims to have at least 20 of the 37 GOP defectors needed to pull an upset and send the election to the House, The Hill reports that, among Republicans on the ground, though, there is no chatter or speculation surrounding that possibility…. Republican state party chairmen and local officials expect nearly every GOP elector to fulfill their pledges to vote for Donald Trump for president on Monday when delegates gather across the country to cast their Electoral College ballots. Despite a media frenzy around the scattered groups of liberals suggesting a groundswell of Republican opposition to Trump, there is little evidence to suggest that many GOP voters will go against the popular vote in their home states. An Associated Press poll of more than 330 electors published Thursday found similarly long odds for any Electoral College revolt, with both Democrats and Republicans convinced Trump will clinch the vote Monday. The Hill reached state party chairmen or officials for 10 of the 30 states Trump won in November, accounting for 170 of the 270 electoral votes he needs to win. The officials in those states, most of whom said they are in close contact with their full slate of delegates and are working in tandem with the Republican National Committee’s whip operation, promised to deliver 169 of the 170 electoral votes up for grabs…. The lone exception is a rebel elector in Texas, who has written an op-ed in the New York Times and said in media interviews that he will not vote for Trump. Two others have said they will resign in protest. They are likely to be replaced by electors the party is certain will vote for Trump.

Clinton Investigation Back On: FBI Agents In NY Ordered To Continue Foundation Probe
Zero Hedge - Officials at FBI headquarters instructed its New York field office to continue its corruption investigation into the Clinton Foundation following the election of Republican candidate Donald Trump, according to a former senior law enforcement official. The instructions ordered agents to “go forward” with their ongoing inquiry into the Clinton Foundation which is focusing on issues of corruption and money laundering, according to the source. “There were no instructions to shut it down, to discontinue or to stand down on the investigation, but to continue its work,” the former official told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview. He said he received this information about a week ago and that the order originated from the bureau’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. well after the Nov. 8 election. He did not know who at FBI Headquarters issued the order. The same source broke the news to TheDCNF that the FBI was conducting a multi-city probe of the foundation in as many as five cities: New York, Little Rock, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Miami. The source did not know the status of the bureau’s work in the four other cities.

"Fake News": What's behind the steep career of the new Buzz word
RT -The fight concept "Fake News" has been on everyone's mind for several days in Germany. Coincidence? No. Behind the slogan is a story that originated in the USA. "Fake News" is linked to conjectures about a Washington pedophile ring around Hillary Clinton. Suddenly he is there, the term "fake news". Mark Zuckerberg promises on 19 November that Facebook wants to take action against the alleged problem. Deutsche Leitartikler take on the topic with a campaign-like verve. The time goes on for even the US "Internet pioneers" Jeff Jarvis. Even Angela Merkel discussed "Fake News" in her government statement on Wednesday. The fact that the term in the past few weeks has laid a very steep career, impressively illustrates a simple search with Google Trends. The curve shows the global public interest in certain search terms, in this case the term "fake news”… Before "Fake News" was #Pizzagate. Looking back on 9 November, the day after the presidential election: In the US, the hashtag spread #Pizzagate like wildfire. Behind the slogan is no less than the accusation that Hillary Clinton's campaign leader John Podesta is in connection with a supposed pedophile ring. There are a lot of internet forums around. In the podesta mails published by WikiLekas, there are often conspicuous terms that are used in pedophile circles as code words for their criminal needs. So the term "cheese pizza" stands for "Child Porn" due to the same initial letters of the words in pedophile travels. While in the social media of the Hashtag #Pizzagate with partly over 200,000 Tweets within 24 hours to the Megawelle grows, the Washington operator of the pizzalade James Alefantis gets into the thread crosses of the conjectures. From today still unexplained reasons , the QC magazine lists the restaurateurs number 49 of the 50 most powerful people in Washington, a city with perhaps the highest concentration of power around the world at all. [Read more]

Owner Puts Up THIS Sign After Seeing Homeless People Around Her Store
David Wolfe - This week in Dallas, Texas, temperatures dropped to the low 30s. This was fine for everyone with a home and electricity. But for the homeless, it was misery and even dangerous. Though there are shelters, many homeless people can’t make it to one and are forced to spend their days and nights roaming the streets. This isn’t unusual in a big city like Dallas. With their busy lives and schedules, many people don’t stop to think about how the weather might be affecting those in need. One taco shop owner did. For the second year in a row, Emilia Flores, owner of The Taco Stop, set out a fully-stocked coat rack just outside her shop. The idea struck her when visiting Mexico. Seeing how they went the extra mile for their homeless, Flores thought it would be a great idea to emulate. “This is a way of people not being embarrassed about asking,” said Flores. “They just come and pick what they need and leave.” Flores’ only intention is to help those in need. And not just the homeless, but anyone struggling financially. “In small ways, you can actually make a difference. And this year, particularly, I thought that the world is so polarized and the country is so polarized, it’s just another reminder that it takes very little to make life easier for people.” The whole wardrobe was stolen four times last year. While this might have deterred others in their act of kindness, Flores continues to put it back up. Without fail, there will always be help at The Taco Shop in Dallas, Texas.

Post-Election News

Jill Stein Spends $1mm Of Recount Donations On “Staff, Admin and Consultants”
Zero Hedge - After promising to spend “every dollar” of the donations she raised from disaffected Hillary supporters on recount efforts, Jill Stein has just released the following budget which reveals that over $1mm (or nearly 15% of the total $7.3mm raised) was used to fund her “staff payroll,” “consultants,” “administrative expenses,” and “compliance costs.” This looks eerily similar to some Clinton Foundation budgets we recently reviewed which claimed to have spent “every dollar” of their donations on “charity work.” Of course, to add insult to injury, Stein’s efforts in Wisconsin actually widened Trump’s margin of victory while recount efforts in Michigan and Pennsylvania were shut down by courts based on merit. Therefore, given that Wisconsin’s net votes changed by a grand total of 131, Stein effectively paid $56,759 for each changed vote. And while that may sound like a complete failure to most of us, Stein, in a press release posted to her website, was a bit more upbeat describing the recounts as a “resounding success.

Students petition to fire professor for shaming Trump supporters
CampusReform - Students at Orange Coast College have started a petition to fire Olga Perez Stable-Cox, the professor who called the election of Donald Trump “an act of terrorism” during an in-class tirade. Cox, who teaches Human Sexuality, has made national headlines for claiming that Trump is a “white supremacist,” and stating that Vice-President-elect Pence is “one of the most anti-gay humans in this country.” The petition denounces Cox not merely for her comments about Trump and Pence, but also for asking all Trump supporters to stand up in front of the entire class, which the anonymous student who submitted the video asserts was an attempt to isolate and publicly shame those who voted for Trump.

Energy & Environment

Coalition of 24 states urges Trump to kill Obama's carbon emission plan
Reuters - Officials in 24 states have urged U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to kill the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's strategy to combat climate change and shut down coal-fired power plants. The coalition requested the incoming Republican government undo the Clean Power Plan enacted by the current Democratic administration. The law was designed to lower carbon emissions mainly from coal-fired power plants by 2030 to 32 percent below 2005 levels. The group, headed by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, suggests Congress take action to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from drafting similar regulations in the future. "The order (to withdraw the plan) should explain that it is the administration's view that the (Clean Power Plan) is unlawful and that EPA lacks authority to enforce it. The executive order is necessary to send an immediate and strong message to States and regulated entities that the administration will not enforce the rule," according to Morrisey.

700+ Acres of Ohio's Only National Forest Sold for Fracking
EcoWatch - Despite heavy opposition from public health and environmental groups, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has leased 759 acres of Ohio's only national forest for fracking. According to the Associated Press, oil and gas companies from Texas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Colorado and Oklahoma forked over $1.7 million for the right to explore parts of Wayne National Forest for drilling operations. Lessees still need to obtain a permit before any drilling can start. The online auction took place on Dec. 13 with the minimum acceptable bid for as little as $2 per acre. The Columbus Dispatch reported that offers made by the 22 registered bidders ranged from the $2 minimum to a high of $5,806.12 per acre. Opponents of the federal auction, cited concerns over public health impacts and effects on air and water quality, and submitted more than 17,000 comments to the BLM during its 30-day comment period…. The BLM reportedly received 100 "valid" complaints but they were all denied by the agency on Monday and the auction moved forward…. In addition to allowing fracking on public lands, Ohio lawmakers passed House Bill 554 last week, which will freeze renewable energy mandates for another two years if Gov. John Kasich signs the bill. More than 25,000 clean energy jobs are at risk.

Poisoned Snow Geese in Butte: the New “Canaries” Warning us Humans About the Toxic Nature of Copper Mining
Natural Blaze - In November of 1995, a large flock of migrating snow geese, heading south for the winter, took refuge from a snowstorm and landed on the unfrozen surface of an open pit copper mine on the outskirts of Butte, Montana. The old mine, called the Berkeley Pit, had been inactive for decades, but it was full of dissolved heavy metals and highly acidic water. 342 of the geese died during that event, autopsies showing perforated esophageal ulcerations from drinking the water…. On November 28, 2016, 21 years after the first reported snow goose die-off at Butte, an estimated 10,000 migrating snow geese landed on the permanently-poisoned water toxic water of the Berkeley Pit and began dying. Witnesses said that the lake was “white with birds.”… Severe poisoning with heavy metals are essentially incurable and untreatable, even in humans, because those toxins are so rapidly lethal to nerve, liver and kidney cells and so damaging to the body’s mitochondria and the enzyme systems that are so critical to health…. Clean-up responsibility for the massive pollution problem in Butte has been assumed by the EPA as a Superfund site, which is not fully funded by the under-regulated mining companies that created the problem in the first place. Remediation costs are so astronomical that mining companies could never be expected to voluntarily set aside large enough escrow accounts to pay for real clean-up.

Science & Technology

Facebook partners with fact-checking organizations to begin flagging fake news
The Verge - Facebook is introducing tools designed to make it easier to report links shared in the News Feed as fake news, and it’s working with four independent fact-checking organizations to assess the accuracy of viral stories. Facebook users who try to share a story that has been marked as false will be warned that “independent fact-checkers have disputed its accuracy.” To start with, Facebook is working with Snopes, Politifact, ABC News, and (It plans to add more over time, it said.) All are members of the Poynter International Fact Checking Network, who have agreed to abide by a common set of principles. Together, Facebook and the news organizations will attempt to identify fast-spreading hoaxes and discourage users from sharing them. For its part, Facebook will use a variety of signals to identify stories that are likely to be false. These signals include stories that people post but later delete, and stories that include lots of comments about them being fake. Facebook says it will use these and other signals to populate a dashboard of dubious stories. Its fact-checking partners will get access to the dashboard. After they investigate the article’s claims, they can mark it as disputed and link to their own article debunking it. If at least two fact-checking organizations mark a story as disputed, users will begin seeing a banner under the article if it appears in their News Feed…. Facebook will also penalize the disputed article so it shows up lower in the News Feed, Facebook says. If a user decides to share the link anyway, a pop-up dialog will warn them the article’s content has been disputed by its fact-checking partners. Users can still tap “continue” and share the article if they want to. But disputed articles will not be eligible to be promoted using one of Facebook’s advertising tools.

The Associated Press Announces It Is Joining The "Fight Against The Scourge" Of Fake News
Zero Hedge - As part of its broader fact-checking efforts, The Associated Press announced Thursday that it will work with Facebook to help identify and debunk trending “news” stories being shared online that are false. AP stories dispelling patently false trending news articles already appear on the AP wire, on and on the AP News app. These stories, which will now say “AP Fact Check” in the headline, include details on AP’s efforts to verify the facts in fake news stories…. “AP has long done some of the most thorough fact-checking in the news business,” said Sally Buzbee, AP’s incoming executive editor. “This initiative is a natural extension of that tradition, and of the AP’s long-standing role setting the standards for accuracy and ethics in journalism.”

Coming soon, iris scanning cars that talk to traffic signals
MassPrivateI - Delta Id wants every car to scan your iris, so they can authenticate the driver before ignition. "ActiveIRIS system scans the iris of the driver to authenticate him or her, before enabling ignition." ActiveIRIS identifies the driver, monitors (spies) your driving and spies on your seat, infotainment and temperature preferences. "With Delta ID's ActiveIRIS system, all the driver needs to do is look to unlock the vehicle and personalize the cabin settings as he or she gets ready for the ride. Additionally, the ActiveIRIS system can monitor the eyes..." New technology allows vehicles to talk to traffic lights. Since 2006, Audi has been working on developing vehicles that talk to city/state infrastructure, otherwise known as 'V2I'. Their selling point is a car that knows when a traffic light is about to turn red or green. But what they don't want you to think about is big brother knows how fast you're traveling. The technology essentially allows the smart cars and traffic signals to “talk” to each other, relaying information about the length of time for red lights, Malhotra said. The dashboard display is equipped with a countdown clock that keeps track of the time until the next green light while also advising how fast a vehicle should travel to make it. What they're really saying is, 'V2I' communications allows Big Brother, to spy on you at all times.

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Use Ash From Your Fire to Nourish Your Plants
REALfarmacy - Bonfires and wood burning stoves are great during colder months. The ash that is produced is also extremely good for gardens! Wood ash is a great addition to any garden because it contains potassium or potash. Potassium is a vital nutrient for crops. Potassium regulates the water balance of plants so that their tissue is firm and juicy. It also plays a part in transporting food within the plant and creating sugars and starches. Without enough potassium, vegetables are more vulnerable to drought, frost, pests, and diseases. Many people use wood burning stoves to heat their houses during the winter months…. One cord of wood, measuring 4 x 4 x 8 feet, is likely to produce around 25 lbs of ashes…. Wood ashes make a great addition to any compost heap and aid fertility. If you have a lot of ash, don’t add it all at once because they are alkaline and could raise the pH too much. This can affect the bacteria and worms that are at work in your compost…. Since ashes are alkaline, you can substitute them for the usual ground limestone…. Since it is alkaline, wood ash is not an ideal addition to soil that already has a pH of 7.5 or greater. There is no point in spreading it around acid-loving plants like blueberries. It is also not recommended for areas where potatoes grow (though they enjoy potassium) because increased alkalinity can encourage potato scab…. Sprinkling ash straight into the soil deters slugs and snails. Some people sprinkle ash in the drills when sowing carrots. Some also dust turnips to keep carrot and turnip flies away. Adding ash to the soil in spring and autumn is beneficial, but it can also be spread around at other times as well. Root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, peas, and beans and fruit all appreciate potash.


CDC Wants MMR And MMRV Vaccine Comments By December 19, 2016
Natural Blaze - Time is running out to submit your comments to the CDC regarding the problematic MMR and MMRV vaccines given to infants and toddlers, which many think have an adverse impact on Autism. I filed a 10-page comment, which is below, on December 14th. Guess how many comments were posted as of that date? A measly 236! The last time the CDC asked for comments, consumers posted over 15,000!… You can get some ideas from what I said in my filing, so please file your comment before midnight of Tuesday, December 19, 2016. Please don’t let an important opportunity slip by regarding vaccines that harm infants, toddlers and children.

Ten Herbs To Utterly Change Your Life
1. St John’s Wort–This list is started with a herb all of us could use more of. It’s sedative properties help you cope with stress. And isn’t the world just one huge ball of stress spinning in this expanse of space? 2. Valerian Root–Valerian Root is one of the best herbs to counteract the nervous effects of caffeine. Take a couple of capsules of valerian before you go to bed, and you’ll sleep like a baby. ( That is, if a baby was allowed to drink coffee and then swallowed a few valerian root capsules.) 2. Uva Ursi–Kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and bladder problems are all becoming an epidemic in industrialized nations. For this reason, I recommend Uva Ursi, as it is a magnificent cleanser of the urinary system. 3. Turmeric–I bet you’ve never heard of this herb until a couple of years ago. Thanks to this meteoric rise in popularity, we now know how effective Turmeric is in battling inflammation. Because of this, Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties benefit sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, arthritis, and hepatitis. 3. Siberian Ginseng–Diabetes and High Blood Pressure are a growing issue in America. But Siberian Ginseng is here to help! Taken daily, you can easily normalize your blood sugar and blood pressure in just one easy herb….

Pet News

VICTORY! South Korea’s Most Infamous Dog Meat Market Shuts Down
In a huge victory for dogs and dog lovers across the world, South Korea’s most infamous dog meat market, the Moran Market in Seongnam City in the Gyeinggi-do-province, has finally shut down for good. The Moran Livestock Association and Seongnam City have agreed to stop the slaughter, confinement, and sale of dogs. Moran Market is South Korea’s biggest livestock market and, until now, sold up to 80,000 dogs for meat each year…. Although this is a positive step forward in the fight to end the horrific dog meat trade, In Defense of Animals urges caution. The city of Seongnam has committed to encouraging dog meat vendors to venture into other trades, but the dog butchers may take their business elsewhere. In Defense of Animals will not be satisfied until dog meat is ended entirely.

Video: Bikers Join Together To Help Dog Stranded On A Busy Bridge
The Dodo - Video has emerged showing the heartwarming moment a group of motorcyclists in Turkey put their own lives on the line to help a trapped dog make it to safety. It's unclear from the footage how the desperate animal came to be stranded there on one of Istanbul's busiest bridges, but it was likely only a matter of time before he was struck by a passing car. Fortunately, the quick-thinking bikers knew just what to do to help. They formed a human shield around the dog as protection, escorting her to a pedestrian area where she could escape the traffic. After the dog is out of danger, one of the bikers appears to linger behind, perhaps to guide her the rest of the way to where a car is parked on the shoulder a short distance ahead. But while we may never come to know the dog's full story, it's heartening to see that, in her most desperate moment, she had the kindness of strangers to help see her through it.

Recall Alert: Several Pet-Branded Carpet Cleaning Powders Recalled
Dogington Post - Several brands and Lot numbers of dry carpet cleaning powders, many marketed specifically to pet owners, have been recalled due to the risk of exposure to harmful bacteria. The 6 brands recalled include Arm & Hammer, Capture, Healthy Home, Oreck, Resista and Riccar brands, sold at Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, Oreck, Walmart and other specialty carpet and vacuum stores nationwide from July 2015 through September 2016. The dry carpet cleaning powder involved in this recall can contain harmful bacteria. Exposure to bacteria poses a risk of respiratory and other infections in immunocompromised individuals. Consumers with healthy immune systems are generally not affected by the bacteria.

Thursday - December 15, 2016

Today In History:

1791 - In the U.S., the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, went into effect following ratification by the state of Virginia.
1890 - American Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull and 11 other tribe members were killed in Grand River, SD, during an incident with Indian police working for the U.S. government.
1938 - U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt presided over the ground-breaking ceremonies for the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.
1939 - "Gone With the Wind," produced by David O. Selznick based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell, premiered at Loew's Grand Theater in Atlanta. The movie starred Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable.
1941 - U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into practice Bill of Rights Day.
1944 - American forces invaded Mindoro Island in the Philippines.
1966 - Walter Elias "Walt" Disney died in Los Angeles at the age of 65.
1973 - J. Paul Getty III was found in southern Italy after being held captive for 5 months, in which his right ear was cut off and sent to a newspaper in Rome.
1983 - The last 80 U.S. combat soldiers in Grenada withdrew. It was just over seven weeks after the U.S.-led invasion of the Caribbean island.
1995 - The U.N. Security Council authorized NATO to take over the peacekeeping operations in Bosnia.
1996 - Boeing Co. announced plans to pay $13.3 billion to acquire rival aircraft manufacturer McDonnell Douglas Corp.
1999 - Syria reopened peace talks with Israel in Washington, DC, with the mediation of U.S. President Clinton.
2000 - The Chernobyl atomic power plant in Kiev, Ukraine, was shut down.
2000 - New York Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed to accept an $8 million book deal with Simon & Schuster. The book was to be about her eight years in the White House. The advance was the highest ever to be paid to a member of the U.S. Congress.
2010 - The U.N. Security Council gave a vote of confidence to the government of Iraq when they lifted 19-year-old sanctions on weapons and civilian nuclear power.

World News

ISIS attack on Palmyra directly linked to US waiver on rebel arms supplies – Assad to RT (Video)
RT - President Obama’s announcement of a waiver for arming unspecified rebel groups in Syria came shortly before the terrorist group Islamic State launched a massive attack on Palmyra. Syrian President Bashar Assad believes it was no coincidence, he told RT. "The announcement of the lifting of that embargo is related directly to the attack on Palmyra and to the support of other terrorists outside Aleppo, because when they are defeated in Aleppo, the United States and the West, they need to support their proxies somewhere else," he said. "The crux of that announcement is to create more chaos, because the United States creates chaos in order to manage this chaos," Assad added. He added that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) forces “came with different and huge manpower and firepower that ISIS never had before during this attack, and they attacked on a huge front, tens of kilometers that could be a front of armies. ISIS could only have done that with the support of states. Not state; states." In the interview, the Syrian leader explained how his approach to fighting terrorism differs from that of the US, why he believes the military success of his forces in Aleppo was taken so negatively in the West, and what he expects from US President-elect Donald Trump. The full transcript of the interview is below….

US Trims Some Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia Over Yemen Civilian Deaths
Antiwar - In a surprise move, the United States has announced that they will halt sales certain munitions sales to Saudi Arabia yesterday, citing growing concerns about “flaws” in Saudi targeting in the Yemen war, which is leading to a huge number of civilian deaths. Officials quoted in Reuters described a “systemic, endemic” problem with Saudi targeting in the war, and decided that they could no longer sell certain “air-dropped” weaponry to the Saudis. The shift is surprising, as US officials have repeatedly claimed support for the Saudi war, but it isn’t necessarily a huge shift. The US sells an enormous amount of arms to Saudi Arabia yearly (under Obama, the United States has sold more than $115 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia and that includes cluster bombs, an explosive that’s been outlawed by 119 countries), and officials aren’t providing clarity on just how big this “certain” sales halt amounts to. The expectation is that it is minor. Perhaps more problematic, the US is going to continue to provide mid-air refueling for the Saudi warplanes to continue the objectionable bombing campaign. US officials say they wanted to make it clear that sales to Saudi Arabia weren’t a “blank check,” though in practice the big concern was likely legal liability, as a growing number of groups have warned the US may face legal repercussions for participating so heavily in Saudi war crimes. Halting even a few sales may provide some legal cover for administration lawyers to argue they acted to limit Saudi war crimes, but at the end of the day, US warplanes are still refueling US-made warplanes dropping US-made bombs on civilians.

Greece on collision course with lenders as ESM freezes debt relief
The Guardian - The dispute between Greece and its creditors has turned more ugly after the European body financing the country’s €86bn (£72bn) bailout programme decided to freezea debt relief deal. The prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, was taken by surprise on Wednesday when the European Stability Mechanism announced it would not honour an accord to ease the burden of Greece’s debt pile. The decision, taken in direct retribution for a series of surprise social welfare measures unveiled by the leader, is likely to put Athens on a war footing with lenders amid mounting signs of the Greek crisis flaring again. Last week, Tsipras took the unexpected step of declaring a one-off pre-Christmas bonus for an estimated 1.6 million retirees living on €800 or less a month. This week he added that the Aegean islands would be exempt from a sales tax demanded by creditors.

Venezuelans fight to protect their savings as government pulls bills from circulation
Fusion - Venezuelans are rushing to the banks this week in a desperate attempt to protect their savings from the government’s latest spasm of reckless financial policymaking. On Tuesday morning thousands of people across Venezuela played hooky from work to line-up outside banks and deposit bundles of cash into their savings accounts after the government gave everyone a 72-hour countdown to turn in all their 100 bolivar notes before they’re removed from circulation. The 100 bolivar note, the highest denomination of Venezuelan currency, is currently worth about 3 cents on the U.S. dollar. But Venezuela’s government announced on Sunday that it is removing the bills from circulating because they’re being purchased in bulk by “international mafia groups” that are allegedly trying to “overthrow” the struggling socialist government by hoarding money abroad and starving Venezuela of cash. President Nicolas Maduro said that by making his country’s 100 bill illegal, he is “hitting back” against the mafia groups, who he claims have ties to the U.S. State Department, although he’s never offered any solid proof to back his claims. Maduro also closed Venezuela’s border with Colombia for three days, in a move designed to stop “the mafia groups” from bringing their crate loads of 100 bolivar bills back into Venezuela to deposit at banks. But not many people believe Maduro’s narrative about withdrawing the currency to fight the mafia.

4 years & counting: Putin again tops Forbes ‘most influential’ list as Obama sinks to 48th place
RT - Forbes has named Vladimir Putin the world’s most powerful person for a 4th year running, saying the Russian leader “continues to get what he wants” at home and abroad. Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama dropped dramatically from 3rd to 48th spot. “Russia’s president has exerted his country’s influence in nearly every corner of the globe; from the motherland to Syria to the US presidential elections. Putin continues to get what he wants,” Forbes argued, adding that the Russian President’s “reach” on global affairs “has magnified in recent years.” Picking up on the claims of Moscow’s alleged interference in the US elections, initially promoted by Hillary Clinton’s camp, as well as the claims of the US President-elect Donald Trump’s connections to Russia, the magazine went on to say that “in 2016 Russian hackers were accused of tapping into email accounts owned by members of the US Democratic Party in a bid to aid the campaign of Donald Trump, who has regularly praised Putin's leadership style.” Trump placed second on Forbes’ list, outdoing Angela Merkel, who thus dropped to the third place in the ranking. However, it was the outgoing US President Barack Obama’s fall from grace in the magazine’s list that appeared to be the most striking. Obama, who was placed third last year, dropped 45 places and found himself squeezed between Haruhiko Kuroda, the head of Japan’s central bank, and Khalid Al-Falih, the petroleum minister of oil-rich Saudi Arabia. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was ranked above Obama, retaining his 43th place.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Trump Michigan Elector: Democrats Threatened to Put a Bullet in My Head (Video)
The Gateway Pundit - Mike Banerian, a GOP Electoral College voter in Michigan, says he has received several death threats from Democrat voters. The Electoral College voters are meeting on December 19 to cast their vote for president. Mike says he has contacted police and was threatened to be shot in the head if he cast his vote for Trump. Mike Banerian is a youth chair of the Michigan Republican Party and an official elector obligated to cast his electoral vote for President-elect Donald Trump. Mike Banerian: I’ve been inundated with hundreds and hundreds of letters to my house and Facebook messages and some of those Facebook messages are death threats. I’ve had people threaten to put a bullet in the back of my mouth. People saying to throw myself in front of a bus, sending me pictures of a noose. Saying if I don’t do the right thing that they’ll get me…. He said most of the threats were coming from blue states.

DC Area Marching Bands Are Boycotting Trump Inaugural Parade
The Gateway Pundit - Local DC high school marching bands are reportedly boycotting the Trump Inaugural Parade. Their teachers don’t like Trump – so they’re denying their students the honor of marching in the Inaugural parade. NOT ONE DC area school has applied to march in the Inaugural Parade. The good news is these schools open up slots for bands from other states.

Entire Town’s Police Dept Quits Because Officials Kept Asking them to “Do Illegal, Immoral Things”
The Free Thought Project - Thomison and the other four officers who comprised the entire police force in Bunker Hill — population 888, according to the 2010 census — decided they’d had enough of the town council’s demands, and on Monday night tendered letters of resignation. According to Thomison in an interview with the Kokomo Tribune, members of the town council had requested he perform criminal background checks on other council members and that he share confidential information. “I have had to educate them on the things they were asking from me and explained that I would not take part in any of these actions,” he noted. Thomison also explained the town reduced the number of reserve deputies from nine to just four and reduced the area they were permitted to patrol. Worse, the former marshal accused the council of curtailing his hours to part time in order to avoid paying his health insurance after he was diagnosed with cancer. “They came at me and said it is costing the town way too much money because of my insurance and they said we are taking you down to part time,” he told Fox 59. Thomison plans to file a lawsuit over that issue…. Bunker Hill is desperately seeking officers to fill the void left by Thomison and the deputies, but he told Fox 59 no one wants the job. […] the police department isn’t Bunker Hill’s only loss — the town no longer has a building department after Building Commissioner Bill Gornto also submitted his resignation Monday, citing issues similar to those of the resigning police…. Even Council Vice President Jim Panther tendered resignation effective at the end of the year, but only cited personal reasons in his decision.

Senate Judiciary Committee Refers Planned Parenthood For Possible Criminal Prosecution
Breitbart - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is referring Planned Parenthood to the FBI and the Justice Department for investigation and possible prosecution. The announcement comes following an investigation into allegations the abortion chain and its partners in biomedical procurement have been harvesting the body parts of aborted babies and selling them for a profit. In his referral letter to the FBI and Justice Department, Grassley notes, “[T]he facts uncovered raise a reasonable suspicion that these organizations, and/or individuals employed by them, may have engaged in a conspiracy to violate the fetal tissue law.” In 2015, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) conducted an undercover investigation of the fetal tissue practices of Planned Parenthood. CMP released a series of videos focused on these practices.

Missouri Bill Would Eliminate State Marriage Licenses
Tenth Amendment Center - A bill pre-filed in the Missouri House would start the process of eliminating government-run marriage in the state, effectively nullifying both sides of the contentious debate. Missouri State Rep. T.J. Berry introduced House Bill 62 (HB62) on December 1. If passed into law, it would amend current marriage-related state laws by replacing marriage licenses with “contracts of domestic union.” In practice, the state’s role in marriage would be limited to recording marriage contracts entered into by consenting adults or with parental consent if under the age of 18…. SB 62 would reduce the state’s role in defining and regulating marriage, which has become a contentious issue and places a burden on government officials torn between the legal requirements of their jobs and their personal religious convictions. By limiting the state’s role in marriage, SB 62 would allow Missourians to structure their personal relationships as they see fit without interference or approval from the government. Removing state meddling in marriage would render void the edicts of federal judges that have overturned state laws defining the institution. The founding generation never envisioned unelected judges issuing ex cathedra pronouncements regarding the definition of social institutions, and the Constitution delegates the federal judiciary no authority to do so. Constitutionally, marriage is an issue left to the state and the people.

Missouri Bill Would Introduce Price Competition into Healthcare System, Set Foundation to Nullify Obamacare
Tenth Amendment Center - A bill prefiled in the Missouri House for the 2017 legislative session would open the door to price competition and increased healthcare choices in the state, setting the stage to nullify ObamaCare and other federal healthcare programs in practice. Rep. Keith Frederick (R-Rolla) prefiled House Bill 123 (HB123) on Dec. 2. Titled the “Missouri Right to Shop Act,” the legislation would create a system allowing patients to find the lowest price for non-emergency medical procedures and require insurance companies to reward consumers who comparison shop with part of the savings. The legislation would also allow patients to shop for better value in or out of network. Insurers would have to share any savings regardless of network, and count costs against out-of-pocket limits. A Forbes article explained how Right to Shop works. Right To Shop empowers patients with the knowledge they need to make smart choices about how and where they consume health care. They’re given tools to find the best value providers and, when they choose those options, they get a share of the savings – in cash.

Court Rules CNN Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Can Proceed
Breitbart - Former CNN producer Stanley Wilson’s racial discrimination lawsuit against CNN may proceed after a California appellate court reversed a lower court’s ruling on Tuesday. The 51-year-old Wilson, who is black, originally filed suit against CNN in 2014, alleging that the company discriminated against him on the basis of race over his 17-year-career at the network. As Deadline reported at the time, the longtime producer was promoted just once, in 2003, despite applying for a dozen job openings. Wilson was fired in January 2014 after the network accused him of plagiarism; according to the $5 million lawsuit, the real reason for his termination was discrimination, and Wilson further claimed he was unable to find a job at another network after CNN allegedly published false and defamatory statements about him.

University Says Using “Holiday” Instead of “Christmas” is Not Politically Correct Enough
Paul Joseph Watson - Texas Woman’s University has warned students that describing Christmas parties as “Holiday” parties is now not politically correct enough and may offend Muslims, suggesting that the term “end of semester party” be used instead. According to an advisory which described tips for an “all-inclusive, multicultural holiday party at the office,” describing Christmas as a “holiday” is not longer multicultural enough because, “Not all faith traditions have holidays in December, and not everyone identifies with a particular faith tradition.” Mark Kessler, professor of multicultural women’s and gender studies, says that in order to avoid “missteps” that might offend Muslims, Jews or atheists, party planners should refrain from using the word “holiday” because it “connotes religious tradition and may not apply to all employees.” The use of “religious symbolism, such as images of Santa Claus, evergreen trees, or red-nosed reindeer” is also discouraged, as is “red and green sugar cookies shaped like Christmas trees.” Halal or kosher food should be offered to meet the “requirements of non-majority groups in your organization.” Music “associated with a faith tradition, such as Christmas carols,” is also discouraged, with a “multicultural playlist that reflects all faith traditions” preferred. mParties scheduled for December should be renamed “end of semester” parties or “end of fiscal year” parties. Meanwhile, over in Italy, a priest has announced that there will be no nativity scene at a local cemetery because it might offend Muslims and atheists.

School Board Votes to Ban Charlie Brown Christmas Display
Breitbart - A Texas school board has ignored the advice of the state attorney general and voted to back the ban on a Charlie Brown Christmas display because it contains the word “Christ.” he trustees for the Killeen The trustees for the Killeen Independent School District voted 6-1 to continue the ban…. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton responded by calling the principal’s directive “an attack on religious liberty and a violation of the First Amendment and state law.” He urged, “I am calling on the school board of the Killeen Independent School District (ISD) to immediately reverse their unlawful decision.” Paxton [..] voted for the “Merry Christmas law” when he was a Texas state legislator. He said, “We passed that law precisely because of this type of discrimination against people of faith. No school official in Texas can silence a Biblical reference to Christmas.”… The “Merry Christmas Law” as it is referred to, was passed in 2013 to address such issues say opponents of the school and school district’s actions. Texas HB 308 amended Texas Education Code to protect the right of students and teachers to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah. Texas State Representative Dwayne Bohac was the author of the “Merry Christmas Bill.”

Trump: ‘We Are Going to Say Merry Christmas Again’ (Video)
Breitbart - Tuesday at a stop on his “Thank You” tour in West Allis, WI, President-elect Donald Trump opened up his appearance by fulfilling a campaign promise regarding the use of “Merry Christmas” as a holiday greeting. “So when I started 18 months ago, I told my first crowd in Wisconsin that we are going to come back here someday and we are going to say merry Christmas again,” Trump said. “Merry Christmas — so, merry Christmas everyone. Happy New Year, but Merry Christmas. And I am here today for one main reason: to say thank you to the people of Wisconsin.”

Veteran News

Video: USAF Band WWII Holiday Flashback
Published on Dec 4, 2015. A special holiday musical presentation from Union Station in Washington, DC celebrating the service and sacrifices of our nation's World War II veterans and commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. Featuring The USAF Band, Washington DC, an extraordinary dance troup from NYC (choreographed by Jessica Hartman), and a cameo appearance by Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James.

Economy & Business

Claim: Carnival Forces U.S. Workers to Train Foreign Replacements Before Christmas
Breitbart - Americans working at Carnival Corporation say the company’s Christmas gift to hundreds of its college-graduate employees was the news that they are being fired and must train their low-wage foreign replacements. “I am still processing my emotions and my disbelief,” said Matthew Culver, a senior Miami-based IT worker with Carnival…. On December 6, 2016, my coworkers and I were asked to attend a town hall meeting,” Culver explained, adding: We were informed that 200 to 300 of our jobs were being terminated and we were offered jobs with an outsourcing company named Capgemini. Our last day with Carnival would be February 3rd. We are going to be training foreign workers inside and outside the United States to take over our jobs; then we are not guaranteed any future with Capgemini. The workers are in Florida, California and Washington State. We must decide by December 19th if we plan to train our foreign replacements and work with the outsourcing company in their goal of off shoring the jobs. The jobs are being transferred because Carnival is outsourcing critical tasks to Capgemini, a French outsourcing firm. The firm has been known to exploit federal guest-worker programs by importing thousands of foreign workers, primarily from India, to work in U.S. jobs that likely would otherwise be filled by middle-class American college graduates. While Carnival denies the workers’ allegations, the anti-American worker business model of outsourcing U.S. jobs to imported foreign labor has received growing media attention in recent years, and has taken place at companies such as Siemens, Disney, Fossil Inc., Southern California Edison, Xerox, Northeast Utilities, and Abbott Labs. The salary-slashing business model is made possible by federal cheap-labor outsourcing programs, which are strongly supported by Wall Street because they convert suburban white-collar salaries into investors’ capital gains. Companies in the United States now employ roughly one million white-collar temporary foreign “guest workers.” That total includes at least 650,000 lower-wage graduates on H-1B visas.

