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Thought for the day
"We do not at present educate people to think but, rather, to have opinions." -- Louis L'Amour
The social media network said it is shutting down its live shopping feature and shifting its focus to Reels. The company announced the news in a blog post in which it said that, starting on October 1, “you will no longer be able to host any new or scheduled Live Shopping events on Facebook.”
The company noted that Facebook Live will still be available to broadcast live events, but “you won’t be able to create product playlists or tag products in your Facebook Live videos.”
Facebook launched livestream video shopping some two years ago. The feature was designed to give creators and brands an interactive way to sell items, connect with viewers and reach new customers.
The company has since expanded the feature with new options. Last summer, for example, it launched a new promotion called Live Shopping Fridays,” which featured beauty and fashion brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Clinique and Sephora.
In announcing its decision to scale back live shopping, Facebook cited consumers changing habits.
A London-based Shia Muslim organization has stormed and briefly taken over the embassy of Azerbaijan in the UK capital, the government of Azerbaijan has confirmed, with local police announcing that eight men have been arrested.
The group, called the Mahdi Servants Union, was seen on the embassy balcony waiving their distinctive flag at the embassy located in Kensington neighborhood. The men have reportedly been charged with trespassing and "criminal damage". Social media videos showed the group scrawling protest messages written in Arabic on the external embassy walls in the rare incident, with a crowd of onlookers beholding the mayhem from the street...
According to combined data from the Defense Suicide Prevention Office and a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, that’s the highest number of active duty Army member suicides on record since 1938.
Suicide rates within all military branches have continued to rise since 2015.
Compounding this trend is the number of U.S. soldiers and veterans who have taken their own life in post-9/11 wars.
Senator Tim Scott showed his true colors and made it known that he is for anti-Trump and disgusting anti-American RINOs like Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska.
With EU managing the process, the US and Iran have returned to Vienna for nuclear talks. Both sides agree a breakthrough is unlikely.
There may not need to be one, though, as US officials say the negotiations are effectively done anyhow. That’s reported to have been the case for months, with a deal just waiting to be finalized.
US officials say they’ve lost nothing by keeping in the talks, though they also keep warning time is running out. Iran doesn’t recognize any deadline.
The deal is there to be had. To increase pressure on the matter, the US keeps imposing new sanctions, and Iran upgrades its enrichment process.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region has simmered for decades. In 2020, the two sides fought a bloody war for territory — one that ended with a fragile Russian-brokered truce.
On Wednesday, tensions flared again in the mountainous enclave, which is located inside Azerbaijan but controlled by ethnic Armenian separatists. Both sides accused each other of breaching the cease-fire and three soldiers, including two from Nagorno-Karabakh and one from Azerbaijan, were killed.
The skirmish prompted international calls to quell the fighting, including from both the Kremlin and U.S. State Department. “We are watching very closely, we are naturally concerned about the situation worsening,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters Thursday, Reuters reported.
House Republicans are going to increase the number of Latino members in their ranks by a significant margin over the next year.
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her South Korean counterpart vowed on Thursday to support deterrence against North Korea and achieve its denuclearisation.
"Both sides expressed concerns about the dire situation of North Korea's growing threat," Pelosi and South Korea's National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo said in a joint statement after meeting in Seoul.
"We agreed to support the efforts of the two governments to achieve practical denuclearisation and peace through international cooperation and diplomatic dialogue, based on the strong and extended deterrence against the North."
Pelosi also said at a news conference that she and Kim discussed ways to boost cooperation on regional security and economic and climate issues.
Those eager for war’s bangs, booms, and bullets no longer need to enlist. Civilians can instead enjoy a simulated version of combat by deploying to Battlefield Vegas, a bustling tourist attraction that features firepower comparable to a well-stocked armory.
The Las Vegas company offers a series of military-themed shooting and adventure packages with names like “The Four-Star General” and “The Seal Team Six Experience” that range in price from a couple of hundred bucks to nearly $4,000. Customers enjoy access to over 350 different types of weapons, including flamethrowers, a Howitzer, and the largest privately-owned battle tank in the United States. Those daring (and wealthy) enough to gain tank access can crush cars or fire live rounds from a belt-fed machine gun, a submachine gun, and a massive artillery cannon.
Battlefield Vegas is the brainchild of Ron Cheney, a military veteran and former chiropractor who has spun his love of military history into a major money-making operation. His company almost exclusively hires military veterans to build a team that seeks to balance safety and fun. Online reviews for Cheney’s attraction are generally positive. “Brilliant time!” one Brit exclaimed. “Really exhilarating stuff,” wrote another satisfied customer. An exception to the rave reviews came in 2019 when a disgruntled customer sued Cheney alleging that his 10-year-old daughter was “severely injured” after a weapon was accidentally discharged. (Court records show Cheney’s company settled with the family.)
