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day - February 28, 2017

Today In History:

1827 - The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad became the first railroad incorporated for commercial transportation of people and freight.
1844 - Several people were killed aboard the USS Princeton when a 12-inch gun exploded.
1854 - The Republican Party was organized in Ripon, WI. About 50 slavery opponents began the new political group.
1861 - The U.S. territory of Colorado was organized.
1883 - The first vaudeville theater opened.
1885 - AT&T was incorporated. The company was capitalized on only $100,000 and provided long distance service for American Bell.
1951 - A Senate committee issued a report that stated that there were at least two major crime syndicates in the U.S.
1953 - In a Cambridge University laboratory, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.
1974 - The U.S. and Egypt re-established diplomatic relations after a break of seven years.
1983 - "M*A*S*H" became the most watched television program in history when the final episode aired.
1993 - U.S. Federal agents raided the compound of an armed religious cult in Waco, TX. The ATF had planned to arrest the leader of the Branch Davidians, David Koresh, on federal firearms charges. Four agents and six Davidians were killed and a 51-day standoff followed.
1994 - NATO made its first military strike when U.S. F-16 fighters shot down four Bosnian Serb warplanes in violation of a no-fly zone over central Bosnia.
2002 - In Ahmadabad, India, Hindus set fire to homes in a Muslim neighborhood. At least 55 people were killed in the attack.
2007 - NASA's New Horizons spacecraft made a gravitational slingshot against Jupiter to change the planned trajectory towards Pluto.
2013 - Benedict XVI resigned as pope. He was the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415 and the first to resign voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294.

World News

New Declassified CIA Memo Presents Blueprint for Syrian Regime Collapse
Zero Hedge - The 24-page formerly classified memo entitled Syria: Scenarios of Dramatic Political Change was produced in July 1986, and had high level distribution within the Reagan administration and to agency directors, including presidential advisers, the National Security Council, and the US ambassador to Syria. The memo appears in the CIA’s latest CREST release (CIA Records Search Tool) of over 900,000 recently declassified documents. The memo’s cover letter, drafted by the CIA’s Director of Global Issues (the report itself was prepared by the division’s Foreign Subversion and Instability Center), introduces the purpose of presenting “a number of possible scenarios that could lead to the ouster of President Assad or other dramatic change in Syria.” It further curiously warns that, “Because the analysis out of context is susceptible to misunderstanding, external distribution has been severely restricted.”…. While the 1986 CIA report makes a case in its concluding paragraph for “a Sunni regime controlled by business-oriented moderates” in Syria, the authors acknowledge that the collapse of the Ba’ath state could actually usher in the worst of all possible outcomes for Washington and the region: “religious zealots” might seek to establish “an Islamic Republic”. The words take on a new and special importance now, after the rise of ISIS:

Pentagon Seeks to Expand US Involvement in Somalia Fight
Antiwar - … while it’s not as high profile as recommendations expected later this week in places like Syria, that’s the case for Somalia as well, where the Pentagon is seeking increased aid for the Somali Army, moving US special forces closer to the front lines, and loosening up restrictions on airstrikes. AFRICOM chief Gen. Thomas Waldhauser described Somalia as “our most perplexing challenge,” saying that the US needs to shift its focus toward weakening al-Shabaab enough that the African Union forces that have been in Somalia for a decade can finally defeat them. Despite being presented as a “fresh perspective” on the long fight in Somalia, the Pentagon recommendation is their go-to plan in wars everywhere: more direct US involvement, more embedding of forces, and more airstrikes with less restrictions.

Israeli Special Forces Enter Syrian Territory to 'Monitor' Extremist Groups Fighting Assad
Global Research - …Israel is sending “elite intelligence units” to “monitor” fighting between Syrian forces and “moderate” rebels. Our friends at Al Masdar News report: A video published by Channel 2 showed reporter Dani Kashmaru accompanying the soldiers in a night mission. According to the reporter, similar operations have been carried out several times in the past, stating that he, along with the Israeli soldiers, ‘could hear and see everything.’ The report disclosed that the elite unit made use of advanced and sophisticated eavesdropping devices to monitor the battles fought between the Syrian Army and hardline groups in the area. Israel has been providing logistic support and medical assistance to opposition forces – including Jabhet al-Nusra terror organization – fighting President Bashar Assad. Israeli warplanes have repeatedly targeted Syrian Army positions under the pretext of preventing sophisticated weapons from reaching the Lebanese Hezbollah group.

Former IMF Chief Sent to Jail As Spain Prosecutes 65 Elite Bankers in Enormous Corruption Scandal
The Free Thought Project - The most recent example of a corrupt banker being held accountable comes out of Spain, where the former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Rodrigo Rato, was sentenced to four years and six months behind bars. According to the AFP, Spain’s National Court, which deals with corruption and financial crime cases, said he had been found guilty of embezzlement when he headed up Caja Madrid and Bankia, at a time when both groups were having difficulties. Rato, who is tied to a slew of other allegations, was convicted and sentenced for misusing €12m between 2003 and 2012 — sometimes splashing out at the height of Spain’s economic crisis, according to the AFP…. Rato was brought down in a massive effort by Spain to get rid of corruption within the banking system. The problem had gotten so bad that Spain decided to clean house and 65 people, including Rato, were brought to task. According to the AP, they were accused of having paid for personal expenses with credit cards put at their disposal by both Caja Madrid and Bankia, without ever justifying them or declaring them to tax authorities. These expenses included petrol for their cars, supermarket shopping, holidays, luxury bags and parties in nightclubs.

Deep State War? Russian Officials Keep Dying Unexpectedly
Zero Hedge - Six Russian diplomats have died in the last 60 days. As Axios notes, all but one died on foreign soil. Some were shot, while other causes of death are unknown. Note that a few deaths have been labeled “heart attacks” or “brief illnesses.”… It seems highly unlikely and improbable to write off that six Russian officials would die in under 60 days in such an influx in various different mysterious ways without a catalyst. And let’s not forget RT founder and former Putin aide Mikhail Lesin was found dead in 2015 from a blunt weapon that was originally blamed on a heart attack so assassination can’t be taken off the table and ruled out in any of these cases. Turkey and Russia already accused NATO of a false flag attack killing Karlov the Russian-Turkish Ambassador. NATO also had a dead diplomat Yves Chandelon mysteriously die of a gunshot wound to the head in his car a week before the death of Karlov. Chandelon was the Chief Auditor in charge Of Counterterrorism funding.

EU migrants could lose right to stay in Britain within weeks
RINF - [Prime Minister Theresa] May is apparently poised to announce that EU citizens who travel to Britain after she triggers Article 50 will no longer have the automatic right to stay in the UK permanently, the Telegraph reports. She is expected to say EU migrants who arrived in the UK before a “cut-off date,” thought to be March 15 when the government’s Article 50 bill has gone through parliament, will have their rights protected as long as British citizens living elsewhere are also granted the same assurance…. Iain Duncan Smith, a Euroskeptic Tory MP, told the newspaper such an announcement will show May is taking control of Britain’s borders and giving clarity to the 3.6 million EU migrants already living in the UK…. The EU has been pushing for May to make the cut-off date for migrants 2019, but UK ministers have raised concerns that waiting until the end of negotiations will lead to a huge surge in the number of EU migrants coming to Britain before Brexit.

Vietnam Bans Paraquat and 2,4-D over Human and Environmental Damage
Sustainable Pulse - Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Vietnam welcomed the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture’s decision to impose the ban after they reviewed the different scientific evidence that showed the clear harm of the pesticides both on humans and the environment. “We are pleased by the move of the government of Vietnam that has prioritized the health of the Vietnamese people, and we encourage and look forward to more bans of highly hazardous pesticides in Vietnam,” said Nguyen Thi Hoa, Deputy Director of Centre for Sustainable Rural Development, one of the NGOs that forms the coalition of PAN Vietnam. Nguyen Thi Hoa also added, “This is particularly a significant victory as many rural farmers, women and children are poisoned by herbicides like paraquat and 2,4-D in Vietnam.”… Meanwhile, 2,4-D was one of the two different active herbicide ingredients in Agent Orange, used extensively by the United States in Vietnam during the war from 1961 to 1971. Although, the 2,4,5-T herbicide and not 2,4-D was identified as the reason for the vast amount of suffering associated with Agent Orange, according to the WHO, 2,4-D is a possible carcinogen.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Trump looks to refocus his presidency in address to Congress
AP - President Donald Trump's first address to Congress gives him a welcome opportunity to refocus his young administration on the core economic issues that helped him get elected - and, his allies hope, to move beyond the distractions and self-inflicted wounds that have roiled his White House. Trump's advisers say he will use his prime-time speech Tuesday to declare early progress on his campaign promises, including withdrawing the U.S. from a sweeping Pacific Rim trade pact, and to map a path ahead on thorny legislative priorities, including health care and infrastructure spending. "We spend billions in the Middle East, but we have potholes all over the country," Trump said Monday as he previewed the address during a meeting with the nation's governors. "We're going to start spending on infrastructure big."

White House Defends $54 Billion Increase In Defense Spending
The Daily Caller - The White House justified increasing defense-related spending by $54 billion during the press briefing Monday. The Daily Caller asked Sean Spicer how the new budget proposal, which would boost Pentagon spending by 10 percent, was defensible after an internal review found there was $125 billion in administrative waste at the Department of Defense in 2015. The press secretary said that simply cutting waste wouldn’t provide enough money to fund military infrastructure. “Of course he’s concerned,” Spicer said when asked if President Trump was worried about DOD wastefulness. “He’s concerned with wasteful spending throughout the government. There is also a big difference between rooting out waste and fraud and various programs, and understanding that when you’re talking about adding to the fleet, or increasing airplane costs, that that can’t be driven just through those.” “The commitment that you have to make to purchase some of those very needed upgrades to our infrastructure, to our arsenal, planes, ships, it doesn’t just come through that. So even if you could start to really identify, you wouldn’t be able to make the financial commitment that needs to be done to rebuild some of the ships and planes in particular that need a substantial investment on the front end.”… The proposal put forth Monday would cut domestic programs and foreign aid while increasing funds for national security. [Office of Management and Budget head Mick] Mulvaney said the defense spending was one of the “largest increases in history.”
* Related: President Donald Trump's proposed budget is set to hike defense spending but slash EPA funding

Obama Scheme to Sabotage Trump Admin With High Profile Moles Exposed?
The GatewayPundit - Two Obama National Security staffers who worked side-by-side in the White House office of Ben Rhodes, former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser for strategic communications, stayed behind at the White House to work for Obama’s successor President Donald Trump only to quit and then publish scathing op-eds just three days apart in the Washington Post and Atlantic, respectively. Rhodes specialized in manipulating the media for favorable reporting on the Obama administration, most notably the Iran nuclear deal. Under the rule of ‘there are no coincidences in politics’, that two Rhodes operatives stayed behind and then staged high profile protest resignations bespeaks of a scheme that would have to have been blessed by Rhodes’ former boss Obama.

Leaked Audio Exposes Liberal Group Behind Town Hall Protests
Western Journalism - The leaked audio, obtained and authenticated by Louisiana radio station KPEL, reveals members of the anti-Trump group Indivisible Guide plotting to disrupt a town hall with Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and his constituents in Breaux Bridge…. “Game plan number one is to fill as many seats as we can, right?” said one organizer, identified as James Proctor by KPEL. Proctor is the leader of Indivisible Acadiana, a local branch of the national Indivisible Guide group. “If it’s all of us in there and the poor people of Breaux Bridge are sitting behind us, well then tough luck for them,” Proctor says, indicating that the liberal activists were not a part of the local constituency Cassidy intended to address at the town hall. “If we can arrange it so [Cassidy] doesn’t hear one sympathetic question–great. That only magnifies our impact,” Proctor said, indicating that the protesters were attending the town hall solely to disrupt, and had no intentions of engaging with the senator. To help ensure that the activists “dominated the question and answer” session of the town hall, the inside team was told to avoid “any signifier that you’re a liberal” in an effort to blend in with the conservative constituents of Breaux Bridge.

NYC cops want to help with Trump's deportation orders, union head says
RT - Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, took New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Police Commissioner James O'Neill to task on a Sunday radio show, blasting the pair for announcing that the city, including the New York Police Department, would not fully cooperate with the Trump administration's recent immigration policy directive…. In an internal NYPD memo, O'Neill said last week that, "regardless of their immigration status," people should be able to seek help from the NYPD without fear…. Mullins ripped O'Neill's bulletin, insisting that the commissioner has "a moral obligation" to "follow the direction of law." He added that many NYPD cops are ready and willing to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents with deportation orders…. Mullins also said if an officer or a public citizen is killed by an illegal immigrant, then "that public official that plays this game or that members of law enforcement that play this game, they better be prepared to answer for that."

Local Sheriff Releases Names of CCW Permit Holders to Media
Bearing Arms - Concealed carriers in Contra Costa County (CA) received an unexpected letter in the mail recently. Earlier this month, the county’s sheriff department sent a letter telling CCW permit holders that their personal information had been released to ABC7 as part of a public records request. Although the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department complied with the public records request, they did reject part of the request which called for permit holders’ addresses. “We try and balance the needs of the public and the people who want or need access to the information to ensure everyone’s safety,” said Lt. Nate McCormack told East County Today…. Currently, the county has 317 CCW permits, 290 of which are non-law enforcement applicants. Their concealed carry application approval rate is a whopping 17 percent.

Lawyer: Justice to no longer contest Texas' voter ID law
CNS News - An attorney for a voting rights group said Monday that President Donald Trump's administration said that the federal government no longer plans to challenge Texas' strict voter ID law…. The move marks a stark reversal under new Attorney General Jeff Sessions from the Obama White House, which joined a lawsuit against Texas in 2013. The Justice Department didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment. A federal appeals court last year ruled that the Texas law discriminated against minorities and the poor, and it ordered changes ahead of the November election…. The Texas law requires voters to show one of seven approved forms of identification to cast a ballot. It was softened in August to allow people without a driver's license or other photo ID to sign an affidavit declaring that they have an impediment to obtaining required identification.

Economy & Business

Half of US Students Think Their Loans Will be Forgiven
Sputnik News - When 500 students were asked by the pollsters if they believe that they will be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness programs following graduation, 49.80 percent believed that they would be. Asked if it is possible to refinance federal student loan debt, 64 percent of college students also incorrectly agreed that they believed that it was. Additionally, 33 percent of college students could not identify the differences between subsidized and unsubsidized loans, and 79 percent of college students could not identify the current repayment term of a federal student loan. Student loan forgiveness is only open to certain professions and even with appropriate criteria is not guaranteed. Guidelines set by the Department of Education state that borrowers are only eligible for forgiveness if they enter a public-service profession and remain for at least ten years…. Currently, 44.2 million Americans owe roughly $1.3 trillion in unpaid student-loan debt. The average graduate in 2016 will have $37,172 in student loan debt, up 6 percent from the 2015 average.

Science & Technology

Judge Orders California To Release Papers On Risk Of Cell Phone Use
CBS San Francisco - On Friday, a Superior Court judge ordered the state [California] to release papers discussing the possible risks of long-term cellphone use…. The documents were written by the state’s Environmental Health Investigations branch and are believed to contain cellphone radiation warnings and recommendations for public use. But the state refused to hand them over when requested by a director at University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. So Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D., sued the state under the California Public Records Act…. When asked why he thinks the state is trying to suppress this document, he said, “They claim that this would lead to chaos and confusion among the public, I suspect that they were afraid of the reaction from the telecommunications industry should they publish this document. In fact, they even argued that in their brief.” In a tentative ruling Friday, a judge found the documents are, in fact, public record and the public should have a right to see it…. Moskowitz cites new research that finds a significant relationship between cellphone use of 10 or more years and increased brain tumor risk.


Hidden Laws and Guidelines on Informed Consent Could Protect Children Against Mandatory Vaccination
Green Med Info - In the UK, a recent ruling titled The Montgomery Ruling states that a patient must have sufficient information to make an informed choice about any medical treatment that is being offered to them. In 2015, the website Medical Protection, which outlined this ruling, stated that: “The patient must have sufficient information to make a choice – without adequate information, patients are unable to make decisions about their treatment. The information provided should, for example, include: an explanation of the investigation, diagnosis or treatment; an explanation of the probabilities of success, or the risk of failure; or harm associated with options for treatment. The patient should be given time to ask questions…. “The patient must be able to give their consent freely – pressuring patients into consenting to treatment invalidates the consent…. Whereas the information detailed in the Montgomery judgement was straightforward and relatively easy to find, the US equivalent, titled American Medical Association – Informed Consent – Patient Physician Relationship, mentioned on Legal Resources had been removed. However, the paper can be found, referenced in considerable detail, on the American Medical Association (AMA) website…

Judge Rules Insurance Company Must Cover Medical Marijuana
REALfarmacy - Judge Ingrid L. French, a state administrative law judge from New Jersey, has ruled that an Egg Harbor man’s insurance company must cover the costs of medical marijuana. This could theoretically establish a very much-needed precedent for patients. Judge French says Andrew Watson’s insurance company is obligated to cover the costs of his voter-approved medical marijuana. Watson’s case sought financial reimbursement for the medicinal cannabis he purchased at a local medical marijuana collective, after enrolling in the state’s medical cannabis program in 2014. Judge French ruled that Mr. Watson’s medical condition was consistent with New Jersey’s list of qualifying conditions. After listening to the testimony provided by the Egg Harbor plaintiff and considering the testimony of a local neurologist/psychiatrist, the judge agreed that medical marijuana is indeed medicinal and should be covered by Watson’s insurance company…. The Judge believed that Watson’s chosen holistic approach to pain management was better than medicating with opiates. The Judge also called the plaintiff’s decision “cautious, mature, and… exceptionally conscientious.” This ruling could potentially set a future precedent for others to follow.

Pet News

Volunteers rescue dogs, puppies seemingly abandoned at DAPL protest camps (Video)
Fox6 Now - It was a hectic week as law enforcement officials worked to clear the Oceti Sakowin protest camp in North Dakota. As officers moved in, and protesters moved out, garbage wasn’t the only thing abandoned. Two dogs and six puppies were found and rescued at the main Dakota Access Pipeline camp by Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue. Those with the rescue have been working hard to catch all of the animals left behind at the camp…. Those with Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue plan on going back to the protest camps, where they said they’re having a hard time catching these animals because of the loud heavy machinery that’s being used to clean up the area…. The two dogs that they’ve saved had symptoms of being out in the weather — with frostbitten ears and patchy fur. If they stay with us, we help them find their forever home. If somebody has left the dog behind and they’re looking for that dog, we hope they’ll contact us so we can help them find their dog,” said [Julie] Schirado. Those with Furry Friends said their first priority is keeping the dogs warm and fed, and making sure they’re healthy.

Using Turmeric Curcumin to Treat Canine Arthritis
Dogington Post - The important active component in curcumin that treats arthritis is called turmeric. This is what you need for your dog. Here are reasons why curcumin works to manage pain and heal your dogs. Though most studies are directed to human arthritis, it doesn’t change its pharmacological properties – which suggests that it can be used to dogs and other animals too. It synthesizes and inhibits the production of inflammatory chemicals. It also regulates the “nuclear factor – kappa B”, an important protein in sparking inflammation, and it also inhibits the migration of immune cells to the injury site. There are also studies that prove that the effects of turmeric on inflammation is better than the usual pain killer you give to your dogs. Curcumin is proven to regulate cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for curbing and preventing inflammation and the spread of the disease. Metalloproteinase Matrix is a protein that supports cartilage degradation and inflammation. Turmeric can effectively inhibit its activity to protect your dog’s bone cells. When inflammation happens on the bones and joints, your cells are technically attacking chondrocytes – cells responsible for developing bones. These cells are needed to help regenerate the healthy statues of their joints. Curcumin can also protect the chondrocytes from inflammation because it can support the development of osteoblasts from stem cells….

Monday - February 27, 2017

Today In History:

1801 - The city of Washington, DC, was placed under congressional jurisdiction.
1827 - New Orleans held its first Mardi Gras celebration.
1861 - In Warsaw, Russian troops fired on a crowd protesting Russian rule over Poland. Five protesting marchers were killed in the incident.
1867 - Dr. William G. Bonwill invented the dental mallet.
1883 - Oscar Hammerstein patented the first cigar-rolling machine.
1922 - The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 19th Amendment that guaranteed women the right to vote.
1933 - The Reichstag, Germany's parliament building in Berlin, was set afire. The Nazis accused Communist for the fire.
1939 - The U.S. Supreme Court outlawed sit-down strikes.
1951 - The 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, limiting U.S. Presidents to two terms.
1973 - The American Indian Movement occupied Wounded Knee in South Dakota.
1981 - Chrysler Corporation was granted an additional $400 million in federal loan guarantees. Chrysler had posted a loss of $1.7 billion in 1980.
1986 - The U.S. Senate approved the telecast of its debates on a trial basis.
1990 - The Exxon Corporation and Exxon Shipping were indicted on five criminal counts in reference to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.
1991 - U.S. President George H.W. Bush announced live on television that "Kuwait is liberated."
2002 - In Boston, twenty people working at Logan International Airport were charged with lying to get their jobs or security badges.

World News

Iran holds naval war games amid rising tensions with U.S.
(Reuters) - Iran launched naval drills at the mouth of the Gulf and the Indian Ocean on Sunday, a naval commander said, as tensions with the United States escalated after U.S. President Donald Trump put Tehran "on notice". Since taking office last month, Trump has pledged to get tough with Iran, warning the Islamic Republic after its ballistic missile test on Jan. 29 that it was playing with fire and all U.S. options were on the table. Iran's annual exercises will be held in the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman, the Bab el-Mandab and northern parts of the Indian Ocean, to train in the fight against terrorism and piracy, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said, according to state media.

China Prepares For "Regime Collapse" In North Korea
Blacklisted News - … it appears that the likelihood of a regime collapse in North Korea is being taken seriously by none other than the country's formerly largest trading partner, China, which as SCMP [South China Morning Post] reports, will take the “necessary measures” to safeguard national security in the event of the collapse of the neighboring North Korean regime, a defence official said on Thursday. The recent assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam has sparked renewed concerns over the stability of Pyongyang and the possibility of a collapse of the reclusive regime…. Meanwhile, in an inexplicable move, the WSJ reports that in a move that will only antagonise China, North Korea appeared to lash out at Beijing in a state-media commentary published on Thursday, in unusually pointed rhetoric from Pyongyang toward a powerful neighbor that it has long relied on for economic support. In Thursday’s piece, North Korea even adopted a mocking tone, saying that the country is “styling itself a big power, is dancing to the tune of the U.S.” The KCNA statement also vowed that cutting its exports wouldn’t deter North Korea from developing its nuclear arsenal.

Marine Le Pen vows to REMOVE France from ‘MONSTER’ EU and start NEW bloc of rebel nations
UK Express - The Front National leader has laid out her foreign policy vision for France with plans to reverse EU bureaucracy which has left France “enfeebled” and “cut off” from the world. Speaking in Paris yesterday, she said: “It’s time for us to put an end to this bureaucratic monster that is the European Union. European countries are bound together in many ways, and this mandatory coalition is destroying individual member states.” The far-right chief also vowed not to allow her country be “diminished, isolated, and wholly dependent on the EU”. She warned: “The European Union is not the solution, it’s the problem.” EU nationalists are paving the way for a “new” Europe, she said. She added: “I am thrilled to see that Europeans are speaking out against the Union, and calling for a Europe of nations. We will build a better Europe, whether Mrs Merkel and Mr Schulz like it or not.”

Yes we can? Petition launched for Obama 2017 French presidential campaign
RT - A “radical” campaign is underway in France to make Barack Obama the next French president – despite at least one glaring obstacle to the move: he’s not a French citizen. The political drive is aiming to collect one million voting pledges for the former US president and Nobel prize winner by March 15, and is being pushed with a series of ‘Obama 17’ posters across Paris. A website dedicated to the cause states that “Barack Obama has the best resume in the world for the job,” and urges radical thinking from the electorate: “To launch this 6th Republic, we wish to strike a blow by electing a foreign President at the head of our beautiful country.”

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Trump's New National Security Advisor Warned Against "Military Industrial Complex"
Living Resistance - Little is known about Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s new pick for the National Security Advisor. But some positive signs have recently emerged. The first is that McMaster published his PhD dissertation on the deception within the US government that led to the Vietnam war, “Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam.”…. And now there is even more positive news, thanks to an old report that has recently re-surfaced to make the rounds online. According to the report, published in 2015, McMaster openly criticized the military-industrial complex and warned about a “narcissistic approach to war.” Yes, McMaster conjured up Eisenhower and said “the military-industrial complex may represent a greater threat to us than at any time in history.” The military-industrial complex, he added, “increasingly involves think tanks, and when you see studies that are produced about the future of war or studies that are produced about certain aspects of defense strategy, you ought to look to see who is funding it.” McMaster didn’t stop at vague generalities but undauntedly provided details about how this corrupt war machine works via manufactured studies in order to be awarded government contracts.

White House Bars CNN, NYT, Others From Media Briefing
Zero Hedge - Just a few hours after Trump warned during his CPAC speech that "we're gonna do something about the media", he did just that after the White House barred a number of news outlets from covering Sean Spicer’s Q&A session on Friday afternoon. Spicer decided to hold an off-camera “gaggle” with reporters inside his West Wing office instead of the traditional on-camera briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room according to press reports. Among the outlets not permitted to cover the gaggle were various news organizations that Trump has singled out in the past including CNN, The NYT, The Hill, Politico, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, BBC, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News. Several non mainstream outlets were allowed into Spicer’s office, including Breitbart, the Washington Times and One America News Network. Several other major news organizations were also let in to cover the gaggle. That group included ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Reuters and Bloomberg, however AP and Time have boycotted the event. The White House Correspondents’ Association sharply criticized the decision.

Trump calls on supporters to hold ‘biggest ever rally’
Daily Mail - President Donald Trump wants his supporters to counter the massive protests against his administration by staging a rally of their own…. The president tweeted on Saturday that a demonstration staged by his voters would be ‘the biggest of them all.’ ‘Maybe the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN should have their own rally,’ Trump tweeted on Saturday. Since taking office and enacting controversial measures, Trump has watched as thousands have taken to the streets in the United States and abroad to denounce him. With the Academy Awards scheduled for Sunday, Hollywood has also waded into the political dispute. Jodie Foster, Michael J. Fox and Keegan Michael Key headlined a protest over Trump’s recent immigration orders.

Previously Deported Illegal Goes On Murderous Rampage Days After CT Gov Refused To Work With ICE
Information Liberation - Just days after Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy ordered police not to co-operate with ICE in enforcing immigration laws, a previously deported illegal alien went on a murderous rampage killing a mother and stabbing her friend. rom The Hartford Courant: A convicted felon, who was previously deported, fatally stabbed a woman and abducted their 6-year-old daughter from a Bridgeport home, triggering an Amber Alert and multi-state search that ended after a highway police chase and crash in Pennsylvania, authorities said. Though the child, Aylin Hernandez, did not suffer serious physical injuries, police said her 26-year-old mother, Nidia Gonzalez, was dead. Another woman, believed to be a friend, was stabbed repeatedly in the home on Greenwood Street in Bridgeport, police said…. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials confirmed late Friday that Hernandez, a citizen of El Salvador, was issued a final order of removal by an immigration judge on Oct. 29, 2013…. Hernandez, as they note, is from El Salvador. El Salvador has one of the highest murder rates in the world. The country is filled with terrorist drug gangs like MS13.

What First Amendment? Arizona Wants Power To Seize The Assets Of Protesters
Zero Hedge - If Republicans in Arizona’s senate have their way, police in that state could soon have the power to seize assets and property from protesters, the Arizona Capitol Times reports. From a February 22 article: “Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened. “SB1142 expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others. “But the real heart of the legislation is what Democrats say is the guilt by association — and giving the government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest and everyone who participated.”…. But it gets even worse than that, as the Arizona Capitol Times pointed out Wednesday: “By including rioting in racketeering laws, it actually permits police to arrest those who are planning events.” Planning events. Meaning cops will have the authority to investigate activists before the demonstrations even take place.

Obamascare: 60% of online Obamacare defenders 'paid to post' hits on critics
Washington Examiner - A majority of online and social media defenders of Obamacare are professionals who are "paid to post," according to a digital expert. "Sixty percent of all the posts were made from 100 profiles, posting between the hours of 9 and 5 Pacific Time," said Michael Brown. "They were paid to post." His shocking analysis was revealed on this weekend's Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson, broadcast on Sinclair stations and streamed live Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Her upcoming show focuses on information wars and Brown was describing what happened when he had a problem with Obamacare and complained online. Brown said that social media is used to manipulate opinion, proven in the last presidential election…. "Digital activists are paid employees; their purpose is to attack anyone who's posting something contrary to the view of the page owner wants expressed," he told Attkisson. She reports that he evaluated 226,000 pro-Obamacare posts made by 40,000 Facebook profiles…. And Brown said that both sides play the posting game. "There's no reason to believe that everybody's not doing it."

Election News

WikiLeaks: DNC Chair Tom Perez Colluded With Hillary To 'Destroy Bernie'
Your News Wire - WikiLeaks has released emails showing that newly appointed DNC chairman, Tom Perez, colluded with Hillary Clinton’s campaign in order to destroy and “take down” Bernie Sanders during the primary race. During the 2016 campaign, WikiLeaks released a series of incriminating emails from John Podesta’s email account. One of the emails, written by Tom Perez, shows the DNC leader colluding with the Hillary camp in order to destroy Bernie’s chances at the primaries. The email is in regards to Latino support for Hillary Clinton. Perez tells John Podesta that he will be appearing on Telemundo to “trumpet” Hillary’s strong support among Hispanics while sticking a “fork” in Bernie…. This email is noteworthy because recently Perez refused to comment on allegations as to whether the Democrat primaries were rigged against Bernie.

Economy & Business

Starbucks' 'Brand Perception' Takes A Massive Hit After Announcing Plans To Hire 10,000 Refugees
Zero Hedge - About a month ago, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz decided to 'take a stand' in defiance of Trump's immigration executive order and penned a message to the world vowing, among other things, to hire 10,000 refugees over the next 5 years …. Unfortunately, Schultz quickly found out the hard way that while most adult-aged Americans can agree that they like coffee, roughly 50% disagree with his leftist political opinions…. The coffee giant's consumer perception levels have fallen by two-thirds since late January, according to YouGov BrandIndex…. In Starbucks' case, perception is still overall positive, but significantly lower than it was prior to CEO Howard Schultz published a public letter outlining the company's plans to give refugees jobs. YouGov says that there's reason to believe backlash will impact the chain's bottom line. Two days before Starbucks' announcement, 30% of consumers said they'd consider buying from Starbucks the next time they were craving coffee, the highest proportion in nearly a year. Now, the percentage is down to 24%, according to YouGov.
Related: Starbucks Headquarters Contact Information and Comment section

J.C. Penney Announces It Is Closing Over 100 Stores
Western Journalism - One of the biggest names in retail is closing up to 140 stores in the coming year. J.C. Penney on Friday announced the store closings — without specifying which stores will close — along with an early retirement plan targeting about 6,000 employees. Although the company reported a profit of 64 cents a share, coming in better than estimates, it also reported a 0.7 percent drop in sales for the final three months of 2016, somewhat worse than expected…. The company will save about $200 million in annual costs by closing the stores, which account for about 13 to 14 percent of its store base but generate less than 5 percent of annual sales.

Energy & Environment

A Cold War-era nuclear power plant could save us from ourselves
Business Insider - Called a molten-salt reactor, the technology was conceived during the Cold War and forgoes solid nuclear fuel for a liquid one, which it can "burn" with far greater efficiency than any power technology in existence. It also generates a small fraction of the radioactive waste that today's commercial reactors - which all rely on solid fuel - do. And, in theory, molten-salt reactors can never melt down…. What's more, feeding a molten-salt reactor a radioactive waste from mining, called thorium (which is three to four times more abundant than uranium), can "breed" as much nuclear fuel as it burns up…. "The technology is viable, the science has been demonstrated," Hans Gougar, a nuclear physicist at INL [Idaho National Laboratory], told Business Insider. Demonstrated, because government scientists built two complementary prototypes during the 1950s and '60s. They weren't good for making nuclear weapons, though, so bureaucrats pulled funding for the revolutionary energy technology. The last working molten-salt reactor shut down in 1969…. China now spends more than $350 million a year developing its variation of the Cold War-era design.

Science & Technology

By blacklisting Natural News articles on holistic health and cancer prevention, Google proves it is a DANGER to all humanity
(Natural News) Google advertising is funded to a large extent by direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug advertising, making its recent blacklisting of the entire Natural News website not all that surprising to those who understand corruption. Over the last few years, Google has intensified its bans on advertising of natural medicine, herbal remedies and nutritional therapies, thereby blockading providers of such products in a way that strengthens pharmaceutical monopolies. Now, with its censorship of Natural News, Google has moved into a new phase of blacklisting massive collections of human knowledge on holistic health and disease prevention, giving the pharmaceutical drug cartels yet another victory in their quest to suppress alternative medicine…. ACTION: SIGN THE WHITE HOUSE PETITION TO HALT GOOGLE CENSORSHIP. (Already nearly 50K signatures, we need 100K total, so share everywhere…) [Link in article]
* Related: Google refuses to provide any evidence to justify blacklisting of Natural News…

Video: Google may be part of a deep state conspiracy to silence Trump defenders, new interview reveals
(Natural News) Google is part of a “criminal conspiracy” to shut down any and all media defenders of the president, as Natural News founder/editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, has revealed in a recent interview with Dave Hodges on “The Common Sense Show.”… Just recently, Adams was threatened with complete destruction of his hard-earned reputation as a liberty-minded straight shooter when it comes to all aspects of natural health. Then, he was offered $50,000 to help destroy Infowars’ founder/creator Alex Jones, or else, and when Adams refused, the Google censorship began only days afterward. Not a coincidence. As for Jones, one of his primary sources of ad revenue, through the company AdRoll, a San Francisco-based, well-funded start-up with ties to Google, dropped Infowars as a client, resulting in the loss of about $3 million annually in revenue. Again, no coincidence. “It seems they’ve made good on their threat,” Adams told Hodges. “It might be just the beginning. I’m not even sure, but they’re now definitely trying to silence the independent media with economic sabotage.”…

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Are Fake Organic Foods Flooding the U.S.?
Natural Blaze - According to a report by the Alliance for Natural Health U.S. we have a situation where we are importing food from countries like Turkey and our agencies aren’t inspecting organic claims properly. The report says: Organic corn exports from Turkey to the US have exploded. Compared to the same six-month time period in 2015, the dollar value of organic corn imports from Turkey during the first six months of 2016 increased by 500%. Organic soy imports from Turkey in the same period increased by an astounding 3600%. Unfortunately, there’s a very good chance that these millions of bushels of corn and soy aren’t actually organic at all, and federal regulators—unlike their counterparts in other countries—do not seem concerned in the least. Turkey’s organic industry has major problems. Between 2012 and 2015, several reports—from respected bodies such as the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Eurofins Scientific, and our friends at the Cornucopia Institute—found widespread fraud and unapproved production methods in organic products, either directly from Turkey, or perhaps routed through Turkey after originating elsewhere…. There are reports that the measures taken by the EU and others have simply led some exporters to ship to markets that are more likely to accept their products—like the US.


Rochester set to remove 180-plus students over failure to follow vaccination law
StarTribune - More than 180 public school students in Rochester will be removed from school March 1 if they are not vaccinated or officially exempted from the state law that requires them to be immunized. School officials said this week that they have worked “diligently” since January to inform families that students must be vaccinated to attend school or provide documentation for an exemption. We sent multiple letters, worked with our bilinguals if necessary, and each school made additional efforts to connect with the families impacted to assist them with submitting the proper documentation,” school officials said in an e-mailed response to questions. As a “last resort,” school board officials unanimously voted Tuesday to remove the affected students from school March 1 if they don’t submit the necessary vaccination documents. They will be allowed to return to school once they do.

First Peer-Reviewed Study of Vaccinated versus Unvaccinated Children (Censored by an International Scientific Journal) Now Public
Age Of Autism - A Survey of 6- to 12-year-old Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children based on Mothers’ Reports, was censored by the journal Frontiers in Public Health. Key Study Finding… Vaccinated children were significantly less likely than the unvaccinated to have been diagnosed with chickenpox and pertussis, but significantly more likely to have been diagnosed with other infections, allergies and [neurodevelopmental disorders] NDDs (defined as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and/or a learning disability). Chronic Illness Detail: Vaccinated children were significantly more likely than the unvaccinated to have been diagnosed with the following chronic illnesses: 7-fold higher odds of any neurodevelopmental disorder (i.e., learning disability, ADHD, or ASD), 2-fold increase in Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”), 2-fold increase in ADHD, 2-fold increase in learning disabilities, 1-fold increase in allergic rhinitis, 9-fold increase in other allergies, 9-fold increase in eczema/atopic dermatitis, 4-fold increase in any chronic illness. No significant differences were observed with regard to cancer, chronic fatigue, conduct disorder, Crohn’s disease, depression, Types 1 or 2 diabetes, encephalopathy, epilepsy, hearing loss, high blood pressure, inflammatory bowel disease, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, seizures, and Tourette’s syndrome. However, larger samples would be needed to detect group differences in these less common conditions.

Medical marijuana found tainted with dangerous pesticide residue
(NaturalHealth365) Steep Hill, considered one of the most reliable agencies in the testing of cannabis, recently released a report on the existence of pesticide contamination in medical marijuana in California. A shocking 83.2 percent of the samples tested positive for pesticide residue after being assessed by mass spectrometer. The most predominant contaminant was the fungicide myclobutanil, an endocrine disruptor and a primary ingredient in the pesticide Eagle 20. Classified as a reproductive toxicant by the California EPA, myclobutanil was found in over 65 percent of the samples. Alarmingly, myclobutanil – which has not been approved for use on marijuana – is classified as a Schedule 3 substance under the Chemical Weapons Convention. The chemical turns into poisonous hydrogen cyanide when burned, and can be lethal in large doses…. The presence of Eagle 20 in cannabis caused the Denver Department of Environmental Health to quarantine tens of thousands of Colorado marijuana plants in order to keep them off the market. In 2015, two marijuana users in Colorado – one of whom has a brain tumor and medical marijuana card – sued a marijuana company over the use of Eagle 20.

The Underused Wonder Vegetable: 20 Amazing Health Benefits of Okra
REALfarmacy - These are the medical advantages of Okra: Brings Down Bad Cholesterol: Okra (soluble fiber pectin) helps lower the serum (bad) cholesterol and avoids atherosclerosis. For Pregnancy and Fetal advancement: Okra helps prevent unnatural birth cycles, promotes development of the fetal neural tube, and prevents imperfections in the tube. Skin Detoxifier: Okra (Vitamin C, fiber aids toxic) is utilized to repair body tissues, heal psoriasis, eliminate pimples, and other skin conditions. Treats Genital Disorders: Okra treats genital issue like syphilis, extreme menstrual bleeding, leucorrhoea, dysuria, and gonorrhea. For Asthma: It can shorten the duration of asthma manifestations and prevent deadly attacks. Okra is high in vitamin C, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Reduces Colon cancer risk: Okra cleans out the intestinal tract with its insoluble fiber, diminishing the danger of colon-rectal tumor. The high cell reinforcements in Okra aid in securing the immune system against unsafe free radicals and avoid transformation of cells. Immunity Booster: Okra is a decent immune booster food high in antioxidants and vitamin C. Other vital minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, battle against unsafe free radicals and support the immune system. Rich Protein Source: The superb wellspring of top notch vegetable protein and oils, cystine, advanced with amino acids like tryptophan, and other sulfur amino acids content are contained in the seeds of Okra. Diabetes: Okra regulates glucose levels. The kind of fiber found in Okra i.e. Eugenol, aids in settling glucose by controlling the rate at which sugar is ingested from the intestinal tract. Learn how to make okra water in the video below….

Pet News

More Recalls Expected as Testing Reveals Horse DNA in Evanger’s Dog Food
Dogington Post - Pet food company, Evanger’s, which recently recalled its Hunk of Beef canned dog food and Against the Grain brand pulled beef canned dog food due to contamination with pentobarbital, a barbiturate used to euthanize animals, has now admitted that the recalled food contained horse DNA. In a letter to customers dated February 21, 2017, Evanger’s explained that after the discovery of pentobarbital, the FDA tested the Hunk of Beef product and confirmed that the only ingredient was beef. However, because pentobarbital is almost never used for cows, Evanger’s said they moved forward with their own investigation and found through genetic species identification that the Hunk of Beef product contained equine, or horse, DNA along with bovine, or beef, DNA. On one hand, the presence of horse DNA provides an explanation for why pentobarbital was present as the drug is commonly used to euthanize horses. It doesn’t explain why horse meat was found in a can meant to only contain 100% beef.

Friday - February 24, 2017

Today In History:

1803 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled itself to be the final interpreter of all constitutional issues.
1863 - Arizona was organized as a territory.
1866 - In Washington, DC, an American flag made entirely of American bunting was displayed for the first time.
1868 - The U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson due to his attempt to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. The U.S. Senate later acquitted Johnson.
1900 - New York City Mayor Van Wyck signed the contract to begin work on New York's first rapid transit tunnel. The tunnel would link Manhattan and Brooklyn. The ground breaking ceremony was on March 24, 1900.
1903 - In Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, an area was leased to the U.S. for a naval base.
1942 - The U.S. Government stopped shipments of all 12-gauge shotguns for sporting use for the wartime effort.
1942 - The Voice of America (VOA) aired for the first time.
1945 - During World War II, the Philippine capital of Manila, was liberated by U.S. soldiers.
1983 - A U.S. congressional commission released a report that condemned the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
1989 - Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini sentenced Salman Rushdie to death for his novel "The Satanic Verses". A bounty of one to three-million-dollars was also put on Rushidie's head.
1997 - The U.S. The Food and Drug Administration named six brands of birth control as safe and effective "morning-after" pills for preventing pregnancy.
2007 - The Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution expressing "profound regret" for the state's role in slavery.
2008 - Cuba's parliament named Raul Castro president. His brother Fidel had ruled for nearly 50 years.

World News

US troops 'in combat' in Mosul, some have been wounded - Pentagon
RT - While nominally operating as military advisors to the Iraqi forces, the US servicemen taking part in the assault on Mosul have been involved in front-line fighting and an undisclosed number have suffered battle injuries, according to military officials. US soldiers “have come under fire at different times, they have returned fire at different times in and around Mosul,” said Air Force Colonel John Dorrian, the Baghdad-based spokesperson for Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led coalition fighting against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). “When someone is shooting at you, that is combat. Yes. That has happened,” Dorrian said during a press briefing via video link on Tuesday, when asked by Washington-based journalists to clarify if that meant that US troops were actually fighting. President Barack Obama returned a small contingent of US troops to Iraq in 2014, on the promise that they would avoid direct combat. There are currently 450 conventional soldiers and a classified number of special operators embedded with elite Iraqi forces around Mosul, calling in airstrikes, training troops, and helping with battle tactics. Despite an announcement by a senior US Army official this week that US servicemen would be embedded closer to the theater of operations, Dorrian said that US troops were still staying out of danger. Nonetheless, a US official told CNN that some American troops had been wounded in the battles around Iraq’s second-biggest city, and had to be evacuated. The unnamed Pentagon representative declined to give specific numbers, to avoid giving the adversaries a tactical or psychological advantage. The US Defense Department says that 31 US troops have been wounded in Iraq and Syria since the anti-ISIS operation was authorized in the summer of 2014, though the casualty list is unlikely to be completely up to date.

Report: Chinese PLA “Making Preparations” For War With U.S.
Paul Joseph Watson - Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the Global Times has warned the Trump administration that the People’s Liberation Army is “making preparations” for war after the deployment of the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson to patrol the South China Sea. An op-ed for the Global Times, which is widely regarded as the voice of the Chinese government, references U.S. intelligence assessments that China has “nearly finished building almost two dozen military structures on artificial islands in the South China Sea” in order to deploy long-range surface-to-air missiles. The article also highlights comments by Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, commander of US 7th Fleet, that the United States is unequivocally “prepared to fight if necessary,” questioning why the U.S. is making “direct military threats” against China. However, those threats are returned in kind, with Beijing insisting that it will accelerate its military build-up if U.S. officials keep making “condescending” comments. “If the US military insists on showing that it is capable of taming the China Dragon, they are bound to see all kinds of advanced Chinese weapons as well as other military deployments on the islands,” states the piece…. Earlier today Chinese officials also made it clear that they oppose the deployment of the USS Vinson, asserting that the ship was in the region to conduct surveillance.

Not Russian hackers: Brit arrested for cyberattack on Germany blamed on Moscow
RT - A UK national has been detained in London on suspicion of carrying out a cyber-attack last year that left 1 million Deutsche Telekom customers without service. At the time, German Chancellor Angela Merkel hinted that Russia might be behind the attack. The 29-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday at Luton airport in southern England by officers from the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) at the request of the German police, The Local reported. “The Briton stands accused of attempted computer sabotage in a particularly serious case,” German federal police and prosecutors said in a statement, adding that they will now seek the hacker’s extradition…. Shortly after the attack, German Chancellor Angela Merkel hinted that it may well be masterminded by Moscow…. The statement coincided with claims by the head of Germany’s foreign intelligence service that the 2017 general election could be targeted by Russian hackers to undermine the democratic process. In 2015, the hacking attack against Germany's lower house parliament was also blamed on Russia, with no proof ever being provided.

US base buzz: Japan to pay Okinawa residents record $267mn in damages over jet noise
RT - A Japanese court has ruled that Tokyo should pay about 30.2 billion yen ($267 million) in damages to residents suffering from noise coming from the biggest US base on Okinawa, but rejected a call to suspend night and early morning flights. On Thursday, the Okinawa branch of the Naha District Court ordered the Japanese government to pay the compensation to residents near Kadena Air Base, which hosts the largest combat wing in the US Air Force. The base hosts some 22,000 US soldiers, family members, and Japanese employees in the towns of Kadena and Chatan and the city of Okinawa in Okinawa Prefecture, according to base data. According to presiding Judge Tetsuya Fujikura, the noise burden on locals has continued despite a 2009 ruling that called upon Japanese authorities to improve the situation. The damage has “caused mental pain, disturbance to sleep, and an increase in the risk of negative health effects from developing high blood pressure,” he said, according to Jiji Press, as cited by AFP.

Mexico Pledges 12% Foreign Exchange to Stabilize Peso
Breitbart - Mexico’s central bank was forced to pledge up to 12 percent of the nation’s total foreign exchange reserves to prevent a disastrous run on the peso currency, which has already fallen by 20 percent since the U.S. elections on November 8…. By injecting foreign currency from its reserves into circulation, the decision is a “clear and significant reaction to the pressure from changing U.S. economic and social policies,” according to the latest report on the growing crisis from Stratfor Global Intelligence. Mexico’s socialist government has been blamed for squandering the nation’s oil wealth, and is now attempting to limit currency fluctuations in the value of the peso to ensure social stability…. The Mexican government fears the return of the 1994 Tequila currency crisis, when the U.S. Federal Reserve raising interest rates, combined with ruling party corruption, caused Mexico to suffer a 52 percent hyper-inflation. Mexico’s foreign exchange fell by 85 percent and the peso lost 62 percent of its value versus the dollar. The crisis did not end until the United States made a $50 billion bailout.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Report: U.S. Military Branches Preparing to Expand Under Trump
Breitbart - Fox News has learned: The Air Force wants to expand its forces by 30,000 airmen over the next five-to-six years. The Army wants to expand by roughly that amount by October, according to a defense official who shared the plan with Fox News but was not authorized to do so…. As part of a proposed expansion, the Navy also wants 82 more ships and submarines, a 30 percent increase in the size of the fleet. Last month, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said he wants to increase his force by 3,000 Marines…. Under former President Barack Obama, the largest branch of the military, the U.S. Army, pink-slipped tens of thousands of soldiers in the name of budget constraints, a move that ultimately shrunk the Army to its smallest level since to World War II. As it stands now, Army soldiers can only do what the country requires of them while assuming “high risk,” revealed Gen. Allyn. Other branches are also facing readiness gaps. Adm. William Moran, vice chief of naval operations, who, along with Gen. Allyn, testified this month, told lawmakers that the “Navy is smaller today than it has been in the last 99 years.” Adm. Moran confirmed that more than half (53 percent) of all Navy aircraft cannot fly, primarily due to a lack of funding. Gen. Stephen Wilson, vice chief of staff of the Air Force, also testified, saying that his branch is the “smallest, oldest equipped, and least ready in its history.”

