CURRENT EVENTS | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


CURRENT EVENTS

Dec 17 08:52

CHINA’S SOCIAL CREDIT POSES RISING RISK TO CEOS

China’s “social credit” system is another worry for executives, as tensions spike over the arrest of a Huawei executive at U.S. behest. The government’s plan to blacklist people and companies for misbehaviour is widely misunderstood. But its implications for business should raise eyebrows. By holding executives accountable for their company’s misdeeds, it blurs the already fuzzy Chinese line between corporate and personal interests.

The social credit system poses additional risks to foreign companies. Take the tiff between U.S. airlines and China’s civil aviation agency earlier this year over their labeling of Taiwan as a “country” in ticket-booking systems; Beijing considers the island a breakaway province. If a court had fined the airlines and they refused to budge, it’s conceivable their China-based managers might have been placed on a do-not-fly list, or seen their children kicked out of private school.

Dec 17 08:48

SAUDIS CONTINUE KILLING CIVILIANS DURING YEMEN PEACE TALKS IN SWEDEN

A statement from the spokesman of Yemen’s Armed Forces reported that the US-backed Saudi coalition dropped 38 airstrikes just over the course of Saturday. At least 12 of which targeted various areas of Hodeidah which constitutes a direct violation of the peace negotiations calling for a ceasefire.

Airstrikes killed at least 15 civilians since the peace negotiations began last week — including seven women and three children. Meanwhile, 28 sustained injuries, eight of whom were children as well as five women.

Yemen’s Ministry of Health pointed out that this displays the Saudi coalition’s unwillingness to engage in a peace process. “This expresses the unwillingness of these countries to stop the bloodshed and alleviate the suffering of the people of Yemen, which exposes the reality of these countries’ goals in their aggression against Yemen,” a statement from the MoH reads.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Well, DANG, I thing that this will be judged as "one of the shortest documented cease-fire in human history!!"

It is painfully obvious to me that the Butcher of Yemen, Prince Mohammad bin Salman, wants victory at any cost, and is very prepared to slaughter as many Yemeni people as humanly possible to achieve that.

I also wish to express how deeply concerned I am that President Trump's two BFFs in the Middle East, are Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, the butcher of Gaza, and Saudi Arabia's Prince Salman, Butcher of of Yemen.

Dec 17 08:42

YOUTUBE REMOVES 58 MILLION VIDEOS FEATURING HATEFUL OR INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT

YouTube was once seen as safe space, free from government regulation and censorship.

But the dark side of the sharing platform has been laid bare in a report that reveals in the past three months, it has had to remove 58 million videos that were posting hateful or inappropriate content.

Catherine Archer, a lecturer at Murdoch University who specialises in social media, said it is the tip of the iceberg.

"I guess it's starting to admit the problem, but the whole point of YouTube was being able to upload a video without being a professional," she said.

"These social media platforms are, more and more, having to realise how hard it is to control the content on their channels."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to wonder; by what criteria YouTube is deplatforming these contributors, and what algorithms they are using to do this?!?

Dec 17 08:39

A TEXAS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SPEECH PATHOLOGIST REFUSED TO SIGN A PRO-ISRAEL OATH, NOW MANDATORY IN MANY STATES — SO SHE LOST HER JOB

A CHILDREN’S SPEECH PATHOLOGIST who has worked for the last nine years with developmentally disabled, autistic, and speech-impaired elementary school students in Austin, Texas, has been told she can no longer work with the public school district after she refused to sign an oath vowing that she “does not” and “will not” engage in a boycott of Israel or “otherwise tak[e] any action that is intended to inflict economic harm” on that foreign nation. A lawsuit on her behalf was filed early Monday morning in a federal court in the Western District of Texas alleging a violation of her First Amendment right of free speech.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope the extensive negative publicity and bad optics from this firing, will "encourage" the really good teaches and experts in other areas in this district, to go elsewhere and teach, or provide professional services, like this lady has now been forced to do.

This should never be asked of an American educator... EVER.