Israeli occupation forces arrested a top commander of the Islamic Jihad resistance group in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank on Monday.
Since Friday, Israeli fire has also killed two Palestinian teens and escalated collective punishment of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.
On Monday, resistance factions fired on Israeli forces as they infiltrated the camp area. Youth also threw homemade bombs toward the Israeli invaders, according to Saraya al-Quds, the military wing of Islamic Jihad.
Israeli forces invaded Islamic Jihad commander Bassam al-Saadi’s home, arresting him and firing at Palestinian citizens, injuring them.
Israeli forces shot and killed 16-year-old Dirar Riyad Luft Al-Haj Saleh with live ammunition during the raid on Monday.
At least four members of the Daesh group were killed and one person was detained in operations conducted earlier this week by the Islamic Emirate forces in Karta-e- Sakhi area of Kabul city, Kabul security department said.
The clashes between the Islamic Emirate forces and Daesh members lasted for many hours.
“Those who were trying to target civilians, four of them were killed and one of them was detained. In this operation, one member of the Islamic Emirate force was killed and another one was wounded. Also, a policewoman was killed,” said Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for the Kabul security department.
Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said on Twitter that four Daesh members were killed and one was arrested in an operation by Islamic Emirate forces in the Karta-e- Sakhi area of Kabul.
Mujahid said the Daesh members were intending to attack Shia citizens gathering in the Kart-e-Sakhi Ziarat during the days of Mahram. Zabiullah Mujahid also tweeted that Daesh was going to attack during the Muharram ceremony.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Thursday commenced the second phase of its large-scale military exercises that completely locked down the island of Taiwan, and began to use live fire following the first phase of preparations starting Tuesday evening when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island, seriously violating China's sovereignty.
Surrounding Taiwan island with six large maritime areas and its airspace in its north, northeast, east, south, southwest and northwest from Thursday noon to Sunday noon, the unprecedented drills featured advanced weapons, including long-range rocket artillery, anti-ship ballistic missiles, stealth fighter jets and an aircraft carrier group with a nuclear-powered submarine, as well as realistic tactics that simulated a real reunification-by-force operation, demonstrating and honing the PLA's capabilities to not only take over the island, but also prevent any external interference including from the US, experts said.
After the drills kicked off at 12:00 noon, the PLA Eastern Theater Command announced in a press release that the Army conducted long-range artillery live-fire shooting drills in the Taiwan Straits at about 1:00 pm, accurately striking specific targets in the eastern side of the Straits, and obtaining the expected outcome.
The Arizona GOP Executive Committee formally censured Maricopa County Recorder RINO Stephen Richer on Thursday night.
Sinema was the last Democrat holdout after Manchin struck a deal with Schumer.
California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom called on the Hollywood film industry to bring back production moved to Oklahoma and Georgia amid pandemic lockdowns and rising crime, criticizing the Republican-controlled states over policies against abortion in a new ad published in Variety.
The full-page spread, paid for by the Newsom campaign, is titled: "Hollywood: Your values, Your choice."
"California is the best place in America to create. For 100 years, we’ve been the home for storytelling and storytellers. Together we built a creative community that includes unrivaled cast, crews, craftspeople, infrastructure, and technology. Robust tax credits and other incentives. The best culture," the ad says. "Most importantly, we share your values. So now, it’s time to choose.
The declaration allows the federal government to amp up its response to the virus without the usual regulatory barriers.
“I want to make an announcement today that I will be declaring a public health emergency,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a call with reporters Thursday about the monkeypox outbreak.
“We’re prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus.”
“We urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility and help us tackle this virus,” he continued.
The country has reported more than 6,600 cases of the virus, which cause fever, aches, and bumps or sores on the body.
A family making the median national income can no longer afford the typical house in 35 of the country's 50 biggest cities, according to a new study.
Based on home price data from the first quarter of the year, the salary needed to afford the median US home stood at almost $76,000 - roughly $8,500 more than the typical household actually makes, according to an analysis from Visual Capitalism.
The study found that San Jose leads the nation in unaffordable homes, with the median home priced at $1,875,000, requiring a salary of at least $330,758 to afford the expected monthly payments of $7,718.
New York City ranked seventh on the list with a median home price of $578,100 requiring an annual salary of $129,458. The Big Apple ranked slightly below Boston, where an income of $130,203 is needed to afford the typical home price of $639,000.
Meanwhile, the median household income across the country stood at just $67,500, which would be enough to afford the typical home in only 15 of the cities on the list.
The Austin jury must still decide how much the Infowars host should pay in punitive damages to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose son Jesse Lewis was among the 20 children and six educators who were killed in the 2012 attack in Newtown, Connecticut.