Ted Cruz Says Another SCOTUS Vacancy Is Just Months Away
The Daily Caller - “I think we’ll have another Supreme Court vacancy this summer,” Cruz said at the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday. “If that happens, as much as the left is crazy now, they will go full Armageddon meltdown because the next vacancy is where we’ll have the ability to act and restore basic constitution protections.” Though Cruz was not more specific, as a former law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, he enjoys access to a network of former clerks privy to the plans of their former bosses. Though Cruz was not more specific, as a former law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, he enjoys access to a network of former clerks privy to the plans of their former bosses. The Trump administration has quietly encouraged Kennedy to retire in recent weeks, sending signals meant to coax him into leaving the bench. Other rumors have suggested Justice Clarence Thomas is preparing to depart the bench. His wife, Ginni Thomas, has expressly disavowed such suggestions.

California Defies Trump on Transgender Bathrooms for Kids
Breitbart - California’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, issued a strident press release on Wednesday vowing that the Golden State will protect the “rights of transgender students.” “All students deserve a safe and supportive school environment. California will continue to work to provide that environment for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students regardless of any misguided directives by the federal government and the Trump administration,” Torlakson said. “California students will continue to have their civil rights protected,” he said. “In California we move forward, not backward.” It is not clear which civil rights were violated by Trump’s withdrawal of guidelines for transgender students, since the directive leaves California’s power to regulate its own schools intact. The highest estimate of the proportion of adults in the United States who identify as “transgender” is 0.6%. The percentage of children who have determined that they are of a gender other than that defined by their biological sex is likely even smaller.

California Creates TRAVEL BAN Keeping Students From Traveling To ‘Anti-LGBT’ States
The GatewayPundit - The State of California has created a travel ban that prohibits public university students from traveling to ‘anti-LGBT’ states according to a report by the Los Angeles Times. The report, released Tuesday, indicates that law went into effect on January 1 and prohibits students from the University of California and California State University from traveling to four states: Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee. From California Department of Justice.: The travel prohibition applies to state agencies, departments, boards, authorities, and commissions, including an agency, department, board, authority, or commission of the University of California, the Board of Regents of the University of California, and the California State University. The Daily Caller reports that the travel ban has already been felt by dozens of students who were planning on traveling to other states for academic activities.

An Algorithm Is Replacing Bail Hearings in New Jersey
Motherboard - New Jersey is trying a new algorithm to fix its broken bail system, a flashpoint for criminal justice advocates who argue that court-assessed fines can discriminate against low-income and highly policed communities—most often, people of color…. On January 1, New Jersey replaced its bail system with an algorithm designed to mathematically assess the risk of defendants fleeing or committing a crime—particularly a violent one—before their trial date. The algorithm, called the Public Safety Assessment, was designed by the Texas-based Laura and John Arnold Foundation, a nonprofit that tries to fund innovative solutions to criminal justice reform…. But the algorithms are not without flaws. Last year, investigative reporting by ProPublica revealed that these programs had in-built racial biases, too. The software assessed risk based on data points gleaned from interviews with defendants, including questions about ZIP codes, educational attainment, and family history of incarceration—all of which can serve as proxies for race.

DC Eviction Companies Abusing The Homeless To Evict People's Belongings Onto The Street
The Daily Caller - Eviction companies in Washington, D.C., have been recruiting hordes of homeless men and paying them illegal wages to toss the belongings of evicted tenants out onto the street. According to an extensive investigative report published by Washington City Paper, eviction vans from various companies sit outside the locations of non-profit organizations and attempt to recruit the homeless for wages as low as $7 a day to move out tenants belongings after landlords obtain eviction orders. “Everybody here has gone [on the trucks] a couple times,” “Antman” Kenny, a homeless man, told Washington City Paper. “At first they were paying $20, then $10, now $7. Soon they’ll be chopping people up for $7….” These companies, like Crawford & Crawford and East Coast Express, know they won’t meet any kind of serious resistance to the illegal wages they dole out, as many of the homeless are addicts desperate for any money at all. In fact, these companies go out of their way to hire addicts for the job…. To make up for the low wages and poor equipment, the homeless sometimes steal people’s belongings as they move them out of the eviction location.

In Letter Sent Home To All Parents, Chicago Public Schools Promise To Obstruct ‘The Enforcement Of Federal Civil Immigration Law’
Michael Snyder - The Chicago public school system has decided to openly defy the president of the United States. More than 392,000 students attend public schools in Chicago, and on Tuesday a letter was sent home with each of those students telling their parents that Chicago schools will not “assist in the enforcement of federal civil immigration law”. In fact, the letter actually says that federal officials will not even be allowed “to access CPS facilities”. In essence, every Chicago public school has now officially been declared to be a “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants. If you would like to see the original document, you can do so right here. This is just another example of how deeply divided we are as a nation. The entire public school system of one of our largest cities is now in open rebellion against the president, and that is a very dangerous sign.

New Hampshire eliminates concealed-carry gun licenses
RT - Gun owners in New Hampshire can now carry concealed loaded weapons without a license. The state joins 10 others with unrestricted concealed-carry policies, but there are critics of the new ruling…. The Republican governor said that, under the bill, “New Hampshire citizens are guaranteed the fundamental right to carry a firearm in defense of themselves and their families, as prescribed by Article 2a in our state constitution.” Republicans in control of the state legislature have sought to repeal the licensing requirement in recent years, but former Governor Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, consistently vetoed the change, saying it weakened public safety…. New Hampshire is already an open-carry state, meaning anyone who legally owns a gun can carry it exposed without any license or permit. In the past, gun owners had to apply for a concealed-carry license with their local police chiefs, who determined whether applicants were “suitable.”

Pelosi breakdown? Repeats words, tells audience to clap, Kasich ‘gov of Illinois’(Video)
The American Mirror - During a Friday appearance before Families USA — the activist group fighting the repeal of Obamacare — Pelosi was seen repeating words, telling the audience when to clap and mistakenly said John Kasich was the governor of Illinois. Pelosi began by thanking the person who introduced her for his “recanting of what happened at the time” Democrats and activist groups rammed through Obamacare. She recalled telling her fellow Democrats that the Affordable Care Act was going to be a major achievement for government programs, and “stand there with Social Security and Medicare and Medicare,” apparently meaning to say “Medicaid.”… While Pelosi attempted to underscore bi-partisan support for Medicaid, she said, “Don’t take it from me. John Kasich, the governor of Illinois said, ‘Thank God for Medicaid.’”… Kasich is governor of Ohio… Pelosi flubbed MLK’s name, calling him “Martin Luther Sing.”

Economy & Business

Trump Cuts US Debt by $12 Billion In His First Month
The GatewayPundit - On January 20th, the day of the Trump Inauguration, the US Debt stood at $19,947 billion. On February 21st, a month later, the US Debt load stood at $19,935 billion. Trump cut the US Debt burden by $12 billion and 0.1% in his first month in office! By comparison, under President Obama, the US Debt burden increased by more than $200 billion in his first month in office. Obama increased the US Debt by 2% in his first month and signed the trillion dollar ‘Stimulus’ bill which is widely considered a colossal failure and waste of US tax dollars as well. The failed ‘Stimulus’ did not kick in till later in Obama’s first year leading to Obama’s first year deficit of $1.4 trillion. Overall Obama doubled the US Debt during his Presidency and set records for highest deficits and the largest debt increase by any President ever.

DOW Hits Another All-Time High! Best Record Since President Taft in 1909
The GatewayPundit - Counting weekends and holidays, the DOW has closed with new highs over the past 14 days. The only time in the history of the DOW where the DOW closed with new highs over a longer period was in 1987 under President Reagan. The DOW closed with new highs over a 16 day period (counting weekends) ending on January 20th 1987 for the highest number of consecutive days with new highs – the best in DOW history.

Energy & Environment

San Jose’s Anti-Trump Mayor Forced to Admit ‘Failure’ in Flood
Breitbart - San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo failed to protect his city’s residents from anti-Donald Trump riots last June. Now he has failed to protect them from flooding. The city was forced to evacuate 14,000 residents earlier this week as the Coyote Creek overflowed its banks, bringing a potentially toxic flood of water contaminated with fuel and sewage. City officials, however, had underestimated the danger. The San Jose Mercury News notes that they only expected flooding to happen if flow rates in the creek exceeded 7,400 feet per second. They did exceed that rate — but flooding had begun even before that. The city relied on faulty assumptions and failed to warn residents, meaning that the first time many people found out they had to leave was when they were told they had to do so by emergency responders moving through flooded streets…. Residents endured what the Times describes as “harrowing” escapes, and expressed anger at not being warned…. The flooding marks the second major controversy for Liccardo in less than a year. When mobs of anti-Trump protesters attacked and bloodied Trump supporters leaving a political rally as police stood by, Mayor Liccardo blamed Trump for the violence: “At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign,” he said.

Science & Technology

Montana Bill Would Allow Customers to Opt Out of Smart Meters, Undermine Federal Program
Tenth Amendment Center - A bill introduced in the Montana legislature would allow customers to opt out of installing “smart meter” technology on their homes and businesses. Passage of this bill would allow Montanans to protect their own privacy, and it would take a step toward blocking a federal program in effect. dam Rosendale (R-Billings) introduced HB530 (HB530) on Feb. 20. The legislation would allow utility customers in Montana to opt out of any smart meter program with no penalty.


20 Little Known Uses of Frankincense Essential Oil
Natural News Blogs - Frankincense is probably the most potent essential oil. It has been proven to fight cancer, stress, inflammation and much more. But this essential oil has more uses than you can imagine. Here are top 20 uses of frankincense essential oil. 1. Anti-aging: Applying frankincense oil on your face can reduce line and wrinkles. Make sure you mix it with a carrier. 2. Strengthen immune system: This oil has strong antiseptic properties that will strengthen your immune system. 3. Reduce arthritis pain: This essential oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties that reduce arthritis pain and swelling. 4. Reduce gout symptoms: Applying frankincense on gout can relieve pain and symptoms. 5. Treat indigestion: Adding a one or two drops of frankincense oil to a glass of water can treat indigestion and other digestive problems. 6. Relieve stress and anxiety: Add this essential oil to bath water to relieve stress and anxiety. 7. Fade scars: People with acne scars and age spots can fade then using frankincense oil….

Avoid 7 Additives That Cause Leaky Gut
Natural News Blogs - A leaky gut weakens your immune system and exposes you to different diseases. So it is vital to keep your gut healthy. But you can’t do that if you’re still consuming the 7 additives below. 1. Sugars: Sugars have been proven to cause leaky gut. Unfortunately most people consume sugar unknowingly since it’s hidden in all sorts of foods. According to this study, sugar worsens inflammation and leaky gut. Note that manufacturers use different names to hide sugar. 2. Microbial transglutaminase: Also known as meat glue, is commonly used to improve meat texture. Evidence shows that this additive can cause leaky gut. Check food labels for microbial transglutaminase or TG enzyme. 3. Organic acids: According to research, acetaldehyde, a by-product released when alcohol is processed in the liver causes leaky gut. Using organic acids in food and drinks may prevent healing of leaky gut. 4. Nanoparticles: More and more companies are using nanoparticles in their foods. Research has linked nanoparticles to oxidative stress and DNA damage. Researchers also speculate that the long term effects of nanoparticles could be worse. 5. Gluten: Gluten doesn’t do your gut any good. In fact, it’s one of the worst additives for your gut. Note that gluten can also be found in non-wheat foods. Avoid foods which use wheat as a thickening agent….

Pet News

Video: Reason to Fire Your Vet: Limiting Beliefs
Will Falconer, DVM - A student of mine recently posted something on Facebook that I thought deserved a blog post all it’s own. The video is so revealing about how Dr. WhiteCoat thinks and why you are so often shut down when you try to discuss raw food diets for your pets. Or any “alternative” therapy, for that matter. I shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose. But when I saw this video, I was. Shocked, even. This will remind you that you’ll largely have to forge your own path of prevention and even treatment if you want your animal to get and stay vitally healthy. Especially as cancer is now the #1 cause of death in middle aged and older dogs. (Cats can’t be far behind, so read on, cat people, you’re likely to get a dose of the same bitter pill if you float the idea to your vet that you’re feeding Fluff a diet of balanced raw food.)… Here, for all the world to see, in nicely shot video with pictures of a real dog with a real mast cell tumor, a time lapse study showing what happened when a diet change made all the difference…. No chemo, no surgery, no radiation (all recommended by Dr. WhiteCoat), and not even a whole bunch of natural treatments. The shocking part comes pretty quickly, when the vets from Tufts University Vet School who saw the results said, “We can’t use this in our clinic… because we don’t believe in feeding raw meat.”…

Thursday - February 23, 2017

Today In History:

1792 - The Humane Society of Massachusetts was incorporated.
1813 - The first U.S. raw cotton-to-cloth mill was founded in Waltham, MA.
1822 - Boston was incorporated as a city.
1836 - In San Antonio, TX, the siege of the Alamo began.
1847 - Santa Anna was defeated at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico by U.S. troops under Gen. Zachary.
1861 - U.S. President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take his office after an assassination attempt in Baltimore.
1861 - Texas became the 7th state to secede from the Union.
1870 - The state of Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.
1904 - The U.S. acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million.
1916 - The U.S. Congress authorizes the McKinley Memorial $1 gold coin.
1927 - The Federal Radio Commission began assigning frequencies, hours of operation and power allocations for radio broadcasters. On July 1, 1934 the name was changed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
1932 - Robert Short became the first American to die in an aerial battle with the Japanese. (more info)
1945 - The 28th Regiment of the Fifth Marine Division of the U.S. Marines reached the top of Mount Surabachi. A photograph of these Marines raising the American flag was taken
1954 - The first mass vaccination of children against polio began in Pittsburgh, PA.
1963 - The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It prohibited poll taxes in federal elections.
1974 - The Symbionese Liberation Army demanded $4 million more for the release of Patty Hearst. Hearst had been kidnapped on February 4th.
1991 - During the Persian Gulf War, ground forces crossed the border of Saudi Arabia into Iraq. Less than 4 days later the war was over due to the surrender or withdraw of Iraqi forces.
1997 - Ali Hassan Abu Kamal, a Palestinian teacher, opened fire on the 86th-floor observation deck of NYC Empire State Building. He killed one person and wounded 6 more before killing himself.
1999 - White supremacist John William King was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering James Byrd Jr. Byrd was dragged behind a truck for two miles on a country road in Texas.
2005 - The New York, NY, city medical examiner's office announced that it had exhausted all efforts to identify the remains of the people killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, due to the limits of DNA technology. About 1,600 people had been identified leaving more than 1,100 unidentified.

World News

Lavrov: Russia waiting for US to provide ‘details’ on proposed safe zones in Syria
RT - Moscow is waiting for Washington to lay out the details of how it intends to establish safe zones in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, adding that the proposal must also be agreed upon by the Syrian government. Lavrov said the issue was raised last week during his conversation with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Bonn, Germany. “The US side informed us that this concept (safe zones) is currently in development,” the top diplomat said, adding that Moscow “will wait for further details” from Washington. The minister said that Russia is ready to consider the proposal, as well as any others the US may have on cooperation in Syria, expressing hope that Washington is now really interested in working with Moscow to settle the conflict.

More American troops may be sent to Syria – US commander
RT - More US troops may be needed in Syria to speed up the campaign against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), the top commander for the Middle East has stated, specifically referring to the push to liberate Raqqa. I am very concerned about maintaining momentum,” General Joseph L. Votel, the head of the United States Central Command, told reporters, as quoted by CBS News. He said local forces being supported by the US “don't have as good mobility, they don't have as much firepower, so we have to be prepared to fill in some of those gaps for them,” noting that such support may involve additional fire support capability and “a variety of other things” to help “offset some of the gaps.” “It could be that we take on a larger burden ourselves,” he said. “That’s an option.” Votel stressed, however, that Washington is not considering sending US troops to take over the fighting, and that the strategy developed during the Obama administration of keeping local forces at the forefront would remain unchanged. His comments were in reference to the mission to liberate Raqqa from IS militants, who have claimed it as their de facto capital.

Le Pen’s headquarters raided by police in EU parliament jobs probe
EurActiv - French police searched the headquarters of Marine Le Pen’s National Front party west of Paris on Monday (20 February) in relation to a probe into alleged misuse of European Union funds to pay parliamentary assistants. France’s far-right party accused authorities of staging a media stunt to influence the presidential election after police searched its headquarters in an investigation into “fake jobs”…. The European parliament has said that, in her role as French National Front leader, Le Pen had during the 2011-12 legislature paid party staff with EU funds, which EU rules say should be used only to pay EU lawmakers’ assistants. Le Pen has defied a deadline set by EU authorities for her to repay funds, estimated at around €300,000. Reportedly, the money went to Catherine Griset, a close friend of Ms Le Pen, as well as to her cabinet director. The funds were conditional on Griset spending most of her working time doing parliamentary work in Brussels or Strasbourg but the parliament says most of her time was instead spent working in the National Front’s headquarters in Paris. French judges opened a fraud investigation on 15 December after prosecutors handed the dossier over to them following a preliminary investigation of more than a year. “This is as void as space,” the party’s vice-president Florian Philippot told BFM television, adding that searches had taken place a year ago and nothing had been found then.

Europe Says It Wants to Confiscate Money, Precious Metals, Crypto Currency and Prepaid Cards to Fight Terrorism
Anon HQ - The proposal wants to monitor and tighten the control over electronic crypto and electronic currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, along with debit and credit cards in the EU, and is applicable to all those who travel. The European Commission wants to tighten its control over paper money, metals such as gold and silver, and other precious elements that are transferred into the European Union. Their reasoning is to monitor the funding, as it will lessen the funding for belligerent attacks in the European Union. The Commissions’ decision was based on the Marketplace attack that took place last Christmas in Germany, where people were killed as a truck drove into the crowded place. The new proposal will give power to customs officials in the European Union nations, allowing them to check cash amounts at random, and check credit and debit statements that are sent using postal services. Customs in these states will also have the right to take away cash, precious metals or anything of value that is being carried by people who fit the profile when entering the European Union…. However, these proposals have to be approved by the member states and the European Parliament in order to become effective.

Leftists in Germany Want to Give Refugees the Vote
Paul Joseph Watson - Supporters of Germany’s major political parties were asked if electoral laws should be changed to allow non-EU citizens living permanently in Germany to vote. Among supporters of the Social Democrats (SPD), 63.7% supported the proposal, along with 64.8% of Green Party voters. Among centrist parties, there was moderate opposition to the proposal, whereas supporters of the anti-immigration AfD party opposed the idea by a 96.9% margin…. The obvious benefit to the left of giving non-citizens the vote is that they will overwhelmingly vote for left-wing parties who will reward them by maintaining and expanding the welfare state. “Essentially, they want to give the refugees a right to vote. They need not be an EU citizen nor do they need to pay taxes. The mere right to vote is you happen to be there at the time,” writes economist Martin Armstrong. “Can you imagine letting everyone from Mexico come into the USA and then vote if the United States should petition Mexico to join them? It seems the left is just totally insane. They will do absolutely anything to win and that means they will allow all of the Middle East to enter Germany and then outnumber the Germans in their own election?! Where is the logic here?” Armstrong predicts that if the SPD tried to move ahead with allowing refugees to vote, it would set off an “internal German civil war”.

Paris Tourism in Free Fall over Terror Fears… €1.3B Loss to Economy
Breitbart - According to the Comité Regional du Tourisme, the Paris Ile-de-France region also lost 1.3 billion euros in tourist income, while the number of nights spent by foreign visitors in the region’s hotels also fell by 10.8 per cent. Some sights in particular “have suffered deeply from the lack of tourists and cancellations by school groups”, the committee says, including the Arc de triomphe which saw a 24 per cent drop in visitors. The Louvre museum, which earlier this month was subject to an attack from a machete wielding man shouting “Allahu Akbar”, also saw a 13.3 per cent drop last year. The fears have even hit Disneyland Paris, which saw a 9.5 per cent drop in foreign visitors.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Trump Overrides DeVos’ Support for Obama’s Pro-Transgender Policy
Breitbart - Donald Trump’s education secretary opposed changing President Barack Obama’s pro-transgender policy, according to a report in the New York Times, even though Obama’s rules would have exposed the nation’s single-sex institutions and civic groups to crippling lawsuits by gay advocacy groups. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions prevailed in the closed-door dispute, and with aid from Trump, persuaded Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to support a reform of the Obama’s pro-transgender policy. The reform, which may be unveiled tomorrow, will junk Obama’s May 2016 directive which effectively declares that children can change their sex by simply declaring they have the “gender identity” of the other sex. That rule, if imposed nationwide by judges, would give federal police power to the nation’s small population of “transgender” men and women, and would prevent Americans from assembling in single-sex groups and institutions — such as athletic leagues and shower rooms — or from expressing their preference for single-sex institutions.

California City Passes Unanimous Resolution to Impeach Trump
Breitbart - The city council of Richmond, California — a relatively poor, industrial community on the eastern side of the San Francisco Bay — voted unanimously on Tuesday evening in favor of a resolution calling for President Donald Trump to be impeached. The text of the resolution was not immediately available, but the city council agenda listed “a resolution in support of a Congressional investigation regarding the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.” The basis for Trump’s impeachment, according to local ABC News affiliate KGO, would be the president’s alleged links to his private business holdings. Critics have claimed that these create conflicts of interest, and possibly violate the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause. However, there is no evidence that Trump has benefited from conflicts of interest, or that he has done anything illegal to justify the “high crimes and misdemeanors” standard for impeachment. The Emoluments Clause argument is also thought by many constitutional scholars and legal analysts to be very weak. Donald Trump has been something of an obsession for Richmond politicians. In 2015, the mayor blamed Trump for inciting a hate crime against a local mosque, even though the suspect had praised Hillary Clinton in social media.

Anti-Trump Groups Use Tax Loophole to Hide Finances
Infowars - The “Trump Transparency Project,” an advocacy arm of the organization Allied Progress, is “dedicated to holding President-elect Donald Trump’s transition and eventual administration accountable for its economic appointments and policies that betray hardworking Americans.” Allied Progress took credit for forcing Andy Puzder to withdraw from consideration as Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor. It has also publicly attacked Wilbur Ross, Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Commerce, and now-Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin…. The micro-site targeted Puzder, OpposePuzder, now redirects to a page opposing his replacement, Alexander Acosta…. Allied Progress is organized under the auspices of the New Venture Fund, a left-wing “fiscal sponsor” categorized as a tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) that handles legal compliance and logistics for Allied Progress and over 100 other organizations. Allied Progress Action, the organization’s advocacy arm is part of a similar organization, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, that supports 501(c)(4) “social welfare” advocacy groups. Charitable foundations and labor unions are normally required to disclose grants and contributions to groups such as Allied Progress; however, as Allied Progress is only a “project of the New Venture Fund,” donors are only required to list the financial sponsor on their disclosures – in this case, the New Venture Fund or the Sixteen Thirty Fund…. Allied Progress is governed by a Board of Directors chaired by Eric Kessler, who served in the Clinton administration and as a senior manager for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (currently chaired by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright).

Is James O'Keefe About To Smoke CNN? Tells Hannity He's Set To Release "Hundreds of Hours" Of Newsroom Footage "Wikileaks Style"
Zero Hedge - James O'Keefe of Project Veritas is set to unleash holy hell Thursday on #FakeNews network CNN. Well, he didn't exactly say it was CNN, but it was heavily implied. Apparently the network has a mole... O'Keefe is known for undercover sting operations which have led to such bombshells as the DNC's paid agitator network, the outing of "DisruptJ20" / Antifa organizers which took place at comet ping pong - and netted three arrests (including a suspected pedophile), and most recently New Hampshire election fraud. Yesterday, O'Keefe was interviewed on Sean Hannity's radio show where he revealed that a major network has been "stung”. O'Keefe: In the next 48 hours, Project Veritas, like Wikileaks, will be releasing hundreds of hours of tape from within the establishment media. Our next target is in fact, the media. Hannity: How long have you been working on this? O'Keefe: We've had people on the inside come to us. Just like Julian Assange has people come to him, we've had people, sources come to us and give us information, and we're going to be releasing it "Wikileaks Style" this week… In other words, a closeted Trump supporter working deep inside hyper-liberal CNN just gave O'Keefe a ton of behind the scenes footage of "The Most Trusted Name In News." My guess is we're about to hear a bunch of establishment media puppets revealing their extreme hatred for the sitting President of the United States.

Video: Mika Brzezinski: “Our Job” Is To “Control Exactly What People Think”
Grabien News - Controlling "exactly what people think" is the job of the media, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski boldly declared Wednesday morning. While discussing President Trump's entreaties to the American people to remain skeptical of the press, Bzezinski worried that if the economy turns south, Americans may end up trusting him over the media. "And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think," Brzezinski said. "And that, that is our job."

Springfield leaders push Missouri legislature to comply with REAL ID
News-Leader - City officials are putting pressure on Missouri legislature to comply with a law passed by Congress more than a decade ago. Springfield City Council voted 9-0 Monday night to add compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005 to its wish list for Missouri lawmakers. Springfield's Director of Aviation Brian Weiler said it's "critical" that state compliance is passed this legislative session, citing a looming deadline in 2018. If no progress is made at the state level, starting Jan. 22 of next year, passengers will no longer be able to use a Missouri driver's license as identification when they need to board a plane. Mayor Bob Stephens said, "If Missouri doesn't pass the REAL ID for us, to fly from Springfield to Dallas, Springfield to Atlanta, we're going to have to have a passport or some other (valid ID)." The resolution allows city representatives to advocate on the city's behalf to support legislation that requires Missouri to comply with the REAL ID Act.

Hundreds of campuses encourage students to turn in fellow students for offensive speech
Washington Examiner - Universities are the cradle of free speech, where ideologies and ideas clash, where academics and activists can agree, disagree, or be disagreeable. This is particularly true in the United States, where the First Amendment zealously guards against government surveillance and intrusion into free speech. Yet at hundreds of campuses across the country, administrators encourage students to report one another, or their professors, for speech protected by the First Amendment, or even mere political disagreements. The so-called "Bias Response Teams" reviewing these (often anonymous) reports typically include police officers, student conduct administrators and public relations staff who scrutinize the speech of activists and academics. This sounds like the stuff of Orwell, although even he might have found the name "Bias Response Team" to be over-the-top.

Election News

Texas Lawmakers Fast-track Voter ID Expansion
Breitbart - Leading Texas Republican lawmakers and officials publicly endorsed a bill that would make permanent a voter ID “safety net” allowing those without proper documentation to cast a regular ballot if they sign an affidavit. Senate Bill 5, filed by Houston area Senator Joan Huffman, would allow voters without driver’s licenses, passports, and other prescribed documents to cast a regular ballot at the polling place if they sign a declaration of impediment explaining their reason for noncompliance and provide a pre-approved, alternative form of identification. The bill would allow voters to claim lacking transportation, work schedule conflicts, lost/stolen IDs, disability, and other specified reasons on the form. In lieu of a photo ID, citizens are expected to provide a birth certificate, government document, or a bank statement.

Economy & Business

Fast Food CEO on Anti-Trump Protesters: Don’t Show for Work, Get Fired
Infowars - Former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi said that business owners have every right to fire employees that chose to participate in the “Day Without Immigrants” protests rather than show up for work, following reports that dozens of protesters lost their jobs. Business owners have a responsibility to make sure that goods and services are delivered to customers, Rensi said. “If you can’t make products, develop products and deliver products, what good are you?” he said. “If these folks want to make a protest, they want to make a statement – great, I’m all for that, we have freedom of speech in this country, but if you don’t go to work, you get fired.” “That’s the end of discussion.”… Over 100 protesters across the country were fired from their jobs after skipping work to participate in the “Day Without Immigrants” protest last week, reports NBC News. The boycott, pushed by leftist organizers and businesses, was intended to send a message to President Trump that they oppose his immigration policies, as well as to advocate amnesty and cheap labor practices.

Wal-Mart in Trouble After Warren Buffet Pulls out $900 Million Investment
The Anti-Media - Billionaire investor Warren Buffett recently withdrew $900 million worth of shares from Wal-Mart, leading market experts to believe the behemoth retailer is in serious trouble. This is the fourth consecutive quarter that Buffett’s investment group, Berkshire Hathaway, has reduced its holdings in Wal-Mart, and their most recent downsize leaves them with virtually no remaining shares…. Though Wal-Mart remains a major retail player with huge profits, the loss of faith from Buffett and the continued growth of Amazon are chipping away at its previously untouchable business model. Add to that the uncertainty of Trump’s trade policies with China and Mexico, and Wal-Mart could be in serious trouble moving forward.

Energy & Environment

San Jose: Floods Force 14,000 to Evacuate
Breitbart - The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday: “Highly contaminated floodwaters continued to pose a potential health risk to about 14,000 residents forced to flee their homes as the Coyote Creek, which runs through the heart of the city, overflowed and inundated neighborhoods. “Floodwater likely contained fuel, oil and possible sewage, [Mayor Sam] Liccardo said.” Officials with the National Weather Service described the event as a 100-year flood…. Dams are swollen and spilling out, or over, across the rural hinterland of the state. The San Jose flooding is the first major impact of the rainy season on an urban area. Area residents are being encouraged to stay away from their homes, even though the creek’s rise appears to have crested, because of the potentially contaminated nature of the floodwaters. Rains are expected to return this weekend.

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Action Alert: Amish Farmer in Jail for “Selling Drugs” #FreeSam
The Homestead Guru - Fifty-six year old Kentucky farmer, father of twelve, and grandfather of 25–Samuel Girod is not who you’d expect to find when you look at a hardened criminal. However, he’s facing 68 years (essentially a life sentence) in federal prison for charges related to his herbal products, including a chickweed salve he’s been making in his kitchen for the past 20 years. Back in 2013, a local health department official saw Girod’s products for sale in a convenience store, and reported them for “false labeling claims”. He included testimonials from longtime users of his chickweed salve on his labels, who said that it “cured skin cancer”, among other things. The FDA seized his products from the store, saying they were mislabeled drugs. He changed the labels to say “Chickweed Healing Salve”, but the FDA later said that use of the word “healing” on his products was also illegal. FDA representatives and the deputy sheriff came to his farm in late 2013 and agreed not to bring cameras, but they broke their word. After that, Girod declined their request to inspect his home, (correctly) citing that they did not have a warrant and therefore had no right to be there. The deputy sheriff agreed, and escorted the agents away–but the FDA didn’t like that. Over three years later, the FDA finally decided to formally press charges. In early January 2017, 56-year old Girod was handcuffed and arrested at his Kentucky family farm, and is right now in jail without bond, awaiting a federal grand jury trial at the end of February. He is facing over a dozen criminal charges, to include distributing misbranded drugs and conspiring against a government agency…. If you think the FDA is wasting time and resources prosecuting a “drug distributor” like Samuel Girod, here’s five things you can do to make your voice heard:…

Genetically-modified cows without horns are created to make the countryside safer
Daily Mail - Scientists have created the cows to protect farmers, walkers and other animals. The new cows have soft hair where their horns should be, which farmers often cut or burn to dull down for safety. Thanks to gene editing, this calf pictured with animal geneticist Dr Alison Van Eenennaam will not grow horns and will not have to go through the de-horning process. Scientists are proposing the new method as a way of making the countryside safer 'De-horning' cows can be achieved genetically because of a revolutionary gene editing technique that allows the precise selection and insertion of DNA using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. CRISPR has transformed genetic engineering since it was first demonstrated in 2012. The system allows the 'cut and paste' manipulation of strands of DNA with a precision not seen before. Using this technique, the California scientists cut and pasted non-horned cow DNA into horned cow DNA to create hornless cows.


10 chronic health problems caused by dental amalgam fillings loaded with mercury
(NaturalHealth365) The following are the top 10 types of chronic disease caused by the mercury in these toxic dental fillings: 1. Autoimmune disease - Autoimmune issues linked with mercury fillings include arthritis, MS, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, muscle tremors, joint and muscle pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn’s disease, lupus, endometriosis and diabetes. 2. Neurological problems - Neuropathy, paresthesia, memory loss, ADD, epilepsy, autism, headaches, migraines, dizziness and vertigo are all associated with mercury fillings. 3. Mood disorders - Amalgam fillings have also been associated with anxiety, depression, insomnia, schizophrenia, anger control issues, and mental confusion. 4. Immune system dysfunction and cancer - Immune system problems like asthma, chemical sensitivities, skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, sinus issues and susceptibility to infections can also be caused by dental fillings loaded with mercury. The risk of breast cancer, leukemia, and other cancer types tend to go way up with these fillings in the mouth….

Printable List of Bottled Water Containing Fluoride
REALfarmacy - The world is slowly waking up to the fact that fluoride, a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry, wreaks havoc on the brain and body. Despite peer-reviewed scientific evidence against it, fluoride is still added to 70 percent of U.S. public drinking water supplies. What’s more is that processed beverages and food, tea, and even bottled water contain fluoride. That’s right, many popular brands of bottled water have a known neurotoxin added to them. It’s no wonder that dental fluorosis has skyrocketed in the U.S. over the past 60 years…. Additionally, the aforementioned peer-reviewed evidence against fluoride includes a recent publication in the world renowned, weekly peer-reviewed Medical Journal, the Lancet. This report classifies fluoride as a neurotoxin and concludes that it notably decreases the IQ of children…. The list below contains data provided by the International Bottled Water Association that you can use to make sure you’re not feeding fluoride to yourself and your family….

Pet News

Evanger’s blames supplier, FDA, for Pentobarbital in dog food
Food Safety News - Consumer complaints continue as the FDA digs deeper into operations at Evanger’s pet food after discovering evidence that none of the company’s meat suppliers are registered with USDA. Evanger’s owners blamed their suppliers and the FDA in the wake of findings that their dog food contains a barbiturate used to euthanize animals…. Evanger’s and Nutripack LLC, another pet food company owned by members of the same family, have recalled certain lots of certain flavors of their canned dog food. “The guilty party has turned out to be one of our most trusted meat suppliers. A USDA-APHIS inspected supplier who we had done business with for over 40 years, and whose plant we had visited numerous times over the years,” said Evanger’s owners Holly and Joel Sher in an online statement posted Sunday. “We have taken it upon ourselves to lead the campaign to force the FDA to put an end to allowing drugs like pentobarbital to enter the raw material stream and contaminate our pets’ food and endanger their lives.” Officials with the Food and Drug Administration do not agree with the company’s contention that the agency is responsible for the pet food being contaminated. “The detection of pentobarbital in pet food renders the product adulterated in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Therefore, it is not acceptable to use animals euthanized with a chemical substance in pet or animal foods,” an FDA spokesperson said Tuesday.

Wednesday - February 22, 2017

Today In History:

1784 - "Empress of China", a U.S. merchant ship, left New York City for the Far East.
1819 - Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
1855 - The U.S. Congress voted to appropriate $200,000 for continuance of the work on the Washington Monument. The next morning the resolution was tabled and it would be 21 years before the Congress would vote on funds again. Work was continued by the Know-Nothing Party in charge of the project.
1859 - U.S. President Buchanan approved the Act of February 22, 1859, which incorporated the Washington National Monument Society "for the purpose of completing the erection now in progress of a great National Monument to the memory of Washington at the seat of the Federal Government."
1865 - In the U.S., Tennessee adopted a new constitution that abolished slavery.
1879 - In Utica, NY, Frank W. Woolworth opened his first 5 and 10-cent store.
1885 - The Washington Monument was officially dedicated in Washington, DC. It opened to the public in 1889.
1924 - U.S. President Calvin Coolidge delivered the first presidential radio broadcast from the White House.
1994 - Justice Department charged Aldrich Ames and his wife with selling national secrets to the Soviet Union. Ames was later convicted to life in prison. Ames' wife received a 5-year prison term.
1997 - Scottish scientist Ian Wilmut and colleagues announced that an adult sheep had been successfully cloned. Dolly was actually born on July 5, 1996. Dolly was the first mammal to have been successfully cloned from an adult cell.
2010 - Wal-Mart announced it was acquiring the video streaming company Vudu, Inc.

World News

US Army Ground Troops Urgently Seek Protection From Drones
Sputnik News - Reports are coming in that US troops are experiencing casualties against the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Daesh in Iraq, who are using crude, custom-built drones with jury-rigged explosives as a form of a "flying IED," while implementing either kamikaze tactics, or simply dropping hand grenades on the heads of the troops. These machines are cheap and effective, given that US troops have so few means to ground them. The US Army currently has only Stinger missiles as a plausible counterweight to a drone threat. The missiles displayed an arguable level of effectiveness against Soviet-built helicopters, both in terms of power and cost, but are too expensive to shoot against tiny drones. The cost of one Stinger missile is reportedly somewhere about $40,000, while the cost of a jury-rigged drone can be on the order of $100…. There remains lot of work to do for the US Army to counter enemy drones, but the branch needs it done fast, as clearly indicated by a report that New-York-based company Syracuse Research Corporation has just won a $65 million contract from the US Army to develop an integrated counter-drone system. According to the media reports, "the contract was issued on an urgent basis."

Trump: Ambassador Churkin played key role in working with US on global security issues
RT - US President Donald Trump has issued condolences over the death of Russia UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin, saying the diplomat played a “crucial” role in working with the US to tackle global security challenges. “President Donald J. Trump was saddened to learn of the unexpected death of Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin,” a statement released by the White House said, calling the Russian official “an accomplished diplomat.” The announcement noted that despite different approaches on a number of issues, Churkin had played a “crucial” role in countering challenges to international security…. Vitaly Churkin, who served as Russia's permanent representative to the United Nations since 2006, died suddenly while at work in New York, on Monday. He would have turned 65 on Tuesday.

"It Looks Like A War Zone": Trump Vindicated After Violent Riot Erupts In Swedish Suburb
Zero Hedge - … the media mocked Trump for his allegations of major problems with Swedish migrant policies, the president was vindicated after a violent riot broke out in the borough of Rinkeby, also known as "little Mogadishu." Now that the incident is over, in their "post-mortem" Swedish officials confirm that riots erupted in the "heavily immigrant Stockholm suburb" Monday night, as masked looters set cars ablaze and threw rocks at cops, injuring one police officer, Swedish officials said.
* Related: Dramatic footage shows cars ablaze in Swedish riot (Videos)

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Lawmakers Plan Probe of $418M Arms Sale to Kenya on Obama’s Last Day
Breitbart - The sale, approved by the State Department and privately notified to Congress on January 19, would allow Kenya to buy 14 weaponized crop-duster-like planes — including two trainer planes and services, for missions against terrorist group al-Shabaab. The deal was publicly announced the Monday after Trump’s inauguration. A handful of lawmakers, led by Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC), are questioning why the contract to produce the planes was awarded to major defense firm L3 Technologies — which has never produced such a plane — while a smaller, disabled veteran-owned company in North Carolina that already make those planes at a lower cost was not considered. The Mooresville, N.C. company, IOMAX USA Inc., costed out 14 planes at $237 million dollars, according to a Budd aide…

IT’S HAPPENING! DHS Memo Orders IMMEDIATE Construction of Border Wall
Adan Salazar - A memo from the Department of Homeland Security calls for the immediate construction of a wall on the southern US border with Mexico. Signed Monday, the DHS memo addresses President Trump’s executive order regarding border security, and includes new policies strengthening deportation efforts and orders to hire more border agents. Section F of the 13-page memo, entitled, “Border Wall Construction and Funding,” details several orders to begin assembling the barrier, as well as how the administration intends to deal with costs. The memo also notably includes a clause which orders construction materials to be acquired from US manufacturers “to the maximum extent permitted by law.”… Consistent with the President’s Executive Order, the will of Congress and the need to secure the border in the national interest, CBP, in consultation with the appropriate executive departments and agencies, and nongovernmental entities having relevant expertise-and using materials originating in the United States to the maximum extent permitted by law-shall immediately begin planning, design, construction and maintenance of a wall, including the attendant lighting, technology (including sensors), as well as patrol and access roads, along the land border with Mexico in accordance with existing law, in the most appropriate locations and utilizing appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve operational control of the border.

Former CIA Agent Explains Why He Resigned Because Of Trump
Zero Hedge - Edward Price worked at the CIA from 2006 until this month, most recently as the spokesman for the National Security Council. But, as he details below in a letter published by The Washington Post, he has officially resigned "to be clear, my decision had nothing to do with politics," seemingly because the Trump Administration is "tuning out the intelligence professionals.”… But while Price vows that his resignation was not politically motivated, we find it curious that Federal Election Commission records indicate that he donated the legal maximum of $2,700 to "Hillary for America" in August 2016 and another $2,300 to the DNC's "Hillary Victory Fund" on the very same day. But we're sure that doesn't mean anything. Nevertheless, perhaps President Trump has created an environment that cleanses itself...A self-'draining' swamp?

Video: Rand Paul defends Trump against John McCain
The Duran - Although they traded blows during the Republican primary, Senator Rand Paul is fast becoming one of Donald Trump’s most important allies on Capitol Hill. From Paul’s offer to help Trump to replace the failed Obamacare initiative to rumors that Paul and Trump shared similar views on auditing the Federal Reserve, now the son of well-known former Libertarian/Republican Congressman Dr. Ron Paul, is standing up for President Trump against Senator McCain’s seemingly endless line of attacks. Senator Paul told ABC news that McCain is the kind of person who wants constant wars which would bankrupt the United States. Senator Paul went on to state that the kinds of wars McCain advocates for are counterproductive and destabilizing. He cited McCain’s advocacy of the war in Iraq and intervention in Syria as two such examples. When pressed on McCain’s statement that Trump favors a dictatorial style shut down of the free press, Paul pointed out the clear truth that there is no evidence of that. Indeed, the continued mainstream media attacks on Trump demonstrate that a biased free press is having a rather easy time in getting their agenda across.

New Poll Finds That 80% Of Americans Oppose Sanctuary Cities
Zero Hedge - A stunning new poll conducted by Harvard-Harris, exclusively for The Hill, found that the overwhelming majority of Americans, 80% in fact, believe that illegal immigrants arrested for crimes should be turned over to federal immigration authorities rather than being harbored in so-called sanctuary cities. Imagine that, Americans believe that local, state and federal law enforcement officials should actually enforce the law...shocking. Meanwhile, 52% of those surveyed said they support Trump's executive order to build a border wall and revoke funding for sanctuary cities while 53% said they support his "immigration ban" that was recently overturned by the 9th Circuit court. Of course, this is undoubtedly unwelcome news for sanctuary cities across the country that are at risk of losing their federal subsidies for harboring criminal illegal aliens. As we recently pointed out, just the top 10 sanctuary cities receive roughly $2.3 billion in federal subsidies every year…. The Hill notes that the online survey included 2,148 registered voters with a partisan breakdown of 39% Democrat, 30% Republican, 27% independent and 5% other.

Censorship: Online Advertisers Shutting Down Conservative Media
Kit Daniels - AdRoll, the online advertiser that accused Breitbart of “hate speech,” is now abruptly cutting ties with in an apparent, concentrated effort to shut down political speech by conservatives and libertarians online. The advertiser sent a vaguely-worded email to the Infowars legal department saying it was ending its ad campaign in part because “all political content should focus on the merits of the candidate,” implying that corrupt, establishment candidates such as Hillary Clinton should be showered with praise and her scandals ignored. This seems to contradict another statement in the same email in which AdRoll claims “all content on your website should be relevant, accurate, informative, and up to date;” if a news web site is to focus on only the “merits” of a political candidate and not the controversies, how is that accurate?… AdRoll even slandered Breitbart by accusing the site of “hate speech,” which is not only an unprofessional accusation, but it also points to a political – not business – motivation behind the blacklisting.

No Evidence Of Active Shooter At Ben Taub Hospital In Houston, Denying Earlier Reports
Zero Hedge - Police in Houston, Texas responded to reports of an active shooter at Ben Taub Hospital. The hospital was placed on lockdown, and some patients were evacuated. No suspect or evidence of the shooting have been found, HPD Chief Art Acevedo told reporters. Officers are searching the hospital, but have not found any victims so far, the Houston Police Department said. “We have not found the suspect, and we have not found evidence of an active shooter,” Chief Art Acevedo told reporters at 3:15pm local time. According to a tweet by the Houston Police Department, officers are searching the hospital, but have not found any victims so far.

'Church' police could arrest sexually abused kids
MassPrivate I - America already has public transit police, hospital police, campus and high school police and now you can add 'church' police to the list. According to an article in the Briarwood Presbyterian Church and Briarwood Christian School wants to have it's own police force. HB 45 would allow religious centers to hire their own police force, HB 45 would also make it a hate crime to criticize first responders…. Church attorney Eric Johnston claims, police would be patrolling their campuses and churches in 'church' police vehicles and claims they won't have a jail.

Energy & Environment

Biggest gasoline glut in 27 years could crash oil markets
RT - Oil prices are stuck in a holding pattern, waiting for more definitive data on what comes next. OPEC compliance is helping keep prices afloat, but rising US oil production is acting as a counterweight. A new problem that has suddenly emerged is the record levels of gasoline sitting in storage. The market has already had to digest the fact that US crude oil stocks were rising, and investors have done their best to explain away the trend. But now gasoline inventories are climbing to unexpected heights. It would be one thing if crude stocks were rising, perhaps because refiners were going offline for maintenance. But if that were the case, then gasoline stocks would draw down on lower refining runs. But if both crude and refined product inventories are going up at the same time, then there should be some reasons for worry. In fact, the glut of gasoline is now the worst in 27 years. At 259 million barrels, US gasoline storage levels are now at their highest level since the EIA began tracking the data back in 1990.

EPA severely underestimated spills at fracked oil wells says report
RT - More than 6,600 spills were reported at fracked oil and gas wells over a 10-year period, according to a new report which casts doubt on figures previously released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)…. The new study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, found that 6,648 hydraulically fractured oil and gas well spills in Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota and Pennsylvania occurred between 2005 and 2014, with up to 16 percent of all fracked wells spilling each year. Oil and hydraulic fracking fluids were included in the spills. Figures previously released by the EPA were significantly lower, with 457 spills reportedly occurring between 2006 and 2012 in an eight-state area…. North Dakota saw the highest number of spills with 4,453 incidents, something that may be credited to sterner laws which require spills over 42 US gallons (159 liters) to be reported. Colorado and New Mexico saw 476 and 426 spills reported respectively, but these stats have a much lower reporting threshold of 210 US gallons (795 liters).

"This Is Not A Drill" Nevada Weather Service Warns Of Dam Failure Threat
Zero Hedge - It appears another damn dam is failing. After earlier issuing a flash flood warning, Reno Weather Service warned residents "This is not a drill" as County Emergency Managers noted a Dam Retention Pond is full and overflowing into drainages…. But, the good news is that there has been no dam failure...

Science & Technology

Subprime auto lender facing FTC inquiry over GPS-tracking kill switches
Ars Technica - The US Federal Trade Commission is investigating an auto lender that often requires subprime borrowers to have so-called GPS starter-interrupter devices enabled on purchased vehicles. The so-called kill switches, which can monitor a vehicle's constant whereabouts, also have the remote ability to shut a car off and to prevent a car from starting. This makes it easy for lenders to repossess the car for missed payments. But this modern-day version of the repo-man raises both safety and privacy concerns.


Another Alzheimer’s Drug a Huge Flop
Health Impact News - Two years ago we reported that Eli Lilly had a potential blockbuster drug for Alzheimer’s in the third and final phase of FDA trials. If it won approval, it was expected to bring in $7.6 billion in sales by 2024. The results are in, and it’s back to the drawing board for Eli Lilly. The drug showed no statistically significant benefits in halting cognitive decline. In the meantime—clearly intending to approve this new Alzheimer’s drug—the FDA launched an attack against key brain health supplements picamilon and vinpocetine. There was precedent for such a move—the FDA did the same thing to tryptophan before the first SSRI antidepressant drugs came out. It’s a key move in the crony playbook.

Worldwide Studies Find Vitamin B “Significantly” Reduces Symptoms Of Mental Disorders
Natural Blaze - Vitamin B is a dietary powerhouse, boosting energy levels and enhancing performance of nearly every system in the body. The connection between mental health and B12 deficiency is staggering and yet it appears screening is rarely carried out within any division of modern healthcare. Depression can be one of the first presenting symptoms of deficiency. Many health care professionals would be shocked to learn that B12 deficiency can also cause psychosis. The Neuropsychiatric symptoms of B12 deficiency can precede the development of anaemia…. Vitamins B2, B6, B9, and B12 directly impact the functioning of the methylation cycle. Deficiencies pertain to brain function, as neurotransmitters, myelin, and active glutathione are dependent on one-carbon metabolism.

