Friday, January 13, 2017

In the news, Monday, December 19, 2016


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DEC 18      INDEX      DEC 20
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Information from some sites may not be reliable, or may not be vetted.
Some sources may require subscription.

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from Asia Times Online

Cut the crap and ask Tillerson the right questions
US politicians fixated on Secretary of State pick Tillerson's ties to Russia. They are asking the wrong questions. 

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from BBC News (UK)

Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov shot dead in Ankara
A Turkish policeman has shot dead Russia's ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, apparently in protest at Russia's involvement in Aleppo. The killer has been identified as Mevlut Mert Aydintas, 22, a member of the Ankara riot police. It was not clear if he had links to any group.

The country full of contradictions
“Cuba is without question the most complex, contradictory, confounding place I’ve ever visited, a riddle that only grows deeper the more I look at it.”

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from Bloomberg

Cuba’s Rum-for-Debt Offer to Czechs Isn’t as Weird as It Sounds
Short on cash, officials in Havana have offered to send unspecified commodities and cases of the sugarcane-derived spirit to settle the debt, which a report by Agence France-Presse put at $270 million. The swap between the former Communist comrades -- Cuba and Czechoslovakia were among each other’s 10 largest trading partners in the 1980s -- is the latest in a series of proposals that have seen countries offer up everything from pasta to doctors to settle their borrowings.

Obama Said to Use 1953 Law to Restrict Offshore Oil Drilling
President Barack Obama is preparing to block the sale of new offshore drilling rights in most of the U.S. Arctic and parts of the Atlantic, a move that could indefinitely restrict oil production there, according to people familiar with the decision. Obama will invoke a provision in a 1953 law that gives him wide latitude to withdraw U.S. waters from future oil and gas leasing, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been announced. Until now the law has been used mostly to permanently preserve coral reefs, walrus feeding grounds and marine sanctuaries.

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from CNN

Minimum wage going up in 21 states, 22 cities
Come the new year, millions of the lowest-wage workers across the country will get a raise.

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from CNSNews.com (& MRC & NewsBusters)

WashPost Buzzes Over Bee: 'Funnier' Than All Late-Night Men Combined
The Washington Post is in the tank for Samantha Bee, the unfunny feminist battle-ax on TBS. On the front of Monday's Express tabloid was the tease "Ladies first: Samantha Bee is one reason it was the year of the woman on TV." Inside, Post writer Marc Silver gushed that Bee was funnier than all the late-night male hosts...combined! Before you believe this piece of Washington Post fake news, take some reminders of Samantha Bee's blatant Democrat-worshiping "humor."

Michael Moore Offers to Pay Fines for Electors to Switch Their Votes from Trump
It just wouldn’t be a political event without Academy Award winning documentary director Michael Moore putting in his two cents. Was Michael Moore trying to bribe the electoral college?

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from Conservative Intelligence Briefing

GOP Senate Opportunities in 2018
The Briefing, Vol. IV, Issue 51

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from The Daily Caller
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

Psychiatry Professors Ask Obama To COMMAND Trump To Submit To Mental Examination
A trio of psychiatrists has sent a letter to President Barack Obama advising him to command President-elect Donald Trump to submit to “a full medical and neuropsychiatric evaluation.” The psychiatrists want Obama to make Trump get his head examined because they believe Trump “cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality.” The Huffington Post is reporting the letter, dated Nov. 29, as legitimate.

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from First Things

SIN IN A TIME OF ACCOMPANIMENT
Sin is ugly, but it is part of the moral economy that makes grace intelligible. Without it, the narrative of salvation history looks somewhat ridiculous, for what do we need saving from? There can be something beautiful about the life of someone, like poet Paul Verlaine, who genuinely struggles with sin instead of making excuses. If we tried translating Verlaine’s spiritual writing into the language of accompaniment and integration, we would be exchanging great religious art for soulless bureaucratic jargon.

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from The Guardian (UK)
[Information from this site may be unreliable.]

