Daily News, via SOTT.net aggregation.

Cyclone Idai: More than 1,000 feared dead in Mozambique

Cyclone Idai: More than 1,000 feared dead in Mozambique

President describes scale of disaster as huge, as Red Cross says most of Beira damaged or destroyed More than 1,000 people are feared dead in a devastating cyclone that hit Mozambique on Friday, the country's president has said. Filipe Nyusi told Mozambican radio he had seen "many bodies" floating in the overflowing Pungwe and Busi rivers. "It appears that we can register more than 1,000 deaths," he said, adding that more than 100,000 people were at risk because of severe flooding. At least 215 people have been confirmed dead and hundreds are missing across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe from Tropical Cyclone Idai, according to government agencies and the Red Cross, which said 1.5 million people had been affected. A more precise death toll and the true scale of the damage is not likely to be known soon, as many areas are cut off. "I think this is the biggest natural disaster Mozambique has ever faced. Everything is destroyed," Celso Correia, the environment minister, said. "Our...

Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano suffers largest eruption in years

Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano suffers largest eruption in years

Mexico's active Popocatepetl volcano has exploded late Monday evening, sending ash and debris high into the air and several kilometers away from the crater. The 9:38 pm explosion of the active crater sent a 1.2km-high column of ash and fragments into the air, the country's civil protection said, releasing footage of the blast.

Vancouver Island overdue for the big one

Vancouver Island overdue for the big one

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake and has entered a period of time where an additional magnitude 9 mega-thrust rupture earthquake, likely to cause a tsunami, can be expected. "In our part of the world, there are the big Pacific and North American [tectonic] plates, and caught in-between the two is the Juan de Fuca plate system," says Taimi Mulder, seismologist at the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), which monitors all seismic activity in Western Canada. Over millions of years, these plates push and grind under and past each other in areas called subduction zones. Earthquakes are caused and can be tiny or they can be massive, like the 2004 Sumatran earthquake, which ruptured 1,000 kilometres of coastline. "An earthquake is like ringing a bell. The earthquake is the clapper that sets it off and the bell reverberates," said Mulder. "In an earthquake, energy is sent shooting in all directions and it pings around inside the earth...

Allison Mack in plea negotiations over Nxivm sex-slave cult charges

Allison Mack in plea negotiations over Nxivm sex-slave cult charges

"Smallville" star Allison Mack is now in plea negotiations with the government over her role in upstate sex-slave cult Nxivm, prosecutors revealed Monday. Three high-ranking members of the group - Mack, Lauren Salzman and accountant Kathy Russell - are all actively engaged in discussions, a prosecutor said in Brooklyn federal court. The revelation comes less than a week after Nxivm leader Keith Raniere was hit with child porn charges, and his co-founder, Lauren's mother, Nancy Salzman, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy. If the three women take pleas, that will leave just Raniere and Nxivm's benefactor, Seagram liquor heir Clare Bronfman, to stand trial - with Mack and the others potentially acting as turncoat witnesses against them. "I think at the end of the day it will be just Claire and Keith going to trial," Bronfman's attorney Mark Geragos said while discussing possible trial dates.

Helicopter pilot sees UFO through his night vision goggles over Las Vegas

Helicopter pilot sees UFO through his night vision goggles over Las Vegas

Flying some 15 miles west over central Las Vegas over the weekend, the pilot of an air ambulance helicopter caught sight of a strange object that he was only able to detect after strapping on his night vision goggles. The curious event was described to an air traffic controller by the pilot of an Agusta A109 chopper owned by Colorado-based company Air Methods, The Drive reported. The eyebrow-raising conversation unfolded on Sunday at roughly 9 p.m. local time. "Just to advise. It looks like I have some sort of object over the southern hills area. It looks to be about 7,000 feet. It could be a balloon or something along those lines," the pilot informs the controller. "It's unlit, so... just advise." Seconds later, the pilot is told that nothing is showing up on the controller's radar, but that the lack of confirmation doesn't necessarily mean that something isn't out and about trying to spook the concerned flyer. "Yeah... I got night vision goggles," the pilot told the air traffic...