Tuesday - February 21, 2017

Today In History:

1848 - The Communist Manifesto was published by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
1878 - The first telephone directories issued in the U.S. were distributed to residents in New Haven, CT. It was a single page of only fifty names.
1916 - During World War I, the Battle of Verdun began in France. The battle ended on December 18, 1916 with a French victory over Germany.
1925 - The first issue of "The New Yorker" was published.
1947 - Edwin Land demonstrated the Polaroid Land Camera to the Optical Society of America in New York City. It was the first camera to take, develop and print a picture on photo paper all in about 60 seconds. The photos were black and white. The camera went on sale the following year.
1965 - Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City at the age of 39 by assassins identified as Black Muslims.
1973 - Israeli fighter planes shot down a Libyan Airlines jet over the Sinai Desert. More than 100 people were killed.
1975 - Former U.S. Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman were sentenced to 2 1/2 to 8 years in prison for their roles in the Watergate cover-up.
1988 - In Baton Rouge, LA, TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart confessed to his congregation that he was guilty of an unspecified sin. He announced that he was leaving the pulpit temporarily. Swaggart had been linked to an admitted prostitute.
1989 - U.S. President George H.W. Bush called Ayatollah Khomeini's death warrant against "Satanic Verses" author Salman Rushdie "deeply offensive to the norms of civilized behavior."
2011 - Deep cracks opened in Moammar Gadhafi's regime, with Libyan government officials at home and abroad resigning, air force pilots defecting and a major government building ablaze after clashes in the capital of Tripoli.

World News

Mideast militaries dominate global arms market, new analysis states
Washington Times - Mideast monarchies, spearheaded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are flooding their arsenals with foreign weapons at a staggering pace in the region now accounting for 23 percent of all global arms procurement. Large-scale arms and equipment purchases by regional militaries in the Mideast shot up by 86 percent during a four-year period beginning in 2012, compared to a previous four-year period starting in 2007, analysts at the Sweden-based Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, said Monday. Only Asia came close, in terms of regional powers, to keeping pace with the Mideast’s weapons buying, analysts say. India led all major regional powers, increasing its global weapons procurement by 43 percent outpacing rivals China and Pakistan between the four-year periods, beginning in 2007 and 2012 respectively, reviewed by SIPR.... “Over the past five years, most states in the Middle East have turned primarily to the USA and Europe in their accelerated pursuit of advanced military capabilities”, said Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme. “Despite low oil prices, countries in the region continued to order more weapons in 2016, perceiving them as crucial tools for dealing with conflicts and regional tensions,” he added.

Spain Sets Massive Precedent — Charges Its Central Bankers in Court
Activist Post - First, Iceland, and now Spain has taken on the Big Bankers responsible for financial calamity, as the country’s highest national court charged the former head of Spain’s central bank, a market regulator, and five other banking officials over a failed bank leading to the loss of millions of euros for smaller investors.... Internal emails and documents played a crucial role in ultimately bringing the central banking officials to task for the failure of Bankia — inspectors bringing issues to the attention of superiors were allegedly ignored. One email cited by The Economist came from an inspector who warned Bankia was “a money-losing machine,” for which an IPO would not solve. Another report, deemed “devastating by the court,” saw an inspector advise Bankia to seek a private buyer rather than proceed with the listing.... Spanish judges are generally reluctant to sentence first-time financial criminals to prison; though five Novacaixagalicia executives had five-year suspended sentences — levied for embezzlement in 2015 — abruptly enforced in January.

Has There Been A “Nuclear Incident” In The Arctic?
The Drive - Multiple reports, some of them from official monitoring organizations, have reported iodine 131 - a radioactive isotope often associated with nuclear fission - has been detected via air sampling stations throughout the region. The first detection of the isotope came during the second week of January, via an air sampling station located in Svanhovd, on Norway’s border with Russia’s Kola Peninsula. Within days, air sampling stations as far south as Spain also detected the presence of small amounts of the isotope.... By comparison, these recent measurements are roughly 1/1000th the size of what was detected during the Fukushima incident.... After weeks without answers, the story seemed to pass as a peculiarity, not nearly an unprecedented one at that, until Friday when the US dispatched its WC-135 Constant Phoenix atmospheric testing aircraft to Europe without explanation. The highly unique aircraft are specifically designed to respond to nuclear incidents—especially those that include the detonation of nuclear warheads.... A more likely possibility is that some sort of limited nuclear material storage, research, or power generation incident has occurred. Russia uses nuclear propulsion for many of its active submarines... Russia also uses nuclear power in the arctic region for multiple applications. Not just that, but Russia’s northerly naval bases near the arctic are nuclear graveyards of the Cold War.

Vaccine pusher Bill Gates urges for bio-terrorism preparation
WHNT 19 News - Bill Gates says it’s time to redirect some of the money the world spends on weapons to prepare for a looming threat: terrorists with pathogens. He’s warning that the threat of bio-terrorism is “right up there with nuclear war and climate change.” Gates spoke at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Saturday, and an abridged transcript of his speech was published by Business Insider. The billionaire Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist has invested heavily in health initiatives around the globe, and now he’s speaking out in the hopes of spurring more investment in vaccines and medical research. He says it’s now necessary for the world to prep for what he considers to be one of its largest existential threats: the next pandemic. “Whether it occurs by a quirk of nature or at the hand of a terrorist, epidemiologists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year,” he said. “And they say there is a reasonable probability the world will experience such an outbreak in the next 10 to 15 years.”

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Trump Chooses Army General H.R. McMaster for National Security Adviser
Breitbart - On Monday, the White House announced Army Lt. General H.R. McMaster as the replacement for Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser.... McMaster is the author of a highly-regarded book on Vietnam, Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chief of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam. The book strongly argues that military leadership should be willing to stand up to civilian political leaders when war is not waged successfully, and also criticizes Vietnam-era military leadership for becoming distracted by bureaucratic infighting.... He is noted as an advocate of both strong conventional military forces and cyber-warfare capability. Concerned by cuts to both manpower and equipment modernization, he warned the Senate last year that “we are outranged and outgunned by many potential adversaries… our Army in the future risks being too small to secure the nation.”... McMaster feared American military planners have invested too much effort in “winning long-range missile duels,” proclaiming such tactics of limited use against the “dispersion, concealment, intermingling with civilian populations… the ability to disrupt our network strike capability, precision navigation and timing capabilities” demonstrated by Russian forces in Ukraine. He was also concerned about Russia’s advantages in battlefield artillery.

Rex Tillerson Purges Remnants Of “Shadow Govt” At State Department
Blacklisted News - Though all previous administrations have left the “7th-floor group” more or less untouched, the newly-minted Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, abruptly chose to fire most of the State Department employees working on this floor. Last Friday, Tillerson’s top aides told the vast majority of the Department’s seventh-floor staff that “their services were no longer needed,” CBS News reports. This is the second round of firings at the State Department since Trump took office as four other top officials had been let go at the end of January. One of the employees fired recently, Tom Countryman, told CBS News he was worried that the White House was showing its intent to cut out the State Department in order to prevent allegedly “nonpartisan” officials from challenging the executive branch on foreign policy matters.... The firings came soon after Trump’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, a meeting which drew criticism from the U.S. political establishment as not a single State Department official was included in the meetings.... Though this latest move by Tillerson and the Trump administration may serve to lessen some of the Deep State’s influence in U.S. politics, it is worth noting that such entrenched elements will not go off quietly into the night.

Revised travel ban targets same seven countries, exempts green card holders
Fox News - A senior White House official said the order will target only those same seven Muslim-majority nations, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Libya. Trump was forced to come up with a second order after federal courts held up his original immigration and refugee ban. The official said the order could come sometime this week. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the order before it's made public, said that green-card holders and dual citizens of the U.S. and any of those countries are exempt. The new draft also no longer directs authorities to single out -- and reject -- Syrian refugees when processing new visa applications.

Big U.S. banks to push for easing of money laundering rules
Reuters - America's largest banks are to propose a complete overhaul of how financial institutions investigate and report potential criminal activity, arguing that rules imposed in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and strengthened during the Obama administration are onerous and ineffective, sources said.... federal law mandates that bank employees file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) with authorities if they suspect transactions could be part of a crime. Faced with record penalties in recent years over failures to alert authorities to criminal activities, banks say they now over-report, filing hundreds of thousands of SARs out of fear of later falling foul of regulators.... Instead, banks would focus on investigating and reporting transactions based on specific concerns relayed to them by law enforcement. Under this approach, banks could shift their focus, as law enforcement priorities change.... Critics say banks have only themselves to blame for greater scrutiny of the sector. In 2012, HSBC (HSBA.L) agreed to pay $1.9 billion in U.S. fines for failing to prevent money laundering violations by Mexican drug traffickers. In 2014, JPMorgan agreed to pay $2.6 billion over allegations it failed to tell authorities about its suspicions of fraud at Bernie Madoff’s fund. The bank lobby waited for Trump to take office in the hope that a new administration will see the money laundering regulations through “a new set of eyes,”.... Watchdog groups balk at the idea that the regulations could be loosened in any way.

DHS Authorizes Hiring 10K Immigration Officers
Breitbart - Secretary Kelly ordered the director of ICE to immediately begin the process of hiring 10,000 to effectively enforce the immigration laws in the interior regions of the U.S., according to a DHS memo obtained by Breitbart Texas. In addition, Kelly authorized the agency to hire additional operational and mission support staff, along with legal staff. Kelly said the memo implements the Executive Order, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” issued by President Trump on January 25.... The memorandum from Secretary Kelly is effective immediately.

Trump Administration Toughens Asylum Rules, Speeds Deportation Process
Zero Hedge - ... Reuters reports new guidelines, contained in a draft memo dated February 17 but not yet sent to field offices, directs agents to only pass applicants who have a good chance of ultimately getting asylum, but does not give specific criteria for establishing credible fear of persecution if sent home. The guidance instructs asylum officers to "elicit all relevant information" in determining whether an applicant has “credible fear” of persecution if returned home, the first obstacle faced by migrants on the U.S.-Mexico border requesting asylum. Three sources familiar with the drafting of the guidance said the goal of the new instructions is to raise the bar on initial screening. The administration's plan is to leave wide discretion to asylum officers by allowing them to determine which applications have a "significant possibility" of being approved by an immigration court, the sources said.... Furthermore, as The Wall Street Journal reports, parents and others who help children travel illegally to the U.S. would be subject to deportation or prosecution under new Trump administration policies being completed, according to a second leaked memo prepared by the Department of Homeland Security. The draft memo also indicates people from countries other than Mexico trying to cross the southern U.S. border illegally could be returned to Mexico to await legal proceedings, while others would be held in detention centers.

Feds Establish Support Program for Victims of Criminal Aliens
Breitbart - Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John F. Kelly ordered the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to create a program to assist the victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens. The program creates a liaison and authorizes the disclosure of suspect immigration statuses and other pertinent data.

Democrats Invoke 25th Amendment, Question Trump’s Mental Health
Breitbart - Last week, Rep. Blumenauer used baseless allegations about Trump’s mental health as a springboard to invoke the 25th Amendment in a floor speech…. Blumenauer suggested there was a “fatal flaw” in the 25th Amendment that allows the president to fire his Cabinet — which is granted the right to determine the president’s ability to serve — in order to “prevent the application of the amendment.” He added, “The alternative process spelled out by the amendment leaves the decision to the vice president and a so-far-undefined body created by Congress.” Blumenauer said he is working to introduce legislation that would allow for living former presidents and vice presidents to form that body that would determine whether the president is mentally fit for office.

Sheriff Tries to Expose List of 300 Bad Cops, Courts & Union Promptly Block Him
The Free Thought Project - To promote a more transparent and fair system of justice, McDonnell wanted to turn over the names and crimes of hundreds of problem cops to prosecutors, who can then add them to a database that tracks problem cops. This information can then be disclosed to defendants who may have been unjustly targeted by these cops....However, according to the LA Times, the union that represents rank-and-file deputies strongly opposes providing the names to prosecutors and has taken the department to court. The Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs (ALADS) argues that the disclosure would violate state laws protecting officer personnel files and draw unfair scrutiny on deputies whose mistakes might have happened long ago. Shortly after the Union noted their opposition, an appeals court sided with them by blocking the sheriff from sending the list of problem cops to the DA. To be clear here, this list would not be a matter of public record.... It would only come up when the officer is set to testify against someone they accused of a crime.

Election News

State Officials to Trump: Revoke Obama’s Federal Takeover of Elections
Clifford Cunningham - State election officials from across the country have called on President Trump to revoke an order, signed by former President Obama, declaring election systems “critical infrastructure.” The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), which includes election officials from every state and territory, passed a resolution calling on President Donald Trump to overturn the designation at the organization’s winter meeting held over the weekend. The resolution, passed by voice vote along party lines, stated the organization “opposes the designation of elections as critical infrastructure.” Most states grant authority over elections to their respective Secretaries of State, while some cede that authority to their lieutenant governors. Following allegations of Russian hacking during the election, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson declared state and local elections “critical infrastructure,” which “allows for information to be withheld from the public when state, local and private partners meet to discuss election infrastructure security – potentially injecting secrecy into an election process that’s traditionally and expressly a transparent process,” according to a letter from Johnson obtained by the Associated Press.

Veteran News

AP Exclusive: Drugs vanish at some VA hospitals
Associated Press - Federal authorities are stepping up investigations at Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers due to a sharp increase in opioid theft, missing prescriptions or unauthorized drug use by VA employees since 2009, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press. Doctors, nurses or pharmacy staff at federal hospitals - the vast majority within the VA system - siphoned away controlled substances for their own use or street sales, or drugs intended for patients simply disappeared. Aggravating the problem is that some VA hospitals have been lax in tracking drug supplies. Congressional auditors said spot checks found four VA hospitals skipped monthly inspections of drug stocks or missed other requirements. Investigators said that signals problems for VA's entire network of more than 160 medical centers and 1,000 clinics, coming after auditor warnings about lax oversight dating back to at least 2009.

Emotional Homecoming Of Fallen Soldier Goes Viral (Video)
Opposing Views - The emotional goodbye a military wife experienced with her husband's coffin at the airport was captured by a passenger on the plane that carried his body (video at link). When plane personnel asked Lisa Williams and all other passengers to stay in their seats so someone could get off of the plane first, she recorded what came next from the plane's window, WPVI reports.... Williams shared the video on her Facebook on Feb. 14 with the caption: "It was an honor to fly home with this PATRIOT! God bless his wife and family. There was not a dry eye around me."

Energy & Environment

California Told To 'Brace For Evacuation' As Storm Approaches
Your News Wire - As the first outer rain bands from a Pacific storm touched Northern California on Sunday, residents in the Central Valley were told to be prepared to leave their homes amid fears that severe flooding could hit the State on Monday and Tuesday as the severity of the storm is expected to worsen. [The Sacramento Bee] reports: On Sunday, the weather service issued a flood warning in urban areas and along small streams through Thursday for the counties that make up the Sacramento and northern San Joaquin valleys, as well as for most of the counties that sit along the Valley’s rim. “We may see flooding in locations which haven’t been impacted in many years,” the alert reads. In other words, those living anywhere near a river, a slough, a levee, a creek or a canal need to be ready to flee floodwaters at a moment’s notice.

Villagers win fight to get mobile phone mast removed after five cancer deaths
What Doctors Don't Tell You - People living in a village in the UK have won a 17-year fight to get a mobile phone mast removed after they suspected it had caused the death of five residents from cancer. Although the network supplier, EE (formerly Orange), has denied its masts are a health risk, it decommissioned the one in Meir, near Stoke-on-Trent, two years ago, and has now dismantled it. The villagers set up the Shooters Hill Association in 2000 to get the 82-foot mast removed after five died from cancer in the seven years following its installation in 1993. They eventually took their fight to the House of Commons. Group spokesperson jean Hopkins said: “It has been a very long, difficult and frustrating task. It means a lot to the association to see all our hard work has paid off.” Some villagers took matters into their own hands, and put foil on their roofs and used special curtains to block radio signals from the mast entering their homes.

Science & Technology

Reddit Censors Pro-Trump Content in New Crackdown
Kit Daniels - Reddit is banning the vast majority of pro-Donald Trump posts from appearing on its “most popular” page frequented by new users. The online discussion site announced it was clamping down on what would appear as “popular” by showing visitors only popular posts from handpicked categories, which would apparently exclude anything from pro-Trump subreddits…. Since Trump’s election, the largest social media sites including Facebook and Twitter have suppressed Trump supporters – and perhaps even the president himself. Twitter in particular is apparently censoring positive responses to Trump’s tweets while showcasing the negative ones…. Facebook has also long attempted to control discussions on its site by blocking links to alternative media and banning those critical of its censorship practices.

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Wild Bee Decline Threatens US Crop Production – New Mapping Study
Sustainable Pulse - The first-ever study to map U.S. wild bees suggests they are disappearing in the country’s most important farmlands – from California’s Central Valley to the Midwest’s corn belt and the Mississippi River valley. If wild bee declines continue, it could hurt U.S. crop production and farmers’ costs, said Taylor Ricketts, a conservation ecologist at the University of Vermont… The map identifies 139 counties in key agricultural regions of California, the Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest and Great Plains, west Texas, and Mississippi River valley, which appear to have most worrisome mismatch between falling wild bee supply and rising crop pollination demand. These counties tend to be places that grow specialty crops — like almonds, blueberries and apples — that are highly dependent on pollinators. Or they are counties that grow less dependent crops — like soybeans, canola and cotton — in very large quantities. Of particular concern, some crops most dependent on pollinators — including pumpkins, watermelons, pears, peaches, plums, apples and blueberries — appeared to have the strongest pollination mismatch, growing in areas with dropping wild bee supply and increasing in pollination demand.


Parents Target Bayer Laxative for Causing Psychiatric Breakdowns in Children
Natural Blaze - A study being conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is looking into claims made by parents that their children developed “neuropsychiatric problems” after consuming the over the counter laxative MiraLAX. Parents have reported that their children became angry, aggressive and paranoid after taking MiraLAX with some saying that their children experienced “near psychiatric events” and mood swings…. PEG 3350 (polyethylene glycol) is an ingredient in MiraLAX and is at the heart of the controversy…. MiraLAX is not approved for use in anyone under 17 years old, but doctors routinely prescribe it to infants and toddlers. Clearly, MiraLAX needs to be examined, but the history of the FDA is such that we have to question whether or not the study will be truly impartial.

Organic Canola Oil: A Food Fallacy
Natural Blaze - Recently Mike Adams, the Health Ranger and editor of Natural News, featured a short exposé of canola oil… Everything organic is not healthy. Let’s go there. Organic means it doesn’t contain chemical-based insecticides, algaecides, fertilizers and herbicides. What it doesn’t mean is that it’s free of heavy metals or trace amounts of dangerous chemicals. Canola is not a natural plant to this earth. Canola comes from rapeseed, which is toxic to all animals. What the manufacturers do is remove the stench of rapeseed using hexane, a constituent vapor of gasoline, but there’s still some left in the final product. Irrespective of whether canola is organic or not, it strangles your mitochondria (cells) that need oxygen to function. Organic canola also inhibits enzyme function. Plus, the omega-3 fatty acids of processed canola oil are transformed during the deodorizing process into trans-fatty acids. The reason why canola is particularly unsuited for consumption is that it contains a very long-chain fatty acid called erucic acid, which is associated with fibrotic heart lesions. Additionally, canola oil is hard on, and disruptive to, the entire digestive tract, especially those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other allergic-type reactions. I contend it’s inflammatory too!… Safer cooking oils to use include only organically-grown oils: cold pressed olive oil; sunflower oil; grass fed/raised butter; safflower oil.

Pet News

The Paw Project Documentary
The Paw Project documentary is an inspiring David and Goliath story of a grassroots movement to protect felines, both large and small, from the cruelty of declawing and how the movement has prevailed, despite the efforts of well-funded professional veterinary associations. In the United States today, approximately 25% of domesticated cats are declawed. Declawing is the amputation of the last bone in a cat's toes. Despite the physical and behavioral harm inflicted on cats who are declawed, many veterinarians continue to recommend the procedure, which costs upwards of $1,200. per hour – even for very young kittens. These are animals we love, and with whom we share our homes. Why aren't we being told the truth about what the declawing procedure involves? The Paw Project documentary chronicles the happy and unexpected twist of fate that led to the protection of many animals through the grassroots advocacy efforts led by Dr. Conrad and The Paw Project.
* Related: Support New Jersey Bill and New York State Bill to Ban Declawing

Monday - February 20, 2017

Today In History:

1792 - U.S. President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act that created the U.S. Post Office.
1809 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the power of the federal government was greater than that of any individual state.
1815 - The USS Constitution, under Captain Charles Stewart fought the British ships Cyane and Levant. The Constitution captures both, but lost the Levant after encountering a British squadron. The Constitution and the Cyane returned to New York safely on May 15, 1815. The Cyane was purchased and became the USS Cyane.
1873 - The University of California got its first Medical School.
1931 - The U.S. Congress allowed California to build the Oakland Bay Bridge.
1933 - The U.S. House of Representatives completed congressional action on the amendment to repeal Prohibition.
1944 - "Big Week" began as U.S. bombers began raiding German aircraft manufacturing centers during World War II.
1962 - John Glenn made space history when he orbited the world three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes. He was the first American to orbit the Earth. He was aboard the Friendship 7 Mercury capsule. Glenn witnessed the Devil's Cigarette Lighter while in flight.
1965 - Ranger 8 crashed on the moon after sending back thousands of pictures of its surface.
1987 - A bomb exploded in a computer store in Salt Lake City, UT. The blast was blamed on the Unabomber.
1998 - Tara Lipinski, at age 15, became the youngest gold medalist in winter Olympics history when she won the ladies' figure skating title at Nagano, Japan.
2001 - FBI Agent Robert Phillip Hanssen was arrested and charged with spying for the Russians for 15 years.
2003 - In West Warwick, RI, 100 people were killed and more than 230 were injured when fire destroyed the nightclub The Station. The fire started with sparks from a pyrotechnic display being used by Jack Russel's Great White. Ty Longley, guitarist for the band, was one of the victims in the fire.
2008 - The U.S. Navy destroyed an inoperable spy satellite with a missile from the USS Lake Erie.

World News

U.S. deploys carrier USS Carl Vinson to contentious South China Sea despite Beijing’s warnings
USA Today - In a statement, the Navy described the launch as the beginning of “routine operations” in the South China Sea. China claims most of the sea as its own, despite overlapping territorial and jurisdictional claims from the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei. On Wednesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang denounced advance news of the deployment at a news conference. China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters,” he said. “China respects and upholds the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea which countries enjoy under international law, but firmly opposes any country's attempt to undermine China's sovereignty and security in the name of the freedom of navigation and overflight.” He added that China urged the U.S. to “refrain from challenging China’s sovereignty and security” in the sea. About 30% of global maritime trade passes through the South China Sea each year, worth $5.3 trillion, according to the U.S. Defense Department in a 2015 report…. [Defense Secretary Jim Mattis] stressed that the U.S. would continue its policy of freedom of navigation operations. “Freedom of navigation is absolute, and whether it be commercial shipping or our U.S. Navy, we will practice in international waters and transit international waters as appropriate,” he said.

US urges China to keep pressure on N. Korea, as Beijing stops coal imports from Pyongyang
RT - The US has called on Beijing to keep the pressure on North Korea, as Chinese authorities announced they were suspending all coal deliveries from Pyongyang. “All countries should fully and transparently implement all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions on the DPRK,” a US State Department spokesperson said, referring to North Korea, as cited by Reuters. “We continue to urge China to exert its unique leverage as North Korea's largest trading partner to convince Pyongyang to return to serious talks on denuclearization,” the official added.

Russian strategic bombers hit ISIS in Raqqa in coordination with Pentagon via ‘deconfliction line’
RT - Russian Tu-95 bombers have struck Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL) targets in Syria’s Raqqa region using X-101 cruise missiles, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement, adding that it informed the US about the operation. […] the Russian bombers hit the terrorist’s bases and training camps as well as a command center of one of Islamic State’s “large detachments,” adding that all objects were successfully destroyed.

Spain: 500+ African Migrants Celebrate After Breaking Through Border Fence
Information Liberation - Early on Friday morning, Ruptly news agency captured footage groups of ebullient males of apparent sub-Saharan origin, hugging and dancing, and encouraging fellow migrants stuck on the other side of the barrier…. Hours earlier, the same men used shears and clubs in a mass raid on the reinforced border fence…. As many as 300 were pushed back, but border guards were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers… Eleven officers were injured, and three had to be taken to the medical emergency ward in serious condition. No one has been arrested…. The migrants will now be given regular meals, a bed, counseling, and Spanish lessons, as they file their applications for asylum. Many will be relocated to other similar centers on the mainland. This is the equivalent of rewarding someone for breaking into your home by letting them sleep in your bed, eat you food and file for benefits in your name — all of which you will pay for.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Trump continues his assault on 'fake' news and 'corrupt' media with campaign-style rally in front of 9,000 in Florida (Photos) (Video)
Daily Mail - Donald Trump once again doubled down on the media, telling a cheering crowd in Florida: ‘I want to speak to you without the filter of the fake news.’ The president was introduced in front of a crowd of 9,000 in Melbourne by Melania Trump, who led them in The Lord’s Prayer after she and her husband stepped off Air Force One on Saturday afternoon. The First Lady, after embracing the president, promised to ‘stay true to myself and be truthful to you’ and told the audience, ‘my husband is creating a country of great safety and prosperity’. The 'Make America Great Again Rally' was almost identical in rhetoric to his 2016 campaign events that focused on bringing back jobs and increasing national security. Unsurprisingly, this rally had a heavier focus on bashing press coverage than before…
* Related: Full Speech President Donald Trump Rally in Melbourne, Florida

The Washington Post Actually Takes Russian Government Money (Unlike the Websites It Helped Slander)
Liberty Blitzkrieg - Earlier this week, Tucker Carlson interviewed the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple and brought up the fact that the paper regularly receives money from the Russian government to publish propaganda known as “native advertising” within the contents of the newspaper.... the paid Russian propaganda sections are known as “Russia: Beyond the Headlines.”.... I find all of this extremely interesting, as well as disturbingly dishonest and hypocritical, considering that The Washington Post itself played a major role in falsely claiming that 200 websites (including this one), were somehow doing the bidding of Vladimir Putin.... The fact that The Washington Post would give credibility to a obviously ridiculous organization with an entirely invented list of “Russian propaganda websites,” knowing all the while that they themselves were the ones taking Russian government money is the height of hypocrisy, dishonesty and deceitful journalism. Once again proving the obvious point: The mainstream media is the real fake news.

Video: Jay Sekulow: Obama Should Be “Held Accountable” For The “Soft Coup” Against Trump
Zero Hedge - According to civil right expert and prominent First Amendment Supreme Court lawyer, Jay Sekulow, what the agencies did by leaking the Trump Administration information was not only illegal but “almost becomes a soft coup”, one which was spurred by the last minute rule-change by Obama, who intentionally made it far easier for leaks to propagate, and next to impossible to catch those responsible for the leaks…. There was a sea-change here at the NSA with an order that came from president Obama 17 days before he left office where he allowed the NSA who used to control the data, it now goes to 16 other agencies and that just festered this whole leaking situation, and that happened on the way out, as the president was leaving the office. …this change that the president put in place, signed off by the way by James Clapper on December 15, 2016, signed off by Loretta Lynch the Attorney General January 3, 2017, they decide that now 16 agencies can get the raw data and what that does is almost creates a shadow government. You have all these people who are not agreeing with President Trump’s position, so it just festers more leaks.

Chaffetz Seeks Charges Against Former Hillary IT Aide Bryan Pagliano
Zero Hedge - Back in September, at the height of the Hillary emailgate investigation, Clinton's IT aid who helped setup her private email server, Bryan Pagliano, apparently decided that Congressional subpoenas, like federal record retention laws, were merely optional suggestions that did not require compliance.... As it turns out, after all these months, [House Oversight Committee Chairman, Jason] Chaffetz is still not over Pagliano's aloof response to his committee's subpoena and has sent a letter to Trump's new Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him to convene a grand jury or bring charges against Pagliano for his failure to appear before Congress. According to Fox News, Chaffetz said in a statement that allowing Pagliano's conduct "to go unaddressed would gravely harm Congress' ability to conduct oversight.".... Pagliano, like Paul Combetta...and a host of other Clinton aides, was granted an immunity deal by the Department of Justice in return for his FBI testimony regarding the Clinton private email servers. Unfortunately, that immunity deal won't help him with these new charges..... we'll end with the same warning that we offered Pagliano back in September: "We would caution Pagliano that... he would probably be well served to tread lightly...not many people share the Clintons' particular talent for escaping scandal after scandal without repercussions."

McCorvey, who was at center of Roe v. Wade, dead at 69
Fox News - Norma McCorvey, whose legal challenge under the pseudonym "Jane Roe" led to the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion but who later became an outspoken opponent of the procedure, died Saturday. She was 69. McCorvey died at an assisted living center in Katy, Texas, said journalist Joshua Prager, who is working on a book about McCorvey and was with her and her family when she died. He said she died of heart failure. McCorvey was 22, unmarried, unemployed and pregnant for the third time when in 1969 she sought to have an abortion in Texas, where the procedure was illegal except to save a woman's life. The subsequent lawsuit, known as Roe v. Wade, led to Supreme Court's 1973 ruling that established abortion rights, though by that time, McCorvey had given birth and given her daughter up for adoption. Decades later, McCorvey underwent a conversion, becoming an evangelical Christian and joining the anti-abortion movement. A short time later, she underwent another religious conversion and became a Roman Catholic.

Hospital CEO Wins Major Court Victory After Accusing CNN of False Reporting
LawNewz - While Judge Orinda Evans didn’t all out declare that CNN was peddling in falsehoods, she did take aim at the network in an initial judgment in favor of a former hospital CEO who sued CNN accusing them of purposely skewing statistics to reflect poorly on a West Palm Beach hospital. Judge Evans didn’t mince words in her 18-page order allowing the case to move forward, and dismissing CNN’s attempt to get it thrown out of court. Davide Carbone, former CEO of St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, filed a defamation lawsuit against CNN after they aired what he claims were a “series of false and defamatory news reports” regarding the infant mortality rate at the hospital. CNN’s report said the mortality rate was three times the national average. However, Mr. Carbone contends that CNN “intentionally” manipulated statistics to bolster their report. He also claims that CNN purposely ignored information that would look favorable to the hospital in order to sensationalize the story.

Election News

Up to 2 million non-citizens illegally registered to vote in the US
The American Mirror - A survey of Hispanics in the U.S. revealed as many as two million non-citizens are illegally registered to vote, reinforcing claims by President Donald Trump that millions of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election. The National Hispanic Survey was designed to measure the opinion of Hispanic U.S. residents on a range of political issues. The survey was conducted in June 2013 by survey research firm McLaughlin and Associates. The poll used a random sample of 800 Hispanics, of those selected, 56 percent said they were non-citizens, and 13 percent of those non-citizens said they were registered to vote. Those categorized as non-citizens would likely be a mix of illegal aliens, visa holders and permanent residents. The poll did not ask whether they actually voted or not.

Economy & Business

11 Deeply Alarming Facts About America's Crumbling Infrastructure
Zero Hedge - Once upon a time nobody on the entire planet could even come close to matching our infrastructure, but now our crumbling infrastructure has become a joke to much of the rest of the industrialized world. Sadly, this is just another symptom of our long-term economic collapse.... The following are 11 deeply alarming facts about America’s crumbling infrastructure… #1 According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, nearly 56,000 bridges in the United States are currently “structurally deficient”. #2 More than one out of every four bridges in the United States is more than 50 years old and “have never had major reconstruction work”. #3 America does not have a single airport that is considered to be in the top 25 in the world. #4 The average age of America’s dams is now 52 years. #5 Not too long ago, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the condition of America’s dams a “D” grade. #6 Overall, the American Society of Civil Engineers said that the condition of America’s infrastructure as a whole only gets a “D+” grade. [More]

Nestle Joins Thousands Of Companies Leaving California Over Anti-Capitalist Lawmakers and Activists
The GatewayPundit - From IBD: Nestle USA is moving its headquarters from Glendale, Calif., a pocket suburb just miles from downtown Los Angeles, to Rosslyn, Va., near Washington, D.C., and taking 1,200 California jobs with it. Why? As many companies have found, California is an awful place to do business. The $26-billion-a-year food conglomerate is discreet, of course, about its reasons, citing a desire to be closer to its core customers and other bland corporate pabulum. But the fact is, Nestle and its corporate brethren in California that actually make things are overtaxed and over-regulated, and elected officials treat them not as honored members of the community but as rapacious pirates… Well, apart from having higher taxes, absurd housing costs and more regulations than nearly any other state, California’s wacky laws have turned the Golden State into a venue of choice for activist groups to file costly class action lawsuits — or to launch anti-corporate PR campaigns against big, wealthy targets like Nestle. Nestle is far from the first major company to leave California over the state’s increasingly liberal policies. According to a report released last year by Spectrum Location Solutions, Nestle joins a list of 1,680+ companies to leave the state since 2008.

Energy & Environment

Multi-billion dollar investors urge bankers to divest from #DAPL
RT - More than 120 investors with over $650 billion in assets in banks financing the Dakota Access Pipeline have called on the financial institutes to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s call to have the pipeline rerouted from Native American land. Citigroup, Wells Fargo, SunTrust Bank and BNP Paribas are among the 17 banks targeted in a letter signed by pension funds, asset management companies, and organizations. The signatories have a total of $653 billion in assets under their control…. The banks have already been pressured by protesters that have urged people to divest from institutions that are funding the $3.7 billion project headed by Energy Transfer Partners. To date, bank accounts worth $53 million have been closed as a result of the DAPL movement, the letter claims. Seattle City Council voted to end ties with Wells Fargo over the pipeline, while New York mayor Bill de Blasio suggested he would support a boycott.

New Photos Show Damage To Oroville Dam As Massive Storm Pounds California (Photos & Video)
The GatewayPundit - A new report from Fox News on Sunday indicates that if the Oroville dam fails, residents who live in harms way will most likely will be advised in time which adds to the mounting stress as new storms pound California. From Fox News: Communities immediately downstream of California’s Lake Oroville dam would not receive adequate warning or time for evacuations if the 770-foot-tall dam itself — rather than its spillways — were to abruptly fail, the state water agency that operates the nation’s tallest dam repeatedly advised federal regulators a half-decade ago. Reuters is now reporting that large parts of Northern California are being place on a flood advisory as new storms pound Northern California. From Reuters: The storm is expected to drop as much as 5 inches (13 cm) of rain in the San Francisco region through Wednesday, bringing more water to already saturated land that has been inundated with heavy precipitation since early January, the National Weather Service said…. Fortunately there are no new warnings for the areas near the Oroville dam which is roughly 150 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Science & Technology

Proposed federal law demands probable-cause warrants for geolocation data
Ars Technica - "Outdated laws shouldn't be an excuse for open season on tracking Americans, and owning a smartphone or fitness tracker shouldn’t give the government a blank check to track your movements," Sen. Ron Wyden, a democrat of Oregon, said of the legislation he's co-sponsoring.... The proposed legislation is called the "Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act." It would also apply to GPS-enabled gadgets like fitness devices and onboard navigation systems.... The Center for Democracy and Technology, Access Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the American Civil Liberties said Wednesday they supported the legislation. The proposal—similar versions of which date to 2012—would also make it a crime for people to surreptitiously track an adult's movements using an electronic device. Further, unless there is a court warrant, the measure says companies may not share geolocation information with third parties unless a customer consents.

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

GMO Wheat Trials to Begin In Europe
Health Impact News - Due to the popularity of gluten-free food items, and the rise of digestive disorders related to wheat allergies, much of the public believes that our modern wheat supplies are grown from genetically modified seeds. But this is not the case. There are currently no approved genetically modified varieties of wheat in the market place. That may soon be changing in Europe, however, as the Rothamsted Research group working in collaboration with researchers from the University of Essex and Lancaster University has reportedly received approval in the U.K. to begin trials of genetically modified wheat…. It has been proven that there is gene drift from pollen even from GMO test fields to existing non-GMO and organic field farms. There are also seed mix-ups that can occur within seed storage facilities. Organic and non-GMO farmers have shown evidence that it is impossible to maintain coexistence without contamination from GMO crops…. For example, Switzerland, international corporate home of Monsanto’s chief GMO rival Syngenta, will not allow open field GMO testing. So Syngenta uses the United States and other areas for their open field trials with empty lots and fields leased locally, and usually unknown to non-GMO farmers in the same area.


“Vaccine Safety Under Question Mark” Symposium Held In Belgium (Video)
Natural Blaze - It seems as if the entire global consciousness is awakening at the same time regarding vaccine safety and toxicology…. The EU’s Global Media reports a most auspicious meeting of vaccine researchers, safety advocates and activists was held in Brussels on February 9, 2017 with such luminaries as Dr Andrew Wakefield; French virologist Luc Antoine Montagnier; Italian research scientist Stefano Montanari of the recently published paper on 43 vaccines tested containing toxic micro-metals; Srecko Sladoljev of the Institute of Immunology-Zagreb; German pediatrician Stefan Schmidt Troschke; European Forum for Vaccine Vigilance’s Kris Gaublomme; Dr Lidija Gajski; Helen Kimball Brooke of London- UK; and Michele Rivasi of the French Green Party/European Free Alliance – all questioning medicine’s unproven mantra ‘vaccines are safe’. Dr Sladoljev made the point he made was that needle vaccines should not be administered. The reason behind that is that unlike natural short-term contact with causative agents, needle vaccines administered through the skin into the interstice emit aggravating matter many months after, leading to dysregulations in the immune system and organ damage…. On February 14th, a similar meeting was held in London, UK. Here is the Q&A panel segment after the showing of the documentary VAXXED with Dr Wakefield participating.

The opposition’s stand on vaccines: Everyone needs to ignore RFK Jr.’s misinformed anti-vax claims
NY Post - Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is on his soapbox again. I implore everyone to ignore him. His message could be hazardous to your health. The lawyer, environmentalist and leading anti-vax crackpot, 63, who has compared widespread inoculations to “a holocaust,’’ threw a news conference Wednesday at The National Press Club in Washington, DC, that one top infectious-disease expert described to me as “depressing.’’…

9 Ways To Keep Your Immune System Strong Against The Cold Virus
Natural Blaze - 1) USE NATURE’S FLU SHOT: Recipe: 8 Fresh Lemons, 2 Fresh Oranges, 2 Cups Pineapple Juice, 2 Tbsp. Ground Ginger, 1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/2 tsp. Ground Tumeric, 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper, 2 Tbsp. Raw Honey, 1 bulb Garlic (can increase to 2 if tolerated). Blend all ingredients and store in a glass jar. This recipe works exceptionally well if you start taking it just as you start to feel symptoms. At that point, take 1 cup 3 times per day until symptoms resolve. 2) LIVE IN A WARMER CLIMATE… 3) TAKE THE SUNSHINE VITAMIN: Vitamin D is shown to reduce the risk of flu to a third of what it would otherwise be…. 4) TAKE PROBIOTICS…

How to Remove Mucus, Bacteria, and Toxins From Your Lungs Using Himalayan Pink Salt
Natural News Blogs - Did you know that our great grandparents used salt therapy to treat lung conditions and respiratory problems? And now this method of treatment is being used in spas and wellness centers. This salt has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties…. You can put Himalayan pink salt in an inhaler to absorb particles of this disease-fighting salt into your lungs. Inhaling Himalayan pink salt will help fight lung inflammation, and treat allergies, asthma, congestion, sinus, and hay fever. In fact, modern salt inhalers are totally safe, unlike traditional inhalers which were usually contaminated.

Pet News

Dementia: A Very Serious Problem for Our Beloved Pets - And How to Prevent It
Dr. Becker - As in human Alzheimer's, millions of pets also suffer from dementia, as early as ages 6 to 8. More and more dogs are dying of the condition, and cats are living in confusion… Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help your dog or cat maintain good mental function for as long as possible, and delay the onset and progression of cognitive decline. 1. Feed a nutritionally balanced, species-appropriate [raw] diet that includes omega-3 essential fats, such as krill oil, which are critical for cognitive health. The perfect fuel for aging pets is a healthy variety of fresh, living food suitable for your carnivorous cat or dog. 2. Eliminate all refined carbohydrates (grains, potatoes and legumes) to allow more room for excellent-quality protein, full of critical amino acids, to be fed…. 3. Stop vaccinating and start titering. Vaccines don't "wear out" over time, and more vaccines means more adjuvants and heavy metals that accumulate in your pet's brain. 4. Keep your pet's body and mind active with regular exercise appropriate for her age and physical condition, and mental stimulation… 5. Provide a SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) supplement as a safe and effective way to stall or improve mental decline…. 6. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) have been shown to improve brain energy metabolism and decrease the amyloid protein buildup that results in brain lesions in older pets. Coconut oil is a rich source of MCTs. I recommend 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight twice daily for basic MCT support….

Friday - February 17, 2017

Today In History:

1801 - The U.S. House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Jefferson was elected president and Burr became vice president.
1817 - The first gas lite streetlights appeared on the streets of Baltimore, MD.
1865 - Columbia, SC, burned. The Confederates were evacuating and the Union Forces were moving in.
1876 - Julius Wolff was credited with being the first to can sardines.
1878 - In San Francisco, CA, the first large city telephone exchange opened. It had only 18 phones.
1934 - The first high school automobile driver’s education course was introduced in State College, PA.
1944 - During World War II, the Battle of Eniwetok Atoll began. U.S. forces won the battle on February 22, 1944.
1947 - The Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.
1964 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that congressional districts within each state had to be approximately equal in population. (Westberry v. Sanders)
1992 - In Milwaukee, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison. In November of 1994, he was beaten to death in prison.
1995 - Colin Ferguson was convicted of six counts of murder in the December 1993 Long Island Rail Road shootings. He was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison.
1997 - Pepperdine University announced that Kenneth Starr was leaving the Whitewater probe to take a full-time job at the school. Starr reversed the announcement four days later.
2005 - U.S. President George W. Bush named John Negroponte as the first national intelligence director.

World News

Kremlin Tells Media to Cut Back on Fawning Trump Coverage, Sources Say
Bloomberg - The Kremlin ordered state media to cut way back on their fawning coverage of President Donald Trump, reflecting a growing concern among senior Russian officials that the new U.S. administration will be less friendly than first thought, three people familiar with the matter said. The order comes amid a growing chorus of anti-Russian sentiment in Washington, where U.S. spy and law-enforcement agencies are conducting multiple investigations to determine the full extent of contacts Trump’s advisers had with Russia during and after the 2016 election campaign. Vladimir Putin’s administration justified the decision to curb coverage of Trump by saying that Russian viewers no longer find details of his transition to power interesting, according to one of the people. In reality, some of the most popular TV segments on Trump touched on ideas the Kremlin would rather not promote, such as his pledge to “drain the swamp,” the person said.

WikiLeaks Releases Documents On Alleged CIA Spying On French Presidential Candidates
The Daily Caller - Anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks released a set of documents allegedly showing CIA espionage on candidates in France’s 2012 presidential elections. The seven pages of documents appear to be classified orders for intelligence operatives to gather information regarding candidates’ political strategies and internal communications. WikiLeaks’ release of the documents comes amid growing tensions between Trump and the intelligence community over leaks of classified information that have portrayed people close to Trump in a negative light.

Le Pen On Course To Become French President, A.I. Data Analysis Predicts
CNBC News - Arun Kant, chief executive and chief investment officer at Singapore-based investing firm Leonie Hill Capital, told CNBC he expected the right-wing populist to prevail thanks to his firm's proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) system's analysis of troves of data. His analysis — which he said incorporates inputs such as social and traditional media discussions, polling, economics and demographics — predicts that Le Pen will "walk over" her opponents in the first electoral test and then prove most forecasters wrong and steal the lead in the second ballot, Kant said…. "If she wins the first round, this dynamic will change," he said, noting the similarities between the populist appeal of Le Pen and President Donald Trump.

Greek Bank Run Re-accelerates: Massive Deposit Withdrawals Despite Capital Controls
Zero Hedge - The grave disagreement between the International Monetary Fund and the European lenders, Grexit bombshells flying around and Greece’s reluctance to accept additional austerity measures have increase uncertainty among citizens – for one more time. And so, as notes, what do citizens do when they feel political and economical insecurity? The run to banks and withdraw deposits. 2.5 billion euros left Greek banks in the last 45 days. And this despite the capital controls that allow Greeks to withdraw a maximum of just 1,800 euro per month.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Robert Harward Rejects Trump's Offer To Become Next National Security Advisor
Zero Hedge - …according to both the FT and CBS, Trump's pick for National Security Advisor, Robert Harward - Lockheed Martin's CEO for the UAE - has turned down the President's offer, citing "obvious dysfunctionality" in the administration. According to the FT, it is not yet a complete rejection as "Trump is trying to convince his preferred candidate to succeed Michael Flynn as national security adviser to change his mind after the retired admiral tapped for the role told the US president that he could not accept the White House position.”… As the FT adds, "one of the people familiar with Mr Harward’s decision said he was concerned about whether the top advisers around Mr Trump would allow him to install his own staff on the NSC — particularly after suggestions that KT McFarland, Mr Flynn’s deputy, had been asked to remain. When he was offered the position, Mr Harward had told Mr Trump that he wanted some time to think over the idea." A separate report by CBS gives the courting process more closure, stating that "Robert Harward turns down Trump's offer to be new national security adviser.”… While it remains to be seen if Harward is indeed out, it is troubling if suddenly Trump can not even find willing and qualified candidates to fill the gaping holes among his top security advisors.

Obama Appointees Preventing Mattis From Rebuilding Military, Says Armed Services Chair
The Daily Caller - Holdovers from the Obama administration in the Pentagon are hampering efforts to fix the military’s major readiness problem, leaving Secretary of Defense James Mattis alone in his efforts to properly equip U.S. forces, according to the chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services. “I am concerned that … to fix these problems [it] is going to take a lot more money, and yet a lot of the folks who are coming up with the budget to fix them are the same people who have been fighting every step of the way against our efforts to fix these problems,” said Chairman Mac Thornberry during a Capitol Hill press gaggle Thursday. Thornberry noted that Mattis is “alone” in his attempts to alleviate the readiness problem at the Pentagon. He added that there are some people, including “political appointees and others from the Obama administration,” who have been “trying to deny there was a problem.” The Vice Joint Chiefs of Staff warned the armed services committee last week that the lack of military readiness across all branches was putting the military’s capabilities at risk. Their reports revealed, among other substantial problems, only three of 58 Army brigade combat teams are ready for combat, while fewer than half of the Air Force’s aging aircraft fleet is ready to fight.

The Spy Agency's 'Hit Job' On Mike Flynn
The Daily Caller - National Security Advisor Gen. Michael T. Flynn (ret.) — who resigned Monday — was the victim of a “hit job” launched by intelligence operatives, Obama government holdovers and former Obama national security officials, according to former intelligence officials who spoke with The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group. The talk within the tight-knit community of retired intelligence officers was that Flynn’s sacking was a result of intelligence insiders at the CIA, NSA and National Security Council using a sophisticated “disinformation campaign” to create a crisis atmosphere. The former intel officers say the tactics hurled against Flynn over the last few months were the type of high profile hard-ball accusations previously reserved for top figures in enemy states, not for White House officials…. Former intelligence officials who understand spy craft say Flynn’s resignation had everything to do with a “disinformation campaign” and little to do with the December phone conversation he had with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. They charge officials from America’s top spy counsels leaked classified government intercepts of Flynn and President Trump’s conversations with world leaders and had “cutouts” — friendly civilians not associated with the agency — to distribute them to reporters in a coordinated fashion…. “I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Retired Col. James Waurishuk, who spent three decades in top military intelligence posts and served at the National Security Council, said in an interview with TheDCNF. “We’ve never seen to the extent that those in the intelligence community are using intelligence apparatus and tools to be used politically against an administration official,” he said….

