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The Race for BioFuel

The Future of Biofuel Isn’t Corn—It’s Algae

August 16th 2017

algae

When they hear “biofuel,” people tend to assume you’re talking about corn. That makes sense, given that corn is anticipated to provide 80 percent of this year’s ethanol production — much more, say, than algae — until we consider a few numbers.

By all accounts, microalgae is less land-intensive than corn production, and although it can pull double duty, providing high-quality feed for fish farms, it doesn’t compete with food crops. Furthermore, even by by the largely pro-corn Renewable Fuel Association’s water-consumption standards, corn ethanol is a thirsty fuel: Drinking 2.8 gallons of water for every gallon of fuel refined, corn is often outclassed in efficiency by algae-based fuels. Read more ..


North Korea's Nukes

North Korea Says It Won't Fire Missiles At Guam, After All

August 15th 2017

North Korean rocket Apr 2012

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reviewed his military's plans to rain "an enveloping fire" around the U.S. territory of Guam — but opted not to fire missiles at this time, according to state media. Despite the stand-down, some Guamanians were alarmed after two radio stations aired an erroneous emergency alert Tuesday.

Kim visited the Korean People's Army as the self-imposed mid-August deadline for a missile demonstration approached, the Korean Central News Agency reports. But after hearing the plan and considering it, Kim opted not to give the order to launch missiles, but instead "would watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees," the report says. Kim also warned that the U.S. should not test North Korea's self-restraint. Read more ..


North Korea's Nukes

Pentagon Readies Pre-emptive Strike Against North Korea

August 13th 2017

B-1 Bomber

The Pentagon has a detailed plan for a military strike on North Korea, dispatching heavy bombers from Guam – the fortified U.S. territory that Pyongyang is threatening with missiles. The plan would be to launch heavy B1-B bombers from Guam's Andersen Air Force Base, limiting the flight time. U.S. forces have conducted practice maneuvers as recently as Monday, NBC News reported – and have done 11 sets of exercises. The bombers would get an escort from fighter jets providing protection. Satellites and drones would aide in the effort.

The planes would not carry nuclear payload, but would likely be armed with precision weapons designed to take out North Korea's array of missiles and missile launch sites.

'Of all the military options … [Trump] could consider, this would be one of the two or three that would at least have the possibility of not escalating the situation," retired Adm. James Stavridis told the network. He added: 'A single long-range strike against against the nuclear program, a cyber offensive would be the second. Those are the only two military options that ought to be in serious consideration.' The military has six of the powerful bombers already in position on Guam. Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

Iran Trying to Crash US Ships and Aircraft

August 10th 2017

Nimitz

"Despite repeated radio calls to stay clear," the Iranian drone went out of its way to complicate the jet's landing, Eric Pahon, Pentagon spokesperson said in a statement sent to Business Insider. The F/A-18 had to maneuver to avoid the approaching drone, missing it by around 100 feet. 

The drone was unarmed, and remotely piloted. A US aircraft carrier isn't something any pilot worth his salt would not be aware of. As this was the 13th unsafe and unprofessional interaction between the US Navy and Iran's maritime forces this year, it can be assumed Iran meant to do it.

Landing a speeding aircraft on a ship at sea presents plenty of difficulty without having a marauding drone bother the pilot on approach, and this just represents one of the ways Iran tries to harass, and ultimately crash US ships and aircraft. Read more ..


North Korea's Nukes

North Korea Threatens Guam

August 9th 2017

NK Military Parade Apr 2012

North Korea said it is 'carefully examining' a plan to strike the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam with missiles, just hours after President Donald Trump told the country that any threat to the U.S. would be met with 'fire and fury.' 

A spokesman for the Korean People's Army, in a statement carried by the North's state-run KCNA news agency, said Wednesday the strike plan will be 'put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment' once leader Kim Jong Un makes a decision.

Guam, which is roughly 2,128 miles from North Korea, is home to both Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam housing thousands of American service members and their families. 

Roughly 28 percent of the island is occupied by the U.S. military. The base houses bomber assurance and deterrence missions, including six B-52s which the air force says provide 'strategic global strike capability [to] deter potential adversaries and provide reassurance to allies' and that they are ready to go. Read more ..


The Trump Era

More Than 1.1 Million Fewer Americans on Food Stamps Under Trump

August 8th 2017

onions peppers parsley radish

More than 1.1 million Americans dropped off the food stamp rolls since President Trump took office in January 2017, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics on food stamp enrollment.

Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dropped to 41,496,255 in May 2017, the most recent data available from the USDA, from 42,691,363 in January 2017 when Trump took office. According to the latest data, SNAP enrollment during the first few months of Trump’s presidency decreased by 2.79 percent.

Food stamp participation on average in 2017 has dropped to its lowest level since 2010, and the latest numbers show that this trend is continuing. Trump proposed cuts to SNAP in his 2018 budget proposal, suggesting that states match up to 20 percent of federal money allotted for the food stamp program and expand work requirements for able-bodied adults receiving food stamps.

Read more ..

Financing the Flames

Senate Panel Approves Bill to Cut Funds to Palestinians over Terrorism

August 4th 2017

One Million Dollars

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved legislation on Thursday that would restrict funding to the Palestinian Authority until it stops offering rewards to those who commit acts of violence against Israelis and others.

Get Financing the Flames and read the original Edwin Black investigation on the topic

The Taylor Force Act passed the committee in a 16-5 vote and now heads to the Senate floor. 

The bill was introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and is named after an American, 28-year-old Taylor Force, who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian last year in a Tel Aviv attack that also wounded 12 others.

The Palestinian Authority regularly offers financial compensation to the families of terrorists. Critics have dubbed it “pay to slay” and say the Palestinian Authority spends as much as $300 million a year on the program.

Read more ..

After the Election

Former Obama Aide Ben Rhodes Now "A Person Of Interest" In Unmasking Investigation

August 3rd 2017

NSA
NSA

Former Obama White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes is now emerging as a person of interest in the House Intelligence Committee’s unmasking investigation, according to a letter sent Tuesday by the committee to the National Security Agency (NSA). This adds Rhodes to the growing list of top Obama government officials who may have improperly unmasked Americans in communications intercepted overseas by the NSA, Circa has confirmed.

The House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-CA, sent the letter to the National Security Agency requesting the number of unmaskings made by Rhodes from Jan. 1, 2016 to Jan. 20, 2017, according to congressional sources who spoke with Circa. Rhodes, who worked closely with former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and was a former deputy national security adviser for strategic communications for President Obama, became a focus of the committee during its review of classified information to assess whether laws were broken regarding NSA intercepted communications of President Trump, members of his administration and other Americans before and after the election, according to congressional officials. The committee is requesting that the NSA deliver the information on Rhodes by August, 21. Read more ..


Debbie Gate

Democrat Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Up to Her Neck in DNC Security Breaches

July 30th 2017

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Florida’s U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the controversial former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), had her office equipment seized by  U.S. Capitol Police as part of a criminal investigation into congressional network security violations. Wasserman-Schultz admitted she frequently violates the DNC’s information security policy but still managed to point her finger at someone else.

The always boisterous congresswoman blamed the House of Representatives’ chief office manager for not stopping her from violating policies and perhaps the law regarding classified material.

According to news media accounts, during an appropriations hearing on Congress’ administrative budget in May, Wasserman Shultz conceded she had violated the policies for many years. She also sought to find out how much might be known about her Internet usage, asked if members of Congress are monitored? Read more ..


The Trump Era

FBI General Counsel Allegedly Under an Investigation for Leaking Classified

July 28th 2017

File Folders

FBI General Counsel James A. Baker is purportedly under a Department of Justice criminal investigation for allegedly leaking classified national security information to the media, according to multiple government officials close to the probe who spoke with Circa on the condition of anonymity.

FBI spokeswoman Carol Cratty said the bureau would not comment on Baker and would not confirm or deny any investigation.

This comes as Department of Justice Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would soon be making an announcement regarding the progress of leak investigations. A DOJ official declined to comment on Circa’s inquiry into Baker but did say, the planned announcement by Sessions is part of the overall "stepped up efforts on leak investigations."

Three sources, with knowledge of the investigation, told Circa that Baker is the top suspect in an ongoing leak investigation, but Circa has not been able to confirm the details of what national security information or material was allegedly leaked.

A federal law enforcement official with knowledge of ongoing internal investigations in the bureau told Circa, "the bureau is scouring for leakers and there's been a lot of investigations." Read more ..


The Edge of Cyber

Indicted Pakistani IT Staffer Discovered On 31 Congressional Democrats' Payrolls

July 27th 2017

Hacker's Hand

GOP chair Ronna Romney McDaniel has demanded that former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) testify before Congress on Imran Awan. Awan was arrested on Monday on bank fraud charges. He remained on Wasserman Schultz’s Congressional payroll even though he had been under investigation since February. Awan is an IT specialist who, along with his brother and their wives, had access to sensitive computer files and emails. 