This is what it looks like when you finally realize … you have been seriously lied to, mislead, used and abused, and marginalized by those we were always taught and told to trust and believe. What we now present is mind shattering on so many levels that no explanation or excuse will ever suffice … !!!
- Why were we told the current Vaccines were developed over just a few months starting from the finding of the first cases of SARS-COV-2? Yet there are multiple mRNA Vaccine Related Patents years prior to the global breakout of COVID-19 even existed?
- Why is there a 2014 FOIA document showing a DHS NOTICE OF PARTIAL STOP WORK ORDER related to the U of NC at Chappell Hill’s Level 4 virus lab ‘gain of function’ studies of bat coronavirus that began at least a decade before that research was made illegal in the U.S., then outsourced to Wuhan in 2015 with $3.7 million of NIH (Fauci) money:
- How did fully vaccinated Joe-Bob get COVID … (What is a vaccine) … I will bet knowing just how dangerous these jabs really are, and given his age, that Joe-Bob was never really vaccinated. … and how, after the star treatment of Paxlovid, did he rebound and test positive again … Is this a way to semi-isolate Joe-Bob and keep him from making more blatant and damaging gaffs …
- “Emergency Use Authorization” (EUA) came into prominence with the “Right to Try” law. This law was another way for patients who had been diagnosed with life-threatening diseases, who had tried all approved treatment options and who were unable to participate in a clinical trial, to access certain unapproved treatments.
Social isolation and loneliness throughout life can significantly increase a person's risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke - and with more people in America lonely than ever experts fear their could be a surge in these cases in the future.
A scientific statement published Thursday in the Journal of the American Heart Association states that social isolation and loneliness are linked to a 30 percent jump in heart disease and stroke risk.
While a lack of social interactions is linked with all kinds of health issues, it's strongest link could be to cardiovascular problems. The added stress that could often come with isolation can add an unneeded load to the body and cause harm.
Experts warn that two groups in particular are at risk. Elderly Americans - who through retirement and widowhood often end up alone - and generation Z, a group described as the loneliest generation ever. The long-term loneliness of Gen Z is particular poses significant future health concerns.
Webmaster addition: Really. It's not the vaccines. Honest!
Republican senators zeroed in on the government’s involvement in the creation of the coronavirus. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) led the first-ever Senate hearing focused on gain-of-function research and the origins of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Paul and GOP Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) pressed three scientists on the role the US government had in research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
In his opening statement, Dr. Richard Ebright defined gain-of-function research as the modification of pathogens to increase their transmissibility and effectiveness against human immune systems and treatments. During multiple exchanges with Sen. Paul, NIH Director Anthony Fauci vehemently denied his agency had funded such projects. However, Ebright alleged in a written statement that Fauci lied to Paul, the press and the American public.
Sen. Marshall dug up past statements made by Fauci, touching on the research he was involved with in an almost prophetic way.
“Again is 2012, Dr. Fauci also said almost prophetically that he was worried about unregulated laboratories, perhaps outside of the United States, doing work unlawfully and leading to an inadvertent pandemic,” stated the Republican. “And he went on to say the accidental release is what the world is really worried about.”
Dick Cheney eviscerated Donald Trump as the greatest threat to the United States in history in a new campaign ad for his daughter, Rep. Liz Cheney, who is facing a defeat in the Republican primary in Wyoming next week.
'In our nation's 246 year history there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our Republic than Donald Trump,' veteran Republican Cheney said in a new clip released on Thursday.
The congresswoman brought out her 81-year-old former vice president father as a last ditch effort to defy recent polling that puts her squarely behind primary rival Harriet Hageman ahead of an August 16 primary.
Hageman led Cheney by more than 20 points in a late July poll by the Casper-Star Tribune and Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy.
The warning was a rare moment of Saudi criticism of Israel, with Riyadh and other Gulf countries recently working together, along with Israel, to combat Iran's nuclear programme.
Saudi Arabia's new permanent representative to the United Nations, Abdulaziz al-Wasil, made the comments on Wednesday during a conference to review the UN's Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Israel tightened its chokehold on Gaza for the third day in a row on Thursday, blocking nearly all movement of people and goods in and out of the besieged territory.
Gaza is already under a comprehensive blockade imposed by Israel in 2007. There is little meaningful international pressure on Israel to lift the siege, despite the widespread harm it has caused Gaza’s population of more than 2.1 million people.
Israel imposed the tightened restrictions this week after its military arrested Bassam al-Saadi, a top commander of Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian political faction and resistance group, on Monday.
A 16-year-old boy was shot and killed by soldiers during the arrest raid in Nablus, a city in the northern West Bank.
Israel reportedly fears retaliation from Islamic Jihad in Gaza over the arrest of al-Saadi.