UK arms forces minister: RAF is servicing Saudi jets bombing civilians in Yemen

UK arms forces minister: RAF is servicing Saudi jets bombing civilians in Yemen

Britain is providing "engineering support" for UK-supplied aircraft operated by the Royal Saudi Air Force, responsible for killing innocent people in Yemen, a British government minister has revealed. Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster was responding to a question in parliament from Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, on military personnel seconded to BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia, when he admitted that the RAF have provided engineering and "generic training" to the Saudi Air Force involved in the bombing of Yemen. "RAF personnel on secondment to BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia have provided routine engineering support for UK-supplied aircraft operated by the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF), including aircraft engaged in military operations in Yemen." Lancaster insisted UK personnel were not involved in the loading of weapons for operational sorties, in response to Russell-Moyle's claim that the "British support keeps Saudi's air war going."

India, Pakistan threaten missile exchange, US, China and UAE intervene

India, Pakistan threaten missile exchange, US, China and UAE intervene

The sparring between India and Pakistan last month threatened to spiral out of control and only interventions by U.S. officials, including National Security Advisor John Bolton, headed off a bigger conflict, five sources familiar with the events said. At one stage, India threatened to fire at least six missiles at Pakistan, and Islamabad said it would respond with its own missile strikes "three times over", according to Western diplomats and government sources in New Delhi, Islamabad and Washington. The way in which tensions suddenly worsened and threatened to trigger a war between the nuclear-armed nations shows how the Kashmir region, which both claim and is at the core of their enmity, remains one of the world's most dangerous flashpoints. The exchanges did not get beyond threats, and there was no suggestion that the missiles involved were anything more than conventional weapons, but they created consternation in official circles in Washington, Beijing and London.

US media: DoD mulls keeping 1K troops in Syria while Pentagon denies the report

US media: DoD mulls keeping 1K troops in Syria while Pentagon denies the report

The US military are planning to keep nearly 1,000 troops in Syria, the US-based media reported on Sunday, citing US officials. According to The Wall Street Journal, Washington plans to continue supporting Kurdish forces in Syria despite the threats from Ankara to launch a military operation against the Kurds in northern Syria. Sources told the media outlet that these plans require to keep nearly half of the current US military contingent in the country. However, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford denied the accuracy of the media report. According to the Pentagon, "there has been no change to the plan announced in February" and the US continues to implement the president's order to pull out US forces from Syria.

Bennett's New Right launches election campaign aimed to defeat High Court, Hamas

Bennett's New Right launches election campaign aimed to defeat High Court, Hamas

The New Right Party led by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked launched a new campaign Sunday ahead of the upcoming election, vowing to defeat both the Hamas terror group and the High Court of Justice. "My mission and that of Ayelet Shaked is clear: to release the IDF from the High Court of Justice so that the IDF can defeat Hamas," Bennett said at a press conference at Tel Aviv's Beit Sokolov. In his remarks, Bennett referenced the Sunday morning terror shootings at a pair of junctions in the northern West Bank, in which an Israeli man was killed and two others were wounded. "Specifically on days like today when it's as difficult as ever to admit it, I will: when soldiers see a terrorist they think five times before they open fire on him because they fear they will be tried in court," the New Right leader charged. Following the attack, initial reports indicated that Israelis troops at the Ariel Junction had failed to fire at the assailant after he assaulted a soldier and snatched...

UN is toothless on the issue of sanctions, leaves Venezuela vulnerable to instability

UN is toothless on the issue of sanctions, leaves Venezuela vulnerable to instability

According to 21WIRE editor Patrick Henningsen, the fact that Juan Guaido is allowed to roam free even after openly plotting a military coup and stealing Venezuelan state assets with the help of Washington - will actually help the Maduro government in its public relations battle in the short-term. But how long can Caracas tolerate the open sedition being coordinated by Washington? How long can Venezuela withstand the economic pressure being place on it? Washington's self-proclaimed "interim president" of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, claims that Venezuela's recent expulsion of the German ambassador Daniel Kreiner, is a 'threat against Germany,' and that Venezuela lives under a "dictatorship" - and yet when Guaido, an operative working on behalf of the US government, eventually returned to Caracas - he was not arrested by the Maduro government which belies claims made by Guaido and the Trump Administration.