Video: President Trump News Conference
C-Span - President Trump held a news conference to announce Alexander Acosta as his new labor secretary nominee following Andrew Puzder’s decision to withdraw from the process. Before taking questions, the president spoke at length about topics such as the first few weeks of his administration, jobs, his Supreme Court nominee, military spending, the margin of his Electoral College victory, and his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He said he would introduce a new executive order the following week that would “comprehensively protect our country.” He also criticized the media, saying “the level of dishonesty” in the press “is out of control.” Question topics included Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser, leaks within his administration of classified information, and reported contacts between his advisers and Russia, which he called “fake news.” Several times, he brought up his presidential contest with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In Fiery, "Surreal" Press Conference, Trump Launches War On The Media
Zero Hedge - At the start of a nearly two-hour announcement, which was meant to introduce the new pick for Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta and promptly turned into a fiery, at times rambling back and forth with members of the press more reminiscent of his campaign speeches, which covered leaks to the media, Russian relations, immigration policy, the final fate of ObamaCare and a multitude of other subjects, President Trump rejected portrayals of chaos in his administration and claimed "incredible" progress in his first four weeks in office, lashing out at media organizations he said "will not tell you the truth.”… Trump opened the speech with what Bloomberg dubbed a 25-minute tirade in which he pointed to the stock market’s performance as evidence of his early accomplishments and said news organizations work "for the special interests and for those profiting off a very, very broken system." He mentioned that a Rasmussen poll found that he had 55 percent approval - Gallup’s most recent tracking poll found he had 40 percent support -- and said "the stock market has hit record numbers, as you know." "I’m here today to update the American people on the incredible progress that’s been made the last four weeks since my inauguration," Trump said. "I see stories of chaos. It’s the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine." "There’s zero chaos" he claimed, and pivoted to Obama: "To be honest I inherited a mess," Trump said. "It’s a mess. At home and abroad." The president then launched into a laundry list of issues on which he has claimed victories and progress, including border security, combating the Islamic State, job creation and a reduction of government regulation….
* Related: Video: President Trump News Conference

Trump Withdraws Appeal Of Travel Ban Suspension, To Unveil New Immigration Order Next Week
Zero Hedge - During Trump's press conference, the president announced, among numerous other things, that he will issue a new executive action on immigration "next week sometime" which will be "tailored to the decision" issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and will rescind the initial travel ban which has been challenged in legal battles across the nation.

Video: Trump Brings Coal Miners to Executive Order Rescuing Coal Industry from Liberal Politicians
The GatewayPundit - President Trump signed legislation [Thursday] rescuing coal miners and the coal industry from hateful liberal politicians… Trump promised to rescue coal miners during the campaign. Hillary promised to kill all coal mining jobs and put thousands of families out of work. Today President Trump made good on that promise…. During the event President Trump asked a coal miner to say a few words. The miner from West Virginia was very happy.

Soros Groups Behind Massive Anti-Trump Tax Day Protest Plot
Breitbart - The news media has been reporting on plans by a coalition of activist groups to hold a massive anti-Trump Tax March in Washington and at least 60 other locations on April 15. Unreported by the news media is that most of the listed partners and support organizers of the march are openly financed by George Soros or have close links to Soros financing. The website for the march, which is slated for the deadline for Americans to file their tax returns, claims that its mission is to get Trump to release his tax returns and more…. Leaders from January’s Women’s March coalition are reportedly helping to organize the Tax March, which USA Today described as a “sequel” to the massive women’s march. Buzzfeed took note of the comparison to the women’s march in a piece titled, “Progressives Want Tax Day To Be The Next Women’s March Protest.” Soros reportedly has ties to more than 50 “partners” of that march. Also, this journalist first reported on the march leaders’ close associations with Soros.

60% of Refugee Arrivals Since Judge Halted Trump’s Order Come From 5 Terror-Prone Countries
CNS News - Of the total 2,576 refugees resettled in the U.S. from around the world since U.S. District Judge James Robart’s February 3 restraining order, 1,549 (60.1 percent) are from Syria (532), Iraq (472), Somalia (363), Iran (117), and Sudan (65). No refugees have arrived from the other two applicable countries, Yemen and Libya. Of the 2,576 refugees to have arrived since Feb. 3, 1,424 (55.3 percent) are Muslims – 817 Sunnis, 132 Shi’ites, and 475 refugees self-identified simply as Muslims, according to State Department Refugee Processing Center data. Of the refugees hailing from the specified countries of terrorist concern, Muslims accounted for the overwhelming majority of those admitted in all cases except for Iran.

Report: Stopping Only Nine Percent of Illegal Alien Border Crossers Would Pay for Trump’s Border Wall
Breitbart - The non-partisan Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), using the estimated education level of illegal alien border crossers and immigrant education estimates from National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS), found that each illegal alien entering the U.S. racks up at least $74,722 in lifetime costs, funded by American taxpayers. “[I]f a border wall stopped a small fraction of the illegal immigrants who are expected to come in the next decade, the fiscal savings from having fewer illegal immigrants in the country would be sufficient to cover the costs of the wall,” writes CIS Director of Research Steven Camarota…. And that’s excluding the cost of children produced by illegal immigrants. The federal government imposes a massive, unfunded mandate on school districts around the country by forcing American parents to divert funding from their own children to educate roughly 3.62 million foreign students, many of whom are extremely low-performing students and do not speak English.

“City Erects Prison Camp Around Homeless”: Controlling Desperate People As Harsh Economic Times Hit
Mac Slavo - The City of Santa Ana has come up with an innovative and despotic way of keeping their homeless population in check — imprison them. The city is now party to a federal lawsuit over unreasonable seizure, false imprisonment, and due process violations. Heading up the lawsuit on behalf of Michael Diehl, who has lived at the encampment for three years, is the ACLU of Southern California. The lawsuit demands the immediate removal of the 6-foot-tall chain-link fences penning in 75-100 people and their belongings. “Defendants’ actions have not only illegally restricted the liberty of the homeless people living in the encampment, but it has also cut them off from access to food, water, and medical care thus threatening their health and well-being,” the lawsuit states…. Children, people with severe disabilities, the elderly and others are deprived of food, water and access to restrooms,” said ACLU homelessness policy analyst Eve Garrow. “The county should take action to rectify this egregious violation of basic human rights.” Naturally, the county is claiming that they are not doing anything wrong and that the fence, put in place after the homeless community began growing there, is for ‘flood control.’ “The county is aware that there are homeless encampments in the project area. Flood control channels are not a safe place to live. Sign postings and in-person notifications about the project have been provided to those encamped along the county maintenance road,” the county said in a statement.

Economy & Business

US Household Debt Rose To $12.6 Trillion In 2016: Biggest Jump In A Decade
Zero Hedge - Total US household debt jumped in Q4 driven by increases in credit card debt, auto and student loans, and a Q4 surge in mortgage originations, and as of December 31, 2016, stood at $12.58 trillion. For the full year, total household debt rose by $460 billion, the biggest annual increase in a decade.

Burlington Drops Ivanka Trump’s Fashion Line from Its Website
Breitbart - As of Friday, Burlington had removed from its website all 13 of the Ivanka Trump items it had for sale, Business Insider reports. Burlington, formerly known as the Burlington Coat Factory, has not commented on the matter, and it is unclear whether it is still selling the brand in its stores. Shannon Coulter, co-founder of the Grab Your Wallet anti-Trump boycott movement, posted on Twitter a screen grab of a search for Ivanka Trump merchandise on the website, which yielded no results. “Sorry, we are not getting any results for the brand you searched,” the message on the website said…. Stores have also dropped Donald Trump’s line of products. Retailers Sears and Kmart dropped the Trump Home products from their websites this week.

Energy & Environment

Obama Stimulus Funds: $22 Million Went to California Dam in ‘Good Shape’, $0 for Failing Oroville Dam
The GatewayPundit - From The Free Beacon: Despite more than a decade of warnings about Oroville, there is no public record of the country’s tallest dam receiving any of the more than $34 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act sent to California for infrastructure projects. Over $22 million in stimulus funds did go toward safety improvements to the Folsom Dam, which was described as in “good shape” at the time the grant was awarded in 2009… …Stimulus projects awarded to the state included $2.2 million for “more attractive” sidewalks and $2.5 million for a 205-acre “zero net energy” community on the University of California Davis campus to put a greater “emphasis on walking” and bicycling…. Earlier this week the Gateway Pundit reported that officials had warned that the dam was failing for 12 years yet the state of California did nothing and that Democratic Governor Jerry Brown has been spending $25 billion per yer on illegals aliens.

Governor orders evacuation of Dakota pipeline protest camp
Reuters - The governor of North Dakota ordered protesters on Wednesday to evacuate a demonstration camp near the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline in the latest move to clear the area that has served as a base for opposition to the multibillion dollar project. Republican Doug Burgum ordered demonstrators to leave the camp located on land owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by Feb. 22, citing safety concerns that have arisen due to accelerated snowmelt and rising water levels of the nearby Cannonball River. Burgum also said in his executive order that the camp poses an environmental danger to the surrounding area. His order reaffirms a Feb. 22 deadline set by the Army Corps for the demonstrators to clean up and leave…. A federal judge on Monday denied a request by Native American tribes seeking to halt construction of the final link of the $3.8 billion pipeline after the Corps of Engineers granted a final easement to Energy Transfer Partners LP last week.

AMI Smart Meters ILLEGALLY Forced on Pennsylvania Consumers; Act 129 States “Not Mandatory”
Natural Blaze - Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) utility Smart Meters for electric, natural gas and water are being forced onto Pennsylvania utility customers by utility companies backed up by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission’s (PA PUC) implementation rules and regulations, i.e., AMI SMs are “mandatory,” which are in total contradiction to the Legislative History, intent, enactment, and what was published in official public state records declaring AMI Smart Meters are not mandated! Basically, the bill SB2200, as passed by the PA Legislature, is/was an “opt IN bill”!

Science & Technology

Mark Zuckeberg Rejects "America First", Calls For Global Community
Zero Hedge - Hot on the heels of retailers who have halted sales of Ivanka Trump's clothing line in protest against Trump (and free marketing buzz), the tech "resistance" against Trump got its lead from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckeberg who on Thursday posted a lengthy note "rebuking isolationist “America First” sentiment, and touting the merits of globalization and a “global community” working for innovation and progress." In short, the CEO of the "social network", whose business model is predicated upon uninhibited globalization allowing advertisers to reach into every corner of the world with 3 second video clips, is calling for a global government. Not all that surprising.

Retail store demands everyone submit to cop run facial recognition before gaining entry
MassPrivate I - A retail store in St. Louis called Motomart is demanding customers submit to having their faces scanned before they're allowed entry! Think about what that means, police are identifying every single customer using DHS's REAL ID's. According to a Fox2Now article, once it gets dark, employees put up signs that say: “Facial Recognition Software in Use - Please Look at Above Camera for Entry.”… Motomart uses 'Blue Line Technology' facial recognition cameras, designed by the Army, DHS and the police. "Blue Line Technology was launched by retired law enforcement and military professionals..." … According to Blue Line "Major Spiess is currently working as a trainer for the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Department of Homeland Security.”… Blue Line wants to install facial recognition cameras in every home, gas station, store, school, hospital etc., across the country.


Medical Freedom at Risk in 2017 as Many States Seek Laws for Mandatory Vaccines
Health Impact News - In 2015 and 2016, NVIC monitored over 200 vaccine-related bills introduced in more than 40 state legislatures, including 31 bills in 21 states that tried to restrict of eliminate vaccine exemptions. With tens of thousands of Americans actively using the online NVIC Advocacy Portal, NVIC led a grassroots effort of concerned citizens and supportive parental rights and health freedom groups to educate legislators with well-referenced information about diseases and vaccines. Forced vaccination bills were defeated in 29 out of 31 states, including in Virginia, where NVIC is headquartered. By February 2017, vaccine legislation had been introduced in 30 states that threaten vaccine freedom of choice, including bills in eight states to restrict or eliminate vaccine exemptions in Arkansas (withdrawn), Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas. Freedom. It is a human right to exercise freedom of thought, speech, conscience and religious belief. But, when it comes to vaccination, those basic human freedoms are being taken away in America, one state at a time.

Air pollution—and not cholesterol—causing heart disease, say researchers
What Doctors Don't Tell You - If high cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease (which it doesn’t), what does? The real culprit could be air pollution—from cars and industrial processes—as a major new study from China suggests. Deaths from chronic diseases such as heart and respiratory conditions have been steadily rising in China, which has severe air pollution problems from industrialization and growing car ownership. Cities that have the highest levels of fine particulate air pollution, known as PM2.5, also have higher mortality rates from heart and respiratory diseases, say researchers from Fudan University in Shanghai. They looked at pollution levels and mortality rates in 272 Chinese cities, which have a combined population of 323 million people, so making it the largest ever epidemiological study in the developing world. Between 2013 and 2015, the average PM2.5 levels in the cities were five times higher than the WHO’s safety levels. At the levels being recorded in China, heart disease is 1.35 times more likely, the risk for hypertension nearly doubles, while for coronary heart disease it increases 1.5 times. The link is harder to see in Western countries, say the researchers, because air pollution has been improving over the past 40 years or more, and, as a result, heart disease has also been in decline.

Weekend Watching

Video: More Deadly Than War – A Lecture by G. Edward Griffin
“In 1969, I delivered a lecture on this subject, entitled More Deadly than War. That was in the day when I was hanging out at the communist book store in Los Angeles doing research on collectivism, so I was loaded with communist publications to illustrate my message. The presentation was recorded on black-and-white film, released in VHS format, and then forgotten…. It has been almost fifty years since I gave much thought to that lecture so, when I started to write this commentary, I decided to watch it again to see what I said. Frankly, I was blown away by how every point applies directly to what is happening today.” — G. Edward Griffin

Thursday - February 16, 2017

Today In History:

1804 - A raid was led by Lt. Stephen Decatur to burn the U.S. Navy frigate Philadelphia. The ship had been taken by pirates.
1857 - The National Deaf Mute College was incorporated in Washington, DC. It was the first school in the world for advanced education of the deaf. The school was later renamed Gallaudet College.
1862 - During the U.S. Civil War, about 14,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson, TN.
1923 - Archaeologist opens tomb of King Tut
1937 - Wallace H. Carothers received a patent for nylon.
1938 - The U.S. Federal Crop Insurance program was authorized.
1945 - During World War II, U.S. troops landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines.
1946 - The first commercially designed helicopter was tested in Connecticut.
1959 - Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba after the overthrow of President Fulgencio Batista. He was inaugurated in Haleyville, AL.
1989 - Investigators in Lockerbie, Scotland, announced that a bomb hidden inside a radio-cassette player was the reason that Pan Am Flight 103 was brought down the previous December. All 259 people aboard and 11 on the ground were killed.
1999 - Testimony began in the Jasper, TX, trial of John William King. He was charged with murder in the gruesome dragging death of James Byrd Jr. King was later convicted and sentenced to death.
2005 - The Kyoto global warming pact went into effect in 140 nations.
2005 - The NHL announced the cancellation of the 2004-2005 season due to a labor dispute. It was the first time a major sports league in North America lost an entire season to a labor dispute.

World News

Top US, Russian Military Generals To Meet Thursday
Zero Hedge - With a Russian ship sailing in very close proximity to the primary east coast submarine base, and tensions between the US - and perhaps the Trump administration - and Russia, once again rising it seems like an odd moment to organize a meeting between the top US military general and his Russian counterpart on Thursday in Azerbaijan, the first such meeting between the two since military cooperation between the two nations was suspended in 2014 following the hostilities in Ukraine. U.S. Marine Corps General and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Joseph Dunford will meet with the head of the Russian army's General Staff Valery Gerasimov on Thursday in Azerbaijan, Dunford's office said in a statement on Wednesday. "The military leaders will discuss a variety of issues including the current state of U.S.-Russian military relations and the importance of consistent and clear military-to-military communication to prevent miscalculation and potential crises," the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Accompanying Dunfort will be Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who will also meet his Russian counterpart on Thursday, as the Trump administration evaluates the future direction of US-Russian relations.

Message to Trump: EU to Hold Free Trade Summit With China
Sputnik News - In response to the White House’s rising economic nationalism, the European Union brings forward a summit with China to promote free trade and international cooperation. According to EU officials, the annual summit, usually held in mid-summer, may take place as soon as April or May in Brussels at the request of Beijing amid escalating economic conflicts with the US. The EU believes China intends to use the summit as a demonstration of Xi Jinping's rousing endorsement of globalization and multilateralism in the wake of the new US President Donald Trump's insistence on ‘America first' policies. Europe itself is preparing for countermeasures if Trump follows through on his ideas including a plan to overhaul the US corporate tax system by taxing US companies' domestic sales and imports, while exempting their exports.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Mattis to NATO: Pay More or U.S. Will ‘Moderate Its Commitment’
Breitbart - Defense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday issued an ultimatum to NATO while meeting with member nations for the first time in Brussels: Pay more, or the U.S. will “moderate its commitment” to the organization. “I owe it to you all to give you clarity on the political reality in the United States, and to state the fair demand from my country’s people in concrete terms,” he said during a closed-door meeting, according to remarks provided to reporters traveling with him. “America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to the alliance, each of your capitals needs to show its support for our common defense.”… “No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western values,” he added. “Americans cannot care more for your children’s security than you do. Disregard for military readiness demonstrates a lack of respect for ourselves, for the alliance and for the freedoms we inherited, which are now clearly threatened.”

Trump Offers National Security Advisor Job To Lockheed Executive Robert Harward
Zero Hedge - As previewed yesterday, of the three men mentioned as Michael Flynn's national security advisor replacements, one stood out: the former deputy commander of the US Central Command and current CEO for Lockheed Martin in the UAE, Robard Harward. Moments ago, Reuters confirmed that as expected, Trump has offered the National Security Advisor job to Robert Harward.

Full text of Michael Flynn's resignation letter
USA Today - Flynn's resignation, first reported by CNN, came late Monday night. The full transcript of the letter can be read below…

Trump, Netanyahu Highlights: "Hold Back On Settlements", Both One Or Two-State Deals Are Acceptable
Zero Hedge - The much anticipated meeting between President Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu did not provide significant insight into the new administration's policies vis-a-vis Israel and the middle east. While Trump expressed optimism in a "great peace deal", he urged his Israeli colleague to "hold back on the settlements a little bit", and while reiterating his support for a move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, he was non-committal: "we'll see what happens." Trump called on the Israeli Prime Minister to make compromises in order to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians, including holding off on the construction of new settlements. “The United States will encourage a peace and really a great peace deal” between Israel and the Palestinians, but they have to negotiate it themselves, Trump said. “Both sides will have to make compromises.” Asked whether he preferred a one-state or a two-state solution, Trump said, “I’m happy with the one they like the best,” referring to Israelis and the Palestinians. Israel had two prerequisites for any peace settlement, Netanyahu said. “First, the Palestinians must recognize the Jewish state, they must stop calling for Israel’s destruction… Second, Israel must retain security control over all of the area west of the Jordan River.” Unless those conditions are met, Palestine will become “another failed state, another Islamist dictatorship that will not work for peace, but work to destroy us,” Netanyahu said.
* Related: VIDEO: Full Joint Press Conference w/ Prime Minister Netanyahu

Trump’s labor secretary nominee withdraws
RT - Andrew Puzder, President Donald Trump’s pick to be the secretary of labor, has dropped out of his confirmation hearings amid scandals about his past. Puzder had lost support among Senate Republicans, with four GOP senators saying they would not vote for him, and up to eight more saying they were thinking of not voting for him, CNN reported. As shown during the confirmation vote for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Cabinet picks cannot afford to lose more than two GOP votes. Last Tuesday, Puzder admitted that he had previously employed an undocumented immigrant for years. He only recently paid back taxes on the employee, as well as filed all required paperwork for her. He had a high-profile divorce 30 years ago that included claims by ex-wife Lisa Fierstein that he abused her. On Monday, the Oprah Winfrey Network distributed a copy of Fierstein’s 1990 appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” detailing her abuse to the Senate. Puzder, the CEO of a fast-food holding company, was a controversial choice even before his past resurfaced. The billionaire was a major Trump campaign contributor and has been a harsh critic of raising the federal minimum wage, arguing that it would increase costs for consumers and lead to fewer jobs. He is supportive of Trump’s plan to lower taxes for corporations and the wealthy, and loosening regulations for business.

Measure to Overturn Obama Social Security Gun Ban Gets Sent to Trump’s Desk
Gun Owners of America - In a stunning victory for the pro-gun community, the first bill to repeal an Obama anti-gun measure is now headed to President Trump’s desk. Earlier today, the Senate voted to overturn Barack Obama’s Social Security Gun Ban. [The vote in the Senate was 57-43, with all Republicans voting for the repeal. They were joined by only four Democrats and one Independent. The earlier House vote was 235-180.] The resolution, House Joint Resolution 40, now goes to the president’s desk, where Donald Trump is expected to eagerly sign it. This action is expected to be the first of a series of pro-gun actions to be taken by Congress and the Trump administration. The Social Security Gun Ban was pushed by Barack Obama beginning on January 4, 2016…. Under the soon-to-be-repealed Social Security Gun Ban, garden-variety bureaucrats could look through applications for benefits and summarily impose gun bans on law-abiding Americans, even though they had no training in medicine and no contact with the applicant. Conditions as benign as “anxiety” could be used to strip Americans of their constitutional rights with no due process whatsoever. People receiving benefit payments through a guardian would also lose their guns.

Gov’t Pressures Doctors To Ask: ‘Do You Own A Gun?’
Off the Grid News - Your doctor might ask if you own a gun and lecture you on firearm safety if the state attorney general and the Massachusetts Medical Society get their way…. Gessner and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat, unveiled an initiative designed to have doctors ask patients about gun ownership. It is part of a partnership between Healey’s office and the Massachusetts Medical Society…. The program has the support of two groups representing the states’ police chiefs…. Under the proposed policy, doctors would not report gun owners to cops. Instead, they would simply talk to them about gun safety. “That’s why Boston Medical Center is so pleased to participate in the development of this training to help physicians talk to their patients about the safe handling and storage of guns. As a health care community, we are fully committed to ending gun violence in Massachusetts, starting in every home, and in every doctor’s visit,” said Kate Walsh, the president and CEO of Boston Medical Center.

Trump Slams Russia Connection "Non-Sense"; Accuses "Fake News Media" Of Creating "Conspiracy Theories"
Zero Hedge - With the news cycle once again squarely focused on Mike Flynn in particular, and the Trump Administration's ties to Russia in general following a volley of news last night from NYT, WaPo and CNN that Trump advisors allegedly communicated with members of Russian intellgience in the year preceding the election, it was expected that Trump's first comment of the day would be focused on the story du jour, and sure enough in his first tweet on Wednesday, President Trump blasted the “fake news media,” saying it is “going crazy with conspiracy theories and blind hatred.” Trump also slammed MSNBC and CNN, but said Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” is “great!”… In a follow up tweet, Trump also said "this Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton's losing campaign." As reported overnight, the president's tweets follow reports in The New York Times and CNN that Trump campaign aides were in "constant" contact with Russian officials.
* Related: Dan Rather: "Trump's Russia Scandal Could Be Bigger Than Watergate"

‘He Will Die in Jail’ – Intelligence Apparatus Admits ‘Going Nuclear’ on Trump
Sputnik News - A former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer tweeted on Wednesday that the intelligence community will now be “going nuclear” against Trump. John Schindler, a national security columnist for the Observer and former NSA analyst, published an article on Sunday titled “The Spy Revolt Against Trump Begins,” which asserts that the Intelligence Community is rebelling against Trump over some of his senior officials having alleged ties to the Kremlin. The situation is so bad, according to Schindler, that they are now beginning to withhold intelligence from the White House.

Confirmed: Donald Trump to rally in Melbourne, FL on Saturday
Florida Today - He will appear at a rally that begins at 5 p.m. Saturday in the AeroMod International hangar at Orlando Melbourne International Airport. Doors will open at 3 p.m.

Wife of Retired Couple Forbidden to See Her Husband in Nursing Home After Publication of Article
Health Impact News - It appears that an elected official in Morgan County, Missouri, has the power to keep Helen and Charlie Taylor apart no matter how much they want to be together. Shortly after our article was published, the day before Valentine's Day, Helen was told that she is no longer permitted to visit her husband in the nursing home, which is located in Callaway County, Missouri. Helen is devastated. She told us: "He is the love of my life. We just want to be together." During Helen’s visit with Charley Monday at the nursing home, she said 2 nursing home employees told her that the administrator wanted to meet with her in her office. In that meeting, Helen was told that she was not allowed on the premises anymore. Further, if she returned, they would call the sheriff’s department, and she would be arrested, according to Helen. She was handed a letter signed by Conservator Amanda Huffman stating that Helen was interfering with Charley’s care and that the nursing home was to stop all visits from her with her husband.

Economy & Business

Warren Buffett dumps Walmart, bets on Apple & US airlines
RT - Investor Warren Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway significantly slashed its Walmart stock last quarter, opting to invest billions in airlines and technology instead. The billionaire sold off $900 million of Walmart stock cutting his share by 89.26 percent, according to GuruFocas that tracks the buying and selling of stocks. Buffett also sold all but 0.01 percent of the US telecom firm Verizon. The move reportedly leaves America's biggest retailer playing catch-up with e-commerce rivals such as Amazon, whose market value is now $356 billion against Walmart’s $298 billion. Walmart shares have declined 21 percent, compared with an 119 percent surge in Amazon since the end of 2014.

Yellen may have offered the clearest explanation for the stock market’s record run
MarketWatch - “I think market participants likely are anticipating shifts in fiscal policy that will stimulate growth and perhaps raise earnings,” Yellen said, responding to a question about what is behind the markets' meltup. That description is what most on Wall Street refer to as the Trump rally. That is a revival of so-called animal spirits inspired by expectations that President Donald Trump will unfurl a host of pro-business policies, including a loosening of bank regulations, increasing fiscal spending, and cutting individual and corporate taxes. Some make the case that recent pledges around ‘massive’ tax reform have reignited the fire in investors’ bellies, supporting a recent round of stock purchases that have pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite Index to finish at all-time highs on successive days. The string of gains has the Nasdaq on the verge of logging its longest win streak of records since 1999, and all three major stock benchmarks notched the longest streak of all-time high closes on the same day in a quarter-century.

IRS Deals Major Blow To Obamacare Mandate
Zero Hedge - The tax agency has stopped requiring individual filers to indicate whether they maintained health coverage or paid the mandate penalty as required under the law… Following President Donald Trump's executive order instructing agencies to provide relief from the health law, the Internal Revenue Service appears to be taking a more lax approach to the coverage requirement. The health law's individual mandate requires everyone to either maintain qualifying health coverage or pay a tax penalty, known as a "shared responsibility payment." The IRS was set to require filers to indicate whether they had maintained coverage in 2016 or paid the penalty by filling out line 61 on their form 1040s. Alternatively, they could claim exemption from the mandate by filing a form 8965. For most filers, filling out line 61 would be mandatory. The IRS would not accept 1040s unless the coverage box was checked, or the shared responsibility payment noted, or the exemption form included. Otherwise they would be labeled "silent returns" and rejected. Instead, however, filling out that line will be optional.

Energy & Environment

The Oroville Crisis Exposes The Vulnerability Of America's Entire National Dam System (Video)
Zero Hedge - "Certainly someone in the 1960’s would never believe that the United States would have these issues, but we’ve ignored them far too long... When we look at this dam, which is a highly regulated dam, a dam more highly regulated than almost any others. They had an emergency spillway filled with trees. They had a principle spillway that was in the process of failing and had been for years. So, if this can exist on one of the most highly regulated dams then one can just interpolate and imagine what the rest of the situation is like."

Science & Technology

Yahoo Reveals More User Accounts Were Hacked, Hours After Renegotiating Verizon Deal
Zero Hedge - Just hours after Bloomberg reported that Verizon is finally close to a renegotiated deal for Yahoo! Inc.’s internet properties that would reduce the price of the $4.8 billion agreement by about $250 million after the revelation of security breaches at the web company, Yahoo issued another warning to users, advising them their accounts may have been compromised by "potentially malicious" activity on their accounts between 2015 and 2016. An email from Yahoo forwarded to ZDNet said: "Our outside forensic experts have been investigating the creation of forged cookies that could allow an intruder to access users' accounts without a password. Based on the ongoing investigation, we believe a forged cookie may have been used in 2015 or 2016 to access your account." It was the latest development in the internet company's investigation of a mega-breach that exposed 1 billion users' personal data including email addresses, birthdates, and answers to security questions, several years ago.


Kennedy, De Niro Hold Major Vaccine Safety Press Conference (Video)
Adan Salazar - Activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and actor Robert De Niro held a major press conference at the National Press Club Wednesday to discuss the correlation between mercury-containing vaccines and childhood autism. “The event will focus on the announcement of a unique challenge with substantial cash award to the American people and media,” a press release from Kennedy’s World Mercury Project states. The conference will also address President Donald Trump’s potential “Vaccine Safety Commission,” which Kennedy claimed he’d been offered an opportunity to chair last month. Sources tell Infowars the two prominent figures are preparing to offer a cash reward of up to $100,000 to anyone who can prove that mercury-containing vaccines do not contribute to autism…. Read: Open Letter to American Journalists from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Robert De Niro…
* Related: Video: Full Press Conference, Robert K. Kennedy, Jr. and Robert De Niro National Press Club, Washington, DC

Safe salt levels are double those of current guidelines, say experts
What Doctors Don't Tell You - Health warnings about salt have been overdone, an influential expert panel has concluded. The real safe upper limit is more than double the level that health guardians are currently recommending. People can safely consume around 5 g of salt a day without raising their risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart disease—even though current guidelines warn that any amount above 2.3 g, which is less than half a teaspoon, is dangerous. Experts from the World Heart Federation, the European Society of Hypertension and the European Public Health Association say they couldn’t find any evidence that supports such a low level. In fact, they say it’s not ‘feasible’ for people to consume such low doses, and it may even be harmful to restrict salt to that extent. Instead, people can safely consume between 3 g and 5 g a day without suffering any health problems, they say. The current guidelines came about after some studies noted that blood pressure levels had fallen when people were consuming no more than 1.5 g of salt a day, but the findings were ‘controversial’, the expert panel says.
* Related: Pink Himalayan Salt Benefits that Make It Superior to Table Salt

Chlorine in drinking water linked to heart attacks and cancer
(NaturalHealth365) Numerous studies are showing a link between chlorine intake and cancer, heart attacks and other negative health effects. This occurs when chlorine byproducts trigger harmful free radicals in the body and inhibit other cellular processes. While drinking water with chlorination causes the most damage, cooking and bathing with it can also expose you to negative health effects. Keep in mind, the lungs and skin can be just as sensitive as internal organs. The practice of chlorination has been used since the 1800s, although it didn’t become a standard until the early 1900s. It’s utilized primarily because it is the cheapest way to disinfect large amounts of water. However, it is far from the safest. In fact, using chlorine in water is like pouring bleach in it…. The EPA and the Environmental Defense Fund label chlorine a pesticide, since its main purpose is to kill living organisms. However, it continues to kill when it gets inside the human body, causing damage to the cells and systems. It is also a catalyst for cancer. A Hartford Connecticut area study found women with breast cancer had at least 50 percent higher chlorination byproduct levels in their breast tissue.

Pet News

RECALL ALERT: Against The Grain Dog Food Recalled due to Presence of Drug Pentobarbital
Dogington Post - Out of an abundance of caution, Against the Grain Pet Food is voluntarily recalling one lot of Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy Dinner for Dogs that was manufactured and distributed in 2015. The 12 oz. Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy Dinner for Dogs that is being voluntarily recalled, due to the potential presence of pentobarbital, has an expiration date of December 2019, a lot number of 2415E01ATB12, and the second half of the UPC code is 80001 (which can be found on the back of the product label). Oral exposure to pentobarbital can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner), inability to stand and coma.

Wednesday - February 15, 2017

Today In History:

1764 - The city of St. Louis was established.
1799 - Printed ballots were authorized for use in elections in the state of Pennsylvania.
1879 - U.S. President Hayes signed a bill that allowed female attorneys to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
1898 - The USS Maine sank when it exploded in Havana Harbor for unknown reasons. More than 260 crew members were killed.
1933 - U.S. President-elect Franklin Roosevelt escaped an assignation attempt in Miami. Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak was killed in the attack.
1942 - During World War II, Singapore surrendered to the Japanese.
1962 - CBS-TV bought the exclusive rights to college football games from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for a figure of $10,200,000.
1965 - Canada displayed its new red and white maple leaf flag. The flag was to replace the old Red Ensign standard.
1982 - During a storm, the Ocean Ranger, a drilling rig, sank off the coast of Newfoundland. 84 men were killed.
1985 - The Center for Disease Control reported that more than half of all nine-year-olds in the U.S. showed no sign of tooth decay.
1989 - After nine years of intervention, the Soviet Union announced that the remainder of its troops had left Afghanistan.
1991 - The leaders of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland signed the Visegard agreement, in which they pledged to cooperate in transforming their countries to free-market economies.
1995 - The FBI arrested Kevin Mitnick and charged him with cracking security in some of the nation's most protected computers. He served five years in jail.
2002 - U.S. President George W. Bush approved Nevada's Yucca Mountain as a site for long-term disposal of radioactive nuclear waste.

World News

US admits using toxic depleted uranium against ISIS in Syria
RT - More than 5,000 rounds of depleted uranium (DU) ammunition were used in two attacks on Islamic State oil tankers in eastern Syria, the US military has confirmed. The US-led coalition previously pledged it would not use the controversial ordnance. A spokesman for the US Central Command (CENTCOM) told Foreign Policy that 5,265 armor-piercing DU rounds were used in November 2015, during two air raids against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) oil tanker convoys in the Deir ez-Zor and Hasakah provinces in eastern Syria…. In March 2015, spokesman for the US-led coalition John Moore had explicitly ruled out the use of the controversial ammunition, saying that “US and coalition aircraft have not been and will not be using depleted uranium munitions in Iraq or Syria during Operation Inherent Resolve.” The Pentagon explained that armor-piercing DU rounds were not necessary because IS did not have the tanks it was designed to penetrate. Investigative reporter Samuel Oakford first brought up the use of DU ammunition by the coalition in October 2016, when a US Air Force congressional liaison told Representative Martha McSally (R-Arizona) that A-10s flying missions over Syria had fired 6,479 rounds of “combat mix” on two occasions. The officer explained that a fifth of the “combat mix” consisted of high-explosive incendiary (HEI) rounds, while the rest were DU armor-piercers.

Trump Expects Putin To "Return" Crimea To Ukraine
Zero Hedge - … during today's Sean Spicer press conference, the White House spokesman had that President Trump has been "tough" on Russia and expects Moscow to “return” the Crimea peninsula to Ukraine, the White House spokesman told reporters. Addressing the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn – hounded by the media over his contacts with Russian diplomats prior to Trump’s inauguration – Spicer pointed out that Russia “seized” Crimea under the Obama administration and that the Trump-appointed ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has “strongly denounced the Russian occupation.” "President Trump has made it very clear that he expects the Russian government to de-escalate violence in the Ukraine and return Crimea," Spicer said at a daily news briefing. "At the same time, he fully expects to and wants to get along with Russia." That may be problematic if indeed Trump plans to perpetuate the policies of his predecessor. On February, the Nikki Haley said at the UN Security Council that “Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control of the peninsula to Ukraine." Russian envoy Vitaly Churkin responded by citing the US Constitution and pointing out that Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to join Russia, after the US-backed coup in February 2014 overthrew the elected government in Kiev.

'It's a THREAT' Russian fury as US deploys HUNDREDS of helicopters in Germany
Express - A total of 24 Boeing AH-64D Apache and 94 Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters arrived in the port city of Bremerhaven, along with 350 vehicles and 1,800 personnel from the New York - based 10th Combat Aviation Brigade. Most of the shipment will be sent to an army base in the Bavarian town of Illesheim, with the rest being sent to Poland, Lithuania and Romania. The enhanced presence of American military might is part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, the US' commitment to NATO in response to Russia's intervention in Ukraine in 2014…. Major General Duane A. Gamble, Commander of 21st Theater Sustainment Command, said the purpose of the current visit was to train with NATO allies and "strengthen our alliance together”…. He said that in the next nine months, US troops would undertake at least 80 bilateral and multinational exercises…. Kremlin-funded news website Russia Today reported deputy foreign minister Aleksey Meshkov as saying: "This deployment is of course a threat for us.

Russian Spy Ship Spotted Off US East Coast
Zero Hedge - US officials told Fox News that a Russian spy ship has been spotted patrolling off the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday morning, the first such patrol since President Trump took office. According to Fox News, the Russian spy ship was 70 miles off the coast of Delaware, heading north at 10 knots, according to one official. That location means the ship is in international waters. The U.S. territory line is 12 nautical miles. It was not immediately clear where the Russian spy ship was headed. The ship, the SSV-175 Viktor Leonov, last sailed near the U.S. in April 2015, an official said. The ship is capable of intercepting communications or signals, as well as measuring U.S. Navy sonar capability. The Russian spy ship is also armed with surface-to-air missiles. “It’s not a huge concern, but we are keeping our eyes on it,” one official said.

Russian troops in amphibious vehicles practise invasion tactics in tit-for-tat drills after NATO deployed troops to protect Baltic states
Daily Mail - The Kremlin has demonstrated the ability of Russian forces to carry out beach landings, at a time of heightened tensions on Europe's borders. Video posted online by the Russian Defence Ministry shows two tanks storm the beach, thought to be in Ukraine, in a show of strength posted online as part of a training exercise. It comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a spot check on the country's aerospace forces, in order to 'evaluate readiness' for combat.

Russian Insiders Fear Washington Establishment Will Assassinate Trump
Paul Joseph Watson - Russian insiders are fearful that the Washington establishment will attempt to assassinate Donald Trump, according to a magazine with deep ties to the globalist elite. The revelation is buried deep within a Foreign Policy article about how the Kremlin is confused about how to respond to Trump’s role as a “revolutionary insurgent with a mission to dismantle America’s “old regime.” From “conversations with Russian policymakers and experts,” the article makes it clear that power players in Moscow are concerned about Trump even being able to see out his first four years in office. “What the Kremlin fears most today is that Trump may be ousted or even killed. His ouster, Kremlin insiders argue, is bound to unleash a virulent and bipartisan anti-Russian campaign in Washington,” states the piece. “The Kremlin is perfectly aware that Democrats want to use Russia to discredit and possibly impeach Trump while Republican elites want to use Russia to deflate and discipline Trump. The Russian government fears not only Trump’s downfall, of course, but also the possibility that he could opportunistically switch to a tough anti-Moscow line in order to make peace with hawkish Republican leaders in Congress.”

Euro Humiliation: Germany ‘freaked out’ as Greece 'could ditch EU currency for US Dollar'
Express - GREECE could be poised to humiliate Brussels by ditching the euro and instead choosing to be tied to the US dollar, Donald Trump’s reported pick as EU ambassador has sensationally claimed. Professor Ted Malloch revealed that senior Greek economists have enquired about the possibility of adopting the greenback if the country crashes out of the single currency. He asserted that Athens is so desperate it is prepared to tie itself to the dollar on the same terms as the likes of Puerto Rico if it means being able to quit the eurozone. And Prof Malloch said German leaders including Angela Merkel were “freaked out” at the humiliating possibility of losing Greece to a rival currency, which would be a devastating blow to the EU project. Tying Greece temporarily to the US dollar would be one way for the authorities in Athens to ensure that its currency does not completely tank if it leaves the eurozone, as would likely occur with a reissued drachma. However critics may argue the country would be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, as it would simply be trading one currency it has no control over for another.

Greece plans to hire Rothschild as debt adviser
RT - As concerns over Greece and its debt mount, Athens has reportedly decided to call in Rothschild, one of the oldest financial firms in the world, to navigate the country’s long-running creditor stand-off and avert default. According to the Financial Times, Greek authorities hope to finalize the appointment before crunch debt talks with eurozone finance ministers on February 20. The date has been described as the last chance for a bailout review with the upcoming elections in Europe likely to dominate the EU agenda. Sources told the FT that Rothschild is expected to advise Athens on all areas connected to its debt, including negotiations with creditors, potential inclusion in the European Central Bank’s €80 billion per month bond-buying program and the resumption of Greek government bond sales. They added the bank will be paid a bonus when Greece regains access to global debt markets…. The appointment of Rothschild as sovereign debt adviser will require ministerial approval. The bank will thus replace US investment bank Lazard, which worked on Greece’s bailout talks in 2012, and is currently acting as financial adviser to the Greek Ministry of Energy.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Deep State Leak Campaign Brings Down National Security Advisor Michael Flynn
Blacklisted News - After one of the most blatant leak campaigns by national security officials in recent memory, former General Michael Flynn resigned from office as national security advisor Monday evening. The official reason for the resignation was giving “incomplete information” to the vice president and others about a call between himself and the Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak in December. Today, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said President Trump lost confidence in Flynn related to his memory and honesty, particularly in reference to what Flynn told the vice president. Spicer also said a legal review was performed by the White House Counsel’s Office which found no legal issues with Flynn’s conduct. Spicer said the fundamental issue was trust. According to The New York Times, the White House reviewed a transcript of the call—retained from a longstanding wire tape of Kislyak—and found it to be “ambiguous enough that Mr. Trump could have justified either firing or retaining Mr. Flynn.” So what led President Trump to go with firing? Probably the torrent of stories smashing down on the White House that were part of a clearly coordinated campaign that reached crescendo on Sunday when stories from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Politico hit within a 30-minute period. All the stories claimed to be predicated on information from national security officials and other insiders. The Washington Post has been the biggest repository of leaks and started the campaign when intelligence officials told David Ignatius (and eventually other Washington Post reporters) that Flynn had talked to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions in a phone call after the election, but before taking office.

EXCLUSIVE: In Final Interview, Defiant Flynn Insists He Crossed No Lines, Leakers Must Be Prosecuted
The Daily Caller - In the final hours before his resignation, now-former White House National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn said he “crossed no lines” in his discussion with Russia’s ambassador, but ultimately he was most concerned about the steady stream of leaks to reporters based on classified information. “In some of these cases, you’re talking about stuff that’s taken off of a classified system and given to a reporter. That’s a crime,” Flynn told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group during a telephone interview from his White House office on Monday. “You call them leaks. It’s a criminal act. This is a crime. It’s not just a wink and a nod,” Flynn said. “Over the weekend,” Bloomberg’s Eli Lake reports, Flynn “was instructed not to speak to the press when he was in the fight for his political life. His staff was not even allowed to review the transcripts of his call to the Russian ambassador.”… President Donald Trump tweeted early Tuesday on leaks from officials within his administration, saying, “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?”

Mike Flynn May Face Felony Charges For Lying To The FBI
Zero Hedge - The FBI had no problem letting Hillary Clinton off the hook despite numerous attempts to hide the truth; Mike Flynn may not be so lucky. Earlier today, media reports hit that FBI agents interviewed Michael Flynn when he was national security adviser in the first days of the Trump administration about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. While it is not clear what he said in his interview, the FBI now adds that investigators "believed that Mr. Flynn was not entirely forthcoming, the officials said." That avenue raises the stakes of what so far has been a political scandal that cost Mr. Flynn his job, and which Sean Spicer explained today was merely a matter of Trump "losing trust" in his Security advisor, because if authorities conclude that Mr. Flynn knowingly lied to the F.B.I., "it could expose him to a felony charge", even though some have questioned how an illegally obtained transcript of his phone conversation could be admissable as evidence in a court of law.
* Related: Hillary Trolls Michael Flynn On Twitter With PizzaGate Reference

Russian lawmakers blame US ‘paranoia’ for Michael Flynn’s resignation
RT - Several senior Russian MPs have denied that Russia played any role in the recent resignation of US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, saying that the scandal was a provocation targeting Russia-US relations. State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said on Tuesday that he saw no “Russian trace” in Flynn’s resignation…. Leonid Slutskiy, the head of State Duma Committee for International Relations, said he has reasons to believe that Trump’s former adviser resigned due to external pressure…. “This situation is a negative signal for arranging Russian-American dialogue. It is obvious that Flynn had to submit his resignation under certain pressure. But President Trump accepted it. The chosen pretext was Flynn’s contact with the Russian ambassador, even though this is normal diplomatic practice,” he noted.

Ethics Office Recommends "Disciplinary Action" Against Kellyanne Conway
Zero Hedge - Under the present circumstances, there is strong reason to believe that Ms. Conway has violated the Standards of Conduct Act and that disciplinary action is warranted,” Walter Schaub wrote in a Tuesday letter to White House legal counselor Stefan Passantino. "I recommend the White House investigate Ms. Conway’s actions and consider taking disciplinary action against her."

Meet The Man Most Likely To Replace Mike Flynn
Zero Hedge - Meet Vice Admiral Robert Harward: former deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command and Chief Executive Officer for Lockheed Martin in the UAE, who has emerged as the front-runner to replace Michael Flynn as the White House national security adviser…. Harward served under Mattis while he was at U.S. Central Command and remains an ally and friend of the defense secretary. He is a Rhode Island native who went to school in Tehran before the shah was toppled in 1979. He went on to the U.S. Naval Academy and a long career in the Navy, where he worked on SEAL teams and was a commander in Afghanistan and Iraq. Harward did a tour on the National Security Council under Republican President George W. Bush working on counterterrorism.

AZ investigates ‘unlicensed’ cosmetology student over free haircuts for homeless
American Mirror - Montesdeoca, a Tucson cosmetology student, received notification that he’s now under investigation by the state board after he offered free haircuts to the homeless in late January, a mission he took upon himself after his Regency Beauty school closed in September, Tucson News Now reports…. Montesdeoca set up shop at Santa Rita Park and has given dozens of free haircuts to the less fortunate over the past few months. Montesdeoca also reached out to others on Facebook to solicit their help for “free haircuts, nails, medical and love for our homeless people in need, on the streets” for a special Jan. 28 event near the downtown library, according to a flyer for the event highlighted by KVOA…. Montesdeoca’s charity work, however, was cut short when he received a copy of an anonymous complaint to the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology submitted through the agency’s online system on Jan. 26…. Arizona State Board of Cosmetology executive director Donna Aune refused to discuss Montesdeoca’s situation, and instead pointed to a state statute that states “A person shall not perform or attempt to perform cosmetology without a license or practice in any place other than a licensed salon,” Tucson News Now reports. Aune alleged it’s a “real risk” to receive a free haircut from an unlicensed cosmetologist because of safety and sanitation issues.

Energy & Environment

Oroville dam evacuation order lifted, warning remains — the dam “may” hold up to upcoming storms
RT - California officials lifted the evacuation orders for residents downstream of Oroville Dam, saying the dam may hold up to upcoming storms. Almost 200,000 residents have already been evacuated after erosion threatened the emergency spillway. The Butte County Sheriff’s Department cited “lower lake levels, further inspections, ongoing work to shore-up the Oroville Dam emergency spillway and updated weather forecasts” to announce the change at 1pm local time on Tuesday. “Any resident displaced by the evacuation may return home at 1:00 pm; however all residents are advised to remain vigilant and prepared as conditions can rapidly change. People who have special needs or require extended time to evacuate should consider remaining evacuated,” said the announcement, issued by Sheriff Kory Honea.

Science & Technology

Outlawing microchipping humans not so far fetched, Nevada senator says
Las Vegas Review-Journal - State Sen. Becky Harris said a bill to prohibit forced microchipping of people is not as far-fetched as it might seem because it happens in some places around the world. Senate Bill 109 would make it a Class C felony to require someone to be implanted with a radio frequency identifier, such as microchips placed in pets. The idea for the bill came from a constituent, the Las Vegas Republican said. As I began to look into the issue, I was surprised with the merit that I believe the issue warrants,” Harris told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. She said sales of radio frequency identifiers are escalating around the world, and a company in Australia as of June 2016 sold more than 10,000 implantable chips with do-it-yourself kits…. The Wall Street Journal has reported an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 chips have been sold globally, she said. Harris said the technology is used by companies in Belgium and Sweden to identify employees…. Besides privacy concerns, Harris said the concept raises ethical questions, such as who owns the chip or the information contained on it, and how does someone get “de-chipped” if they are no longer employed by the company that required it. She also wondered if a chip could be hacked to harass or stalk someone.