Energy & Environment

DOJ Rejects Crowd Control Assist Request for Pipeline Protest
Breitbart - The federal government won’t send 100 federal officers to help police protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota as requested, drawing a sharp rebuke Wednesday by the county sheriff who wanted the help as well as the head of the National Sheriffs’ Association. Sending border patrol and members of the U.S. Marshals Service Special Operations Group might escalate, not ease, tensions between law enforcement and protesters who’ve camped on federal land for months, Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle told The Associated Press. A dozen North Dakota law enforcement officials implored President Barack Obama in a letter released Monday to send in-person help plus financial assistance, citing costs, fatigue and a growing fear of vigilante justice. The officers, led by Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, said they fear for the safety of themselves, area residents and protesters. In explaining that DOJ won’t fill the request, the agency noted it offered training and technical assistance to local law officers and has worked to facilitate dialogue among law enforcement and opponents of the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline. But Kirchmeier, who has long been critical of what he perceives to be a lack of federal aid, told the AP that the Justice Department’s efforts have not defused tensions and that local officers who have policed the protests for 127 days and made 571 arrests are stretched beyond capacity.

Science & Technology

Hacked Again: ‘More Than A Billion’ Yahoo Accounts May Have Been Compromised
Sputnik News - Internet company Yahoo! Inc. announced Wednesday that they are working closely with law enforcement to secure more than a billion user accounts that may have been affected by a 2013 hack. Law enforcement presented Yahoo with data from a third party claiming that it was Yahoo-user data. The company employed investigators to confirm that the information belonged to their users, and said the hack is “likely distinct” from a similar incident in September 2016. Telephone numbers, birth dates, email addresses as well as security questions and answers, may have been compromised. There is no indication currently that debit, credit card or bank account information was stolen, as that data is not stored in the area of their network that was affected. The company has a separate ongoing investigation into the use of forged cookies, whereby hackers could access accounts without a password. Based on company findings it is believed that an unauthorized third party was able to obtain the site’s proprietary code as means to fabricate the cookies. Yahoo believes this is related to the September 2016 data theft. In the September incident, Yahoo said a "state-sponsored actor" was responsible for the theft of data from 500 million user accounts.

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

How “open source” seed producers from the U.S. to India are changing global food production
Ensia - Frank Morton has been breeding lettuce since the 1980s. His company offers 114 varieties, among them Outredgeous, which last year became the first plant that NASA astronauts grew and ate in space. For nearly 20 years, Morton’s work was limited only by his imagination and by how many different kinds of lettuce he could get his hands on. But in the early 2000s, he started noticing more and more lettuces were patented, meaning he would not be able to use them for breeding. The patents weren’t just for different types of lettuce, but specific traits such as resistance to a disease, a particular shade of red or green, or curliness of the leaf. Such patents have increased in the years since, and are encroaching on a growing range of crops, from corn to carrots — a trend that has plant breeders, environmentalists and food security experts concerned about the future of the food production. A determined fellow dedicated to the millennia-old tradition of plant breeding…. [Morton] continues to work with what is available, breeding for traits he desires while being extra careful to avoid any material restricted by intellectual property rights. He has also joined a movement that is growing in the U.S. and around the world: “open source” breeding….The Open Source Seed Initiative, where U.S. breeders take a pledge committing their seeds to remain available for others to use for breeding in the future, is in contrast to the practice of patenting seeds and crop traits…. While the U.S. seems to be leading the open-source charge, the concept is rapidly spreading around the world. In India, the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, which describes itself as a professional resource organization, runs an open-source seed program, working with farmers to preserve seeds for traditional food varieties and to involve them in breeding new varieties that meet specific needs.


One in six Americans taking a psychiatric drug
What Doctors Don't Tell You - One in six adults in America is taking a psychiatric drug, such as an antidepressant or a sedative. Around 40 million people are taking at least one prescription drug—and that’s at least 14 million more than earlier figures had suggested. The true picture could be even worse because the latest figures rely on people reporting their own use of psychiatric medications, says Thomas Moore from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices based in Virginia. Around 80 per cent of the users are taking the drugs long-term, even possibly as a ‘prop’ to help them through life, which goes against strict prescribing guidelines. Benzodiazepines have a long history of dependency problems, and withdrawal and ‘rebound’ symptoms, for instance. Some people are also taking more than one psychiatric drug. The researchers analyzed data from the 2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to calculate the percentage of American adults who were taking an antidepressant, a sedative or hypnotic, or an antipsychotic. The most common drug was the antidepressant, which was being taken by around 12 per cent of the users. Overall, one in six adults was taking a prescription psychiatric drug, a figure that’s far higher than the 11 per cent suggested by earlier research.

5 Incredibly Beauty Benefits of Papaya Fruit
Natural News Blogs - 1. Papaya Fruit Moisturizes Skin: If you have dry skin, papaya might be your way out of that. Papaya face pack can help to make your skin supple and soft. There are enzymes present in papaya. Not only can they help you to remove every traces of flaky and dry skin, but they can also hydrate it. A proper blend of a tablespoon of mashed papaya and a teaspoon of honey can do the magic. Apply the mixture to your face and rinse it after 10 minutes. 2. Clears Pigmentation: Make papaya come to your rescue if you are struggling with uneven pigmentation. It can also help you get rid of ache that has left your skin with scars. There are skin lightening properties in papaya. They can help you to clear pigmentations and blemishes. Other elements present in papaya are phytochemicals, enzymes, beta-carotene. They all help to promote fairness as well. The enzyme papain and alpha-hydroxy acids are forms of a powerful exfoliator. They are very active in dissolving dead skin cells and inactive proteins and dead skin cells. 3. Reduces Wrinkles: Papaya has lots of natural alpha-hydroxy acids. It helps the skin look smoother, plumper and brighter. Papaya fruit also has a low quality of sodium. This is why it does amazing work in hydrating the skin. It also helps to increase the suppleness and elasticity of the skin. Papaya peel is also very helpful when it comes to reducing the signs of aging. According to some, this peel of papaya fruit is as effective as Retin-A. The peel has enzymes that are active in removing dead cells that are on the surface of the skin. With this, the signs of aging such as age spots or wrinkles can be removed. You can also use the pulp of green papaya on the under-eye dark circles. It is a good way to get rid of it. It serves as a natural bleaching agent, and it can help you get rid of discoloration as well. You can do it every day for faster result. All you need is to just rub the papaya peel on your face and rinse after 20 minutes with cold water….

Pet News

Video: Dog First Aid: How to Help a Choking Dog
Dogington Post - Would you know what to do if your dog suddenly began choking? How many miles are you currently from the nearest emergency veterinarian? Taking a few minutes today to watch this video could some day mean the difference between the life and death of your dog.

Wednesday - December 14, 2016

Today In History:

1799 - The first president of the United States, George Washington, died at the age 67.
1819 - Alabama joined the Union as the 22nd state.
1896 - Gen. James H. Doolittle, who led the first air raid on Japan during World War II, was born.
1903 - Orville Wright made the first attempt at powered flight. The engine stalled during take-off and the plane was damaged in the attempt. Three days later, after repairs were made, the modern aviation age was born when the plane stayed aloft for 12 seconds and flew 102 feet.
1911 - Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole.
1946 - The U.N. General Assembly voted to establish the United Nation's headquarters in New York City.
1959 - Archbishop Makarios was elected Cyprus' first president.
1983 - The U.S. battleship New Jersey fired on Syrian positions in Lebanon for the first time after American F-14 reconnaissance flights were fired on.
1997 - Iran's newest president, Mohammad Khatami, called for a dialogue with the people of the United States. The preceding Iranian leaders had reviled the U.S. as "The Great Satan."
1997 - Cuban President Fidel Castro declared Christmas 1997 an official holiday to ensure the success of Pope John Paul II's upcoming visit to Cuba.
1998 - Hundreds of Palestinian leaders renounced a call for the destruction of Israel.
1999 - U.S. and German negotiators agreed to establish a $5.2 billion fund for Nazi-era slave and forced laborers.
1999 - Charles M. Schulz announced he was retiring the "Peanuts" comic strip. The last original "Peanuts" comic strip was published on February 13, 2000.
2000 - It was announced that American businessman Edmond Pope would be released from a Russian prison for humanitarian reasons. Pope had been sentenced to 20 years in prison after his conviction on espionage charges.
2001 - European Union leaders agreed to dispatch 3,000-4,000 troops to join an international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan.
2013 - The Chinese spacecraft Chang'e 3 became the first spacecraft to "soft"-land on the Moon since 1976. It was only the third robotic rover to land on the moon.

World News

‘West has been blaming Russia for everything, now there’s backlash’ – Gorbachev
RT - There is a need for Moscow and Washington to cooperate, but it's hard for Russia when it understands “it’s being cheated,” former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said in an interview with AP, focused on Russia-US relations. Gorbachev said the West’s scapegoating Russia for such a long time couldn’t but leave a trace. “They have been badgering Russia with accusations and blaming it for everything. And now there is a backlash to that in Russia.” It doesn’t mean that Moscow doesn’t want the collaboration with Washington, he hastened to add, but there are issues interfering with it – for example, the US itself. “Russia wants to have friendly ties with America, but it's difficult to do that when Russia sees that it's being cheated," Gorbachev told AP. He added that the tension between modern Russia and the West dates back to the collapse of the USSR. “They were rubbing their hands, saying, ‘How nice! We had been trying to do something about the Soviet Union for decades, and it ate itself up!’” Gorbachev said, slamming Western “triumphalism” as a key issue in relations between Russia and the West. Nevertheless, Russia and the US should develop amicable relations because they are “so important and concern everyone else, so we must take the interests of others into account.” Gorbachev also voiced his opinion on President Vladimir Putin and President-elect Donald Trump. Putin, according to the former Soviet President, is “a worthy president.” “He has proven his worth. He is a strong person,” Gorbachev added. “I almost fully supported him first, and then I began to voice criticism. I can't renounce my views, and he wants something else.” As for Donald Trump, Gorbachev said, “He has little political experience, but maybe that's a good thing.”

Italy’s biggest bank to ax 14,000 jobs in major overhaul
RT - UniCredit has announced a radical restructuring plan to raise €13 billion in capital to return the Italian bank to profitability. It includes cutting 11 percent of its workforce and getting rid of its vast debt portfolio. The bank also plans to embark on the country's biggest share issue in the first quarter of 2017. UniCredit intends to remove €17.7 billion worth of bad debt from its balance sheet to increase profits and dividend payouts. The bank wants to increase its capital ratio to above 12.5 percent in 2019. As part of the three-year plan, the lender will cut an additional 6,500 jobs, bringing the total to 14,000. UniCredit expects the measure will bring €1.7 billion in annual savings. "We are taking decisive actions to deal with our non-performing-exposure legacy issues to improve and support recurring future profitability to become one of Europe's most attractive banks," Chief Executive Jean Pierre Mustier said in a statement.

‘Anti-intrusion’ wall built in Calais to stop migrants from jumping on UK-bound trucks
RT - A four-meter “anti-intrusion” wall to stop migrants from jumping into trucks on the way from France to the UK has been completed, less than two months after the notorious ‘Jungle’ camp was dismantled. The wall has been built along a kilometer-long part of the main road leading to the Calais port, near the former camp area. The wall is said to have cost 2.7 million euros (about $3 million), and its primary goal is to thwart migrants from going to the UK, mainly on trucks. The structure, financed by the British government, is now complete, a spokesman for the local prefecture told AFP late Monday.

Delingpole: The £300 Billion Climate Change Act is Costing Britain the Earth
Breitbart - British taxpayers will be forced to squander more than £300 billion over the next 15 years on pointless climate change schemes – more than double the cost of HS2, the Heathrow airport extension, and Hinkley Point C combined. This is the massive public spending scandal exposed in a report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation by MP Peter Lilley. It’s all thanks to the 2008 Climate Change Act which has committed Britain to the ludicrous goal of reducing its carbon dioxide emissions by 57 per cent by 2030. Lilley was only one of a handful of MPs to vote against the Act which was largely written by an activist from the hard-left environment campaign group Friends of the Earth (Bryony – now Baroness Worthington), introduced under the last Labour government by the then Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband – and enthusiastically supported by the then Opposition leader David Cameron who was warming up to lead the “greenest government ever”. Astonishingly, as Lilley details in the report, no one at a senior level in government since has ever submitted the Climate Change Act to any kind of cost benefit analysis, let alone thought to question whether Britain’s handicapping its economy in this way will make the blindest bit of difference to climate change.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

The 'Soft Coup' Builds: More 'Electors' Demand "Russian Interference" Briefing Before They Vote
Zero Hedge - Donald Trump could have the election legally stolen from him on either December 19th when the Electoral College casts their votes or on January 6th when a joint session of Congress gathers to count those votes. As The Economic Collapse blog's Michael Snyder notes, the establishment is in full-blown panic mode at this point, and they seem to have settled on "Russian interference in the election" as the angle that they will use to unleash this 'soft coup' as today, the Hill reports more Democratic electors are joining the call for an intelligence briefing before they cast their votes for president on Monday…. But ultimately, as The Economic Collapse blog's Michael Snyder warns, this is not about Russian interference in our election. Rather, this is all about the elite doing whatever is necessary to stop Donald Trump. The elite are going to fight against him every step of the way, and they are never, ever going to give up…. On Monday, members of the Electoral College will gather in Washington D.C. and in all 50 state capitols to cast their votes. We know that at least one Republican elector that is supposed to be pledged to Trump will not be voting for him, and that elector claims that there are others that also will not be voting for Trump. If 37 Republican electors can be persuaded to cast their votes for someone other than Trump, that would throw the election into the House of Representatives, and it is unclear what the House would do in that scenario. If Trump is not stopped at the Electoral College, there is also the possibility that he could be derailed when a joint session of Congress gathers to count the Electoral votes on January 6th. …all it takes to force a vote on the validity of Electoral College votes is an objection in writing that is signed by at least one member of the House and one member of the Senate. As the official website explains, if both the House and the Senate vote to approve the objection, the votes covered by the objection are not counted…. Of course if the election was stolen from Donald Trump that would likely throw the entire nation into a state of chaos, but I think that at this point the elite would be willing to risk just about anything to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.

Anti-Trump Elector Chris Suprun Paid For Ashley Madison While Bankrupt And Married With 3 Kids
Zero Hedge - Anti-Trump Texas faithless elector Stephen Christopher “Chris” Suprun, who wrote a widely-shared op-ed in The New York Times about his decision, in which he claimed ideological superiority over Trump, which would prevent him from voting for the President-elect on December 19 as he is required, joined and paid for cheating website Ashley Madison in 2012, using the same address registered to his 9/11 charity, while bankrupt, likely unemployed, and married with three young kids, after he and his working wife owed over $200,000 to multiple creditors — and that’s just the start of it. GotNews’ research into Suprun’s bizarre and unexplained flip-flop against President-elect Donald J. Trump turned up Ashley Madison data, damning bankruptcy records, and a series of P.O. boxes and what appears to be an association with a payday loan scam site. Since turning against the decision of the people of Texas to elect Trump, Suprun also became a client of a “social justice media strategy” PR firm run by left-wing CNN commentator Van Jones.

Trump MAY Be Shaking Things Up at the FDA
Alliance for Natural Health - Last week, Bloomberg News reported that President-elect Trump is considering Jim O’Neill as the new FDA commissioner. O’Neill is a Silicon Valley investor, libertarian, and associate of Peter Thiel, a billionaire who supported Donald Trump. O’Neill previously worked for the Department of Health and Human Services in the George W. Bush administration. News reports say that O’Neill would be an “unconventional” pick because he isn’t a physician and has little scientific background. This could be a good thing, considering the problematic ties to the pharmaceutical industry of current and past FDA commissioners. The appointment of an FDA chief who isn’t in the pocket of Big Pharma is a welcome development. In addition, O’Neill has signaled a desire to reform and overhaul the FDA… In 2014 O’Neil spoke to a regenerative medicine group where he said, “Every time the FDA commissioner approves something and someone gets sick who used it, the commissioner is summoned to a congressional committee that also controls his budget and forced to testify under oath, why he made this rash decision.…It’s a miserable process.”

ILLEGAL ALIEN Who Tried to Assassinate Trump at Vegas Rally Given Just 12 Months in Prison
The GatewayPundit - Anti-Trump protester Michael Sandford was arrested Saturday at Donald Trump’s Las Vegas rally at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in June. Sandford said he wanted to get an autograph from a police officer at the hotel but instead went for the officer’s gun. He was practicing his shooting at a gun range before the rally. Sandford is an illegal alien. A court this week sentenced Michael Sandford to just 12 months in prison. The BBC reported: “A British man has been sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison over his attempt to grab a gun in a bid to kill Donald Trump. Michael Sandford, 20, pleaded guilty in September to being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and disrupting an official function. He was accused of grabbing a policeman’s gun at a rally in Las Vegas in order to shoot at the candidate. His mother says “he is remorseful over what he did”.

House Passes Bill to ”Microchip Citizens with Mental Disabilities”… And Then Those Who Speak Out
True Activist - Though the bill only targets those with conditions such as Alzheimers and autism, critics say the bill's passage will open a “pandora's box” of invasive government surveillance. Six years ago, NBC Nightly News boldly predicted that all Americans would be fitted with RFID microchips by the year 2017. Though at the time, NBC’s prediction seemed far-fetched, the House recently passed a bill that would bring a micro-chipped populace closer to reality before year’s end. Last Thursday, the House passed HR 4919, also known as Kevin and Avonte’s Law, which would allow the US attorney general to award grants to law enforcement for the creation and operation of “locative tracking technology programs.” Though the program’s mission is to find “individuals with forms of dementia or children with developmental disabilities who have wandered from safe environments,” it provides no restriction on the tracking programs inclusion of other individuals. The bill would also require the attorney general to work with the secretary of health and human services and unnamed health organizations to establish the “best practices” for the use of tracking devices.

Mysterious Military Plane Circles Above Manhattan; Residents Puzzled (Video)
Zero Hedge - Many New Yorkers were alarmed this afternoon by a USAF C-130 and several Black Hawk helicopters that could be seen circling at low altitudes over Manhattan. Per the Washington Post, U.S. Air Force Col. Nicholas Broccoli, the vice commander of the Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing, said the aircraft were conducting "standard military training." That said, there is seemingly very little that is "standard" about a C-130 circling at low altitudes over Manhattan for 30 minutes…. The aircraft apparently flew in a crisscrossing pattern over Midtown Manhattan with the center of the pattern roughly aligned over Trump Tower. So while the mission of the aircraft has still not been revealed, it's certainly not difficult to see how it might have something to do with defending President-elect Trump.

Veteran News

Charity Still Needs ‘Few Thousand Wreaths’ to Cover All Headstones in Arlington National Cemetery
Breitbart - The executive director of Wreaths Across America, Karen Worcester, told Breitbart News Daily Sirius XM host Matt Boyle on Tuesday, “The cutoff for Arlington is December 14. We’re just a few thousand short” to cover every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery with a fresh evergreen wreath on December 17, which is National Wreaths Across America Day…. There are several ways to help them reach their objective of covering as many military heroes’ graves as possible with a wreath on December 17. Along with planning to cover every grave at Arlington, the group is also instrumental in getting wreaths placed on the graves of veterans buried in more than 1,200 cemeteries across America. A gift as small as $15 can sponsor a wreath for Arlington or at a cemetery and graveside of one’s choosing. Wreaths Across America is a non-political, non-denominational 501c3, whose purpose is “to remember the fallen, honor those that serve, and most importantly, to teach kids the value and the cost of what freedom is,” said Worcester.

Economy & Business

IBM unveils plan to hire 25,000 in US on eve of Trump meeting
US technology giant IBM said Tuesday it would hire 25,000 people in the country over the next four years, a day before President-elect Donald Trump meets with tech industry leaders. About 6,000 of those hirings will occur in 2017, IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty said in an opinion article published in the newspaper USA Today. IBM, which has undertaken in recent years a restructuring of its activities, will invest $1 billion on employee training and development in the next four years, said the IBM president, chairman and CEO…. The IBM jobs investment news came before the highly anticipated meeting Wednesday of the Republican property tycoon-turned-next US president and the leaders of several major technology companies. Among those expected to attend are Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Apple's Tim Cook, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Larry Page of Alphabet (Google) and Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX, according to US media. Trump is expected to push them to create jobs after saying last week that he would like Apple -- whose coveted iPhones are made in China -- to open a large factory in the United States. But he will be stepping into hostile territory. The tech sector overwhelmingly supported the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton during this year's election campaign and has expressed fear about the effect Trump's policies will have on the industry. The sole notable exception is the controversial PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel, currently a member of Trump's transition team.

Web Bots Predict Massive Financial Shock In Early 2017: ‘Confusion, Bond Market Degradation, Crumbling Of Everything’
Mac Slavo - There are scores of organizations working on ways to interpret user data on the internet to help predict future events. Law enforcement agencies and financial institutions having been working on this predictive technology for over a decade. In most cases, none of that information is ever shared with the general public. Clif High of HalfPastHuman, however, has taken a different course. Since the mid-1990’s High’s algorithms have been scouring the internet. With the advent of social networks and tens of thousands of citizen-driven blogs, that data has gotten ever more accurate. So accurate in fact, that on October 27 High’s automated “Web Bots” predicted that not only would Trump win by a landslide, but that Hillary Clinton would be “missing” following the election, a prediction that was so accurate it blew away just about every professional analysis firm in the world. Now the Web Bots are predicting another paradigm-shifting event. According to Clif High, it appears that a massive financial shock is brewing for early 2017… If Clif High’s web bot data sets are correct, we’re in for a very rocky 2017 and one that could far exceed the financial calamities we witnessed in 2008. Should debt destruction originating in the bond market begin in the early part of 2017, the Federal Reserve will no doubt dump trillions of dollars of “liquidity” into the system in order to stave off collapse. But as High notes, this will be the beginning of hyperinflation that will take hold after mid year, the effect of which will be a skyrocketing Dow Jones index and gold prices exceeding our wildest expectations.

Energy & Environment

After Visiting Standing Rock, Swedish Bank Puts Companies Behind DAPL on Watch
EcoWatch - After a visit by its representatives to Standing Rock, Swedish financial institution Nordea announced today that it will not back the Dakota Access Pipeline if it violates the demands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Nordea met with tribal representatives on the ground, including Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman David Archambault II. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe urged Nordea to divest and respect the rights of Indigenous communities via a letter delivered by Sami artist and activist Sofia Jannok and Greenpeace. At a meeting with Greenpeace and Nordea regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline, it was announced that: Nordea will demand guarantees from the companies building the Dakota Access Pipeline that it will not go through the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's reservation land. If the companies do not respect this, Nordea will start the process of selling its holdings in the companies; Nordea will place these companies in quarantine for six months; Nordea will send a letter to the companies by Friday with a clear requirement: They must respect the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's demands not to route the Dakota Access Pipeline in the vicinity of their land; If the companies do not meet that requirement within the next six months, Nordea's Sustainable Finance team will recommend selling Nordea's holdings in these companies. If the companies concerned are found to be in violation of indigenous peoples' rights, Nordea's Sustainable Finance team will recommend selling holdings in them; If the companies win a lawsuit in relation to the last stretch of the Dakota Access Pipeline, or if a change in the political situation allows companies to legally be allowed to route the pipeline near Standing Rock Sioux Tribe land, the Nordea Sustainable Finance team will recommend that Nordea sells off holdings in the companies.

Science & Technology

Energy Department says it won’t give Trump team list of climate change staffers
Ars Technica - On Friday, Bloomberg leaked a 75-question memo sent from the Trump transition team to the DOE, asking the department to provide information about the kinds of work it’s doing and the legal and procedural basis for certain programs. While such a questionnaire is not uncommon for transition teams to send federal agencies, the questionnaire also included demands that the DOE provide a list of names of staffers who worked on climate change issues. Those demands came across as deeply concerning and highly unusual to career staffers and contractors, some of whom worked at the DOE not only during the Obama administration but under the Bush and Clinton administrations as well…. The Trump transition team’s request for the names of all staffers who attended meetings about the social cost of carbon, as well as any Conference of the Parties hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, suggested to DOE staffers that the team could be looking to fire staffers for their work on climate change or to marginalize their role at the department. According to the Washington Post, DOE officials sent an e-mail to employees this morning assuring them that no individual names will be provided to the Trump transition team… This morning, the Trump transition team announced its nomination of Rick Perry, former Texas governor with ties to the fossil fuel industry who has rejected climate science, to head the DOE. His appointment will need to be approved by the Senate to become official. Amid this uncertainty about the future of climate science under the new administration, the Washington Post also reported this morning that “scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference,” including efforts to copy irreplaceable data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at a “guerrilla archiving” event in Toronto, as well as efforts to compile online portals for scientific information.

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Monsanto is Being Sued by Missouri’s Largest Peach Grower
Natural Society - The lawsuit was filed November 23 on behalf of Bill Bader, operator of Bader Farms near the town of Campbell. The legal action seeks compensation for the extensive damage to the farm’s peach trees over the last 2 years. The timeline coincides with Monsanto’s release of crop varieties resistant to the dicamba herbicide. Monsanto rolled out its dicamba-resistant Xtend crops in 2015, but the corresponding herbicide was not approved for use until last month. In the interim, it is suspected that some farmers began using highly volatile, unauthorized forms of dicamba, which tend to vaporize and drift to surrounding areas where it can harm unresistant crops…. The lawsuit states that in 2015, about 7,000 trees in Bader’s orchards were damaged, resulting in a loss of $1.5 million. Bader estimates that about 30,000 of his trees are considered a permanent loss, and the severity of the financial loss has yet to be fully realized. The future looks dim for Bader Farms. Insurance companies won’t cover damage from illegal herbicide use. And since peach trees take 5 years to mature and become profitable, the financial impact to Bader “is more long-term and far-reaching,” according to one of Bader’s attorneys. For that reason, the lawsuit doesn’t seek a specified dollar amount. According to Monsanto, the company did its best: “…to remind growers, dealers, and applicators that dicamba was not approved for in-crop use at the time, and we do not condone the illegal use of any pesticide.” Monsanto also said that the lawsuit: “…attempts to shift responsibility away from individuals who knowingly and intentionally broke state and federal law and harmed their neighbors in the process. Responsibility for these actions belongs to those individuals alone.”

15 Surprising & Practical Off-Grid Uses For Olive Oil
Off the Grid News - 1. Skin care: Olive oil works well as a skin moisturizer, and, despite what you may think, it does not leave your skin with an oily, greasy feeling. Apply it to rough, dry areas on your face and body or add several tablespoons of olive oil to your bath water. 2. Eye makeup remover: You also can use olive oil as a gentle eye makeup remover. Simply dab a little oil on a cotton ball and wipe makeup away. 3. Shaving lotion: Treat your skin to a layer of olive oil before your next shave. Not only will your razor glide along smoothly but also you will get a close shave with fewer nicks. 4. Sore throat remedy: Soothe an itchy, scratchy throat by swallowing a tablespoon of olive oil. It coats the back of your mouth, which also may decrease snoring. 5. Hair treatment: Apply several tablespoons of warm olive oil to your damp hair and massage into your scalp and through the ends. 6. Ear ache relief: Place a few drops of warm olive oil into the painful ear for soothing relief. 7. Paint/sticky substance remover: You can remove paint, sap, chewing gum and other sticky substances from your hands by scrubbing them with a little olive oil and salt. Pour one teaspoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of salt into your dry palms and rub the mixture vigorously through your palms and fingers. Rinse with water. 8. Furniture polish: Olive oil gently and effectively cleans wood. When you add a teaspoon of olive oil to a quarter cup of lemon juice, you can create a non-toxic polish for your furniture….


Want Holes in Your Stomach? Eat More GMOs
Alliance for Natural Health - Feeding GM food soaked in Monsanto’s Roundup causes liver and kidney problems, fertility issues, tumors, fatigue, paralysis, allergic reactions, and more in animal studies. Now it appears that some GMO foods may be perforating your stomach as well. You may have heard of Monsanto’s “Bt” crops, like Bt corn. “Bt” is short for Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a bacterium that produces a toxin—one that punches holes in the guts of insects and kills them. Bt toxin was commercialized and used for decades as a natural pesticide with no apparent problem. Then Monsanto came along and hacked the code for it into the DNA code of food crops as a way of making them toxic to insects. The same toxin that punches holes in the guts of insects may be doing the same to humans. We know that eating Bt-engineered, genetically modified (GM) food destroys the delicate gut system in animals. When researchers fed Bt GM potatoes to mice, it looked like a bomb had gone off in their guts. Some cells were destroyed; others were growing wildly. The results caused the researchers to question the safety of Bt–engineered GM food…. There’s more. Bt corn was fed to pigs for thirty-one days. While they ate more food than before, they converted it less efficiently and did not gain weight. When researchers looked at their guts, they saw the same type of damage as in the mice. The researchers attributed the animals’ failure to gain weight to their damaged guts. Mice fed a diet of GMO corn for ninety days experienced substantial damage to their digestive tract and were likely on their way to life-threatening nutritional deficiencies, perhaps even cancer.

British Town Mass-Medicating School Children with Free Fluoridated Milk
Natural Blaze - The town of Blackpool, located on the northwest coast of England, began distributing fluoridated milk to about 8000 primary school children, after The Blackpool Town Council approved the program in early 2016. Fluoridated milk is now available via the town’s free school breakfast program. This program aims to address the problem of tooth health in children, and the Council states that half of the 12-year-olds in Blackpool have at least one decayed, missing or filled tooth, whereas the average for England is 33%, and 41% of 5-year-olds in Blackpool have tooth decay, 13% higher than the national average. Despite the plan’s roll out, there are many opponents to mass medication via programs such as milk fluoridation. There is a lot of conflicting evidence about adding fluoride to milk, including that it cancels out the good effects of calcium. You can’t mass medicate children, which is what they are doing. Who is going to monitor how much fluoride children will have in them? ~ Blackpool Councillor Tony Williams… Councillor Williams voices another concern about how public health officials will monitor the level of fluoride in each child. There is no way to ensure that children will not be over-medicated. Under the fluoridated milk scheme, each 189ml carton will contain 0.8mg of fluoride, which is equivalent to 4.2 parts per million (ppm). For comparison, the recommended safe level of fluoride in water in the U.S. is 0.7 ppm. This was lowered in 2015 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from the range of 0.7-1.2 ppm, who decided that it was a potential danger to maintain the higher levels.

Pet News

If a Trip to the Emergency Vet isn’t on your Cat’s Christmas List, Then Be Aware of These Holiday Hazards
The Catington Post - Live Christmas Trees: What would Christmas be without a tree? But be careful – they are full of potential hazards for cats! Many live trees have been sprayed with harmful chemicals and pesticides, and the stagnant water in a tree stand is a breeding ground for bacteria. So keep it covered. Be sure to secure that tree, too, so it doesn’t topple over on your curious kitty! Artificial Christmas Trees: Before you ditch your live tree for a fake one, consider where it was made. Many are manufactured in China and may contain lead or materials that could pose a danger to destructive pets. Lights: Check your lights carefully for bite marks and loose wiring and use a grounded extension cord to plug them in. Electrical shock can cause burns, loss of consciousness, and even death. Tinsel and Ribbons: All that sparkling tinsel and curly ribbon looks inviting to a curious cat, but is an invitation to disaster. When ingested, it can cause a serious, life-threatening intestinal blockage. Look for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence and lethargy. If you see ribbon exiting your cat – do not pull it out. That can cause more damage. Call your vet immediately! Holly and Mistletoe: Poinsettias are widely known to be mildly toxic to pets, but popular yuletide floral decorations, like holly and mistletoe are even more toxic! When ingested, they can cause severe stomach upset. Look for signs like drooling, lip smacking, and head shaking. Holiday Visitors: If you have visitors in your home for the holidays, be sure they are all warned to watch the doors! Keep identification on you cats at all times when guests are in your home, in the event one of them should get out. Provide a special retreat for your kitty, in case he wants to escape the noise and stress of the party.

INFOGRAPHIC: Watch Out for These Holiday Doggie Dangers
Dogington Post -The holidays are a time of joy, love, and light. It’s also the time of year when we dust off the decorations and string up twinkling lights and tinsel in celebration. But, if you’re celebrating with a dog, there are some holiday hazards to keep in mind before you pull those boxes down from the attic or invite the family over for that holiday party! We can’t think of a worse way to spend the holidays than at the emergency room with your dog! To keep your dog safe and have a happy holiday, print, post, and share this important infographic.

Tuesday - December 13, 2016

Today In History:

1636 - The United States National Guard was created when militia regiments were organized by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1862 - In America, an estimated 11,000 Northern soldiers were killed or wounded when Union forces were defeated by Confederates under General Robert E. Lee, at the Battle of Fredericksburg.
1913 - In the U.S., the Federal Reserve System was established.
1918 - U.S. President Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit a European country while holding office.
1921 - Britain, France, Japan and the United States signed the Pacific Treaty.
1944 - During World War II, the U.S. cruiser Nashville was badly damaged in a Japanese kamikaze suicide attack. 138 people were killed in the attack.
1964 - In El Paso, TX, President Johnson and Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off an explosion that diverted the Rio Grande River, reshaping the U.S.-Mexican border. This ended a century-old border dispute.
1978 - The Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony U.S. dollar. The coin began circulation the following July.
1993 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people must receive a hearing before property linked to illegal drug sales can be seized.
2000 - U.S. Vice President Al Gore conceded the 2000 Presidential election to Texas Gov. George W. Bush. The Florida electoral votes were won by only 537 votes, which decided the election. The election had been contested up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which said that the Florida recount (supported by the Florida Supreme Court) was unconstitutional.
2000 - Seven convicts, the "Texas 7," escaped from Connally Unit in Kenedy, TX, southeast of San Antonio, by overpowering civilian workers and prison employees. They fled with stolen clothing, pickup truck and 16 guns and ammunition.
2001 - The U.S. government released a video tape that showed Osama bin Laden and others discussing their knowledge of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.
2001 - U.S. President George W. Bush served formal notice to Russia that the United States was withdrawing from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
2002 - Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as Boston archbishop because of the priest sex abuse scandal.
2003 - Ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces while hiding in a hole under a farmhouse in Adwar, near his hometown of Tikrit.
2007 - The Mitchell Report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball was released, implicating seven MVPs and 31 All-Stars.

World News

Battle for Aleppo is over as rebels withdraw, monitor claims
The Independent - The battle for the Syrian city of Aleppo has reportedly ended after rebels withdrew from six remaining districts in the opposition-held east of the city.... The Syrian military claimed to have taken control of 98 per cent of rebel-held east Aleppo early on Monday morning after seizing the large industrial district of Sheikh Saeed.... Rebel fighters are now confined to tiny pockets in the south-east of the city after withdrawing from the east side of the Aleppo river following the loss of Sheikh Saeed. “The situation is extremely difficult today,” said Zakaria Malahifji of the Fastaqim rebel group.... The approximately 8,000 rebels – among them al-Qaeda affiliated fighters – and 250,000 civilians in the area have been cut off from reinforcements, aid and food supplies since August.... President Bashar al-Assad is now close to retaking the entire city of Aleppo, which has been contested since 2012 and seen some of the almost six-year-long conflict's fiercest fighting. Aleppo would be a major victory for the government, removing the last US-backed rebel groups from Syria's urban centres.

IMF chief Lagarde goes on trial in Paris on negligence charges
RT - International Monetary Fund head, Christine Lagarde, has appeared before court on Monday in Paris, facing negligence charges over allowing a handout of $425 billion to a French tycoon, while being the country’s finance minister in 2008.... Lagarde, who faces up to a year in prison if found guilty, denies any wrongdoing.... Back in 2008, Lagarde as a French finance minister approved a handout of 403 million euro ($425 million) to tycoon, Bernard Tapie, in an arbitration deal in 2008 over the sale of Adidas sportswear maker. The investigation, which was launched due to an unusually high award, came to a conclusion that the whole affair was rigged in favor of Tapie, who had connections in the highest circles of French society, including then-President Nicolas Sarkozy. Lagarde is accused of serious negligence “not only from a questionable carelessness and precipitation, but also from a conjunction of faults which, by their nature, number and seriousness, exceed the level of mere negligence,'' the judges wrote after the investigation concluded.

Schengen zone nations MUST border check as terrorists are pretending to be refugees
Daily Mail - Germany has admitted Schengen zone nations must bring back border checks amid fears terrorists pretending to be refugees are moving freely across the continent. Minutes from a meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels suggest introducing a 'filter function of the external borders', according to reports in Germany. Although free movement is allowed within Europe's Schengen area, some member states have brought passport border checks back in.... According to Der Spiegel, minutes from the ambassador's meeting suggest Germany wants to extend the controls following a tip-off over terror suspects trying to enter the country disguised as asylum seekers.... Magazine Der Spiegel reported on an internal meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels in which Germany said it needed to keep the checks in place in order to thwart Islamic terror plots. The BND, Germany's foreign intelligence agency, said that ISIS was training its agents how to apply for asylum and answer questions from officials that did not betray their true intentions. Intelligence officials estimate hundreds of Isis Jihadists have infiltrated into the country in the refugee wave, waiting for orders from the middle east to carry out attacks.