Awan was caught at Dulles International Airport near Washington DC where he was seeking to flee the country and join his wife, who has already flown the coop. He had worked for Congress for more than a decade. Federal agents found that he had wired hundreds of thousands of dollars to his native Pakistan. Some of those funds may have been fraudulently obtained. McDaniel said that Awan and family received over $4 million of taxpayer money between 2005 and 2009.

Read more ..

Financing the Flames

Palestinian Payments to Incarcerated Terrorists and Martyrs’ Families Rise in 2017

July 25th 2017

Hamas terrorist with toy Kalashnikov

The Palestinian Authority recently released its detailed budget for 2017, and it includes the usual allocations for salaries to imprisoned and released terrorists, as well as to the families of Palestinians who were killed (“martyrs”) or wounded in the “struggle against Zionism.”

Get Financing the Flames and read the original Edwin Black investigation on the topic

According to the PA budget, salaries to incarcerated and released terrorists will amount in 2017 to 552 million shekels ($153.4 million), a rise of 13 percent over the original budget of 2016 and 11 percent more than the actual expenditure in 2016 (revised budget). The money will be transferred to the Palestinian National Fund, the financial arm of the PLO, which was designated by Israel as a terror organization due to its involvement in paying terrorist salaries. Read more ..


The Digital Age

After 17 Years, Trump Finally Ends America's Y2K Prep Program

July 21st 2017

Computers multiple

We can finally say good-bye to the threat of the Y2K bug. Twenty years after preparations began the federal government is ending requirements to track the so-called Y2K bug.

In 1997, actions were begun to avert what some thought was a coming catastrophe.  Many electronic systems formatted a year’s date using only the final two digits.  Such as 97, 98, and 99.  It was thought that systems would mistake the year 2000 as the 1900 creating unimaginable havoc.

Government at the federal, state and local levels prepared for the worst.  So did business.

Some predicted a disaster of epic proportions.  In the end, the year 2000 came and went.  With a whimper. Read more ..


America on Edge

McCain Faces his Greatest Battle

July 20th 2017

Lobbyist

John McCain has always lived for the fight. Now he's facing his toughest battle. The Arizona Republican senator has often seemed indestructible, despite the best efforts of his Vietnam War jailers, an earlier bout with melanoma and a list of honorable political defeats. And now he has been diagnosed with brain cancer, as reported Wednesday. He's a warrior politician who bears the scars of a lifetime of military and political campaigns and health scares on his body and across his soul. He's collected more enemies and friends than most men and is a certified national hero.

Eight years ago, McCain, one of the last giants of the Senate, stood before the flag-draped coffin of his friend and sparring partner Sen. Edward Kennedy, who had succumbed to the same disease he is now fighting, and explained their common approach to life.

"Ted and I shared the sentiment that a fight not joined was a fight not enjoyed," McCain said, recalling roiling arguments with his fellow Senate lion, but also times when they had buried their differences to forge progress for the nation.
Read more ..

The Edge of Medicine

The Secret Life of USC Med School Dean

July 18th 2017

Medical bag

In USC’s lecture halls, labs and executive offices, Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito was a towering figure. The dean of the Keck School of Medicine was a renowned eye surgeon whose skill in the operating room was matched by a gift for attracting money and talent to the university.

There was another side to the Harvard-educated physician.

During his tenure as dean, Puliafito kept company with a circle of criminals and drug users who said he used methamphetamine and other drugs with them, a Los Angeles Times investigation found.

Puliafito, 66, and these much younger acquaintances captured their exploits in photos and videos. The Times reviewed dozens of the images.

Shot in 2015 and 2016, they show Puliafito and the others partying in hotel rooms, cars, apartments and the dean’s office at USC.

In one video, a tuxedo-clad Puliafito displays an orange pill on his tongue and says into the camera, “Thought I’d take an ecstasy before the ball.” Then he swallows the pill. Read more ..


Broken Borders

Replacement Migration--Discovered UN Report Outlines Migrant Waves Replacing Existing US Population Base

July 15th 2017

Syrian Protesters

While the limit on the number of refugees entering the United State has been reached, if the United Nations has its way, more can be expected. While the Trump administration set a limit of  50,000 refugees entering the U.S., the number of refugees worldwide recently hit a historical high of 65.5 million, according to the UN. Because the United States is a member of the UN, it is continuously under pressure to accept more.