Dec 17 08:33

'Bomb threat' scammers are now threatening to throw acid on victims

Talos said that as soon as their bomb threat campaign appeared to hit a dead end, the group switched to another one.

"The attackers have returned to their empty threats of harming the individual recipient," Schultz said. "This time, they threaten to throw acid on the victim." A copy of an email carrying this latest threat is available below.

Dec 17 08:31

AMAZON DENIES WAREHOUSE WORKERS' REQUEST FOR AIR CONDITIONING AS "ROBOTS CAN'T WORK IN COLD WEATHER"

As investigative reporters on multiple continents have burnished Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' reputation as a ruthless capitalist by exposing some of the company's more extreme labor abuses, like effectively forcing employees to pee in bottles to avoid taking unpaid bathroom breaks and hiring ambulances to wait outside some of its warehouses to cart away workers suffering from heat stroke.

As the debate about what, exactly, Amazon owes its workers and the municipalities that host its facilities has taken on renewed relevance following the backlash to the generous tax breaks offered by NYC for Amazon to build a new headquarters in Long Island City (the city's subway is crumbling, but Amazon is getting taxpayer-funded handouts to build a helipad!), more Amazon workers are rising up to protest their brutal working conditions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apparently Bezos thoroughly believes he has the power of the the right of America's "monied monarchy", to treat his people like slaves.

And hey, organized labor, where the heck are you on this issue?!? The only thing this man understands.... is economic pain. If enough is applied, through legal organization, he will ultimately have to relent, or go home.

Dec 17 08:24

ISRAELI POLITICIAN CALLS FOR PA PRESIDENT TO BE KILLED

A member of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, called on Sunday for the President of the Palestinian Authority to have his head “chopped off”. Oren Hazzan MK made the comment about Mahmoud Abbas, as well as his Deputy, Mahmoud Al-Aloul, during a march held by illegal settlers in Jerusalem, Maan News Agency has reported.

Dozens of settlers gathered in and around Jerusalem’s Old City chanting racist slogans against Abbas and calling for him to be killed. In the evening, they gathered outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s house and burnt pictures of Abbas. Banners held by the settlers called for the PA leader’s assassination.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would politely want to suggest that Oren Hazzan, MK, be a little more careful about what he wishes for.

Such a move on the part of the IDF, would most probably bring more violence against these illegal settlers than they can begin to imagine.

And yes, thinking Americans understand that the complete, final, and genocidal extermination of the Palestinians is precisely what Israel would love to do, but the international optics on such a move ... would usher in a world where BDS is considered the norm, as a retaliation against this.

So, at the end of the day, I would very politely suggest that the gentleman suggesting this would be a marvelous outcome for the Zionist movement .... think again.

Dec 17 08:14

‘WE DIDN’T LISTEN TO PEOPLE’: FRENCH PM ADMITS MISTAKES IN DEALING WITH YELLOW VEST RALLIES

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has acknowledged that the government made mistakes while handing the massive Yellow Vest protests that have gripped the country for the past five weeks.
“We made mistakes. We did not listen enough to the French people. I remain convinced that they want this country to be transformed,” he told Les Echoes newspaper on Sunday.

Violence at the demonstrations has been hitting record levels with hundreds of protesters injured since November 17. At least seven people died during the protests. Police officers have also suffered injuries.

French cities descended into chaos, with protesters smashing store windows, looting, overturning cars, and burning barricades. City centers were shrouded in fog from tear gas, smoke grenades and firecrackers. Earlier in December, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire admitted that the protests were a “catastrophe” for the country's economy and businesses.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The French seem to remember their Revolution, and in a positive light, a lot more clearly than most Americans want to.

Dec 17 08:10

LARGEST NUMBER OF BOMB THREATS EVER AGAINST WESTERN TARGETS IN 4 COUNTRIES

An unprecedented “flood of bomb threats” prompted hundreds of evacuations and closures of private buildings, transport hubs and offices in four countries on Thursday, causing confusion and in some cases panic. The threats —which numbered in the hundreds— were issued throughout the day Thursday against businesses, schools, hospitals and media companies in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It is the first time in history that such a large wave of bomb threats was issued against so many targets internationally.