Cologne to have 10 times more police for New Year's Eve party
The Local - This year around 1,500 officers will be deployed, which is more than ten times the amount who were supposed to be on duty last year. There will also be 600 public order officers and “significantly more” private security workers, a city spokeswoman said without giving an exact number. After more than 1,000 women reported being robbed or sexually assaulted or both on New Year’s Eve 2016, Cologne police came under fire for their handling of the events, accused of covering up the refugee background of attackers as well as the details of the attacks, and not providing sufficient security. Cologne's police chief was suspended from his position after the mayor said police had failed to inform her fully of the sexual assaults. This year the main area where the celebrations and assaults occurred - between the famous Cologne Cathedral and the main train station - will have extra security. The area around the cathedral will be blocked off with control points and no fireworks will be allowed within this area. The area around the train station will have more video surveillance. Within the station, trains will be scheduled to reduce the amount of people having to change platforms so often, with the aim of reducing some travel chaos. Police said they will also be monitoring social media like Twitter and Facebook for topics related to New Year’s Eve.... Police are also using the help of translators to understand social media posts in other languages, as well as to send out messages in other languages.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

FBI Disputes CIA's "Fuzzy And Ambiguous" Claims That Russia Sought To Influence Presidential Election
Zero Hedge - ... at least one investigative agency, the FBI, isn't buying the "fuzzy and ambiguous" assertions from the CIA that Russia "quite" clearly meddled in the U.S. elections on behalf of the Trump campaign.... Meanwhile, the Washington Post also points out that the whole disagreement likely comes down to "cultural" differences between the FBI and CIA. The competing messages, according to officials in attendance, also reflect cultural differences between the FBI and the CIA. The bureau, true to its law enforcement roots, wants facts and tangible evidence to prove something beyond all reasonable doubt. The CIA is more comfortable drawing inferences from behavior. “The FBI briefers think in terms of criminal standards — can we prove this in court,” one of the officials said. “The CIA briefers weigh the preponderance of intelligence and then make judgment calls to help policymakers make informed decisions. High confidence for them means ‘we’re pretty damn sure.’ It doesn’t mean they can prove it in court.".... Well, that certainly seems reasonable...who needs "facts and tangible evidence" when the CIA can just "draw inferences"...they're supposedly really smart so we should probably just believe them.

Flashback: Judge Napolitano Says It Was The NSA, Not The Russians Who Hacked DNC (Video)
The Gateway Pundit - Back in August, Judge Napolitano made some comments regarding the DNC hack. On his show “Judge Napolitano’s Chambers”, Judge Nap shared his own thoughts on the leaked DNC emails: The DNC and Clinton campaign decided to blame of all people, the Russians! They accused Vlademir Putin of being in cahoots with Donald Trump and having his intelligence services hack the DNC to expose e-mails to make Mrs. Clinton look bad and thereby benefit Donald Trump. But the Russians had nothing to do with it. ….a former high ranking NSA official who developed a software that the NSA now uses said the NSA hacked the DNC…the members of the intelligence community simply do not want Hillary Clinton to be President of the United States because she doesn’t know how to handle State secrets.

Clinton Camp Wants Intelligence Briefing on Russia Before Electoral College Vote
The Gateway Pundit - Hillary’s top advisor John Podesta wants an intelligence briefing on Russia before the Electoral College vote on December 19th. The Politico reported: Hillary Clinton’s top political adviser John Podesta said the campaign is supporting an effort by members of the Electoral College to request an intelligence briefing on foreign intervention in the presidential election. “The bipartisan electors’ letter raises very grave issues involving our national security,” Podesta said in a statement Monday. “Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed.” “Each day that month, our campaign decried the interference of Russia in our campaign and its evident goal of hurting our campaign to aid Donald Trump,” he said. “Despite our protestations, this matter did not receive the attention it deserved by the media in the campaign. We now know that the CIA has determined Russia’s interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American.” Podesta’s statement is the first public statement from the Clinton campaign raising questions about the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s victory. It follows an open letter from 10 presidential electors — including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Christine — requesting an intelligence briefing ahead of the Dec. 19 vote of the Electoral College.

Trump Officially Nominates Retired Marine General John Kelly As Homeland Security Secretary
Zero Hedge - This morning Trump has confirmed his intention to nominate retired Marine General John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security, a pick that had been rumored for days. In a statement, Trump highlighted Kelly's experience in defending the homeland from threats of terrorism and said that he was the right person to "spearhead the urgent mission of stopping illegal immigration and securing our borders.".... Immigration hard-liners had been rooting for Trump to appoint Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as head of the Department of Homeland Security. Kobach was generally viewed as the candidate most likely to draw the hardest line on illegal immigration after helping to draft one of the toughest pieces of immigration law in the country, Arizona's SB 1070, which requires law enforcement officers to demand to see the immigration papers of anyone they suspected of being in the country illegally.... others, including the ever skeptical New York Magazine, view Kelly simply as a "Trojan Horse" who has a better chance at Senate Confirmation for the top DHS position but will then use that role to appoint an immigration hard-liner, like Kobach, to the Deputy Secretary position.

Hillary pleads to dismiss lawsuit against her
WND - Lawyers for twice-failed Oval Office aspirant Hillary Clinton have asked a federal court in Washington, D.C., to dismiss a lawsuit over her statements as secretary of state about the Benghazi terror attack that left four Americans dead. The plaintiffs are arguing the case should to go trial because she doesn’t deserve special treatment as a member of the “political elite.” Clinton narrowly averted a default judgment in the case earlier when a judge adopted claims that she wasn’t properly served. Then she argued in court filings that the case should be dismissed, claiming the plaintiffs, Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, and Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, haven’t properly claimed they were injured.... But the claims are plain, according to a new filing in the case, which contends that the plaintiffs have properly presented false light claims, correctly provided claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress and “properly alleged” other damages.... The case is based on claims by family members that when Clinton met with them at Joint Base Andrews, she told them the Benghazi attack was “a result of an Internet video criticizing the prophet Mohammad.” She said this even though she knew the statement to be false, the claim asserts. But she later changed her story, and “negligently, recklessly, and/or maliciously defamed plaintiffs by either directly calling them liars, or by strongly implying that they are liars, in order to protect and enhance her public image and intimidate and emotionally harm and silence them to not speak up about the Benghazi attack.”

Philly Democrat Chaka Fattah Gets 10 Years for Corruption – Used Charity Donations to Buy Vacation Home
The Gateway Pundit - Chaka Fattah was a super-delegate for Hillary Clinton…. The AP reported via American Survival Guide: Former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah was sentenced Monday to a 10-year prison term by a judge who said he was “astonished” that a veteran legislator would steal government and charity funds to pay his son’s debts and buy a vacation home. Fattah, a Democrat who was born into a family of black activists in west Philadelphia, spent two decades in Congress working on housing, education, gun control and other issues of concern to his mostly poor district. Fattah and his TV anchor wife meanwhile took in more than $500,000 a year. Yet Fattah’s finances grew increasingly dire after a failed 2007 run for mayor, when he faced new campaign spending limits that led him to take an illegal $1 million loan from a friend. The trouble escalated when the friend called in the debt. As he awaited his sentence, Fattah told the judge he had mixed emotions: saddened to find himself in court but grateful for the work he was able to do over 37 years as a state and federal lawmaker. “I’ve helped tens of millions of people,” said Fattah, 60. “(That) has nothing to do with the fact that I’ve been found on the wrong side of these questions by a jury.”

ICE spends $100 million ferrying illegal immigrant children around U.S., watchdog reports
Washington Times - Government figures obtained by the Immigration Reform Law Institute through an open records request show Immigration and Customs Enforcement spent an average of $665 per juvenile in 2014, with most of that going to the cost of airplane flights to shuttle the children among government agencies, to relatives here in the U.S. or back to their home countries — if they’re deported. At that rate, ICE will spend about $4.5 million flying just the children nabbed at the border in October, and somewhere north of $100 million since the surge began in earnest in 2014.... ICE officials couldn’t provide updated cost data for ferrying children inside the U.S., but said the overall cost to deport any illegal immigrant in 2015 averaged $12,213. That includes identifying, catching, holding, processing through the courts and then shipping the person back home. Just the removal part alone averaged $1,962, ICE said.

Human Tracking Bill Passes House
The Daily Caller - H.R. 4919, which passed 346 to 66 in the lower chamber, also known as Kevin and Avonte’s Law, mandates the U.S. attorney general award grants to law enforcement officials so that those agencies can create, establish and operate “locative tracking technology programs.” The programs mission would to find “individuals with forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, or children with developmental disabilities, such as autism, who have wandered from safe environments.”.... While advocates of the legislation — like Texas Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith — point to tragedies that could be averted by law enforcement using such technology to find those with mental disabilities who wander into dangerous circumstances, others, like Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, say the good intentions of the bill could be broadly interpreted.... Gohmert explained, “It is absolutely staggering that the Republican majorities in the House and Senate could be so blind to government overreach that they would allow a federal tracking program, not for criminals in the U.S., not for terrorists, not for illegal immigrants or even immigrants who commit crimes, but for people with ‘developmental disabilities’ a term that is subject to wide misinterpretation. The Senate Republican leaders even brought it to the floor with almost no one there and asked that the new Big Brother program be passed without even having a vote at all – someone just asks for ‘unanimous consent.’ Since no one is advised about the bill being brought up, no one who would object knows to be there, so it passes without anyone ever actually voting for it.”

Post-Election News

Recount efforts end: Trump wins in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania
AP - Presidential election recount efforts came to an end Monday in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, with both states certifying Republican Donald Trump as the winner in contests that helped put him over the top in the Electoral College stakes. Trump's victory in Wisconsin was reaffirmed following a statewide vote recount that showed him defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton by more than 22,000 votes. Meanwhile, a federal judge issued a stinging rejection of a Green Party-backed request to recount paper ballots in Pennsylvania's presidential election and scan some counties' election systems for signs of hacking.... The numbers barely budged in Wisconsin after nearly 3 million votes were recounted. Trump, a billionaire New York real estate mogul, picked up 162 votes and still won by more than 22,000 votes. The final results changed just 0.06 percent. In Pennsylvania, state officials certified the results of the election in the hours following the decision by U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond. Trump beat Clinton in the state by about 44,000 votes out of 6 million cast, or less than 1 percent, according to the final tally after weeks of counting provisional and overseas ballots. Green Party voters had petitioned some counties to do partial recounts, affecting few votes, county officials said.

Ten Electoral College Electors Want Briefing On "Russian Interference" Before Presidential Vote
Zero Hedge - ...ten Electoral College electors have asked U.S. intelligence officials for more information on ongoing investigations surrounding President-elect Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia, complying with the narrative as laid out on Saturday. The group of electors, which includes the daughter of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, wrote an open letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asking for the information ahead of their Dec. 19 meeting to formally vote for the next president, the Hill reports. “The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations,” the letter read. “We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States.” To be sure, the Electoral College's appeal faces a steep uphill climb if it is to succeed: nine Democrats and only one Republican signed the letter. The Republican, Christopher Suprun, has said that he won't vote for Trump when the Electoral College meets. So far no other republicans have expressed an interest in challenging the vote outcome.

Economy & Business

Lockheed falls as Trump tweets that F-35 program is costly
CNS News - Shares of Lockheed Martin fell Monday, wiping out nearly $2 billion of the company's market value, as President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that making F-35 fighter planes is too costly and that he will cut "billions" in costs for military purchases. Shares of other defense contractors, including Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, also tumbled Monday. Trump didn't mention any specific company in his tweet, but Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed makes the F-35 one-seat fighter aircraft and is a major U.S. defense contractor. The F-35 program made up 20 percent of Lockheed's total 2015 revenue of $46.1 billion. And U.S. government orders made up 78 percent of its revenue last year. The F-35 program directly or indirectly supports more than 146,000 U.S. jobs, according to the company's website. In a statement Monday, Lockheed said that it has worked to lower the price of the F-35 by more than 60 percent and said it expects the aircraft to cost $85 million in 2019 and 2020.

Republican Leaders to Oppose Trump Tax Cuts
The Gateway Pundit - Republican leader Mitch McConnell warned today he will not pass Donald Trump’s tax cuts. Senate Majority Leader McConnell has a different plan. reported: President-elect Donald Trump’s race to enact the biggest tax cuts since the 1980s went under a caution flag Monday as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned he considers current levels of U.S. debt “dangerous” and said he wants any tax overhaul to avoid adding to the deficit. “I think this level of national debt is dangerous and unacceptable,” McConnell said, adding he hopes Congress doesn’t lose sight of that when it acts next year. “My preference on tax reform is that it be revenue neutral,” he said. During a news conference, McConnell also poured cold water on the idea of a massive stimulus package, effectively laying out markers on taxes and spending that that could cramp Trump’s ambitions. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan think tank, has projected that Trump’s plans would increase the debt by $5.3 trillion over a decade, with deficits already over $600 billion a year and rising on autopilot.

Tax Code Complexity Now Costs U.S. Economy up to $1 Trillion Annually
Tax Revolution Institute - That is the present size of Title 26 of the U.S. Code, i.e. the “Internal Revenue Code.” One would think this would be nearly impossible for an enterprise wielding an army of tax experts to absorb, let alone the average taxpayer. However, it doesn’t stop there. The IRS has added an additional 7.7 million words of tax regulations designed to clarify what the original 2.4 million words mean. You can’t make this stuff up. Add 60,000 pages of tax-related case law essential to accountants and tax lawyers, and the burden is revealed. More than 10 million words with a hidden annual compliance cost of up to $1 trillion. This is what Title 26 of the U.S. code and the Federal Register is estimated to cost the United States economy each year. To put this into perspective, the Encyclopedia Britannica — 32 volumes that contain the general knowledge of man — is 44 million words in length. This means that in order to understand the federal tax code and its supplementary regulations in their entirety, one would have to absorb highly complex tax language that is nearly one quarter the length of the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.

Wells Fargo Fake Accounts Scandal Spreads To Life Insurance Business
ShadowProof - Today, Prudential Financial announced it would suspend the distribution of a low-cost life insurance policy through Wells Fargo. The low-cost life insurance policy, called MyTerm, had been promoted by Wells Fargo since 2014 throughout its large number of retail banking outlets. The suspension comes shortly after a wrongful termination lawsuit was filed by three former Prudential employees, which alleged that Wells Fargo employees signed up customers for MyTerm life insurance policies without the customer’s knowledge to hit sales goals. The plaintiffs, who worked at Prudential’s corporate investigations division, claim their reports of the fraud led to their termination because Prudential management did not want to take any action that could damage its business with Wells Fargo. If true, those allegations would fit an already established pattern of Wells Fargo employees creating fake customer checking, saving, and credit card accounts. ... Hopefully not lost in all this is that the initial plan by Wells Fargo executives was to scapegoat low-level employees for this entire scandal.... In all, over 5,000 low-level employees have been terminated and are likely never going to work in banking again, while the CEO and the executive responsible for managing the program, Carrie Tolstedt, will walk away with millions upon millions of dollars.

Kellogg Credit Rating Downgraded Amid Loss of Youth Market
Breitbart - Citing a loss of market, Credit Suisse has lowered its rating for shares of cereal giant Kellogg from outperform to neutral. The bank insists that Kellogg’s has lost the youth market severely crimping profits. Once a staple of every American child’s breakfast, cereal is apparently now on the outs with consumers, especially millennials, and the waning interest in cereal products is impacting Kellogg heavily. Kellogg’s sales fell 2.4 percent in the third quarter.... Analyst Robert Moskow added that thus far Kellogg’s efforts to re-tool advertising and products to appeal to today’s youth have not worked. “The company took several positive steps to re-engage Millennial consumers with more granolas, mueslis, and ‘fashion-forward’ ingredients. But from what we can tell, these efforts have not fully stabilized the business,” Moskow told his investing clients.... The downgrade comes as over 400,000 people joined the #DumpKelloggs movement after the far-left company canceled advertising on saying its “values” do not align with Breitbart and its 45 million monthly readers.

Energy & Environment

20+ Proposed Pipelines Threatening Indigenous Communities
"There are probably 20 or so pipelines being protested in various ways at any given time, and they affect many more reservations and traditional homelands than that," Aaron Carapella, a Cherokee cartographer in Warner, Oklahoma, told MintPress News. Carapella recently designed a map showing how pipelines under development in the U.S. cross dozens of indigenous territories, many of which are the sites of contemporary Native communities. "There are tens of thousands of existing pipelines throughout the land, so I chose to focus on those projects that are not quite completed, that are being resisted or that are only in proposal stages," he said. Carapella, whose maps illustrate the past and present indigenous presence in the Americas, combined them with new information from various sources…. In one little-remarked struggle, the Ramapough Lunaape Nation, a small community nestled among the Ramapo Mountains chain of the Appalachians in northern New Jersey and southern New York, face the looming threat of the Pilgrim Pipeline. "The Pilgrim Pipeline is another of the many needless pipelines running through the Lunaape homeland which is endangering the water of millions, while it appears to be criminally circumventing federal law," Ramapough Lunaape Chief Dwaine Perry told MintPress.

Exxon’s Pro-Fracking CEO Is Suing to Stop Fracking Near His Mansion
The Nation - Fancy a side of irony with your corporate hypocrisy? Last night on MSNBC, Nation Editor-at-Large Chris Hayes profiled ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, a vocal proponent of hydraulic fracking, who is suing to prevent the construction of a water tower near his eighty-three-acre, $5 million horse ranch in Bartonville, Texas. The purpose of the tower? Storing water for fracking. Tillerson and his super-wealthy neighbors are concerned, the lawsuit states, that the fracking tower might “devalue their properties and adversely impact the rural lifestyle they sought to enjoy.” As Hayes put it, “Rex Tillerson is leading the fracking revolution, just not in his backyard.”
—Sam Adler-Bell

Scientists Use Orange Peels to Suck Mercury Out of the Ocean
REALfarmacy - Justin Chalkner, a researcher at Flinders University in Australia, was trying to develop a new polymer made from sustainable materials when he found a new compound that sucks mercury out of the water and soil. Made from a combination of sulfur and limonene, a compound found in orange peels, the nontoxic polymer turns from dark red to brilliant yellow when it absorbs mercury. This makes it useful as a mercury sensor and removal tool…. Tests of the new compound, called sulfur-limonene polysulfide found in orange peels, conducted by the research team found that it can remove over 50% of the mercury in a sample of water after one treatment. Subsequent treatments brought the mercury concentration in contaminated water down to near-drinkable levels. This find is very important because the product is both nontoxic and inexpensive to produce. This makes large scale cleanup of contaminated water and soil simpler and more attainable task than ever before!

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Threat to Maryland Raw Milk Dies
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund - A threat to Maryland producers of raw pet milk quietly went away on November 28 when the state Secretary of Agriculture Joseph Bartenfelder sent out a letter to interested parties stating that the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) would not be including a requirement to put a dye in raw pet milk in regulations MDA would be issuing governing raw pet milk sales. Inclusion of the dye requirement would have collapsed the market for raw pet milk in the state. It was suspected that the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (MDHMH) was pressuring MDA into adopting the dye mandate. MDHMH has jurisdiction over raw milk production and sales for human consumption, which are prohibited in Maryland, while MDA has jurisdiction over raw milk production and sales for pet consumption. Pet milk producers in the state became worried when officials at MDA did not respond to inquiries about the dye requirement over a several month period. It was the letter from Secretary Bartenfelder on behalf of the Governor’s office that broke MDA’s silence on the matter.


NEWS Fats in processed foods help spread cancer
What Doctors Don't Tell You - The saturated fats in processed foods—and even the toothpaste we use—help spread cancer, new research has found. Palmitic acid, a major component of palm oil that is used in processed foods, peanut butter and popular brands of toothpaste, could help metastasize (spread) cancer cells in up to half of all sufferers. The discovery is being hailed as a breakthrough—although the researchers at the Institute for Research in Barcelona (IRB) have so far seen it happen only in laboratory mice, and the theory hasn’t been tested on humans. However, part of the picture has been seen in human cancer patients. A protein called CD36 has been found in a range of cancer cells, including oral tumours, melanoma skin cancer, ovarian, bladder, lung and breast cancers—and the protein feeds off palmitic acid. In the experiment on laboratory mice, the researchers gave them food that contained palmitic acid, and discovered that the cancer spread in half of them. Conversely, the researchers, funded by Worldwide Cancer Research, also discovered that tumour cells stopped metastasizing when the CD36 proteins were blocked.

Growing Incidence of Cardiotoxicity and Heart Damage After Chemotherapy
Dave Mihalovic - The evidence against the use of chemotherapy continues to mount, especially if you're diabetic. Heart damage caused by chemotherapy is worse in cancer patients with metabolic diseases, according to a study presented EuroEcho-Imaging 2016. The overall contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults is well below 3 percent. Oncologists are now being advised that the toxic treatment has dire consequences for those with metabolic diseases such as diabetes and insulin resistance. Heart damage is most often related to the total (cumulative) dose of chemotherapy drug given. "We've always known chemotherapy is damaging to the heart but the level of damage to those with metabolic disease is extensive and the risks may outweigh the benefits," stated oncologist Dr. Maven Rowland commenting on the study. Cardiac damage can occur even with lower doses of drugs if the person has had previous radiation and specific types of drug therapy. "Whether it be in the EU, U.S, Russia, Canada, India, Australia among other countries, the treatment is still not advanced enough to spare cardiac muscle cells from damage," concluded Dr. Rowland. "Cardiotoxicity induced by chemotherapy with anthracyclines is being increasingly reported, mainly because a smaller proportion of patients now die from cancer," said lead author Dr Ana Catarina Gomes, a cardiologist in training at the Hospital Garcia de Orta in Almada, Portugal. "In the coming years this cardiotoxicity looks set to increase the burden of heart failure in cancer survivors."She continued: "The good news is that cardiotoxicity can be reversible in the early stages before overt heart failure develops. Surveillance programs are hugely beneficial, particularly in the first year of treatment when up to 80% of the systolic dysfunction develops."

More Doctors Confessing To Intentionally Diagnosing Healthy People With Cancer To Make Money
Natural Blaze - Preventing disease doesn’t make money, but treating disease certainly does. Take Dr. Farid Fata, a prominent cancer doctor in Michigan who admitted in court one year ago to intentionally and wrongfully diagnosing healthy people with cancer. Fata also admitted to giving them chemotherapy drugs for the purpose of making a profit…. Fata was charged with running a $35-million Medicare fraud scheme that involved billing the government for medically unnecessary oncology and hematology treatments. … According to the government, Fata had a patient load of 1,200 people and received $62 million from Medicare; he billed for more than $150 million. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said she plans to seek life in prison for Fata, calling his case is “the most egregious” health care fraud case her office has seen. She said Fata not only bilked the government — which is typical in such cases — but he also harmed patients. Prostate cancer is another great example which doctors falsely give prognoses about without giving patients the facts. A prostate (PSA) blood test looks for prostate-specific antigen, a protein produced by the prostate gland. High levels are supposedly associated with prostate cancer. The problem is that the association isn’t always correct, and when it is, the prostate cancer isn’t necessarily deadly. Only about 3 percent of all men die from prostate cancer. The PSA test usually leads to overdiagnosis — biopsies and treatment in which the side effects are impotence and incontinence. Repeated biopsies may spread cancer cells into the track formed by the needle, or by spilling cancerous cells directly into the bloodstream or lymphatic system. More than 90% of Doctors who encourage cancer treatment for prostate cancer will generate a commission from each treatment the patient receives.

Monday - December 12, 2016

Today In History:

1787 - Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1791 - The Bank of the United States, also known as the First Bank, opened for business in Philadelphia, PA.
1800 - Washington, DC, was established as the capital of the United States.
1901 - The first radio signal to cross the Atlantic was picked up near St. John's Newfoundland, by inventor Guglielmo Marconi.
1912 - The Mother's Day International Association was incorporated with the purpose of furthering meaningful observations of Mother's Day.
1917 - Father Edward Flanagan opened Boys Town in Nebraska. The farm village was for wayward boys. In 1979 it was opened to girls.
1937 - Japanese aircraft sank the U.S. gunboat "Panay" on China's Yangtze River. Japan apologized for the attack, and paid $2.2 million in reparations.
1951 - The U.S. Navy Department announced that the world's first nuclear powered submarine would become the sixth ship to bear the name Nautilus.
1975 - Sara Jane Moore pled guilty to a charge of trying to kill U.S. President Ford in San Francisco the previous September.
1985 - 248 American soldiers and eight crewmembers were killed when an Arrow Air charter crashed in Gander, Newfoundland after takeoff.
1989 - Britain forcibly removed 51 Vietnamese from Hong Kong and returned them to their homeland.
1995 - The U.S. Senate stopped a constitutional amendment giving Congress authority to outlaw flag burning and other forms of desecration against the American flag.
1998 - The House Judiciary Committee rejected censure, and approved the final article of impeachment against U.S. President Clinton. The case was submitted to the full House for a verdict.
2000 - The U.S. Supreme Court found that the recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court in the 2000 U.S. Presidential election was unconstitutional. U.S. Vice President Al Gore conceded the election to Texas Gov. George W. Bush the next day.
2000 - Timothy McVeigh, over the objections of his lawyers, abandoned his final round of appeals and asked that his execution be set within 120 days. McVeigh was convicted of the April 1995 truck bombing of the Alfred P. Murray Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK, that killed 168 and injured 500.
2001 - Gerardo Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison for being the leader of a Cuban spy ring. His conviction was based on his role in the infiltration of U.S. military bases and in the deaths of four Cuban-Americans whose planes were shot down five years before.
2002 - North Korea announced that it would reactivate a nuclear power plant that U.S. officials believed was being used to develop weapons.

World News

After Aleppo Debacle, Obama Sends More US Troops To Syria, Lifts Weapon Embargo To Some Rebels
Western Journalism - With U.S.-supported rebel groups in Aleppo facing defeat in the more than four-year-old battle for the eastern part of Syria’s second-largest city, President Obama suddenly decided to waive prohibitions on the delivery of American military equipment to “foreign forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals” in Syria. The president took the measure after the Russian-led coalition of the Syrian army, Hezbollah and Iranian-backed Shiite militias already seized 90 percent of rebel-held territories in east Aleppo. The presidential waiver still needs Congressional authorization, and it’s fair to assume that Obama’s help will come too late to prevent the fall of Aleppo to the pro-Assad coalition. Russian commentators ridiculed Obama’s action and suggested the measure had nothing to do with saving the Jaish al-Fatah coalition of Sunni Islamist groups in Aleppo but with “setting the tone for U.S. involvement in Syria, and to set a certain algorithm of actions for his successor, Donald Trump.”.... The rapid advances by the pro-Assad coalition in Aleppo came to a halt Saturday as the Jaish al-Fatah rebels regrouped and launched a counter-offensive near the old city of Aleppo. The counter-attack came as Russia and Syria said they had reduced their actions in Aleppo to allow for the evacuation of civilians who were trapped in the city. Rebel commanders denied the pro-regime forces had slowed down their operations and claimed the grinding offensive was the result of their counter attacks.... The fall of Aleppo is not expected to end the civil war in Syria.

Islamic State fighters re-enter ancient Palmyra in Syria
BBC News - Islamic State group fighters have re-entered Palmyra, nine months after losing the ancient Syrian desert city. Monitoring groups say militants and pro-government forces fought fiercely in the centre of Palmyra. An activist there told the BBC that the city was now "more or less" in IS hands.... The surprise setback for the government of President Bashar al-Assad comes as Russian-backed Syrian government forces are closing in on the remaining rebel-held area of the city of Aleppo.... IS held Palmyra and its nearby ruins for 10 months before it was recaptured by Syrian government forces in March.... Palmyra has been seen as a strategic location for IS, because of its close proximity to oil fields. Syrian government reinforcements were sent from Aleppo to fight in this new battle earlier this week.

In Just 48 Hours, Islamic Extremists Kill More Than 200 Across Five Countries
The Daily Caller - Terrorist groups killed more than 200 people across the Middle East and North Africa since Friday, in an unprecedented slew of global attacks. The highest profile attack killed 39 people outside of a popular Istanbul soccer stadium, wounding another 155. The attack utilized two remotely detonated car bombs, which have been a signature tactic of the Kurdish Workers Party.... Another deadly attack struck at the heart of Egypt’s coptic christian community at a Sunday morning mass, killing 25 and wounding nearly 50. Egyptian authorities told reporters almost all the victims were women and children. Egypt’s christian community has been targeted in the past by elements of the Islamic State, fighting in the western Sinai peninsula.... Other attacks since Friday killed 50 in Yemen, 60 in Nigeria, and 29 in Somalia.

Dutch populist leader Wilders rises in polls after conviction
Yahoo News - The party of populist anti-Islam Dutch MP Geert Wilders has risen strongly in the polls since the lawmaker was tried and convicted of discrimination, according to a survey published Sunday.... During the trial, but before his conviction on Friday, its estimated share rose to 34 seats. It currently has 12 lawmakers.... Wilders was found guilty of discrimination against Moroccans but acquitted of hate speech over remarks he made at an election rally in March 2014. He had asked supporters whether they wanted "fewer or more Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands." When the crowd shouted back "Fewer! Fewer!" a smiling Wilders answered: "We're going to organize that.".... The judges were strongly critical of Wilders' "inflammatory" remarks at the rally but decided not to impose any sentence or fine. The outcome of the Dutch vote will be keenly watched given the anti-EU outcome of Britain's Brexit referendum and the November election of populist Donald Trump as the next US president. Wilders has among other things vowed to confiscate Korans, close mosques and Islamic schools, shut the borders and ban migrants from Islamic countries.

74% of ‘underage’ asylum seekers in Denmark are adults, teeth & bone tests show
RT - The Danish Immigration Service has questioned the age of some 800 asylum seekers who said they are younger than 18. In almost three out of four cases, ‘unaccompanied minors’ proved to be adults, according to a report. Experts at the University of Copenhagen's Department of Forensic Medicine have been investigating the age of unaccompanied asylum seekers who arrived in Denmark this year and said they are under 18, Jyllands-Posten daily reported. The Danish Immigration Service suspected that 800 asylum seekers lied about their real age. Using X-rays of teeth and finger bones, the institute concluded that 74 percent of those tested (almost 600 persons) are in fact aged over 18.

Venezuela seizes almost 4mn toys to distribute among poor children at Christmas
RT - Venezuela’s country fair pricing watchdog Sundde seized toys that distributor Kreisel kept in three warehouses located in Caracas and Guarenas on Friday, local media reported. Meanwhile, authorities ensured local supply committees (CLAPs), created in April, would distribute subsidized food and commodities, to “fairly” spread the confiscated toys among poor children. “Children in our country will have a happy Christmas,” Sundde’s chief William Contreras told reporters after the seizure. Kreisel underreported its inventory, planning to sell the toys at higher prices, Contreras said. Kreisel has not officially responded to the allegations, although it answered to messages of support on Twitter.... The operation is expected to teach other companies in Venezuela that it’s prohibited to “play with the rights of Venezuelans,” Contreras said, according to AFP.... Venezuela is currently struggling with the highest inflation in the world, estimated at 475 percent by 2016, according to the IMF. Its Bolivar lost 75 percent of its value since last September.... Last week, the government ordered stores to slash prices by 30 percent, with business owners complaining that the move pushes them to bankruptcy. However, many customers welcomed the decision.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Senate Quietly Passes The "Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act"
Zero Hedge - U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) today announced that their Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act – legislation designed to help American allies counter foreign government propaganda from Russia, China, and other nations – has passed the Senate as part of the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report. The bipartisan bill, which was introduced by Senators Portman and Murphy in March, will improve the ability of the United States to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation by establishing an interagency center housed at the State Department to coordinate and synchronize counter-propaganda efforts throughout the U.S. government. To support these efforts, the bill also creates a grant program for NGOs, think tanks, civil society and other experts outside government who are engaged in counter-propaganda related work.... In other words, the Act will i) greenlight the government to crack down with impunity against any media property it deems "propaganda", and ii) provide substantial amounts of money fund an army of "local journalist" counterpropaganda, to make sure the government's own fake news drowns that of the still free "fringes." So while packaged politely in a veneer of "countering disinformation and propaganda", the bill, once signed by Obama, will effectively give the government a full mandate to punish, shut down or otherwise prosecute, any website it deems offensive and a source of "foreign government propaganda from Russia, China or other nations." And since there is no formal way of proving whether or not there is indeed a foreign propaganda sponsor, all that will be sufficient to eliminate any "dissenting" website, will be the government's word against that of the website. One can be confident that the US government will almost certainly prevail in every single time.

CIA Veterans Urge Caution on Leaks Saying Russia's Putin Tried to Get Trump Elected
Newsweek - CIA veterans—none of them fans of Donald Trump–are urging caution about leaked allegations that Russia waged a secret campaign to put the New York Republican into the White House.... Reports on the alleged Russian effort have been anything but cohesive, or complete. During a closed-door briefing to the House Intelligence Committee last week, a senior FBI counterintelligence official reportedly scoffed at the CIA’s conclusion that Russia had plotted to put Trump in office, calling the evidence “fuzzy” and “ambiguous.” Details of the meeting were leaked to The Washington Post.... [Nada] Bakos, a 10-year CIA veteran who worked through a political storm over Iraq intelligence after the September 11 , 2001 terrorist attacks, appealed for a thorough investigation where all the evidence can be examined. “For the collective good of the American people,” she wrote in a stream of tweets starting Friday, “a thorough Intel Community assessment or NIE [National Intelligence Estimate] should be drafted immediately.”.... Bakos, a key member of the CIA team charged with analyzing the relationship between Iraq, Al-Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks, said the public should be cautious about reports citing leaked intelligence from anonymous officials. Ill-founded and false reports–that Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons and had acquired yellow-cake uranium for a nuclear bomb– she reminded readers, were used by the George W. Bush administration to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Mapping The Top States For Resettling Refugees In 2016
Zero Hedge - The Obama administration admitted nearly 85,000 refugees into the United States in fiscal year 2016, the highest number since 1999.... Of course, not every state is doing their "fair share" to house the massive influx of immigrants with Pew Research Center recently pointing out that the top ten states are taking in 54% of refugees. As Pew points notes, California, Texas and New York alone resettled 24% of incoming refugees while Nebraska took in the most on a per capita basis. California, Texas and New York resettled the most refugees in fiscal 2016,... together taking in 20,738 refugees, or about a quarter (24%) of the U.S. total. Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, North Carolina, Washington, Pennsylvania and Illinois, which each received 3,000 or more refugees, rounded out the top 10 states by number of resettled refugees. Overall, 54% of refugees admitted to the U.S. in 2016 were resettled in one of these 10 states. At the other end of the spectrum, some states and the District of Columbia took in few or no refugees in fiscal 2016. Arkansas, the District of Columbia and Wyoming resettled fewer than 10 refugees each, while two states – Delaware and Hawaii – took in none. In fiscal 2016, Nebraska (76), North Dakota (71) and Idaho (69) resettled the most refugees per 100,000 residents. Other states like Vermont (62), Arizona (60) and Kentucky (54) far exceeded the U.S. national average of 26 refugees per 100,000 residents.... And while the Obama administration has announced plans to admit even more refugees in 2017, we suspect president-elect Trump may have other ideas.

The Intercept: A Clinton Fan Manufactured Fake News That MSNBC Personalities Spread to Discredit Wikileaks Docs
The Intercept - Back in October, when WikiLeaks was releasing emails from the John Podesta archive, Clinton campaign officials and their media spokespeople adopted a strategy of outright lying to the public, claiming– with no basis whatsoever – that the emails were doctored or fabricated and thus should be ignored. That lie – and that is what it was: a claim made with knowledge of its falsity or reckless disregard for its truth – was most aggressively amplified by MSNBC personalities such as Joy Ann Reid and Malcolm Nance, The Atlantic’s David Frum, and Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald. That the emails in the Wikileaks archive were doctored or faked — and thus should be disregarded — was classic Fake News, spread not by Macedonian teenagers or Kremlin operatives but by established news outlets such as MSNBC, The Atlantic, and Newsweek. And, by design, this Fake News spread like wildfire all over the internet, hungrily clicked and shared by tens of thousands of people eager to believe it was true. As a result of this deliberate disinformation campaign, anyone reporting on the contents of the emails was instantly met with claims that the documents in the archive had been proven fake. The most damaging such claim came from MSNBC’s intelligence analyst Malcolm Nance. As I documented on October 11, he tweeted what he — for some bizarre reason — labeled an “Official Warning.” It decreed: “#PodestaEmails are already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries & #blackpropaganda not even professionally done.” That tweet was re-tweeted by more than 4,000 people. It was vested with added credibility by Clinton-supporting journalists like Reid and Frum (“expert to take seriously”). All of that, in turn, led to an article in something called the “Daily News Bin” with the headline: “MSNBC intelligence expert: WikiLeaks is releasing falsified emails not really from Hillary Clinton.” This classic fake news product — citing Nance and Reid among others — was shared more than 40,000 times on Facebook alone.

Macy’s Ends Support for Planned Parenthood
The New American - Macy’s department store has announced that it will no longer wire a portion of its dollars to the bank of Planned Parenthood — the nation’s largest provider of abortions. The pro-life organization 2ndVote had compiled a list of corporate sponsors in October, and since then, four major companies (AT&T, Coca-Cola, Ford, and Xerox) have discontinued their support of the giant abortion-provider. Now, Macy’s, which is reputed to have the world’s largest store, has joined them.... Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council commented on the change of heart by Macy’s and the other corporations. “While we are 100 percent supportive of corporations making their own decisions and setting their own policies, we believe that consumers have choices too — like taking their business elsewhere. That’s the beauty of the free market. If CEOs want to enter the culture wars, that’s their prerogative. But they shouldn’t be surprised when the market fires back.”