Colombian government abandons Venezuelan military deserters

Colombian government abandons Venezuelan military deserters

"Most of us do not have relatives in Colombia, we were the breadwinner of our families in Venezuela and now we are here with nothing," lamented the ex-military officer. A group of Venezuelan military deserters that fled to Colombia on February 23, reported on Saturday that Colombian authorities have abandoned them, and had given them a period of 4 days to leave the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camp where they were living near the border between Venezuela and Colombia. They ask Venezuelan lawmaker Juan Guaido, who had unconstitutionally auto-proclaimed himself as "Interim president" of Venezuela, to help them. "We are adrift; we do not have the support of anybody. We want Juan Guaido to come to talk to us face to face," said former Venezuelan Army's second ex-sergeant, Luis Gonzalez Hernandez, who acted as spokesperson for the group. According to Gonzalez Hernandez, the evacuation from the shelter was demanded and prepared by the Colombian authorities in...

Sweden: First hijab-wearing MP proposes race-based nationwide register, met with outrage

Sweden: First hijab-wearing MP proposes race-based nationwide register, met with outrage

A Swedish lawmaker of Somalian origin has sparked outrage after she put forward the idea of establishing an "equality data" register that would collect information on people's race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. People in Sweden may, in the future, have to register on a special database called "equality data" where they would need to specify their race. That's at least according to a proposal put forward by Leila Ali Elmi, a lawmaker from the Green Party. The 30-year-old daughter of immigrants from Somalia who became the first Swedish MP to give a speech in a hijab, told local media that the initiative can tackle issues of discrimination more effectively. The politician argued the country needs to collect data "instead of saying that racism does not exist and that Sweden is color-blind," adding that it was statistics that helped the nation to remedy the problem of gender inequality. "We know that racism exists and we know that discrimination exists, but we have no figures on...

FLASHBACK: Depravity, frivolity, and dissent: The tell-tale signs of the end of an empire

FLASHBACK: Depravity, frivolity, and dissent: The tell-tale signs of the end of an empire

Comment: Originally published in 2017, the themes described in the following article are as relevant as ever... A 40-year-old essay predicted the end of an empire and current events sure make it look like we're watching it happen in real time. I spend a fair bit of time scanning the news every day for my site, Preppers Daily News. And some days, I just have to shake my head as I realize that people are so desperate for...something...that they just keep going to further and further extremes to try and find that elusive thing their lives are missing. The more I read, the more likeness I see to Sir John Glubb's essay, The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival. (It's only 24 pages and you should definitely read it - it's brilliant.) Sir Glubb wrote this outstanding work when he was 79 years old, after a lifetime of being a soldier, traveling the world, and analyzing history. It's well worth a read as he goes into detail about the fall of empires past. The final stage of the end of an...

Police declare 'far right terror incident' after man stabbed in Surrey, UK - UPDATE

Police declare 'far right terror incident' after man stabbed in Surrey, UK - UPDATE

Counter terrorism police are investigating the suspected far-right inspired attack in which a man suffered non-fatal stab wounds. The attack was on Saturday night in Stanwell, Surrey, where a man carrying a baseball bat and a knife was seen shouting racist comments. A man aged 50 was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and a racially-aggravated public order offence. Counter terrorism police said it had the "hallmarks of a terror event". The 19-year-old victim sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Russia's Crimea to become part of China's new Silk Road, despite Western sanctions

Russia's Crimea to become part of China's new Silk Road, despite Western sanctions

Private businesses in China are interested in involving Russia's Crimea in the implementation of projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Beijing's development & investment project in 152 countries on five continents. That's according to the head of the association of Chinese compatriots on the peninsula, Ge Zhili. "Our organization is bolstering cooperation ties, exchanges and friendly contacts with the Crimean society," he said at an event dedicated to the fifth anniversary of Crimea's reunification with Russia, which was held in the Russian Embassy in Beijing on Monday. The official explained that the association he leads wants "to help people understand what Crimea is, establish reliable relations with the peninsula, and implement joint private projects under the Belt and Road Initiative."