A deadline of one business day was given to deposit the funds. Throughout the day, police agencies across three continents issued notices cautioning people to remain aware of their surroundings and report suspicious messages or behaviour. It was eventually determined that virtually all bomb threats were not credible.

HOWEVER, IT WAS THE SHEER NUMBER AND GEOGRAPHICAL EXTENT OF THE THREATS THAT SHOCKED LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ACROSS FOUR COUNTRIES.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder by whom these threats were planted, or who was going to profit from such threats?!?

Might it have been the governments themselves, attempting to create a surge of fear so intense, given these massively wide-spread attempts at extortion, that people were going to lose their ability to reason, and that those same governments might use these threats as a pretext for instituting martial law?!?

Cue bono?!? Who really benefits?!? That is the question which should be asked right now.

Dec 17 08:06

Video of Migrant Children With Numbers on Their Arms Goes Viral After 7-year-old Girl Dies in Detention

The 7-year-old Guatemalan migrant girl who died after being detained by U.S. border agents this month was inseparable from her father and had looked forward to being able to send money home to support her impoverished family, relatives said on Saturday.

Dec 17 08:06

U.S. Student Loan Debt Sets Record, Doubling Since Recession

U.S. student loan debt outstanding reached a record $1.465 trillion last month and one particular set of borrowers is having a hard time paying back their loans, according to a Bloomberg analysis of student loan securitization data. This debt is raising fiscal risks.

Dec 17 06:56

Happy Christmas! Bloodhound SSC refuelled by Yorkshire business chap

In news that will bring festive cheer to fans of plucky Brit engineering efforts, the Bloodhound 1,000mph car project has been lobbed a lifeline by Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ian Warhurst.

Warhurst, who sold his Barnsley-based company, Melett, for an undisclosed sum to US outfit Wabtec this time last year, snapped up the business and assets of Bloodhound after the thing went TITSUP* on 7 December.

The deal was signed off on 14 December, and Warhurst will be meeting the team in the New Year, once their Christmas hangovers have subsided.

Dec 17 06:49

1MDB: Malaysia charges Goldman Sachs and two bankers

Malaysia has filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and two former employees in connection with a corruption and money laundering probe at the country's investment fund, 1MDB.

The US bank has been under scrutiny for its role in helping to raise funds for the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

It is being investigated in at least six countries.

Goldman Sachs called the charges "misdirected" and said it would "vigorously defend them".

Dec 17 03:28

Tucker Tells the Trump Truth

Tucker is not alone on this one. Those of us who support Trump’s proposed agenda (repeat, proposed) feel pretty much the same way. It’s very sad that President Trump has such an insatiable need to bluster about his achievements — even when the facts don’t back up his words — because it’s probably cost him a record approval rating.

Dec 16 15:42

Gun Control – Do Facts Matter To Politicians & Judges?

The people with the greatest need for self-protection are denied the tools they need to keep their family safe. That is the real face of gun-control, but that isn’t what we were sold by politicians. That isn’t what judges tell us. We’re told that disarming you and leaving guns in the hands of criminals is acceptable as long as politicians meant well. Do facts matter anymore?

Dec 16 15:34

Shooting of Criminal by Citizen NOT Reported by Police & NOT Unusual

The point of these anecdotal reminiscences is to illustrate that large numbers of defensive gun uses are never officially recorded, either in police records or in the media.

Dec 16 13:14

#ClearFlynnNow Rally - 9:30am EST on Tues, Dec 18, 2018

District Court of DC, 333 Constitution Ave, NW in DC

Dec 16 11:12

UK: GOVERNMENT’S COUNTERTERRORISM IS LIMITING TEXTS AND TOPICS STUDENTS CAN ACCESS, EXPERTS SAY

A counter terrorism strategy has created a “culture of fear” across UK universities where freedom of expression and open debate is being stifled, experts and campaigners warn.