The refugee cap set by the current administration was reached on July 12, but because of a Supreme Court ruling last month, more refugees can still enter if they can prove close familial ties to persons already living in the country. As a result of the high court’s ruling on Trump's travel ban executive order, according to the State Department, as of July 13, persons who have a “credible claim to a bona fide relationship” to a person or an entity in the country will be eligible for admission. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Taxpayer Support for Palestinian Terrorist Salaries Becoming Impossible to Defend

July 14th 2017

Edwin Black

The issue of government subsidies for Palestinian terrorist salaries is again in the international spotlight. What began in November 2013, as a barely believable revelation — that taxpayers in Great Britain, the US, and other Western nations were bankrolling terrorist salaries — has now become a universally-acknowledged, impossible-to-deny, and impossible-to-defend embarrassment for governments.

For years, officials dissembled and dodged when the question came up. After a period of silent disbelief, the mainstream media now openly confirms the salaries and routinely refers to the program with ipso factuality. Political challengers on both sides of the Atlantic stridently demand that incumbents terminate foreign aid that amounts to taxpayer-incentivized terrorism. A recent in-depth study in Israel calculates that all terror incentives and rewards paid by the Palestinian Authority over the past four years total a mind-numbing one billion dollars. Read more ..


Trump vs the Media

CNN Blackmail: Massive Backlash After Network Threatens Reddit User

July 5th 2017

CNN HQ logo

CNN found itself ensnared in yet another ethical quagmire on Wednesday after a young reporter apparently tracked down the creator of a mock video tweeted by President Donald Trump and extracted an apology from him.

The Reddit user created the controversial animated GIF that showed Trump body-slamming a man at a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) match. The man in the original video was Vince McMahon, the former president of WWE and a personal friend to Trump. In the mock video, the CNN logo was in place of McMahon’s head.

Trump tweeted the video on Sunday, and CNN reacted with outrage. CNN and other journalists claimed the tweet from Trump was not mockery but rather that Trump was encouraging violence against reporters. Read more ..


North Korea's Nukes

North Korea Tests Missile it Claims Can Reach 'Anywhere in the World'

July 4th 2017

North Korean Rocket

North Korea claims to have conducted its first successful test of a long-range missile that it says can "reach anywhere in the world."

Tuesday morning's missile test, which was conducted on the orders of the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, reached a height of 2,802 kilometers (1,741 miles), according to state broadcaster Korea Central Television (KCTV).

That's the highest altitude ever reached by a North Korean missile, and puts the US on notice that Pyongyang could potentially hit the US mainland.

The regime appears to have timed the launch for maximum political effect, giving the order to fire on the eve of the July 4 holiday, just days after US President Donald Trump spoke with Japanese and Chinese leaders about the North Korea threat and before this week's G20 meeting.

The fear is that North Korea may one day develop the technology to mount a miniature nuclear warhead on a long-range missile, something analysts say it may have already achieved.

 

How true is claim?

Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at Sydney's Lowy Institute, said that one apparently successful test doesn't necessarily mean that North Korea has the global capability it claimed.
 
"If the North Koreans are claiming they can launch an ICBM (to) anywhere in the world, that needs to be looked at through a technical lens," he said, using the acronym for intercontinental ballistic missile.
Read more ..

Iran's Nuke's

How Trita Parsi and NIAC Used the White House to Advance Iran’s Agenda

July 1st 2017

Iran Long-Range Missile

In 2005, Jack Abramoff’s corruption and lobbying scandal became public. One of Abramoff’s main accomplices was Bob Ney, a former congressman from Ohio who was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Part of the corruption charges against Ney, exposed in DOJ documents, were related to the bribes that he had received from two businessmen in London who tried to buy an airplane for the leadership of the Iranian regime—an export prohibited by sanctions. Ney had been hired to resolve the legal issues prohibiting the export of the plane.

Ney’s foreign-policy adviser during the time Ney was advocating the removal of sanctions against Iran was a young Iranian-Swedish student named Trita Parsi (according to Parsi’s resumes), now better known as the founder and president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a Washington-based, pro-Tehran advocacy and lobbying organization founded in 2002. Back then, it was hard to explain why a Congressman with no official role in US foreign policy had a foreign policy adviser on Iran. Parsi began his pro-Tehran activities in 1997 in Sweden as he founded a small lobby organization called “Iranians for International Cooperation” (IIC) that used its few Washington members to send petitions and letters to Congress members. Read more ..