Musician Builds Tiny Homes for the Homeless -- City Promptly Seizes and Destroys Them
The Free Thought Project - Elvis Summers crowdfunded tiny homes in part through his nonprofit, Starting Human, and raised over $100,000 for what he viewed as a decent, if temporary, solution. And with the help of volunteers in the contracting and construction business, built some 40 tiny homes of wood with steel-reinforced, locking doors to provide solid shelter for struggling tent-city residents.... Summers’ project went swimmingly.... That is, until the city of Los Angeles put its foot down, kicked several tiny home residents, out, and transported the structures for demolition.... Suddenly evicted tiny house residents weren’t permitted to retrieve their few belongings — including medications — before police and garbage trucks hauled the homes away. Summers managed to pack up a few of the tiny homes on public property, but was forced to evict residents, himself — simply in hopes of saving the structures from the city.... Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti doesn’t see the tiny homes as sufficient. “Unfortunately, these structures are a safety hazard,” Garcetti’s spokeswoman, Connie Llanos, said in March, after several houses were confiscated. “These structures, some of the materials that were found in some of them, just the thought of folks having some of these things in a space so small, so confined, without the proper insulation, it really does put their lives in danger.” Additional controversy and conflict with local, permanent residents arose from the location of a smattering of these tiny homes. While many nestled onto private property... others sprung up on highway overpasses and in neighborhoods, much to the chagrin of locals who viewed the shelters as safety hazards and nuisances.

Post-Election News

Michigan Supreme Court Officially Ends Jill Stein's Recount Effort
Western Journalism - Michigan’s highest court threw cold water on former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s petition for a statewide vote recount Friday. The Michigan Supreme Court voted Friday to uphold a lower court ruling that denied Stein’s petition for a recount, which had begun earlier in the week. The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Stein, who won only 1.07 percent of the state’s vote, stood to gain nothing from the effort, and thus she was not an “aggrieved candidate.” A state judge agreed a day later. The state Supreme Court said in a statement Friday evening, “We concur with the Court’s denial and with the Court of Appeals’ judgment that it leaves in place.”... The decision is the end of the line for the last-ditch effort to change the outcome of the election.

Veteran News

Pioneer Astronaut John Glenn Has Died
NASA - Former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn died Thursday at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. Glenn, who served four terms as a U.S. senator from Ohio, was one of NASA's original seven Mercury astronauts. His flight on Friendship 7 on Feb. 20, 1962, showed the world that America was a serious contender in the space race with the Soviet Union. It also made Glenn an instant hero. His mission of almost nine days on the space shuttle orbiter Discovery, launched Oct. 29, 1998, when he was 77, made him the oldest human to venture into space.... Glenn will always be remembered as the first American to orbit the Earth during those tentative, challenging, daring days when humans were just beginning to venture beyond the atmosphere that had nurtured them since the species began.... Glenn entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program in March 1942. He graduated and was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1943. After advanced training, he joined Marine Fighter Squadron 155 and spent a year flying F-4U fighters in the Marshall Islands. He flew 59 combat missions during World War II.... In Korea he flew 63 missions with Marine Fighter Squadron 311. As an exchange pilot with the Air Force Glenn flew 27 missions in the F-86 Sabre. In the last nine days of fighting in Korea, Glenn shot down three MiGs in combat along the Yalu River. Glenn attended Test Pilot School at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Md. After graduation, he was project officer on a number of aircraft.... Glenn resigned as an astronaut on Jan. 16, 1964. He was promoted to colonel in October 1964 and retired from the Marine Corps on Jan. 1, 1965.... He won his Senate seat in 1974, carrying all 88 counties of Ohio. He was re-elected in 1980 with the largest margin in Ohio history. Ohio returned him to the Senate for a third term in 1986, again with a substantial majority. In 1992 he was elected again, becoming the first popularly elected senator from his state to win four consecutive terms.

Economy & Business

Record High Lease Returns Set To Wreak Havoc On Used Car Prices
Zero Hedge - As Bloomberg recently pointed out, strong used car pricing is a critical component required to prop up the overall auto market. While American's love their brand new cars, if used car prices become too soft then substitution can hurt new car sales.... Typically a lease lasts about three years, after which the customer returns to the showroom for another vehicle -- which is when things could get difficult for the industry. "There's going to be a lot of units coming back over the next several years," Ford Motor Co. warned last month. "They're going to get to levels that we have never seen on an absolute basis in the industry before". In 2017, about one million more off-lease vehicles will be available in the U.S. compared with 2015. That additional volume will put downward pressure on used car prices. If cars depreciate too quickly, consumers will be unwilling to pay high prices for new vehicles. High residual values also help to keep monthly lease payments low. In other words, if used car prices fall, the whole system comes unstuck: automakers' earnings will likely fall and car finance companies (often a subsidiary of the manufacturer) may have to book write downs on the value of their leased assets.

Energy & Environment

18 States Sue Feds Over Expanding ‘Critical Habitat’ to Areas With No Protected Species
CNS News - The Final Rules, Listing Endangered and Threatened Species and Designating Critical Habitat, which were published in the Federal Register on February 11 and went into effect March 14, expand the definition of “critical habitat” to include areas in which “species presence or habitats are ephemeral in nature, [or] species presence is difficult to establish through surveys (e.g. when a plant’s ‘presence’ is sometimes limited to a seed bank).” “The Final Rules are an unlawful attempt to expand regulatory authority and control over State land and waters,” argues the multi-state lawsuit,.... “The Final Rules allow the Services to declare areas occupied critical habitat that are not occupied by the species and that could not support the species were it moved there, on the supposition that one day the essential physical and biological features might develop and the species might return,” according to the lawsuit.... “Under this interpretation, [the federal government] could designate entire States or even multiple States as habitat for certain species” in contravention of congressional intent, the lawsuit maintains.... The Final Rules on critical habitat were made in response to President Obama’s Executive Order 13563, in which he directed federal agencies to update their existing regulations.

Science & Technology

Georgia says it's traced an attempted voter hack to DHS
ITworld - The allegation by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is one of the more bizarre charges to come up in the recent spate of alarms about voting-system hacks. He said in a Facebook post on Thursday that he had been made aware of the failed attempt to breach the firewall protecting Georgia's voter registration database. The attack was traced to an Internet Protocol address associated with DHS, he said. “This morning I sent a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson demanding to know why,” he said in the post.... The hacking attempt reportedly took place on Nov. 15, after the presidential election, according to the Wall Street Journal, which saw a copy of the letter. “At no time has my office agreed to or permitted DHS to conduct penetration testing or security scans of our network,” Kemp wrote in his letter. “Moreover, your department has not contacted my office since this unsuccessful incident to alert us of any security event that would require testing or scanning of our network.” Kemp is also asking if the department has scanned any other states in the same way.... Reportedly, Kemp had been resisting election security help from the federal government. Kemp said he was worried that the Obama administration was exaggerating the cyber threat to intrude on the state's authority, according to Politico.


6 Execs from Pharma Co. Arrested for Bribing Docs to Push Deadly Fentanyl
Natural Blaze - According to Reuters, six former Insys Therapeutics Inc executives and managers were arrested on Thursday on charges that they engaged in a nationwide scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe a drug containing the opioid, fentanyl, U.S. prosecutors said. Along with the executives, Michael Baich, the former CEO, was also charged in an indictment filed in federal court in Boston this week. They have all been brought up on charges of racketeering for their scheme…. What makes this information so damning and hypocritical is that in September, the Free Thought Project helped to expose Insys Therapeutics for paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep marijuana, a plant that has never killed anyone, illegal…. These people not only advocated that pot is dangerous, but they were bribing doctors to prescribe a drug responsible for one of the most deadly epidemics in the history of the United States — for entirely unnecessary reasons. About 129 people died each day nationwide in 2014 from a drug overdose and more than half of those were opioid, heroin, or fentanyl related, according to the DEA.

Decades-Long Trend of Rising Life Expectancy in U.S. Undergoes Mysterious Reversal
AllGov - U.S. life expectancy is in decline for the first time since 1993, when HIV-related deaths were at their peak. But this time, researchers can’t identify a single problem driving the drop, and are instead pointing to a number of factors, from heart disease to suicides, that have caused a greater number of deaths. A study... on mortality rates released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics showed that Americans could expect to live for 78.8 years in 2015, a decrease of 0.1 from the year before.... Dr. Peter Muennig, a professor of health policy and management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, said in an interview that the decline was a “uniquely American phenomenon” in comparison with other developed countries, such as Japan or Sweden. “A 0.1 decrease is huge,” Muennig said. “Life expectancy increases, and that’s very consistent and predictable, so to see it decrease, that’s very alarming.” For researchers, the numbers reflect a culmination of problems. Eight of the top 10 causes of death showed an increase in death rates, including those from heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease. Deaths from Alzheimer’s disease rose 15.7 percent, unintentional injuries rose 6.7 percent and suicide rose 2.3 percent.

DHA deficiency increases anger and hostility
(NaturalHealth365) There’s now a considerable amount of evidence that shows the negative effects of a DHA shortage in the brain. While the scientific community was already aware of the benefits of DHA and omega 3s in reducing inflammation and promoting optimal neuronal functioning; more recent studies are confirming that DHA is crucial to the health of brain neurotransmitters, cognitive functioning and a positive mood…. Seven of the top brain benefits of DHA and omega-3 supplementation include: 1. Reduced anger and hostility: Low DHA levels are associated with high levels of hostility and anger, while the benefits of omega 3 include more even-keeled and consistent moods. Students tested for increased angry, hostile behavior close to final exam time in college were found to be up to 65 percent more aggressive if they were not taking DHA or omega 3 supplements. 2. Improved memory and learning: Studies have shown that taking DHA supplements can support the brain’s hippocampus in optimal neurotransmitter release. DHA is associated with improved neuroplasticity and the brain’s ability to repair itself. This can help to preserve memory as well as reverse age-related memory loss. 3. Increased levels of healthy brain neurotransmitters: DHA deficiencies have been linked with depressed levels of dopamine, the chemical that gives you that positive, rewarded feeling. It also seems to act on other brain chemicals like serotonin, glutamate, acetylcholine and norepinephrine, promoting optimal levels and a chemical balance in the brain and body. 4. Improved cognitive functioning: DHA and other omega 3s are also associated with a better attention span and an increased ability to focus, learn, and follow through with tasks. This is in large part due to its positive regulatory effect on neurotransmitters….

20 Medications That Have Been Shown to Cause Memory Loss
REALfarmacy - If you are taking any prescription medication, the odds are that it falls into one of these three categories of drugs known to cause memory loss and other cognitive problems: The “Anti” Drugs: If you take a drug that starts with “anti,” such as antihistamines, antidepressants, antipsychotics, antibiotics, antispasmodics, or antihypertensives, it’s likely that it will affect your acetylcholine levels. Acetylcholine is the primary neurotransmitter involved with memory and learning. Low acetycholine can lead to symptoms that resemble dementia including mental confusion, delirium, blurred vision, memory loss, and hallucinations. Sleeping Pills: Prescription sleeping pills are notorious for causing memory loss. The popular drug Ambien has been coined by some as “the amnesia drug.” Some users experience night terrors, sleep walking, sleep driving, and hallucinations. Prescription sleeping pills have been found to put you in a state similar to being passed out drunk or in a coma while bypassing the restorative sleep your brain needs. Statin Drugs: These cholesterol-lowering medications might just be the single worst group of drugs for your brain. Memory loss is now required to be listed as a side effect on the label. One quarter of your brain is made up of cholesterol. Cholesterol is necessary for memory, learning, and fast thinking. So it is not a total surprise that cholesterol-lowering drugs negatively effect the brain…

Pet News

The Problem With Seizure Medications and a New Therapy to Consider
Dr. Becker - Lots of dogs and cats with seizure disorders don't do well on traditional drugs for epilepsy like phenobarbital and potassium bromide. Some pets' seizures can't be well controlled with medication, and virtually all these drugs produce adverse side effects and long-term consequences. That's why an increasing number of pet parents and veterinarians are looking for alternative therapies like acupuncture to help dogs and cats with epilepsy. Recently I ran across an interesting human seizure study conducted in China that evaluated the use of acupuncture to treat the disorder. The study examined the function of the brain's thalamus, which plays a critical role in epilepsy and is also instrumental in mediating the effects of acupuncture in the brain. The researchers concluded that acupuncture could be a promising therapy in the management of refractory (unmanageable) epilepsy. Although currently there are no accepted (double-blinded, placebo-controlled) studies on the use of acupuncture to treat seizures, there is enough anecdotal and experimental evidence to support its use.
* Related Video: PBS Spotlight on Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM)

day - December 9, 2016

Today In History:

1803 - The 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress. With the amendment Electors were directed to vote for a President and for a Vice-President rather than for two choices for President.
1907 - Christmas Seals went on sale for the first time, in the Wilmington, DE, post office.
1917 - Turkish troops surrendered Jerusalem to British troops led by Viscount Allenby.
1940 - During World War II, British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa.
1941 - China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy.
1958 - In Indianapolis, IN, Robert H.W. Welch Jr. and 11 other men met to form the anti-Communist John Birch Society.
1975 - U.S. President Gerald R. Ford signed a $2.3 billion seasonal loan authorization to prevent New York City from having to default.
1990 - The first American hostages to be released by Iran began arriving in the U.S.
1992 - Clair George, former CIA spy chief, was convicted of lying to the U.S. Congress about the Iran-Contra affair. U.S. President George H.W. Bush later pardoned George1992 - U.S. troops arrived in Mogadishu, Somalia, to oversee delivery of international food aid, in operation 'Restore Hope'.
1993 - The U.S. Air Force destroyed the first of 500 Minuteman II missile silos that were marked for elimination under an arms control treaty.
1993 - Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavor completed repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope.
1994 - Representatives of the Irish Republican Army and the British government opened peace talks in Northern Ireland.
1999 - The U.S. announced that it was expelling a Russian diplomat that had been caught gathering information with an eavesdropping device at the U.S. State Department.
2013 - AMR Corporation and US Airways Group completed a merger and was listed on the NASDAQ as American Airlines Group, Inc.

World News

Putin: Moscow will never accept attitude of intl bodies towards deaths of Russian medics in Syria
RT - Commenting on the recent shelling of a Russian mobile hospital in Aleppo, Syria that killed two Russian medics, President Vladimir Putin said Moscow “will never accept” the absence of reaction from international organizations to the deaths. “It is obvious to everybody that our medics came [to Syria] to resolve humanitarian issues only. They came there not to take part in the military action, but to help people, civilian population in particular,” Putin stressed. Yet according to Russia’s president, Moscow “has seen no assessment of what happened from any international organization.” According to Putin, the absence of international reaction “triggers some thoughts about how objective the coverage of some our partners is on what is happening [in Syria].” Putin added that he is talking about big international structures “that have put our medics who have been killed on one shelf with those who hit their hospital, and did it deliberately, as they knew where it was.” He stressed that such an attitude is “inadmissible” and “we [Russia] will never accept it.” Militants shelled a Russian mobile hospital in western Aleppo earlier this week, killing two paramedics. A chief pediatrician was also severely injured in the attack.

Obama grants waiver for military support of foreign fighters in Syria – White House
RT - President Barack Obama has ordered a waiver of restrictions on military aid for foreign forces and others in Syria, deeming it “essential to the national security interests” of the US to allow exceptions from provisions in the four-decades-old Arms Export Control Act. A White House press release Thursday announced that foreign fighters in Syria supporting US special operations “to combat terrorism in Syria” would be excused from restrictions on military assistance. I hereby determine that the transaction, encompassing the provision of defense articles and services to foreign forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals engaged in supporting or facilitating ongoing U.S. military operations to counter terrorism in Syria, is essential to the national security interests of the United States,” President Obama affirmed in the presidential determination and waiver. The order delegates responsibility to the US secretary of state to work with and report to Congress on weapons export proposals, requiring 15 days of notice before they are authorized. Obama announced a similar waiver of the Arms Export Control Act in September 2013, following the Ghouta chemical attack in August of that year. That order facilitated the transfer of US military weaponry to "select vetted members" of opposition forces battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Thursday's order appears less narrow in scope.

Le Pen Vows to End Costly Benefits for Foreigners
LifeZette - Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s right-wing populist Front National, called for end to state benefits for illegal immigrants Thursday — including providing them with free health care and their children with free education. “I’ve got nothing against foreigners but I say to them: If you come to our country, don’t expect that you will be taken care of, treated and that your children will be educated for free,” Le Pen said in a speech. “That’s finished now, no more playtime,” she added. In what will surely be a surprise to absolutely no one, Le Pen’s comments have drawn an intensely hysterical reaction from the progressive powers-that-be. “With these words, which I condemn with the utmost force, Mrs. Le Pen shows … her utter indifference terrible humanitarian situations affecting young children,” wrote France’s Education Secretary Najat Belkacem. Of course, Belkacem is a member of France’s ruling socialist party, so it’s hardly shocking that she would do her best to depict Le Pen’s words as somehow “bigoted.” It is Belkacem herself who is open to charges of indifference to the terrible strain that illegal immigrants place on the social services and infrastructure of their host countries. The cost of illegal immigration to the U.S. taxpayer, for example, is staggering — and the incoming Trump administration would be wise to follow Le Pen’s lead. A July 2016 report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) discovered illegal aliens could be costing American taxpayers over $1.4 billion in food stamp benefits alone.

Dystopia Now - Japan to Tag Dementia-Afflicted Old People With Barcodes
Sputnik News - Japan, experiencing an aging population, has introduced a new method to keep track of those prone to be lost or otherwise helpless. Dementia-suffering seniors, who suffer from age-induced mental degradation, are likely to get lost, and may not be able to remember their way home. One possible solution is to pin a note to your relative's clothes, with an address and a phone number. Another is to tag their clothing with a barcode for police to scan. People suffering from dementia have been known to go without clothing, however, so it has been proposed that the barcode be placed somewhere on the body. A permanent tattoo would do the job, but there are limitations to how a QR-code tattoo would work on aging human skin. A company from the city of Iruma, north of Tokyo, has developed a solution, using seals imprinted with QR-codes that are attached to finger- or toenails. Advertized as being attached to a person's thumbnail, the scannable barcode image would be included in social-protection programs and provided free of charge. The stickers are sturdy, but not intended to be permanent. According to the manufacturer, they would stay in place for two weeks, even if wet, helping police to contact a lost person's family.

Tsunami warnings after 7.8 quake strikes off Solomon Islands’ coast
RT - A tsunami warning has been issued for the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and Nauru after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck 70km off the Solomon Islands, according to USGS. The USGS initially reported the quake as 8.0, but later downgraded it to 7.8. "Hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within the next three hours along some coasts of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, New Caledonia, Tuvalu and Kosrae," stated the warning issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. A tsunami watch was also issued for all Hawaiian islands, the US National Weather Service reported. It was later canceled, as based on “all available data there is no tsunami threat to the state,” the Pacific Tsunami Weather Center reported.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Senate Sends Veto-Proof Defense Spending Bill To Obama's Desk
The Daily Caller - The Senate passed a long-awaited defense spending bill Thursday by a massive 92-7 vote, sending the bill to President Barack Obama’s desk with a veto-proof majority. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (NDAA) had a rocky path through Congress. Obama threatened to veto any NDAA bill with increased spending unless similar caps were removed on domestic programs. Despite Obama’s objections, the current NDAA adds $9 billion more to the defense budget than requested by the administration. “With today’s overwhelming 92-7 vote in the Senate, the NDAA has now passed the Congress with veto-proof majorities in both houses,” said Sen. John McCain and Rep. Mac Thornberry, the heads of the Senate and House Committees on Armed Services, in a joint statement Thursday. “This legislation marks another important step toward reforming our defense enterprise to meet current and future threats.” The bill addresses several military readiness concerns. Additionally, it includes a 2.1 percent pay raise for all service members, the largest in six years. It also includes an overhaul of the military’s malfunctioning healthcare system and acquisition processes.

U.S. Military on the ‘Brink of Collapse’
LifeZette - Forget about the longtime standard of a military capable of fighting two major wars simultaneously, which the United States abandoned four years ago. The current military would have trouble fighting one major conflict. That is the assessment of some prominent defense experts, who contend the military has degraded to dangerous levels after eight years under President Obama. “We have lost our edge,” said Daniel Goure, senior vice president of the Lexington Institute. “We are no longer technologically superior in a whole list of areas … This is a military that is on the brink of collapse.”… According to a comprehensive analysis of the U.S. Armed Forces produced last month by The Heritage Foundation, military power is “marginal,” with the Army rated even worse, as “weak.” At the same time, the think tank rates as “high” six major threats to U.S. vital interests — Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Middle Eastern terrorism, and terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The assessment of the North Korean threat represents a downgrade from the the “severe” rating found in last year’s Heritage report — the report found that risks from Iran and Middle Eastern terrorism have worsened…. Trump has drawn heavily on the think tank to put together his defense proposals. Venable, who spent 25 years as a combat pilot, said he wrote an article for Defense One earlier this year pointing to deficiencies in the Air Force. He said that military branch has fallen to levels of readiness not seen since the “hollow force” days of the Jimmy Carter years.

Border Patrol Council: Trump DHS Pick ‘No-Nonsense Law and Order General’
Breitbart - The National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) cautiously applauded President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of retired General John Kelly as the incoming secretary of Department of Homeland Security, saying it expects the administration to work with it. The NBPC warned in a statement Wednesday that of all Trump’s cabinet appointees, Kelly will be under the most pressure to perform: We have faith in President-elect Trump, and although General Kelly does not have immigration experience, we recognize that he comes in with stellar credentials. We caution, however, that because President-elect Trump’s meteoric rise was built on border security, we believe no other cabinet-level nominee will be under more pressure to produce…. NBPC represents approximately 17,000 border agents and gave its first-ever presidential Primary endorsement to Trump after he pledged to model border security plans on the advice of agents on the ground, not remote political appointees.

Missouri Bill Would Limit ALPR Data, Help Block National License Plate Tracking Program
Tenth Amendment Center - During the 2017 session, the Missouri legislature will consider a bill that would put limitations on the storage and sharing of information collected by law enforcement agencies using Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) in the state, and place significant roadblocks in the way of a federal program using states to help track the location of millions of everyday people through pictures of their license plates. Sen. Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit) prefiled Senate Bill 85 (SB85) on Dec. 1. The legislation would require government entities to destroy any data captured by automatic license plate readers within 30 days unless they get a court issued preservation order or a warrant. Additionally, the proposed law would allow law enforcement agencies to preserve ALPR data longer than 30 days pursuant to a one year limited published law enforcement organization policy restricting data to detectives or system auditors after the initial 30 days. SB85 would also limit sharing ALPR data with the federal government. The feds would be required to obtain a preservation request or a warrant in order to access Missouri license plate data unless exigent circumstances made the release of the data necessary. The use of any data or evidence derived from automated license plate reader systems preserved in violation of the law could not be received into evidence in any proceeding. Passage of SB85 would prevent the state from creating permanent databases using information collected by ALPRs, and would make it highly unlikely that such data would end up in federal databases.

Brian Williams Complains About Fake News After Losing Job for Fake News
Mikael Thalen - MSNBC’s Brian Williams bemoaned the prevalence of “fake news” Wednesday evening despite losing his job with NBC’s Nightly News last year for spreading fake news. Williams, who lost his position as NBC anchor in 2015 after lying about being under RPG fire while in a helicopter during the Iraq war, warned viewers of the “growing and booming” business of fabricated content. “And lately there’s been a lot of coverage in the real news about the growing and booming business of creating fake news,” Williams said. The disgraced anchor also lamented the Trump transition team for spreading “fake news” post-election. “Fake news played a role in this election and continues to find a wide audience,” Williams added. Social media was quick to criticize Williams following the report for what they saw as both hypocrisy and irony. While the term “fake news” initially referred to websites that knowingly published fictional stories, the establishment press, whose approval rating among the public is at an all-time low, has now aimed the term at the increasingly popular independent media.

Hillary Clinton Emerges from the Woods to Warn About ‘Threat’ of Fake News
Breitbart - Hillary Clinton appeared on Capitol Hill to warn the world about “fake news,” explaining that Americans learned of the “real world consequences” of it in 2016. Clinton called for Congress to pass legislation to stop it and for tech moguls in Silicon Valley to continue searching for a way to block it from entering readers’ Facebook and Twitter feeds. “It’s a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly,” Clinton said. Clinton made her comments during a speech honoring Senate Minority Harry Reid’s retirement from the Senate.

CNN Spends Election Cycle Calling Trump Supporters Racist, Then Gets Hit With Class Action Racism Suit
The Daily Caller - After months of calling Trump supporters racist, CNN now faces a multi-million dollar class action lawsuit alleging racism from their own black employees. Odd, considering how vigorously CNN leveled those same charges before and after the election. CNN host Van Jones called the election of Trump a “whitelash” against a black president, while a CNN contributor accused Trump of “a lack of tolerance for other people.” Now, the channel that openly called Trump a “bigot, racist and misogynist” who would “embolden bigotry” faces its own allegations of racial discrimination from black employees. Former and current black employees filed a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination against CNN, Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner, reports the Daily Mail. Filed on behalf of two black employees, Celeslie Henley and Ernest Colbert Jr, the lawsuit alleges that black employees were paid less and had fewer opportunities for promotions. “Dramatic’ differences in pay, harsher evaluations for black males and fewer available promotions are among evidence of the prejudice,” the lawsuit claims. Lawyer Daniel Meachum explained that he uncovered the alleged discrimination when investigating a lawsuit for a different client of his, DeWayne Walker. Walker currently has a lawsuit against CNN for $50 million.

Duke Approves ‘Safe Space’ For Illegal Immigrants
Breitbart - The Duke University Student Senate has unanimously passed a resolution demanding “sanctuary campus” policies which would create a “safe space” for illegal immigrants, shielding them from federal immigration law. Following the election of President-Elect Donald Trump who has proposed strict immigration laws and tough border security, left-leaning universities around the country have demanded such action, with Duke being the latest to follow, according to the Duke Chronicle. The sanctuary campus policy, pushed by Duke student Elizabeth Barahon, will withhold illegal immigrant students’ status from federal immigration officials unless they have a court subpoena. The policy will also mandate that officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) be barred from the Duke University campus unless a warrant is given. Under the policy, illegal immigrant students who cannot find work due to laws such as E-verify, which Trump has promised to enforce, will have their university expenses paid for. Duke student Senator Olivia Simpson proudly touted the sanctuary campus policy as one that riffed off sanctuary city policies, which shield illegal immigrants from being turned over to federal immigration officials even after they’re suspected of committing a crime…. Most recently, Florida International University has proposed the same sanctuary campus policy, demanding that illegal immigrant students not be subject to federal immigration law under Trump, as Breitbart Texas reported.

Navy Admiral Burns Colin Kaepernick on Pearl Harbor Day… Gets Standing Ovation (Video)
The Gateway Pundit - Admiral Harris said the men and women who died that fateful morning 75 years ago, “Never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played.” The admiral got a lengthy standing ovation. CNN reported: In a speech commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, U.S. Pacific Command Commander Admiral Harry Harris decided to slip in an apparent jab at noted national anthem protester Colin Kaepernick. “You can bet that the men and women we honor today, and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago, never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played,” he said.

Video: Millikin Football Player Stands Alone During National Anthem
The Gateway Pundit - The Millikin University football team voted this month to remain in the locker room during the national anthem in protest against perceived racial injustice. But one player decided to stay on the field and stand at attention. Connor Brewer made headlines for his patriotic action. He wasn’t going to just follow the crowd and did what he believed was the right thing to do. Now there’s a viral video honoring this football player.

Post-Election News

REVEALED: Michigan Recount Uncovers Serious Voter Fraud in Detroit- VOTES COUNTED UP TO 6 TIMES
The Gateway Pundit - More bad news for Democrats—Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s Michigan recount unintentionally exposed this major voting fraud scandal. Once they started the Michigan recount in earnest, and knowing he would be exposed, the Detroit City Clerk Daniel Baxter all of a sudden started claiming that the optical scanners which read the paper ballots did not work the day of the election. Baxter blamed the discrepancies on decade-old voting machines. That is his cover story. Nothing like this was mentioned until he realized their voting fraud scheme would be detected. Baxter’s claim is that, when trying to push the ballots through the readers, the ballots would be stuck and they’d have to push them through again thus ‘ACCIDENTALLY’ resulting in a double count. He says the poll workers sometimes ‘FORGET’ to adjust the machine count and instead let the ballot count twice…. And, it’s much worse than that. In one Detroit Precinct, a recount team was given a box of ballots with an unbroken seal where everything appeared proper and in place. The tag on the box said there were 306 ballots. The book said 306, and the ticket said 306, so that means there should be 306 paper ballots on the box. When they pulled out the ballots, there were exactly FIFTY paper ballots in a locked sealed box that again was supposed to have 306. The official canvasser approved count for this precinct was 306. For FIFTY ballots. It looks like Detroit counts each vote more than SIX TIMES! No wonder they get such high turnout rates!

Economy & Business

Dismal Jobs Report
Paul Craig Roberts - delivered the false news, not from Russian propaganda websites such as the Washington Post accuses this one of being, but from Obama's US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The false news is that the collapsing economy continues to boom with 178,000 new jobs in November and a further fall in the rate of unemployment to 4.6%...The facts are that November produced only 9,000 full time jobs, an improvement over the previous month when full time employment declined by 103,000 jobs--another fact that you did not hear about from the [media]. According to the BLS payroll jobs report, the jobs available in November were waitresses and bartenders, temporary help, and ambulatory health care services. These are not the kind of jobs that result in home ownership or an independent existence. As there are no jobs, which is reflected in the continuing decline in the labor force participation rate, how did the rate of unemployment fall to 4.6%? The answer is that the unemployed are simply moved into the uncounted category of discouraged workers who are so discouraged about finding a job that they have ceased looking. If you are not looking for a job, you are not considered to be part of the labor force. Therefore, your unemployment is not counted.

Energy & Environment

Fukushima radiation has reached U.S. shores
Statesman Journal - For the first time, seaborne radiation from Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster has been detected on the West Coast of the United States. Cesium-134, the so-called fingerprint of Fukushima, was measured in seawater samples taken from Tillamook Bay and Gold Beach in Oregon, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are reporting. Because of its short half-life, cesium-134 can only have come from Fukushima. Also for the first time, cesium-134 has been detected in a Canadian salmon, the Fukushima InFORM project, led by University of Victoria chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen, is reporting. In both cases, levels are extremely low, the researchers said, and don’t pose a danger to humans or the environment. Massive amounts of contaminated water were released from the crippled nuclear plant following a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. More radiation was released to the air, then fell to the sea. Woods Hole chemical oceanographer Ken Buesseler runs a crowd-funded, citizen science seawater sampling project that has tracked the radiation plume as it slowly makes its way across the Pacific Ocean. The Oregon samples, marking the first time cesium-134 has been detected on U.S. shores, were taken in January and February of 2016 and later analyzed. They each measured 0.3 becquerels per cubic meter of cesium-134.

‘Ring of Fire’ Generates 6.5 Mag Earthquake Storm off CA Coast
Breitbart - The magnitude 6.5 earthquake that hit the Mendocino fault line off California’s northern coast early on Thursday is only part of an “earthquake storm” from the infamous volcanic “Ring of Fire” that is slamming the Golden State…. Approximately 90 percent of all earthquakes and 80 percent of all volcanic eruptions in the world occur along the Ring of Fire. The entire West Coast of the United States sits along an intense area of the Ring of Fire that is impacted by a massive network of faults that runs underneath California, Oregon, and Washington. The December 8 tremor was first reported as a magnitude 6.8 on the Richter Scale, but was later downgraded. But what has not been reported is the entire state of California has been slammed by over 200 quakes in the last week, with over 100 seismic events in the last 24 hours. The first warning of the intensity of this Ring of Fire’s activity cycle came in mid-April 2014, when 100 quakes of up to 5.3 magnitude rolled through Southern California, an 8.1 magnitude monster pummeled Chile, and a 5.8 magnitude tremor shook Panama. This latest active cycle officially began in 2012 with a string of noteworthy volcanic eruptions and small earthquakes along the perimeter of the Pacific Ocean. Geologists fear that it could be bad news that the West Coast has not experienced any devastating seismic events in decades, because that means the underground stress is building.

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Missouri Bill Would Legalize Hemp Farming, Set Foundation to Nullify Federal Ban in Practice
Tenth Amendment Center - A Missouri bill prefiled for the 2017 legislative session would authorize the commercial farming, production and sale of industrial hemp in the state, effectively nullifying federal prohibition of the same. Sen. Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph) filed Senate Bill 120 (SB120) on Dec. 1. The legislation would remove industrial hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances and set up a regulatory structure allowing growers to cultivate the crop in the state. If passed into law, SB120 would reclassify hemp from an illegal substance into an agricultural product under state law. It would also expressly legalize hemp farming. Anyone with a hemp license would be able to grow and produce hemp crops subject to state regulations. Notably, the bill addresses some concerns voiced by those who oppose the idea of a license for hemp farming on philosophical grounds by making the license “shall issue,” a legal term requiring the state to issue the license to any applicant who meets the statutory requirements. Without this section, a state department could deny applications for a myriad of reasons. Unlike two other hemp bills filed for 2017 in Missouri, SB120 does not require growers to get federal permission to cultivate hemp in the state.


Parkinson's Starts In The Gut
Mae Chan - The composition of our gut microbes may change through the development of many diseases. Parkinson's disease may be triggered by gut microbes, according to a California Institute of Technology (Caltech) study that points to probiotics as a potential therapy for the disease. Findings from the team point to the gut as the origin of Parkinson's disease, not only in the brain as previously thought. Gastrointestinal problems such as constipation often precede the decline in motor skills seen in patients with Parkinson's. Beneficial bacteria is the gut are known to attack pathogens, manufacture vitamins and even act as anti-cancer agents. Recent research has strengthened the scientific understanding that the microbes that live in your gut may affect what goes on in your body. Trillions of bacteria are hostile and can cause disease, while many others are friendly and have established a symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship with us over the millennia. These friendly bacteria have also been referred to as "probiotics" and are being used increasingly by mainstream clinicians for both preventive and therapeutic purposes.

How to Make Alkaline Water To Fight Fatigue, Cancer and Digestive Problems
Natural News Blogs - We all know that water is good for our bodies. But you’ll get more health benefits if you drink alkaline water. Most people’s bodies are acidic due to eating unhealthy foods and stress. High acidity causes fatigue, digestive problems and increases the risk of cancer. Drinking alkaline water will make your body less acidic and consequently protect it from the health problems mentioned above…. How to make alkaline water at home: What you need: 2 liters of purified water, 1 tbsp. of Himalayan salt, 1 organic lemon, a large glass jar…. If you drink alkaline water every morning you’ll be more energetic, have less digestive issues and lower risk of cancer.

Thursday - December 8, 2016

Today In History:

1776 - George Washington's retreating army in the American Revolution crossed the Delaware River from New Jersey to Pennsylvania.
1863 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln announced his plan for the Reconstruction of the South.
1941 - The U.S. entered World War II when it declared war against Japan. The act came one day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Britain and Canada also declared war on Japan.
1982 - Norman D. Mayer demanding an end to nuclear weapons held the Washington Monument hostage. He threatened to blow it up with explosives he claimed were inside a van. 10 hours later he was shot to death by police.
1984 - In Roanoke, Virginia, a jury found Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt innocent of libeling Reverend Jerry Falwell with a parody advertisement. However Falwell was awarded $200,000 for emotional distress.
1987 - U.S. President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a treaty agreeing to destroy their nations' arsenals of intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
1992 - Americans got to see live television coverage of U.S. troops landing on the beaches of Somalia during Operation Restore Hope. (Due to the time difference, it was December 9 in Somalia.)
1993 - U.S. President Clinton signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement.
1994 - In Los Angeles, 12 alternate jurors were chosen for the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
1998 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police could not search a person or their cars after ticketing for a routine traffic violation.
1998 - The FBI opened its files on Frank Sinatra to the public. The file contained over 1,300 pages.
1999 - In Memphis, TN, a jury found that Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had been the victim of a vast murder conspiracy, not a lone assassin.
2008 - Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal he would confess to masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks; four other men also abandoned their defenses.

