Thursday, April 26, 2018

In the news, Thursday, April 5, 2018


APR 04      INDEX      APR 06

Information from some sites may not be reliable, or may not be vetted.
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from Conservative Intelligence Briefing

America First: President Trump Close To Historic New NAFTA Deal
President Trump is a step closer to making good on yet another campaign promise: a new NAFTA agreement that will be a better deal for America. The agreement may be announced next week.

President Trump’s Approval Rating Reaches Record Levels
Fifty-one percent of likely U.S. voters now approve of President Donald Trump’s job performance, while 48 percent disapprove, a new Rasmussen Reports daily presidential tracking poll reveals. It is Trump’s best overall job approval rating since April 2017, according to the poll. By comparison, President Barack Obama had a 46 percent job approval on April 4, 2010 in his second year in office.

Illlinois Town Bans Semi-Automatic Weapons
Owners of assault weapons living in north suburban Deerfield have until June 13 to remove the firearms from within village limits or face daily fines after a ban was approved Monday night,” the Chicago Tribune reports. The Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved a ban on certain types of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, amending a 2013 ordinance that regulated the storage of those items. Those who violate the ordinance could face fines of up to $1,000 per day.

U.S. Added 241,000 New Jobs in March
The U.S. economy felt yet another job increase last month, to the tune of 241,000 new jobs. This is the fifth month in a row that new jobs added or created numbers 200,000 or more. “Analysts had expected 205,000 to 210,000 new jobs,” to be added in March, according to Fox Business, but real numbers exceeded these expectations. The outlet also states that this news “augurs a strong report from the Labor Department’s employment report on Friday.”


from EUobserver
Media/News Company in Brussels, Belgium

New EU privacy rules to benefit Facebook users globally
New privacy rules coming into effect in the EU next month are "very positive", said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday (4 April) – announcing that they will have an effect beyond Europe. He spoke to reporters via a conference call to discuss the various issues that have put the social networking giant in a bad light recently, like fake news and the use of data by Cambridge Analytica.


from FEE (Foundation for Economic Education)
RIGHT-CENTER BIAS, HIGH, non-profit organization

Blow-Dry Bars Don't Even Cut Hair, So Why Do They Need Licenses?
The state’s willingness to prohibit and potentially imprison people for working to earn a living is shocking. Arizona law currently requires people to pay for at least 1,000 training hours, an exam, and various fees to get a license to style someone’s hair. That includes blowout stylists, who gain nothing from the many hours of training on using sharp tools and dangerous chemicals. But they face the threat of six months in prison and fines if they work without the license. As the late Justice Antonin Scalia would have said, “Stupid but constitutional.”

Reasons for Anti-Capitalism: Ignorance, Arrogance, and Envy
One would think that the market economy would be hailed as the most important social institution humanity had stumbled upon in all of human history. Ludwig von Mises observed, that any disappointments in life or failures to go as far professionally and financially as one had hoped falls mainly on oneself. Some find it hard to accept and deal with this. It is easier to say if not for greedy capitalists, or if not for the harsh coldness of the profit system, or if not for dog-eat-dog competition, I would have been more successful.

China’s ‘Social Credit System’ Sounds Pretty Dystopian, but Are We Far Behind?
The ACLU declared China’s system “nightmarish,” and it’s not difficult to see why. The same month the dystopian episode of "Black Mirror" premiered, China updated a policy—"Warning and Punishment Mechanisms for Persons Subject to Enforcement for Trust-Breaking"— that bears a striking resemblance. China’s “Social Credit System” literally rates its citizens. Those who score well get privileges; those who score poorly do not. A citizen with a high score is likely to enjoy various privileges—high-speed internet, the ability to travel freely, access to the best restaurants, golf courses and nightclubs—that fellow citizens do not.