Now sites can fingerprint you online even when you use multiple browsers
Ars Technica - Until now, however, the tracking has been limited to a single browser. This constraint made it infeasible to tie, say, the fingerprint left behind by a Firefox browser to the fingerprint from a Chrome or Edge installation running on the same machine. The new technique—outlined in a research paper titled (Cross-)Browser Fingerprinting via OS and Hardware Level Features—not only works across multiple browsers, it's also more accurate than previous single-browser fingerprinting. Fingerprinting isn't automatically bad and, in some cases, offers potential benefits to end users. Banks, for instance, can use it to know that a person logging into an online account isn't using the computer that has been used on every previous visit. Based on that observation, the bank could check with the account holder by phone to make sure the login was legitimate. But fingerprinting also carries sobering privacy concerns. "From the negative perspective, people can use our cross-browser tracking to violate users' privacy by providing customized ads,”…

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

325 Food and Farm Groups Urge Jeff Sessions to Oppose Big Ag Mega-Mergers, Incentives
Natural Blaze - In a letter sent to Sessions and copied to members of Congress and state attorneys general, the massive coalition of organizations pointed to the “adverse and wide-ranging consequences” of three pending mergers between agrichemical and seed companies: Dow Chemical with DuPont, Monsanto with Bayer AG, and Syngenta with ChemChina. “When taken together,” the groups wrote of the deals that will be considered by the Sessions-helmed U.S. Department of Justice, “they pose the threat of major oligopolistic outcomes in the industries of farming inputs, research, development, and technology.” And that could hurt some of the very people who Sessions’ boss, President Donald Trump, promised to help on the 2016 campaign trail. “Farmers across the country know that these mergers will result in fewer options and higher prices for the inputs we rely on,” said Mike Weaver, president of the Organization for Competitive Markets, among the letter’s signatories. “Already, a third of what a farmer makes for a corn harvest goes to pay for the seed alone; in the end there is nothing left for the farm family. We’ve seen what happens when too few companies control too much of the market, and these mergers would only make a bad situation worse.”

Rising Demand for Organic and Non-GMO Grains Outpaces US Production
Sustainable Pulse - Increasing consumer demand for organic and non-GMO foods led to a sharp rise in organic grain imports in 2016—prompting food manufacturers to explore new incentives for U.S. growers transitioning to organic production, according to a new report from CoBank. While U.S. production of non-GMO crops has risen, domestic production of organic corn and soybeans remains well short of demand…. Imports of organic grains, particularly corn, from countries such as India, Ukraine, Romania, and Turkey surged in 2016 to meet the burgeoning U.S. demand for organic food products. Organic corn imports more than doubled from 2015 to 2016 and accounted for nearly one-half of the U.S. organic corn supply. The domestic shortfall for organic soybeans was even greater, with roughly 80 percent of soybeans supplying the U.S. organic market imported in 2016…. For U.S. farmers to satisfy this growing appetite for organic foods, analysts estimate between one and five million U.S. acres would have to be transitioned to organic production.


Shocking: Infant Twins Die Simultaneously After Vaccines, Medical Board Rules ‘Just A Coincidence’
Blacklisted News - Given that the sudden and simultaneous deaths of twins rarely occur, you would think, especially given the fact that they had been recently vaccinated, that it would receive quite a bit of attention. However, this story went largely unreported. (In order for twins to meet the criteria for simultaneous SIDS both babies must have died independently and within the same 24 hour time period.) PubMed reports that identical twin girls, aged 3.5-months and delivered via c-section, were found dead (by their poor momma) in their crib, both laying face up. Not surprisingly, both babies were healthy will no serious medical history. Two days before their death, both of the girls had received their second dose of oral polio, DPT, and their first dose of hepatitis B vaccines. They had a fever the day after the vaccines and were given a teaspoon of acetaminophen. All that and yet, “the death scene investigation, judicial investigation, parental assessment, macroscopic and microscopic autopsy findings and the toxicological analysis didn’t yield any specific cause of death.” Because the case was so rare it was referred to a board of multidisciplinary medical professionals at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, in the Ministry of Justice, in Istanbul. And yet, the Board still decided that the data they had was consistent with SIDS. (Let this sink in: a medical journal is reporting that twins, who were recently vaccinated both died, but it's nothing more than the luck of the draw. Unexplainable. That makes about as much sense as pediatricians who claim some kids “just get fevers all the time.”)

Natural Products Championed in Congress
Alliance for Natural Health - Tell your legislators that we need legislation that will increase consumer access to natural products. Action Alert! In the last Congress, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) introduced a bill that would allow Health Savings Account (HSA) funds to go toward dietary supplements without having to get a doctor’s prescription; the same would apply to health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). The legislation, called the Health Savings Act of 2016, did this by expanding the term “medical care” to include vitamins, minerals, herbs, homeopathic remedies, and other natural health products, and would allow spending up to $1,000 each year. Similar legislation was introduced in 2011 and 2013. As of right now, no bills have been introduced in the new Congress to expand HSAs and FSAs to include dietary supplements. Now is the time to encourage your members of Congress to do so. The more support we can provide, the greater the chances that this legislation will either pass or be included in the next round of healthcare legislation. Patience and persistence will be rewarded. Please let Congress know how much this matters to you!

Chia Seeds: REVERSE Depression, Reduce Blood Sugar Spikes, Fight Cancer & Boost Energy
Living Traditionally - Chia seeds are becoming increasingly common as a source of fiber, omega-3’s, and various other health benefits…. Gram for gram, chia seeds have more calcium than most dairy products providing 18% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults in a single ounce! As well as being high in several nutrients important for bone health, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein. Study found that person who consumed more ALA than those who did not had fewer symptoms of depression. Surprisingly, the person who consumed omega-3 from fish did have symptoms of depression. This means that it’s ALA, not other kinds of omega-3s, that aid in reducing depressive symptoms…. Chia seeds are rich in alpha lineic acid (or ALA) which is an Omega-3 fatty acid. It is found that ALA limited the growth of cancer cells in both breast and cervical cancers…. Every 100 gram will give you close to 40g of dietary fiber. Fiber is an excellent agent for digestion and helps keep bowel-related ailments (like constipation) away.

Pet News

Former Hill’s Science Diet Veterinarian new AVMA CEO
Susan Thixton - Janet Dolin DVM is the new American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Chief Executive Officer. She’s gone from working at AVMA, to chief veterinary officer of Hill’s Science Diet, and now back to AVMA as their new CEO. Does AVMA work too closely with Hill’s? Pet owners depend on their veterinarians to be unbiased, to recommend the best treatment options based on science and experience. In turn, veterinarians depend on their association to be unbiased, to provide unbiased on-going education of treatment options including the use of prescription pet foods. Can the on-going education of practicing veterinarians be unbiased if it comes from a revolving door between AVMA and Hill’s Science Diet?

Tuesday - February 14, 2017 - HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

Today In History:

1778 - The Stars and Stripes was carried to a foreign port, in France, for the first time. It was aboard the American ship Ranger.
1849 - The 1st photograph of a U.S. President, while in office, was taken by Matthew Brady in NYC. President James Polk was the subject of the picture.
1859 - Oregon became the 33rd member of the Union.
1876 - Alexander Graham Bell filed an application for a patent for the telephone. It was officially issued on March 7, 1876.
1899 - The U.S. Congress approved voting machines for use in federal elections.
1912 - The first diesel engine submarine was commissioned in Groton, CT.
1912 - Arizona was admitted as the 48th U.S. state.
1929 - The "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" took place in Chicago, IL. Seven gangsters who were rivals of Al Capone were killed.
1962 - U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gave a tour of the White House on television.
1983 - A 6-year-old boy became the first person to receive a heart and liver transplants in the same operation.
1985 - Cable News Network (CNN) reporter Jeremy Levin was freed. He had been being held in Lebanon by extremists.
1989 - Union Carbide agreed to pay $470 million to the government of India. The court-ordered settlement was a result of the 1984 Bhopal gas leak disaster.
1997 - Astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery began a series of spacewalks that were required to overhaul the Hubble Space Telescope.
1998 - U.S. authorities officially announced that Eric Rudolph was a suspect in a bombing of an abortion clinic in Alabama.
2002 - The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Shays-Meehan bill. The bill, if passed by the U.S. Senate, would ban millions of unregulated money that goes to the national political parties.
2005 - The video-sharing website YouTube was activated.

World News

Global Effort Launched to “Repeal and Replace” United Nations
The New American - A global effort dubbed “Covenant of Democratic Nations” is working to abolish the United Nations, widely ridiculed as the “dictators club,” and replace it with an international forum open exclusively to free and democratic nations. Basically, it is a “repeal and replace” campaign to protect the world from the UN and its increasingly vicious attacks on freedom and self-government. A number of lawmakers around the world have expressed interest in the campaign as the movement travels from city to city hosting events to expose the UN and promote an alternative. The figurative straw that broke the camel’s back for organizers appears to have been UN Security Council resolution 2334 declaring the presence of Jews in parts of Jerusalem to be a violation of supposed “international law.” The move sparked outrage across the political spectrum. Even stalwart neo-conservatives and globalists jumped on the bandwagon to defund the UN. On Capitol Hill, interest in protecting America and liberty from the UN has surged since that vote. The “Covenant of Democratic Nations” agenda also has strong support among certain Jewish and Zionist groups seeking to defend Israel against the constant UN demonization.

Canada's Problem? US Refugee Crossings "Epidemic" Amid Fear, Distrust Of Trump
Zero Hedge - In what some might call a 'win' for President Trump, Canadian immigration officials warn they are experiencing a "big surge [of refugees] coming across the border" with many of them proclaiming their distrust and fear of President Trump. ... according to CBC News: "Kris Grogan, a public affairs officer for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said border officials on the U.S. side are becoming increasingly worried about asylum seekers trying to get into Canada.... As CBC News first reported in January, hundreds of asylum seekers have walked into Canada through fields near the Emerson border.".... An agreement with the US prevents asylum seekers from lodging claims in Canada if they first landed stateside, but it only applies to arrivals at border checkpoints, airports and train stations.... As a reminder, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to Donald Trump’s immigration ban by saying Canada welcomes refugees who have been rejected from the US.

TSA employees arrested for cocaine smuggling operation in Puerto Rico
TheHill - The defendants are accused of helping smuggle approximately 20 tons of cocaine through Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport over the course of 18 years, from 1998 to 2016. The investigation was initiated by the TSA as part of an ongoing effort to target employee misconduct and reduce insider threats. The operation allegedly involved employees smuggling suitcases through TSA checkpoints at the airport and onto flights, with as many as five mules on some flights and with each mule checking two suitcases in some cases. Six current and former TSA screening officers have been indicted in the case for their alleged role in smuggling cocaine through X-ray machines and onto airplanes without detection. An Airport Aviation Services worker, who was a baggage handler and ramp employee, is charged with paying TSA employees to clear the suitcases stuffed with cocaine; taking the suitcases to their designated flights; and giving a drug trafficking organization member the “all clear” for mules to board the plane.... The TSA has dealt with a number of high-profile security lapses at airports in recent years, including a gun-smuggling operation uncovered at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in 2015.

Maduro Kicks CNN Out Of Venezuela, Accuses It Of Spreading Fake News
Zero Hedge - ... a new scandal has erupted for the cable news network after Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday he wanted CNN out of the country, accusing it of spreading fake news, misrepresenting the truth and meddling in issues that are not of its concern.... Last week PanAmPost reported that a student demanded on national television that the president improve the conditions of his school, asking for security, infrastructure and food so his classmates wouldn’t faint from hunger anymore. CNN en Español visited the high school and talked with the staff about the student, and whether Maduro had made any improvements since that incident only to discover he had not.... The demand for CNN to leave the country also came a few days after CNN en Espanol broadcast and posted online an in-depth investigation into how officials of the Venezuelan Embassy in Iraq allegedly sold Venezuelan passports and visas to suspected terrorists.... Earlier on Sunday, Venezuelan police arrested and expelled two Brazilian reporters after they toured a structure built in 2012 by Odebrecht, the Brazilian company being investigated for a vast corruption scheme that allegedly touches several Latin American governments and heads of state.

Valentine's Day gets chilly reception in parts of Asia
Daily Mail - A Pakistani court has banned public celebrations of Valentine's Day in the capital Islamabad while Indonesian students plan to spurn the event, as the festival of love gets a chilly reception in parts of Asia. Lonely hearts looking for romance in Australia, Malaysia and Singapore were warned to beware of the growth in online love scams, while grumpy protesters in Japan rallied in recent days for an end to public smooching…. in Japan, a group of marxist protesters known as "Kakuhido", or the Revolutionary Alliance of Men that Women find Unattractive, also called for an end to public displays of love, claiming it hurts their feelings.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Sabotage: Obama Is Commanding An Army Of 30,000 Anti-Trump Activists From His Home 2 Miles From The White House
Michael Snyder - On Saturday, the New York Post ran an excellent article by author Paul Sperry that was entitled “How Obama is scheming to sabotage Trump’s presidency”. In that piece, Sperry actually accuses Obama of setting up “a shadow government” to oppose Trump… When former President Barack Obama said he was “heartened” by anti-Trump protests, he was sending a message of approval to his troops. Troops? Yes, Obama has an army of agitators — numbering more than 30,000 — who will fight his Republican successor at every turn of his historic presidency. And Obama will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House. In what’s shaping up to be a highly unusual post-presidency, Obama isn’t just staying behind in Washington. He’s working behind the scenes to set up what will effectively be a shadow government to not only protect his threatened legacy, but to sabotage the incoming administration and its popular “America First” agenda. The “army of agitators” that Sperry is talking about is actually a nationwide network of “community organizers” known as “Organizing for Action”. If you go to the official website of Organizing for Action, you will see that there is a big picture of Obama right in the background of the homepage. Organizing for Action “grew out of Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign”, and it claims to have 250 local chapters around the nation.

Senate Passes Mnuchin As Treasury Secretary
The Daily Caller - The Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Department of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, Monday. Prior to being tapped for the position, he served as Trump’s finance chairman during the campaign. He has a long history in banking, having served as chairman of Dune Capital Management, a hedge fund he founded in 2002. Mnuchin also spent 17 years working at Goldman Sachs, worked at Soros Fund Management and co-founded OneWest Bank Group.

Ben Stein: Courts Launching Coup Against Constitution (Video)
Jamie White - The federal courts are overreaching on their power to launch a “coup d’état against the executive branch and the Constitution,” says political commentator and actor Ben Stein. Appearing on Fox’s Justice with Judge Jeanine on Sunday, Stein said that the leftist federal judges are blocking Trump’s travel restrictions because it would “make them big shots and big wheels in Seattle.”.… The mainstream media is also using the courts as a tool to delegitimize Trump, Stein added. “The media is the supreme power in America right now, and they’re trying to cut President Trump down to size, and they’re using the judiciary as one of their pawns,” he said. “The media is the unaccountable fourth branch of government. And they can just make up sources and have them go down in the history books as great journalists – they make things up.”

BLM Agent in Bundy Case Accused of Misconduct
The New American - Federal Judge Gloria Navarro has denied motions to dismiss charges against 17 defendants in the Bundy Ranch standoff trials, but she has ordered prosecutors to turn over an investigative report that could severely damage the government’s case. “The OIG (Office of the Inspector General in the Department of the Interior) Report details several violations of federal ethics regulations, misuse of government property, misuse of a government position, and ‘a lack of candor when interviewed,” Navarro wrote in a ruling this past week. “At a minimum, [defendants] may use this alleged misconduct on cross-examination to impeach [the agent].” Las Vegas attorney Bret Whipple represents cattle rancher Clive Bundy in the case. He charged that Daniel Love... , an agent prominent in the Bundy case, is the same agent mentioned in the report. “I’m sure it is him,” Whipple said late last week. “If it is Dan Love.... He is the primary figure in the government’s case. He put together the plan.”... Sarah Gordon, an associate professor of law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, opined that Love’s behavior will certainly impact the outcome of the case. “This stuff," she said, "suggests that he’s willing to cheat and lie for his job.” While she does not think it “kills” the case for the federal government, it certainly makes it much more difficult.

Chris Christie Says Asset Forfeiture Transparency Is Bad For Law Enforcement, Vetoes Unanimously-Supported Bill
Tech Dirt - Part of the reason asset forfeiture is such a problem is the lack of transparency. The funds obtained through this process are frequently hidden from the public and used to purchase everything from margarita makers to Stingray devices. The procedure through which the government takes control of citizens' assets is also shrouded in secrecy. Cases are filed against property, not the persons formerly in possession of them. The process for retrieval is purposely impenetrable, designed to make it almost impossible for petitioners to reclaim their assets. aw enforcement officials claim that all parts of this opaque process are there to prevent drug dealing and/or terrorism, hence their reluctance to divulge the inner details of this particular mean/method. Legislators in New Jersey were hoping to end this unofficial tradition with a bill that would have demanded far more transparency from agencies involved in asset forfeiture. S2267 passed with unanimous support in both houses of the State legislature and would have instituted the following information be submitted to the state Attorney General's office every year…. This information would have provided the public with valuable insight into state law enforcement's use of asset forfeiture.

West Virginia Bill Would End Common Core Within the State
Tenth Amendment Center - A West Virginia bill would withdraw the state from Common Core standards, an important step toward nullifying the nationalized education program in the state. Del. Pat McGeehan (R-Hancock, 1) introduced House Bill 2214 (HB2214) to void Common Core standards and create a framework to establish state standards to replace them. It reads, in part: Effective July 1, 2017, the State Board of Education is prohibited from implementing Common Core academic content standards. In addition, HB2214 contains language that would protect the personally identifiable information of West Virginia students from federal partnerships and other data-sharing agreements that put student privacy at risk.

Sheriff Must Pay $100K of Own His Money for Brutality Case or Head to Debtors Court
The AntiMedia - As the Free Thought Project has reported extensively, police officers, even when found at fault for their abusive actions, are almost never held personally liable. It is the taxpayers who foot the bill. However, a new trend in accountability seems to be on the rise.... The most recent case of a police officer being held personally liable comes out of Los Angeles, where former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca must decide within a week whether to pay $100,000 in damages — stemming from a civil lawsuit involving an inmate abuse case — or face liens on his assets, an attorney for the inmate said Friday, according to the LA Times.... After a brief trial, the jury returned a verdict in [inmate Tyler] Willis’ favor and held Baca personally liable. However, Baca, with the power of the police union, fought the ruling for the last 4 years, calling the idea of a police officer being held personally liable a “huge mistake.”.... In spite of never winning an appeal, Baca has refused to pay and now Willis’ attorney is going one step further.... It seems that Baca, who is currently drawing a $328,000 annual pension for the rest of his life — in spite of being a terrible cop — is holding out for the county to use taxpayer money.

Musicians ask Trump for money help after Grammys bashing
Washington Examiner - President Trump's political opponents in the music industry would like his help in at least one regard: The laws that govern who makes money off of music. "The Recording Academy, together with America's music makers, call on the president and Congress to help keep the music playing by updating music laws, protecting music education, and renewing America's commitment to the arts," Neil Portnow, the president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, said during the 2017 Grammy Awards Sunday night. The appeal demonstrated how the business side of the music industry will have to grapple with the reality of Trump's victory, following an evening dotted with political attacks on Trump from the artists themselves.

School District Bans Forks in Cafeterias Because...
The Federalist Papers - …an inter-city Pittsburgh high school has been forced to temporarily ban forks because students reportedly kept attacking each other with them.... “They are taking the kids’ utensils from them for lunch, tell them to eat with their fingers and they are not allowed to use bathrooms,” complained one parent. “It’s just ridiculous.” The parent neglected to mention that local authorities have been called to Sto-Rox High School almost daily due to student fights and drug use in the bathrooms. The situation at this school is clearly out of control, and while the rules implemented by officials are admittedly a bit draconian, it should be noted that there is a precedent. According to The Daily Caller, after a gunman shot a student outside the school last April, teachers “criticized the administrative response to the shooting, observing that there was no district-wide lockdown and that children at a nearby elementary school were released to traipse into school buses while police actively cased the area for the shooter.”

Economy & Business

US Scrambled to Fill Empty Vaults After Germany Requested Return of 300 Tons of Gold
Russia Insider - According to reports, the transfer was uneventful and even ahead of schedule.... But experts say that Germany's decision to repatriate its gold revealed a not-so-secret secret: U.S. gold reserves are not nearly as large as they are reported to be: "Valentin Katasonov, a professor at the International Finance Department at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), suggested that the US disposed of Germany’s gold bars at its own discretion.... According to the economist, the gold bars that Bundesbank repatriated have different labels. He suggested that the US might have replaced the German bullion with different gold bars bought from the market.".... This is interesting in its own right. But another important aspect of this story is: Why is Germany so eager to get its gold back?... We reported last week that Russia and China were dumping U.S. treasuries and buying up gold. It seems that Germany is positioning itself accordingly.

Macy’s Stock Price Plummets More Than 50% Since They Announced Cutting Ties With Trump In 2015!
The GatewayPundit - In July of 2015, Macy’s announced they would be cutting ties with then Presidential candidate, Donald Trump over his comments about Mexican immigration. At the time their stock price was trading at apprx $72.00 per share. Today, Macy’s stock is worth $32.58 per share…. As a few big name brands have dropped President Donald J. Trump and Ivanka Trump’s brands last week, it brought to mind one of the first to throw down the gauntlet with The Donald, Macy’s department stores. Within a month of Trump’s announcement promising to stem the tide of illegal immigrants from Mexico, Macy’s cut off its 10+ year long relationship with Trump. Macy’s is also under pressure from liberal fascists to remove Ivanka Trump’s products… The left always claims to be ‘pro-woman’ yet they continue to bash Ivanka Trump who is a wife, mother and entrepreneur. She’s a wonderful role model for the modern woman, yet she is demonized because of who her father is.

Joy Villa's Album Sales Rise 54,350,100%
Daily Wire - When Joy Villa woke up Sunday morning, she was a rather obscure musician most well-known for her revealing outfits. How obscure? Her 2014 album "I Make the Static" was ranked 543,502 on Amazon. But when she woke up Monday morning, after attending the Grammys, all that had changed. Her "Static" album had soared to No. 1 -- an increase of 54,350,100 percent! In fact, the top six entries on Amazon's "movers and shakers" were all works by Villa. So what did she do to blow up overnight?.... She wore a dress -- this time one that covered all of her bathing suit areas but garnered a different kind of attention. Villa wore a full-length red, white and blue dress that said "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN" from the top to the flared bottom, where the word "TRUMP" was emblazoned. The heads of the liberals gathered to praise each other for their artistic creativity collectively exploded. The dress was created by Filipino-born designer Andre Soriano, who described the outfit as “a tribute to OUR President of the United States."

Energy & Environment

Live updates: Evacuations below Oroville Dam remain in effect as officials try to make repairs before new storms
LA Times - More than 100,000 people were told to evacuate from areas near Oroville Dam in Northern California on Sunday because officials feared that an emergency spillway could fail, sending huge amounts of water into the Feather River, which runs through downtown Oroville, and other waterways…. A new storm system forecast for later this week put water officials on a race against time. Bill Croyle, the acting director of the state Department of Water Resources, said they planned to continue discharging flows at a rate of 100,000 cubic feet per second, with the hope of lowering the reservoir level by 50 feet. The biggest concern was that a hillside that keeps water in Lake Oroville — California’s second largest reservoir — would suddenly crumble Sunday afternoon, threatening the lives of thousands of people by flooding communities downstream. With Lake Oroville filled to the brim, such a collapse could have caused a “30-foot wall of water coming out of the lake,” Cal-Fire incident commander Kevin Lawson said at a Sunday night press conference.
* Related: Video: Lake Oroville Dam Spillway Failure Full Coverage (February 12-13)

Oroville Dam: Feds and state officials ignored warnings 12 years ago
Mercury News - Three environmental groups — the Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League — filed a motion with the federal government on Oct. 17, 2005, as part of Oroville Dam’s relicensing process, urging federal officials to require that the dam’s emergency spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen hillside. The groups filed the motion with FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They said that the dam, built and owned by the state of California, and finished in 1968, did not meet modern safety standards because in the event of extreme rain and flooding, fast-rising water would overwhelm the main concrete spillway, then flow down the emergency spillway, and that could cause heavy erosion that would create flooding for communities downstream, but also could cause a failure, known as “loss of crest control.”… FERC rejected that request, however, after the state Department of Water Resources, and the water agencies that would likely have had to pay the bill for the upgrades, said they were unnecessary.


President Donald Trump has never had the flu shot… and never got the flu, either – coincidence? (Video)
(Natural News) President Donald Trump says, “I don’t like the idea of injecting bad stuff into your body, which is basically what they do.” If you don’t know it by now, most people who get the flu are those injected with the flu vaccine, year after year after year…. In October of 2015, on Opie Radio, Trump was interviewed and stated the truth about the influenza vaccine. Listen for yourself here.

To Stem Mumps Outbreak, Doctors Recommend a Third Vaccination Despite Ineffectiveness of MMR Vaccine and Lawsuit Claiming Fraud
Dr. Mercola November 13, 2012 - Dr. Kenneth Bromberg, chairman of pediatrics and director of the Vaccine Study Center at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City told US News: "These outbreaks are similar to what we saw on college campuses where you have crowding. Vaccines are safe and effective, but the protective effect of a vaccine can be overcome in the right situation." Their answer to the problem? Just add another booster shot! As a test, a third dose of MMR vaccine was administered to children in three schools in an effort to stem the outbreak. According to follow-up results, recently published in the journal Vaccine, the third dose appeared to be well tolerated, with just over seven percent of the students reporting at least one local or systemic adverse event in the two weeks following vaccination. The long-term effects of a third MMR shot is, naturally, completely unknown. Essentially, the thinking is that if two shots are useless, maybe a third equally useless shot will fix the equation and amount to some kind of protection. Surely I cannot be the only one who questions the intelligence of this?

Nature Comes To The Rescue Again - Peppertree Disarms Most Dangerous Bacteria
Karen Foster - The red berries of the Brazilian peppertree -- a weedy, invasive species common in Florida -- contain an extract with the power to disarm dangerous antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria, scientists at Emory University have discovered. … The researchers showed that a refined, flavone-rich composition extracted from the berries inhibits formation of skin lesions in mice infected with MRSA. The compound works not by killing the MRSA bacteria, but by repressing a gene that allows the bacteria cells to communicate with one another. Blocking that communication prevents the cells from taking collective action, a mechanism known as quorum quenching. "It essentially disarms the MRSA bacteria, preventing it from excreting the toxins it uses as weapons to damage tissues," Quave says. "The body's normal immune system then stands a better chance of healing a wound."

Can These Supplements Reverse or Prevent Gray Hair?
Natural News Blogs - There are actually a few supplements out there now that some people have reported are helping them to delay or even reverse the graying of their hair…. Fo-Ti Root (Also known as He Shou Wu) - This inexpensive Chinese medicinal herb is probably at the forefront of the anti-graying supplement buzz. There are numerous success stories out there of men and women who have experienced a reduction in their grays after taking this supplement regularly…. Fo-Ti also mimics the female hormone estrogen in the body, hence its use by women to help replenish estrogen lost during and after menopause…. Wheatgrass - According to traditional Chinese medicine theory, wheatgrass may help slow down the rate of graying or help reverse gray hair due to its effect on our blood…. Wheatgrass is very rich in chlorophyll, which closely mimics human hemoglobin…. Regular consumption of wheatgrass really helps oxygenate your blood, which is a huge benefit for many reasons.

Monday - February 13, 2017

Today In History:

1741 - "The American Magazine," the first magazine in the U.S., was published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1920 - The National Negro Baseball League was organized.
1935 - In Flemington, New Jersey, a jury found Bruno Richard Hauptmann guilty of the kidnapping and death of the infant son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. Hauptmann was later executed for the crimes.
1945 - During World War II, the Soviets captured Budapest, Hungary, from the German army.
1945 - During World War II, Allied aircraft began bombing the German city of Dresden.
1960 - France detonated its first atomic bomb.
1971 - South Vietnamese troops invaded Laos. They were backed by U.S. air and artillery support.
1991 - Hundreds of Iraqis were killed by two laser-guided bombs that destroyed an underground facility in Baghdad. U.S. officials identified the facility as a military installation, but Iraqi officials said it was a bomb shelter.
1999 - A bomb exploded just outside a government-owned bank in southern Kosovo. Nine people were killed.
2002 - In Alexandria, VA, John Walker Lindh pled innocent to a 10-count federal indictment. He was charged with conspiring to kill Americans and aiding Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.
2002 - Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.
2008 - Roger Clemens denied having taken performance-enhancing drugs in testimony before Congress.
2008 - Hollywood writers ended a 100-day strike.

World News

Assad says US troops welcome in Syria to fight 'terrorism'
CNS News - Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview released on Friday that the United States is welcome to join the battle against "terrorists" in Syria — as long as it is in cooperation with his government and respects the country's sovereignty. Speaking with Yahoo News, Assad said he has not had any communication — direct or indirect — with President Donald Trump or any official form the new U.S. administration.... However, Assad's government has labeled all armed opposition to his rule — including the U.S.-backed rebels — as "terrorists.".... But when asked if he wants American troops to come to Syria to help with the fight against the Islamic State group, Assad said that sending troops is not enough — a genuine political position on respecting Syria's sovereignty and unity is also needed. "All these factors would lead to trust, where you can send your troops. That's what happened with the Russians; they didn't only send their troops," Assad added.

Video: Assad tells Belgian reporter Belgium & EU merely obey 'US master' on Syria – English Subtitles
Source: Syrian Arab News Agency 7 February, 2017. Transcript to full interview…

Video: Defiant Assad tells Yahoo News torture report is 'fake news'
Yahoo News - The Syrian president was also confronted for the first time with chilling photographs taken by a former regime photographer, code named Caesar, depicting rows of emaciated, brutally beaten bodies of detainees — many of them believed to be political protesters — at his military prisons. The photographs — which U.S. officials have likened to images from Nazi concentration camps — were the basis for a landmark lawsuit filed in Spain’s National Court last week accusing nine senior Syrian intelligence and security officials of international human rights crimes. Assad at first suggested the photos may have been edited and “Photoshopped.” Shown an FBI report concluding that the photos were not manipulated and appeared to depict “real people and events,” Assad dismissed it. “If the FBI say something, it’s not evidence for anyone, especially for us,” he said. “The most important thing: If you take these photos to any court in our country, could they convict any criminal regarding this? Could they tell you what this crime is, who committed it? If you don’t have this full picture, you cannot make judgment. It’s just propaganda.”

Video: Exclusive: Syria’s Assad tells Yahoo News some refugees are ‘definitely’ terrorists
Yahoo News - In an exclusive interview with Yahoo News at a presidential office in Damascus, Assad said President Trump’s freeze on admitting refugees from his country — part of an executive order that has drawn widespread protests and is being challenged in federal court — “is an American issue” on which he would not take sides. But asked if some of those who fled are “aligned with terrorists,” Assad quickly replied, “Definitely.” “You can find it on the Net,” Assad went on: “Those terrorists in Syria, holding the machine gun or killing people, they [appear as] peaceful refugees in Europe or in the West.” He said he couldn’t estimate how many there might be, but he added that “you don’t need a significant number to commit atrocities.” He noted that the 9/11 attacks were pulled off by fewer than 20 terrorists “out of maybe millions of immigrants in the United States. So it’s not about the number, it’s about the quality, it’s about the intentions.”

Mexico Preparing for Uptick in Deportations
KRGV - Towns south of the Rio Grande Valley in Mexico are bracing to see an uptick in deportations. Tamaulipas President of the Chamber of Commerce, Julio Cesar Almanza Armas, said they aren’t fully equipped to take in a large number of nationals who are deported from the U.S. “We aren’t ready for it, but it has to be done. I know that they are already working on it, the local, state and federal government and the cities along the border,” he said. Cesar Almanza Armas said the economy in both Mexico and the Valley will take a hit if mass deportations take place.

Germany repatriating gold faster than planned as confidence in euro plunges
RT - Berlin is bringing home its gold reserves stored in New York, London and Paris faster than scheduled, Germany’s central bank said Thursday. The move is linked to surging euroskepticism, as new governments in France and Italy may ditch the single currency. The German Bundesbank has already moved 583 tons of gold out of New York and Paris, planning to have a half of its gold back in Germany by the end of 2017, which is ahead of the 2020 plan. The rest will be split between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Bank of England. "We have a lot of discussions about Trump, regarding implications on monetary policy, macroeconomics, etc., but we trust the central bank of the US," Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele told a news conference. "Trump has not triggered a discussion about the storage facility in New York," he said. As French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen and Italy's 5-Star Movement are openly calling to pull out of the euro, some economists in Germany say the repatriated gold may be needed to back a new deutschmark should the eurozone collapse.

‘Evidence I never worked for Russia’: Snowden on NBC report claiming he’s to be ‘gifted’ to Trump
RT - While there may be little credibility to the latest US media report claiming Moscow will present President Donald Trump with former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the whistleblower pointed to it as “irrefutable evidence” of his lack of any ties with Russian intelligence. “Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel. No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they're next,” Snowden wrote on his Twitter. While it was not immediately clear if he was being sarcastic or seriously concerned, the CIA employee-turned-whistleblower accompanied his tweet with several pre-inauguration retweets from January, when the topic of Snowden becoming Vladimir Putin’s gift to Trump was all the rage in US media.

Extremely high radiation breaks down Fukushima clean-up robot at damaged nuclear reactor
RT - The robot equipped with a high-pressure water pump and a camera designed to withstand up to 1,000 Sieverts of cumulative exposure had been pulled off the inactive Reactor 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex earlier this week.... The device reportedly broke down just two hours into the probe. The failure led experts to rethink estimated levels of radiation inside the damaged reactor. While last week TEPCO said it might stand at 530 Sieverts per hour – a dose that can almost instantly kill a human being, following the latest aborted mission a company official has said a reading of up to 600 Sieverts should be “basically correct.”.... While extreme radiation levels have been registered within the reactor, officials insist that no leaks or increases outside have been detected.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Trump says he’s considering ‘brand new order’ on immigration
The Hill - President Trump told reporters on Friday he is considering signing a “brand new order” on immigration as his original executive order faces legal trouble. The comments, made aboard Air Force One, come after the administration signaled it would not ask the Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision that keeps the travel ban frozen. "We also have a lot of other options, including just filing a brand new order," Trump said, according to pool reports. sked if his intention is to issue a new executive order, Trump said, "It very well could be. We need speed for reasons of security, so it very well could be." Trump dropped a similar hint earlier in the day. "We'll be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country," Trump said during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "You’ll be seeing that sometime next week.”
* Related: Video: Judge Napolitano to Trump: Rescind the executive order, issue a new one

Judges Declare Judges Can Grant Immigration Visas, Even When Elected President Disagrees
Breitbart - Judges in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California are opening a new immigration route for foreigners, which would bypass the federal agencies’ sole authority to approve or decline foreigners’ immigration or entry into the U.S. The new route is created by the Feb. 9 decision which blocks the White House’s very popular reform of immigration rules. If upheld by the Supreme Court later this year, the new declaration would allow overseas foreigners — including those hostile to the United States — to hire lawyers to persuade judges to grant them visas, residency permits and eventually citizenship. That courtroom route would bypass denials or approvals from the elected President’s administration and its subordinate agencies, including the intelligence, law-enforcement and national security agencies. In practice, the decision would give foreigners the right to sue the federal government when they’re denied entry by the federal government. [This] would also give the nation’s corps of immigration lawyers more opportunities to trade U.S. citizenship to foreigners in exchange for lawyers’ fees.

There Are Still 117 Court Vacancies To Be Filled By Trump
The Daily Caller - The U.S. Court of Appeals currently has 18 vacancies, the District courts have 91, the Court of International Trade has 2 vacant seats, and the Court of Federal Claims has 6. Many of these picks would have the potential to change the balance of several U.S. courts. The Senate has not yet held a vote to confirm Gorsuch. Right now, less than half of the judges on the Circuit Courts of Appeals and only about 35 percent of judges on District courts were appointed by a Republican president. While a judge’s ideology usually does not impact decisions in most District court cases, Circuit Court judges have a lot more room to apply their own opinions in their rulings — as seen with the recent 9th district ruling against Trump’s temporary immigration ban…. The president has a rare opportunity to fill a number of vacant seats not seen since President Bill Clinton, who had 111 to fill, greatly impacting the judicial landscape for years to come.

Trump Is Suddenly Recognized As The President In CALIFORNIA As Liberal State BEGS For His Help
Gateway Pundit - After repeatedly attacking and criticizing President Trump, the State of California is officially asking for his help as they have run short of resources in wake of severe weather that has caused significant damage in the state. From Fox40: "Gov. Jerry Brown has asked President Trump to declare a major disaster for California because of damage from January storms. The letter sent Friday says the relentless series of storms caused flooding, mudslides, evacuations, erosion, power outages and at least eight deaths. Northern California was hardest hit. Brown says the storm system was so severe and widespread that state and local governments need federal assistance to continue dealing with the problems it created." Governor Brown has made his disgust for President Trump known in the past as Breitbart reports that back in March of 2016 Governor Brown said “If Trump were ever elected, we’d have to build a wall around California to defend ourselves from the rest of this country,” which Brown later said was “a joke.”

Video: Ice Begins Raids In Southern California, 160 Arrested… More To Come!
The GatewayPundit - ABC7 reports “U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement said the “targeted enforcement operation” resulted in arrests of about 150 who had criminal histories. Of the other 10, five had been ordered deported or had been deported in the past.” ICE has said that these raids are apart of their normal operations and aren’t a byproduct of any of President Trump’s executive orders. Arresting 160 illegal immigrants isn’t even making a dent in the problem in Southern California. The Los Angeles Times reports that in Los Angeles County alone there are 1,000,000+ illegal immigrants.

Mexican Migrants Said To Prefer Arrest Over Deportation
Zero Hedge - ... following yesterday's report that Mexicans are planning on "jamming US courts" as deportations are set to surge, today the WSJ writes that all but one of about 50 undocumented Mexican migrants at a meeting Saturday indicated they would rather risk detention and long court battles in the U.S. than return to Mexico voluntarily. The majority of migrants at the meeting in Phoenix, which included Mexican officials, signaled in a show of hands that they were ready to fight deportation in U.S. courts.... Continuing the story from yesterday according to which immigrants are willing to drown the US court system with thousands of deportation cases, [former Mexican foreign minister Jorge] Castaneda and others have said they want Mexico’s government to endorse a strategy to battle an expected increase in deportations of their undocumented compatriots in the U.S. by underwriting the migrants’ legal struggle in the U.S. court system. By overwhelming already heavily burdened immigration courts, Mr. Castaneda hopes the legal system would break down, bringing deportations to a halt.... For now, Mexico’s government hasn’t endorsed the strategy, but President Enrique Peña Nieto recently budgeted about $50 million to the country’s 50 consulates to help pay the costs of defending migrants who are in the U.S. illegally and facing deportation.

#PROTESTPP: Nationwide Protests Against Government Funding Of Planned Parenthood Underway
Government Slaves - Activists in 45 states and the nation’s capital are rallying Saturday to urge Congress and President Donald Trump to eliminate taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion business. #ProtestPP – a coalition of state and national pro-life groups – is organizing the event and is primarily sponsored by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Created Equal, and the Pro-Life Action League. The event will feature protests outside over 200 Planned Parenthood facilities across the United States. Demonstrations are also taking place at the London headquarters of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which was recently defunded by Trump’s executive order. “The federal government has been subsidizing Planned Parenthood to the tune of more than $430 million annually,” explains Eric Scheidler, national organizer of #ProtestPP. “This, at the same time that the nation’s largest abortion provider holds $500 ticket fundraisers and charges a woman about $500 to abort her baby. On top of that, Planned Parenthood is trafficking baby body parts. Taxpayers are sickened to see their money spent in support of these atrocities.”

6th-Graders Taught Islam; Told It ‘Is A Religion Of Peace’; Parents Upset At School Officials
Off the Grid News - Some parents of middle school students in a South Carolina school are upset with a social studies curriculum that requires sixth-graders to learn the Five Pillars of Islam and affirm that Islam “is a religion of peace.” “Allah: There is no god but Him, the Living, the Eternal One. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes him,” was one of the passages listed on a fill-in-the-blanks worksheet, reported. The local TV station, WCSC, also covered the controversy at Alston Middle School in Summerville. The lessons are part of a class called the Survey of Civilization…. The Five Pillars of Islam are a basic expression of the Islamic faith. They include reciting the Muslim profession of faith, daily prayers (Salat), alms giving (Zakat), fasting during Ramadan, and a pilgrimage to Mecca. A group of parents want the lessons stopped. “Our concern is that if they need permission to teach sexual education, they should be getting permission to teach religious values,” an unidentified mother told WCSC.

Election News

Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Lawyer Goes to Work for Soros-Funded Super PAC
Breitbart - The lawyer who represented Hillary Clinton’s campaign and her doomed presidential election recount efforts has reportedly joined the board of a progressive super PAC financed by billionaire George Soros and focused in part on issues of voting rights. CNN reported: The super PAC Priorities USA has brought Democratic superlawyer Marc Elias onto its board and plans to focus on fighting state-level GOP efforts to restrict voting access in courts and legislatures. During the most recent presidential election, Priorities USA served as a pro-Clinton super PAC. Soros provided at least $8.5 million to the group, including $6 million in December 2015 and another $2.5 million in August 2016, public records show.

Economy & Business

Amazon takes victory lap for its role in halting Trump’s travel ban
A top lawyer for internet retailer Amazon is taking a victory lap for the company’s role in the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision to retain the temporary restraining order halting President Trump’s travel ban. “Proud of @AGOWA, the Amazon legal team that helped on the case, and amici — who all made today’s 9th Circuit ruling possible,” David Zapolsky, Amazon general counsel, wrote Thursday night on Twitter. It’s unknown what precise role, if any, Zapolsky’s team played in the appeals court decision. But there has been bad blood between Trump and Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, for over a year. On the campaign trail, Trump said the internet entrepreneur and newspaper owner would have “problems” if he were elected. “I have respect for Jeff Bezos, but he bought The Washington Post to have political influence, and I got to tell you, we have a different country than we used to have,” said Trump at a campaign stop in Feb. 2016. “He owns Amazon. He wants political influence so that Amazon will benefit from it. That’s not right. And believe me, if I become president, oh, do they have problems. They’re going to have such problems,” Trump said of Bezos. Bezos replied by offering to send the then-Republican presidential candidate to outer space.
* Related: Amazon headquarters' contact Information

Nearly Half Of Early-20s Millennials Still Get A Monthly Housing Allowance From Mom And Dad
Zero Hedge - According to a study by Patrick Wightman of the University of Michigan, roughly 40% of millennials between the ages of 22-24 receive an average of $3,000 from their parents every year. Per the New York Times: "According to surveys that track young people through their first decade of adulthood, about 40 percent of 22-, 23- and 24-year-olds receive some financial assistance from their parents for living expenses. Among those who get help, the average amount is about $3,000 a year. ".... Unsurprisingly, the frequency and amount of financial assistance varies greatly depending on each young millennial's chosen field of study. To our complete shock, "Art and Design" students are the most likely to require help from mommy and daddy and get $3,600, on average, each year. The amount of help that parents provide varies by career and geography. Among young people who aspire to have a career in art and design, 53 percent get rent money from their parents. Young people who live in urban centers are more likely to have their parents help pay the rent. The choice of career path matters. Those in the art and design fields get the most help, an average of $3,600 a year. People who work in farming, construction, retail and personal services get the least.

Energy & Environment

Lead Levels in Bronx School's Water 16 Times Higher Than in Flint, Michigan
DNAinfo New York - P.S. 41 at 3352 Olinville Ave. and I.S. 158 in Morrisania were both found to have levels of lead higher than the EPA's "action level" threshold of 15 parts per billion (ppb), according to letters the Department of Education sent out to families and staff at the schools. Lead levels in the water at P.S. 41 were particularly high, with five faucets testing above 100 ppb. A cold water faucet in a fifth floor bathroom for adults tested 442 ppb, the most toxic level in the school.... During the Flint, Michigan water crisis, 90 percent of 271 homes tested were at about 27 ppb, according to a January 2016 Washington Post report. However, the lead crisis in Flint stemmed from a chemical problem, while the lead found in New York schools likely comes from pipes.... The DOE sent out a letter to families and staff on Jan. 27 about P.S. 41 saying all outlets that had tested above the "action level" of 15 ppb had been taken out of service and will be replaced.... Other schools that have seen high levels of lead in their water include P.S./I.S. 217 on Roosevelt Island and the NEST+m school on the Lower East Side.

Thousands of dead bees wash up on Florida beach
(Natural News) A strange new phenomenon has been taking place on the beaches of Naples, Florida, where since February 7, beach goers have been astounded to find thousands of dead or dying bees along the shoreline. A bee expert told NBC affiliate, WBBH-TV, that it is incredibly unusual to have bees washing up on the beach. He offered two possible reasons for the strange occurrence: 1) that the bees could have been affected by the nearby spraying of chemical pesticides, or 2) that an overhead swarm simply became exhausted and flew into the water. Though the latter explanation is certainly possible, the former is far more likely, since the death of these bees is by no means an isolated occurrence, and the blame can be laid squarely at the door of chemical pesticides.

Science & Technology

Republicans are destroying their emails
TechEye - US Republicans are trying to avoid their embarrassing emails being found by hackers or foreign powers by using an app that destroys them after they have been read. The messaging app is an encrypted, self-destructing messaging app called Confide and apparently it has been downloaded by “numerous senior GOP operatives and several members of the Trump administration”. One operative told Axios that the app “provides some cover” for people in the party. He ties it to last year’s hack of the Democratic National Committee, which led to huge and damaging information dumps of DNC emails leading up to the 2016 election. Confide makes it difficult to screenshot messages, because only a few words are shown at a time. That suggests that it’s useful not just for reducing paper trails, but for stopping insiders from leaking individual messages. But the difficulty here is that it is probably illegal. As the Hillary Clinton scandal showed, messages have to be stored and monitored by government officials.


Not Just Autism, Major Yale Study Shows Vaccines Tied to Multiple Brain Disorders
Natural Blaze - Researchers at Pennsylvania State and Yale University sought to examine, “whether antecedent vaccinations are associated with increased incidence of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), anorexia nervosa (AN), anxiety disorder, chronic tic disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder in a national sample of privately insured children.” …the researchers concluded that someone who’d received the flu vaccine within the last year “were also associated with incident diagnoses of AN, OCD, and an anxiety disorder.” These findings greatly expand the common understandings that vaccines are related to Autism and now include the other three brain-based illnesses. The study used private insurance claims information as their means of collecting the data. “Using claims data, we compared the prior year’s occurrence of vaccinations in children and adolescents aged 6–15 years with the above neuropsychiatric disorders that were newly diagnosed between January 2002 and December 2007,” the study writes. Moreover, the correlations were not limited to the Flu vaccine either. According to the published study found in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, “Several other associations were also significant with HRs greater than 1.40 (hepatitis A with OCD and AN; hepatitis B with AN,” meaning the hepatitis vaccines are also implicated in causing brain disorders.

30 States Move to Enact Vaccine Bills Including Tracking and Mandatory Vaccines
Health Impact News - We have only finished the first full month of the 2017 legislative session, and already we are tracking 103 vaccine related bills across 30 states on the NVIC Advocacy Portal. To put the sheer volume of bills in perspective, we tracked a total of 106 bills in the entire legislative session last year. If you live in one of the following states, there are already vaccine bills filed that can affect your rights (states listed in red are new since our last update): AR, AZ, CT, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, ME, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, TX, VA, and WA. The following states are priority opposition alert state as they now have bills to restrict or eliminate vaccine exemptions: AR (withdrawn), CT, IA, MN, NY, OK, PA, and TX. The following states are priority support alert states as they now have bills to add or expand vaccine exemptions: HI, IA, MS (died), NJ, NY, OK, RI, and TX. If you are in any of the following states, beware that there are bills filed to expand vaccine tracking or eliminate OPT-IN Consent for vaccine tracking and that these need to be opposed: CT, ID, KS, MA, MT, NY, and TX.

FDA Helps Drug Company Increase Price of Live Saving Medicine 7,000 Percent
Natural Blaze - In a Thursday press release, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval for a drug by Marathon Pharmaceuticals, a US company focused solely on the development of new treatments for rare diseases. They may now begin selling the corticosteroid drug, Deflazacort, under the brand name Emflaza. Thanks to the FDA, Marathon now has a monopoly on the drug and, without competition, they are now able to sell this beneficial treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy for $89,000 a year — a sharp increase from the international market price of $1,200 a year. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a rare genetic disease that causes heart and respiratory conditions, usually in younger men. As DMD progresses, patients lose muscle strength and usually end up confined to a wheelchair by the time they reach their early teens. According to the FDA, patients with DMD typically do not live past their 20s or 30s.