World News

Syrian Army retakes 70% of E. Aleppo, evacuates over 1,200 civilians – Russian military
RT- Syrian government forces have liberated 15 more eastern Aleppo neighborhoods in the last 24 hours, the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria said, adding that the advance has allowed the Syrian Army to evacuate 1,200 residents of the city. The Syrian authorities now “fully control 50 neighborhoods in the eastern part of [Aleppo] that account for 70 percent of the territory that was initially controlled by the militants,” the Reconciliation Center’s statement reads. On Wednesday, 1,224 civilians were able to flee militant-held areas for government-controlled neighborhoods, as the Syrian Army continued its offensive. The people have been provided with water, food, and medical assistance at humanitarian centers set up by Russia. At the same time, 66 militants laid down their arms and left for western Aleppo, the statement adds. In accordance with the Syrian president’s offer, all militants who are local residents were immediately pardoned. Earlier, SANA news agency also reported that governmental forces had liberated the Old City and evacuated more than 200 civilians from that area. On Wednesday, Syrian government forces were able to seize control over two districts north of the Aleppo Citadel – the Aghiour and Bab al-Hadid neighborhoods – as militants left their positions and retreated further south, the news agency added.

In Rare Admission, Israel Takes Responsibility for Attacks in Syria
Sputnik News - A Syrian state news agency reported on Wednesday that Israel was responsible for bombings that occurred near a military airport in Damascus. Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Defense Minister, was unwilling to specify which attacks were carried out by the Israeli forces, according to an official statement. The attacks were intended to prevent “advanced weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction” from falling into the hands of Israel’s arch-enemy, Hezbollah, the Times of Israel reported. Israeli officials have previously expressed concern that Hezbollah could receive WMDs or chemical weapons from the Syrian regime. Still, Lieberman is hopeful that a peaceful settlement can be reached in nearby Syria, even if he does not expect violence and tensions with Palestinians to stop anytime soon. Lieberman stated that he would be open to a peace deal in Syria of any variety, as long as it does not include Iran or Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Iran takes fight to UN in strongly-worded letter as US extends sanctions
RT - Iran has lodged an official complaint with the UN over Washington’s extension of the Iran Sanctions Act, which Tehran deems a “violation of US commitments” made last year. In a strongly-worded letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Ambassador Gholamali Khoshrou wrote: “The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran considers the recent US Congress approval on renewal of anti-Iran sanctions as blatant contradiction to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and violation of the US commitments under the nuclear agreement.” The US Congress voted to extend the sanctions by 10 years. According to Iran state news agency IRNA, Khoshrou then reminded the UN chief of the commitments the US made last year under the nuclear deal established under the ISA and the JCPOA, while urging the UN chief to note the alleged violation in his upcoming report to the UNSC. He also stressed that the US will be to blame for any consequences resulting from the extension.

EU fines JPMorgan, HSBC and Credit Agricole $520mn for rate manipulation
RT - After a five-year investigation, the European Commission has fined three major banks €485 million for rigging the crucial Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor). The Commission said on Wednesday they were part of a seven bank cartel that colluded on setting the euro interest rate instead of competing with each other between September 2005 and May 2008. JPMorgan was fined €337 million and Credit Agricole €114 million for five-month involvement in the conspiracy. HSBC got a €33 million penalty for its one-month participation. The trio had refused to join a multi-bank settlement with four other lenders while denying any wrongdoing. By refusing to settle with the Commission, they missed the chance of a 10 percent discount on any fines. The other four banks – Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale – settled with the Commission in 2013 for €820 million. “We have cooperated fully with the European Commission throughout its five-year investigation. We did not engage in any wrongdoing with respect to the Euribor benchmark," JPMorgan said, adding the bank will continue “to vigorously defend our position against these allegations, including through possible appeals to the European courts.”

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Colorado Electors Sue For Right to Vote Against the Will of Their State
Sputnik News - Two presidential Electors in Colorado are suing their governor and secretary of state in an effort to overturn rules stating that they must vote for the ticket that received the most votes. Polly Baca, a former state Senator, and Robert Nemanich are fighting for the right to vote against the will of the people and instead choose their own candidate when they vote as Electors on December 19. They are arguing that all presidential Electors have a constitutional right to cast their vote for any qualified candidate, regardless of the November 8 election outcome. The case is assigned to Judge Wiley Daniel, a President Bill Clinton appointee.

Winning: Trump ‘Person of Year’
Breitbart - Time magazine taps Donald Trump as “Person of the Year,” and is announcing the news on the Today show. Trump has had a rocky relationship with the magazine. Despite a cover story featuring photos of the president-elect with a bald eagle, other Time covers declared his campaign a “meltdown” as he struggled in the general election. Time Magazine’s Nancy Gibbs said on the Today show that it wasn’t a hard choice to choose Trump. “When have we ever seen a single individual who has so defied exceptions, broken the rules, violated norms, beaten not one but two political parties on the way to winning an election he entered with 100-1 odds against him?” she asked. Trump called into the Today show to discuss the decision, calling it a “great honor,” noting that he grew up reading the magazine. Hillary Clinton was selected as the number two person of the year.

NYC mayor requests $35mn for Trump Tower security, gets $7mn
RT - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio estimated the cost of protecting the president-elect and his family living in Manhattan’s Trump Tower to be $35 million, but Congress is only offering to cover one-fifth of his request. A haggling battle between Mayor de Blasio and Congress is drawing attention to the price of the Trump Tower’s security. While President-elect Donald Trump assembles his cabinet from Trump Tower, at least 100 police officers are patrolling the area, including 40 traffic and police officers stationed on the rooftops of nearby buildings watching the perimeter, according to DNA Info. De Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito co-authored letters to President Barack Obama’s administration as well as numerous congressional leaders requesting a $35 million reimbursement from the federal government for the round-the-clock protection to the Trump family while they reside in Manhattan.

Methodist Churches Converting to “Virtual Mosques” For Muslim Migrants
Kit Daniels - The United Methodist Church is reportedly implementing a statewide plan to revamp Texas churches into “virtual mosques” catering to incoming Muslim migrants. The UMC, which has been criticized for perceived liberal drift in its theology, is preparing its congregations for Catholic-style “sanctuary” protections for migrants, including those with terrorist ties, according to an insider. This sanctuary church program is ostensibly in response to President-elect Donald Trump’s intention to defund sanctuary cities. One member of the Bosqueville United Methodist Church, who spoke anonymously out of fear, said he learned about the “virtual mosque” program after an interim pastor began preaching Sufi Islamic parables in an attempt to “tenderize” the church to accept Islamification, according to the Geller Report. In addition, the small church apparently installed a state-of-the-art surveillance system which can’t be accessed on-site. Bosqueville United Methodist Church couldn’t be reached for comment at the of this writing, but interestingly, its web site was taken down “due to fraud and other unethical actions by some members.” “After weeks of inundating the congregation with watered down, Islamized scripture, the board of trustees at the church was later asked by the reverend to approve a (surprise, surprise) federally supervised refugee scheme, which they ultimately refused, the source added,” reported the Geller Report. “After the church trustees said, ‘No,’ UMC sent its district supervisor to ask the congregation directly, ‘How would you feel about taking in some Syrian refugees?’”

California Warns Citizens: You Better Buy Your Guns Before Jan. 1
Off the Grid News - Many popular guns, including specific semiautomatic rifles and pistols, will disappear from California gun stores on New Year’s Day 2017, the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms is warning gun owners. The bureau recently sent out a notice to firearms dealers detailing which weapons will be banned beginning Jan. 1. It is based on a new law – S.B. 880/A.B. 1135 – that bans “bullet button” firearms and redefines what is an “assault” weapon. The law allows persons with such guns to keep them, but only if they are registered. The National Rifle Association is telling California gun owners that because of the 10-day waiting period, the purchasing “process must be started no later than December 21st.” The Bureau of Firearms is warning dealers and gun owners that there will be no exceptions.

The moment a mom, 42, with breast cancer was ‘violated’ and reduced to tears by TSA agents who patted down her medical port
Daily Mail - A woman fighting breast cancer said she was ‘violated’ by TSA officers who attempted to perform ‘a body cavity search in public’ after she alerted them of a medical cream in her bag. Denise Albert, a morning show contributor and co-host of The Moms, a SiriusXM radio show, was traveling through Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday when the ‘humiliating’ experience left her in tears. Albert detailed the experience of removing her wig, exposing the sores on her feet, and telling the TSA agents she had a medical port in her chest that she didn’t want them to touch – a warning that was not heeded. Albert said she notified TSA about her medical port and removed the cream from her bag, as she has done numerous times before without an issue. The security agents then pulled her aside, and said she would have to take off her shoes and undergo a full body pat-down 'with pressure' if she wanted to take the medical cream with her, Albert wrote. The agents flouted the TSA pre-check protocol by asking her to take off her shoes, leaving her bare feet freezing for 20 minutes due to her medical treatment, she claimed. Albert asked to sit down, since her chemotherapy has left her feet covered in sores, which she did not want touching the ground. They later offered to conduct the search in the privacy of a room, but Albert said she couldn't walk there because they wouldn't return her boots…. Later, when they went through her bags, they joked about finding her fake eyelashes, and Albert told her she had lost all her hair as a result of the cancer treatment. A supervisor finally intervened and gave Albert a 'regular soft pat down' inside a private room.

Journalism Fail: Washington Post Story on ‘Fake News’ Was Fake
Sputnik News - Following public backlash, legal threats, and sustained mocking, the Washington Post has added an editor’s note distancing the newspaper from a shadowy website called PropOrNot which they had preciously endorsed as “experts” on “fake news” and “Russian propaganda.” In an ironically fake news article about “fake news” by Craig Timberg the Washington Post claimed that Russian propaganda helped Donald Trump win the US presidential election. A large part of the basis for the piece was centered on evidence the paper presented that was gleaned from an aggressively anonymous website called PropOrNot, which lists over 200 websites that they accuse of peddling what they call Russian propaganda, and other false narratives. Popular news websites on all sides of the political spectrum are listed, including The Drudge Report, Zero Hedge, TruthOut, Sputnik News, and WikiLeaks…. After the publication of its article, the Post was slapped with a letter from Naked Capitalism, one of the websites listed, demanding a full retraction and threatening a defamation lawsuit. While declaring that the entities behind the PropOrNot operation were “experts,” the Post refused to name them. Though their motives remain unknown, the organization previously promoted a Ukrainian hacker group on their Twitter feed. Interestingly, a bill was introduced November 22, just two days before the Post published the November 24 article in question, which would allow lawmakers to crack down on websites deemed to be “Russian propaganda” or “fake news.” Tucked neatly inside the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, the bill appears to be aimed at cracking down on free speech.

Post-Election News

Michigan Lawmakers Push Law to Force Jill Stein to Pay 100% for Her ‘Frivolous’ Recount
The Gateway Pundit - Stein will pay nearly $1 million for her Michigan recount leaving taxpayers to foot the the rest of the bill that is expected to be as much as $12 million. Conservative Review reported: Michigan lawmakers are considering legislation to discourage futile recount efforts by candidates who lose their election bids by an incontestable amount, forcing the candidate to foot the bill for the recount. Introduced by Republican state Sen. Lisa Lyons (R-Alto) last week, the bill, H.B. 6097, would make a candidate who lost by more than 5 percent pay for the full cost of the recount for each precinct referred to (there are 6,300 precincts in Michigan) in his or her petition. The bill passed on a 5-3 vote in the House Elections committee Tuesday, and now moves to the state’s full House of Representatives for consideration.

Veteran News

Radical Far Left Group Demands World War I Memorial to Fallen Soldiers Be Torn Down Because It Includes a Cross
For 90 years, a war memorial in Bladensburg, Maryland has reminded passersby of the ultimate sacrifice made by local soldiers in World War I. Yet today the ironically-named American Humanist Association argued in federal court in Richmond, Virginia, that the memorial honoring fallen soldiers must be torn down because it includes a cross. Known locally as the Peace Cross, the memorial was erected in 1925 on private land with funds raised by the American Legion. It was designed by mothers of local soldiers who died in the war. They modeled the cross after those memorialized in the celebrated poem “In Flanders Fields” that stood “row on row” to “mark [the] place” where their sons lay. The memorial was intended to serve as a memorial gravesite for all families who would never see their sons again. Today the Peace Cross stands among a number of other World War I memorials and is owned by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission as a historic site.

TRUMP to Attend 117th Army-Navy Game – Something Obama Skipped Every Year But One
The Gateway Pundit - Army-Navy games are an annual pilgrimage for the last 8 years for me. It is an awe-inspiring experience, full of pageantry, flyovers and a stadium filled with Americans who aren’t afraid to belt out our anthem and, like me, shed a tear or two as the gravity of the the choices our Midshipmen and Cadets have made truly hit home. It is a football game, but it is so much more. The field and the stands are filled with our future officers, their proud families, the veterans who came before them and grateful Americans like me (who also happen to love football.) Today brings the news that President-Elect Donald Trump will be attending this Saturday’s 117th Army-Navy game in Baltimore. This may be a first, a President-Elect attending the game. The last time President Obama could spare an afternoon for these young men was 2011. Biden attended in 2012. What a way to begin his official duties! Honoring our future leaders, veterans and all of the Americans who love and respect them. In keeping with Presidential tradition, Trump is expected to seat with the Cadets for the first half and move to the Midshipmen side for the second half.

Economy & Business

US Steel wants to accelerate investments, bring back jobs, CEO says (Video)
CNBC News - United States Steel would like to accelerate its investments and hire back laid-off employees now that Donald Trump will be occupying the Oval Office, CEO Mario Longhi told CNBC on Wednesday. "We already structured to do some things, but when you see in the near future improvement to the tax laws, improvements to regulation, those two things by themselves may be a significant driver to what we're going to do," he said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch." In addition, the belief that the U.S. economy can grow at least 3.5 percent also adds to what the company can do, Longhi noted. "I'd be more than happy to bring back the employees we've been forced to lay off during that depressive period," he said, which could be close to 10,000 jobs. Shares of the Pittsburgh-based company have soared about 80 percent since Trump's stunning victory on Nov. 8. Investors appear to be betting on increased infrastructure spending, which the president-elect has promised, as well as further restrictions on China-produced steel. Corporate America is also cheering Trump's promises of less regulation. Longhi said regulation has a role to play, but believes it "has to be done smartly."

Energy & Environment

Silicon Valley’s Melting SunPower Cuts 2,500 Solar Tech Jobs
Breitbart - San Jose-based SunPower Corp. will slash 25 percent of its total workforce as one of the prime beneficiaries of President Barack Obama blowing $200 billion of taxpayer cash to increase renewable energy by 1 percent of total energy consumption. Blaming the average selling price for solar panels dipping by 25 percent during the third quarter of 2016, SunPower Corp (SPWR.O), the number two U.S. solar panel maker, has embarked on a new restructuring that calls for dumping California employees and closing a 700-megawatt solar cell fabrication facility in the Philippines. The company stated that its goal is to reduce 2017 annual operating costs to less than $350 million, according to a statement. President Obama has been spending at least $39 billion a year on green energy projects, according to the Institute for Energy Research. But despite the huge subsidies, the current contribution of solar power to the electricity generation mix is expected to be just 0.6 percent.

FDA Cancels Release of GMO Mosquitoes in Florida Keys
Sustainable Pulse - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will not move forward with the controversial release of millions of genetically engineered (GE) mosquitoes in the community of Key Haven in Monroe County, Florida. The release of the GE mosquitoes would have been the first-ever in the United States, but FDA failed to conduct adequate testing for potential impacts to people, threatened and endangered species, and the environment. During the November 2016 election, local citizens voted against the release of the insects. A coalition of public interest groups – including Center for Food Safety (CFS), Friends of the Earth (FOE), Foundation Earth, the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA), the Florida Keys Environmental Coalition, and Food & Water Watch – yesterday received a response to their 60-day notice of intent to sue FDA under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for failing to take into account impacts to federally listed species in a fast-tracked approval of the release of the GE mosquitoes. In a letter to CFS attorneys, counsel from FDA noted, “per the public referendums which took place on November 8, 2016, and the subsequent board meeting of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) on November 19, 2016, the proposed field trial is no longer moving forward in Key Haven. Because residents of Key Haven voted against the trial, FKMCD commissioners agreed that the trial will not be conducted there.”


Lemon grass tea shown to have 9 great health benefits
(NaturalHealth365) mon grass is packed with essential vitamins and minerals like A, C, calcium, magnesium, folate, iron, zinc, potassium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, and traces of B vitamins. Citronella oil and candles is made from lemon grass; however, it can also be steeped and brewed into a very healthy tea. 1. Detoxification: Drinking lemon grass tea can help to flush out toxins and waste products from the body. This in turn supports kidney, bladder and liver health. 2. Lowers cholesterol: Lemon grass also contains compounds that support healthy cholesterol levels, reducing LDL and raising the HDL component. 3. Anti-microbial and anti-fungal: Drinking lemon grass tea regularly can assist with fighting pathogens that could otherwise lead to infections, gastrointestinal issues, and other microbial health problems. Some of the infections that can be fought by drinking lemon grass tea include candida, ringworm, scabies, urinary tract infections, and infections from cuts or sores. 4. Reduces fever: Lemon grass has been called “fever grass” due to its ability to soothe and lower fevers. 5. Cuts down cold and flu symptoms: Lemon grass tea also eases respiratory disorders like colds, coughs, flu, sinus issues and bronchial asthma….

Your Rhythm of Breathing Controls Emotional Judgement and Fear
Joe Battaglia - Air is necessary for life and it aids in healing, but proper breathing can do so much more. Full, free breathing is one of the most powerful keys to enhancing physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered for the first time that the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall…. With each inhale, we receive and take life in. With each exhale, we let go and give back. We are in touch with and part of the essential rhythm of life. When we constrict or stop our breath, we lose touch with what is happening in the present moment. Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered for the first time that the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall. The study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience. These effects on behavior depend critically on whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the nose or mouth. Do-it-anytime breathing exercises remove allow the mind to enter this state while releasing tension, anger, annoyance, fear and exhaustion. As adults, many people tend to breathe small and shallow, mostly in the chest, with little visible movement. To make matters worse, most people contract and literally stop breathing for short periods during stressful or mentally focused situations. These periods of contraction and breath holding create a low-grade suffocation in the body. Suffocation leads to suffering. The lack of oxygen and increased tension hinders the flow of blood, nutrients, and vital energy.

Wednesday - December 7, 2016

Today In History:  In 1941 on this Day in History Pearl Harbor was bombed

1787 - Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. constitution becoming the first of the United States.
1796 - John Adams was elected to be the second president of the United States.
1836 - Martin Van Buren was elected the eighth president of the United States.
1941 - Pearl Harbor, located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu was attacked by nearly 200 Japanese warplanes. The attack resulted in the U.S. entering into World War II.
1972 - Apollo 17 was launched at Cape Canaveral. It was the last U.S. moon mission.
1972 - Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos, was stabbed and seriously wounded by an assailant. The man was then shot and killed by her bodyguards.
1982 - Charlie Brooks Junior, a convicted murderer, became the first prisoner in the U.S. to be executed by injection, at a prison in Huntsville, TX.
1983 - Madrid, Spain, an Aviaco DC-9 collided on a runway with an Iberia Air Lines Boeing 727 that was accelerating for takeoff. The collision resulted in the death of all 42 people aboard the DC-9 and 51 on the Iberia jet.
1987 - Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev set foot on American soil for the 1st time. He came to the U.S. for a summit with U.S. President Reagan.
1988 - Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev announced the reduction of the number of Soviet military troops by half a million.
1993 - Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary revealed that the government had conducted more than 200 nuclear weapons tests in secret at its Nevada test site.
1993 - Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders suggested that the U.S. government study the impact of drug legalization.
1998 - U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno declined to seek an independent counsel investigation of President Clinton over 1996 campaign financing.
1999 - A U.S. federal grand jury indicted a former convict in the 1995 disappearance of atheist leader Madalyn Murray O'Hair.
2003 - A 12-inch by 26-inch painting of a river landscape and sailing vessel by Martin Johnson Heade was sold at auction for $1 million. The painting was found in the attic of a suburban Boston home where it had been stored for more than 60 years.

World News

US withdraws Aleppo proposals, says no consultations yet – Lavrov
RT - Just as the US and Russia were preparing to discuss a solution for Aleppo, which was to involve free passage for all rebels from the part of the city still under their control, Washington abruptly withdrew its own proposal, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. According to Lavrov, the Americans are currently working on an alternative plan for the city. He said the Wednesday consultations are canceled at this point. The minister remarked that there would apparently be no serious discussion of the Syrian crisis with the administration of outgoing US President Barack Obama…. US Secretary of State John Kerry has intensified contacts with his Russian counterpart after Republican candidate Donald Trump won the presidential election in November. According to reports in the US media, he is making last-ditch attempts to secure a place for rebel forces, which President Obama supported in Syria, in the future of the country.

Moscow slams West for staying silent on Russian hospital bombing
RT - The Russian Foreign Ministry has criticized western leaders after none appeared to condemn the shelling of a mobile Russian hospital by militants in Syria. Two Russian medics were killed after around a dozen of shells hit the facility in Aleppo. "On December 5, a Russian military medic died as a mortar shell fired by militants directly hit the reception ward of a Russian mobile military hospital set up in Aleppo. Two medical specialists were also severely injured and one of them later died," the ministry said. "However, no words of condemnation can be heard from western capitals," it added, criticizing western governments for their "politicized approach" to the assessment of the situation in Syria. We call on our partners to abandon the politicized approach and finally join the counter-terrorist efforts in Syria as well as the search for a political solution to the Syrian crisis” instead of waging a smear campaign in the media, the ministry said in its statement. It then went on to criticize Paris and London, saying they are waging a “propaganda campaign” – in particular over the delivery of humanitarian aid…. It also slammed western governments for their repeated calls to stop the government operation in Eastern Aleppo, which “increasingly resembles the last desperate attempt to shield and save the terrorists and extremists supervised by [the West], who are on the losing side in the Aleppo [battle].”

Saudi Arabia Is Astroturfing America To Roll Back 9/11 Law
Daily Caller - The government of Saudi Arabia and its agents appear to be recruiting U.S. military veterans and people with foreign policy credentials to submit basically the same op-ed to newspapers around the country in an effort to concoct the appearance of an organic groundswell of opposition to a new federal law that allows civil lawsuits against state sponsors of terrorism. The law — the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) — creates a way for American citizens to file civil claims against foreign governments for deaths, injuries and other damage related to terrorist acts if the foreign governments financed those attacks. The immediate effect of the new legislation is to allow a group of plaintiffs to proceed in a longstanding lawsuit against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The plaintiffs point to evidence that the Saudi government partially financed the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, which killed 2,996 people. A cursory review of five different newspaper submissions allegedly written by five different authors — and placed in five different major newspapers from Oct. 5, 2016 to Nov. 28, 2016 — strongly suggests an astroturf campaign conducted by some single source.

“Hate Speech”: Facebook Bans German Woman For Posting Picture of Migrant Rapist
Paul Joseph Watson - After an Afghan migrant raped and killed a 19-year-old woman in Germany, Facebook responded by banning a German woman for “hate speech” because she posted a picture of the murderer. Hussein K., a 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, was arrested on Friday on suspicion of rape and murder after a sample of his hair was found at the crime scene in Freiburg. His victim, 19-year-old medical student Maria Ladenburger, was cycling home after a party when she was ambushed, raped and then drowned in a nearby river. The incident has prompted uproar in Germany, with the country currently suffering an explosion of rapes and violent crimes since its borders were opened to migrants last year. A reader contacted us to report that she had found the Facebook profile of the alleged killer (here it is, but don’t expect it to stay up long). “He looks lifeless. His stare is blank. All I can see is hatred. But when I scrolled down, I saw a shocking post. He posted a picture of a vicious wolf that is holding a fragile white woman. It looks like he is about to rape the women and then rip her apart. Just like he did it to his victim,” Lena Kirschbaum told us in an email.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Barack Obama Declares “Bitter” WWII Veterans Need To Get Over Over Attack On Pearl Harbor
DCWhispers - He just can’t help himself, can he? In what could have been a solemn, dignified moment that saw the Pearl Harbor memorial being visited by the current Japanese Prime Minister, President Obama took time to focus on the “embittered” feelings that still reside among survivors of that unprovoked attack which killed more than 2400 Americans. Via the Daily Mail : “So yes, there may be some who feel personally embittered, but I’m confident that many will set aside their own personal bitterness, not because they’re personally satisfied by the words of the prime minister but because they recognize how important this moment is for the United States. Adding, ‘And that’s certainly why they qualify to be described as the greatest generation.” The president’s words were classic Obama – a compliment by way of the back of his hand. Inform these WWII veterans that they have HIS approval so long as they subscribe to HIS belief regarding how they should act and feel – these men and women who gave all to defend a country Mr. Obama long ago made clear he has little regard for, just as he has so little regard for them.

Repealing Obamacare to be first on Senate agenda in 2017
Reuters - Repealing Obamacare will be the first order of business in the U.S. Senate in January, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said on Tuesday. Republicans will replace President Barack Obama's signature health insurance program that provides coverage to millions of Americans "step by step," said Senator John Thune, another member of the Republican leadership. McConnell did not say when the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, as it is officially known, would go into effect. Senator John Barrasso said it might be effective in two or three years, and that the timeframe was still being debated…. To repeal Obamacare, congressional Republicans are expected to resort to a special procedure known as budget reconciliation to get around Democrats in the Senate, where rules protect the rights of the minority party.

On Obama’s Nod, Major Defense Contractors Plan To Build Jets In India
The Daily Caller - The Obama administration gave the defense industry the go-ahead on plans to build classic American fighter jets in India. With the support of the current administration, both Lockheed Martin and Boeing have been in talks with the Indian government to build the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the F/A-18 Super Hornet for the Indian Air Force in India, according to the Washington Post. The companies intend to move their production facilities to India. Lockheed may relocate its entire F-16 assembly line, moving manufacturing from Texas to India. While the F-16 has been produced in other countries through joint ventures before, this could be the first time that the entire assembly line has been moved abroad…. Furthermore, in addition to manufacturing and exporting U.S. fighter aircraft, India will also be involved in supporting thousands of F-16s operating worldwide…. The deals are expected to boost the “Made in India” initiative at a time when President-elect Donald Trump is fighting to “make America great again” and keep jobs in the U.S. The deal with Lockheed could create 1,000 new jobs for India.

Trump Hits Boeing for ‘$4 Billion’ Air Force One: ‘Totally Out of Control’
Breitbart - Tuesday in the lobby of Trump Tower, President-elect Donald Trump elaborated on an earlier tweet he posted decrying Boeing’s escalating costs of the new Air Force One. Trump called the price tag “out of control” and accused the aerospace giant of “doing a little bit of a number.” The plane is totally out of control,” Trump said. “It’s going to be over $4 billion. It’s for the Air Force One program. And I think it’s ridiculous. I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money but not that much money.”
* Related: Trump tweet sends Boeing stock into tailspin

Wikileaks: Colbert Report Gave Clinton Foundation Control Over Production
Kit Daniels - The Colbert Report apparently colluded with the Clinton Foundation to create a favorable public opinion of the controversial organization, according to an email released by Wikileaks. In the 2013 email, Craig Minassian, the foundation’s Chief Communications Officer, said he had the comedy show produce two skits about the Clinton Global Initiative which promoted positive aspects of the Clinton Foundation. “John, I hope you got a chance to see The Colbert Report‘s two special episodes I had them do about CGI University that we taped in St. Louis this weekend,” wrote Minassian. “This is the link to last night’s with a sketch about commitments and the monologue and WJC [Bill Clinton] interview aired Monday.” “Hope you enjoy and looking forward to your feedback. Next will be your Colbert appearance!”… The wording of the email is fueling speculation that the Clinton Foundation was given unprecedented control over the content of the episode, much like how the New York Times gave the Hillary Clinton campaign “veto power” over which of her statements journalists could use.

Post-Election News

FL Trump elector barraged with 4,000 emails from Hillary supporters — IN A DAY
American Mirror - One Florida elector, Blaise Ingoglia, told Fox Business Network on Monday that yesterday alone, he received 4,000 emails urging he switch his support from Trump to Clinton. “We are seeing some of our 29 electors getting veiled threats, some of them are getting overt threats, but there’s a lot of harassment going on,” Ingoglia told Lou Dobbs. “We are getting inundated with phone calls, emails, Facebook messages, text messages. “Just today, I got 4,000 emails, asking me to vote for Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College,” Ingoglia said. “I mean, it’s a lot of harassment.” A Harvard law professor is offering to assist electors pro bono who want to flip away from Trump. The Week reports: Any member of the Electoral College who wants to vote against Donald Trump but would violate state law by doing so has the support of a Harvard University law professor and a California-based law firm. Larry Lessig has started “The Electors Trust” in order to give free counsel to electors through the firm Durie Tangri. Lessig said his group will also give electors guaranteed anonymity so they can determine if there are enough electors set on keeping Trump from winning the presidency. The number of electors Hillary Clinton and her allies need to flip may actually decrease, if an Obama-appointed judge gets his way. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith ordered the state of Michigan to undergo a hand recount and to have it completed by December 13 and if it’s not done by that date, the state’s electoral votes could be in jeopardy. “If allowed to proceed, the statewide hand recount could cost Michigan taxpayers millions of dollars and would put Michigan voters at risk of being disenfranchised in the electoral college,” Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said.

Time Urges 65 Million Americans Who Voted For Hillary Not To Pay Taxes
Zero Hedge - Under the twisted premise of losing the popular vote and "no taxation without representation", TIME's Mark Weston proclaims that the approximately 65 million Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton should pledge "we won’t pay taxes to the federal government.. until democracy is restored.”… Sadly, it appears, Mr. Weston missed out on what America's constitutional democracy means. As we noted previously, despite what the disaffected left now says about the "outdated" electoral college system, there was and still is solid reasoning behind it's existence. The power of the individual states weighed very heavily on the founding fathers who created the electoral college system specifically to avoid the mass centralization of power in high population density areas. And, while we certainly understand why the left would look to now discredit such a system, the fact is that there would be no United States of America without it as smaller states simply never would have opted in to the union. Per the map above, absent the electoral college system, presidential elections would be almost entirely determined by a handful of cities including New York City, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. And while the left would prefer to ignore the opinions of those in the "fly-over" states, we would suggest that their representation in the electoral college is a vital underpinning of American democracy...without such representation we're not sure why the fly-over states would choose to remain a part of a union where they had no say.

Hillary Clinton Is Throwing A Party To Thank Her Millionaire Donors
The Daily Caller - According to Page Six, the former Democratic nominee is hosting a celebration at the Grand Ballroom in the Plaza Hotel in New York in mid-December to honor the financial team that worked for Hillary for America. Notable guests include Harvey Weinstein, Anna Wintour, Alan Patricof, Tory Burch and Marc Lasry…. Kaine will throw his own celebration on the same day.

Early Results from Wisconsin Recount Increase Donald Trump’s Margin of Victory
Breitbart - Trump had widened his victory margin over Clinton in Wisconsin by 146 votes, with 23 of the state’s 72 counties having finished their recounts as of Tuesday. In those counties, Trump gained 105 votes and Clinton dropped 41 votes. Trump defeated Clinton in Wisconsin by about 22,000 votes. A federal judge has scheduled a hearing for Friday in a lawsuit filed last week by a Trump voter and two super PACs seeking to stop the recount.

Economy & Business

Trump: Japan’s SoftBank To Invest $50 Billion Towards New Jobs In The U.S.
The Daily Caller - President-elect Donald Trump said Tuesday that Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank will invest $50 billion in American start-up companies. SoftBank Group Corp founder and chief executive officer Masayoshi Son visited Trump Tower Tuesday. Trump made the announcement about the investment after their meeting on both Twitter and in front of the press in his tower’s lobby. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Masa from Japan. He’s just agreed to invest $50 billion in the United States and 50,000 jobs. He’s one of the great men of industry, so I just want to thank you very much,” Trump said. The SoftBank CEO then told the press, “I just came to celebrate his new job. I said, ‘This is great, the U.S. will become great again.'” He added that the $50 billion investment will go towards start-ups. Trump tweeted out about the investment, “Masa said he would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!”

Energy & Environment

Veterans Apologize To Indigenous On Behalf Of U.S. Army At Standing Rock [Watch]
Natural Blaze - With heartache and humility in the air, veterans led by Wesley Clark Jr. did something remarkable today. Hundreds of veterans gathered before tribal leaders of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and begged for forgiveness for crimes committed toward indigenous people in the name of the U.S. military…. According to Jon Eagle, who is the tribal historic preservation officer for the Standing Rock Sioux, Leksi Leonard Crow Dog – a Sioux spokesman – forgave the veteran military members present for the past actions of their government. In turn, he asked for forgiveness for the Battle of Big Horn – also known as Custer’s Last Stand – when Sioux warriors killed approximately 268 U.S. soldiers affiliated with the 7th Cavalry. Redhawk wrote that they were “forgiven for actions taken to dehumanize the indigenous of this country, and a step towards solitary has been made.”

Video: Have You Passed Through This Night?
[Warning graphic content - Standing Rock footage begins at the 2:30 minute mark] This Standing Rock short film sheds light on the insanity of for-profit wars, in contrast to the peaceful power behind a movement to protect life. Our hearts are leading us back to a better way.

North Dakota crude pipeline shut down after spill
RT - A crude oil transmission pipeline has been shut down in western North Dakota following a leak that spilled oil into a creek. The state’s health department said it has sent personnel to the site. A series of booms have been placed across the creek to prevent downstream migration and a siphon dam has been constructed four miles downstream of the release point," Bill Suess, spill investigation program manager for the North Dakota Department of health, said, according to Reuters. The health agency said the spill was discovered on Monday and an unknown volume of oil leaked from the pipeline operated by Bell Fourche Pipeline Company into Ash Coulee Creek, 16 miles northwest of Belfield in Billings County. The leak is 200 miles away from protests taking place over the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline…. It is not the first time the Bell Fourche Pipeline has had a spill. According to records from US Department of Transportation, the company has had 10 reported spills over the past five years. Those spills accounted for the loss of nearly 5,000 barrels of oil and caused $2.26 million in property damage.

Science & Technology

Honda’s latest electric car detects ‘human emotions’
RT - Car manufacturer Honda has come up with a better way to interact with humans: it has created a car that it says can feel emotions. Called the ‘NeuV,’ the latest vehicle will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas early next year, according to a statement from the Japanese automaker. According to the company, it is a “concept automated EV commuter vehicle equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) called ‘emotion engine’ that creates new possibilities for human interaction and the new value for customers.”… The process involved aiming for the car to “utilize conversations with the driver, together with other information obtained from various sensors and cameras installed on the mobility product, both to perceive the emotions of the driver and to engage in dialogue with the driver based on the vehicle’s own emotions.”

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Microsoft join forces to target terrorist propaganda
CBS News - Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube are joining forces to more quickly identify the worst terrorist propaganda and prevent it from spreading online. The new program announced Monday would create a database of unique digital “fingerprints” to help automatically identify videos or images the companies could remove. The move by the technology companies, which is expected to begin in early 2017, aims to assuage government concerns - and derail proposed new federal legislation -- over social media content that is seen as increasingly driving terrorist recruitment and radicalization, while also balancing free-speech issues…. Under the new partnership, the companies promised to share among themselves “the most extreme and egregious terrorist images and videos we have removed from our services -- content most likely to violate all our respective companies’ content policies,” according to a joint announcement Monday evening. When such content is shared internally, the other participating companies will be notified and can use the digital fingerprints to quickly identify the same content on their own services to judge whether it violates their rules. If so, companies can delete the material and possibly disable the account, as appropriate. Most social media services explicitly do not allow content that supports violent action or illegal activities. Twitter, for example, says users “may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability or disease.” “We really are going after the most obvious serious content that is shared online - that is, the kind of recruitment videos and beheading videos more likely to be against all our content policies,” said Sally Aldous, a Facebook spokeswoman.

Federally Funded Tech Helps Police Seize Money from Prepaid Cards
Tenth Amendment Center - A new technology at least in part funded by the federal government has made it even quicker and easier for cops to grab money via asset forfeiture. The device is called ERAD, short for Electronic Recovery and Access to Data, and it has already been deployed in Oklahoma…. This device looks like a card reader at you local store. When you swipe the card, it reads the balance. It is geared toward accessing information on prepaid cards. What is the fuss? The assumption is that organized criminals are funding their activities, whether they be identity theft or drugs, through prepaid cards. The ERAD device allows a police officer to seize money on a prepaid card if he suspects its related to drug or other criminal activities…. The police addiction to seizing assets doesn’t stop at prepaid cards. Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) wanted much more from the ERAD technology. According to ACLU, who obtained the contract bid, DPS requested that the card reader be able to look up banking information such as a router number and account number. The police wanted the ability to be able to freeze and seize bank accounts as well.

These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor
The Consumerist - According to a coalition of consumer-interest organizations, the makers of two “smart” kids toys — the My Friend Cayla doll and the i-Que Intelligent Robot — are allegedly violating laws in the U.S. and overseas by collecting […] voice data without obtaining consent…. These particular toys — basically a “girl” and “boy” theme on the same core idea — both use voice recognition tech to “listen” to the kids that play with them. They connect via Bluetooth to a mobile phone app, usually belonging to a parent, and then from there access the internet in order to interact with kids and answer their questions. To accomplish that feat, the apps record and collect conversations between the toys and the kids, and use speech-to-text protocols to turn kids’ questions into searchable queries. When users first set up the app for their toy, they may be sharing data you don’t want shared. Cayla in particular asks for multiple pieces of personal information — the child’s name, their parents’ names, their school name, their hometown, among other questions — so it can converse more naturally. The app also allows for location setting, and both the Cayla and i-Que apps collect users’ IP addresses…. The Terms of Service for both toys say that they collect data in order to improve the way the toys work, and for “other services and products.” Researchers studied the way the toys work, the complaint continues, and it turns out that they send audio files to a third party: Nuance Communication’s servers at the company’s headquarters in Massachusetts. Nuance is a giant company best-known — to consumers, at least — for its Dragon-branded suite of speech-to-text dictation software. The company also has a significant presence in healthcare dictation, and is — like more large corporations than you’d think — a defense contractor that sells products, including “voice biometric solutions,” to military, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies.