Dec 16 11:05

MESSIANIC JEWISH LOBBYING GROUP BUILDS SUPPORT FOR U.S.-FUNDED ETHNIC CLEANSING PLAN IN PALESTINE

A PRO-ISRAEL ACTIVIST group is quietly pushing lawmakers on Capitol Hill and key officials in the White House to embrace a plan that would entail paying Palestinian residents in the West Bank to move abroad. The plan is a bid to reshape the ethnic and religious population of territories controlled by Israel, according to the head of the group, called the Alliance for Israel Advocacy.

Dec 16 10:39

United Airlines' "Historic" Route Announcement Is Less Exciting Than It Sounds

United Continental tried to capture some media buzz last week by teasing "an historic package of new and expanded international routes" to be unveiled on Wednesday.

Dec 16 10:38

Del Monte Recalls Canned Corn Over Concerns It Could Cause ‘Life-Threatening Illness'

Del Monte Foods has recalled 64,242 cases of a particular type of canned corn due to a concern that it could cause “life-threatening illness” if eaten.

Dec 16 10:16

Florida tale of infidelity and homicide ends with conviction

After a spellbinding five-day trial that featured tales of infidelity and a multimillion dollar insurance payout, a jury on Friday convicted a Florida woman of helping mastermind the killing of her husband nearly two decades ago.

Dec 16 10:16

Border Patrol defends handling, medical care of 7-year-old girl who died in custody

Department of Homeland Security and Border Patrol officials made a concerted effort Friday to explain the circumstances surrounding the death of a 7-year-old girl in government custody after she and her father were apprehended attempting to cross the southern border into New Mexico.

Dec 16 10:15

The Special Counsel Is Fighting a Witness in Court. Who Is It?

For the past several months, journalists, legal experts and close followers of the special counsel’s investigation have been trying to uncover one particular secret about the inquiry: Is the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, in a closed-door legal battle? If so, with whom?

Dec 16 10:15

Mueller Investigation Cost $25 Million So Far, Report Says. It’s Pulled in $48 Million From Tax Cheats

Robert Mueller’s investigation has cost just over $25 million in the first 16 months of its investigation, according to CNBC.

Dec 16 09:56

The biggest loser: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes $15B hit in 2018

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was the biggest loser out of all of the world’s top 500 billionaires in 2018 and will end the year with about 25 percent less wealth which has to be a big blow to the tech guru’s ego.

Dec 16 09:51

‘American System is Desperate for an Enemy’ - Scholar on Bolton's Accusations

US National Security Advisor John Bolton in a speech unveiled the US strategy to counter Chinese and Russian influence in Africa. He accused Moscow and Beijing of deliberately and aggressively targeting their investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage over the US.

The American official claimed that China was using bribes, opaque agreements and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing's wishes and demands. In addition, Bolton announced a new program, "Prosper Africa", to support American investment across the continent and provide alternatives to Chinese projects.

Radio Sputnik has discussed this new plan with Ian Taylor, a professor in International Relations and African Political Economy at the School of International Relations at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland.

Dec 16 09:49

Preacher with Joel Osteen's Lakewood church who worked with Donald Trump now under fire for giving his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini as an anniversary gift

A South Carolina pastor who still preaches occasionally at Joel Osteen's famed Lakewood Church became emotional defending his extravagant purchase of a $200,000 Lamborghini Urus for his wife's wedding anniversary gift after coming under fire for its excess.

John Gray of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, received a social media backlash after a video of him presenting his wife, Aventer Gray, with the keys to the luxury vehicle during their 8th anniversary vow renewal was posted online.

'Pastor buys his wife, you know, this expensive car,' The pastor said in an impassioned Instagram video now taken down. 'First of all, it wasn't a pastor that bought the car. It was a husband that bought the car. Get that in your spirit.'

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Note the attempt to drag Trump into this mess.