Friday - February 10, 2017

Today In History:

1846 - Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began their exodus to the west from Illinois.
1863 - In New York City, two of the world’s most famous midgets, General Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren were married.
1870 - The YWCA was founded in New York City.
1879 - The electric arc light was used for the first time.
1897 - "The New York Times" began printing "All the news that's fit to print" on their front page.
1933 - The singing telegram was introduced by the Postal Telegraph Company of New York City.
1935 - The Pennsylvania Railroad began passenger service with its electric locomotive. The engine was 79-1/2 feet long and weighed 230 tons.
1942 - The Normandie, the former French liner, capsized in New York Harbor. The day before it had caught fire while it was being fitted for the U.S. Navy.
1962 - The Soviet Union exchanged capture American U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers for the Soviet spy Rudolph Ivanovich Abel being held by the U.S.
1967 - The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment required the appointment of a vice-president when that office became vacant and instituted new measures in the event of presidential disability.
1997 - The U.S. Army suspended its top-ranking enlisted soldier, Army Sgt. Major Gene McKinney following allegations of sexual misconduct. McKinney was convicted of obstruction of justice and acquitted of 18 counts alleging sexual harassment of six military women.
1998 - Voters in Maine repealed a 1997 gay rights law. Maine was the first state to abandon such legislation.
2005 - North Korea publicly announced for the first time that it had nuclear arms. The country also rejected attempts to restart disarmament talks in the near future saying that it needed the weapons as protection against an increasingly hostile United States.
2009 - A Russian and an American satellite collide over Siberia.

World News

US General Calls For More Troops in Afghanistan
Sputnik News - In a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Army General John Nicholson told Senator John McCain that the US is in a stalemate in the Middle East.... “In my train, advise, and assist mission, however, we have a shortfall of a few thousand,” and those replacement troops could come from US forces or NATO allies, he said.... Nicholson’s counter-terror efforts will be reported to Defense Secretary James Mattis, who will then likely issue a recommendation to Trump. A recent Brown University paper estimated the cost of US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria at $3.6 trillion, from 2001 to 2016. Future payments to veterans for medical and disability costs, as well as interest on loans taken out to finance combat initiatives will add an additional $1 trillion, Politifact reported. A working paper from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government notes that the Iraq and Afghanistan armed conflicts, “taken together, will be the most expensive wars in US history—totaling somewhere between $4 and $6 trillion.”

Iran Fires Another Missile: US Officials
Epoch Times - In apparent defiance of White House warnings, Iran fired another missile on Wednesday from a launch pad in Tehran—the same place it had conducted another missile test last month, officials said. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the missile used in Wednesday’s launch was a short-range Mersad surface-to-air missile, which landed some 35 miles out from the launch, Fox News reported. Iran used the same Semnan launch pad that it had used to conduct a ballistic missile test in late January, triggering a response from the Trump administration.... The United States last week slapped new sanctions on the Islamic Republic after several White House officials said that the Shia Muslim-majority country is now “on notice.” President Donald Trump issued a similar statement soon after that.

McCain And Graham Caught Inciting Ukraine To Attack Russia
Your News Wire - A video has surfaced online in which warmongers John McCain and Lindsey Graham are caught meeting with the Ukraine military, encouraging them to launch an offensive against Russia and restart hostilities, all the while describing Russia as the “aggressor” that must “pay a heavier price.” Lindsey Graham delivers an incendiary speech in the video, egging on the Ukranian troops to re-start hostilities with Russia. “Your fight is our fight, 2017 will be the year of offense. All of us will go back to Washington and we will push the case against Russia. Enough of a Russian aggression. It is time for them to pay a heavier price.“ John McCain was no less provocative: “I believe you will win. I am convinced you will win and we will do everything we can to provide you with what you need to win.” Seems like President Trump was right when he singled these two Senators out as “warmongers looking for ways to start WW3.”

$8.5 Billion U.S. Counter Narcotics Effort in Afghanistan Boosts Opium Production
State of Globe 0 Despite the free-flow of American tax dollars to combat the crisis, opium production rose 43% in the Islamic nation, to an estimated 4,800 tons, and approximately 201,000 hectares of land are under poppy cultivation, representing a 10% increase in one year alone.... As of December 31, 2016, the United States has spent an astounding $8.5 billion for counter narcotics efforts in Afghanistan since 2002, the report reveals, making it clear that the cash will continue flowing. “Nonetheless, Afghanistan remains the world’s leading producer of opium, providing 80% of the global output over the past decade, according to the United Nations,” SIGAR [Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction] writes.

India Ends Ties With Gates Foundation on Vaccines Over Worries of Big Pharma Influence
The Free Thought Project - On February 28, 2017, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s (BMGF) support of India’s immunization program will cease to exist after the government has moved to sever ties with the billionaire’s organization. This move by the Indian state was largely prompted by fears that Big Pharma foreign donors associated with the BMGF could influence policy making. Having been the proving ground for outside foreign-funded health experts, this move is also part of a larger push to dismiss dozens of other schemes controlling and attempting to control decision making in key policy areas, according to Reuters.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

US appeals court maintains suspension of Trump travel ban
Breitbart - A federal appeals court on Thursday refused to restore Donald Trump’s controversial executive order closing US borders to refugees and nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, dealing the new president a major defeat. “We hold that the government has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury,” the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled. The three-judge panel unanimously denied the government’s request to reinstate the measure on an emergency basis, meaning a lower court suspension of the travel ban put in place by a lower federal court stands for now. Trump quickly reacted, defiantly vowing to pursue the battle, tweeting: “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” The court held a contentious hearing in the matter on Tuesday, with the Justice Department lawyer representing the Trump administration insisting the controversial ban was justified for national security reasons.

77% of refugees allowed into U.S. since travel reprieve hail from seven suspect countries
Washington Times - A staggering 77 percent of the 1,100 refugees let in since Judge James L. Robart’s Feb. 3 order have been from the seven suspect countries. Nearly a third are from Syria alone — a country that Mr. Trump has ordered be banned altogether from the refugee program. Another 21 percent are from Iraq. By contrast, in the two weeks before Judge Robart’s order, just 9 percent of refugees were from Syria and 6 percent were from Iraq.

Trump Promises ‘Big League’ Tax Reform ‘Way Ahead of Schedule’
Breitbart - President Donald Trump met with airline executives on Thursday, providing them with an update on his overall tax reform plan. “Lowering the overall tax burden on American business is big league,” he said. “That’s coming along very well. We’re way ahead of schedule, I believe, and we’re going to be announcing something I would say over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax and developing our aviation infrastructure.” Trump praised the airline industry for supporting 10 million jobs in the United States, promising to help them modernize the FAA…. Trump pointed out that the United States had spent $6 trillion in the Middle East, but had an “obsolete” system to control air traffic and airports.

Bill to Shut U.S. Education Department Introduced in Congress
The New American - Legislation to shut down the controversial and unconstitutional U.S. Department of Education was introduced in Congress this week by Representative Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), a leading constitutional conservative. The bill, H.R. 899, would help President Donald Trump follow through on his campaign statements suggesting a desire to abolish the department as well as the Obama-backed “Common Core” school standards.... The bill is literally only one sentence long, at least for now. “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018,” reads the text of the legislation. The bill was introduced with a good number of co-sponsors, all of them among the more liberty-minded wing of the Republican Party who take their oath to the U.S. Constitution seriously. Among the original co-sponsors are congressmen Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), and Raul Labrador (R-Idaho). It was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Federal Judge Just Struck Major Blow Against Two-Party System: Media Silent
Zero Hedge - Last week, a federal judge provided a long overdue victory for alternative political parties in the United States. The ruling found the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the institution that oversees the Commission on Presidential Debates, failed to sufficiently examine evidence challenging two-party dominance in national debates.... Ultimately, she ruled that the FEC “failed to show that it properly considered all of the evidence and arguments presented by the challengers” when it was supposed to review its rules in 2014. She called that rejection “arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law,” asserting that “the evidence unaddressed – or outright ignored – by the FEC is quite substantial.” She also pointed out the FEC’s “refusal to engage in thoughtful, reasoned decision-making in either enforcement or rulemaking in this case.” [Judge Tanya] Chutkan ordered the commission to review its previous decision and gave them 30 days to do so. According to Peter Ackerman, Level the Playing Field’s founder, the decision “lays the groundwork for removing the primary obstacle to providing Americans with the independent alternative to the two parties that polls clearly indicate they want.“

Exclusive — The Spirit of America: Conservative Grassroots Leaders Plan Massive Pro-Trump Demonstrations Nationwide
Breitbart - On Feb. 27 and March 4, the rallies—dubbed the Spirit of America Rallies—will spring up nationwide in cities and towns across America. “These rallies are inclusive, non-partisan, and open to anyone supporting President Trump in his efforts to bring back manufacturing jobs to America, put the security of our nation ahead of political correctness, improve our infrastructure, revitalize the inner cities and secure our nation’s borders,” Debbie Dooley, a national co-founder of the Tea Party movement and a key organizer of the Spirit of America rallies, says in a press release obtained by Breitbart News ahead of its public release. Since President Trump’s election, during his time as president-elect and since his inauguration on Jan. 20, hardcore progressive leftists have been repeatedly protesting him in a sometimes violent manner. These rallies, organizers say, are meant to be a peaceful show of force from the “silent majority” that delivered Trump a landslide electoral college victory over failed Democratic president Hillary Rodham Clinton…. Rallies are in the works in states as far-flung as Arizona, Georgia, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington state—as well as other states, organizers say. More information is available on the Spirit of America rallies website.

Cliven Bundy standoff: Trial begins for first defendants in armed Nevada clash
Oregon Live - Trial opened Thursday in Las Vegas for six people accused of illegally wielding weapons to block a federal roundup of cattle near states' rights advocate Cliven Bundy's ranch nearly three years ago. Prosecutors told the U.S. District Court jury that the six men deserve prison for what could amount to the rest of their lives for conspiring with Bundy in what their indictment characterizes as "a massive armed assault against federal law enforcement officers.".... Defense attorneys, though, said their clients are law-abiding citizens who protested government heavy-handedness and are now jailed for exercising their constitutional free speech and weapon rights. "This case, folks, is about standing up for what you believe. Nothing more and nothing less," lawyer Richard Tanasi told the jury.... The current trial is expected to take up to 10 weeks and serve as a preview for trial in May for Cliven Bundy, sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy and two other accused leaders of the conspiracy. Trial for the other six co-defendants is expected in August.

Connecticut Moving To Make Gun Permits So Expensive Only The Wealthy Can Afford Them…
NH Register - Gun owners will see huge increases in permit fees that would raise millions of dollars to help the state combat its two-year, $3.6 billion deficit. As part of his budget, Malloy is proposing to increase the state portion of the pistol permit fee from $70 to $300. He also is proposing the cost of the initial 5-year pistol permit fee from $140 to $370. The increase in fees for gun owners will bring in another $9 million to the state annually, according to the governor’s budget estimates. Additionally, Malloy is proposing to increase background check fees from its current $50 to $75. That increase, the governor’s budget estimates, would bring in another $2.6 million annually to the state’s coffers. The Malloy budget also assumes $1.56B in labor savings, increases taxes and makes a case for aid redistribution…. “We feel that the increase of Pistol Permit fees 400 percent is astronomical,” Scott Wilson, CCDL president said. “This will have a deep impact on those who only wish to protect their own lives, and the lives of their families. Many Connecticut gun owners are struggling with the current economic conditions in our state.”

Economy & Business

Exclusive: Women Nationwide Cut Up Nordstrom’s Cards, Plan Boycotts After Political Decision to Drop Ivanka
Breitbart - Nordstrom’s claimed that the Ivanka Trump brand wasn’t performing well, but industry insiders tell Breitbart News that’s just not accurate. Nordstrom’s decision to mislead the public on why they are stopping carrying the Ivanka Trump brand is part of the fury out there among its longtime customers, who tell Breitbart News they’re cutting up their Nordstrom’s cards and won’t shop at the store anymore. Some even say they plan to return all their recent purchases.

Retailer Target Abruptly Shuts Expansion Projects amid Boycott over Transgender Policy
Breitbart - Retail giant Target has abruptly shuttered two high priority projects which were intended to guarantee the company’s future, amid the public boycott provoked by the company’s insistence on transgender-friendly, mixed-sex, dressing rooms. Target announced the end of two projects as the stock price hit $64.77 at market close on Feb. 8. That’s down from $83 when the boycott began once the company made its transgender policy change on April 19. The stock price drop has slashed roughly $10 billion from the company’s value on Wall Street. Target announced it was shutting down a project billed as the “Store of the Future.” The project was aimed at developing a new outlet design that would consist of a smaller upfront retail store fronting a warehouse with robots picking items for the customers up front, reported.... The second project was codenamed “Goldfish,”and it was intended to create an online marketplace upon which other retailers and manufacturers could sell products to customers through Target.

Kellogg’s to Shutter 39 Distribution Centers as Layoffs Loom
Breitbart - The Michigan-based company did not specify how many jobs would be lost during its year-long layoff plan, part of an initiative to shift toward a “highly efficient warehouse model.” Though as many as 1,100 full-time workers could be impacted, given Kellogg’s estimation that an average distribution center employs 30 full-time workers. Kellogg’s stock saw a decline and its brand perception online took a deep negative nosedive last year following the cereal maker’s politically-driven attack on Breitbart News and its 45 million monthly readers. The company complied with demands from obscure left-wing advocacy groups, who pushed a social media campaign to coerce companies away from advertising on Breitbart. Charles said Breitbart News and its tens of millions of readers “aren’t aligned with” the cereal maker’s “values as a company.” Breitbart News launched its #DumpKelloggs petition, which has been signed by more than 430,000 people. Kellogg’s beef with Breitbart News came amid widespread allegations of racism toward factory workers and profiting from the use of child labor. It was also reported that Kellogg’s politically-motivated nonprofit has close ties to radical anti-American billionaire George Soros, hate group Black Lives Matter, and deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Energy & Environment

Dakota Access activists call for return to camps even as tribe cleans up
Washington Times - The Standing Rock Sioux tribe doesn’t want activists returning to protest the Trump administration’s decision to proceed with the Dakota Access pipeline. The activists, however, have other ideas. Several protest leaders called Wednesday for the pipeline demonstrators to come back to the campsite near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, even as the tribe undertakes a massive cleanup to remove the mounds of trash and debris left by the thousands of activists who occupied the region last year. Chase Iron Eyes, a protest leader and North Dakota’s 2016 Democratic candidate for Congress, called on foes of the 1,172-mile, four-state pipeline to join the several hundred activists still camped out in southern North Dakota.... Another wave of protesters could disrupt efforts by the Standing Rock Sioux to remove the acres of trash left over from the last protest, which Morton County emergency manager Tom Doering has estimated at about 250 truckloads.... Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault has asked pipeline foes to steer clear and instead attend a March 10 march on Washington, D.C., but Mr. Iron Eyes said that the tribe and protesters disagree on strategy.

Science & Technology

Most Government Workers Could Be Replaced By Robots, New Study Finds
Zero Hedge - A study by a British think tank, Reform, says that 90% of British civil service workers have jobs so pointless, they could easily be replaced by robots, saving the government around $8 billion per year. The study, published this week, says that robots are “more efficient” at collecting data, processing paperwork, and doing the routine tasks that now fall to low-level government employees. Even nurses and doctors, who are government employees in the UK, could be relieved of some duties by mechanical assistants. There are “few complex roles” in civil service, it seems, that require a human being to handle.... Unfortunately for civil service workers, it seems the study is just the latest in a series of research that won’t save their jobs. Oxford University and financial services provider Deloitte, both of whom commissioned their own studies concur with Reform‘s conclusions. The Oxford University study said that more than 850,000 public sector jobs could fall to robots over the course of the next decade. Reform suggests that government employees should probably look into opportunities presented by the “sharing economy,” like driving for Uber – at least until robots replace those, too.

Sony Has Patented a Contact Lens That is Blink Powered and Records Video
Alternative World News Network - Unlike other forms of contacts and glasses that created an augmented reality or hook you up to the internet, Sony's new patent is on a simple set of contacts that can record video. The recording is turned on and off with the user's blink and sensors can detect if it was an intentional or unintentional one. The image capture technology and data storage would be held within the lens. Simple, piezoelectric sensors would allow the movements of the eye to charge the battery of the device. The task, now, is to fit all of this technology, comfortably, into the lens.

Diarrhea-causing Salmonella can be weaponized to flush out cancer
Ars Technica - With some genetic tweaking, Salmonella typhimurium transformed from a germ that causes mayhem in people’s intestines to one that can infiltrate deep into the bowels of tumors and spark immune system warfare. In a study published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine, South Korean researchers reported that the weaponized gut bacteria could prevent human cancers from growing and spreading in mice—all with no evidence of harmful side-effects. The study is just in mice and far more work is needed to test efficacy and safety in humans. But the researchers are encouraged by the data so far. Overall, it seems the trained germs have “excellent anticancer effects in diverse mouse tumor models, suggesting that this strategy could be applied to a wide spectrum of malignancies,” the authors conclude.


400 Reasons to Consume Green Tea
Green Med Info - Did you know that green tea is capable of reducing the formation of the fat cells known as adipocytes (anti-adipogenic), which is one reason why it has been studied for its possible ameliorative role in weight gain and obesity. Green tea has also been found to modulate AMP-activated protein kinase which reduces fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, as well as gluconeogensis (the production of sugar from protein in the liver). Or, did you know that green tea has been studied for its ability to slow the aging process? Daily consumption of green tea catechin delays memory regression and brain dysfunction in aged mice. Green tea has also been found to prevent photoaging of the skin, and potentially have a rejuvenating effect. Green tea has also been found to induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) in a variety of cancer cell lines, including colorectal, breast, endometrial, skin, brain, gastrointestinal, prostate, and leukemic…. We have spent a considerable amount of time organizing a key fraction of this research, in connection with green tea's beneficial role in 400 health conditions. You can view the research on our page dedicated to this remarkable plant here: Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Green Tea.

One of the Best Ways to Flush Alzheimer's-Causing Toxic Waste From Your Brain
Dr. Mercola - Sweating in a sauna, for example, has many great health benefits, including expelling of toxins, improving blood circulation, killing disease-causing microbes and improving mitochondrial function. Research has even shown that regular sauna use correlates with a reduced risk of death from any cause, including lethal cardiovascular events, and may help stave off Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Most recently, researchers in Finland — a country where most homes come equipped with a sauna — found that men who used a sauna four to seven times a week for an average length of 15 minutes had a 66 percent lower risk of developing dementia, and 65 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s, compared to men who used the sauna only once a week…. Other research has shown sauna use increases levels of norepinephrine, a stress hormone that increases focus and attention, as well as prolactin, which may promote myelin growth, helping your brain to function faster and repair nerve cell damage…. Previous findings by the same Finnish research team revealed that men who used the Finnish-style, dry heat sauna seven times per week also cut their risk of death from fatal heart problems in half, compared to those who used it only once a week.

Ground Beef Contains ‘Unlimited Quantities’ of Beef Hearts and Tongues
Organic Authority - Producers can now add an unlimited amount of beef hearts to ground beef. This policy has been in place since July 2016 when USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) modified an existing policy, writing that beef heart “can be used in unlimited quantities and declared as ‘beef’ on the label.” While news of this change has only just surfaced, the modification was announced via Federal Register notice in August. Officials say that heart and tongue have always been allowed to be part of the mix of cuts added to ground beef blends, but a 1982 policy known as Policy Memo 27 noted that “heart meat and tongue meat, as organ meats, are not acceptable ingredients in chopped beef, ground beef, or hamburger.” The information published on the USDA website in July notes that this policy was “not consistent with FSIS regulations” and could be “revised or rescinded as necessary.”… The original rationale for the 1982 policy was that these cuts were “not expected ingredients in chopped beef, ground beef, or hamburger.”

Pet News

World's first five-star cat hotel
The Telegraph - Spa and grooming services, temperature controlled rooms and a “dating service” for female cats are among the luxury offerings at Malaysia’s Catzonia – the “world’s first” five-star hotel for cats. Manned by feline-loving staff, the 35-bedroom cattery in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur promises to pamper pets while their owners are away. Cats can stay in one of four room categories, including a VVIC (Very Very Important Cat) room – the hotel’s most luxurious offering. The VVIC room can fit up to 10 adult cats (or one mother cat and her kittens) and comes with three “king”-sized beds, a mini-playground, and a separate toilet. The other rooms, which can accommodate between three and seven cats, come with either a “queen”, “double” or “single” bed and up to three feeding and cleaning sessions per day. Some have a shower facility and, weirdly, Wi-Fi, while all rooms come with air-conditioning….

Thursday - February 9, 2017

Today In History:

1825 - The U.S. House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams president. No candidate had received a majority of electoral votes.
1861 - The Provisional Congress of the Confederate States of America elected Jefferson Davis as its president.
1870 - The United States Weather Bureau was authorized by Congress. The bureau is officially known as the National Weather Service (NWS).
1884 - Thomas Edison and Patrick Kenny executed a patent application for a chemical recording stock quotation telegraph (U.S. Pat. 314,115).
1885 - The first Japanese arrived in Hawaii.
1942 - The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff held its first formal meeting to coordinate military strategy during World War II.
1942 - Daylight-saving "War Time" went into effect in the U.S.
1943 - During World War II, the battle of Guadalcanal ended with an American victory over Japanese forces.
1950 - U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy charged that the State Department was riddled with Communists. This was the beginning of "McCarthyism."
1969 - The Boeing 747 flew its inaugural flight.
1971 - The San Fernando Valley experienced the Sylmar earthquake that registered 6.4 on the Richter Scale.
1971 - The Apollo 14 spacecraft returned to Earth after mankind's third landing on the moon.
2001 - "Hannibal," the sequel to "Silence of the Lambs," opened in theaters.

World News

Yemen keeps counter-terrorism operations with U.S. despite raid
Reuters - Yemen said on Wednesday it had not suspended counter-terrorism operations with the U.S. government, despite controversy over a U.S. commando raid on al Qaeda militants in which several civilians were also killed. The raid in al-Bayda province, approved by new U.S. President Donald Trump, resulted in a gun battle that left one Navy SEAL dead and an American aircraft a charred wreck. Local medics said several women and children were killed. Yemeni officials told Reuters that Sanaa had not withdrawn its permission for the United States to carry out special operations ground missions but had made clear their "reservations" about the last operation.

U.S. commander expects recapture soon of Islamic State strongholds
Reuters - The top American commander in Iraq believes U.S.-backed forces will recapture Islamic State's two major strongholds - the cities of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq - within the next six months, his spokesman said on Wednesday…. The latest word on the fight against Islamic State came as the U.S. military was developing a plan at President Donald Trump's request to accelerate the campaign to defeat the militant group. The plan is due late this month. While it has lost some territory in Mosul, Islamic State still holds swaths of Syrian territory and is putting up fierce resistance in Raqqa, the militant group's de facto capital in eastern Syria, where U.S. officials believe is the hub for its plots for attacks against Western targets. Experts said the Pentagon could still request some additional forces. Less than 6,000 American troops are currently deployed to both Iraq and Syria. But they also said the Pentagon may focus on other options, like increasing the number of attack helicopters and air strikes and bringing in more artillery.

Facebook Launches Fake News Filter in France Ahead of Presidential Elections
iBankCoin - Starting today, Facebook, in conjunction with Google, will be blocking unsavory news from their platforms in France — thanks to the very generous and progressive assistance of 8 liberal news agencies — including the far left Le Monde. Having learned his lesson during the US elections, CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to ensure the people of France only get to see the right news and information — generously shielding them from fake news and right wing disinformation campaigns — like global warming is a hoax. Effective immediately, users will get to mark news articles they deem to be fake. Partners will pass judgment upon them and also get to tag them with an icon — all for the benefit of the 24 million idiot users in France who are, seemingly, unable to decipher the news themselves. Similar projects are being launched in Germany and the United States — fettering out hoaxes and fake news — with the help of ultra left wing Snopes, ABC News and Associated Press.

Ireland challenges Facebook over personal data transfer
RT - The transfer of user's personal information by Facebook from the European Union to the US faces another legal hurdle. The Irish Data Protection Commissioner (IDPC) has started the referral process to Europe's top court…. European regulations state the transfer of data can only be made to a country outside the EU if that country ensures a sufficient level of protection. The step is reportedly the latest challenge to the various methods by which big technology companies such as Google and Apple transmit personal data of EU citizens back to America. The matter of data privacy came to the front following the political outrage evoked by the Snowden revelations of mass US surveillance in 2013. The revelations added to mistrust of large technology companies with some calling for an overhaul of the way businesses move personal data.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Was Buffalo mom jailed over homeschooling decision? - According to the mom, they told her they had a court order to take her children and when she told them no, she was arrested for obstruction. She says she hasn't seen her kids in three weeks, and they've been in a foster institution. The Buffalo Public School District says it cannot comment on this case due to Federal Laws but says in order for a parent to file for homeschooling, they must have full custody of the children.

U.S. Army: 95% of Brigade Combat Teams Unprepared to Fight Immediately
Breitbart - Only three of the 58 U.S. Army Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) are capable of immediately joining the fight in the event of a major conflict, Gen. Daniel Allyn, vice chief of staff of the Army, told lawmakers…. The rest would require about 30 days to prepare. That means only about five percent of brigade combat teams are ready to engage in immediate combat in the event of a major conflict. Gen. Allyn also warned that only one-fourth of the Army’s Combat Aviation Brigades and half our the branch’s Division Headquarters are ready to carry out their duties, noting that due to budget cuts and constraints the soldiers can only do what the country requires of them while assuming “high risk.”

Senate Confirms Jeff Sessions as Next US Attorney General
The GatewayPundit - The Senate voted [Wednesday night] to confirm Jeff Sessions as the next Attorney General of the United States.

Video: Trump Destroys Leftist Judges by Reading Law Word-For-Word
Dan Lyman - President Trump addressed a law enforcement conference in Washington D.C. where he expressed his shock and dismay at leftist judges blocking the border security policies set forth in his recent executive order. Trump read language from the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 which clearly grants the President express powers to control the entry of non-citizens into the United States on virtually any basis, but specifically as a duty to protect the citizens from potentially dangerous groups of foreigners…. He proceeded to read from the U.S. Code on “Inadmissible Aliens” – (f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President – Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

Old-Guard Republicans to Push Carbon Tax at White House Meeting
Bloomberg - A group of prominent Republicans and business leaders backing a tax on carbon dioxide were taking their case Wednesday to top White House aides, including chief economic adviser Gary Cohn. The group, including former Treasury Secretaries Hank Paulson and James Baker, is pressing President Donald Trump to tax carbon dioxide in exchange for abolishing a slew of environmental regulations. They unveiled their plan with a press conference in Washington and an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal…. The blueprint involves a $40 tax on every metric ton of carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels, with the price climbing over time. To avoid an undue burden on the poor from the higher energy bills that would result, the projected $200 billion to $300 billion in annual revenue would be redistributed to households in the form of quarterly checks from the Social Security Administration. Families of four would see an average annual payout of $2,000 under the plan. The proposal also calls for border adjustments that would act to hike the costs of products imported from countries that do not put a price on carbon.

Planned Parenthood Workers That Reached Abortion Sales Quota Goals Were Rewarded With Pizza Parties (Video)
Economic Collapse - Could you imagine having a job where you had to meet an “abortion sales quota” every month? According to a shocking new investigation, this was actually happening at Planned Parenthood clinics all over the nation, and workers that reached abortion sales quota goals were rewarded with pizza parties and other incentives…. “I felt like I was more of a salesman sometimes, to sell abortions,” former Planned Parenthood nurse Marianne Anderson says in the video. “And we were told on a regular basis that, ‘You have a quota to meet to keep this clinic open.’… She continued: “We would try to get the appointment scheduled for the abortion before they left our clinic. We would say things like, ‘your pregnancy test, you visit today is X number of dollars. How much are you gonna be able to pay towards that.’ … If they’d say, ‘I’m not able to pay today,’ then we would say something like, ‘Well, if you can’t pay 10 dollars today, how are you gonna take care of a baby?’
* Related: U.S. Senators Introduce Bill to Redirect Planned Parenthood Funding to Women’s Health Care Providers

Oklahoma abortion law wants women to get the father's written consent
The Independent - Republican representative Justin Humphrey introduced a bill that would require a pregnant woman to provide the identify of the father “in writing to her abortion provider before undergoing the procedure. If the identified man argues that he is not the father, he can legally demand a paternity test, which could delay the abortion procedure by at least three days. The only exceptions in the bill apply to cases where the father is dead and the woman proves this by signing a legally-binding statement, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. Women whose lives are endangered by the pregnancy are also excluded from obtaining consent…. The Oklahoma bill has been introduced just one month after Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a law that allows a woman’s spouse or family member to sue an abortion provider.

Missouri Bill Would Ban State Support and Enforcement of Federal Gun Control “Past, Present, or Future”
Tenth Amendment Center - A bill introduced in the Missouri House would ban the state from enforcement of all federal gun control. Passage into law would represent a major step towards ending federal acts that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms within the state in practice and effect. Rep. Jeff Pogue (R-Salem) introduced House Bill 859 (HB859) on Feb. 7. Titled the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” the legislation would ban any person, including any “public officer or employee of state state and its political subdivisions, from enforcing any present of future federal acts, laws, executive orders, administrative orders, court orders, rules, regulations, statutes, or ordinances that infringe on the right to keep and bear arms.” HB859 includes a detailed definition of actions that qualify as infringement, including taxes and fees that would have a chilling effect on firearms ownership, registration and tracking schemes that would have a chilling effect, gun bans and gun confiscation. The legislation includes a provision that would allow anybody who violates the law and knowingly deprives somebody of their right to keep and bear arms as defined by the law to be sued for damages in civil court. HB859 also includes provisions that would apply to federal agents who who knowingly enforce or attempt to enforce any of the infringing acts identified in the law, or who give material aid and support to such enforcement efforts. Under the proposed law, they would “be permanently ineligible to serve as a law enforcement officer or to supervise law enforcement officers for the state or any political subdivision of the state.”

San Francisco Becomes First City To Offer Free College For All - "Even Facebook Founder's Kids"
Zero Hedge - As reports, City College of San Francisco will be free of charge to all city residents under a deal announced Monday by Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Jane Kim that college trustees hope will lead to an enrollment jolt and more state funding for the school. Under the agreement, which is expected to take effect in the fall, the city will pay $5.4 million a year to buy out the $46-a-credit fee usually paid by students. The city’s contribution will also provide $250 a semester to full-time, low-income students who already receive a state-funded fee waiver. They will be able to use the money to pay for books, transportation, school supplies and health fees. Part-time students with fee waivers will get $100 a semester for the same purpose. [Supervisor Jane Kim] said all San Franciscans who have lived in the city for at least a year will be eligible. “Even the children of the founders of Facebook,” she said, noting that kindergarten through grade 12 is free to all. The money will come from a measure that San Francisco voters approved in November, Proposition W, enacting a transfer tax on properties selling for at least $5 million.

New Video Game “Punch-A-Nazi” Glorifies Assaulting Milo, Trump Supporters
Breitbart - TBS-owned media company Super Deluxe has created a game called Punch-A-Nazi featuring a digital avatar of Breitbart Senior editor MILO and promoted the game with a livestream on Facebook showing him punched in the face repeatedly. The game features three characters for players to beat up: Adolf Hitler, white nationalist Richard Spencer, and MILO. Lumping in Milo — a gay Jew who just weeks ago told students at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs “White Nationalism Is Not the Answer” — reveals how little the developers know about people that they think deserve maiming. A video stream of the game being played had 616,521 views at the time of this writing, with over 62,000 “Likes,” “Love,” and “Haha” reactions to watching a gay conservative being beaten until his face was an unrecognizable bloody wreck.

Video: Dumbest Democrat Ever?
Infowars - These are the people 'in charge' of our country. Maxine Waters (D-Calif) has an Aleppo moment and says Russia is invading Korea.

Economy & Business

Intel CEO Announces $7 Billion Factory Investment, Creation Of 3,000 New Jobs During Trump Meeting
Zero Hedge - During a meeting between Intel CEO Bryan Krzanich and President Trump at the White House, the chief executive of the world's largest semiconductor maker told the president that his company would invest $7 billion in a new factory in Arizona. Krzanich said the investment is an expansion of Intel’s presence in Chandler that will enable a plant capable of advanced 7-nanometer chip production. The partially built Fab 42 facility will be completed in 3 to 4 years and is expected to add 3,000 company jobs. Krzanich added that Trump's "advantageous" tax and regulatory policies are partly responsible for their decision to announce the new factory at the White House. Trump called the investment "a great thing for Arizona," and said the products will be "amazing."

Nordstrom Shares Drop After President Tweets They Treated Ivanka ‘Unfairly’
Adan Salazar - “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom,” the president wrote. “She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” The company last Thursday announced it would remove Ivanka’s brand following threats of boycotts from activists, however they claimed their decision was motivated by sales and not protests. “In this case, based on the brand’s performance, we’ve decided not to buy it for this season,” the company wrote in a statement that was re-iterated on Twitter Wednesday…. “With Wednesday’s drop, the company’s shares are down more than 10 percent year to date,” according to CNBC…. This isn’t the first time the president’s words have affected a stock price.

TJ Maxx Joins "Anti-Trump" Resistance: Orders Workers To "Discard" Ivanka Trump Signs, Keep Merchandise Separate
Zero Hedge - Having lashed out at Nordstrom's earlier for dropping his daughter's products earlier in the day, Trump will hardly be pleased to learn that another major retailer, TJ Maxx parent, TJX Companies, has ordered its employees to throw away Ivanka Trump signs and to display her merchandise separately according to a note to employees on Wednesday, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times…. Many have called for shoppers to boycott Ms. Trump’s handbags, jewelry, clothes and other accessories. “I think they all have probably been looking closely at Ivanka’s sales numbers and weighing whether they’re worth all the problems she’s brought them,” said Shannon Coulter, who helped found #GrabYourWallet, an online campaign to boycott Trump products. The #GrabYourWallet campaign has even put together a spreadsheet keeping track of all the retailers currently carrying Trump products.

Science & Technology

YODA, the Bill That Would Let You Own (and Sell) Your Devices, Is Re-Introduced in Congress
Electronic Frontier Foundation - Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) just re-introduced their You Own Devices Act (YODA), a bill that aims to help you reclaim some of your ownership rights in the software-enabled devices you buy. The bill would go a ways toward curbing abusive End User License Agreements (EULAs) by making sure companies can’t use restrictions on the software within your device to keep you from selling, leasing, or giving away the device when you’re done with it by. The bill would override EULAs that purport to limit your ability to transfer ownership of the device (and its software) and would make sure that whoever ends up with your device has the same access to security and bug fixes that you would have had. Making sure that you can sell and transfer your old devices isn’t just good for you – it’s good for everyone else as well. Resale markets for consumer products help improve access to affordable technology and provide a valuable resource for innovators.


Painkillers triple risk of heart attack when you have a cold
What Doctors Don't Tell You - The risk rises more than three times—and it’s seven times more likely if you’re given the medication intravenously. Your risk of suffering a heart attack is higher when you have a cold or flu anyway—but taking an NSAID (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug) to relieve symptoms raises the risk again. The painkillers are some of the most commonly used on the market, and include aspirin and ibuprofen, which can be purchased without a prescription. Researchers reckon the drugs increase the chances of a heart attack 3.4 times, and the risk is even higher—at 7.2 times—if the drug is given intravenously. On its own, having a cold raises the risk of a heart attack 2.7 times.

Why Apple Cider Vinegar is One of the Best Things You Can Use for Your Hair
Living Traditionally - Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has long been used as a natural hair care product to promote healthy hair in both men and woman. Did you know its acidity is close to that of natural hair? It’s a powerful cleaning agent and a conditioner. Raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) is loaded with nutrients. It brings back body and shine, decreases residue and clarify, can help with tangles and frizzy hair, stimulates the scalp, helps get rid of dandruff, and unclogs hair follicles.

Wednesday - February 8, 2017

Today In History:

1861 - The Confederate States of America was formed.
1896 - The Western Conference was formed by representatives of Midwestern universities. The group changed its name to the Big 10 Conference.
1900 - In South Africa, British troops under Gen. Buller were beaten at Ladysmith. The British fled over the Tugela River.
1904 - The Russo-Japanese War began with Japan attacking Russian forces in Manchuria.
1910 - William D. Boyce incorporated the Boy Scouts of America.
1918 - During World War I, "The Stars and Stripes" was published under orders from General John J. Pershing for the United States Army forces in France. It was published from February 8, 1918 to June 13, 1919.
1922 - The White House began using radio after U.S. President Harding had it installed.
1963 - The Kennedy administration prohibited travel to Cuba and made financial and commercial transactions with Cuba illegal for U.S. citizens.
1969 - The last issue of the "Saturday Evening Post" was published. It was revived in 1971 as a quarterly publication and later a 6 times a year.
1973 - U.S. Senate leaders named seven members of a select committee to investigate the Watergate scandal.
1978 - The U.S. Senate deliberations were broadcast on radio for the first time. The subject was the Panama Canal treaties.
1980 - U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced a plan to re-introduce draft registration.
1993 - General Motors sued NBC, alleging that "Dateline NBC" had rigged two car-truck crashes to show that some GM pickups were prone to fires after certain types of crashes. The suit was settled the following day by NBC.
2007 - Model and tabloid sensation Anna Nicole Smith died at age 39 of an accidental drug overdose.
2010 - Michael Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of the pop superstar in Los Angeles Superior Court. (Murray was convicted and sentenced to four years in jail.)

World News

NATO troops from Germany arrive in Lithuania as Trump pledges support for alliance
RT - The first wave of four new NATO battalions has arrived at a military base in Eastern Europe close to Russia's border, with the alliance claiming it's driven to deter alleged 'Russian aggression' in the region. Several hundred soldiers from Germany arrived at the Rukla military base in Lithuania on Tuesday. Expected to be deployed just some 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Russian border, the German troops are reported to be heading up the NATO force in the country, with Belgian, Dutch and French soldiers scheduled to join them later. Later this year, three other battalions led by Britain, Canada, and the US will also be deployed to Estonia, Latvia, and Poland respectively to beef up smaller rotating contingents of American troops in the region. There are no end dates for their stay, with the contingents said to be rotating every six months, according to Reuters. Speaking at the Rukla base, Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaite talked about "aggressive actions in our region," AFP reported. The move to expand NATO's presence in Eastern Europe – the highest levels since the Cold War – was agreed last year under the former Obama administration, who had accused Moscow of aggressive behavior. Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying it's NATO's significant buildup in the region which undermines the security balance.

US-Russia cooperation could benefit Syria & wider world – Assad
RT - Cooperation between Moscow and the new administration in Washington could be positive not just for Syria but also the wider world, Syrian President Bashar Assad said, adding that the EU has merely supported terrorists since the start of the country’s civil war. When asked by Belgian media about the Trump administration and the possibility of working with it, Assad said that statements by the Republican both during his election campaign and after are “promising regarding the priority of fighting terrorists, and mainly ISIS [IS, Islamic State],” SANA news agency reported…. Assad blasted the European Union for supporting extremists in Syria “since the very beginning,” saying that it can’t “destroy and build at the same time” in the war-torn country. “The EU is supporting the terrorists in Syria from the very beginning under different titles: humanitarians, moderate, and so on.”

Did Trump Scare Iran: Tehran Reportedly Pulls Missile From Launchpad Following Launch Prep
Zero Hedge - In what - if confirmed - may be the clearest indication that Trump's Iranian escalation gambit has worked, Iran has allegedly removed a powerful missile from a launchpad east of Tehran within the past few days, Fox News reported, around the time the US imposed new sanctions on 25 Iranian individuals and entities, as U.S. and Iran continued trading public barbs about the Islamic Republic's missile tests and nuclear ambitions. Citing a satellite image taken on February 3 from ImageSat International and verified by U.S. officials, Iran was preparing a Safir missile for launch, the same type that Iran has previously used to put a satellite into space. The last time Iran launched a Safir missile was two years ago. But in a surprising about face, Fox News learned Tuesday morning that Iran’s missile had been removed from the launchpad amid a flurry of activity on the launchpad which U.S. officials have been watching closely. It was not immediately clear why.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Navy successfully tests new missile-defense system in Hawaii
Stars and Stripes - A new missile-defense system developed by the United States and Japan destroyed a target missile during a test off the coast of Hawaii on Friday, a Missile Defense Agency statement said. The intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile, launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, was a first for the system, which had conducted two previous flight tests, the statement said…. Ship-based missile interceptors are part of U.S. defense plans in the event of an attack on the U.S. or its allies by North Korea, which has continued to develop its ballistic-missile program despite United Nations sanctions.

Trump: We're Going To Take It To The Supreme Court (Video)
Zero Hedge - "We're going to take it through the system," Trump told reporters at the White House. "It's very important, it's very important for the country regardless of me or whoever succeeds at a later date. We have to have security in our country." When asked if he thinks the case will go to the Supreme Court, Trump said "we will see." He added that "hopefully, it doesn't have to."

White House Lists 78 Terrorist Attacks, Says Many Were 'Under-reported' By 'Dishonest Press'
CNS News - Several hours after President Donald Trump spoke to CENTCOM at MacDill Air Force Base and noted a "very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report" on radical Islamic terrorism, or prefers to downplay it, the White House released a list of 78 terrorist attacks. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump believes many of these incidents were "under-reported." "Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando, to San Bernardino," said President Trump on Monday. "And all across Europe, you've seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe it's happening. It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported and, in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their reasons and you understand that.”… Later on Monday, the White House released a list of 78 terrorist attacks -- from September 2014 through December 2016 -- that it said included many incidents which were under-reported. Presented below is that list….

AP Fact-Checks Trump-Immigration-Blocking Judge, Finds 'Alternative Facts'
Zero Hedge - The federal judge who halted President Donald Trump's travel ban was wrong in stating that no one from the seven countries targeted in Trump's order has been arrested for extremism in the United States since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Just last October, an Iraqi refugee living in Texas pleaded guilty to attempting to provide support to the Islamic State group, accused of taking tactical training and wanting to blow himself up in an act of martyrdom. In November, a Somali refugee injured 11 in a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University, and he surely would have been arrested had he not been killed by an officer….

State Of Washington v. Trump: Live Audio From The Appeals Court Hearing
The Justice Department has asked the Court U.S. of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to reverse a lower-court order barring travel-ban enforcement. The proceeding and oral arguments will be heard at 6 p.m. EST, The hearing will be conducted telephonically, meaning that the judges and attorneys will be participating from their chambers and offices in different parts of the country. The proceeding does not take place in a courtroom, nor will there be any subsequent press conferences at a courthouse. Here are some of the key highlights from the hearing, courtesy of The Hill

Pence Casts Historic Tie-Breaking Vote to Confirm Betsy DeVos
Breitbart - Pence’s vote was in accordance with his post as president of the Senate. The Senate vote was 50-50, with two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK), voting against DeVos. As Fox News notes, Pence’s vote “marked the first time in American history a vice president has broken a tie on a Cabinet nominee’s Senate confirmation – and the first tie-breaking vote by a VP since 2008.” “The Senate being equally divided, the vice president votes in the affirmative, and the nomination is confirmed,” Pence said in the Senate. DeVos has been one of the most controversial picks for President Donald Trump’s cabinet. Objections to her nomination have come from both the left, including teachers’ unions, and the grassroots base of the GOP who want to see the federal education department dismantled and oversight of education turned back to parents and local school districts.

What Melania Trump’s Lawsuit Against Webster Tarpley Means for Alternative Media
Kurt Nimmo - A $75,000 defamation suit was filed after Tarpley and the Mail posted a story claiming Melania Trump worked for an escort service prior to marrying the billionaire presidential candidate. Trump claims the story references “unfounded rumors and innuendo.” Webster Tarpley responded to the lawsuit by claiming his “editors, writers and contributors did not generate said rumors” and admitted the story “was not diligent in fact-checking or maintaining a healthy distance between innuendo and fact.” Tarpley retracted the story and formally apologized. However, this did not stop Trump from going ahead with a lawsuit.

Passengers to be arrested for not showing their ID's
MassPrivate I - Welcome to 'nightmare 2017' where police in Arizona can arrest and fine passengers $750.00 for not showing their photo ID's. Arizona's House Bill 2305 would make it a crime for passengers to decline to provide a photo ID to police. Passengers who fail to provide an ID could be sentenced to four months in jail and a $750.00 fine. Six days ago, the House Panel ok'd the bill allowing cops to demand passengers show their ID…. The Bill goes on to explain, that meter maids (parking enforcement officers) and traffic cops can DEMAND to see a passengers ID…. Rep. Richard Andrade warned, a bicyclist who rolls through a crosswalk could be arrested if they don't have an ID. Rep. Noel Campbell warned, the way the Bill is worded, children and teens could be fined for not carrying their ID's. Wouldn't this also mean, passengers in buses, trains, taxis and UBER's are required to show their ID's? "This proposal [Bill] takes us one step closer to a society in which we're required to carry identification whenever we leave our homes" said Steve Kilar, spokesperson with the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.

Charlottesville, VA moves to tear down Robert E. Lee statue, rename park
American Mirror - The Charlottesville City Council is expected to vote to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee and rename the park after a vote last month ended in a tie. Councilman Bob Fenwick, who abstained from voting on the measure during a Jan. 17 meeting, told The Caviler Daily he now plans to vote to remove the statue and rename Lee Park at the Virginia council’s meeting today. Fenwick said he initially abstained from voting because he was unsure about the consequences for the move, slated to cost $300,000, and wanted time to consider input from a Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces. “I was very concerned a vote to remove (on Jan. 17) would take the energy out of a better city budget for citizens and neighborhoods which would mean community centers, the Jefferson School Heritage Center, diversion and mentoring programs (and) funding for 501c3 social programs like Legal Aid, Ready Kids, etc.,” Fenwick wrote in an email to The Daily.

Energy & Environment

Nuclear waste ready to move through Erie County - A federal judge has approved the Department of Energy plan to move the material on trucks. Department of Energy plan to move the material on trucks. Liquid nuclear waste soon will make its way through Erie County. Tractor-trailers carrying shipments of the radioactive material will start traveling on Interstates 90 and 79 as early as Feb. 17…. The judge, Tanya S. Chutkan, of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, found that the federal Department of Energy met all the requirements to allow subcontracted flatbed tractor-trailers to haul a total of 6,000 gallons of "target material" - called uranyl nitrate - from a laboratory in Ontario, Canada, to a federal processing plant in South Carolina. The semis, traveling in convoys, are to make 100 to 150 trips over four years. Under the 1,100-mile route, according to court records and a government map, the 6,000 gallons of spent nuclear waste - the byproduct of medical testing at the Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario - will be stored in stainless-steel casks placed inside large shipping containers. The semis hauling the containers will travel from Canada, across the Peace Bridge, in Buffalo, New York, and on interstates in New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Nuclear officials killed study on whether reactors posed cancer risk to nearby residents
LA Daily News - Federal regulators killed a rigorous examination of cancer in millions of Americans living near nuclear plants because they were convinced the study couldn't link reactors to disease and would be too costly, newly released records show. Doubts over the study’s usefulness ran deep at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the agency overseeing America’s aging fleet of nuclear plants.

Army Grants Easement To Complete Construction Of Dakota Access Pipeline
Zero Hedge - The US Army Corps said in a court filing it has notified Congress that it has granted the final easement needed to finish the controversial Dakota Access pipeline. The easement was needed for Energy Transfer Partners to complete work on the last portion located under Lake Oahe on the 1,172-mile long pipeline…. The 1,172-mile line will bring crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken shale region to Patoka, Illinois, and from there connect to the Gulf of Mexico, where many U.S. refineries are located. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation is adjacent to the line's route, has said they will fight the decision. The Army Corps had previously stated that they would undertake further environmental review of the project….. Last Friday, Bloomberg reported that the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline may start operating June 1, assuming no new obstacles prevent it, according to a person familiar with the matter. It added that Energy Transfer Partners, the developer of the pipeline, will begin filling it with oil around Feb. 15, barring complaints or legal action to stop it, said the person.

Flipped trucks & destroyed homes: State of emergency in Louisiana as tornadoes hit (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
RT - Southern Louisiana, including New Orleans, has suffered severe damage after seven tornadoes battered the area, causing dozens of injuries and leaving a wake of destruction. Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Tuesday morning following the onslaught that left about 10,000 homes without power and severely damaged NASA's Michaud Facility…. By declaring a state of emergency, the governor empowers himself and other officials to act faster action to help ensure safety. This can include mobilizing law enforcement officers and the Louisiana National Guard in some cases.