9 ways to stimulate your lymphatic system and boost immune function
(NaturalHealth365) The truth is: a variety of factors – including poor diet, exposure to toxins, food allergies and sedentary lifestyle – can create an excess of waste and debris in the lymph, or lymphatic system fluid. The result is a sluggish or congested lymphatic system, which can set the stage for respiratory infections, ear and sinus infections, edema and swollen glands. Fortunately, the holistic techniques – which will be highlighted in this article – can help you unclog, stimulate and purify your lymph system naturally. Rebounding: Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system lacks a propulsive center, or pump. Instead, lymph is moved via the relaxation and contraction of muscles and joints. You can stimulate circulation and help propel lymph throughout the body by jumping on a trampoline for 10 to 30 minutes. Eat raw, organic foods: You can help clear a congested lymphatic system by raising your consumption of raw foods – particularly fruits and vegetables, which have naturally-occurring enzymes that help clear toxins and promote their exit from the body. Stay hydrated: As the lymphatic system is 95 percent water, it is important to avoid becoming dehydrated. Experts advise drinking half your weight, in ounces, of water a day. Remember, not all water is created equal – so (if possible) drink pure spring water or purified water to reduce your toxic burden. For added health benefits, use fresh (organic) lemon juice to flavor the water, and take advantage of this citrus fruit’s antibacterial, antifungal and antivirus benefits, along with its infection-fighting vitamin C content….

Hair color warning: The clear link between hair coloring chemicals and cancer
(NaturalHealth365) Some of the risks and side effects of the chemicals found in hair dyes include cancers of the kidney, bladder, and breast as well as blood-based cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. But, don’t expect your local salon to post any warning signs in the near future – for obvious reasons. The “official word” on hair color products that contain harsh chemicals is far from cautionary. However, one of the common chemicals used called p-Phenylenediamin (PPD) is documented as causing side effects like asthma, gastritis, severe dermatitis, eye irritation, vertigo, tremors, convulsions, kidney failure, and coma in those who are exposed to it. However, PPD isn’t the only risk. Some hair color products can contain as many as 5,000 chemicals, including substances like lead acetate and ammonia. The chemicals in hair color products also interact with the substances in human hair to produce harmful effects.

Pet News

The Lump You Never Want to Ignore
Dr. Becker - …cysts, tumors and other growths are fairly common in kitties, and while these masses are often harmless, some are definitely not. One such mass is the vaccine-associated sarcoma (VAS), also known as the feline injection-site sarcoma (FISS). A VAS is a type of malignant tumor in cats associated with two vaccines in particular, in addition to other types of vaccines, as well as injected medications. A sarcoma is a type of cancer caused by changes in connective tissue cells. According to the Pet Cancer Center, the tumors that occur in kitties after vaccination are usually fibrosarcoma, but can also be rhabdomyosarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, undifferentiated sarcoma, extraskeletal osteosarcoma and chondrosarcoma. Vaccine-associated sarcomas are typically more aggressive than non-vaccine sarcomas. A study of 100 cats diagnosed with VAS reported that 60 percent of kitties had high grade (highly aggressive) tumors, while only 6 percent had low grade (mildly aggressive) tumors. Feline vaccine-associated sarcomas are primarily triggered by either the feline rabies vaccine, or the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccine. However, VAS has also been linked to the administration of injectable Lufenuron (the active ingredient in some flea/tick and other pest control products), long-acting antibiotics and corticosteroids, microchips and locations on a cat's body where non-absorbable suture materials have been used.

Tuesday - December 6, 2016

Today In History:

1790 - The U.S. Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia.
1865 - The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment abolished slavery in the U.S.
1883 - "Ladies' Home Journal" was published for the first time.
1884 - The construction of the Washington Monument was completed by Army engineers. The project took 34 years.
1889 - Jefferson Davis died in New Orleans. He was the first and only president of the Confederate States of America.
1907 - In Monongah, WV, 361 people were killed in America's worst mine disaster.
1923 - U.S. President Calvin Coolidge became the first president to give a presidential address that was broadcast on radio.
1957 - AFL-CIO members voted to expel the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The Teamsters were readmitted in 1987.
1957 - America's first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit failed when the satellite blew up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, FL.
1973 - Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the vice-president of the United States after vice-president Spiro Agnew resigned.
1884 - Washington Monument completed
1985 - Congressional negotiators reached an agreement on a deficit-cutting proposal that later became the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law.
1989 - The worst mass shooting in Canadian history occurred when a man gunned down 14 women at the University of Montreal's school of engineering. The man then killed himself.
1990 - Iraq announced that it would release all its 2,000 foreign hostages.
1990 - U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle was enshrined in the Little League Museum's Hall of Excellence.
1992 - Germany's primary political parties agreed to tighten postwar asylum laws.
1994 - Orange County, CA, filed for bankruptcy protection due to investment losses of about $2 billion. The county is one of the richest in the U.S. and became the largest municipality to file for bankruptcy.
1998 - Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavour connected the first two building blocks of the international space station in the shuttle cargo bay.
2002 - Officials released the detailed plans for a $4.7 million memorial commemorating Princess Diana. The large oval fountain was planned to be constructed in London's Hyde Park.

World News

New report reveals spread of US war on Al-Qaeda to six new countries
RT - A White House report on efforts to target so-called extremists abroad shows a broadening use of war powers in the fight against Al-Qaeda, beyond military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The 60-page report shows deployments in over half a dozen new areas – including Somalia, Yemen, Jordan, Niger, Cameroon, Central Africa, the Red Sea, Somalia and South Sudan – with troops on the ground, regular air strikes, and surveillance efforts, all in the name of counterterrorism. In a presidential memorandum released on Monday, the White House said US military operations are grounded in the October 7, 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), by which Congress approved military operations and counterterrorism combat operations against Al-Qaeda. Since August 2014, those have expanded to include operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), which was “formerly known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq.”

US must stay in Iraq after ISIL defeat: Carter
PressTV - Addressing the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday, [US Secretary of Defense Ashton] Carter said terrorist groups were headed for a lasting defeat but the US-led coalition, which has been striking purported Daesh positions in Iraq since 2014, had to stay and keep training local security forces. “But there will still be much more to do after that to make sure that, once defeated, ISIL stays defeated,” the Pentagon chief said. “We'll need to continue to counter foreign fighters trying to escape and ISIL's attempts to relocate or reinvent itself. To do so, not only the United States but our coalition must endure and remain engaged militarily.” “In Iraq in particular, it will be necessary for the coalition to provide sustained assistance and carry on our work to train, equip and support local police, border guards and other forces to hold areas cleared from ISIL,” he added.... Carter did not say that how many of the foreign forces were going to stay in the Arab country and how long the operation was going to take. Currently, there are over 5,000 US forces stationed in Iraq.

Teen's murder-rape arrest reignites refugee debate
The Local - The German government pleaded for calm on Monday after the arrest of a teenage Afghan asylum seeker for the alleged rape and murder of a German student triggered fresh criticism of the country's liberal refugee policy. The anti-migrant Alternative for Germany party (AfD) blamed the crime on the "uncontrolled" influx of foreigners, while the head of a police union warned of the "dangers that always go along with massive immigration". But Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said the murder of the 19-year-old medical student should not be used to whip up hatred against all refugees.... The 17-year-old suspect, who arrived in Germany in 2015 as an unaccompanied minor, was arrested in the southwestern town of Freiburg on Friday after his DNA was found at the crime scene and he was identified on CCTV. The victim was found dead on a river bank on October 16th. An autopsy found that she had drowned. News of the arrest triggered strong reaction on social media with some people saying an ironic "thank you" to Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose open-door asylum policy brought a record number of migrants and refugees into Germany last year.... AfD co-chief Jörg Meuthen, whose party has made gains on rising discontent over the arrival of refugees, said: "We are shocked by this crime and at the same time we see that our warnings about the uncontrolled arrival of hundreds of thousands of young men from Islamic-patriarchal cultures are written off as populist." But others still echoed Vice Chancellor Gabriel, pointing out that violent crimes are committed by all types of people.
* Related: Recently Arrived Migrant Arrested After Rape and Murder of EU Official’s Teen Daughter

Mysterious "Thunderstorm Asthma" Now Strikes Kuwait – Hospitalizing Nearly A Thousand
Mac Slavo - A week or so ago, conspiracy theorists were scratching their heads as to why more than 8500 people in Australia would suddenly have to [be] hospitalized in a concentrated wave [of] allergies that left several people dead. Now, a similar event has been reported in Kuwait, where reports claim that thunderstorm activity has triggered a mass reaction and nearly a thousand people were taken to the hospital with severe asthma; again, several people died.... Whatever the explanation, the pattern is completely bizarre, especially since it has now happened in back to back cases, despite the fact that the phenomenon has been sparsely documented and extremely rare, to the point of being unheard of.... The following was translated from Arabic to English via Google, so there may be errors or poor interpretations. But at this point, there isn’t much else to go on. Via Hamrin News (a Kurdish-oriented news outlet published from Germany): "Undersecretary of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health, Dr. Khalid Al-Sahlawi said that the country’s hospitals and five deaths were recorded during the past two days due to emergency cases of patients with asthma were suffering from suffocation and breathing difficulties. He Sahlawi in a press statement Friday that the 844 emergency entered into the country’s hospitals during the past two days died, including five cases, three of which in Mubarak Hospital and two at the Amiri Hospital while entered the 26 cases in intensive care and 45 cases to the wings with out the rest of the cases after receiving the necessary treatment. He explained that the sections of accidents in hospitals declared a state of emergency and prepare to receive critical situations and make the necessary first aid and called for emergency contact numbers in case of any emergency through the 112 ambulance and 151 medical consultations."

U.S. News, Politics & Government

State Dept. releases 340 pages of deleted Clinton emails
Washington Examiner - State Department officials published 342 pages of Hillary Clinton's private emails Monday, the third such batch of records released since her defeat in the presidential election. FBI agents recovered the roughly 80 emails included in the pages from Clinton's private server during their year-long investigation of her treatment of classified information.... Many of the emails released Monday were nearly identical to emails already published by the State Department during the roughly eight months between May 2015 and February of this year that the agency posted from the troves of the emails Clinton designated as work-related and turned over in late 2014. But the emails presently streaming out of the State Department were not included in the original batch of 30,000 records. Clinton deleted these along with thousands of other emails she deemed personal in nature. Agents later identified them as official documents.

Judicial Watch Asks Court To Unseal Videos Of Depositions In Hillary Clinton Email Case
Zero Hedge - The conservative watchdog site, Judicial Watch, today announced it filed a motion seeking to unseal the audiovisual recordings of the depositions of top Clinton aides and State Department officials. The depositions come in connection with a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, deputy chief of staff to former Secretary Clinton (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)). Judicial Watch argues that “even though the election is over, the news media and the public continue to monitor and follow the proceedings in this case.” A coalition of 19 news media organizations is already on record with the Court supporting public access to the videos. The motion is opposed by the State Department, as well as Abedin, former State Department Director of Information Resource Management of the Executive Secretariat John Bentel (who took the Fifth Amendment in response to questions at his deposition); Cheryl D. Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff throughout her four years as secretary of state; and Bryan Pagliano, State Department Schedule C employee who has been reported to have serviced and maintained the server that hosted the “” system. Pagliano also asserted his Fifth Amendment right in refusing to answer questions in his deposition in this case.

Obama administration can no longer fight Obamacare lawsuit
Washington Examiner - The Obamacare lawsuit filed by House Republicans has been virtually assured victory, with the federal appeals court postponing further action on the lawsuit until after President-elect Trump is inaugurated. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has put the lawsuit on hold until Feb. 21, a month after Trump is scheduled to take office, meaning the Obama administration can no longer try to reverse a ruling upholding it. The lawsuit seeks to block the law's federal subsidies that help low-income Americans pay for out-of-pocket costs that come with their health plans. Last spring, U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled in favor of Republicans, who charged that the Obama administration unconstitutionally awarded the funds to insurers even though they hadn't been allocated by Congress. House Republicans had asked the appeals court last month to delay further proceedings until late February. The issue may become moot, if Congress votes to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act next year under the new administration.

Trump Announces Role For Ben Carson
The Federalist Papers - “Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,” Trump said in a statement released Monday. “We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities.”.... The retired doctor – and one-time presidential rival of Trump’s – is a relatively unorthodox pick for the agency that is charged with enforcing fair housing legislation and overseeing affordable housing programs, The New York Times reports. Carson has no managerial experience in that area.... Carson said he was honored to accept the opportunity to serve in Trump’s administration. “I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need,” he said.... Carson grew up in Detroit, Mich., in a home headed by a single mother. He told Fox News’s Neil Cavuto last month his upbringing made him well-suited for this particular role. “I grew up in the inner city and have spent a lot of time there, and have dealt with a lot of patients from that area and recognize that we cannot have a strong nation if we have weak inner cities,” Carson said.

Charlie Daniels on Trump Bypassing MSM with Social Media: Bring It On, Mr. President-Elect
CNS News - .... For the first time in the history of the world, a communications entity exists by which the un-doctored, un-rearranged, unbiased, riddled words of a president can be instantly communicated, bypassing all other mass media outlets. Cut to the chase, straight ahead transcripts of un-minced words and naked information, a president actually taking his case to the people without it being filtered through the auspices of an obviously slanted media. Christiane Amanpour's, meant to be disparaging statement, “He did an end run around us,” referring to President-elect Donald Trump's taking to cyberspace, instead of press conferences to let his opinion and policies be made public, to me, heralded a whole new way of news coming out of the White House, free of the snide remarks and on-camera raised eyebrows. Does this make the media irrelevant in presidential coverage? It absolutely does not. Does it somewhat “hold their feet to the fire” in presidential coverage? It absolutely does. From Ms. Amanpour's remarks she seems to accuse Trump of playing dirty pool. “How dare he” speak directly to the people who elected him without benefit of editing, analysis and slicing and dicing by the contingent of talking heads who pollute our television screens. Now, myself, I favor a “from the horse’s mouth” approach and think it's a wonderful way for the president to communicate with the public. I would encourage him to adopt Meerkat or Periscope and stream it live. Let the people hear, see and decide for themselves without straining it through the innuendo and obvious vocal moderations of some news anchor whose tacit intention it is to spin the meaning. So bring it on, Mr. President-elect. Take it to the people. Empower America to make up its own mind free from media influence.

California Speaker Rejects National Unity: ‘We Need to Fight’ Trump
Breitbart - Anthony Rendon, the Speaker of the California State Assembly, used the swearing-in ceremony of the California legislature on Monday to issue a call to arms against the federal government and President-elect Donald Trump. “Californians should be wary of the national calls for unity and healing,” Rendon (D-Paramount) said, according to the text of his remarks as prepared for delivery. “Unity must be separated from complicity. And we must be defiant whenever justice, fairness, and righteousness require. “Californians do not need healing. We need to fight,” he declared. Rendon called the Trump administration a “major existential threat” on a par with the Second World War. He also repeated false charges against Stephen K. Bannon, the Executive Chair of Breitbart News (on leave) who was appointed CEO of the Trump campaign in August and has been named incoming White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor. “White nationalists and anti-Semites have no business working in the White House,” Rendon said of Bannon. Citing a wartime speech by Winston Churchill, Rendon declared that Californians would defy the federal government’s efforts to enforce immigration law, and would protect the state’s “interests.”

San Francisco city officials to ask Kate Steinle’s family to dismiss lawsuit
KRON4 - The U.S. government and the City of San Francisco are asking Kate Steinle’s family to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit in a hearing on Friday.... The family of Kate Steinle filed the federal lawsuit in May of 2016 against former San Francisco sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement, and the Bureau of Land Management. The lawsuit seeks to hold the Bureau of Land Management, ICE, and former Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi accountable for providing “the means and opportunity for a repeat drug felon to secure a gun and kill Kate,” according to the complaint. Mirkarimi refused to hold Lopez-Sanchez for ICE, citing San Francisco’s sanctuary city law. Kate Steinle’s parents argue the gunman would have been kept in custody and deported if the city and federal officials had done their jobs.

Congressman Preps National Concealed Carry Bill For Next Congress
The Daily Caller - A Republican congressman is prepared to introduce national concealed carry legislation in the next Congress after Donald Trump is sworn in as president. North Carolina Republican Rep. Richard Hudson introduced a similar bill in February 2015, H.R. 986. Now known as the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, the bill, which The Daily Caller obtained exclusively, would allow a person with a concealed carry license from one state to carry a concealed handgun in any other state that permits its resident to concealed carry, as long as the person is not banned from possessing or transporting a firearm under federal law. The bill excludes carrying “a machine gun or destructive device,” and the person must follow “the restrictions of that state.” “Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and I plan to introduce legislation in the first days of the 115th Congress to guarantee that. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense bill to provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits,” Hudson wrote in a statement to The Daily Caller. “As a member of President-elect Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition, I look forward to working with the administration to advance policies that support and protect our right to keep and bear arms.”

Houston Cops Gifted Protective Vests for Rifle Rounds
Breitbart - For the first time, front-line Houston police officers are being issued ballistic vests capable of protecting them from rounds fired from high-velocity rifles. The Houston Police Department received a gift of 200 ballistic vests from the Houston Police Foundation and the 100 Club of Houston. An additional 400 vests will be donated from the organizations, the Houston Chronicle reported. The vests, described as super-tough exoskeletons, are designed to protect the line officers from ambush attacks like those that claimed the lives of 5 Dallas-area officers and officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this summer. “These vests will stop just about anything,” Tillman J Fertitta, Houston Police Foundation chairman and chairman and CEO of Landry’s Inc., told the Houston newspaper. “Remember, 95 percent of the budget of the Houston Police Department is labor. Only 5 percent is what they need to protect them in safety. … We’re able to give these police officers the right tools to do their job.”… Charlene Floyd, executive director of the Houston Police Foundation said the vests cost about $300 each. The foundation and the 100 Club plan to spend about $180,000 to provide the officers the extra protection the city cannot afford to buy.

Post-Election News

WHAT'S GOING ON? Trump Loses 16,648 Votes in Pennsylvania In the Last Week
The Gateway Pundit - The final certified results in Pennsylvania show Donald Trump winning the state with 2,961,658 votes, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won 2,913,903 votes. The difference is 47,755 votes. This is what is now reported after absentee ballots were counted as reported on Friday, December 2nd. Before the recounts on November 29th, the New York Times reported that Donald Trump was winning the state with 2,959,839 votes, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won 2,895,436 votes. The difference was 64,403 votes. This means that of the 20,736 absentee ballots cast, 18,467 went to Clinton— This is highly suspect. In addition, there were 41,120 more votes cast for President than for the Senate race in Pennsylvania when looking at the final tallies. This too is suspect.

Jill Stein’s Election Recount Picks Up Five Votes for Hillary Clinton In Deep Blue Philadelphia
Breitbart - The great Philadelphia recount has ended, and Hillary Clinton got five more votes than she had in her previous total. Donald Trump’s number stayed the same, as did the totals for Independent candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein after the City Commissioners Office recounted votes in 75 of Philadelphia’s more than 1600 voting divisions. The recount had been launched by 250-plus Philadelphia residents answering the call of Stein, who asked for three petitioners in each of Pennsylvania’s voting district to file recounts to assist in her attempts to get a statewide recount through a Commonwealth Court and then Federal Court lawsuit.

Man crashes chair over head of 69-year-old female Trump supporter in election argument, police say
The Observer (PA) - An argument over the recent presidential election in the lobby of a Donora high-rise apartment complex ended with a resident of the building hitting a 69-year-old woman over the head with a chair, police said. Matthew Pugh, 27, of Donora Towers, 685 Meldon Ave., was arrested Wednesday on a warrant obtained by Donora police on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment...Donora police Officer Keith Charlton said Pugh is a supporter of Hillary Clinton, who lost to Donald Trump in the presidential vote. The woman apparently made a comment either against Clinton or in support of Trump, sparking Pugh's attack, said Charlton.

Veteran News

VA Staff QUITS After Finding Dead Body; But It Gets MUCH Worse
The Federalist Papers - The horrific story about the veteran who died in an Oklahoma veterans’ administration facility has gotten even worse. It was discovered that his family actually asked the medical staff and senior medical staff to increase his medication so his bandages could be changed and was ignored. Recall that the 73-year-old Owen Reese Patterson went to the southeastern Oklahoma veterans’ facility with a wound. Maggots were discovered in the man’s wound while he was still alive. He died of sepsis on October 23rd. It turns out that he was not properly cared for, and he ended up dying because of it. Fox News reported: Four staff members have resigned from a southeastern Oklahoma veterans’ facility rather than face the possibility of getting fired, after a resident was found to have maggots in a wound. The agency said a physician’s assistant and three nurses, including the director of nursing, resigned after an investigation was conducted. Spokesman Shane Faulkner said all four chose to resign before the termination process began. The incident was reported to the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the district attorney for LeFlore and Latimer counties to determine if any charges should be filed.

VA Dentist Resigns After Possibly Infecting 600 Veterans with HIV, Hepatitis
Breitbart - Officials at Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center announced Friday the dentist, who placed veterans at risk by reusing his tools, resigned after initially moving to an administrative role, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.... The Tomah VA launched an investigation after a fill-in assistant reported the dentist had been using his own medical tools and would clean and reuse them, violating VA rules, according to CNN. “It was purposeful that he was violating VA regulations,” Brahm said. “During all of the orientation, he used our equipment. He used it appropriately, so it was very purposeful from what we found in our investigation that he knew exactly what he was doing, and preferred to use his own equipment against procedure.” The dentist worked at the facility and treated 592 patients who were notified they may have been exposed to the diseases. “The most important part is the actual risk of infection is low here — it is out of an abundance of caution that we are doing this,” Tomah VA spokesman Matthew Gowan said.... Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and House Speaker Paul Ryan, both of Wisconsin, called for the dentist’s resignation after it was announced he would remain in an administrative position.

Economy & Business

Trump hasn’t taken office yet, but he’s probably already had an impact on your finances
Circa - Donald Trump hasn’t even taken office yet, but the president-elect has probably had an impact on your money. n the weeks since the American presidential election, the U.S. stock market has rallied some 3 percent, global markets have seen some gains and your 401(k) is probably looking pretty good. The Dow Jones surged past the 19,000 milestone for the first time in its 120-year history in a post-election rally.

Energy & Environment

Oil Company Responds To US Army Corps’ Announcement, Will Continue To Proceed With Pipeline
Natural Blaze - Sunday afternoon, hundreds of thousands of “water protectors” celebrated around the world – and specifically at the Standing Rock protest camp near Cannon Ball, ND – as word spread of the US Army Corps’ decision to deny an easement to Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and Sunoco Logistics Partners (SLP) for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, said in a statement: “The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota.” Darcy added that the decision was based on the need to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing…. Finally, on Sunday, the US Army Corps of Engineers denied an easement for the pipeline to cross Lake Oahe, meaning the DAPL would need to be rerouted. Shortly after that declaration, however, ETP and SXL released their own statement, making it very clear that the companies have no intention of delaying or stopping construction…. ETP and SXL call the Army Corps’ decision a ‘purely political’ one and maintain that all legal requirements have been met in the past. Therefore, construction will continue. Because of this, water protectors are urged to continue camping out. A ‘victory’ might have been obtained yesterday, but the ‘fight’ is far from over.

Science & Technology

New court software is so awful it’s getting people wrongly arrested
Ars Technica - Most pieces of software don’t have the power to get someone arrested—but Tyler Technologies’ Odyssey Case Manager does. This is the case management software that runs on the computers of hundreds and perhaps even thousands of court clerks and judges in county courthouses across the US. (Federal courts use an entirely different system.).... Typically, when a judge makes a ruling—for example, issuing or rescinding a warrant—those words said by a judge in court are entered into Odyssey. That information is then relied upon by law enforcement officers to coordinate arrests and releases and to issue court summons. (Most other courts, even if they don’t use Odyssey, use a similar software system from another vendor.) But, just across the bay from San Francisco, one of Alameda County's deputy public defenders, Jeff Chorney, says that since the county switched from a decades-old computer system to Odyssey in August, dozens of defendants have been wrongly arrested or jailed. Others have even been forced to register as sex offenders unnecessarily. “I understand that with every piece of technology, bugs have to be worked out,” he said, practically exasperated. “But we're not talking about whether people are getting their paychecks on time. We're talking about people being locked in cages, that's what jail is. It's taking a person and locking them in a cage.” Odyssey is used not only in Alameda County and additionally in 25 of California’s 58 county courts, but also in counties nationwide , from Miami-Dade County, Florida, to Kane County, Illinois. Lawyers in at least three counties in as many states have reported problems nearly identical to Alameda's and have begun formal legal proceedings as a result.


Hormone Therapy After Menopause Damages Kidneys
Marco Torres - Estrogen treatment after menopause increases the risk of new kidney damage, according to a study by Tulane University School of Medicine researchers published in the American Journal of Physiology--Renal Physiology…. The research team studied three groups of middle-aged rats without ovaries, which simulates the low estrogen environment of menopause. One group ("short-term") was given a short course of estrogen. A second group ("long-term") received a longer regimen of estrogen. The estrogen groups were compared to a control group that did not receive hormones. Researchers found that after the hormone treatments, the long-term group had more damage to the tiny tubes that collect and carry urine than the short-term and control groups. The rate at which the kidneys filtered blood decreased, and creatinine levels and protein in the urine (markers of impaired kidney function) increased in the rats receiving long-term estrogen. The long-term group showed more kidney damage in each marker than the short-term or control groups…. While many may feel stuck between harmful pharmaceuticals and the harsh realities of non-medicated menopause, natural alternatives are available…. If you do use progesterone cream, do your own research and make sure you have a high quality brand such as Life Choice. They formulated a cream with natural ingredients such as red clover leaf, pomegranate and chastetree berry, make a great alternative for natural hormone balance. For those who prefer capsules to creams, there are products like Balanced Female capsules that contain these ingredients, plus many more, such as black cohosh root, false licorice root, and dong quai root.

5 Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar My Grandmother Taught Me
Natural News Blogs - These remedies have been tried and tested in our family for generations and I am now teaching my own children to discover the benefits of apple cider vinegar…. Restoring Damaged Teeth: Apple cider vinegar has been known to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. Perhaps more remarkable, is that the good doctor that taught me also had evidence that apple cider vinegar could restore damaged and rotten teeth to a near-new condition. …most people would begin to see results at around the 3-month mark. The rule of thumb suggested by most natural health practitioners is a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces or one glass of water twice daily. Getting Rid of Psoriasis: Apple cider vinegar helps restore the pH balance of your body. This, in turn, has an effect on the skin as well as all of your organs in the body. A body in good health has a natural ph balance. Foods like red meat, potato chips and ice cream all create an acidic environment in the body. This acidic environment is what enables disease conditions to develop. It may seem counterintuitive but apple cider vinegar, being and acid food, has the effect of increasing the body’s alkalinity. When this alkaline in balance is addressed the body naturally and readily begins to heal itself. Dealing with Dandruff: The usual rule of thumb is to mix a quarter of a cup of apple cider vinegar with the same amount of water. One easy application is to put the mixture into a spray bottle. … wrap a towel around ahead and leave them next to him for about 15 minutes and then go and have a shower to wash it off we only needed to do this twice a week and dandruff would clear up very quickly. Losing Weight: It is said that the acid in apples, and especially apple cider vinegar, helps with the digestion of which proteins. These proteins are the building blocks for many of our hormones. In particular, the growth hormones. These growth hormones are said to be especially important in breaking down fat cells…

Pet News

Veteran With Service Dog Struggled To Find A Job — Until This Store Hired Them Both
The Dodo - Judy Dechert Rose, a customer at Lowe's in Abilene, Texas, posted the image online this week with a caption describing the heartwarming story behind it. "This is a retired vet who struggled to get a job because he needs his service dog! Lowes hired them BOTH!!" The Dodo reached out to the store's human resource manager, Jay Fellers, who identified the employee and pup as retired Air Force vet Clay Luthy and his dog Charlotte. When Luthy interviewed for the position a few months ago, his faithful companion was by his side then, too. "We didn't realize he was having a difficult time finding a job," said Fellers. "He applied here and went through a normal interview process, and brought Charlotte in as part of the interview. He told us about Charlotte, and how she supports him. He ended up being our top candidate." Although some other employers apparently thought that hiring Luthy would be problematic because of his service dog, this store has found having them both on staff to be quite the opposite. "If someone is a good worker, it shouldn't matter if they have a service dog. But in our case, it's been an absolute benefit to have Charlotte around," said Fellers. "She's a great hit with the folks who come around our store, especially the kids. Our customers really love and appreciate her. It's been a good time having them as part of our staff." This isn't the first time Lowe's has made headlines for welcoming a new employees service dog onboard — and we hope more and more stores will soon follow suit.

Monday - December 5, 2016

Today In History:

1776 - In Williamsburg, VA, at the College of William and Mary the first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized.
1797 - Napoleon Bonaparte arrived in Paris to command forces for the invasion of England.
1812 - Napoleon Bonaparte left his army as they were retreating from Russia.
1848 - U.S. President Polk triggered the Gold Rush of '49 by confirming the fact that gold had been discovered in California.
1908 - At the University of Pittsburgh, numerals were first used on football uniforms worn by college football players.
1932 - German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa making it possible for him to travel to the U.S.
1933 - Prohibition came to an end when Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
1934 - The Soviet Union executed 66 people charged with plotting against Joseph Stalin's government.
1935 - In Montebello, CA, the first commercial hydroponics operation was established.
1936 - The Soviet Union adopted a new Constitution under a Supreme Council.
1944 - During World War II, Allied troops took Ravenna, Italy.
1945 - The so-called "Lost Squadron" disappeared. The five U.S. Navy Avenger bombers carrying 14 Navy flyers began a training mission at the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station. They were never heard from again.
1983 - In west Beirut, Lebanon, more than a dozen people were killed when a car bomb shattered a nine-story apartment building.
1984 - Iran's official news agency quoted the hijackers of a Kuwaiti jetliner parked at Tehran airport as saying they would blow up the plane unless Kuwait released 14 imprisoned extremists.
1998 - James P. Hoffa became the head of the Teamsters union, 23 years after his father was the head. His father disappeared and was presumed dead.
2010 - NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft became the longest-operating spacecraft ever sent to Mars. It entered orbit around Mars on Oct. 23, 2001.
2014 - NASA's Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) debuted when it was launched for a four hour test flight. It landed on target in the Pacific Ocean.

World News

Leaked Files Show U.S. Armed And Trained Both Sides of War in Yemen
The AntiMedia - The documents were produced and exchanged during Hillary Clinton’s term as Secretary of State, as well as during the first two years of John Kerry’s tenure, ending just as the Yemen war broke out.... While the partnership between Saudi Arabia and the United States in Yemen has been well-documented, direct U.S. efforts in Yemen are often neglected. In one of the documents leaked by WikiLeaks, U.S. Colonel Randolph Rosin told Major General Ahmed Ali al-Ashwal, the General Chief of Staff for the Yemeni Armed Forces from April 2006 to December 2014, that he looked “forward to building strong, fruitful, and mutually beneficial relations between our armed forces.”.... diplomatic cables also released by WikiLeaks showed president of Yemen between 1990 and 2012 Ali Abdullah Saleh, “secretly [offering] US forces unrestricted access to his territory to conduct unilateral strikes against” al-Qaeda-aligned “terrorist targets,” demonstrating the close relationship between Saleh and the U.S. government. Later, Selah was also accused of being responsible for helping arm Houthi rebels. Additionally, a United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) document from November 2012 outlining the course of action of the Yemeni weapons and training plan.... The military material listed in this document includes armored Humvees, machine guns, handguns, grenades, and ammunition, among other items.... In other words, whether the Barack Obama administration is aware of it or not, the same weaponry and training provided to the Yemeni government through the years appear to have fallen into the hands of militants whose main enemy is a close U.S. ally — Saudi Arabia.

Italian PM Matteo Renzi to resign in wake of referendum defeat
Sky News - Mr Renzi had staked his future on a "Yes" vote, vowing to quit if voters rejected his plans to reduce the role of the country's Senate and take back powers from regional authorities.... early results suggested he may have lost by as much as 20 points. Opposition parties denounced the proposed changes as dangerous for democracy because they would have gotten rid of important checks and balances on executive power.... Spearheaded by the populist Five Star Movement, the biggest rival to Mr Renzi's Democratic party, the "No" campaign took advantage of the Mr Renzi's declining popularity, a struggling economy and problems caused by tens of thousands of migrants arriving from Africa. The vote is a major victory for Five Star leader Beppe Grillo.... But it is another blow to the European Union, which is struggling to overcome a number of crises and was keen for Mr Renzi to continue his reform drive. Turbulence on the markets also looks inevitable. Some analysts fear a deeper crisis of investor confidence that could derail a rescue scheme for Italy's most indebted banks, triggering a wider financial crisis across the eurozone.

Freedom Party's Hofer Defeated By Greens' Van der Bellen In Austria's Presidential Election
Zero Hedge - Austria voted against the anti-immigrant, "far right" Freedom Party candidate Hofer as head of state in a presidential election race which became the latest test of rising anti-establishment forces in Europe after the election of Donald Trump as US president. Norbert Hofer, the Freedom party candidate, won 46.7% of the vote in Sunday’s contest according to early results and projections. His opponent Alexander Van der Bellen, a Green politician who ran as an independent, won 53.3%. A mapped breakdown shows that most of Austria voted for Hofer, however it was the big cities that again came to Van der Bellen's aid.... The result will come as a relief for Europe’s mainstream political leaders, suggesting support for political disruption make have reached a limit following Mr Trump’s election and the UK vote to leave the EU.... Don't count the Freedom Party out yet though: according to opinion polls, Freedom party could become Austria’s largest political party after parliamentary elections due by September 2018 but expected to be called early. That could see the party’s leader Heinz-Christian Strache becoming the country’s next chancellor.

Venezuela to issue larger bill as currency continues to melt
Associated Press - The central bank said in a statement Saturday that six new bills ranging from 500 to 20,000 Bolivars will begin circulating on Dec. 15. Currently the largest-denominated bill is 100 bolivars, while a 2-liter soft drink bottle can cost 25 times that amount. The issuing of new bills comes as Venezuela is bordering on economic collapse. The currency lost 67 percent of its value on the black market last month, falling to 4,587 bolivars per U.S. dollar - the steepest monthly plunge ever, according to data by Dolar Today, which tracks the black market rate by monitoring transactions with the currency at foreign exchange houses across the border in Colombia. Inflation meanwhile is soaring and expected to surpass four digits next year, according to the International Monetary Fund. Venezuela's government hasn't published price data since 2015.

Putin: Trump is smart, will soon be aware of different level of responsibility (Video)
RT - “The fact that Trump managed to achieve success in business, suggests that he is a smart man,” Putin said in an interview with Russia’s NTV channel. “And as he is smart, that means he will fully and quite quickly be aware of a different level of responsibility. We assume that he will be acting this way,” he added. Vladimir Putin also touched upon the current geopolitical situation, saying that he could see it changing, as attempts to establish a unipolar world have failed. “I believe that it is not a secret, everyone can see, that many of our partners prefer to refer to the principles of the international law, because the balance of power in the world is gradually being restored,” he said. “But this is inevitable! Attempts to create a unipolar world have not succeeded. We are living in a different dimension. Russia has always held this point of view – that, while protecting our national interests, we must respect the interests of other countries. So, this is the way we establish relations with other countries.”

U.S. News, Politics & Government

House Quietly Passes Bill Targeting "Russian Propaganda" Websites
Zero Hedge - On November 30, one week after the Washington Post launched its witch hunt against "Russian propaganda fake news", with 390 votes for, the House quietly passed "H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017", sponsored by California Republican Devin Nunes (whose third largest donor in 2016 is Google parent Alphabet, Inc), a bill which deals with a number of intelligence-related issues, including Russian propaganda, or what the government calls propaganda, and hints at a potential crackdown on "offenders." A quick skim of the bill reveals "Title V—Matters relating to foreign countries", whose Section 501 calls for the government to "counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.” The section lists the following definitions of media manipulation: Establishment or funding of a front group, Covert broadcasting, Media manipulation, Disinformation and forgeries, Funding agents of influence, Incitement and offensive counterintelligence, Assassinations,[and] Terrorist acts. As ActivistPost correctly notes, it is easy to see how this law, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, could be used to target, threaten, or eliminate so-called “fake news” websites, a list which has been used to arbitrarily define any website, or blog, that does not share the mainstream media's proclivity to serve as the Public Relations arm of a given administration.