Ancient DNA reveals genetic legacy of pandemics in the Americas
Geneticists are exploring how disease introduced by European colonists shaped the evolution of indigenous peoples of the Americas

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from The Heritage Foundation

Foiled Coup Plot in US-Allied Montenegro Has Russia’s Fingerprints All Over It
Russia has denied involvement in the plot, but Montenegro’s chief prosecutor has accused two “nationalists from Russia.”

Will A Stronger Dollar Cause a Trade War with Europe?
Markets have not been slow to see through the hollowness of the European Central Bank's announced (on December 8) curtailment of the pace of money printing planned for April next year. If the US dollar begins to return to monetary sanity — for now — other currencies will face grave threats to their monetary status quo.

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from LifeZette (& PoliZette)

U.N. Chief: Rise of Populist Movements Is an ‘Insult’
Outgoing secretary-general talks about the 'alienation' of migrants, refugees — and essentially calls for open borders

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from New Statesman
"The leading voice of the British left, since 1913."

Andrei Karlov was attacked while attending the opening of a contemporary arts centre.

The first serious election of the social media age, and what we got wasn’t scrutiny and scientific precision: it was misplaced confidence and mass falsehood. The left didn’t invent the idea that technology would make us good. We just listened to the industry’s own claims for itself, sandwiched them between our prejudices and swallowed them greedily.

Sweet singing in the choir: preparing for Christmas with Salisbury’s girl choristers
For the choristers at Salisbury cathedral, Christmas is the busiest time of year. There is evensong every day, plus Sunday services, BBC broadcasts, special concerts and tours to fit in with their schoolwork. The same professional singers provide the lower parts for both the girls and the boys, and all of the children are expected to sing to the highest standard.

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from NPR (& affiliates)

Patients Cared For By Female Doctors Fare Better Than Those Treated By Men
Patients cared for by women were less likely to die or return to the hospital after discharge. If male doctors were as good as their female counterparts at caring for older people in the hospital, about 32,000 fewer patients a year would die.

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from Space.com (& CollectSpace)

The 100 Best Space Photos of 2016
These 100 images are our editors' choices for the best night skt photos of the year!

A Potential Global Warming Solution Might Also Block Starlight
Injecting aerosols into the atmosphere to fight climate change would also make it hard for much of the world to see stars in the night sky.

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from The Spokesman-Review

Trump wins Electoral College vote; four Washington electors defy voters’ will

Russian ambassador shot dead in Turkey

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from The Sun (London, UK)

Senator Frantz Klintsevich, deputy chairman of the Russian upper chamber’s defence and security committee, said: “It was a planned action.”

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from Townhall.com
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

The Terrifying Aftermath of Hillary’s Election Victory
In the midst of our joyous celebrations, and as we savor the delicious schadenfreude left in the wake of Hillary’s humiliating rejection by normal Americans, it’s easy to forget that there is a much darker timeline where things could have gone very differently.

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from UPI News Agency - United Press International
upi.com

N.C. to repeal controversial transgender bathroom law
4:20 PM  Nine months after he signed controversial House Bill 2 into law, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday called for a special legislative session to scrap it. The lame duck Republican governor officially reversed course on Monday after a surprise move by the Charlotte City Council to scrap its nondiscrimination ordinance that initiated HB2 in the first place -- a city law that barred discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in public accommodations. "Charlotte shouldn't have had to repeal its ordinance in exchange for HB2 to be repealed," an LGBT advocate said today.

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from The Washington Post

Trump is unifying the fractured GOP foreign policy establishment
Starting with retired generals Mattis and Kelly, the president-elect has assembled an experienced team.

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from The Washington Times

Federal agencies can spy on phones with 400 cell-site simulators
Report recommends national standard for Stingray cell phone tracker use

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from Yahoo News

Three dead in Venezuela cash unrest
A weekend of looting and clashes left at least three people dead in Venezuela, authorities said, as anger roiled over a chaotic currency reform that left many without cash.

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