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Thought for the day
"Organized Christianity has probably done more to retard the ideals that were its founder's than any other agency in the world." -- Richard Le Gallienne
Los Angeles City Council members will consider passing an initiative Friday that could force hotels to report vacancies and house homeless individuals in empty rooms.
A Russian court found WNBA player Brittney Griner guilty on Thursday on drug smuggling and possession charges.
She was sentenced to 9 years in a Russian prison after a month-long trial and nearly six months after the basketball player was arrested at a Russian airport with cannabis in her luggage.
On Friday, one day after she was sentenced, Russia confirmed that it is in talks to swap Griner for Viktor Bout, the notorious “Merchant of Death” arms dealer who has been imprisoned in the United States since 2010.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “We are ready to discuss this topic but within the framework of the channel that was agreed upon by presidents Putin and Biden. If the Americans decide to once again resort to public diplomacy, that is their business and I would even say that it is their problem.”
The Daily Mail reported that the deal to swap her for Bout was on the table, and could be completed within a “matter of weeks.”
A Manhattan man accused of slashing a woman in Times Square was apparently arrested for a violent robbery just three days before the attack, but had been released without bail.
As of Thursday morning (LT), August 4, 2022, over 540 000 residents living in the Tohoku and Hokuriku regions of Japan were ordered to evacuate as heavy rains continue falling over the Sea of Japan shoreline, triggering floods and landslides.
- Evacuation orders are in effect in Aomori, Iwate, Yamagata, Fukushima, Niigata, Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures on August 4.
- Several people are missing.
According to the country’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the Mogami River in Nagai, Yamagata Prefecture, overflowed its banks in the early hours of Thursday, flooding homes, roads and railways.
At least two bridges have already collapsed, one in Yamagata and another in Kitakata, Fukushima Prefecture
Addressing the root causes of the climate crisis is essential to solving the worsening problem of water shortages in the Colorado River Basin, said a top environmental expert at the United Nations on Tuesday, emphasizing that the aridification of the region is part of a larger global trend.
The two largest reservoirs in the U.S., Lake Powell and Lake Mead, are part of the Colorado River watershed, and are both on the precipice of reaching dangerous "dead pool" status, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), with water levels dropping so low that water no longer flows downstream from the reservoirs.
"Overconsumption and the climate crisis could lead to water levels so low that downstream flows to hydroelectric plants would stop," tweeted UNEP, which would jeopardize access to electricity for millions of people in western states.
Maria Morgardo, UNEP's ecosystems officer for North America, noted that officials are expected to advise people across the region to cut water consumption, but stressed that the crisis is beyond the point of simply mitigating the effects.
On Friday, Israel Defense Forces announced Operation “Breaking Dawn” to attack Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Reports state that the IDF killed Tayseer al-Jabari, a senior Islamic Jihad terrorist commander who supervised terrorist forces.
The Senate passed the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act 86 – 11. The legislation expands healthcare benefits for veterans suffering from various ailments associated with burn pit exposure.
It was widely believed that the PACT Act would pass the Senate without incident. However, that proved wrong last week when a large group of Republicans reversed their original position on the legislation. The claim: Democrats had changed the original language reviewed earlier this summer.
The reversal caused quite the kerfuffle at the Capitol building, with comedian-turned-veteran advocate Jon Stewart at the center. He had some strong words for the flip-flopped Republicans. With celebrities choosing ridiculous pet projects to stand behind, it’s nice to see one sticking up for veterans.
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) suggested the unthinkable on Wednesday in the form of actual fiscal responsibility and oversight.
Johnson proposed that Social Security and Medicare, which currently fall into the category of mandatory spending in the federal budget, be approved annually by Congress.
The idea would be akin to a zero-based budgeting system, to Johnson’s thinking. Instead of being on auto-pilot, Congress would have to evaluate and approve the spending for the programs.
Johnson, who is up for reelection in November in a race that could determine the make up of the Senate, floated the idea during an appearance on “The Regular Joe Show” in his home state of Wisconsin.
Whoopi Goldberg, co-host of “The View,” seemingly suggested that because God gave people “freedom of choice,” He would be understanding and accepting of abortion.