Dec 16 09:03

Dangerous Levels of Mercury Found in Some Skin-Care Products Bought on Amazon and eBay

You may have heard that mercury can lurk in things like sushi and dental fillings, but it turns out that dangerous levels of this toxic heavy metal can also be found in skin-care products, particularly those from foreign countries. And while that last part may make you breathe a sigh of relief, there's still plenty of reason to be cautious about what you're applying onto your skin.

Dec 16 09:03

Dead Guatemalan girl dreamed of sending money home to poor family

The 7-year-old Guatemalan migrant girl who died in U.S. custody this month was inseparable from her father and had looked forward to being able to send money home to support her impoverished family, relatives said on Saturday.

Dec 16 09:01

US Navy contractors successfully hacked by China 'more than a handful of times'

A report out today indicates that the US Navy has been hacked by China several times over the last year and a half. The attackers use tools common in China, and at least one IP address was traced back to the communist state. The Secretary of the Navy has ordered a full review of the military branch's security measures.

More China bashing.

Dec 16 09:00

High school seniors attending 'adulting day' learn how to cook, pay bills and change tires

Adulting is hard. While high school students are at the forefront of technological and learning skills, it’s often not until they leave home that they learn everyday life skills. Some believe that high schools should offer a commonsense course in which students are taught how to pay bills, change a tire or cook. Now, one Kentucky school is offering an “adulting day” to teach such skills to students in their senior year.

Dec 16 08:49

Prada, accused of displaying 'mysterious creatures' resembling blackface, removes them from display

Prada’s newest campaign features a number of “mysterious creatures” that are “part biological, one part technological, all parts Prada.” But a civil rights lawyer says they are reminiscent of blackface.

Dec 16 08:48

Trump Mocks Closure of ‘Never Had a Clue’ Bill Kristol’s The Weekly Standard: ‘May It Rest in Peace!’

Donald Trump took aim at The Weekly Standard a day after the conservative magazine announced it would shut down on after 23 years.
“The pathetic and dishonest Weekly Standard, run by failed prognosticator Bill Kristol (who, like many others, never had a clue), is flat broke and out of business. Too bad. May it rest in peace!” the president wrote on his Twitter account Saturday.

Dec 16 08:03

Police arrest 2 men who 'terrorized' a black Walmart shopper and yelled the N-word

Police arrested two Louisiana men who “terrorized” a black woman at Walmart, damaging her car and using the N-word.
Suspects Dylan Reynolds, 22, of Columbia, and Michael Walters, 24, of West Monroe, were arrested Thursday after social media tipped off the West Monroe Police Department, according to the News Star.

Dec 16 08:03

California Lawmaker Arrested for Child Cruelty After Spanking His Daughter

A California lawmaker was arrested Monday on suspicion of child cruelty for spanking his seven-year-old daughter. The arrest of State Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula occurred when school officials discovered an injury on the child after she reported the spanking to her teacher.

Dec 16 07:42

More than 200 teens attend out of control party at Airbnb home

Police are investigating whether an out-of-control teen party at a Melbourne Airbnb property leased by a 15-year-old is linked to a number of assaults later in the night.

Dec 16 07:41

This Conservative Blogger's Chart Shaming Working Moms Predictably Sparks Outrage

A blog post from a conservative Christian mommy blogger is taking over the parenting corner of the internet, a place that often has more discord than the halls of Congress. Lori Alexander, a.k.a. The Transformed Wife, posted a chart titled "Should Mothers Have Careers?" in which she compared her thoughts on working moms vs. stay-at-home moms—and it's really something.

Dec 15 17:25

video 'Yellow Vests' push past police attempting to block their route

Armed police officers (top and bottom right) have been stationed around Paris ahead of a fifth consecutive week

Dec 15 15:26

‘Yellow vest’ protests spread to the Netherlands

The month-long French demonstrations, which have led to repeated rioting in Paris, have inspired protesters in a number of mostly European countries.

Dec 15 15:25

Tucker Carlson Breaks Down Flynn DOJ/FBI Setup - w/ Joe Digenova

Tucker Carlson Tonight 12/14/18 | Breaking Fox News | December 14, 2018

Dec 15 15:21

Tijuana official: Some caravan migrants breaking into homes

(*MEXICO: the SECOND bird the 'genius' got with that one stone !)