The Edge of Cyberwarfare

Cyberwarfare Is On

June 29th 2017

Shadowy Computer User

The latest and most damaging attacks, which have supposedly originated in Ukraine, are said to be using a variant of the code "Eternal Blue," which reportedly was stolen from the National Security Agency (NSA). This malware was allegedly designed to take control over or destroy computers running an older Microsoft Windows program without leaving any known detectable trace. Demand for a ransom of $300 in Bitcoins appears on the screen, but paying the ransom, as done with last month's WannaCry attack does not guarantee the computer hard-drive was not corrupted. The special features of this cyber-weapon allow it to access all your information, including whatever has been stored on a cloud.

The ongoing attack, dubbed Petya or GoldenEye (apparently named after Ian Fleming's inspired 1995 James Bond film of the same name), has shut down the computers of large domestic and international corporations around the world, including the second largest pharma company in the U.S., Merck, Russia's largest oil company, Rosneft, Ukraine's State power distribution company,  airports, transportation companies, banks and hospitals. Read more ..


Media on Edge

CNN Producer Says Russia Narrative “bullsh*t"

June 27th 2017

CNN HQ logo

See the video

CNN "ratings are incredible right now," President Trump "good for business" John Bonifield, CNN Producer Says Russia Narrative "Mostly bullshit right now" "Get back to Russia," Says CEO Jeff Zucker President Trump is Right About Witch Hunt, "No real proof" Comes in Wake of CNN's Russia-Gate Retraction & New Rules on Russia Coverage

(NEW YORK) -- Project Veritas has released a video of CNN Producer John Bonifield who was caught on hidden-camera admitting that there is no proof to CNN's Russia narrative. "I mean, it's mostly bullshit right now," Bonifield says. "Like, we don't have any giant proof." Read more ..


The Battle for Syria

White House Releases Late-night Warning to Syria, Iran and Russia

June 27th 2017

Standard Missile 3

In a late-night statement, the White House said the United States discovered "potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack" by the Syrian government.

The statement said the activites are similar to prepartion the "regime made before its April 4, 2017, chemical weapons attack." The US responded to that attack that killed 100 people, including 25 children, by firing 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield that was believed to have carried out the strike on a rebel-held area.

In the statement, the US warned Syria would "pay a heave price" if it proceeds with the attack

"As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," the White House warned Syria. "If, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price."

Shortly after the release of the statement, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, sent a warning to Iran and Russia that the US would also blame them if Syria proceeds with another chemical attack. Read more ..


The Trump Era

Obama Retains and Withholds Documents on Unmasking and Targeting Trump

June 20th 2017

Downcast Obama

The National Security Council (NSC) notified Judiciary Watch -- a Washington-based watchdog group -- that materials concerning the unmasking allegedly ordered by Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice of “the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team” were removed from federal government files. They are now in the possession of the Obama Library.
 
In April, Judicial Watch sent a request to the NSC for  records relating to people “who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities.” The unmasking relates to the identification of persons in the United States whose conversations were picked up by covert surveillance of communications. Whether some of those persons identified were part of Donald Trump’s political team has been a subject of debate and speculation. Read more ..


The Ancient Edge

Ancient Fossils from Morocco Mess Up Modern Human Origins

June 11th 2017

Neanderthal and Human skulls

The year was 1961. A barite mining operation at the Jebel Irhoud massif in Morocco, some 100 kilometers west of Marrakech, turned up a fossil human skull. Subsequent excavation uncovered more bones from other individuals, along with animal remains and stone tools. Scientists’ best guess was that the remains were about 40,000 years old and represented African versions of Neandertals. In the decades that followed, researchers shifted their stance on the identity of the remains, coming to see them as members of our own species, Homo sapiens—and they redated the site to roughly 160,000 years ago. Still, the Jebel Irhoud fossils remained something of a mystery, because in some respects they looked more primitive than older H. sapiens fossils. Read more ..


The Farhud

Farewell Salim Fattal, Custodian of Farhud Memory

June 2nd 2017

Expelled Jews from Arab countries

Ever heard of Salim Fattal? Most Jews, especially those in the English-speaking world, will not recognise the name. But among the Jews of Iraq, Salim Fattal is a giant of a man. First and foremost, he will be remembered as the custodian of the memory of the Farhud, the 1941 pogrom which sounded the beginning of the end for the Jewish community of Iraq.