South Korea launched its first lunar orbiter on Friday as it doubles down on its space programmes, aiming to land a probe on the moon by 2030.
The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, nicknamed Danuri, meaning "enjoy the Moon", was launched on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral U.S. Space Force Station at 8:08 a.m. on Friday (2308 GMT on Thursday), South Korea's science ministry said.
The 678 kg (1,495 lb) Danuri separated from the projectile about 40 minutes after launch and began communicating with a ground station around 9:40 a.m.
"Analysis of the received information confirmed ... Danuri was operating normally," Vice Science Minister Oh Tae-seog told a briefing, announcing that the orbiter had established a trajectory towards the moon.
The US Army has awarded Northrop Grumman a $533.9 million multi-option artillery fuze contract.
The contract runs through July 26, 2027, and work locations and funding will be determined with each order, the Department of Defense announced in a contract notice.
The M782 Multi-Option Artillery Fuze (MOFA) supports all types of 105mm and 155mm artillery projectiles.
Operates in Four Modes
The MOFA can operate in four modes: proximity, precision time, impact, and delay, and can be set for any time from 0.5 to 199.9 seconds in 0.1-second increments.
The MOFA is automatically preset before launch through an inductive communication link such as the M1155 portable inductive fuze setter or the TM 9-1290-210-12&P. The fuze setter also confirms the mission data transferred to the fuze.
A series of relatively high-resolution and close-up images of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy's Type 055 destroyer Nanchang, which has the hull number 101, have appeared online. The pictures offer an unusually detailed top-down look at the armament, defensive systems, and other features of the warship, which is China's most modern and capable surface combatant. At least two Type 055s are now reportedly moving into position to take part in a series of drills aimed at Taiwan in response to U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to the island, where their capabilities could be put on full display.
The images in question all appear to be screenshots from a segment broadcast on a Chinese-language television station, which were then posted online via the country's microblogging website Weibo. The lower thirds in all of the shots include the years "1927" and "2022." This strongly suggests that this was part of a broadcast on or about August 1 marking this year's China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Day, also referred to simply as Army Day. The PLA traces its founding to the Nanchang Uprising, which took place on Aug. 1, 1927.
Vice President Kamala Harris has been slammed online as a hypocrite after she condemned Russian officials for sentencing basketball star Brittney Griner to nine years in prison for drug smuggling.
The WNBA star was found guilty on Thursday by a judge who rejected her claim she accidentally brought a marijuana pen into the country. Prosecutors had asked that she be jailed for nine-and-a-half years, six months less than the maximum of 10 years in prison.
Her attorneys say they have ten days to appeal the verdict and sentencing, and that the typical sentence handed down for such a crime is six years.
Following the announcement, Harris tweeted: 'With today's sentencing, Russia continues its wrongful detention of Brittney Griner. Sher should be released immediately.'
She added that she and President Joe Biden 'are working every day to reunite Brittney, as well as Paul Whelan, with loved ones who miss each of them dearly.'
Newly discovered emails prove beyond all doubt that the “true purpose” of Hunter Biden’s lucrative deal with a Ukrainian energy company was for Hunter to get “high-ranking US officials” to visit Ukraine and persuade the nation’s leaders to “close down” all criminal “cases/pursuits against” the firm’s primary owner, a notoriously corrupt oligarch with ties to Russia.
Documentation of this illegal scheme begins with a widely overlooked email on Hunter’s laptop in which a top executive of the Ukrainian firm describes the plan. Now, emails uncovered by Just Facts prove that Hunter and his partners:
- explicitly agreed to this deal.
- concealed the names of top U.S. officials to “be on the safe and cautious side.”
- affirmed that only Hunter could credibly promise to get those officials to shield the oligarch from criminal charges
Just one month later, then-Vice President Joe Biden did exactly what those emails specified by visiting Ukraine and threatening to withhold U.S. aid unless the prosecutor investigating Hunter’s cash cow was fired. Moreover, Biden did this by going after two “key targets” identified in the emails: the “President of Ukraine” and the “Prosecutor General.”
The newly elected San Francisco district attorney who replaced ousted radical leftist DA Chesa Boudin has revoked dozens of plea deals doled out by her predecessor.
In a press release sent out on Wednesday, San Francisco DA Brooke Jenkins announced that she had revoked over 30 plea bargains that Boudin had offered to drug offenders during his tenure as DA.
Her decision to reverse these plea agreements is part of a broader policy she unveiled which would prohibit drug dealers that are arrested with more than five grams of drugs from being referred to San Francisco’s so-called “community justice court.”
Jenkins’ policy would also give enhanced charges to drug dealers who are arrested within 1,000 feet of a school, and would potentially pursue pre-trial detention for fentanyl dealers “in extreme cases.”