Dec 15 13:43

“Something Is Wrong Here”: U.S. Stocks Plunge Again And Are Having Their Worst Quarter In 7 Years

Despite widespread assurances from the mainstream media that the wise thing to do is to keep your money in the market, investors are pulling money out of equities at a near record pace…

Dec 15 13:34

Every Bubble Is In Search Of A Pin

Now that the world’s central banking cartel is taking a long-overdue pause from printing money and handing it to the wealthy elite, the collection of asset price bubbles nested within the Everything Bubble are starting to burst.

Dec 15 13:13

Million Plus NJ Gun Owners Defy State Law, Refuse to Turn Over Banned Gun Mags

New Jersey's standard capacity magazine ban is now in effect making New Jersey's one million gun owners criminals in the eyes of the state. But in an act of mass definace, New Jersey residents refuse to comply.

Dec 15 13:08

Move Over Facial Recognition Tech, They’re Now Data Mining Directly From Our Brains

In this video Dan Dicks of Press For Truth goes over the latest Orwellian news as China is now data-mining info directly from the brains of workers in order to “increase productivity.”

Dec 15 12:41

In 2019, Scientists Funded by Bill Gates to Spray Particles into the Sky in First Experiment to Dim the Sun

Harvard scientists will attempt to replicate the climate-cooling effect of volcanic eruptions with a world-first solar geoengineering experiment set for early 2019.

Dec 15 12:40

The Demands of the Yellow Vest Movement are Growing into Real Systemic Change

Long story short; French citizens have revolted for the fourth week in a row calling for changes in governmental and corporate design. Even though UN Military and thousands of French police have been deployed in response, the police have actually been filmed removing their helmets in solidarity with the French people.

Dec 15 12:37

Media Blackout After Trump Launches Urban Council To Invest $100 Billion in Black Communities

PLUS -Remarks by President Trump at Signing of an Executive Order Establishing the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council

Dec 15 12:31

SUPER INJUNCTION SILENCES NEWS ABOUT VATICAN OFFICIAL'S CHILD MOLESTATION CONVICTION, AND THAT'S BULLSHIT

George Pell, the Vatican's CFO and often called the "3rd most powerful person in the Vatican" was convicted on all charges that he sexually molested choir boys in Australia in the 1990s. However, the press is barred from reporting on it based on one of those gag orders. The Herald Sun in Australia did post a brilliant, Streisand Effect-inducing front page display about how it was being censored from publishing an important story:

Front page of Thursday's edition of Australia's Herald Sun: "CENSORED"

"A statement to our readers...The world is reading a very important story that is relevant to Victorians. The Herald Sun is prevented from publishing details of this significant news." https://t.co/bzFOluucy9 pic.twitter.com/J0vSkBrB1g

— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) December 12, 2018
Though, if you click on the link in that tweet it now shows an error message reading Error 400 and "Content is deleted, expired or legal killed." Legal killed.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Pope Francis, you and I have never met; but unless you want the Catholic Church to ultimately get sued out of existence, from the huge numbers of cases like this ready to break, you have got to acknowledge that there is an institutional cultural illness in the Church, which has to be rooted out like a cancer.

Priests should NEVER believe that their positions in the hierarchy EVER give them the right to abuse children, period, end of discussion.

Now, if you know your church's history, you know that there was a time when priests could marry, as stated in the following: The Church was a thousand years old before it definitively took a stand in favor of celibacy in the twelfth century at the Second Lateran Council held in 1139, when a rule was approved forbidding priests to marry. In 1563, the Council of Trent reaffirmed the tradition of celibacy.

Your Holiness, I would like to politely point out that since that time, this policy has not worked out very well, either for the priests who were doing the abusing, or the children abused; in fact, one could, reasonably, characterise this policy as a multi-generational epic fail.

The big difference, in the 21st century, is that those children who were abused now have a voice against those they accuse of doing this foul deed, in a court of law.