Venezuela’s President Tackles Economic Crisis by Deleting 3 Zeros From its Currency
Nicolás Maduro's attempt to control hyper-inflation by deleting zeroes from its currency won't work.


from Foreign Affairs
Council on Foreign Relations

Perception and Misperception on the Korean Peninsula
North Korea has all but completed its quest for nuclear weapons. It has demonstrated its ability to produce boosted-fission bombs and may be able to make fusion ones, as well. It can likely miniaturize them to fit atop a missile. And it will soon be able to deliver this payload to the continental United States. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, has declared his country’s nuclear deterrent complete and, despite his willingness to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump, is unlikely to give it up. Yet Washington continues to demand that Pyongyang relinquish the nuclear weapons it already has, and the Trump administration has pledged that the North Korean regime will never acquire a nuclear missile that can hit the United States. The result is a new, more dangerous phase in the U.S.–North Korean relationship: a high-stakes nuclear standoff.


from The Inlander
Media/News Company in Spokane, WA

Idaho sets new rules on civil forfeiture
The rules just got a little clearer for what property Idaho police can and cannot take in connection to suspected crime. However, the new civil asset forfeiture rules, recently signed into law by Gov. BUTCH OTTER, do not address what critics argue is the most controversial part of this practice: That the government can take and keep citizens' property and cash without any criminal conviction.


from The Liberty Review
[Information from this site may be unreliable.]

Venezuelan President Tackles Inflation By Deleting Zeros From Currency
It seems that Venezuela’s dictator Nicolás Maduro has finally found the way to bring the country out of the unprecedented economic crisis Venezuela is immersed in since 2012. The ineffable leader of the Bolivarian Revolution has recently announced the launching of a new currency, the so-called Sovereign Bolivar, which will replace the bolivar as the official medium of exchange starting in June. The announcement was made via Twitter, where Maduro said that the current bolivar will be demonetized (cease to be legal tender) in favor of the new currency. The truth is that the bolivar was de facto demonetized a long time ago by the market due to the irresponsible monetary policy (basically, printing money to fund budget deficits year after year) undertaken by the Central Bank of Venezuela, fully controlled by the Bolivarian government.


from LifeZette (& PoliZette)
Media/News Company in Washington, D. C.

March Illegal Border Crossings Are the Highest of the Trump Presidency
Officials say monthly total of more than 50,000 underscores the need for the chief executive to dispatch the National Guard

Trump Rips WaPo for ‘Typically Bad Reporting’ on China Tariffs
President highlighted the media outlet's negative coverage and 'phony headlines' while doubling down on his 'America First' policies

Three Statistics That Explain Trump’s National Guard Call-Up
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen revealed how dramatically illegal immigration has changed since 2008

Planned Parenthood Is (Still) Frightfully Out of Sync with America
As the Disney princess-with-an-abortion outrage made clear, group uses the web to spread deviant ideas however it can

Family’s Illegal Control of Clinton Charity Violates Multiple State Laws, Regs
New Hampshire, for example, bars members of a family from controlling nonprofits and requires at least five directors with overall authority

Trump Is ‘First President to Fight Back’ Against China, Kudlow Says
It's time to let the 'world know' that this commander-in-chief 'means business' when it comes to trade and tariffs

‘It Was the Biblical Truth That Lit the Fire in Dr. King’s Heart’
The 50th anniversary of the reverend's death serves as a powerful rebuttal to much of the misguided arrogance about faith today


from Mises Institute
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

It's short and sweet, but Peter G. Klein eloquently highlights different American reactions to government data breaches vs. when private companies do it

4 Ways to Improve Immigration Policy — Without Growing Government
Ever since the early days of Donald Trump's campaign, his immigration policy has been centered around spending big bucks on immigration enforcement. From his famous border wall to stepped-up federal deportation operations, few would describe Trump's policies as laissez-faire, and most involve increasing the size and scope of government. But, there are other ways of addressing concerns around immigration, however, and they don't all require spending taxpayer money. Here are four ways to improve immigration policy that don't make government any bigger or more intrusive in our lives: One: Free Trade, Always; Two: Restrict Welfare Programs; Three: Don't Confuse Citizenship with Immigration; Four: Recognize that Government Enforcement Is a Mess.