Bergdahl asks Obama to pardon him before Trump takes office
Washington Examiner - Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who deserted his Army outpost and was taken prisoner by the Taliban, has asked President Obama to pardon him before leaving the White House next month, according to a report Friday evening.... Bergdahl's lead defense lawyer, Eugene Fidell, requested a pre-emptive pardon that would preclude his client's trial on desertion and misbehavior charges. His trial is scheduled to start April 18, 2017. Fidell said if the case has not been approved by Inauguration Day, he will submit a motion to have it dismissed.

Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees aided by Harry Reid's filibuster 'nuclear option'
Washington Times - It’s unlikely Mr. Reid had a President Trump in mind when he pulled the so-called “nuclear option” trigger three years ago, changing Senate rules to eviscerate the use of a filibuster to block presidential nominees. Set up to help President Obama’s picks overcome GOP opposition, those same rules now will clear the path for Sen. Jeff Sessions to become the new attorney general, Rep. Tom Price to head Health and Human Services and two billionaires to lead the Treasury and Commerce departments. Liberal interest groups are pleading with Democrats to fight the nominees, even though there’s not a lot they can do without the filibuster and against a unified GOP.... Democrats had been confident of keeping control of the White House with Hillary Clinton and of taking back control of the Senate. Mr. Reid, who is retiring at the end of this year, even encouraged Democrats to consider expanding his use of the nuclear option to eliminate the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees.... Now it’s the GOP that is considering that step, with Mr. Trump poised to make a Supreme Court pick and Democrats’ incoming leader, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, threatening a filibuster.

Judge Jeanine Compares Trump To Reagan On Carrier Deal: Leaders Get Things Done (Video)
The Gateway Pundit - [Judge Jeanine] Pirro compared Trump’s ability to cut such a deal before even being sworn-in to how President Ronald Reagan worked to free more than 50 Americans held hostage in Iran– something his predecessor, Jimmy Carter, could not accomplish in their 444 days in captivity, she noted. She criticized President Obama for telling a steelworker, in a discussion on the topic of keeping jobs in America, that instead of preventing outsourcing, workers should learn more contemporary skills and adapt to new technology like clean energy. Regarding other critics of Trump’s plan to keep companies from moving operations out of the country, she noted that many illegal immigrants are offered incentives to come to America, while it is an unpopular idea to treat American jobs the same way: “We do all kinds of generous things for illegal's [and] refugees– We educate them, medicate them, house them, give them food stamps– we even give them ObamaCare, although the president said it wouldn’t cover them… Where’s our incentive?” “You’re watching in real-time a president-elect who is not all talk, a leader who is going to show us real hope and change… You’re watching Ronald Reagan,” Pirro said.

Obama TV: Is Obama Planning A “Fake News” Outlet Of His Own?
Zero Hedge - After spending the past month blaming Hillary’s loss on the rampant spread of “fake news,” because choosing a failed candidate subject to numerous active federal criminal investigations and/or Obama’s failed policies couldn’t possibly be to blame, Mic is reporting that Obama is contemplating starting a propaganda machine media company of his own after leaving the White House…. According to another source, Obama met privately with Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in Lima, Peru, on the sidelines of the recent APEC summit to discuss the matter…. Of course, if true an Obama media company would threaten a long-standing tradition of former Presidents withholding criticism of their successors.

Democrats Against Funding Investigation of Aborted Baby Parts Trafficking: ‘Fake Committee’ Will Fuel ‘Fake News’
CNS News - During House floor debate Thursday over providing additional funding to the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, which is looking into the ethics of the medical practices of abortion service providers and the business practices of the procurement organizations who sell baby body parts, Reps. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) called the committee “fake” and claimed it would fuel “fake news.” Moore opened her argument saying, “We’ve heard so much about fake news lately, and now we are being asked for taxpayer funding for fake congressional committees.” “The fake committee’s only goal is to create Orwellian unfacts,” she claimed.... Deutch argued that Republicans know the panel’s investigation “will feed fake news sites on the Internet.... “This panel serves no true investigatory purpose. It is a political tool. It is a disgrace,” he concluded. However, Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) countered the claims that the panel was “useless” and “fake”.... She pointed out the panel’s discovery that “the University of New Mexico was violating their state anatomical gift act by receiving tissue from late-term abortion clinics,” which is currently being investigated. “The panel discovered that a university in Ohio was trafficking in baby body parts,” Love added, “an illegal act under Ohio state law.” Love said that the panel also learned “StemExpress and certain abortion clinics were violating HIPAA privacy rights of vulnerable women for the sole purpose of increasing and harvesting fetal tissue to make money.” “The panel discovered that an abortion clinic in Arkansas violated state law when it sent tissue to StemExpress,” she continued.... The House voted Thursday - 234 to 181 along party lines - to provide the $800,000 in additional funding to the panel.

Feds halt new citizenship approvals after spotting hole in background checks
Washington Times - The government suspended naturalization ceremonies and banned officers from approving any new applications for citizenship earlier this week after realizing its background check system was broken and ineligible people may have been slipping through, a key congressman revealed Friday. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, whose office was tipped off to the monumental error, said he was stunned by the problem — and also by the fact that the administration never bothered to inform him of it. In the internal email Mr. Goodlatte obtained, the associate director at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ordered all officers “not to approve or oath any naturalization cases in ELIS,” referring to the Electronic Immigration System that’s the case management system for processing applications. “At this point we are not confident that proper FBI Name Checks have been run on certain ELIS cases. At this point we are uncertain of the scope of the problem,” Daniel M. Renaud, the associate director, said in the email. FBI name checks are a critical part of the application process, giving immigration officers a look at potential criminal histories or other national security red flags that would make someone ineligible for citizenship.

Texas Gov: Sanctuary Campuses Will Lose State Funding
The Daily Caller - Texas Gov. Greg Abbot says the state will cut off funding to any public school that declares itself a “sanctuary campus” for illegal immigrants. Abbot made the announcement Thursday via Twitter, in response to a petition effort in the state by students seeking to have their universities protect illegal immigrants. Abbott made it clear such a move wouldn’t fly in Texas.... It isn’t clear how much funding Abbott could personally cut off, without obtaining support from the state legislature. Abbott previously pledged to ban sanctuary cities in Texas, and claims he has cut some state funding to them, but The Dallas Morning News disputes that claim, saying state money has yet to be truly cut off. If Abbott needs the legislature’s backing, he will have to wait until the upcoming 2017 legislative session.

College Brings Back U.S. Flag After Mass Denunciations
The Daily Caller - The announcement reverses a decision to remove the flag that made the school a subject of protest and ridicule for the past two weeks. Hampshire initially placed its on-campus flag at half staff following President-elect Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the election. But several student activists agitated for the flag to be removed entirely, saying it represented oppressive forces like the police and the U.S. military. Then, the night before Veterans Day, an unknown person took down the flag and burned it. The school put another flag up for Veterans Day, but a few days later announced it was taking the flag down indefinitely.... The school was sharply criticized by the mayor of Amherst, and a large crowd of military veterans showed up to publicly protest. Initially, the school tried to limit the controversy by barring protesters from campus and telling the press not to speak with its students. Now, though, the school has reversed course entirely, and announced that it will fly the flag at full-staff like it did before the election. After making the announcement, Lash complained about the hostility he had encountered from people angry over the school’s removal of the flag. “I’ve received many e-mails, a lot of them extremely unpleasant,” Lash told The Boston Globe. “Our phone lines have been clogged with people calling to express their anger. People can disagree with us, but we’ve also received very explicit threats.” Lash also praised the entire controversy as a valuable lesson in the First Amendment.

Post-Election News

Green Party Drops Statewide Pennsylvania Recount
CBS News - The decision came two days before a court hearing was scheduled in the case. Saturday’s court filing to withdraw the case said the Green Party-backed voters who filed the case “are regular citizens of ordinary means” and cannot afford the $1 million bond ordered by the court by 5 p.m. Monday. However, Green Party-backed efforts to force recounts and analyze election software in scattered precincts were continuing.... Stein had said the purpose of Pennsylvania’s recount was to ensure “our votes are safe and secure,” considering hackers’ probing of election targets in other states and hackers’ accessing of the emails of the Democratic National Committee and several Clinton staffers. U.S. security officials have said they believe Russian hackers orchestrated the email hacks, something Russia has denied. Stein’s lawyers, however, had offered no evidence of hacking in Pennsylvania’s election. They sought unsuccessfully in recent days to get various counties to allow a forensic examination of their election system software. Lawyers for Trump and the state Republican Party argued there was no evidence, or even an allegation, that tampering with Pennsylvania’s voting systems had occurred. Further, Pennsylvania law does not allow a court-ordered recount, they argued, and a lawyer for the Green Party had acknowledged that the effort was without precedent in Pennsylvania.

UPDATE: Jill Stein says she'll 'escalate' Pennsylvania recount case after earlier plans to drop it
CNN - Stein on Saturday cited a major cost placed on voters due to a state court ruling that says the voters requesting the recount must pay a $1 million bond. But shortly after midnight Sunday Stein tweeted about plans to continue on the recount bid…. A statement from the Stein campaign shortly after said it will file a lawsuit in federal court Monday seeking a statewide recount. "Over the past several days, it has become clear that the barriers to verifying the vote in Pennsylvania are so pervasive and that the state court system is so ill-equipped to address this problem that we must seek federal court intervention," said Jonathan Abady, lead counsel to the Stein recount efforts. "As a result, on Monday the Stein campaign will escalate our campaign in Pennsylvania and file for emergency relief in federal court, demanding a statewide recount on constitutional grounds.”… Stein campaign spokeswoman Jordan Brueckner later clarified Saturday that while petitioners withdrew their case for a statewide recount, recounts in hundreds of precincts in some Pennsylvania counties -- including Philadelphia, Allegheny and Lehigh -- will continue. The campaign is also still pushing for forensic audits of voting machine software in the state.

Day 2 of Jill Stein's Wisconsin recount nets Donald Trump 3 additional votes
The Duran - The Wisconsin recount vote is not turning out quite how Jill Stein, Hillary Clinton or George Soros had hoped. With day 2 now in the books, Donald Trump has moved ahead by a three more additional votes. After a second day of wasting everyone’s time and money, Wisconsin now has Trump ahead by an additional three votes. reports on Stein’s massive recount failure… "The candidates each lost and gained a smattering of votes in towns, cities, and villages that are reporting, so any losses were basically cancelled out.... Here’s what the returns show so far: Day 2 totals - Clinton gained 89 votes but lost 86 for a net gain of 3 votes. Trump gained 98 votes but lost 92 for a net gain of 6 votes.".... That means that Trump inched ahead by a grand total of 3 votes in a recount expected to cost more than $3.5 million.

Energy & Environment

Dakota Access Pipeline Permit Denied
Common Dreams - In a long-awaited victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has denied a permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline, tribal leadership announced late Sunday. The agency will not allow the pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a reservoir near the tribal reservation, without a full environmental impact assessment that examines alternative routes for the pipeline. While acknowledging that it may only end up being a temporary pause in pipeline construction, many see it as an incredible victory for the water protectors, who have faced water cannons, mace, rubber bullets, mass arrests, and more in their months-long struggle to protect their drinking water and treaty land. Other activists expressed suspicion and caution, as the U.S. government has historically betrayed its promises to Native Americans, and warned that the water protectors must remain vigilant. Yet many expressed joy and relief, and celebrated the victory.... In a statement, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe also expressed gratitude for the decision: Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahu for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes. We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.

Thousands of Veterans Arrive at Standing Rock to Act as 'Human Shields' for Water Protectors
EcoWatch - The "Veterans Stand for Standing Rock" action has garnered widespread support, with the National Nurses United (NNU) union sending $50,000 to fund their expenses and a popular fundraiser surpassing $1,000,000 Sunday morning. The 2,000 veterans, which include Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), plan to act as an unarmed militia and peaceful human shields to protect the Indigenous activists from police brutality. "I signed up to serve my country and my people and I did that overseas," Indigenous U.S. Navy veteran Brandee Paisano told the CBC. "I didn't think I'd have to do it here, on this land, so here I am. This is what I need to be doing." The "deployment" is officially planned for Dec. 4-7, but veterans who have arrived early have already taken their stand in front of the militarized police blockade stopping traffic into and out of the camp… The "Veterans Stand for Standing Rock" action has garnered widespread support, with the National Nurses United (NNU) union sending $50,000 to fund their expenses and a popular fundraiser surpassing $1,000,000 Sunday morning. "We salute the brave veterans who are standing up for the rights of the water protectors, and all of us who support this critical defense of the First Amendment right to assemble and protest without facing brutal and unwarranted attacks," said NNU co-president Jean Ross.

LAME DUCK: Obama Rushing Out Tons Of Last Minute Environmental Regulations
The Gateway Pundit - The Obama administration is introducing a last-minute barrage of costly environmental regulation pronouncements that Republicans have vowed to repeal as soon as possible after Donald Trump’s January 20 presidential inauguration. The recent outpouring adds to the administration’s dubious record of producing more than 600 major regulations — those estimated to cost more than $100 million each — during its tenure, according to a study by the American Action Forum, a Washington-based think tank. Case in point: an announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency, one of the administration’s most energetic rule-makers, on Wednesday that after lengthy study, it would push ahead with tougher greenhouse gas emission standards, equivalent to 54.1 miles per gallon fuel efficiency, for passenger cars and light trucks for the years 2022-2025. EPA says the standards will prevent emission of some 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases over the vehicles’ life span. Technically speaking, EPA’s administrator has until April 18, 2017, to make a so-called “final determination” about the rules — but is doing it sooner, the agency says, for reasons of “long-term regulatory certainty and stability.” Translation: EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is certain to be out of the job by then, and the ruling will likely hit a brick wall in a much more climate-skeptical Trump administration.

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

“Under Contract” Farm Freedom Docu to Show in D.C. #StandWithFarmers (Video)
Natural Blaze - Corporations are ravaging the land, crops and seed supply – they are running the vestige of real farmers out of America…. One of these under-the-radar problems is…contracts. AKA, the “Walmart method” of absolutely smashing the little guys after having milked them for all their labor and value. Did you know that only 3% of poultry farms are entirely independent and that contract farmers raise 97% of the chicken consumed in the United States? But they face unfair challenges and hidden risks under the production contracts that are commonly offered by large corporate firms today. That’s what Under Contract is about. It looks like a riveting film, sure to raise consciousness and shine a light in a dark place…. Did you know that only 3% of poultry farms are entirely independent and that contract farmers raise 97% of the chicken consumed in the United States? But they face unfair challenges and hidden risks under the production contracts that are commonly offered by large corporate firms today. That’s what Under Contract is about. It looks like a riveting film, sure to raise consciousness and shine a light in a dark place…. On Monday, December 5, join Congresswoman and Maine farmer Chellie Pingree (D-ME) [she is an organic farmer herself], the National Farmers Union, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA for a film and panel discussion examining the struggles of contract farmers and the opportunity to reform this unjust system via the USDA’s “Farmer Fair Practices” rules, which will soon be available for public comment and review. RSVP HERE


Forced Psychiatric Treatments Expanded under Fast Track Bill Before Senate - Action Alert
Health Impact News - On November 30th, the House passed HR 34, a 996-page bill, known as the 21st Century Cures Act. They are now rushing to get it introduced and passed by the Senate on Monday, December 5th, at 5:30 EST. This bill must be defeated because it contains some very dangerous provisions relating to psychiatric treatments. This is an urgent call to action as we must let our Senators know that they need to oppose it…. It drastically broadens the criteria for who qualifies for forced psychiatric treatment. For example, if you are labeled mentally ill, you can be court-ordered for psychiatric treatment just because you are “substantially unlikely to voluntarily participate in treatment.” All states already have their own laws regarding involuntary treatment and so there is no need for Federal legislation, especially with such dangerously broad language. It undermines FDA regulations that are essential for making sure medical and drug research is conducted ethically, scientifically and safely. Meaning it could cost lives. Additionally, this 996-page bill is being fast-tracked through as it is being introduced with no time for the Senators to fully study and understand the broad implications of it.

Experimental Vaccines Unleashed on Public? Lame Duck Congress Fast Tracking Bill- Action Alert
Health Impact News - Just when you thought you could start to prepare for your holiday season, a lame duck Congress is about to “Scrooge” the public over vaccines and give a huge holiday bonus to drug companies. Your action is urgently needed to email and fax your two US Senators over the weekend and call them on Monday to demand the removal of three sections (3091, 3092 and 3093) from a “Christmas Tree Bill” called The 21st Century Cures Act, HR 34 that was just passed by the US House of Representatives…. “The 21st Century Cures Act is a drug company stockholder’s dream and a consumer’s worst nightmare,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, NVIC Co-founder and President. “Making experimental drugs quickly available for the sick and dying, who voluntarily choose to use them, is one thing but Congress should not be greasing the skids to license experimental vaccines that government will recommend and legally require healthy children and adults to use. It is a prescription for disaster.”

How Lingzhi Mushrooms (Reishi) Combats Aging, Disease and Cancer
Green Med Info - Lingzhi mushrooms has literally hundreds of unique bio-active compounds that have life extending properties, stimulates brain neurons, searches out and destroys cancer cells and prevents the development of new fat cells in obese individuals.[5] In terms of life span extension it has been shown to increase life in studies by 9% to more than 20% in animal studies…. While mushrooms such as shitake, maitake, and cordyceps, all share similar immune boosting properties, Red Reishi has also the longest history and has been known to be effective in the treatment of the widest range of health conditions. Unlike other mushrooms, only Lingzhi has many important compounds such as triterpenes (ganoderic acid) that gives them a unique characteristic of being bitter in taste…. Out of the functional compounds found thus far in Lingzhi, the largest group is terpenes, of which triterpenes are a derivative. You know that aroma from pine trees? From clove? Or anise, oregano, menthol, cinnamon, and citrus? That largely comes from terpenes (more commonly referred to as essential oils). Terpenes are considered the strongest anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor compounds found in nature. Numerous triterpenoids have been shown to possess rapid acetylcholine action, our brain’s main neurotransmitter. Oral administration of Lingzhi show triterpenes appearing in blood plasma in high quantities in under 20 minutes from ingestion…. Regular consumption of Lingzhi mushrooms can enhance our body's immune system and improve blood circulation, thus improving better health conditions. Generally, Lingzhi is recommended as an adaptogen, immune modulator, and a general tonic. These mushrooms are also used to help treat anxiety, high blood pressure, hepatitis, bronchitis, insomnia, and asthma.

What Will Happen In Your Body If You Consume This Pineapple Turmeric Smoothies
The health benefits of pineapple and the healing properties of turmeric are well known for all of us. But do you know you can combine these two powerful ingredients too? Here is a smoothies recipe you should try. Ingredients: 1 cup diced pineapple, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, half a peeled lime, 1 tablespoon shredded coconut, 1 cup coconut water, Little black pepper ( To improve the absorption of curcumin in turmeric)… Turmeric has great antioxidant and antibacterial properties, it has been proven to be able to help rebuild the immune system. Pineapple is a good source of vitamin C, which is essential to fight off viruses. This drink is also helpful for loosening mucus and relieving coughs that caused by colds…. According to researches, a cup of pineapple can provide 73% of your body requirement for manganese, which is one of the most important nutrients to maintain and build strong bones. Turmeric is a natural painkiller thanks to the curcumin, which is said that may work just as well as ibuprofen for pain relief in arthritis patients. Pineapple also has good anti-inflammatory properties, makes it as an effective agent to alleviate arthritis and joint pain. Bromelain in pineapple helps regulate the secretions in the pancreas to improve digestion. Turmeric is believed to help in digestion as it helps in releasing of bile, which is essential for a healthy digestive system. Turmeric works well to relieve depression, anxiety and may protect against the effects of sleep deprivation.


Video: Hilarious Trump Christmas Parody “It’s The Most Wonderful Time in 8 Years”
Truth Seeker - Goodbye Obama! Songwriter Dana Kamide performs vocals on This wonderful, hilarious Christmas song parody which says it all! - - Based on the song Andy Williams made popular in the 60's... This version also parodies the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" When George Baily begs God (through his guardian angel Clarence) to let him live again... This time he begs God to help Donald Trump "Make America Great Again" Hillary makes an appearance as the Abominable Snowman in the end... Singer, songwriter and Entertainer Dana Kamide wrote the lyrics and performed the lead vocals and produced the video. Democrats got Shellacked in last 3 elections. Yet Obama and the media still trying to make up stories why Donald Trump was elected instead of admit that for the last 8-10 years their policies have FAILED AMERICA!

Friday - December 2, 2016

Today In History:

1804 - Napoleon was crowned emperor of France at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.
1816 - The first savings bank in the U.S., the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, opened for business.
1823 - U.S. President James Monroe outlined his doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere.
1917 - During World War I, hostilities were suspended on the eastern front.
1927 - The Ford Motor Company unveiled the Model A automobile. It was the successor to the Model T.
1939 - New York's La Guardia Airport began operations as an airliner from Chicago landed at 12:01 a.m.
1942 - A self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated by Dr. Enrico Fermi and his staff at the University of Chicago.
1954 - The U.S. Senate voted to condemn Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy for what it called "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute." The censure was related to McCarthy's controversial investigation of suspected communists in the U.S. government, military and civilian society.
1961 - Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared in a nationally broadcast speech that he was a Marxist-Leninist and that he was going to lead Cuba to communism.
1969 - The Boeing 747 jumbo jet got its first public preview as 191 people flew from Seattle, WA, to New York City, NY. Most of the passengers were reporters and photographers.
1970 - The Environmental Protection Agency began operations.
1982 - Doctors at the University of Utah implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Barney Clark. He lived 112 days with the device. The operation was the first of its kind.
1993 - The space shuttle Endeavor blasted off on a mission to fix the Hubble Space Telescope.
1994 - The U.S. government agreed not to seek a recall of allegedly fire-prone General Motors pickup trucks. A deal was made with GM under which the company would spend more than $51 million on safety and research.
1995 - NASA launched a U.S.-European observatory on a $1 billion dollar mission intended to study the sun.
1997 - U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno declined to seek an independent counsel investigation of telephone fund-raising by President Clinton and Vice President Gore. She had concluded that they had not violated election laws.
1998 - Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates donated $100 million to help immunize children in developing countries.
1999 - The British government transferred political power over the province of Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive.
2001 - Enron Corp. filed for Chapter 11 reorganization. The filing came five days after Dynegy walked away from a $8.4 billion buyout. It was the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
2010 - NASA announced the discovery of a new arsenic-based life form.

World News

Erdogan backtracks on Syria goals after call with Putin, says terrorists are only target
RT - Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria does not target any country or individual, and is aimed only at terrorist groups, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. He had earlier stated that Turkey was in Syria to “end the rule of the cruel Assad.”.... This drew surprise from Russia, which asked for clarification of the remarks. According to Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov, this was provided when Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leader Erdogan discussed the issue by phone on Wednesday. "I can only say that a telephone conversation between our president and Erdogan took place yesterday, and the topic [of Turkey’s presence in Syria] was addressed. Yes, he [Erdogan] gave an explanation," Ushakov told reporters on Thursday, without elaborating.

Putin calls for unity with the West under Trump administration
Deutsche Welle - Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wants to cooperate with the incoming US administration and combine efforts against terrorism at his unusually diplomatic annual state-of-the-nation address in the Kremlin on Thursday…. "Attempts to break the strategic parity are extremely dangerous and can lead to a world catastrophe," Putin told the gathering of Russia's political elite. "We don't want confrontation with anyone. We don't need it. We are not seeking and have never sought enemies. We need friends. "We are ready to cooperate with the new U.S. administration. We have a shared responsibility to ensure international security.”… "It's important to normalize and develop our bilateral ties on an equal and mutually beneficial basis. We share responsibility for ensuring global security and stability and strengthening the non-proliferation regime."

Another False Flag? "Destructive Iranian Hackers" Allegedly "Wreak Havoc" With Saudi Computer Systems
Zero Hedge - In what may soon emerge as the latest middle-east diplomatic scandal, not to mention roil the just concluded OPEC deal, Bloomberg reports that state-sponsored hackers have conducted a "series of destructive attacks on Saudi Arabia over the last two weeks, erasing data and wreaking havoc in the computer banks of the agency running the country’s airports and hitting five additional targets." Additionally, “several” government agencies were also targeted in attacks that came from outside the Kingdom, according to state media. However, according to early reports from a Saudi probe, "digital evidence" suggests the attacks emanated from Iran. While Bloomberg believes that this could present President-elect Donald Trump with a major national security challenge as he steps into the Oval Office, it also threatens to destabilize the recent detente between the two countries, which granted Iran bragging rights to be the only country allowed to boost output as part of the Venna OPEC production cut deal. To be sure, one can't discount the possibility of a false flag attack, with the intentional purposes of destabilizing relations. According to Bloomberg, unlike a 2012 attack on Saudi Aramco or the one by North Korea against Sony Pictures in 2014, "the latest was perpetrated by detonating a cyber weapon inside the networks of several targets at once. Concerns over a broader campaign set off a search in computer networks throughout the Gulf for more traces of the digital bomb." It is unclear whether Iran has the technological wherewithal to engage in such a complex cuberattack.

France Debates Bill to Criminalize Online Pro-Life Advocacy
CNS News - French lawmakers on Thursday will debate and vote on a Socialist government-backed draft law that could criminalize online pro-life advocacy. The legislation would extend the ambit of already-illegal “interference” in abortion to cover digital media. Any website carrying material that is deemed to be “deliberately misleading, intimidating and/or exerting psychological or moral pressure” aimed at persuading a mother not to abort her child could face criminal charges, with punishments of two years in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros ($31,800).... France legalized abortion on demand until the end of the 12th week of pregnancy – or what is known officially as “voluntary interruption of pregnancy” (L’interruption volontaire de grossesse or IVG) – in 1975. In 1993 another law was passed, creating the offense of hindering or interfering in an abortion – aimed at preventing pro-life activists from physically blocking access to, or occupying or otherwise targeting abortion facilities. The law was later broadened to cover “moral and psychological pressure” aimed at dissuading abortion, and the legislation now under consideration seeks to widen that further into the digital realm. In the new law’s crosshairs are websites like, which offers counselling, practical support, and resources that include information about medical and psychological risks entailed in having an abortion.... The government site instead recommends a handful of – hardly neutral – websites, including that of the International Planned Parenthood Federation’s French affiliate, Planning Familial, one run by a national association of abortion clinics, and a feminist blog that includes a searchable database of abortion clinics across France.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Trump has chosen retired Marine Gen. James Mattis for secretary of defense
Washington Post - President-elect Donald Trump has chosen retired Marine Gen. James N. Mattis to be secretary of defense, according to people familiar with the decision, nominating a former senior military officer who led operations across the Middle East to run the Pentagon less than four years after he hung up his uniform. To take the job, Mattis will need Congress to pass new legislation to bypass a federal law stating that defense secretaries must not have been on active duty in the previous seven years. Congress has granted a similar exception just once, when Gen. George C. Marshall was appointed to the job in 1950…. Mattis, 66, retired as the chief of U.S. Central Command in spring 2013 after serving more than four decades in the Marine Corps. He is known as one of the most influential military leaders of his generation, serving as a strategic thinker while occasionally drawing rebukes for his aggressive talk. Since retiring, he has served as a consultant and as a visiting fellow with the Hoover Institution, a think tank at Stanford University. Like Trump, Mattis favors a tougher stance against U.S. adversaries abroad, especially Iran. The general, speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in April, said that while security discussions often focus on terrorist groups such as the Islamic State or al-Qaeda, the Iranian regime is “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East.”

Video: President-Elect Donald Trump Holds Rally In Cincinnati, OH
Right Side Broadcasting - Thursday, December 1, 2016: Live streaming coverage President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s Thank You rally in Cincinnati, OH at the US Bank Arena.

Trump Vows: Companies Will Not ‘Leave the United States Anymore’
LifeZette - President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence appeared at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis Thursday to discuss the deal they made with Carrier to prevent over 1,000 U.S. jobs from being moved to Mexico. The surprise deal was announced earlier this week — but Thursday was the first time Trump addressed it publicly beyond a few tweets. The fact that Trump was able to save over 1,000 American jobs before even taking office has been widely celebrated and held up as proof that he will do everything in his power to boost American jobs…. Trump’s economic “plans have given us renewed confidence in the future of manufacturing in America,” said Greg Hayes, CEO of United Technologies Corp., Carrier’s parent company.
* Related: Video: President Elect Trump Carrier Plant Announcement - Full Event

Cherokee Nation sues US govt, multiple agencies over trust fund
RT - The Cherokee Nation names the US government and seven agencies in a lawsuit alleging mismanagement and a lack of transparency about the tribe’s trust fund. The tribe claims a lack of accountability has hindered its development. The Cherokee Nation commemorated the 231st anniversary of the first treaty it signed with the US government by announcing a lawsuit on Monday. The Treaty of Hopewell was signed in 1785 and defined the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation, but like more than 40 other treaties the nation signed with the government, it was not honored…. The problems the lawsuit addresses have to do with the 14 million acres of Cherokee land that was either sold or leased by the government without any documentation of the value or money paid to the government for it. On top of that, there has been no kind of accounting for the resources taken from these lands, such as coal and timber…. The lawsuit names the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Office of Trust Fund Management, the Bureau of Land Management, the Office of Natural Resources Revenue, the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians and the United States Department of the Treasury, along with the United States of America as defendants.

Obama Administration to Implement Smoking Ban in All Public Housing
Breitbart - The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) said the no-smoking rule will go into effect in 2017, but “public housing agencies would have a year and a half to put smoke-free policies in place,” The New York Times reported. Officials say up to 1.2 million households could be affected.... Some public housing agencies have voluntarily adopted smoke-free policies that have gone into effect in an estimated 200,000 homes. HUD proposed the ban a year ago in its campaign to combat secondhand smoke exposure.... Housing agencies that already enforce the ban say they enforce the rule through warnings, fines, counseling, and aids to quit smoking such as nicotine patches. “We don’t see this as a policy that is meant to end in a whole lot of evictions,” HUD Secretary Julian Castro said. “We’re confident that public housing authority staff can work with residents so that that can be avoided.”

Civil Forfeiture: US Man Fights Back After $11K Seized at Kentucky Airport
Sputnik News - Charles Clarke, who had his $11,000 in life savings seized at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) in 2014, reached a settlement with the US government on Tuesday, as authorities returned his money with interest. Clarke was a 24-year-old college student when airport authorities seized his cash through civil asset forfeiture, a questionable legal process in which police seize a person’s property if they are suspected of a crime, even if they are not convicted or charged, which Clarke was not. He had been saving for the money for five years, and after a ticket agent claimed Clarke smelled like marijuana, agents made the logical connection, based only on their own experiences, that the money must be related to drug-trafficking activities. Clarke was represented pro bono by the Institute for Justice (IJ), a nonprofit civil liberties group. IJ noted that CVG had conducted almost 100 similar seizures in 2013, with over two million dollars falling into the hands of federal and local agencies.

SF’s Millennium Tower Sinking Rapidly, as Seen from Space
Breitbart - The 58-story “game of Jenga” has been dubbed the “Leaning Tower of San Francisco” because it is tilting two inches to the northwest. It has reportedly sunk about 16 inches into landfill since it was first opened in 2009. “What can be concluded from our data, is that the Millennium Tower is sinking at a steady rate,” Petar Marinkovic, founder and chief scientist of PPO Labs — which analyzed the satellite’s radar imagery for the ESA along with Norway-based research institute Norut — told the Associated Press…. Despite numerous lawsuits against the building’s developer, and involving the City of San Francisco, the developer, Millennium Partners, reportedly insists Millennium Towers is safe for occupants and suggests that it could withstand an earthquake. The apartments are in the multi-million dollar range. According to the San Francisco Business Journal, a UC Berkeley engineer, Jack Moehle, and his colleague, Hardip Pennu, who originally certified the tower’s design as structurally sound, were subpoenaed by San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin on Tuesday after refusing to testify.

#DumpKelloggs: Breakfast Brand Blacklists Breitbart, Declares Hate for 45,000,000 Readers
Breitbart - Kellogg Co. announced on Tuesday its decision to pull ads from conservative media giant because its 45,000,000 monthly conservative readers are not “aligned with our values as a company.” In response, Breitbart News, one of the world’s top news publishers, has launched a #DumpKelloggs petition and called for a boycott of the ubiquitous food manufacturer. The decision by Kellogg’s, which makes Pringles, Eggo waffles, as well as Special K and Frosted Flakes cereals, among others, will make virtually no revenue impact on It does, however, represent an escalation in the war by leftist companies like Target and Allstate against conservative customers whose values propelled Donald Trump into the White House.

Oregon school district bans Santa, ‘religious-themed’ Christmas decorations
EAG News - “We will not be holding a door decorating contest this year,” district officials wrote in a memo to staff at area high schools. “You may still decorate your door or office if you like, but we ask that you be respectful and sensitive to diverse perspectives and beliefs of our community and refrain from using religious-themed decorations or images like Santa Claus.” Hillsboro spokeswoman Beth Graser told WGRZ the memo was sent to secondary school principals because the Christmas door decoration contest made some people uncomfortable in years past, and the district wants to maintain “inclusive and welcoming spaces” for all, including students who don’t believe in Santa. “We were NOT banning Santa, nor were we going to be the ‘decorations police’ and scold people if they happened to have decorations up that might be too Christmas-y … unless they were totally over the top,” Graser said.

Post-Election News

Report: Drunk Hillary Demanding Recount to “Lift Her Spirits”
Kit Daniels - “She is weepy, looks ten years older and is very whiny,” a Clinton insider told the media. “She has been drinking wine pretty heavily, much more than usual.” “She mopes around all day, swimming in a sea of recriminations and complaining that her campaign managers were ‘incompetent,’ Bill and Chelsea ‘didn’t work hard enough,’ FBI Director Comey was ‘in league with Trump.’” Additionally, President Obama, who pressured Clinton to concede to Donald Trump on election night, also encouraged her to jump on board Jill Stein’s recount effort to make the globalists look less defeated. “The president felt that the progressives were acting stunned and helpless and had to rise out of their stupor and show that they weren’t going to take their defeat lying down,” said the insider. “Contesting the results of the election was the best and fastest way to stir the morale and fighting spirit of the demoralized party.” “Obama felt that a recount would plant a seed with the base that the election was somehow dishonest; he wanted to raise serious questions about the legitimacy of the Trump presidency.” This confirms a report from the American Thinker which states the recount is intended not to install Clinton as president, but to make Trump look illegitimate. “The recounts, if done by hand, which can be demanded, may take longer than the last day for completing the official counts in a state and directing Electoral College voters,” reported American Thinker correspondent Richard Baehr. “If all 3 states miss the deadline, Trump is at 260, Hillary at 232. No one hits 270.” If this were to happen, the GOP-controlled Congress would pick Trump as president, according to Baehr.

Montgomery County judge dismisses recount petitions
The Times Herald - A Montgomery County [Pennsylvania] judge has dismissed the petitions of voters in 78 precincts to recount votes or forensically analyze voting machines.... The judge did not give an explanation of his dismissal, but objections made by Forzato focused on two areas: first, that there was insufficient evidence to suggest that the machines had been tampered with in any way and second, that the petitions were not filed properly with the proper fees.... During the hearing the judge questioned whether the recount request would require a statewide audit of votes, as Pennsylvania law requires that a recount effort include every district in which the office in question was on the ballot.... The Stein campaign will continue to seek a recount in Pennsylvania through attempts in other counties and a statewide recount petition that will be heard by the Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg on Monday. [Trump campaign attorney Lawrence] Tabas said the efforts were so far-fetched that it would “insult the term ‘Hail Mary pass’ to say that’s what it is.”

Breaking: Dem Operative Confirms Electors’ Plot to Sabotage Trump (Video)
Paul Joseph Watson - According to TV host David Pakman, who yesterday broke news of a plot by 15 electors to not vote for Trump and lobby others to do the same in an effort to prevent him from getting the 270 electoral votes he needs to become president, the claim has been corroborated by a second source. Described as a “longtime successful Democratic operative,” the source told Pakman that based on “direct contact” with electors, there is an organized group “that is indeed planning to not vote for Donald Trump” but have not decided to make their decision public at this stage. Pakman also talked with two other sources who confirmed that some electors in states Trump won, outside of the coalition mentioned previously, are also planning to refuse to vote for Trump. Pakman speculates that the two groups of electors planning to not vote for Trump could be separate, meaning the total number could be higher than 15. If no candidate reaches 270 electoral votes, the decision goes to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. In an article for The Hill today, Washington state elector Levi Guerra wrote about how she was “encouraging Electors from both red and blue states” to vote for an alternative candidate to Donald Trump, confirming the fact that such an effort is underway amongst some electors.