Goldberg’s comments surfaced in a debate with fellow co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who argued abortion is not the right choice for pregnant women during a segment earlier in the week.
While Hasselbeck urged women to explore alternative paths to abortion, Goldberg argued that God gave those seeking abortions the intelligence to know that having a baby “wasn’t going to work.”
“As you know, God doesn’t make mistakes,” she insisted. “God made us smart enough to know when it wasn’t going to work for us. That’s the beauty of giving us freedom of choice.”
Webmaster addition: I guess Whoopi missed those ten Commandments, especially the one that says thou shalt not kill!
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis sent law enforcement officials to remove woke State Attorney Andrew Warren of the 13th Judicial Circuit, who was backed by Democratic mega donor George Soros, from office this week.
President Joe Biden’s spending agenda climbed another hurdle and now appears to have enough votes to pass the Senate after Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) agreed to the package Thursday.
Israel attacked the beside Gaza Strip with warplanes on Friday, killing at least nine people including a commander of the Islamic Jihad group and a young girl.
Taysir al-Jabari, a commander of the al-Quds Brigades, the military arm of the Islamic Jihad, died in an air raid on an apartment in the Palestine Tower in the centre of Gaza City, the group said.
A leftist organization called “The Queer Mathematics Teacher” is seeking to embed gender theory in K-12 math classes.
Brandie Waid, the director of The Queer Mathematics Teacher, laid out a plan for incorporating gender theory into math classes in a blog post on the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) website. CASEL is sponsored by the Allstate Foundation.
The Queer Mathematics Teacher is an educational consulting firm that seeks to promote “queer mathematics” in American K-12 classrooms. The firm sells a book titled “Talking about LGBTQ+ Identity,” which includes chapters titled “The Gender Unicorn,” “How Do I Talk About LGBTQ+ Identity With My Students,” and “What if I Receive Pushback?”
The firm also offers coaching services to teachers, which include curriculum design, district-wide audits, and professional development workshops. The site claims, “The ability to consider sexuality irrelevant in the mathematics context is a heteronormatively privileged position” and notes that some areas of expertise include “queer pedagogy,” “teaching mathematics for social justice,” “Fostering Students’ Growth Mindset (While Advocating for Systemic Change),” and “humanizing Mathematics Education for LGBTQ+ Students.”
Bonobos are our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, sharing about 98.7 per cent of our DNA - and it seem they have picked up a few human-like characteristics along the way.
A new study has revealed that the apes produce high-pitched 'baby-like' cries when they are attacked, in order to attract comfort from others.
These displays of distress are strategic, increasing their chances of receiving consolation from bonobo bystanders, scientists claim.
They resemble those typically used by infants - such as pouting, whimpering and showing tantrums.
The study by psychologists at Durham University reveals that adult bonobos are also less likely to be re-attacked by their former opponent when they display these 'baby-like' signals following a conflict.
Bonobos 'cry like babies' to call for attention after attacked.
Webmaster addition: Well, THAT explains the behavior of liberals!
New York officials are warning that hundreds of Empire state residents may already be infected with the devastating polio virus after it was detected in wastewater of a second county in the state.
State surveillance detected presence of the polio virus in at least two different areas of Orange County, New York - around an hours drive from New York City - in June and July. It comes within weeks of officials announcing a confirmed polio case in Rockland County - just northwest of the Big Apple's Bronx borough. The virus was also detected in Rockland wastewater last month.
Because polio is asymptomatic in a majority of cases, it is likely that the detection of one symptomatic case means there could be hundreds of others that will never be detected. Finding the virus in wastewater samples in multiple counties confirms fears that the virus has been spreading in the state for sometime before the Rockland case was detected.
Of the grievance grifters who have managed to attach themselves to the Black Lives Matter movement over the past decade, few have grifted so openly or so blatantly as Shaun King.
Something very odd emerges for the second month in a row when looking at the July payrolls report.
Recall last month we showed that a stark divergence had opened between the Household and Establishment surveys that make up the monthly jobs report, and since March the former was sliding while the latter was rising every single month. In addition to that, full-time jobs were plunging while multiple jobholders soared near all time highs.