But if we are going to stop this practice, for future generations, I would suggest that the Church only recruit future priests from men who are married, and have happy, thriving, emotionally healthy wives and kids. Start elevating women in your communities, and give them voices which they still do not have, even in this part of the 21st century.

You are welcome, Pope Francis!!

Also, there is a companion piece from globalresearch.ca: The Conviction that dare not speak its name: the Conviction of Cardinal George Pell

Dec 15 12:18

Scrap comedy 'safe spaces'. Satire keeps us honest

This week, the Russian-born comedian Konstantin Kisin has been at the centre of a vaguely heated Twitter spat. Admittedly that might have passed you by if you aren’t fully absorbed in the netherworld of vaguely heated Twitter spats, but thankfully it’s been a quiet news week, so I’ve managed to stay abreast of things.

The flare-up related to an unpaid charity gig organised by a student society of a London university that Kisin had been asked to perform at, in particular a “behavioural agreement form” that he was asked to sign beforehand. This stipulated that certain topics and approaches were off limits, including sexism, racism and homophobia, as well as anti-religious and anti-atheist material.

Dec 15 12:13

IRAQ SUMMONS TURKISH ENVOY OVER AIR STRIKES

Iraq’s foreign ministry on Friday summoned Turkey’s ambassador in Baghdad to protest over what it called repeated airspace violations, after Turkish warplanes earlier carried out strikes against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, Reuters reports.

Hours earlier, the Turkish military said on Twitter it had killed eight militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in air strikes targeting the Zap, Hakurk and Haftanin regions of northern Iraq.

Turkey has regularly carried out air strikes on PKK bases in northern Iraq, as President Tayyip Erdogan pursues his stated aim of ending the militant group’s presence near Turkey’s borders. Ankara has also threatened to launch a ground offensive in northern Iraq.

But Iraq’s foreign ministry said the air strikes were unacceptable “on all levels” and violated its sovereignty and the security of its citizens.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to wonder; at what point is the US military, which is still sovereign in Iraq, because its military is in such lousy shape, post-Saddam Hussein, tell Turkey that it has had enough, and to stop running raids like this.

And after the US military has said "no mas", what is it , the Pentagon, White House, and State Department going to actually do to stop this?!?

This is made all the more complicated by the reality that both the US and Turkey are NATO members.

Dec 15 12:07

KEANU REEVES HAS BEEN RUNNING A SECRET CANCER FOUNDATION TO FUND CHILDREN'S HOSPITALS

The Matrix movie series was one of the most revolutionary works of art to ever come out of Hollywood. Its pro-humanity, anti-authoritarian message instantly made it a classic and it has since become the subject of internet memes and (red pill) movements alike. At the center of this silver-screen revolution is Keanu Reeves whose real-life heroism makes his role as Neo that much more incredible.

It is no secret that Keanu Reeves is Hollywood’s biggest low-key real-life hero, but did you know that he also secretly funds children’s hospitals? We didn’t, and most people probably wouldn’t either as the upcoming star of the sci-fi thriller Replicas is not exactly boastful of his contributions to society—unlike many other Hollywood celebrities.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have only 4 words to share here, and they are: "God Bless you, Sir!!"

Dec 15 12:04

THE GOVERNMENT’S BIOTERROR-RESPONSE WEBSITE MAY BE LEAKING SENSITIVE DATA

The U.S. government’s chief tool to coordinate responses to bioterror events has for years suffered from big security problems, according to Homeland Security Department inspectors and a former employee.

For more than 15 years, the United State’s first line of defense against a major biological incident has been a program called BioWatch. Its sensors, mounted (600 in more than 30 cities across the U.S.), works like canaries in a coal mine. If a terrorist released, say, a deadly aerosolized biological toxin into Grand Central Terminal, sensors would pick up the toxin. Health care workers collect samples from the sensors and bring them to BioWatch labs every day.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am having a double-Picard facepalm, upon reading this!!