These numbers should SHUT UP liberals about the Electoral College once and for all
Allen B. West - The following list of statistics has been making the rounds on the Internet and it should finally put an end to the argument as to why the Electoral College makes sense…. There are 3,141 counties in the United States. Trump won 3,084 of them. Clinton won 57. There are 62 counties in New York State. Trump won 46 of them. Clinton won 16. Clinton won the popular vote by approx. 1.5 million votes. In the 5 counties that encompass NYC, (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Richmond & Queens) Clinton received well over 2 million more votes than Trump. (Clinton only won 4 of these counties; Trump won Richmond) Therefore these 5 counties alone, more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country. These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles. The United States is comprised of 3, 797,000 square miles. When you have a country that encompasses almost 4 million square miles of territory, it would be ludicrous to even suggest that the vote of those who inhabit a mere 319 square miles should dictate the outcome of a national election. Large, densely populated Democrat cities (NYC, Chicago, LA, etc) don’t and shouldn’t speak for the rest of our country.

Veteran News

VA may have infected 600 veterans with HIV and Hepatitis
McClatchy - Nearly 600 veterans could have been infected with HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C at a Veterans Affairs facility in Tomah, Wis. because a dentist didn’t properly clean his instruments. The Tomah VA is investigating the dentist, who has not been fired but was removed from patient care. According to acting Medical Center Director Victoria Brahm, the dentist was using his own equipment for routine dental exams, then cleaning it and using it again. This violates VA rules, which require use of disposable equipment to ensure sterility…. As a precautionary measure, the VA is contacting all 592 veterans he treated to test for possible infections. It will provide free medical care to anyone who has an infection. VA spokesman Matthew Gowan said there is no indication any infections were transmitted, but “out of an abundance of caution it’s still the proper things to do.” He said the doctor was removed from patient care as soon as senior staff became aware of his actions on Oct. 21. A review board will meet next week to determine disciplinary action for the dentist, who is currently performing administrative tasks.

Economy & Business

Gasoline Prices Could Jump Back to Summertime Levels Before Christmas
Economic Policy Journal - Before Christmas, prices for gasoline at the pump could climb to levels not seen since the summer driving season, as a result of OPEC’s agreement to curb crude production, writes MarketWatch. “Motorists will soon be facing higher gasoline prices as a result of [Wednesday’s] tremendous gains in crude oil,” Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy, told MarketWatch. Oil prices climbed more than 9% yesterday following OPEC's decision to cut production and have climbed another 4.5% today. DeHaan said that based on Wednesday and Thursday’s oil rallies, national average prices for gasoline could climb to the $2.30’s level before Christmas—about 10 cents to 15 cents higher than current prices. Retail gasoline prices haven’t been above $2.30 since June, during the summer driving season, according to data from GasBuddy.

Energy & Environment

Death toll from Tennessee wildfires increases to 10
Breitbart - Crews discovered the remains of three more people as they searched the rubble of wildfires that torched hundreds of homes and businesses near the Great Smoky Mountains, bringing the death toll to 10, officials said Thursday. Authorities set up a hotline for people to report missing friends and relatives, and after following up on dozens of leads, they said many of those people had been accounted for. They did not say whether they believe anyone else is still missing or may have died. “I think it’s fair to say that the search is winding down,” Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters said. “And hopefully we will not find any more.” He said the searches would likely be completed Friday. Nearly 24 hours of rain on Wednesday helped dampen the wildfires, but fire officials struck a cautious tone, saying people shouldn’t have a false sense of security because months of drought have left the ground bone dry and wildfires can rekindle.... More than 14,000 residents and visitors in Gatlinburg were forced to evacuate, and the typically bustling tourist city has been shuttered ever since. At least 700 buildings in the county have been damaged.... Starting Friday, homeowners, business owners, renters and lease holders will be allowed to go see most of their Gatlinburg properties, said City Manager Cindy Cameron Ogle. The city is hoping to open main roads to the general public on Wednesday.


Video: Ex-Cop Astonished After Taking Medical Marijuana for Parkinson’s
Mikael Thalen - Larry Smith, who’s suffered from the debilitating ailment for over 20 years, was filmed ingesting CBD oil for a recently released documentary entitled “Ride with Larry.” Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in cannabis that unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does not produce intoxicating effects. The compound has been found in some studies to have the possibility of “improving quality of life measures in PD patients…” Meeting with a fellow Parkinson’s sufferer in California, Larry, who had previously been hesitant to try CBD, saw his symptoms nearly vanish within just a few minutes. “With a few drops of cannabis oil under his tongue, Larry’s severe dyskinesia (uncontrolled movements), loss of voice, and tremors are calmed within in minutes!” the video’s description states. “We didn’t even edit the footage because the results were so startling.”… The documentary reveals Larry spent years and years prior to trying CBD oil looking for any treatment that would provide him with relief. “Larry has exhausted every conventional method of treatment, every drug, and even brain surgery,” the film’s trailer states. Following his experience with medical marijuana, the film continues by documenting Larry’s 300-mile bike ride across South Dakota aimed at giving hope to others with his disease.

Congress Prepares to Vote on Bill That Would Speed up Drug Approval
Natural Society - If the bill is approved, it would speed up the approval of new drugs and medical devices. The House has been heavily criticized for allegedly rushing piece of legislation through without sufficient scrutiny. The legislation, dubbed the 21st Century Cures Act, sets aside $6.3 billion for biomedical research, opioid abuse prevention, and support for the FDA, which oversees the safety of drugs. Multiple provisions are contained in the bill that are designed to loosen the requirements for drugmakers seeking approval from the agency to market their products. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle largely support the bill, but consumer advocates say major trade-offs in the legislation could actually strip the FDA of some of its regulatory power…. Drug and medical device companies are thrilled with the legislation, which lobbyists have been working overtime to try and get passed. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, more than 1,400 lobbyists have pushed for the bill’s passage, including drug companies and universities, which would all benefit from an increase in biomedical research funding…. But fast-tracking drugs has cost people their lives in the past. The best example of this is Vioxx, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). During the review process for the pain reliever, an FDA medical officer looking at clinical trials noted a threefold increase in cardiovascular problems by people taking it, but could not definitively say Vioxx was the cause.

Low glutathione levels increase risk of disease
(NaturalHealth365) Glutathione, a nutrient vital to health, is a mixture of three amino acids: glycine, glutamine, and cysteine. It exists in every cell – with particularly large amounts in the liver – and is endogenous, meaning it is created naturally within the body. Glutathione is the body’s most important antioxidant, protecting cells from damage, amplifying the immune system and assisting with DNA repair. It also helps shift metabolism from fat production to muscle growth. Probably glutathione’s most important function is the role it plays in binding to, and neutralizing, dangerous free radicals — which otherwise can create the oxidative stress that destroys tissue and sets the stage for disease…. Common threats to glutathione levels include environmental toxins and pollution, pharmaceutical and over-the-counter medications, poor diet, trauma, infection and stress. Keep in mind, glutathione naturally declines with age… Although you should ideally obtain about 250 milligrams a day of glutathione from diet, most people consume closer to 35 milligrams – a dismally low amount, and insufficient for optimal health. … eat natural, organic foods that contain glutathione – or the amino acids your body needs to make it. Foods rich in glutathione include melons, grapefruit and peaches. Glutathione is also found in leafy greens such as spinach. Cruciferous vegetables – such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kale – and members of the allium family – including garlic, onions, leeks and chives – are rich sources of sulfur-containing compounds, important in the production of cysteine. Another great food to boost cysteine production is a high-quality whey protein, made from denatured proteins from non-pasteurized and non-industrially-processed milk. …eat foods rich in antioxidant vitamin C – such as citrus fruits, red bell peppers and strawberries. These can assist in the recycling of glutathione in the body. Supplements can help your body produce and optimize more glutathione…. Alpha-lipoic acid, another powerful endogenous antioxidant, increases glutathione production in the body, as does the sleep hormone melatonin – which stimulates production of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase.

Pet News

An animal shelter and an assisted living facility are saving kittens and it's the positivity we need
HelloGiggles - Basically everybody loves kittens, right? Seriously, how can you not love tiny baby cats? Upsettingly, however, kittens that aren’t weaned from their mothers before being separated have a low chance of survival. That’s why this animal shelter has teamed up with this assisted living facility to help save orphaned kittens. Now, we totally obsess over cute cats on Instagram, baby animals in general, and have already started planning our cat’s Christmas presents. But this story about how the Pima Animal Care Center in Arizona has joined forces with the Catalina Springs Memory Care facility to help save the baby cats is the sort of heartwarming and positive news we need in the world right now. Two kittens, Peaches and Turtle, made their way over to Catalina Springs in October to launch the program. Weighing just 7 ounces each (!), the two little ones needed round-the-clock attention and feeding. That’s where the residents of Catalina Springs stepped in. The idea was the genius move of Rebecca Hamilton, Catalina Springs’ health service director, who also fosters kittens herself. Approaching the Pima Animal Care Center (PACC), Hamilton thought that teaming up the needy kittens with the residents of the care home could serve two purposes, helping the kittens stay alive and giving the residents something to care for. “To some it may seem peculiar at first: Residents who are in need of around-the-clock care themselves, given the task to care for these young kittens,” Sharon Mercer, Catalina Springs Memory Care Executive Director, said. “But there are skills, emotions and needs that do not just leave a person with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. The desire to give love and receive love remains. The kittens have given us the opportunity to nurture this human condition that lies in each and every one of our residents.”

Keep Them Safe With These 8 Winter Tips
The Catington Post - Winter can be a dangerous time for pets. From plunging temperatures to toxic chemicals, there are extra perils to beware…. Pets don’t have it so easy, so here are a few tips for you to follow to keep the pets in your life safe all winter long. 1. If it’s too nasty for you to be outside; it’s too nasty for your pet. Domestic pets don’t have inherent mechanisms to protect them from the elements any more than we do. 2. Beware toxic chemicals. Where there’s ice, there’s antifreeze. Antifreeze is highly poisonous to pets, and the neon green puddles can be tempting for pets to try to drink from when all other water is frozen. Likewise, de-icers such as salt and other chemicals can be harmful to pets who walk on ground that has been “de-iced” and later lick their paws, ingesting the toxins. If your pet has been exposed to de-icers, make sure to rinse his paws in warm water to clean them off. 3. Dehydration can happen in winter, too. If your pet relies on an outside water source, make sure you have a way to keep it from freezing. Pets can’t get sufficient water from eating snow. 4. Protect the feet. Ice loves to cling to hair and fur. Keep your furry-footed friend’s paw hair neatly trimmed, and if your pet has been outside, inspect his paws for ice balls. 5. Be aware of heated “hiding places”. It’s not uncommon for cats and other small animals to burrow next to the still-warm engine of a parked car. Before you start your car, knock on the hood or honk the horn a few times to scare stowaways – you will be saving their life. 6. You are not the only one whose joints can tell the temperature. If you have an older pet, he can be experiencing increased discomfort during cold weather as well. 7. Prepare your pet’s emergency kit. …this should include food, water, litter, medication, towels, blankets, and maybe a favorite toy. Additionally, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a recent picture of your pet with you in case you get separated….

Thursday - December 1, 2016

Today In History:
1824 - The House of Representatives convened to decide the presidential election because no candidate had received a majority in the Electoral College. (John Quincy Adams was eventually chosen the winner over Andrew Jackson and William Crawford.)
1835 - Hans Christian Andersen published his first book of fairy tales.
1862 - President Abraham Lincoln sent his Second Annual Message to Congress, which was read aloud by the Secretary of the Senate. In it, Lincoln called for the abolition of slavery, saying that "in giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free,"
1913 - Ford Motor Co. began using a new movable assembly line that ushered in the era of mass production.
1941 - In the U.S., the Civil Air Patrol was created. In April 1943 the Civil Air Patrol was placed under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Forces.
1942 - In the U.S., nationwide gasoline rationing went into effect.
1943 - In Teheran, leaders of the United States, the USSR and the United Kingdom met to reaffirm the goal set on October 30, 1943. The previous meeting called for an early establishment of an international organization to maintain peace and security.
1955 - Rosa Parks, a black seamstress in Montgomery, AL, refused to give up her seat to a white man. She was arrested marking a milestone in the civil rights movement in the U.S.
1959 - 12 countries, including the U.S. and USSR, signed a treaty that set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, which would be free from military activity.
1963 - The Beatles' first single, "I Want to Hold Your Hand," was released in the United States.
1965 - An airlift of refugees from Cuba to the United States began.
1969 - The U.S. government held its first draft lottery since World War II.
1990 - Iraq accepted a U.S. offer to talk about resolving the Persian Gulf crisis.
1994 - The U.S. Senate gave final congressional approval to the 124-nation General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. withdrawal in 18 months.
2013 - CEO Jeff Bezos revealed "Amazon Prime Air" on "60 Minutes." The services was planned to use unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver packages to customers.

World News

Hundreds Deported After Bulgarian Migrant Riot
Breitbart - In the aftermath of a massive riot that engulfed Harmanli for almost an entire day, authorities have announced the plans to deport 250 Afghans who contributed to the disturbance. The government said on Monday that 50 of the Afghan nationals had already agreed to leave voluntarily with a further 200 being processed for deportation, reports Austria’s largest paper Kronen Zeitung. Bulgarian authorities report that many of the men who took part in the riot were from Afghanistan and that the leader who masterminded the violence was an Afghan previously deported from Germany.... Authorities admitted that skin diseases, viruses, and smallpox were present in over a hundred migrants at the camp and decided to put the entire population of 3,000 under lock down. The mandatory quarantine led to anger from the migrants who then began to riot and fight with police, throwing stones and injuring several officers. Bulgaria has only recently had a problem with a growing number of migrants due to the fact that it has become, like Greece, the first and often last stop for migrants entering the EU.

UN to Free Assange, Final Ruling Says 'Arbitrary Detention' Must End
The Free Thought Project - In a stunning win for Wikileaks, London and Stockholm must end the ‘arbitrary detention’ of the organization’s founder Julian Assange after the United Nations rejected an appeal by the U.K. of a previous ruling as “not admissible.”.... In February, the U.N.’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found Assange to be arbitrarily detained in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London due to actions of both Britain and Sweden, and each government should ensure the Wikileaks founder’s human rights.... While the ruling would theoretically grant Assange the freedom to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy for the first time in years, the push to have him extradited to the United States leaves him in a precarious position.... Assange still faces potential charges of rape in Sweden -but no complaint has yet been filed. Most notably, he faces extradition to the United States - where it is widely believed he would be charged with espionage. Now, Julian Assange has the unimpeded right to walk away from the Ecuadorian Embassy that has graciously provided asylum to the arbitrarily detained Wikileaks founder without fear of being arrested and taken into custody - at least theoretically. Without grounds for further appeal, the British and Swedish governments are left without tangible justification for continuing to tacitly force Assange to remain secreted inside his haven in London.

University Pledges End to Bans and Censorship On Campus, Supports Free Speech
Heat Street - Cardiff University in Wales has said it will no longer ban events by controversial speakers, declaring “censorship is not the answer.” The decision was made by the Cardiff University Students’ Union at their annual conference last week, where they passed a motion called “Challenge, Don’t Censor.”.... The move pushes back against the tide of safe space culture which seeks to insulate students from opinions they might find challenging. Cardiff itself was the scene of one such incident last year, playing host to a virulent campaign to shut down a speech by feminist Germaine Greer over her views on transgender surgery.... Speaking to Heat Street about his decision to propose the motion, Cardiff student James Daly said the “negative perception” of the student body’s approach to free speech after the Greer debacle helped spur him on. He added that few people opposed the motion at the crucial moment, though some have criticised it on social media since. The stand against being told what they can hear and think echoes the response of a group of sixth-form students, who were due to hear from Milo Yiannopoulos before his speech was shut down by the UK Government. In an open letter to censorious authorities, pupils from Simon Langton Grammar School expressed their dismay, saying “we do not need to be protected” from controversial speakers.

Oil prices surge as OPEC reaches deal to cut production by 1.2 million barrels
RT - The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has agreed to cut supply by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) to 32.5 million barrels, the head of the organization announced. Ahead of the official announcement, Bloomberg broke the news, quoting an unnamed delegate in Vienna. Crude prices soared more than 7 percent on the report. s of 16:29 GMT, Brent crude was trading at nearly $50 per barrel, while US crude benchmark WTI was above $48. Calling the decision "historic," the organization said the output cut would be in effect from January 1, 2017. The deal was reached after weeks of negotiations, as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran fought for the very last barrel of production. This is the first coordinated cut from OPEC in eight years. According to the new agreement, Saudi Arabia will reduce its production by 486,000 bpd, the official announced. Ministers of Iraq and Kuwait said their countries would reduce supplies by 209,000 bpd and 130,000 bpd respectively. Meanwhile, Indonesia has suspended its OPEC membership and is not taking part in the reduction. The agreement also expects non-OPEC countries to cut about 600,000 bpd. Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak welcomed the OPEC decision, saying Moscow would contribute its part if the organization keeps to its commitments.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Former NIST Employee Speaks Out, Says Building 7 Investigation Bogus, Govt 'Denied Evidence'
The Free Thought Project - Peter Ketcham, who spent almost fifteen years working at NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology], described how the flawed investigation methods were significantly different from the normal standards used by NIST, in a letter to the editor of the respected Europhysics News magazine. Ketcham’s letter was published in the November 2016 issue and comes just months after the magazine’s August 2016 report examining the Building 7 collapse in detail.... The root problem with the WTC Building 7 report is that NIST could not perform a definitive study under common standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) because it lacked the physical evidence. Most of the structural steel was removed and melted down beginning within days after September 11, and some beams were stolen as reported by Telegraph. “The NIST I knew was intellectually open, non-defensive, and willing to consider competing explanations. The more I investigated, the more apparent it became that NIST had reached a predetermined conclusion by ignoring, dismissing, and denying the evidence....".... The main pre-determined conclusion which Ketcham refers to is the theory created to explain why the 47-story building fell to the ground in about 12 seconds.... NIST’s WTC 7 report concludes that fires led to the thermal expansion of long-span steel beams which supported the floors, causing one beam on the 13th floor to fall off of its seat. The report claims part of the 13th floor collapsed, triggering a chain reaction of floors failing around one specific vertical support column, which caused the building to fall in on itself.... However, the initial cause of the collapse receives the most scrutiny as researchers proved NIST did not accurately model the steel’s connection at the stated point of initial failure. NIST left out multiple smaller design elements shown in the construction plans which would have built a stronger connection in the computer model.

Obama Raids Health Programs to Pay for Illegal Immigrants
LifeZette - Barbara Clark, a deputy director of the department, sent a letter to congressional staffers indicating that HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell intends to shift $167 million to pay for housing, health care, schooling, recreation, and other services for unaccompanied minors until the current temporary spending bill expires Dec. 9.... Clark wrote that the department will still be short $40 million to $165 million for the unaccompanied minors. Under federal law, Burwell has authority to redirect 1 percent of any program’s budget without authorization from Congress. “What Burwell did was took a little bit from almost every account,” [Center for Immigration Studies director of policy studies, Jessica] Vaughan said.... Health programs taking a hit include: $14 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration... $14 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention... $72 million from the National Institutes of Health... $8 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration... $8 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services... $39 million from the Children and Families Services Program... $4 million from the Aging and Disability Services Programs; $3 million from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund.

Trump Opts to Keep US Attorney Preet Bharara
Weasel Zippers - This is actually good as US Attorney’s Office out of the Southern District (Preet Bharara’s office) is leading the Clinton Foundation case. Via Newsmax: President-elect Donald Trump has chosen to retain U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the prosecutor confirmed after their Wednesday meeting at Trump Tower in New York, Politico reported. “We had a good meeting,” Bharara told reporters. “I agreed to stay on. I have already spoken to Senator Sessions, who is as you know the nominee to be the attorney general. He also asked that I stay on, and so I expect that I will be continuing to work at the southern district.” Bharara was appointed by President Obama in 2009 as lead prosecutor of the southern district in Manhattan. Bharara has earned a high profile for getting convictions of corruption cases and white collar crimes.

Trump Quits All Business To Focus On Presidency
Steve Watson - President-elect Donald Trump sent out a series of tweets Wednesday indicating that he is leaving business behind entirely in order to focus solely on his time in office. Trump noted that he plans to hold an event in New York City in two weeks to renounce all ties to several businesses. He noted that while there is no law that mandates those in office not to have businesses, he sees it as “visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest.”

Carrier Employee Issues Heartfelt Thank You To Trump For Helping 1,000 American Workers Keep Their Jobs (Video)
Daily Caller - Robin Maynard, a 24-year Carrier employee, issued a heartfelt thank you to Donald Trump and Mike Pence during a Wednesday morning interview on Fox News…. “I would like to tell him thank you for going out of your way and taking your time away from your family, working on the Carrier and employees’ deal,” Maynard stated. “Sticking to your word and going to bat for us all at Carrier and keeping our jobs here. I’d like to thank him and Mike Pence for doing it so quickly.” Maynard added that he hadn’t expected “an announcement for three or four weeks, and we’re what? Two days from the meeting with them, and they’ve already made their announcement?” “I’m very excited and would like to thank both of them personally and shake their hands hopefully tomorrow.”

Ohio State Attack: Student Tells CNN 'Military Men' Guarded Doors on Campus
Breitbart - Roughly an hour and half later, after the ordeal was over and the campus safe, Albany, New York, Fox 23 anchor John Gray put up a Facebook post in which he recounted hearing Molley Clarke’s phone interview with CNN. Gray wrote: Lost in all the chaos at Ohio State University today was something that most people probably missed. About an hour into it, when everyone was “sheltering in place” all over campus, CNN took a phone call from a young woman who was locked inside a classroom right near where the suspect was hurting people. She said she was a graduate student and she and many others were huddled together scared and not sure what was happening outside. Then she said something made me tear up. She said casually to the TV anchor over the phone, “But we happened to have a few ‘military guys’ in my class and the minute we got the text message alert of an ‘active shooter on campus’ they moved the rest of us away from the door and then all of them stood guard right by the door.” She said they were standing there as she spoke making certain if a shooter or someone with a knife or whatever calamity tried to come through that door, they would be the first thing he’d see and they’d stop it and protect the other students or die trying. Gray closed his post, writing: Those “military guys” instantly put themselves on the clock and assumed the position to protect those unarmed, vulnerable students. I thought that was impressive. I thought that was brave. I thought that was oh so very American. I also thought you’d want to know. Gray’s Facebook post went viral with over 500,000 shares at the time of this writing.

Charlotte Braces For Riots After Officer in Keith Scott Shooting Escapes Charges
Paul Joseph Watson - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer Brentley Vinson shot 43-year-old Scott when he refused to drop a gun during an incident on September 20. The shooting prompted two nights of rioting during which National Guard troops were deployed to the city. After Vinson’s attorney announced that he would not face charges and that Vinson had “acted lawfully” in using deadly force, Charlotte Uprising, a coalition of protest groups, immediately revealed plans to mass outside Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police headquarters at 6:35pm this evening. “CMPD officers have been put on alert and will work 12-hour shifts beginning Wednesday in case violent demonstrations occur when the decision is made known,” reports the News & Observer. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police’s specialized riot squad unit has already been mobilized. Building managers are also being urged to prepare for potential violent unrest by chaining down tables and chairs as well as hiring extra security staff. Meanwhile, some Twitter users responded to the news that Vinson would not face charges by saying they expected riots.

Ole Miss Pulls 'Sanctuary Campus' Proposal After Backlash
Breitbart - Hours after Breitbart Texas reported on the push to make Ole Miss a sanctuary campus, the resolution was pulled from being voted on by the Student Senate after alumni and the general public flooded the university’s and Sen. Chris McDaniel’s (R-Ms) office with concerns over the resolution, according to Mississippi Pep. Under the proposed sanctuary campus policy pushed by social justice groups and the Ole Miss College Democrats, campus police would have been barred from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The resolution also demanded that Ole Miss “refuse” ICE and federal immigration officials the ability to set foot on the public campus. Under the resolution, the use of E-verify would have been banned while the creation of a university office for illegal immigrant students would have been established.

Election/Post-Election News

The Latest: Wisconsin judge refuses to order hand recount
StarTribune - The state Elections Commission has ordered the recount to begin Thursday but rejected Stein's request that county clerks conduct the recount entirely by hand. Stein filed a lawsuit seeking an order for a statewide hand recount. Stein's attorneys argued during a hearing Tuesday evening that the best way to determine if a cyberattack occurred is to check ballots by hand against electronic tabulations from Election Day. State lawyers countered there's no evidence to suggest any attack took place. Dane County Circuit Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn refused to issue the order, saying Stein's team failed to show any mistakes or irregularities that would bring a machine recount into question.

DEMOCRATS HAVE LEARNED NOTHING: Vote To Keep Nancy Pelosi As House Minority Leader
The Gateway Pundit - Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio sounded the alarm for Democrats after Trump’s win. He challenged Nancy Pelosi for leadership of House Democrats because he was afraid their party would be relegated to attracting only rich coastal elites and those dependent on government. For his trouble, Ryan was accused of sexism. Now the Democrats have voted to keep Nancy Pelosi as House minority leader. In other words, they learned nothing from the election. The Hill reports: …Pelosi got 134 votes to Ryan’s 63 — winning 68 percent of the votes after declaring before the election that she had the support of two-thirds of the caucus. The victory sends a message that while there’s a growing appetite for major changes in the party’s leadership structure and messaging tactics, it’s not strong enough to loosen Pelosi’s grip on a liberal-heavy group that’s rarely challenged her authority. Ryan and his supporters had argued that the Democrats’ grim performance in this year’s elections — the latest in a string of cycles planting Republicans firmly in the majority — was a clear signal that Pelosi’s leadership strategy has failed to attract the broad coalition of voters required to return the Speaker’s gavel to the Democrats’ hands.

Republicans Are PUMPED Nancy Pelosi Won Her Leadership Race
The Daily Caller - Republicans are thrilled Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi beat Ohio Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan in the race to hold onto her leadership post Wednesday, with a number saying her continuation of power will help keep the GOP in the majority. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — who told reporters Tuesday her continuation of past policies, like keeping the current staff at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in place after the party’s devastating election results Nov. 8, would only further her party’s losing streak — congratulated his Democratic colleague on her win.

Veteran News

Navy Veteran’s Home Torched And Vandalized With Anti-Trump Graffiti (Video)
The Gateway Pundit - FOX 13 reports: There are lots of questions surrounding a fire that gutted a home on Johnson Street in Plant City overnight. Along with heavy damage, anti-Trump graffiti was sprayed on the house, inside and out. The family who lives there was spending the night with relatives, but Navy veteran Matthew Smith says his home was targeted because he is a Donald Trump supporter. “It’s not what I expected out of America,” says Smith. “It should be us figuring problems out together.” Smith flies three flags in front of his house: the American flag, the POW flag, and the Navy flag. “We supported Trump from when he started running for office,” says Matthew’s wife Brittany. “We never made it public. We never had a sign in our backyard, so no one really knew we were pro Trump.” But Matthew says he’s been very active on Facebook, with posts supporting Trump, the Second Amendment, and other conservative causes.

Economy & Business

Obama Student Loan Forgiveness Plan To Cost Taxpayers $137 Billion, GAO Finds
Zero Hedge - ... the Government Accountability Office has released a report blasting the Education Department's understanding of basic mathematics and accounting concepts after finding the department drastically underestimated the costs of Obama's student loan forgiveness programs. The 100-page report entitled "Federal Student Loans: Education Needs to Improve Its Income Driven Repayment Plan Budget Estimates" found that taxpayers could be on the hook for $137BN of student loans to be forgiven over the coming years as a result of Obama's executive actions on "income-driven repayment" (IDR) plans.... As the Wall Street Journal points out, the so-called IDR plans set caps on borrowers' monthly student loan payments at 10% of discretionary income, which is defined as earnings above 150% of the poverty level. Then, whatever principal balance is left over on the loans at their maturity date is simply forgiven.... Congress approved the IDR plans in the 1990s and 2000s, but Obama used executive actions, starting in 2010, to extend the most-generous terms to millions of borrowers. Ironically, that is precisely when loan volumes under the program started to skyrocket.

Energy & Environment

Thousands of U.S. Veterans to Serve as ‘Human Shields” for Dakota Pipeline Protesters
AllGov - As many as 2,000 veterans plan to gather next week at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to serve as “human shields” for protesters who have clashed with police for months over the construction of an oil pipeline, organizers said. The effort, called Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, is planned as a nonviolent intervention to defend demonstrators from what the group calls “assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force.” The veterans’ plan coincides with an announcement Tuesday by law enforcement officials that they may impose fines to block supplies from entering the main protest camp after a mandatory evacuation order from the governor. Officials had warned earlier of a physical blockade, but they later backed away from that, Reuters said. Protesters have vowed to stay put.

Science & Technology

Last-ditch effort to prevent changes to law enforcement hacking rule fails
TheHill - The updates to Rule 41 address two issues raised by modern cyber investigations. Currently, when suspects use technical means to disguise their location of their computers, it is impossible for law enforcement to determine in which jurisdiction officers must apply for a warrant. The updates would allow any judge to issue a warrant to hack a computer of a suspect hiding its location. The new rules would also help fight botnets - networks of hijacked computers used to send spam or as a component of attacks that flood targets with too much traffic to properly function. Currently, law enforcement needs individual warrants to hack each computer it desires, slowing the process of shutting down a botnet. The updates to Rule 41 allow law enforcement to use a single application to apply to hack five or more computers.... Digital and civil liberties advocates believe that the new rules create a boundless new tool for surveillance. They fear that warrants for computers roped into a botnet permit the government to hack innocent victims, and that granting the right to approach any judge for a warrant would mean the government would cherry-pick judges.... In a series of blog posts, the Department of Justice has argued that all of the hacking powers described in the rule changes are powers the government already have. The only change, Justice argued, is the procedure for getting a warrant.

Android 'Gooligan' Hackers Just Scored The Biggest Ever Theft Of Google Accounts
Forbes - A new variant of Android malware is responsible for what’s believed to be the biggest single theft of Google accounts on record. The so-called Gooligan strain has infected as many as 1.3 million Android phones since August, completely prizing the devices open and stealing the tokens users are given to verify they are authorized to access their accounts. It’s main aim, though, is not to pilfer all that juicy data in Gmail or Docs, but to force users into downloading apps as part of a huge advertising fraud scheme, making as much as $320,000 a month.... since the start of this month, it’s been racking up an average of 13,000 new infections every day, according to researchers from Check Point. The malicious software first gains a foothold on devices when users visit a website and download a third-party app.... Once Gooligan has control of the phone, the victim’s Google account token is siphoned off to a remote server and could be used to gain access to their Gmail, Docs, Drive, Photos and other data, even where two-factor authentication is turned on. Check Point’s researchers were able to trace that server, uncovering a stash of 1.3 million real Google accounts. Looking at server logs, they were also able to determine as many as 30,000 apps were being downloaded every day by infected phones, reaching a total of 2 million so far.

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

United States Is Turning Into a Factory Farm for China, With Devastating Environmental Consequences
Dr. Mercola - Foreign corporations are also circumventing American farmers altogether by purchasing farm land in the U.S. In 2011, Chinese companies owned $81 million worth of American farmland. By the end of 2012, Chinese ownership had skyrocketed by 1,000 percent, to $900 million. They’re also buying up food producers. In 2013, pork processor Smithfield was bought by Shaunghui, the largest meat processing company in China. At $7.1 billion — 30 percent above its estimated market value — it was the largest-ever Chinese buyout of an American company. Also included in the deal was $480 million worth of American farmland. With this buyout, the Chinese now own 1 out of every 4 pigs raised in the U.S…. Smithfield Foods, now owned by a Chinese company, produces and releases vast amounts of waste into our environment. According to the 2016 report, “Corporate Agribusiness and the Fouling of America’s Waterways” by Environment North Carolina, Smithfield discharged 3.6 million tons of toxic pollutants from its hog slaughtering plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, in 2014…. Crazy enough, in 2015, Smithfield asked a federal judge to forbid people living near facilities from mentioning the fact that the company is Chinese owned when arguing nuisance lawsuits in court…. More than 500 North Carolina residents have brought suit against the company, saying the manure lagoons are harming their health and lowering property values…. For Americans, the sale of farmland and food production to foreign nationals is an absolute disaster, and may make efforts to improve sustainability even more difficult than it already is. A foreign company is likely going to be less concerned about environmental and human health since they don’t have to live with it.


Stop depression, stiff muscles, and chronic headaches with just one grapefruit a day
Living Traditionally - Grapefruits contains powerful antioxidants and valuable nutrients, such as Vitamins C, A, K, D, and B complex. Other important nutrients contained in grapefruits are potassium, folic acid, calcium, phytonutrients and phosphorus. Consuming grapefruits on a regular basis boosts the immune system and helps prevent colds. Additionally, grapefruit juice is effective in healing sore throats, eliminating coughs, and reducing fevers. Grapefruits are also instrumental in increasing the body’s alkalinity and reducing acidity, and in preventing or treating various diseases. Grapefruits additional benefits include: *Promoting proper functioning of the digestive system. The fibers in the fruit aid in preventing constipation. *Controlling blood pressure. *Lowering cholesterol. *Helps to control blood sugar levels. Grapefruits are an excellent addition to a diet for diabetics. *Alleviates fatigue. Those needing a quick pick-me-up will find that a glass of grapefruit and lemon juice, mixed in equal parts, will dispel general fatigue. *Relieves insomnia. People suffering from this condition should drink one glass of grapefruit juice before going to sleep. *Daily consumption of grapefruits seems to relieve inflammation caused by inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. *And, last but not least, grapefruits contain fat burning enzymes that are instrumental in promoting weight loss…. It should be noted, however, that grapefruits do interact with certain medications which may cause potentially dangerous side effects. This is due to the fact that they interfere in the absorption of certain medications.

Marijuana Kills Cancer Cells, Admits the US National Cancer Institute
Natural Society - National legalization of marijuana may be drawing a smidgeon closer. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), one of the federal government sponsored agencies, has just updated the FAQs on its website to include recent studies on marijuana showing that it can and has killed cancer cells. These are the findings of studies NCI have included: • Cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells. • Cannabinoids may protect against inflammation of the colon and may have potential in reducing the risk of colon cancer, and possibly in its treatment. • A laboratory study of delta -9-THC in hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) cells showed it damaged or killed the cancer cells. The same study of delta-9-THC in models of liver cancer showed that it had anti-tumor effects. Delta-9-THC has been shown to cause these effects by acting on molecules that may also be found in non-small cell lung cancer cells and breast cancer cells. • A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that it caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells. Studies of metastatic breast cancer showed that cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, and spread of tumors….
* Related: Video: What if Cannabis Cured (Cancer) Full Version

Pet News

Why Do Cats Purr? It’s Not Just Because They’re Happy
Midnight in the Desert - No one is certain exactly why cats purr, though there are a number of good guesses. The obvious observation is cats seem to purr when they’re pleased and feeling good. But that’s not always the case: Some cats also purr when they’re hungry, injured, or frightened. And most surprisingly, purring frequencies have been shown to stimulate bone regeneration…. Domestic cats purr at a frequency of about 26 Hertz, in a range that promotes tissue regeneration. That’s not as crazy as it sounds: High-impact exercise promotes bone health for the same reason, because bones respond to pressure by making themselves stronger. In their natural setting, cats spend a lot of time lying around waiting to hunt, so purring may stimulate bones so that they don’t become weak or brittle. In fact, purr-like vibration devices have been patented for potential use in therapy, and some researchers have proposed strapping vibrating plates to astronauts’ feet during long space flights to retain bone density.

Owning a Specimen of the World’s Rarest, Most Controversial Cat Breed Costs $23,000
Midnight in the Desert - Created by crossing a wild Caracal and an Abyssinian cat, the Caracat is currently the world’s rarest and most expensive cat breed. It numbers only 30 specimens, and owning one costs 1.5 million Russian rubles, or $23,400…. The Caracat is an extremely rare and controversial breed. According to Ruptly TV, an outfit of Russia Today, there are only 30 Caracat specimens in the world today, which has to do with the difficulties of mixing two different size felines – a wild Caracal, which weighs around 30 pounds, with a domestic Abyssinian, which weighs about 10 pounds. Cat Breeder Jacquie Barnes-Hookey says that “because of the difference in the length of gestation, the kittens only rarely survive.”… Cat breeder Barbara Galbraith Furbish also agrees that while the Caracat “is an amazingly beautiful animal, to intentionally cross a species that would not otherwise be inclined to cross ‘au naturale’ is the wrong kind of ‘gene fiddling'”. She adds that because of the unnatural cross between a Caracal and a Abyssinian cat, one can see both “the wild animal pleading behind those eyes to be released” and “the panicked domestic.”

Missing Florida dog found in New Jersey three years later
UPI - A missing Maltese Pomeranian mix from Florida was reunited with her owner after turning up in New Jersey three years later. Bill Gerstein of Fort Lauderdale shared a photo with his newly found dog, Bella, to a Facebook page dedicated to finding the beloved pet. "Almost three years later, miracles do really happen," a post on the Facebook page said. "Bella was turned in as a stray in New Jersey. Will be returning home shortly." Gerstein told North Jersey News Bella disappeared while playing outside of his law office in Dec. 2013.




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