Guess what: at a time when the Biden admin is now being accused of fabricating energy numbers to push oil prices lower, the jarring divergences and inconsistencies in the jobs report just hit escape velocity.
Consider the following: on one hand, the closely followed establishment survey came in red hot, and not only did it soar despite the US entering a technical recession last week, it printed at a 5 month high of 528K, a six-sigm beat to consensus expectations of 250K...
If you ask a random EU official if the bloc should continue trying to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, you will invariably get a positive answer.
The sanction potential is reaching its end, but this is no reason for the EU to relieve the pressure, that official will say, as many have in conversations with the media.
And yet, the EU has quietly begun to unwind its sanctions against Moscow.
The UK's Express called it caving in to Putin. Bloomberg dubbed it "corrections to previous sanctions." Whatever it is called, it comes down to the same thing: the EU is loosening the noose. And it's not just the EU, either.
For starters, the European Union decided to add exemptions to Russian sanctions, which would allow countries from outside the bloc to deal with sanctioned Russian entities, including banks and state companies such as Rosneft. Per the Bloomberg report, these exemptions are for entities "deemed essential to shipments of food, agricultural goods and oil to third countries outside the EU".
The EU appears to be putting a lot of effort into convincing whoever is listening that their sanctions against Russia have absolutely nothing to do with either food or energy supply disruptions or, at the very least, they did not aim for them to happen.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a Thursday night address lashed out at the European Union for what he called an "artificial delay" of 8 billion euros (or about $8.2BN) in financial assistance to the war-ravaged country.
In the remarks he stopped short of naming specific countries and leaders, but in an August 1st phone call he reportedly put pressure on his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron to help release the aid, which makes up the EU second tranche of macro-financial assistance pledged to Ukraine.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed Friday while in Cambodia for a regional summit that Russia stands "ready to discuss" a prisoner swap for US WNBA star Brittney Griner, coming the day after she was given a harsh 9-year prison sentence for getting caught in a Russian airport six months ago with Cannabis vape cartridges.
He said his government is now "ready to discuss the topic, but within the framework of the channel that has been agreed by the presidents," according to CNN. "There is a specified channel that has been agreed upon by [Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden], and no matter what anyone says publicly, this channel will remain in effect," the top ambassador added while attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit.
A series of Wednesday headlines from automobile news outlets reported on the apparent cheaper cost of servicing electric vehicles when compared to their gas-powered counterparts.
Yes, we have some stagflation. Subsequent to the pre-Covid peak in Q4 2019, real final sales of domestic product have slowed to a crawl, rising by just 0.73% per annum during the last 2.5 years.
We much prefer this measure over real GDP because it removes the abrupt inventory swings from quarter to quarter, which can have out-sized impacts on the headline number. Thus, during the first two quarters of 2022 the reported back-to-back real GDP contraction was owing to inventory liquidation, not an actual shrinkage of current activity.
ABC’s “The View” has named two Republicans — Alyssa Farah Griffin and Ana Navarro — as regular panelists on the daytime talk show.
The US-based candy giant that makes Snickers apologized to China on Friday for suggesting in an advertisement that Taiwan is a country.
Mars Wrigley had just launched a limited edition Snickers bar in the country and advised that the chocolate bar was only available in the countries of South Korea, Malaysia, and Taiwan, according to a Reuters report.
The statement went viral on Chinese social media platforms, including Weibo.
Mars Wrigley then published an apology and said it had revised the language in its ad, according to the report.
Webmaster addition: It's a candy bar, fer chrissakes! Lighten up!
The US-led drive to isolate Russia through sanctions has not succeeded, as half the countries in the Group of Twenty leading global economies refused to sign on, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
According to the publication, senior officials from leading Western nations are surprised by the lack of support within the wider G20, despite their efforts to make the case for restrictions against Russia.
Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey have not joined the sanctions that were adopted by the US, UK, EU, and their allies Australia, Canada, Japan, and South Korea. Some nations, like China and South Africa, have openly criticized the restrictions. The G20 nations account for around 85% of global economic output.