Root That Kills 98 Percent of Cancer Cells in 48 Hours
Natural News Blogs - Did you know that dandelion root was used by the Chinese for many years to treat digestive problems, anorexia, and constipation? Now researchers have proven that this root is more potent than previously thought. In the study, researchers found that dandelion root extract can kill cancer (leukemia) cells in 48 hours. It slows the growth of cancerous cells and eventually kills them. The best part is that this root only kills cancer cells – it didn’t damage healthy ones like chemo.

Better Than Botox – Study Backs Up Benefits of Niacin for Better Skin
Natural Blaze - Though niacin is found in food, research has shown that to achieve increased benefits for the skin, it takes more than what we typically receive in our diets…. For skincare, niacin is best used topically. When used in creams, lotions, or sprays directly on the skin, it leads to increased cell turnover, wrinkle reduction, boosts moisture, protects against certain forms of skin cancer, and treats a wide variety of other skin issues… Instead of spending a lot of money on pre-formulated products, niacin can be purchased in bulk online or from your local vitamin shop. There are several DIY products you can make on your own to save quite a lot of money. See the video below for information about how to make a naicinamide face spray for incorporation into your beauty routine.

This Ingredient Increases Vision by Up to 97%
Natural Blaze - In Italy, Italian researchers have found that saffron can cure the loss of vision from macular degeneration, which comes related to age…. In the center of our eyes, we have a macula that is imperative for our visual field. With macular degeneration, the macula becomes damaged resulting in blindness. In elderly, young and healthy individuals, the vision field is mainly damaged. Saffron is commonly used in Indian food, and helps avoid vision issues and at the same time, curing existing vision issues. Researchers have tested people that were given 20mg of saffron a day for 3 months.

Pet News

This Can Turn Your Cat From Healthy to Helpless in a Shockingly Short Time
Dr. Becker - A previously healthy 10-year-old cat developed breathing difficulties and was subsequently diagnosed with a heart disease associated with taurine deficiency. Felines have a greater need for taurine in the diet than other animals. Deficiencies take awhile to appear and cause significant damage to a cat’s health. Taurine concentrations in meat vary widely depending on how the food animals are raised and the way in which the meat is stored and prepared. Most cats fed a nutritionally balanced, fresh meat-based diet won’t need supplemental taurine. Cooked homemade pet diets should be supplemented with taurine, and all commercial cat foods should contain supplemental taurine.

Tuesday - February 7, 2017

Today In History:

1795 - The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.
1913 - The Turks lost 5,000 men in a battle with the Bulgarian army in Gallipoli.
1936 - The U.S. Vice President’s flag was established by executive order.
1943 - The U.S. government announced that shoe rationing would go into effect in two days.
1944 - During World War II, the Germans launched a counteroffensive at Anzio, Italy.
1962 - The U.S. government banned all Cuban imports and re-export of U.S. products to Cuba from other countries.
1974 - The nation of Grenada gained independence from Britain.
1977 - Russia launched Soyuz 24.
1984 - Space shuttle astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart made the first untethered space walk.
1985 - "New York, New York" became the official anthem of New York City.
1986 - Haitian President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier fled his country ending 28 years of family rule.
1991 - The Rev. Jean-Bertrand Aristide was sworn in as Haiti's first democratically elected president.
1999 - NASA's Stardust space probe was launched. The mission was to return comet dust samples from comet Wild 2. The mission was completed on January 15, 2006 when the sample return capsule returned to Earth.
2000 - California's legislature declared that February 13 would be "Charels M. Schulz Day."
2008 - The Space Shuttle Atlantis launched with the mission of delivering the Columbus science laboratory to the International Space Station.

World News

China Unveils New Ballistic Missile Capable Of Hitting Taiwan, US Bases In Asia
Zero Hedge - Two weeks after China allegedly unveiled a new ICBM system "in response to Trump's provocative remarks", a report which however was subsequently denied by Chinese officials, China had no qualms about revealing another highly accurate ballistic missile in recent drills, which is capable of threatening not only Taiwan and the contested South China Sea islands, but also U.S. and Japanese bases in Asia.

"When Trade Stops, War Starts" Jack Ma Warns As China Protests US Sanctions On Iran
Zero Hedge - Having recently accused the US of 'wasting $14 trillion on war instead of its people', China's second richest man, Jack Ma, continued to voice his concerns to President Trump on a recent trip to Australia, warning retreat from globalization will only result in trouble. This followed China "lodging representations" with the United States over Washington's new sanctions list targeting Iran, which includes Chinese companies and individuals.

Trump Blocked From Addressing UK Parliament For "Racism And Sexism"
Zero Hedge - In a striking announcement by John Bercow, the speaker of the British House of Commons, Donald Trump is to be barred from giving a historic address in Westminster Hall, the British Parliament's grandest and most prestigious hall. Bercow announced he would not give the US President permission to speak in the 11th Century Westminster Hall when he makes a state visit. John Bercow slammed Trump for "racism and sexism", his undermining of judges and his migrant ban. Bercow's intervention is unusual because Speakers are expected to remain above Parliament's partisan fray…. Trump is due to visit Britain later this year

Worried about Trump, asylum seekers walk cold road to Canada
Yahoo News - Manitoba’s Welcome Place refugee agency helped 91 claimants between Nov. 1 and Jan. 25 - more than the agency normally sees in a year. Most braved the freezing prairie winter to walk into Canada. "We haven't had something before like this," said Maggie Yeboah, president of the Ghanaian Union of Manitoba, which has helped refugees get medical attention and housing. "We don't know what to do.”… Canadian advocacy organizations are bracing for a greater influx of asylum-seekers, driven in part by the contrast between the ruling Liberal government's acceptance of Syrian refugees in Canada with Trump's anti-foreigner rhetoric.…. More than 7,000 refugee applicants entered Canada in 2016 through land ports of entry from the United States, up 63 percent from the previous year, according to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Over 2,000 more entered "irregularly" during a similar time period, without official authorization, such as across unmonitored fields. Four hundred and thirty asylum seekers crossed Manitoba's border irregularly in the first nine months of 2016-17, up from 340 the entire previous year, CBSA said…. More of these people would enter at border crossings, advocates say, if Canada didn't have a policy of turning many of them away when they do.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Video: Trump Says Journalists ‘Have Their Reasons’ to Play Down Terror Threat
NY Times - President Trump on Monday asserted that the news media was playing down the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State, telling American military personnel that journalists were reluctant to report on the militant group’s attacks in Europe and “have their reasons” for failing to cover them. Mr. Trump did not provide any examples of a news media conspiracy to underplay terrorist attacks, and his comments appeared to ignore the vast amount of reporting on violence committed by the Islamic State and its supporters in the Middle East, Europe and the United States. His spokesman later promised to release a list of such instances, and on Monday evening the White House produced 78 examples of attacks and said most of them had not “received the media attention they deserved.”

The U.S. military's stats on deadly airstrikes are wrong. Thousands have gone unreported
Military Times - The American military has failed to publicly disclose potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes conducted over several years in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, a Military Times investigation has revealed. The enormous data gap raises serious doubts about transparency in reported progress against the Islamic State, al-Qaida and the Taliban, and calls into question the accuracy of other Defense Department disclosures documenting everything from costs to casualty counts. In 2016 alone, U.S. combat aircraft conducted at least 456 airstrikes in Afghanistan that were not recorded as part of an open-source database maintained by the U.S. Air Force, information relied on by Congress, American allies, military analysts, academic researchers, the media and independent watchdog groups to assess each war's expense, manpower requirements and human toll. Those airstrikes were carried out by attack helicopters and armed drones operated by the U.S. Army, metrics quietly excluded from otherwise comprehensive monthly summaries, published online for years, detailing American military activity in all three theaters. Most alarming is the prospect this data has been incomplete since the war on terrorism began in October 2001.

Good News: Nevada's Strong Anti-SLAPP Law Is Constitutional
Techdirt - ... SLAPP [Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation] suits are lawsuits where it is fairly obvious that the intent of the lawsuits is to stifle free speech, rather than for a legitimate purpose under the law. The intention of anti-SLAPP laws are to allow for such lawsuits to be tossed out of court quickly -- and, frequently, to force those who bring those suits to pay legal fees. While actually getting a federal anti-SLAPP law is really important, for now, we're left with a patchwork of state laws. While many (though not all) states have anti-SLAPP laws, they vary widely in terms of what they cover and just how strong or effective they are.... Nevada's anti-SLAPP law has been found to be Constitutional, meaning that it will survive largely intact (a few changes had been made a few years ago to bolster the law's likelihood of surviving). Perhaps even more important was that the ruling basically recognized that Nevada's anti-SLAPP statute was similar to California's (much older and much more broadly litigated anti-SLAPP) law, and that Nevada courts can use California case law for its own anti-SLAPP cases. That's also a good thing.

Trump Threatens To De-Fund "Out Of Control" California
McClatchy - President Donald Trump is threatening to withhold federal funds from “out of control” California if the state declares itself a sanctuary state. “If we have to, we’ll defund,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly before the Super Bowl. “We give tremendous amounts of money to California, California in many ways is out of control, as you know.” Trump was responding to a question from O’Reilly about efforts by Democratic state legislators to make California a de-facto “sanctuary state” that would restrict state and local law enforcement, including school police and security departments, from using their resources to aid federal authorities in immigration enforcement…. Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco are sanctuary cities and have said they will will challenge in court any attempt by Trump to withhold federal funds from them. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he doubted the 10th amendment to the Constitution, which reserves power to the states, would allow Trump to defund. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg has said he would "join, if not lead, any effort to fight (the sanctuary city threat) with litigation."

Trump Haters Now Want to Assassinate Tom Brady
Paul Joseph Watson - After spearheading the Patriots’ amazing comeback victory in last night’s Super Bowl, Tom Brady became the target of Donald Trump haters on Twitter who flooded the social network to call for his assassination. Leftists associate Trump with Tom Brady because Trump said he considered Brady to be a personal friend and has sided with the Patriots against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell…. Having made the game political before it even began, as soon as the turnaround began to happen after half time, leftists began tweeting violent threats leveled at Brady…. The Secret Service has been overwhelmed with violent threats targeting Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, but for Trump haters to call for Tom Brady to be killed represents a new level of hysteria.

Leftists Meltdown, Blame “White Supremacy” For Patriots’ Super Bowl Win
Paul Joseph Watson - The Patriots’ amazing comeback victory in last night’s Super Bowl spawned another leftist meltdown in which the result was somehow blamed on “white supremacy”. Despite the fact that a black player, James White, scored the winning touchdown, Twitter was awash with race-obsessed liberals who thought the unprecedented comeback was some kind of conspiracy.

Anti-Trump Protesters Block Ambulance Rushing to Hospital
Lifezette - Protesters decrying President Donald Trump’s two-week-old administration prevented an ambulance carrying a “critically ill” patient from getting to Yale-New Haven hospital during a protest Saturday in New Haven, Connecticut. Roughly 200 demonstrators marched to Route 34 around 5 p.m. carrying a banner emblazoned with the words “No Ban No Wall New Haven,” they blocked traffic on the highway the ambulance was taking. The protesters “obstructed an ambulance carrying a critically ill patient,” the state police report read, according to the New Haven Independent. “Due to this delay, ambulance personnel were required to perform an emergency medical procedure in the ambulance instead of at the hospital.” One protester in particular who stood in the ambulance’s path refused to move when asked by police to do so. “The officers tried to guide him out of the way. He pushed an officer trying to get back,” Shift Commander Lt. Sam Brown told the Independent, noting that the man was brought to the ground and arrested.

Video: California Senate Leader Admits His Family Is In Us Illegally With Fake Social Security Cards!
The GatewayPundit - California Democrat, Kevin de León, recently admitted that half of his family was in the United States illegally and is using false forms of government identification, which can be a felony depending on the state and circumstance. Transcript: I can tell you half of my family would be eligible for deportation under executive order, because if they got a false Social Security card, if they got a false identification, if they got a false driver’s license prior to us passing AB60, if they got a false green card, and anyone who has family members, you know, who are undocumented knows that almost entirely everybody has secured some sort of false identification. That’s what you need to survive, to work. They are eligible for massive deportation.

The Leftwing Has Placed Itself In The Trash Can Of History
Paul Craig Roberts - At a time when the Western world desperately needs alternative voices to the neoliberals, the neoconservatives, the presstitutes and the Trump de-regulationists, there are none. The Western leftwing has gone insane. The voices being raised against Trump, who does need voices raised against him, are so hypocritical as to reflect less on Trump than on those with raised voices. Sharon Kelly McBride, speaking for Human Rights First, sent me an email saying that Trump stands on the wrong side of “America’s ideals” by his prohibition of Muslim immigrants into the US. My question to McBride is: Where were you and Human Rights First when the Bush/Cheney/Obama regime was murdering, maiming, orphaning, widowing, and displacing millions of Muslims in seven countries over the course of 4 presidential terms?…

Economy & Business

Governor Greitens Signs ‘Right to Work’ Bill Making Missouri 28th Right to Work State
The GatewayPundit - The Kansas City Star reported: In an abandoned warehouse in Springfield Monday morning, Gov. Eric Greitens signed legislation making Missouri the country’s 28th right-to-work state. Before the day is done, he’ll sign the measure two more times. Greitens’ signature puts the finishing touches on decades of work by Republicans and business groups to enact a right-to-work law in Missouri, which allows employees in unionized workplaces to opt out of paying unions for the cost of being represented. In Missouri you are no longer required to pay union dues.

400,000 Fewer Americans Enrolled In Obamacare For 2017
Zero Hedge - As Axios reports, Obamacare enrollment for this year appears to have ended slightly down from last year, according to enrollment numbers released this afternoon by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services…. It's the first indication that the Trump administration's opposition to the law, and its decision to pull TV advertising, may have had an impact, since the pace of enrollment had been ahead of last year's until mid-January.... Democrats pointed to a drop-off in signups at the end of the enrollment period as evidence that the Trump administration's cancelation of ads hurt sign-ups.... So what the Democrats are saying is that without spending millions to advertise the benefits of Obamacare - after years of discussion and explanation - notably fewer people are interested in it, or believe they need it (or are willing to spend money on it).

Energy & Environment

NOAA Scientists Manipulated Temperature Data To Make Global Warming Seem Worse
Daily Caller - A whistleblower says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) rushed a landmark study claiming the planet was warming much faster than expected in order to influence international climate negotiations. Dr. John Bates, the former principal scientist at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., told the Daily Mail NOAA’s 2015 study was meant “to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.” Bates said NOAA scientists made a “blatant attempt to intensify the impact” of global warming to eliminate the “pause” in temperature rise since 1998. The Daily Mail claims Bates showed it “irrefutable” evidence NOAA’s study relied on “unverified” data. Bates’ objections to the paper were ignored by his superiors, who let scientists make “decisions and scientific choices that maximized warming and minimized documentation” in advance of a major United Nations climate summit in Paris, France.

Science & Technology

97 Tech Companies Condemning Trump's Immigration Order
Zero Hedge - The onslaught targeting President Trump's immigration executive order continued overnight, when virtually all US tech corporations, from Apple to Zynga, including Twitter, Netflix, Google, and Microsoft, banded together late on Sunday to file an "impassioned" brief condemning Trump's temporary immigration ban, arguing that it "inflicts significant harm on American business.”… U.S. tech firms have been among the more vocal sectors speaking out against the policy, with many of its staff made up of foreign-born nationals. In addition to the amicus brief, several large tech companies, including Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc., are planning to sign an open letter to President Trump expressing concern about the immigration order and offering help fixing it and other policies.
* Related: Here’s the Full List of the 97 Companies Suing POTUS Trump Over Temporary Refugee Ban

Vizio smart TVs tracked viewers around the clock without consent
Ars Technica - Vizio, one of the world's biggest makers of Smart TVs, is paying $2.2 million to settle charges that it collected viewing habits from 11 million devices without the knowledge or consent of the people watching them. According to a complaint filed Monday by the US Federal Trade Commission, Internet-connected TVs from Vizio contained ACR—short for automated content recognition—software. Without asking for permission, the ACR code captured second-by-second information about the video the TVs displayed. The software collected other personal information and transmitted it, along with the viewing data, to servers controlled by the manufacturer. Vizio then sold the data to unnamed third-parties for purposes of audience measurement, analysis, and tracking.

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

GMO Apples Hit American Stores This Month: How and Why to Avoid Them
The Organic Prepper - … why is it that Okanagan Speciality Fruits is allowed to market a new variety of GMO apples without telling people the reason they’re so “special” is that they are genetically modified? While the fruit won’t be explicitly labeled as a GMO product, that information will be available by scanning a QR code on the packaging. “We are selling it under the Arctic brand and we’ve had a lot of press and attention, so I assume most people will know what it is,” company founder Neal Carter said…. Are we actually supposed to carry around a QR scanner at the store to figure out what the heck we’re buying?… By next year, there could be four different apple varieties to dodge in stores if you want to keep your diet free of genetically modified ingredients. Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Fuji varieties have been approved by the USDA and Canada. An Arctic Gala could be approved in 2018. Only Goldens and Granny Smiths have been planted long enough to produce fruit in commercial quantities by next fall.


This is how a 1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt fights muscle pain, toxins and belly fat
Natural Blaze - In the early past (over100 million years ago+), deep in the Himalayans there was these crystallized sea salt beds that were covered by lava. Being covered in snow and ice all year, the lava had protected the pristine salt from pollution. It is believed, that this salt is mostly the purest on earth. It is hand-mined from the Himalayas and shipped to world culinary markets…. Due to its rich mineral content, this salt can: Due to its rich mineral content, this salt can: • Create an electrolyte balance • Increases hydration • Regulate water content both inside and outside of cells • Balance pH (alkaline/acidity) and help to reduce acid reflux • Prevent muscle cramping • Aid in proper metabolism functioning • Strengthen bones • Lowers blood pressure • Help the intestines absorb nutrients • Prevent goiters • Improve circulation • Dissolve and eliminate sediment to remove toxins.

Sweet wormwood: 1,000 times more effective than chemotherapy for breast cancer
(NaturalHealth365) A recent study found that sweet wormwood can kill up to 12,000 cancer cells for every one healthy cell it may affect…. Chinese medicine practitioners and others have used it for thousands of years to treat everything from inhibiting parasite growth to immune boosting. Sweet wormwood is also chock-full of powerful, cancer-killing terpenes such as limonene and B-pinene and the flavonoid quercetin, all of which contain anti-inflammatory, immune-supporting, and anti-cancer properties. In addition, sweet wormwood contains the flavonoids luteolin and patuletin, sesquiterpenes such as camphor and myrcene and palmitic acid, a good source of saturated fat and promoter of enzyme health. …the University of Washington have discovered that a special super-concentrated compound of sweet wormwood and iron can be over a thousand times more effective than chemo at targeting cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. The compound appears to especially be effective in combating breast cancer. Developed by bioengineering professor Henry Lai, PhD, wormwood and iron together is said to act as a “trojan horse,” creating a literal “time bomb” for cancer cells. The compound is founded on the fact that cancer cells are not as successful as healthy cells in disposing of free-floating iron molecules. This weakness causes the presence of iron in general to create a stressful environment for them.

Pet News

Evanger's Pet Food Recall
Susan Thixton - Out of an abundance of caution, Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food of Wheeling, IL is voluntarily recalling specific lots of its Hunk of Beef product because of a potential contaminant Pentobarbital.
* Related: No Enforcement of Law is Why the Evangers Recall Occured

Monday - February 6, 2017

Today In History:

1778 - The U.S. gained official recognition from France as the two nations signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance in Paris.
1788 - Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1815 - The state of New Jersey issued the first American railroad charter to John Stevens.
1899 - The U.S. Senate ratified a peace treaty between the U.S. and Spain.
1900 - U.S. President McKinley appointed W.H. Taft as commissioner to report on the Philippines.
1933 - The 20th Amendment to the Constitution was declared in effect. The amendment moved the start of presidential, vice-presidential and congressional terms from March to January.
1971 - NASA Astronaut Alan B. Shepard used a six-iron that he had brought inside his spacecraft and swung at three golf balls on the surface of the moon.
1987 - President Ronald Reagan turned 76 years old this day and became the oldest U.S. President in history.
1998 - Washington National Airport was renamed for U.S. President Ronald Reagan with the signing of a bill by U.S. President Clinton.
1999 - Excerpts of former White House intern Monica Lewinsky's videotaped testimony were shown at President Clinton's impeachment trial.
1999 - Heavy fighting resumed along the common border between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
2000 - U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton formally declared that she was a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat from the state of New York.
2002 - A federal judge ordered John Walker Lindh to be held without bail pending trial. Lindh was known as the "American Taliban."

World News

UN refugee chief opposes 'safe zones' in Syria
CNS News - The U.N.'s top official on refugees pushed back against a proposed initiative that has gained recent traction to create "safe zones" in Syria for refugees, saying the country was "not the right place" for the initiative. "Let's not waste time planning safe zones that will not be set up because they will not be safe for people to go back," said Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees.... U.S. President Donald Trump has floated safe zones as a substitute for resettling refugees in the United States and elsewhere around the globe. The president explored schemes with Jordanian King Abdullah II in a face-to-face meeting in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. Jordan is host to some 650,000 Syrian refugees. Turkey and Lebanon, which both border Syria, are also pushing for safe zones across their borders. The two countries host 3.75 million refugees between them.

France's Le Pen launches election bid with vow to fight globalization
Reuters - France's far-right party leader Marine Le Pen on Sunday told thousands of flag-waving supporters chanting "This is our country!" that she alone could protect them against Islamic fundamentalism and globalization if elected president in May. Buoyed by the election of President Donald Trump in the United States and by Britons' vote to leave the European Union, Le Pen's anti-immigration, anti-EU National Front (FN) hopes for similar populist momentum in France…. "What is at stake in this election ... is whether France can still be a free nation," Le Pen told supporters at her campaign launch rally. "The divide is not between the left and right any more but between patriots and globalists." …Le Pen says she would drastically curb migration, expel all illegal migrants and restrict certain rights now available to all residents, including free education, to French citizens.

Village Magazine Sparks Furor Asking "Why Not" Assassinate Donald Trump
Zero Hedge - Ireland's Village Magazine cover shows crosshairs on President Trump's head with the question "why not?".... This outrageous image was tweeted with the caption, "Why taking #Trump out would be unethical." As Mediaite reports, after making the case for why Trump is a threat to the world, the piece dives into the morality of whether assassinating the president is justified.... However, the piece ultimately concludes that assassinating the President of the United States is not a good idea. Part of their argument is that he may end up resigning or get impeached anyway.

Severe Vegetable Shortage Deprives Europeans of Spinach, Broccoli
HeatStreet - Murcia, a region of Spain, usually does roaring trade throughout winter. But heavy rain means only a third of its fields can be used for agriculture, forcing yields down and sending prices through the roof. According to the BBC, the UK imports 50% of all its vegetables and 90% of its fruit, leaving the supply chain particularly vulnerable to unexpected events overseas. Importers have said that they are facing the prospect of paying more than triple the usual price for now-rare commodities, while some stores have started rationing sales to stop customers bulk-buying.

As Media Labels Fukushima A "Conspiracy Theory," Radiation Soars To Record Level
The Free Thought Project - Radiation levels inside Fukushima Number 2 have reached astronomical levels - experts describe the 530 sieverts per hour as “unimaginable” - yet the political establishment and its corporate media mouthpiece insist on deeming those concerned about the catastrophe ‘conspiracy theorists.’.... Officials at the nuclear plant had been preparing to dismantle the paralyzed facility when they found levels of radioactivity inside the reactor’s containment vessel - where fuel rods originally generated power - to be more than seven times a previous high of 73 sieverts per hour, recorded by Tepco shortly after the fateful day. Gizmodo explains, Tepco made the readings by analyzing electronic noise caused by the radiation in video images. The company says this technique has a margin of error of plus or minus 30 percent (so even at the extreme low ball, the levels are no lower than 370 sieverts per minute — but possibly as high as 690!) Needless to say, this plant is not fit for human life. Just one dose of a single sievert is enough to cause radiation sickness and nausea. Exposure to four to five sieverts would kill about half of those exposed to it within a month, while a single dose of 10 sieverts is enough to kill a person within weeks.... Alarmingly, officials can’t pinpoint a reason for the colossal spike — they don’t know if previous readings were incorrect, inadequate, or if something altogether unforeseen is taking place inside the eviscerated reactor.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Federal Judge Puts The Brakes To Donald Trump's Immigration Pause
The Daily Caller - U.S. District Judge James Robart issued the injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson earlier this week. Trump’s controversial executive order, announced last Friday, banned travel from Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen for 90 days. It also halted the flow of refugees from Syria and Iraq for 120 days while the Department of Homeland Security develops better vetting methods. As The Seattle Times notes, Ferguson argued in a legal filing that Trump’s travel ban violates the constitutional rights of Muslim immigrants. The Democrat cited Trump’s comments during the campaign about banning Muslims from entering the U.S…. Robart is a George W. Bush appointee. He made national headlines last year when he declared during a hearing in a case involving policing practices in Seattle that “Black lives matter.” He is believed to be the first federal judge to cite the activist phrase during from the federal bench.

U.S. appeals court denies immediate restoration of Donald Trump’s ban
Breitbart - The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, located in San Francisco, ordered the plaintiffs in the case — the states of Washington and Minnesota — to file their briefs before midnight California time, while a reply from the Trump administration is due Monday. Two judges — William Canby Jr. and Michelle Friedland — made the initial order that upheld the stay of U.S. District Court Judge James Robart’s ruling Friday night. Richard Clifton, a George W. Bush appointee, was not listed on the order but a 9th Circuit spokesman said he also would decide on the issue. Friedland is a Barack Obama appointee and Canby was chosen by Jimmy Carter. For now, Robart’s ruling remains in place…. Before the appeals decision, the Department of Homeland Security announced it had suspended “any and all” actions to implement the immigration order and would resume standard inspections of travelers. The State Department said about 60,000 visas were revoked since the order.

Trump blasts courts for blocking travel ban, warns of ‘peril’
Breitbart - “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!” the president tweeted, after uncharacteristically taking a nearly day-long break from Twitter. “I have instructed Homeland Security to check people coming into our country VERY CAREFULLY. The courts are making the job very difficult!”

‘Refuse Fascism’ Group Behind Berkeley Riot Received $50k from George Soros
Breitbart - The Alliance for Global Justice, which is funded by the George Soros-backed Tides Foundation, reportedly donated $50,000 to fund Refuse Fascism, which openly brags about using violence to shut down conservative and libertarian speech. “While it is unclear whether those who carried out the violence were paid to do so, the benefactors of the Alliance for Global Justice — and Refuse Fascism — are listed online,” reported the Daily Caller. “According to its most recent 990 tax form, Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ) received $2.2 million in funding for the fiscal year ending in March 2016. One of the group’s biggest donors is the Tides Foundation, a non-profit funded by billionaire progressive philanthropist George Soros. Tides gave AfGJ $50,000.” “Other notable donors include the city of Tucson and the United Steel Workers labor union. The former gave $10,000 to AfGJ while the latter contributed $5,000,” they continued. “Charities associated with several major corporations also donated., the outdoor apparel and equipment company, gave $40,000. The Ben & Jerry Foundation, the charity associated with the ice cream maker, gave $20,000. And Lush Cosmetic gave $43,950. Another bit of irony is seen in the $5,000 contribution from the Peace Development Fund, a group that claims to support organizations that fight for human rights and social justice.” The group defended the violent riot at Berkeley on Facebook, which left numerous Trump supporters and fans of MILO injured and bloody, before deleting their post.

Video: MILO on Judge Jeanine: Trump Should Withdraw Funding from Berkeley
Breitbart - MILO appeared on Judge Jeannine Pirro’s show on the Fox News channel on Sunday night to discuss the protests that occurred this week at UC Berkeley. MILO called on President Trump to follow through on a tweet he put out in which he mentioned pulling funds from UC Berkeley for failing to protect MILO’s First Amendment protection to free speech.

Travis County, Texas Sheriff Releases 39 Criminal Aliens in First Two Days of Sanctuary Policy
Breitbart - Despite the loss of state law enforcement grants, Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez followed through and released 39 criminal aliens during the first two days of her sanctuary policy…. The sheriff’s office stated that Sheriff Hernandez declined 191 immigration detainers that were received by her office before February 1. Eight more immigration detainers received after February 1 were also declined. The sheriff also declined four requests from immigration officials to be notified of the pending release of the criminal aliens in her custody…. Travis County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Kristen Dark confirmed the move by the sheriff to protect criminal aliens from federal officials will cost the taxpayers of Travis County $1.5 million this year. She also confirmed the sheriff is aware her department could also lose federal law enforcement grants if the Department of Justice certifies the county is not cooperating 100 percent with immigration officials under existing federal law. Breitbart Texas requested information on what crimes the released aliens were charged with. Dark replied that information could only be obtained via an open records act request.

Tarrant County, Texas Sheriff Vows To Help Trump Deport Criminal Aliens
Breitbart - Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn announced his department is applying for a federal government-locality agreement known as the 287(g) program. The agreement would enable his deputies to be trained to handle illegal immigrants and detain them until Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers can take over the cases. “When they commit crimes against our people, it becomes our business,” Sheriff Waybourn told CBS DFW News.

ATF Permanently Relocating More Agents to Violence-Plagued Chicago
Breitbart - The new agents will be part of the “Chicago Crime Guns Strike Force.” According to CNN, “ATF headquarters in Washington sent out a bulletin to field offices around the country Wednesday looking for agents to volunteer for permanent transfer to the Chicago area.” An unidentified official said “it’s unusual to ask for permanent relocation in reaction to a specific problem.” Normal practice is for the agency to request a surge of agents “for 30 to 60 days.” January 2017 saw a surge in shootings and violence that easily surpassed the violence witnessed in January 2016.... President Trump reacted to this surge in violence by tweeting: "If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!" CNN spoke to two ATF officials about the additional federal agents heading to Chicago. One said the new surge “is not in response” to Trump’s tweet and the second official “could not say for sure that Trump’s comment had nothing to do with decision.”

West Point's Modern War Institute Calls For "Megacities Combat Unit"
Activist Post - The most recent call for more attention to be paid to a future of megacities comes from West Point scholar and former Ranger Instructor, John Spencer.... "Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley recently remarked that the Army 'has been designed, manned, trained and equipped for the last 241 years to operate primarily in rural areas. But that is about to change. Milley continued: In the future, I can say with very high degrees of confidence, the American Army is probably going to be fighting in urban areas…. A 2016 United Nations report estimated 54.5 percent of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By 2030, that percentage is projected to rise to 60 percent.... We know we will be fighting in megacities and that it will pose major new challenges. Successfully meeting these challenges requires bold action—and requires it now.... Both recent studies and global trends forecast the unavoidable deployment of military forces to achieve national objectives in megacities."

IRS Plans to Revoke Americans’ Passports for Unpaid Taxes
Pontiac Tribune - The “Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Tax Delinquencies” code does not focus on flight risks or criminal tax cases, but is aimed instead at enforcing collections by threatening a US citizen’s freedom of international movement. Congress passed the measure in 2015, and it was signed by then-President Barack Obama, after first being proposed, and then rejected, in 2012. According to the IRS website, “If you have seriously delinquent tax debt, IRC § 7345 authorizes the IRS to certify that to the State Department. The department generally will not issue or renew a passport to you after receiving certification from the IRS.” It continues, “Upon receiving certification, the State Department may revoke your passport. If the department decides to revoke it, prior to revocation, the department may limit your passport to return travel to the US.” The IRS considers a tax debt “seriously delinquent” if the total comes to over $50,000, including interest and penalties.

Economy & Business

Arizona Committee Passes Bill To Support Sound Money
Activist Post - An Arizona bill that would eliminate state capital gains taxes on gold and silver specie, and encourage its use as currency, passed an important House committee today. Final approval of the legislation would help undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.... The legislation would eliminate state capital gains taxes on income “derived from the exchange of one kind of legal tender for another kind of legal tender.” The bill defines legal tender as “a medium of exchange, including specie, that is authorized by the United States Constitution or Congress for the payment of debts, public charges, taxes and dues.” “Specie” means coins having precious metal content. In effect, passage of the bill would “legalize the Constitution” by treating gold and silver specie as money.... Passage into law would mark an important step towards currency competition. If sound money gains a foothold in the marketplace against Federal Reserve notes, the people would be able to choose the time-tested stability of gold and silver over the central bank’s rapidly-depreciating paper currency.

Energy & Environment

Massive cleanup underway after Dakota Access protesters leave behind environmental mess
Washington Times - “Without proper remediation, debris, trash, and untreated waste will wash into the Cannonball River and Lake Oahe,” the Corps [US Army Corps of Engineers] said in its statement. Those involved in the clean-up effort, led by the Standing Rock Sioux, say it could take weeks for private sanitation companies and volunteers to clear the expanse of abandoned tents, teepees, sleeping bags, blankets, canned food, supplies and just plain garbage littering the Oceti Sakowin camp.... Many of the several hundred protesters who remained after the early December snowstorm are helping with the effort, some of them attempting to salvage reusable goods. Other activists have been less helpful. The operation was delayed Wednesday, when activists tried to set up a camp on private property owned by the Dakota Access pipeline company and blocked Highway 1806, resulting in 76 arrests.... Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman Dave Archambault II has urged protesters for months to vacate the area, citing the environmental damage to the prairie as well as the risk to people and property from the flooding. “Please, once again, we ask that people do not return to camp,” Mr. Archambault said after the arrests. “The fight is no longer here, but in the halls and courts of the federal government. Here at the camp, those who remain should be working together to help clean and restore the land.”

Science & Technology

More than 12,000 tweets have called for Trump’s assassination since the inauguration
Daily Mail - Former Secret Service special agent Tim Franklin told Mashable that the agency was likely to look for repeated threats, specific details of any possible attacks, and other trends before launching an investigation…. While Facebook and Twitter have policies to suspend accounts or take down violent or threatening, thousands of posts against Trump remain on both platforms.

The FBI Is Building A National Watchlist That Gives Companies Real Time Updates on Employees
The Intercept - ... employers enrolled in federal and state Rap Back programs receive ongoing, real-time notifications and updates about their employees’ run-ins with law enforcement, including arrests at protests and charges that do not end up in convictions. (“Rap” is an acronym for Record of Arrest and Prosecution; ”Back” is short for background).... A majority of states already have their own databases that they use for background checks and have accessed in-state Rap Back programs since at least 2007; states and agencies now partnering with the federal government will be entering their data into the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) database. The NGI database, widely considered to be the world’s largest biometric database, allows federal and state agencies to search more than 70 million civil fingerprints submitted for background checks alongside over 50 million prints submitted for criminal purposes.

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

US Farmers Lose Superweeds Fight as Glyphosate Resistance Tops 75%
Sustainable Pulse - 2,000 waterhemp or palmer amaranth weed samples were received by the University of Illinois Plant Clinic from 10 states across the Midwest, amazingly 456 of the whole field sites showed Glyphosate Resistance – a total of 76.8% of the 593 sites. Meanwhile, 62.5% of the weed samples on the whole field sites showed resistance to PPO inhibitor herbicides. Also, 49% of weeds on the whole field sites showed resistance to both PPO inhibitor herbicides and glyphosate herbicides. In Illinois, where the majority of samples were from, samples from 52 counties had at least one sampled field that had waterhemp or palmer amaranth plants that tested resistant to both glyphosate and PPO inhibitors…. Bill Giles, a farmer from Illinois, who has been growing GM crops since 2009, told Sustainable Pulse that many farmers in his local region are thinking of turning back to non-GMO crops to survive the superweed crisis. Giles stated; “GM crops are on the edge of failure in the U.S. as farmers are asked to fork out more and more money on herbicides to try to control the superweeds. We simply can’t afford it! It is near the end of the road for these crops and many of my friends in the Midwest are on the edge of turning back to conventional farming methods.”


Tech billionaires are building boltholes in New Zealand
Daily Mail - Attracted by a remote First World country that has the potential to be self-sufficient and is on no one’s list of nuclear targets, the super-rich kings of Silicon Valley and Wall Street are buying up vast tracts of its land — in anticipation of the day when they may need to live there.... What the catastrophe will precisely be remains unclear, but possibilities include a devastating asteroid impact, giant earthquake, nuclear war, civil war, pandemic, zombie invasion and the Second Coming. Tellingly, the geeks of Silicon Valley appear to be most worried that it will be a struggle between rich and poor in a world economy turned upside down by new technology — with them as the main targets....


Robert F Kennedy's devastating quotes on vaccines and the CDC
Jon Rappoport's Blog - From Kennedy’s video presentation, “7 Minutes on the CDC,” Anne Dachel (Age of Autism) has transcribed excerpts. This is explosive material, particularly because there is a chance Kennedy will head up an investigation of vaccine safety under Trump. Kennedy understands the inherent conflict of interest at the CDC, which operates as a vaccine sales and marketing company, while at the same time posing as a neutral scientific body that assesses vaccine safety…

Celery Compound May Halt HRT Breast Cancers
Green Med Info - Postmenopausal women who have taken synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are at increased risk of developing breast cancer. More than 100 women die every day from breast cancer in the U.S. alone. Researchers from the University of Missouri now believe that luteolin, a natural compound found in celery and other foods could reduce that risk. Their study published in the journal Springer Plus found that luteolin was protective against breast tumors that are accelerated by progestin, a synthetic form of the natural hormone progesterone. Progestin is typically given to women taking HRT to prevent endometrial cancer. But the famous Women's Health Initiative study established that women on synthetic HRT had significantly higher rates of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and blood clots in their veins and lungs…. One of the authors explained that most older women normally have benign lesions in their breast tissue. But these lesions don't form tumors until they receive a trigger – e.g. progestin – that attracts blood vessels to feed the lesions. Their study showed "evidence that luteolin has the potential to disrupt angiogenesis and thereby prevent the growth development of progestin-driven tumors." Luteolin also inhibited breast cancer cells from developing into cancer stem cells that make cancer more deadly…. The researchers are now looking at whether luteolin injections might be used to treat progestin-dependent breast cancer…. Besides breast cancer, luteolin has been found effective against leukemia, thyroid, lung, and prostate cancer cells. It has been cited as a potential drug to treat colorectal cancer.

Pet News

20 canned cat food products from popular brands recalled due to dangerously low levels of nutrients
(Natural News) Three separate brands of cat food manufactured by the J.M. Smucker Company have been recalled after tests discovered that they were dangerously low in an essential nutrient, the company announced in conjunction with the FDA. Cat food has been recalled from specific varieties and lots of the brands 9Lives, EverPet and Special Kitty. The cat food was sold between December 20 and January 3, and should not be fed to animals. Cats eating the defective food could start to develop gastrointestinal and neurological abnormalities within a few weeks. The FDA said it has not received any reports of animals made ill from the nutrient-deficient food. The company declined to reveal how much of the defective cat food has been sold.

Friday - February 3, 2017

Today In History:

1690 - The first paper money in America was issued by the Massachusetts colony. The currency was used to pay soldiers that were fighting in the war against Quebec.
1783 - Spain recognized the independence of the United States.
1809 - The territory of Illinois was created.
1900 - In Frankfort, KY, gubernatorial candidate William Goebels died from an assasin's bullet wounds. On August 18, 1900, Ex-Sec. of State Caleb Powers was found guilt of conspiracy to murder Gov. Goebels.
1913 - The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It authorized the power to impose and collect income tax.
1916 - In Ottawa, Canada's original parliament buildings burned down.
1917 - The U.S. broke off diplomatic relations with Germany, which had announced a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
1918 - The Twin Peaks Tunnel began service. It is the longest streetcar tunnel in the world at 11,920 feet.
1927 - The Federal Radio Commission was created when U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill.
1945 - Russia agreed to enter World War II against Japan.
1966 - The first rocket-assisted controlled landing on the Moon was made by the Soviet space vehicle Luna IX.
1969 - At the Palestinian National Congress in Cairo, Yasser Arafat was appointed leader of the PLO.
1984 - Challenger 4 was launched as the tenth space shuttle mission.
1998 - Texas executed Karla Faye Tucker. She was the first woman executed in the U.S. since 1984.
1998 - In Italy, a U.S. Military plane hit a cable causing the death of 20 skiers on a lift.
2009 - Eric Holder was sworn in as attorney general. He was the first African-American to hold the post.
2015 - The British House of Commons voted to approve letting scientist create babies from the DNA of three people.

World News

Video: Putin Accuses Ukraine Of Violence Flare Up, Extorting Cash From US; Trump Response Awaited
Zero Hedge - One of the more troubling geopolitical stories in the past week has been the renewed flaring of fighting in Eastern Ukraine, which culminated yesterday with Kiev accusing Moscow of shooting at its military transport airplane while flying over the Black Sea, an allegation Moscow denied. To some, this has been a test by Putin to gauge US resolve in condemning what the western media is quick to dub Russian provocations; to others this is merely the sad continuation of events unleashed with the violent presidential coup in Ukraine two years ago. Whatever the ultimate strategy, on Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin preempted the first argument, and accused Kiev of provoking this week's flare up in fighting in eastern Ukraine, saying it was a ploy to win the support of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. Putin said that the Kiev government provoked the latest escalation of violence in east Ukraine as it needs money from its Western partners, which is easier to achieve when a nation pretends to be a victim and facing aggression.

US Eases Sanctions Against Russia
Zero Hedge - …the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, under Rex Tillerson, posted a Russia-related general license notice on its website, according to which US authorities eased sanctions against Russia’s Federal Security Service - the successor agency to the USSR's KGB - pertaining to licenses and permits for information technology products in Russia. According to the license, "all transactions and activities" with participation of the Russian Federal Security Service, prohibited earlier by executive orders of the US President, are authorized with certain exceptions. Also related to “transactions necessary and ordinarily incident to comply with rules and regulations administered by, and certain actions or investigations involving, the FSB,” according to Treasury website…. While this initial de-escalation of sanctions against Russia may or may not give John McCain an aneurysm, it will certainly lead to a vocal outcries by Democrats and the media against Rex Tillerson - whose proximity to Putin is well-known - and of course, president Trump, accusing them of immediately going soft on Russia, and leading to even further sanctions elimination between the US and Russia, thus alienating Europe, whose relations with Moscow remain as icy as anything observed under the Obama administration.
* Related: Russian Stocks Spike After Treasury Eases Sanctions

Defiant Iran Slams Trump: We Won't Yield To "Useless" Threats, Will Conduct More Ballistic Missile Tests
Zero Hedge - With the US officially warning Iran twice over the past 24 hours in the harshest possible terms yet, when first national security advisor Michael Flynn, and then this morning Trump himself, said Iran has been "put on notice" for "destabilizing activity" after it fired a ballistic missile in defiance of UN resolutions, on Thursday a top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted by Reuters as saying the country would not yield to "useless" U.S. threats from "an inexperienced person" over its ballistic missile program.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Report: Democrats Plot Protest For Trump's Speech To Congress
The Hill - House Democrats are rallying behind a plan to make President Trump’s first speech to Congress as uncomfortable as possible by inviting guests they say will suffer under new White House policies. The strategy means Trump will likely face a crowd including ethnic minorities, LGBT people, undocumented immigrants, the disabled and others when he addresses a joint session on Feb. 28. It’s a shift in tactics for Democrats, some of whom skipped Trump’s inauguration last month in protest. Democrats say there are no plans to stage a similar boycott of Trump’s speech, but they want to put him face-to-face with people who feel alienated and targeted by his controversial executive orders…. Some liberals are also eyeing another form of protest during the speech: When Trump walks down the center aisle of the House chamber on the way to the dais, they’re hoping no Democrats scramble to get in the picture for the traditional handshake.

Left Goes to War: Obama Official Suggests ‘Military Coup’ Against Trump
Breitbart - In a blog post for Foreign Policy magazine, Rosa Brooks, a former Obama administration official, outlined four ways to “get rid” of President Trump, including declaring him mentally unfit for command or carrying out a military coup. Brooks is a Schwartz senior fellow at the New America Foundation, which is funded by billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundations. She served from 2009-2011 as Counselor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and served as a senior adviser at Obama’s State Department. Her posting is titled “3 Ways to Get Rid of President Trump Before 2020,” although the piece actually outlines four ways…. • Elect him out of office after his four-year term. “But after such a catastrophic first week, four years seems like a long time to wait,” she wrote. • Impeachment. However, she lamented, “impeachments take time: months, if not longer — even with an enthusiastic Congress. And when you have a lunatic controlling the nuclear codes, even a few months seems like a perilously long time to wait.” • Utilizing a claim of mental instability to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, which sets the path for the commander-in-chief’s removal if the “president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” • A military coup. She writes: “The fourth possibility is one that until recently I would have said was unthinkable in the United States of America: a military coup, or at least a refusal by military leaders to obey certain orders.”…

Firestorm Coming: Draft Of Trump Executive Order May Deny Services To Gay, Transgender People
Zero Hedge - The draft is titled “Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative to Respect Religious Freedom.” While it hasn't been signed and may never make it to President Donald Trump’s desk, advocacy groups see the draft order as a broad statement of intent from a president who courted conservative Christian voters during the campaign by promising to expand the role of religion in public life. As the WSJ adds, the draft order lays out many of the proposals that conservative Christians have been requesting for years, including legal protections for organizations that claim religious objections to providing a wide range of services. It also directs federal agencies to “avoid potential violations of Religious Freedom”, instructing officials not to “coerce” religious entities or individuals into “participating in activities that violate their conscience.” If this order or a similar one were signed, it would immediately plunge Mr. Trump into a debate over religious freedom, gay rights and reproductive rights, which has churned through states and courts for years—most recently with the disputes over transgender people’s use of bathrooms. Some religious groups have argued that they should not have to violate their beliefs in business, education or as civil servants. Corporations and sports leagues have largely sided with civil-rights groups and threatened to cancel events over legislation viewed as discriminatory.

Berkeley Mayor Blasts “Ultra-Nationalist Far Right” in Response to Anti-Milo Riot
Kit Daniels - In response to the anti-Milo riot at UC Berkeley, the city’s mayor blasted the “ultra-nationalist far right” despite the exhaustive news coverage showing socialists attacking Trump supporters. “Last night, a small minority of the protestors who had assembled in opposition to a speaking engagement featuring a prominent white nationalist engaged in violence and property damage,” Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín said in a press release. “They also provided the ultra-nationalist far right exactly the images they want to use to try to discredit the vast majority of peaceful protestors in Berkeley…” But 1) Milo Yiannopoulos is not a “white nationalist,” he constantly brags about sleeping with African-American men, and 2) all the videos and photos of the riot – and there’s thousands – show it was Trump voters who were violently attacked by leftist mobs flying anarcho-communist flags and street thugs from nearby Oakland, so why not point that out instead? Arreguín’s response may trigger a federal investigation into his city’s handling of the riot, especially after some suggested the police didn’t do enough to stop the violence.

Trump Tweets: Threatens to Take Away Federal Funds from UC Berkeley for Preventing Free Speech with Violence
The GatewayPundit - [Donald Trump’s] comments were released t[Thursday] morning in a tweet: “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS? — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017

Obama DHS Awards $400,000 to Crazed Trump-Bashing Organizer 3 Days Before Leaving Office
The GatewayPundit - On January 13, 2017, Homeland Security announced grants made by the outgoing Homeland administration in an effort to focus its efforts on countering Radical Islam. One of the grantee groups, Life After Hate was awarded $400,000 from the outgoing Obama administration. The chairman of Life After Hate, Christian Picciolini, has published tweets for months calling for the Trump administration to be overthrown. In light of his group receiving $400,000 this year from Homeland and the current Homeland administration reevaluating such grants, these treasonous tweets by Mr. Picciolini are significant. OK, America. Time to put an end to this nonsense once and for all. The Nazis fooled us once and this time we BECAME the Nazis. #Revolt — Christian Picciolini (@cpicciolini) January 29, 2017

Prominent Leftists Defend, Justify Violent Riot at UC Berkeley
Paul Joseph Watson - Prominent left-wing journalists and celebrities responded to the violent riot and beatings of Trump supporters outside a Milo Yiannopoulos event at UC Berkeley by encouraging, defending or justifying the attacks. Trump supporters were beaten with flag poles, punched and stomped during the chaos, with another woman being pepper sprayed during a TV interview. Others were chased and stomped… Rioters shot fireworks at the building in an effort to shut down the event. The behavior perfectly fits the definition of domestic terrorism, and Antifa should now be officially designated as a domestic terrorist group…. This is the violence that the mainstream media and the left has legitimized for the last 18 months. This process intensified after news outlets like the Nation and Newsweek celebrated alt-right leader Richard Spencer being punched in the face during the inauguration last month…. It is also important to note that Antifa radicals do not care if they are loathed and hated by the vast majority of Americans. They don’t care how bad the optics look of masked thugs violently shutting down free speech. They will always resort to violence because they can safely rely on the media to report [it] as a “protest” and not what it actually was – a violent riot laced with instances of domestic terrorism.