Starbucks and Dick's Can be Anti-Gun If Customers Let Them
In the wake of Parkland, Walmart and Dick's announced new anti-gun policies. Bass Pro didn't. Who's right and who's wrong? YOU can decide by choosing which company you support. That's the free market.


from New York Times
Newspaper in New York

India Is Close to Buying a Russian Missile System, Despite U.S. Sanctions
India’s defense minister is visiting Moscow this week to finalize the purchase of a Russian missile defense system, Indian officials say, in a weapons deal that would violate American sanctions against Russia. The potential $6 billion deal comes at a time when the Trump administration is both weighing more extensive sanctions against Russia and trying to forge a military alliance with India. Indian officials say the agreement could be finalized as soon as this week, with India purchasing five S-400 Triumf systems, an antiaircraft missile array that can also intercept missiles. If the purchase goes through, the Trump administration would have to choose between punishing India for violating the sanctions or granting an exemption to avoid souring the relationship.


from The Spokesman-Review
Newspaper in Spokane, Washington


from Sputnik
RIGHT-CENTER BIAS, MIXED, Broadcasting & Media Production Company out of Moscow, Russia

Boko Haram Militant Group 'Almost Beaten' - Cameroonian Defense Minister
Joseph Beti Assomo, the Minister Delegate at the Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon in Charge of Defense in an exclusive interview with Sputnik spoke about the two security crises facing Cameroon – terrorism from Boko Haram, and the secessionist crisis in two Anglophone regions of the country.

Beijing May Have Upgraded J-10 Fighter to Become Stealthier
(PHOTOS)  The People’s Liberation Army-Air Force has modified the J-10 aircraft to have thrust vector control (TVC) capability, part of the service’s drive to make the aircraft more lethal. A recent image on a Chinese defense magazine showed the J-10 with a number of upgrades that haven't been seen before, including a new engine with "sawtooth" edges that make the engine less noticeable on enemy air radars. Engine specialists say that radar signals reflect well off straight lines, but that sawtooth patterns can smother the radar return.

What Russia Did With Its Soviet Chemical Weapons, and Where Else They Ended Up
On April 5, 1928, the Soviet Union signed the Geneva Protocol prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons in warfare. But the treaty did't ban production, and the USSR stockpiled the weapons until 1991. Military observer Andrei Kotz provides a short history of Soviet chemical weapons, and what happened to them after the USSR collapsed. Russia first began production of chemical weapons in 1915 during World War I, as a symmetrical response to Germany, which casually used the poison gas weapons on the battlefield on both the Western and Eastern fronts. The Czarist government speedily built three plants – in Ivanovo-Voznesensk, Moscow and Kazan. In a year's time, the Imperial Russian Army amassed nearly 150,000 chemical shells, but would refrain from using them out of fears regarding their unpredictability depending on weather conditions.  After the Bolsheviks came to power, they quickly established the so-called Chemical Service of the Red Army. The military created chemical units in all rifle and cavalry divisions and brigades, and modern chemical training was established in 1925.

German Court Releases Ex-Catalan Leader Puigdemont on Bail
Carles Puigdemont, charged with organizing an insurrection and embezzling state funds, is currently in custody in the German city of Neumunster after he was detained earlier in March on the basis of a European arrest warrant issued by a Spanish judge. The court of the German federal state Schleswig-Holstein has ruled to release former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont on bail in the sum of 75,000 Euro (about $92,000) for the duration of extradition hearings.

Saudi Arabia Poised to Be Part of Israel-Palestine Talks - Analyst
Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recognizing Israel's right to exist indicates Riyadh's drive to oversee the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, the head of the Center for Strategic Studies in Saudi Arabia has told Sputnik. Major-General Anwar Ishqi, head of the Saudi Center for Strategic Studies,said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's latest statements were made to designate Riyadh's direction in its foreign policy rather than signal a shift in Saudi Arabia's stance on the Palestinian issue.

Trade War Is First Shot, More to Come as China Infringes on Dollar – Economist
The trade war between China and the US continues to unfold as Donald Trump imposes $50 billion tariffs on Chinese products. Beijing plans to respond with symmetrical actions. The financial expert Ernst Wolff told Sputnik that more threats are to follow as China financially challenges the US.

US to Supply Ukrainian Army With Sniper Equipment – Reports
The US authorities made a decision to provide the Ukrainian military with a batch of sniper equipment, the Ukrainian UNIAN news agency reported, citing US Senator Rob Portman said on Thursday. Last month, the majority of the killed Ukrainian soldiers were likely killed by sniper fire, Portman, who is currently visiting Kiev, said, as quoted by the media. One of the US legislative amendments, and a decision of the White House, taken over the past month, stipulates sniper equipment provision to the Ukrainian army, to make it able to respond to sniper fire, the senator explained.


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