Salim Fattal died on May 31, in Israel at the age of 87. A writer, film director and pioneer of Arabic broadcasting in Israel, his passing occurred 76 years to the day since the outbreak of the Farhud, an event he did so much to document. In 2012, he came to London to show to members of my organisation Harif the first episode of the TV series he made in the 1960s, recording eye-witness testimonies. Salim Fattal broke down while recalling the murder of his uncle in the Farhud. Read more ..


The Battle for Syria

Syria Has Effectively Ceased to Exist

May 27th 2017

Medvedev and Assad

On my last night in Damascus, some younger members of the Ministry of Information-sponsored delegation in which I was taking part decided to have a drink. It was late April, and the bars and restaurants were doing good business in the cool and breezy evenings. An inebriated Russian journalist, accompanied by a uniformed Russian soldier entered the bar opposite our hotel in the Old City where my colleagues were sitting. Words were exchanged. An altercation began.

At a certain point, the Russian journalist produced a pistol and aimed it at the forehead of one of the delegation's participants. He then entered our hotel, and threatened one of the employees there, all with his uniformed colleague silently accompanying him. Read more ..


The Trump Era

Trump Can Break the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse

May 22nd 2017

Trump2

In Saudi Arabia on Sunday, President Trump declared unswerving American commitment to help Riyadh in "confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamist and Islamic terror of all kinds." A new coalition of American lawmakers believes he should make an equally important commitment to Israel when he lands there today.

Official U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute has long been centered on a "grievance-based approach" to conflict resolution and counterterrorism. Addressing the stated grievances of Palestinian extremists, the reasoning goes, reduces their motivations for fighting and enables their leaders and those of Arab states to make peace. Thus the perennial goal of American diplomacy has been to pressure or coax the democratic State of Israel into making concessions to the authoritarian PLO-turned-Palestinian Authority (PA) in hopes that they will placate the Palestinian masses (most of whom, including 1.6 million in Hamas-ruled Gaza, do not live in disputed territory). Read more ..


Hillary After the Vote

Hillary Aides Threatened Prime Minister’s Son With IRS Audit, He Says

May 5th 2017

Hilary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s Department of State aides allegedly threatened a South Asian prime minister’s son with an IRS audit in an attempt to stop a Bangladesh government investigation of a close friend and donor of Clinton’s, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group learned.

A Bangladesh government commission was investigating multiple charges of financial mismanagement at Grameen Bank, beginning in May 2012. Muhammad Yunus, a major Clinton Foundation donor, served as managing director of the bank.

Sajeeb Wazed Joy, son of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and permanent U.S. resident, recalled the account of the threatened IRS audit to TheDCNF. The allegations mark the first known instance in the U.S. that Clinton’s Department of State used IRS power to intimidate a close relative of a friendly nation’s head of state on behalf of a Clinton Foundation donor.

Wazed told TheDCNF it was “astounding and mind boggling” that senior State Department officials between 2010 and 2012 repeatedly pressured him to influence his mother to drop the commission investigation. The commission report was released in early 2013.

“They threatened me with the possibility of an audit by the Internal Revenue Service,” he said. “I have been here legally for 17 years and never had a problem. But they said, ‘well, you know, you might get audited.'” Read more ..


Autism on Edge

Autism and Disappointing Drug Therapies

May 4th 2017

Black infant

Connor was diagnosed with autism early — when he was just 18 months old. His condition was already obvious by then. “He was lining things up, switching lights on and off, on and off,” says his mother, Melissa. He was bright, but he didn’t speak much until age 3, and he was easily frustrated. Once he started school, he couldn’t sit still in class, called out answers without raising his hand and got visibly upset when he couldn’t master a math concept or a handwriting task quickly enough. “One time, he rolled himself up into the carpet like a burrito and wouldn’t come out until I got there,” Melissa recalls. (All families in this story are identified by first name only, to protect their privacy.)

Connor was prescribed his first psychiatric drug, methylphenidate (Ritalin), at age 6. That didn’t last long, but when he was 7, his parents tried again. A psychiatrist suggested a low dose of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall), a stimulant commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The drug seemed to improve his time at school: He was able to sit still for longer periods of time and focus on what his teachers were saying. His chicken-scratch handwriting became legible. Then, it became neat. Then perfect. And then it became something Connor began to obsess over. Read more ..


The Digital Edge

Smart Farming Gaining Acreage

May 2nd 2017

wheat fields

Big data, industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT). Terms most of us associate with professional services companies, not with farming and agricultural businesses.