NYT Columnist Pleads With Globalist Billionaires to Save Nation from Trump
Breitbart - [Thomas] Friedman is a regular columnist for the New York Times, but offers only one politically corporatist message — that high-IQ progressives, autocrats and corporatists should rule a globalist, borderless world, while throwing the occasional scrap to diversified, divided and leaderless American communities…. In his most recent book, titled “Thank You For Being Late,” Friedman called for an unlimited inflow of foreign white-collar workers to compete against America’s university educated middle-class. “We need … removing all limits on H-1B visas for foreign high-skilled knowledge workers,” he says, even though his immigration-and-diversity plan would destroy the prosperity, confidence and political power of the American middle-class and professional class.

DHS Secretary: Border Wall Begins In Few Months, Will Be Complete In Two Years
Fox News - In his first television interview as Homeland Security secretary, retired four-star Marine Gen. John F. Kelly told Fox News he wants the U.S.-Mexico border wall finished in two years – setting an ambitious schedule for the project ordered last week by President Trump…. Fox News traveled with Kelly in McAllen, Texas, on Wednesday where he saw first-hand the challenges for Border Patrol agents. The Rio Grande Valley, known as the “RGV sector,” is among the busiest. On any given day, Border Patrol agents pick up at least 600 people who have crossed the Mexican border, entering the U.S. illegally. Those personnel, he explained, are all part of the broader plan for securing the border.

Texas Legislators Commit to Targeting ‘Sanctuary’ Havens
Breitbart - Senator Perry and Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) held a press conference with supporting fellow senators on Wednesday to layout Senate Bill 4 that they say will end sanctuary cities. If passed, the law would put an end to cities and campuses declaring themselves sanctuary jurisdictions. Under the law, law enforcement departments must comply with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. It also makes the jurisdictions liable for releasing illegal aliens from custody when there is a detainer hold. … Moreover under the bill, a “local entity shall not prohibit or discourage a person who is a commissioned peace officer … a booking clerk, a magistrate, or a district attorney, criminal district attorney, or other prosecuting attorney … from inquiring into the immigration status of a person under a lawful detention or under arrest.”

A Caseworker For Every Single Homeschool Family?
Off the Grid News - The bill by Democratic state Sen. Matt McCoy was introduced in response to the death of 16-year-old Natalie Finn, who died of cardiac arrest in October after starving to death. Her parents were charged in her death and remain in jail. Neighbors had reported their concerns about the girl to police five months prior to her death. She was not enrolled in school. McCoy’s bill, S.F. 138, would require the board of directors of each school district to “conduct quarterly home visits to check on the health and safety of children located within the district who are receiving competent private instruction or private instruction.”… If parents refuse permission, then the school district can get a court order to enter the home. Attorney Scott Woodruff of the Home School Legal Defense Association called the bill “a well-intended but misguided response.” Woodruff sent a letter to Iowa state senators urging them to reject the bill and instead to focus on the findings of the federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF).

Election News

Trump has already raised $16m for his bid for RE-ELECTION in 2020
Daily Mail - The President revealed last month that he had already chosen ‘Keep America Great!’ as his re-election slogan. Trump’s campaign and two fundraising committees raised $11million in December alone, according to campaign finance reports. His campaign headquarters will remain open in Trump Tower in Manhattan during his presidency, Politico reported. The operation, which will run with a pared back staff, will work to fundraise and maintain their databases ahead of the 2020 campaign. Trump had already submitted an application to trademark ‘Keep America Great!’ before he was even sworn in as President.

Economy & Business

"This Is Unacceptable" - Congressman Slams Yellen For Prioritizing Foreign Banks Over "America's Interests"
Zero Hedge - Republican representative Patrick McHenry, Vice Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, has lashed out at Janet Yellen, telling the Fed chair in no uncertain terms that "despite the clear message delivered by President Donald Trump in prioritizing America's interest in international negotiations, it appears that the Federal Reserve continues negotiating international regulatory standards for financial institutions among global bureaucrats in foreign lands without transparency, accountability, or the authority to do so." His assessment of this ongoing activity by the Fed: "This is unacceptable." McHenry's emphasis is on "international forums" such as the Financial Stability Board, the Basel Committee on Banking and Supervision, and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, and he notes that "continued participation" in these forums must be "predicated on achieving objectives set by the new Administration", something which will "likely require a comprehensive review of past agreements that unfairly penalized the American financial system in areas as varied as bank capital, insurance, derivatives, systemic risk, and asset management."

‘It Looked Ugly’: Firm Tied to Clintons Lands First Day On Open Market, Tanks Immediately
Daily Caller - Laureate Education, Inc., which has close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, tanked on its first day in the stock market. The for-profit firm’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) of stock to potential investors was put on the market Wednesday by KKR and other leveraged buyout owners in the hope of reducing a crushing $4 billion debt…. Late Tuesday before Wednesday’s opening, the market priced the Laureate IPO at $14, about 15% below Laureate’s estimates.

Science & Technology

WikiLeaks Documents Reveal Apollo Program Was A Fraud, Moon Landings Never Happened
World News Daily - New documents scheduled to be released this week by Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, could reveal damaging information about NASA’s Apollo program, believe experts. The documents are said to have been handed to the WikiLeaks founder by a “retired high ranking official of NASA that has worked within the government for over 45 years”, Assange told reporters. The documents to be released this week could cause up a stir weeks after NASA has announced it is preparing for another moon landing mission in 2030. These documents that have been entrusted to me come from a highly known and respected high ranking official of the U.S. government who desires to leave this as a testament to the world before he dies. His desire is to stay anonymous as to not embroil his family and friends into a major polemic that could possibly destroy their lives» he told reporters. Top officials of the Chinese space program last year accused the government of the United States of “faking” the moon landings after the Chinese lunar rover found no evidence of the Apollo program moon landings after investigating the same area where the Apollo 11 mission allegedly landed on 20 July 1969.

Scientists Announce Human-Pig Chimera – Is This Hybrid Human?
Natural Blaze - Chimera is a fancy name for hybrid – the embryo concerned has both human and pig DNA. Why you might ask, what’s the point? Well, scientists are hoping to create animals that can shed light on the potential of stem cells in early human development, that drugs aimed at humans can be tested on and that ultimately can grow human organs for transplantation to deal with the world-wide shortage of human donors. The justification for this type of experimentation comes down to personal views… There will be many objections coming from many sectors of society and possibly from some religions that would see pigs being used to grow replacement organs as excluding them from the possibility of such a transplant. My prime concern would be that human cells, which grew and proved viable in the embryo would migrate into the brain tissue of the pig…. Having one of these hybrid creatures with any human consciousness at all would be entirely unacceptable in my view.


Dirty Vaccines: Every Human Vaccine Tested Was Contaminated With Metals and Debris in New Study
Green Med Info - Researchers examining 44 samples of 30 different vaccines found dangerous contaminants, including red blood cells in one vaccine and metal toxicants in every single sample tested – except in one animal vaccine. Using extremely sensitive new technologies not used in vaccine manufacturing, Italian scientists reported they were “baffled” by their discoveries which included single particles and aggregates of organic debris including red cells of human or possibly animal origin and metals including lead, tungsten, gold, and chromium, that have been linked to autoimmune disease and leukemia. In the study, published this week… results “show the presence of micro- and nano-sized particulate matter composed of inorganic elements in vaccine samples” not declared in the products’ ingredients lists. Lead particles were found in the cervical cancer vaccines, Gardasil and Cevarix, for example, and in the seasonal flu vaccine Aggripal manufactured by Novartis as well as in the Meningetec vaccine meant to protect against meningitis C. Samples of an infant vaccine called Infarix Hexa (against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis and haemophilus influenzae type B) manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline was found to contain stainless steel, tungsten and a gold-zinc aggregate. Other metal contaminants included platinum, silver, bismuth, iron, and chromium. Chromium (alone or in alloy with iron and nickel) was identified in 25 of the human vaccines from Italy and France that were tested. GSK’s Fluarix vaccine for children three years and older contained 11 metals and aggregates of metals. Similar aggregates to those identified in the vaccines have been shown to be prevalent in cases of leukemia, the researchers noted.

Pollutants in fish could be causing irregular heart beat
What Doctors Don't Tell You - Eating healthily but suffering from irregular heart beat (arrhythmia)? The answer could be the fish in your diet—they are getting contaminated from oil spills, and the oil has a pollutant that can affect heart health. The oil contains phenanthrene, a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH). Most scientists had linked PAHs to cancer, but a team from Stanford University has discovered that they also damage the human heart. The PAH causes irregular heartbeat and weaker contractions of heart cells. It’s been discovered in bluefin and yellowfin tuna and mackerel they tested, which came from crude oil spills. Phenanthrene is also found in soil, storm water run-offs, derelict industrial sites and in the air. It’s an unrecognized threat to global health, say the researchers, brought about by the widespread use of petroleum.

Fast Food Packaging Now Found to Have Fluorinated Chemicals
Natural Blaze - A comprehensive analysis on the prevalence of highly fluorinated chemicals detected this chemical in more places than originally known. These damaging chemicals were found in the waxy cups, wrappers, paperboard (boxes for fries, pizza, etc.), and cupholders of the most typical American eateries…. Furthermore, these chemicals do not break down and they are found in the blood of most – if not all – Americans. They are highly resistant to degradation. The researchers who huddled on this analysis sound like they want PFASs banned, but seemed more concerned with the idea of leaching landfills than with the stark reality that every American who eats take-out has the chemicals leaching into them from their food.

The One Product You Should Never Use In The Kitchen. It Causes Lung Failure and Cancer
Living Traditionally - As we know in many households Chlorine Bleach is one of the most commonly used and relied upon cleaners. It is known for its ability to keep clothes white, to assist in removing mold and mildew; its largely used in the kitchen because of its disinfectant properties. But it’s one of the most dangerous products you can ever use. The most obvious danger of Chlorine Bleach is, believe it or not, printed on its label. It is a heavily corrosive material capable of irritating the eyes, skin and respiratory tract often by simply inhaling the gases its use emits. It deteriorates the lungs and esophagus lining in addition to the scarring of the respiratory tract…. Bleach is a known contributor to water pollution, when bleach makes its way into our water systems, it reacts with other minerals and elements to create a host of dangerous toxins that can take many years to dissipate. Dioxin is just one of the most dangerous by-product of bleach and chlorine-based cleaning supplies we use daily in our kitchens and bathrooms. And it is the most frightening of all since dioxins do not break down and remain in our environment for many years…. Did you know that Occupational Safety and Health Administration has banned the use of Bleach in restaurants, schools and hospitals because of all the hazards?

Pet News

How Cold is too Cold for Your Dog?
PetMD - We all know that exercise and the mental stimulation being outdoors play are key to keeping our dogs healthy and happy, but what should we do when it’s cold outside? When do the risks of spending time in the cold outweigh the benefits of being outdoors? Let’s take a look at the dangers associated with winter weather and how we can still safely enjoy the great outdoors with our dogs.

Thursday - February 2, 2017

Today In History:  -  Groundhog Day

1653 - New Amsterdam, now known as New York City, was incorporated.
1848 - The Mexican War was ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The treaty turned over portions of land to the U.S., including Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, California and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. The U.S. gave Mexico $15,000,000 and assumed responsibility of all claims against Mexico by American citizens. Texas had already entered the U.S. on December 29, 1845.
1848 - The first shipload of Chinese emigrants arrived in San Francisco, CA.
1887 - The beginning of Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, PA.
1897 - The Pennsylvania state capitol in Harrisburg was destroyed by fire. The new statehouse was dedicated nine years later on the same site.
1943 - During WW II, the remainder of Nazi forces from the Battle of Stalingrad surrendered to the Soviets. Stalingrad has since been renamed Volgograd.
1945 - U.S. President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill left for a summit in Yalta with Soviet leader Josef Stalin.
1980 - The situation known as "Abscam" began when reports surfaced that the FBI had conducted a sting operation that targeted members of the U.S. Congress. A phony Arab businessmen were used in the operation.
1989 - The final Russian armored column left Kabul, Afghanistan, after nine years of military occupation.
1998 - U.S. President Clinton introduced the first balanced budget in 30 years.
2004 - It was reported that a white powder had been found in an office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) later confirmed that the powder was the poison ricin.

World News

Report: al-Qaeda Militants Tipped Off Ahead Of Trump’s First SEAL Raid
Kelen McBreen - On Sunday a Navy SEAL raid in Yemen resulted in the death of U.S. commando William “Ryan” Owens, as well as the injury of three others during a firefight with al-Qaeda militants. The raid was Trump’s first authorized counterterrorism operation, but was planned for months by the Obama administration. The New York Times reported, “Obama administration aides had deliberated extensively over the proposed operation, weighing the value of any information that might be recovered against the risk to the Special Operations forces plunging into hostile territory.” However, a source later told ABC News that “Al-Qaeda fighters seemed ready for Sunday’s deadly Navy SEAL raid in Yemen.” The source also claimed, “it was clear that the AQAP fighters in the compound knew the Americans were coming and engaged them with heavy weapons.” Given the Obama administration’s extensive knowledge of the operation and the source’s claim, could they be responsible for tipping off the militants in order to botch Trump’s first military raid?
* Related: Trump makes unannounced trip to honor fallen Navy SEAL

Trump adopts aggressive posture toward Iran after missile launch
Reuters - U.S. President Donald Trump took an aggressive posture toward Iran on Wednesday for test-firing a ballistic missile, with his national security adviser declaring "we are officially putting Iran on notice" for what he called a provocation. The warning from Michael Flynn marked an abrupt change in policy and tone toward Iran from that of Trump's predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama, who had negotiated a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. It was Trump's sharpest threat against a U.S adversary since taking office on Jan. 20, a warning that could foreshadow more aggressive economic and diplomatic measures against Iran. Flynn told reporters that, instead of being thankful to the United States for the nuclear deal, "Iran is now feeling emboldened. As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.” Iran confirmed on Wednesday it had tested a new missile but said it did not breach a nuclear accord reached with world powers or a U.N. Security Council resolution that endorsed the pact. The Islamic Republic carried out the test of a medium-range missile on Sunday, a U.S. official said on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity. Flynn said on Wednesday that the missile launch was in defiance of the 2015 Security Council resolution.

Trump to Mexico: Take care of 'bad hombres' or US might
(AP) - President Donald Trump threatened in a phone call with his Mexican counterpart to send U.S. troops to stop "bad hombres down there" unless the Mexican military does more to control them, according to an excerpt of a transcript of the conversation obtained by The Associated Press. The excerpt of the call did not detail who exactly Trump considered "bad hombres," nor did it make clear the tone and context of the remark, made in a Friday morning phone call between the leaders. It also did not contain Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's response. Still, the excerpt offers a rare and striking look at how the new president is conducting diplomacy behind closed doors. Trump's remarks suggest he is using the same tough and blunt talk with world leaders that he used to rally crowds on the campaign trail. A White House spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. The Mexican government said the account was not accurate…. Trump told Pena Nieto, according to the excerpt given to AP. "You aren't doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn't, so I just might send them down to take care of it." A person with access to the official transcript of the phone call provided only that portion of the conversation to The Associated Press.

Hundreds of Britons bet Trump presidency won't last the year
(Reuters) - Less than two weeks after Donald Trump's inauguration and amid anger over his immigration policy, hundreds of Britons are betting that the U.S. president will not last a year in office. Bookmaker Ladbrokes is offering odds of 4/1, or 4 pounds for every one pound wagered, on the real-estate tycoon being replaced as president of the United States in 2017. "It's incredible how many people are betting, taking the 4/1 about him being replaced this year, and even the 11/10 on him being impeached or even resigning in the first term," said Matthew Shaddick, head of political odds at Ladbrokes. He said several hundred punters had laid bets, typically worth about 25 pounds ($31) each. Among a blackboard of "Trump Specials" on offer at a Ladbrokes shop on London's Strand were a 4/1 wager on the former reality TV star serving a full two terms in office, as well as 5/2 odds on Trump's planned state visit to Britain being cancelled. British lawmakers will hold a debate on Feb. 20 on a petition signed by more than 1.6 million people calling for the state visit to be called off to avoid embarrassing Queen Elizabeth.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Senate Voted to Confirm Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State 56 to 43
Breitbart - The confirmation came after long and contentious hearings, with Senators questioning him about Big Oil, ties to Russia, and Iran. Tillerson also compared the Iraq War to the disastrous Libya invasion, saying on Jan. 11 that as Secretary of State, he will fight to keep the U.S. out of war. According to The Hill, three Democratic Senators cast votes for Tillerson: West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner. Maine Independent Sen. Angus King also voted for Tillerson. New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer tried to stall the nomination after Trump issued executive orders freezing refugee resettlement, but were blocked by Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton.

Pelosi: Gorsuch ‘Against Employees’ Rights, Clean Air, Clean Water, Food Safety’—Even Autistic Children
CNS News - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the star of a CNN town hall on Tuesday night, signaled her opposition to President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, calling the nomination “a very hostile appointment.” “Elections have ramifications,” Pelosi told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “And here is a living, breathing example of it -- the president and his first appointment to the court, and hopefully his only appointment to the court, has appointed someone who has come down on the side of corporate America versus class action suits, on securities fraud, he's come down against employees' rights, clean air, clean water, food safety, safety in medicine and the rest. Pelosi quoted former Rep. Gabby Gifford – now a gun control activist – as saying that Gorsuch “comes down on the side of felons over gun safety.” Pelosi also described Gorsuch as “hostile to women's reproductive rights,” pointing to the Hobby Lobby case, in which Gorsuch wrote that the government's contraception mandate infringes religious liberties. “The list goes on and on,” Pelosi said.

Reporter: Trump “Trying To Cull CNN From The Herd”
Steve Watson - The Trump administration has frozen out CNN and is refusing to have anyone associated with the President appearing on the network. According to Politico, the White House has acknowledged that this is the case, noting that “We’re sending surrogates to places where we think it makes sense to promote our agenda,” and admitting that CNN is not one of those places. An administration spokesperson said that the ban is not permanent. However, it is clear that no administration officials have appeared on CNN since early January. The last to appear was Kellyanne Conway, the day that Trump refused to answer a question from a CNN reporter, owing to the network’s involvement in the ‘dodgy dossier’ fake news story. Speaking anonymously, a CNN reporter claimed that the White House is attempting to force down the network’s ratings as a punishment. “They’re trying to cull CNN from the herd,” the reporter told Politico. At a press gathering Monday at the George Washington University, Press Secretary Sean Spicer denied the allegations that CNN is being black balled, noting that he still answers questions from CNN reporters at the daily press gatherings. However, Spicer noted “I’m not going to sit around and engage with people who have no desire to actually get something right.”

U.S. Media Ignore Mexican President’s Ties to Drug Cartels
Breitbart - U.S. news outlets appear to have forgotten that the Juarez Cartel and multiple acts of corruption have been linked to the election of the current Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto. The Mexican president’s ties to cartels, the mysterious release from prison of major cartel figures during his presidency, and the fact that regions of Mexico are under operational control of these paramilitary transnational criminal organizations during his presidency are rarely, if ever, reported in the U.S. The outrageous number of journalists who have been murdered or who have simply disappeared in Peña Nieto’s Mexico is also rarely reported.

Texas Governor Cuts Cash for Sanctuary County
Breitbart - Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office confirmed to Breitbart Texas he has cut state law enforcement grants to Travis County after the sheriff’s new sanctuary policies went into effect on February 1. The move comes one day after Governor Abbott declared the issue of sanctuary cities to be an emergency item for the Texas Legislature to address this session…. The governor followed through on his promises and announced the stripping of Travis County from state law enforcement grants. “Today I cut funding to Travis County because of its Sanctuary City policy,” Abbott Tweeted. “Stiffer penalties coming soon.”

Missouri Bill Would Ban Mercury Vaccines; First Step to Nullify Federal Policy in Practice
Natural Blaze - A Missouri House bill would ban public health clinics from administering vaccines that contain mercury or any other metal put into the vaccine for preservation purposes, contradicting approved federal policy. House Bill 331 (HB331) was introduced by Rep. Lynn Morris (R-Nixa) to mitigate concerns regarding vaccine safety. With the exception of health emergencies determined by the Department of Health & Senior Services with concurrence from the governor, the following provision would apply: Beginning August 28, 2018, no vaccine containing mercury or other metal for preservation or other purpose shall be administrated to a child or adult in a public health clinic in Missouri. HB331 begins the process of nullifying potential vaccine mandates, which generally have their basis in federal recommendations or guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although these federal rules are not technically binding, they often influence policy-makers and individuals at the local and state levels to adopt coercive mandates regarding mercury-laced vaccines and other toxic substances. By taking the rule-making power back into their own hands, the state of Missouri can disconnect from federal control and restore its sovereignty on this key issue.

Montana Senate Votes 35-14 to Pass Bill Expanding Health Freedom
Natural Blaze - Sen. Cary Smith (R-Billings) introduced Senate Bill 100 (SB100) on Jan. 9. The legislation specifies that direct primary care agreements (sometimes called medical retainer agreements) do not constitute insurance, thereby freeing doctors and patients from the onerous requirements and regulations under the state insurance code. The bill also creates a structure to regulate direct primary care provider agreements. SB100 passed the Montana Senate by a 35-14 vote. According to Michigan Capitol Confidential, by removing a third party payer from the equation, medical retainer agreements help both physicians and patients minimize costs…. This represents the kind of cost control Obamacare promised, but failed to deliver.

Abbott: Reform CPS So ‘No More Children Die’
Breitbart - “Last year, more than 100 children died in our Child Protective System. You can vote to end that,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott during his State of the State Address on Tuesday…. Reforming Child Protective Services (CPS) was the first of four emergency items that Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared during his address before the State Senate and House. Abbott challenged the legislators gathered, “The primary goal of government is to keep its citizens safe and secure. That goal is even more important when it comes to our children.” “You will cast thousands of votes this session. Few will involve life or death decisions. Your vote on CPS is one of them,” he said…. Abbott [also] said, “We must remember that the best place for a child, if at all possible, is with their parents.” He also encouraged others to become foster and adoptive parents.

Biorisk: Doomsday Bug, Resistant to Every Drug, Found in L.A.
Breitbart - Los Angeles County Health authorities issued a national biorisk warning on Tuesday after identifying a patient infected with the 100 percent drug-resistant “mcr-1” bacterial pathogen, apparently acquired through international travel. Scientists first reported the emergence of the plasmid-encoded mcr-1 gene, which is completely resistant to all known drugs in a Pennsylvania female patient with a urinary tract infection in November 2015. The discovery set off a worldwide biorisk warning from the World Health Organization, causing bacteriologists to scour their international “collections” of thousands of frozen bacterial isolates in search of any similar gene DNA…. The L.A. County biorisk warning is the first public disclosure that the mcr-1 gene “has been reported in human specimens from five additional states and in animal specimens from two states.”

Delaware Maximum Security Prison On Lockdown After Inmates Take Officers Hostage, Live Feed
Zero Hedge - Developing: Department of Correction Response Teams and the Delaware State Police are currently responding to a hostage situation at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (JTVCC) in Smyrna, Delaware. According to initial reports from Delaware Online, inmates of the correctional facility have taken over a building and are thought to be holding multiple officers hostage…. Geoffrey Klopp, president of the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, also confirmed to Delaware State News that "3-5" prison guards have been taken hostage and that inmates have secured control of a building. JTVCC houses about 2,500 prisoners and, as a Level 5 facility, includes some of the state's most violent criminals. The incident was first reported at 10:55 a.m. when Citizens’ Hose Company received a call and proceeded to the facility at 1181 Paddock Road. Clayton and Cheswold run logs also showed their companies responded. Shortly after, observers reported a helicopter circling the prison and around 1 p.m., six ambulances from various companies arrived within 10 minutes. The prison was placed on lockdown along with all other Level V DOC facilities statewide.

Shootings in Democrat-Run New Orleans Over 100 Percent Higher Than 2016
Breitbart - This spike in violence is also being witnessed in Democrat-run Baltimore and Chicago. According to The Times-Picayune, the “55 people were wounded by gunfire this January – more than double the total for non-fatal shooting victims in January 2016.”… There were also 22 murders, “the highest since January 2012, when 25 were killed.” It is worth noting that all but three of the 22 murders for January 2017 have been ruled “definitive shootings.”… In Chicago, city leaders and state lawmakers are responding to gun control’s failure by pressing for more gun control, including a bill that will require serial numbers to be added to all bullets and bullet casings sold at retail in the state. Although this will do nothing to lessen crime, it will succeed in driving the price of ammunition higher, making self-defense even more cost prohibitive for poorer families on Chicago’s South Side.

Suspecting arson, cops subpoena homeowner's pacemaker logs, then charge him with multiple felonies
BlackListed News - Ross Compton, a 59-year-old homeowner in Middletown, Ohio called 911 in September 2016 to say that his house was on fire; there were many irregularities to the blaze that investigators found suspicious, such as contradictory statements from Compton and the way that the fire had started. In the ensuing investigation, the police secured a warrant for the logs from his pacemaker, specifically, "Compton’s heart rate, pacer demand and cardiac rhythms before, during and after the fire." They subsequently filed charges of felony aggravated arson and insurance fraud. Middletown Police said this was the first time it had used data from a heart device to make an arrest, but the pacemaker data proved to be an “excellent investigative tool;” the data from the pacemaker didn’t correspond with Compton’s version of what happened. The retrieved data help to indict Compton. Lt. Jimmy Cunningham told WLWT5, “It was one of the key pieces of evidence that allowed us to charge him.”

Energy & Environment

U.S. House axes regulations on oil and mining company payments, stream pollution
Reuters - Required by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, the Securities and Exchange Commission's "extraction rule" was approved this summer to require oil, gas, mining and other companies to publicly state the taxes and other fees they pay to governments. Republicans say the requirement is burdensome and costly for energy companies, and also that it duplicates other long-standing regulations. The stream buffer rule is intended to lessen the amount of waste from mountain-top removal coal mining deposited in local waterways. Republican lawmakers, though, say it is hurting coal jobs by placing unworkable limits on the industry. The Republican-dominated Senate is expected to quickly take up killing both regulations and then send the resolutions to President Donald Trump to sign.

Science & Technology

Apple’s Cook Considering Legal Challenge to Trump’s Immigration Exec Order
Breitbart - Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed that the company is considering taking legal action against President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily halting immigration from seven terror-prone countries amid the tide of left-wing hysteria in reaction to the order. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Cook said that Apple was “considering legal options” to challenge the order and would seek to do so in a “constructive and productive” way. Cook added that he had been affected by a range of “heart-wrenching stories” of Apple employees who have been affected by the order, which was signed by Trump last Friday. The order halts immigration from terror-prone countries for 90 days until “proper vetting measures are put in place.”… “These are people that have friends and family. They’re co-workers. They’re taxpayers. They’re key parts of the community,” Cook said…. In considering legal action against the order, Apple follows the lead of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who also confirmed his company was exploring legal options against the order. A range of other technology companies have opposed the executive order in recent days. Firms such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Uber, and Netflix have all publicly condemned the order, whilst promoting the impact of mass immigration on their businesses…. Trump criticised Apple heavily during the election campaign for their failure to cooperate with the FBI in the San Bernardino terror case, even calling for a boycott of the company. He also criticised the company for moving many of their manufacturing operations to China.


Missouri: New bill to ban giving mercury containing vaccines at public health clinics - A Missouri House bill (HB331) would ban public health clinics from administering vaccines that contain mercury or any other metal put into the vaccine for preservation purposes, contradicting approved federal policy. House Bill 331 (HB331) was introduced by Rep. Lynn Morris (R-Nixa) to mitigate concerns regarding vaccine safety. With the exception of health emergencies determined by the Department of Health & Senior Services with concurrence from the governor, the following provision would apply: Beginning August 28, 2018, no vaccine containing mercury or other metal for preservation or other purpose shall be administrated to a child or adult in a public health clinic in Missouri.

New Lyme Vaccine Pushed, Same Vaccine Corruption Revealed
Health Impact News - Despite a long absence of any official acknowledgement from the CDC, the general public has long-echoed the sentiments of Richard Horowitz, MD, author of Why Can’t I Get Better? Solving the Mystery of Lyme & Chronic Disease when he recently told Fox5 New York: “There is not even a doubt that we are in the middle of a full-blown epidemic in the United States.” The FDA has given the green light to test another Lyme disease vaccine on humans after two decades of failed attempts to develop an oxymoronic ‘safe vaccine’ to counter the disease. For now the question appears, as Lyme vaccine testing continues in the background, how hard and loud will government agencies, pharmaceutical-funded corporate media organs, and industry-captured medical journals bang the drums to manufacture a consensus for a predictably unsafe and ineffective vaccine?

Study: Antipsychotic Drugs Are Killing Our Elderly
Health Impact News - A new study has found that taking powerful antipsychotic drugs significantly increases the likelihood of premature death for Alzheimer’s patients. The study looked at 58,000 people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s between 2005 and 2011. Those who were prescribed antipsychotics (usually to control the unruly behavior some Alzheimer’s patients display) had a 60% higher risk of dying than those who didn’t take the drugs. The study confirms current recommendations that antipsychotics be used only for the most difficult cases for a short period of time. As we’ve reported previously, this advice has not been heeded. A 2015 report from the Government Accountability Office found that nearly one third of seniors with dementia who spend more than 100 days in a nursing home were given antipsychotic drugs—despite the fact that the FDA has never approved such drugs to be used for behavioral problems from dementia. That’s just the beginning. We’ve also reported that antipsychotics are routinely given to kids in foster care and even toddlers as young as two years old. Brain-damaged veterans are also commonly given these drugs. Other than increasing risk of death, antipsychotics have many other side effects, including hypotension, movement disorders, and metabolic syndrome issues.

In pain or depressed? Acupuncture super-charges conventional treatments
What Doctors Don't Tell You - People who use acupuncture alongside their medication are seeing a significant lowering of pain and enhanced movement if they have osteoarthritis, so much so, in fact, that many have reduced or stopped the anti-inflammatory drugs they were taking, say researchers from the UK’s University of York. It also works for people with depression. Combining acupuncture with counseling lowered the severity of depressive episodes, a benefit that continued for a year after treatment stopped. It’s a new way to treat a condition that is only partially helped by antidepressants, which are effective in only half of cases, says the study’s head researcher Hugh MacPherson. The researchers looked at 29 high-quality clinical trials that had featured acupuncture as part of the treatment, and compared the results with those where conventional therapies were exclusively used. Acupuncture has been dismissed as a placebo treatment, but its benefits are far beyond anything that has been achieved by ‘sham acupuncture’, where the needles are put in the wrong places around the body, the researchers say. Not only are its benefits real, it’s a cost-effective option that can relieve a range of chronic conditions for which conventional medicine has only limited answers.

Pet News

Dog Rescued from Korean Dog Meat Farm Learns to Lay Down to Sleep (Video)
Dogington Post - After spending her life in a cage, packed alongside other dogs destined to be slaughtered and sold for their meat, one special survivor has a new lease on life and is learning, for the first time, that she can finally lay down to sleep. Harriet was recently rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm and brought to Tampa Bay to learn what life as a dog is supposed to be like. After spending much of her 3-years of life packed inside a cage without room to lay down, Harriet had no choice but to sleep standing up. But although she’s now free and has plenty of room to spread out and lay down, Harriet had to learn that she doesn’t have to sleep standing up. A volunteer with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay spent an entire day with Harriet, showing her how to lay down to rest, relax, and sleep. Today, she finally knows how to lay down in her bed to sleep. Harriet was one of 200 dogs rescued by Humane Society International from the Korean dog meat trade. Fourteen of those dogs were brought to Tampa Bay for care and eventual adoption to forever homes.

Wednesday - February 1, 2017

Today In History:

1790 - The U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York City.
1793 - France declared war on Britain and Holland.
1861 - Texas voted to secede from the Union.
1862 - "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," by Julia Ward Howe was first published in the "Atlantic Monthly."
1865 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed a Joint Resolution submitting the proposed 13th Amendment to the states.
1884 - The first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was published.
1893 - Thomas A. Edison completed work on the world's first motion picture studio in West Orange, NJ.
1898 - The Travelers Insurance Company of Hartford, CT, issued the first automobile insurance policy. Dr. Truman Martin of Buffalo, NY, paid $11.25 for the policy, which gave him $5,000 in liability coverage.
1900 - Eastman Kodak Co. introduced the $1 Brownie box camera.
1913 - Grand Central Terminal (also known as Grand Central Station) opened in New York City, NY. It was the largest train station in the world.
1919 - The first Miss America was crowned in New York City.
1920 - The first armored car was introduced.
1920 - Canada's Royal North West Mounted Police changed their name to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The organization was commissioned in 1873.
1930 - The Times published its first crossword puzzle.
1960 - Four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, NC. They had been refused service.
1968 - During the Vietnam War, South Vietnamese National Police Chief Brig. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head. The scene was captured in a news photograph.
1979 - Patty Hearst was released from prison after serving 22 months of a seven-year sentence for bank robbery. Her sentence had been commuted by U.S. President Carter.
1999 - Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky gave a deposition that was videotaped for senators weighing impeachment charges against U.S. President Clinton.
2003 - NASA's space shuttle Columbia exploded while re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. All seven astronauts on board were killed.

World News

Trump administration sends armored vehicles to Syrian rebels
RT - The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Arab and Kurdish forces in northern Syria, has received armored vehicles from the US, indicating increased support from Washington under the administration of President Donald Trump. A small number of vehicles arrived four or five days ago, SDF spokesman Talal Silo told Reuters. “Previously we didn't get support in this form, we would get light weapons and ammunition,” he added. “There are signs of full support from the new American leadership – more than before – for our forces.” The shipment was confirmed by Pentagon spokesman John Dorrian, who said it was made "using existing authorities, in the interest of helping protect our partnered force from the (IS) improvised-explosive device threat." The Pentagon also said that plans to deliver the vehicles pre-dated the Trump administration, but were a sign of its renewed commitment to defeating IS, which the new US President promised as part of his campaign.

US troops hold joint drills in Poland to ensure ‘unlikely attack from East even more unlikely’
RT - US and Polish soldiers, alongside newly delivered American military hardware, have conducted joint drills as part of the biggest US deployment in Europe since the end of the Cold War. Servicemen of the 3,500-strong 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, from Fort Carson, Colorado showcased some of their skills in front of Commander of the US Army Europe, Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, US Ambassador Paul Jones and Polish President Andrzej Duda said in Zagan on Monday. The drills, which started at around 1:30 pm local time and lasted for about an hour, demonstrated US troops’ resolve to deter the “unlikely” potential aggression from Russia…. “The best way to make sure that there is never an attack [from Russia] and I believe it's unlikely, and the best way to keep it unlikely is to show a strong, deterrent capability,” Lieutenant General Hodges, told reporters…. Moscow has repeatedly voiced concerns over such buildup. “These actions threaten our interests, our security,” President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier this month. “Especially as it concerns a third party building up its military presence near our borders.” After the military exercises, the soldiers are to be distributed across Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and the Baltic countries. The headquarters unit will be stationed in Germany. Poland will become the center of gravity for US operations in Europe,” Hodges told reporters. “We believe an attack from the east is unlikely, but it’s having troops on the ground here that makes it even more unlikely.”

U.S. Commando Killed in Yemen in Trump's First Counterterrorism Operation
NY Times - One American commando was killed and three others were wounded in a fierce firefight early Sunday with Qaeda militants in central Yemen, the military said on Sunday. It was the first counterterrorism operation authorized by President Trump since he took office, and the commando was the first United States service member to die in the yearslong shadow war against Al Qaeda's Yemen affiliate. Members of the Navy's SEAL Team 6 carried out the surprise dawn attack...After initially denying that there were any civilian casualties, American officials said they were assessing reports that women and children had died in the attack. The military’s Joint Special Operations Command had been planning the mission for months, according to three senior American officials. Obama administration aides had deliberated extensively over the proposed operation, weighing the value of any information that might be recovered against the risk to the Special Operations forces plunging into hostile territory. But administration officials ultimately opted to hand the decision on the mission to their successors.

Iran to dump the US dollar in response to Trump's travel ban
RT - According to the local news agency PressTV, the Central Bank of Iran is seeking to replace the dollar with a new common foreign currency or use a basket of currencies in all official financial and foreign exchange reports. The governor Valiollah Seif said it would come into force in the new financial year starting March 21, 2017…. The decision comes after President Trump temporarily banned citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the US.

The Other 'Ban' That Was Quietly Announced Last Week
Zero Hedge - Most of the world is in an uproar right now over the travel ban that Donald Trump hastily imposed late last week on citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. But there was another ban that was quietly proposed last week, and this one has far wider implications: a ban on cash. The European Union’s primary executive authority, known as the European Commission, issued a “Road Map” last week to initiate continent-wide legislation against cash…. According to the Commission, the presence of cash controls in some EU countries, coupled with the lack of cash controls in other EU countries, creates loopholes for criminals and terrorists.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Donald Trump nominates Colorado’s Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
The Denver Post - President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court… Trump made the announcement during a prime-time address at the White House with the Colorado judge present. Gorsuch, a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, beat out a slate of 20 other nominees… “I’ve always felt that after the defense of our nation, the most important decision a president can make is the selection of a Supreme Court justice,” Trump said in announcing his choice Tuesday night. “I’ve selected an individual whole qualities define, really and closely define, what we’re looking for. Outstanding legal skill, a brilliant legal mind and discipline.”… Gorsuch then took the podium and spoke for about five minutes, with his wife Louise at his side. “It is for Congress, not the courts, to write new laws. A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is likely a very bad judge,” Gorsuch said. Turning to Trump, he added, “You’ve trusted me with the most solemn assignment. I am acutely aware of my own imperfections.” He referred to the U.S. Constitution as “the greatest charter the world has ever known” and the U.S. Senate “the greatest deliberative body in the world.”… Though Gorsuch is well-regarded within Colorado’s legal community and nationally, he likely faces a tough confirmation battle in the U.S. Senate. Democrats remain angry that congressional Republicans stalled for months — and ultimately stopped — the nomination of Merrick Garland, the pick that President Barack Obama put forward to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died nearly a year ago.
* Related Video: President Donald Trump announces his Supreme Court nominee (Begins at the17:30 minute mark)

Trump Regulatory Freeze Halts $180 Billion Of Proposed Obama Rules, New Study Shows
Zero Hedge - On his first day in office, President Trump instructed Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, to send a memo to all executive agencies imposing a regulatory moratorium that effectively froze all pending rules and regulations proposed by the Obama administration on their way out of Washington D.C…. According to American Action Forum (AAF) research, this memo put a hold on $181 billion in total regulatory costs, including $17 billion in annual costs, and 5.5 million hours of paperwork. This moratorium freezes 22 rulemakings with annual costs above $100 million and 16 measures with more than $1 billion in long-term costs. The largest rules subject to the moratorium are a mix of those still in the proposed stage, recently finalized, and concluded but not yet published. Below are the top five rules likely subject to the regulatory freeze: • Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications: $108 billion in total costs • Efficiency Standards for Air Conditioners: $12.3 billion in total costs • Efficiency Standards for Furnaces: $9.2 billion in total costs • Hospital and Critical Access Reform: $5.7 billion in total costs • Efficiency Standards for Uninterruptible Power Supplies: $4.6 billion in total costs

Trump fires top government lawyer who defied immigration order (Video)
Reuters - U.S. President Donald Trump fired the federal government's top lawyer Sally Yates on Monday after she took the extraordinarily rare step of defying the White House and refused to defend new travel restrictions targeting seven Muslim-majority nations. Yates said late on Monday that the Justice Department would not defend in court Trump's directive that put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Yates said she did not believe defending the order would be "consistent with this institution's solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right." Hours later, she was fired.

Ted Cruz Defends Trump’s Firing of Acting Attorney General
Ted Cruz weighed in on President Donald Trump’s firing of acting Attorney General Sally Yates… “President Trump was exactly right to fire an acting Attorney General who refused to carry out her constitutional duty to enforce and defend the law. Yates’ lawless partisanship highlights why the Senate needs to act now–and Senate Democrats should end their extreme political obstruction and delay–and confirm Jeff Sessions immediately. America needs and deserves an Attorney General who will be faithful to the Constitution and uphold the law.”

Dems delay committee vote on Sessions AG nomination
(CNN) - The Senate Judiciary Committee delayed voting Tuesday morning on the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general, a politically charged pick that's receiving even more scrutiny in the wake of President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration. The panel was expected to approve and advance Sessions for a vote in the full Senate, but Democrats used a procedural move to delay the committee vote until Wednesday, a move to further prevent Trump from getting his full Cabinet in place in a timely manner.

Despite Majority Of Americans In Favor Of Trump Immigration Policy, 900 State Department Staff Dissent
Zero Hedge - Per Reuters: The Jan. 30-31 poll found that 49 percent of American adults said they either "strongly" or "somewhat" agreed with Trump's order, while 41 percent "strongly" or "somewhat" disagreed and another 10 percent said they don't know. But the responses were split almost entirely along party lines. Some 53 percent of Democrats said they "strongly disagree" with Trump's action while 51 percent of Republicans said they "strongly agree.”… Of course, popular opinion of the American people didn't stop 900 Clinton loyalists in the State Department from signing a "dissent memo" in defiance of their new boss…. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Monday he was aware of the memo but warned career diplomats that they should either "get with the program or they can go." Seems these 900 folks may soon suffer the same fate as the acting Attorney General who decided to publicly announce her defiance of Trump's immigration order just yesterday.

Prosecutors Weigh Child-Pornography Charges Against Anthony Weiner
WSJ - Federal prosecutors are weighing bringing child-pornography charges against former Rep. Anthony Weiner over sexually explicit exchanges he allegedly had with a 15-year-old girl, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Weiner, a New York Democrat, is being investigated by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which seized his electronic devices, including a laptop and a cellphone, as part of the probe…. Prosecutors also are weighing other charges, including receipt of child pornography, for which conviction carries a five-year mandatory minimum, and possession of child pornography, which has no mandatory minimum.

Energy & Environment

The 'Global Elites' are installing next-generation spying smart meters in homes worldwide (Video)
Mass Private I - Iltron's 'OpenWay CENTRON', and their EM420i modular smart meters, are a privacy nightmare.… Itron is a Swedish company of epic proportions. Itron boasts that smart meters allow companies to track everyone's energy usage. Their smart meters store seven categories of 'events logs' about everyone's usage…. Itron is a Swedish company of epic proportions. Itron's smart meters are being used by 8,000 utilities around the world… in 130 countries…. Recently, Itron acquired SmartSynch a smart grid cellular network communications company. According to Itron, they now control the smart grid data of nine of the top ten utilities in North America. … Itron is North America's biggest smart meter maker. Think about what that means, a Swedish company controls most of America's utility data!… Itron wants customers to use their OpenWay Riva app to monitor their energy usage .Itron's OpenWay Riva allows customers and utilities to monitor energy usage in real-time, what could go wrong?… It won't belong before every business and home with a smart meter is susceptible to being hacked.

1,700 residents of Flint, Michigan sue EPA over water crisis
Reuters - More than 1,700 residents of Flint, Michigan who say the Environmental Protection Agency mismanaged the water crisis that exposed thousands of children to lead poisoning have sued the U.S. government, seeking class action status for their claims. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Michigan on Monday, asserted that the EPA failed to warn them of the dangers of the toxic water or take steps to ensure that state and local authorities were addressing the crisis. The plaintiffs seek $722 million in damages.

Science & Technology

Twitter reveals details of 2 FBI national security letters after gag order lifted
RT - Twitter has revealed it received two national security orders from the FBI, accompanied by gag orders, prohibiting the company from notifying the affected account holders or the general public about the process.... Twitter says it has now provided each of the two account holders affected by the National Security Letters (NSL’s) with copies of the relevant NSL’s and details of the information they were ordered to produce. The NSL’s were served in September 2015 and June 2016 and requested a large amount of data. However, the company only released a limited set of data “consistent with federal law and interpretive guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice,” according to Banker. The requests which have now been published by Twitter with some minor redactions sought the “name, address, length of service, and electronic communications transactional records for all services, as well as all accounts,” and also directed Twitter not to “disable, suspend, lock, cancel or interrupt” service in case it would alert the user to the surveillance. NSL’s are administrative subpoenas that do not require approval from a judge and compel a company to disclose customer records in the name of national security. Tech firms Cloudflare, Google, the Internet Archive, and Yahoo also revealed in recent months that were subject to NSL’s.

Fruit-Picking Robot Latest Blow to Illegal Immigration
Kit Daniels - A robot that can pick fruit off an assembly line could signal the end of low-skill jobs routinely staffed by illegal aliens. The prototype robot, developed by online grocer Ocado, uses a robotic hand in combination with computer scanning and can successfully pick fruits and vegetables according to ripeness, something that even human shoppers fail to do at times…. Employers are already transitioning some tasks from human laborers to automation. For example, after President Trump took office, California farmers fearful of the coming slowdown in illegal immigration decided to start investing in technology that could replace unskilled workers.

 Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Scotts-Monsanto GMO Grass Threatens National Forests, Rivers, Ranchers, and Farmers
Health Impact News - Now biotech companies want local residents to pay the costs of clean-up! Over a decade ago, Scotts partnered with Monsanto to market a GM bentgrass resistant to glyphosate (Roundup). It was planted next to the Malheur National Forest in test plots ostensibly controlled by Oregon State University. Unbeknownst to most people, it was also planted all over the US—in California, Iowa, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and seventeen other states. It was supposed to be confined and controlled, but it very quickly escaped and spread out of the test plots in Oregon into Idaho, and crossbred with natural grasses to create new breeds that were also resistant to glyphosate. It clogged up irrigation ditches, threatening food crops and contaminating pasture-raised cattle with GMOs. In addition to the immediate threats to farmers and ranchers, grass seed—which is among Oregon’s top five commodities—is now under threat. Initially, Scotts-Monsanto tried to stop the spread and clean up the contamination. Now, according to The Oregonian, Scotts-Monsanto is walking away from the monster it created, leaving farmers, ranchers, wildlife, and eventually the fishing industry (if it spreads to the Columbia River) to deal with it.


Starve a fever? You could be helping it spread
What Doctors Don't Tell You - We’re always told to feed a cold and starve a fever—but that old chestnut may not always be the best advice. An infection can spread if we don’t eat, for example, researchers have discovered this week. Although eating less when we’re ill can sometimes help achieve a faster recovery, a loss of appetite when we have an infection is a biological ‘trick’ that allows bacteria to spread. Instead, eating some nutritious foods when we have an infection can reduce its severity and recovery time, say researchers from the Salk Institute. They tracked the health of laboratory mice that had been infected with Salmonella bacteria, and discovered that the natural loss of appetite helped the bacteria spread from the intestines to other tissues. By comparison, mice fed extra calories lived longer. The discovery could lead to new ways of tackling bacterial infections that don’t rely on antibiotics. The timing couldn’t be better: around 2 million Americans are each year infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and around 23,000 of these die as a result.

Permanent hearing loss caused by commonly used drugs
(NaturalHealth365) The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association estimates that at this time, over 200 medications known to be ototoxic are on the market today. Many common over-the-counter medications are on this list. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen are among this group. One study found that women who took either acetaminophen or ibuprofen regularly – two days a week or more – showed an increased risk of hearing loss. Taking them less than once per week did not impact hearing. Magnitude of risk and impact upon hearing was found to be higher the more often these drugs were taken. Another study found taking aspirin two or more days per week could cause hearing loss. Moderate use did not seem to have this effect, and when the subjects stopped taking aspirin, the effects were found to be reversible. However, all too many drugs have been found to cause permanent hearing loss. These medications damage sensory hair cells in the inner ear used for hearing. The loss of these hair cells in the cochlea impedes it from effectively translating sound into the nerve impulses that can be read by the brain…. A number of chemotherapy drugs are also linked with hearing loss, including carboplatin and cisplatin. Doctors say hearing loss is “inevitable” when these drugs are used, and many people faced with the risk of dying from cancer are willing to accept this side effect.



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