This government is so keen on surveilling us all, yet cannot keep information from this system from leaking?!?

That... is an industrial strength YIKES, folks!!!

Dec 15 11:57

THE EFF GIFT GUIDE: WHAT’S CREEPING US OUT

EFF doesn’t endorse products. But as Internet-connected products proliferate, ads for them bombard holiday shoppers with promises of a more streamlined life. And they do so without always divulging that they’re tracking you more than a jolly fat man who sees when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake.

So, we are taking a different approach to the holiday gift guide: highlighting products that raise red flags for us, as privacy-conscious digital advocates. Here are some gifts being pushed this year that, from a privacy or security standpoint, are on our naughty list.

Dec 15 11:50

See how the amazing new eBulb eliminates blackouts from your life forever and gives you peace of mind during an emergency or natural disaster

The Haylo eBulb is the world's first self-charging emergency light bulb that works just like your ordinary light bulbs but is always ready instantly when you have a power failure. Just turn on the light you put the eBulb in and you can safely check on everyone in your family.

Imagine never having to worry about being stranded in the dark because of a blackout.

It's like having an expensive emergency generator installed without the costs or inconvenience. The Haylo eBulb only takes a few seconds to install because it simply replaces your old light bulb and starts charging itself.

This is the best emergency light solution available for your home. Plus, the LED lights are so efficient that they start saving you money instantly!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is an unpaid endorsement. These are LED bulbs that fit in the normal light bulb sockets in your home, but they have a built in battery so they keep working when the power goes out!

Dec 15 11:49

SERBIA THREATENS MILITARY ACTION AFTER KOSOVO VOTES TO CREATE ARMY

Serbia has threatened military action against neighbouring Kosovo after its parliament approved the creation of a new army.

Kosovar MPs voted on Friday to expand the existing Kosovo Security Force into a 5,000-troop army, plus 3,000 reservists.

Belgrade called the move a “direct threat to peace and stability” in the Balkans and lashed out at the United States for supporting the proposal.

Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in 2008, but Serbia does not recognise its former province as a state.

Belgrade insists the new army would violate a UN resolution that brought to an end its bloody crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists in 1999.

Serbian prime minister Ana Brnabic said armed intervention was “one of the options on the table”.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And here is a companion article, dated 8 December:

CIA sending ship full if arms to Kosovo Army

It appears the US's CIA has decided upon which side of the conflict here upon which they are betting; and it doesn't look like that is Serbia's side at all.

This area has been a wellspring of military conflict for years, and was actually part of the history which generated World War 1.

Austria-Hungary declares World War 1

Dec 15 11:41

RIP Obamacare? Federal judge strikes down Affordable Care Act as ‘unconstitutional’

A Texas federal judge has struck down the Affordable Care Act, ruling it can not be classed as a tax without a penalty for those who don’t buy health insurance. Without that penalty, he wrote, “Obamacare” is unconstitutional.
The ruling is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court and the law will remain in effect until the appeals process is over. The ACA previously withstood more than 70 unsuccessful repeal attempts.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Dec 15 11:38

‘WE’RE SORRY THIS HAPPENED’: BUG CAUSES LEAK OF 7 MILLION FACEBOOK USERS’ PHOTOS

he relentless stream of controversy at Facebook continues unabated as the social media giant has revealed that a bug in its software gave third party apps access to photos belonging to nearly seven million users.
The bug gave the external operators far greater access to Facebook users’ images than the tech firm normally allows. Permission usually only extends to the public photos that people share on their timeline.

However, due to the API glitch developers were given access to other images belonging to users, including ones on Facebook stories, Marketplace and even photos that had been uploaded onto the social media site but that users had decided not to publish.

The API malfunction existed for nearly two weeks from September 13 to 25 this year. Facebook developer Tomer Bar said in a blog post on Friday that the only apps that had access to the hidden photos were those to which users had already granted access to their public images.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I haven't read Facebook's "terms and conditions" in a long time, but one has to wonder: will Facebook be hit with a class action lawsuit, because of this bug?!?!?

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