However, automation technologies form a critical part of modern livestock and farm management systems. Many farmers though, especially those operating small and medium sized farms, might be overlooking a critical aspect of power quality in their automated livestock farming systems.

The smart agriculture market is currently growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.8 per cent and is expected to be worth $18.45 Billion by 2022, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets. The main factors driving growth include an increased adoption of technology in agriculture generally, a higher demand for food globally and assistance in monitoring livestock performance and health.

Read more ..

The EU and Israel

Israeli-German Spat Brings to Fore Europe’s Funding of BDS and Terror

April 30th 2017

Chinese currency

A diplomatic spat between Israel and Germany has provided a prominent platform for research that documents the European Union’s funding of the BDS movement and terrorism.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel in Jerusalem April 25, due to the latter’s insistence on meeting with nonprofit organizations that campaign against the IDF and alleged Israeli human rights violations.

Netanyahu’s move came after he issued Gabriel an ultimatum to terminate his scheduled meetings with representatives from B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence.

“My policy is clear: not to meet with diplomats who visit Israel and engage with organizations that slander Israeli soldiers and seek to have them put on trial as war criminals,” Netanyahu said. Read more ..


Financing the Flames

Incentivizing Terrorism:Palestinian Authority Allocations to Terrorists and their Families

April 28th 2017

Money Bands=Happiness

The Palestinian Authority’s legislation and allocations of monthly salaries and benefits rewarding imprisoned and released terrorists, and the families of “Martyrs,” amount to $300 million annually. This financial reward clearly demonstrates the PA’s institutional commitment to sponsoring terror against Israel.

 

Foreword

by Sander Gerber

The PA maintains longstanding legislation and payments to subsidize terrorists and their families. This amounts to an officially sanctioned PA government incentive system to kill Israelis. When I learned of this in November 2015, I was quite shocked. I proceeded to raise the issue with organized American Jewish community leaders and Israeli policymakers, and was told “everybody knows.” Disconcerted by my own lack of knowledge, I canvassed numerous American political leaders who, without exception, were unaware of the PA legislation/budget. The few leaders who were aware that the PA directly pays terrorists thought that the funding was only $5-6 million; they were shocked to learn that according to the official PA budget online, it was $300 million for 2016.

Read more ..

Ending the Caliphate

Mosul Children Reveal the Nightmare of ISIS Schooling

April 27th 2017

ISIS Battle Position

On a morning in late March, 20 children are standing between bombed houses and burned-out cars in front of an elementary school on a street in eastern Mosul. When you ask them what they learned inside, they talk about killing. Their teacher was Islamic State (IS), which had a stronghold here. "Daesh, Daesh," the children shout, using the Arabic pejorative for IS, with strong, excited voices, as if the sound concealed an unbelievable secret.

The children are between the ages of 6 and 13. Their backpacks are too large for their bodies, they wear sandals and their T-shirts have holes. Some ate eggs that morning, others didn't. As the children wait for the gate to open, they call out and laugh. Their happiness is real, but if you look through it, you can see the war in their small, hardened faces.

IS conquered Mosul in June 2014. When it tried to create a state, it didn't stop at acquiring land, people, a doctrine and a flag. It also pushed into every crevice of social life -- it controlled the economy, administered justice and created lesson plans that fit its views. The goal of IS was to create a worldview, which also led it to take over Mosul's schools. Read more ..


The Trump Era

Trump’s Second Hundred Days

April 26th 2017

Trump2

As U.S. President Donald Trump approaches his 100-day benchmark on Saturday, a media deluge has already begun bemoaning the demise of the liberal order, celebrating waves of deregulation or simply blaming the president's rocky start on the "disaster" he inherited on taking office. Rather than wade into that predictable morass, we prefer to focus instead on what the next 100 days hold in store.

As U.S. President Donald Trump approaches his 100-day benchmark on Saturday, a media deluge has already begun bemoaning the demise of the liberal order, celebrating waves of deregulation or simply blaming the president's rocky start on the "disaster" he inherited on taking office. Rather than wade into that predictable morass, we prefer to focus instead on what the next 100 days hold in store. Read more ..


The Battle Against the Caliphate

What We Know About the GBU-43/B, 'Mother of All Bombs'

April 15th 2017

Land Mine

The “Mother of All Bombs,” the GBU-43/B Massive Air Blast, is the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in America’s arsenal, and it was used for the first time in combat on April 13 in Afghanistan against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

If you’ve never heard of this bomb, you’re likely not alone. To help you get educated about it, here are some facts to know:

According to globalsecurity.org, it’s the largest-ever satellite-guided, air-delivered weapon in history, made to replace the unguided 15,000-pound BLU-82 Daisy Cutter that was used in Vietnam and early on in Afghanistan.

The MOAB was developed in only nine weeks in 2003 to be available for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said it was created to put pressure on Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to stop fighting against the coalition. The smart bomb was never used during that war.

The MOAB was loaded into a C-130 Hercules, where it sat in a cradle on an airdrop platform until the whole platform was pulled off the plane at a high altitude by a drogue parachute, which is used to slow it down. Once in the air, the weapon was quickly released from the platform to keep up its forward momentum. The grid fins then opened to stabilize it and guide it to its target.

According to globalsecurity.org, on Sept. 11, 2007, the Russian military announced it had tested the “Father of all Bombs,” the world’s most powerful non-nuclear air-delivered munition. Read more ..


The Battle For Syria

US Intercepts Syria Gas Plans

April 13th 2017

Syria fighting injured baby

The United States intercepted communications between Syrian military and chemical weapons experts discussing plans for a poison gas attack in Idlib province, CNN reported, citing an unidentified senior intelligence official. The White House said in a declassified intelligence assessment that it "is confident that the Syrian regime conducted a chemical weapons attack, using the nerve agent sarin".

The US report alleges that the chemical agent was delivered by a Syrian Su-22 fixed-wing aircraft that flew over the village of Khan Sheikhun at the time of the attack, which killed at least 87 civilians, including 31 children, on 4 April.

"Additionally, our information indicates personnel historically associated with Syria's chemical weapons programme were at Shayrat airfield in late March making preparations for an upcoming attack in northern Syria, and they were present at the airfield on the day of the attack," the US government report reads.

Read more ..

Israel on Edge

Breaking: Israelites Flee Egypt

April 10th 2017

Edwin Black

 

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pproximately two million Children of Israel are now encamped in the Sinai following their extraordinary exodus from Egypt yesterday. Just days ago, they were slaves to Pharaoh. Today, they are free men and women, destined for self-determination in a land of their own. Only now are the details of their fantastic experience coming to light.

 

The dramatic sequence of events began some weeks ago with the unexpected return of exiled prince Moses, who previously fled Pharaoh’s wrath after slaying a taskmaster. In his daring appearance at the Palace, the inarticulate Moses, speaking through his brother Aaron, declared himself to be the personal emissary of a powerful new “God,” previously unknown to the Royal Court. Moreover, Moses asserted that his God was the protector of the Children of Israel, who have been in bondage for more than four centuries in Egypt.

 

The entire Royal Court was aghast as Moses demanded that the Children of Israel be permitted to travel three days into the desert for an unprecedented “feast and sacrifice” to their God. Making clear that he was not asking a Court indulgence, Moses looked straight at Pharaoh, stamped his roughhewn staff and issued the ultimatum that would be his rallying call during the coming days: “Let my people go.”

 

Laughter echoed throughout the hall as Pharaoh sneered, “Who is your ‘God?’  I know him not. Nor will I let Israel go!” Read more ..


The Trump Era

U.S. Launches Missiles at Syrian Base Over Chemical Weapons Attack

April 7th 2017

Darkly ominous missiles

The United States fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria overnight in response to what it believes was a chemical weapons attack that killed more than 100 people. At least six people were killed, Syria claimed, but the Pentagon said civilians were not targeted and the strike was aimed at a military airfield in the western province of Homs. The action completed a policy reversal for President Donald Trump — who once warned America to stay out of the conflict — and drew anger from Damascus and its main ally, Russia.

The missiles were launched from the USS Ross and the USS Porter in the Mediterranean Sea toward Shayrat Airfield. American officials believe it was used by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad to carry out a strike on Tuesday involving chemical weapons that resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people. Read more ..


Media on Edge

CNN's Discrediting Refusal to Cover the Susan Rice Story

April 6th 2017

CNN

Bloomberg's Eli Lake dropped a bombshell on Monday: Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice was responsible for "unmasking" the identities of Trump officials in intelligence intercepts, and spreading this information around the government.

Now House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has emphasized that the fact identities were unmasked does not validate President Trump's claim Obama surveilled him and his campaign. Further, there is no evidence that Rice did anything illegal and, given the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation, reasons may yet emerge to justify the unmasking.

Read more ..


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