BEST OF THE WEB: Putin launches 2 new power stations in Crimea on anniversary of reunification with Russia

BEST OF THE WEB: Putin launches 2 new power stations in Crimea on anniversary of reunification with Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched new power stations in Crimea as the region marks the fifth anniversary of reunification with Russia. The facilities will boost the peninsula's energy independence. The Russian president came to the Balaklava power station, developed by Russian state-run conglomerate Rostec, in the city of Sevastopol on Monday to see the station start work at full capacity. Putin also observed the opening of another facility in Simferopol and a substation in the Taman area, located across the Kerch Strait, via a video conference.

France to ban Yellow Vest protests in "worst hit" areas, Paris police chief sacked

France to ban Yellow Vest protests in "worst hit" areas, Paris police chief sacked

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Paris could soon ban protests in "worst hit" neighborhoods, after radical protesters turned a Yellow Vests' demonstration on Champs-Elysees into smashing, looting, and burning mayhem. "From next Saturday, we will ban 'yellow vest' protests in neighbourhoods that have been the worst hit as soon as we see sign of the presence of radical groups and their intent to cause damage," Philippe told reporters on Monday. Comment: Police will be seeing radicals where there aren't any. They didn't need just cause to relentlessly launch flash bombs and tear gas so this will be no different. Philippe then announced that the city's police chief, Michel Delpuech, will be sacked and replaced on Wednesday by Didier Lallement, currently the top police official in the southwestern region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Philippe criticized the Paris police for their handling of Saturday's protests, saying "the strategy for maintaining order was not correctly...

SOTT FOCUS: NewsReal #30: Christchurch Massacre - Don't Fall For The Manipulation

SOTT FOCUS: NewsReal #30: Christchurch Massacre - Don't Fall For The Manipulation

Whenever a horrific terror attack or mass shooting occurs, it is of course proper to mourn or at least acknowledge the victims and their loved ones. The 50 innocent people killed at two mosques in Christchurch under a hail of bullets last Friday deserve the respectful treatment they have been afforded in supportive media coverage since then, both in New Zealand and internationally. What is entirely missing, however, from all media accounts, is a proper accounting of what took place in the city of Christchurch that afternoon. Eyewitness statements and police reports of multiple armed men, arrested suspects, and defused bombs at diverse locations in the city have simply been 'dropped' from media coverage, replaced with a narrative focusing on one sole actor, Australian Brenton Tarrant. The sadistic psychopath who filmed his part in the events is undoubtedly a perpetrator, but was he the sole perpetrator? In this NewsReal, Joe and Niall discuss the bloody events in Christchurch and...

Attempt to prosecute Assad at ICC is aimed at undermining Syrian peace process

Attempt to prosecute Assad at ICC is aimed at undermining Syrian peace process

The announcement that "a group of Syrian refugees and their London lawyers" have found "a neat legal trick" to press for an indictment against Syrian President Bashar Assad by the International Criminal Court demonstrates, yet again, the dangerous corruption of international justice, against which I have been warning for over a decade. The Syrian war is nearly over, thanks to the military successes of the Syrian army and its Russian and Iranian allies. Exhaustion on both sides has probably helped. Diplomatic overtures have started to re-integrate Syria into the international system, starting at the regional level: the United Arab Emirates have re-opened their embassy in Damascus; the Sudanese president, Assad's near namesake, Omar Al-Bashir, has visited Syria, as have senior Egyptian officials; Syrian officials have attended pan-Arab summits; even Israel is maintaining its dialogue with Russia over Syria. In short, the situation is being slowly normalised as Syria herself embarks...

Illinois to require LGBT history curriculum be taught in schools

Illinois to require LGBT history curriculum be taught in schools

Lawmakers in the Illinois state House of Representatives voted Wednesday to approve a plan that includes historical figures in the LGBT civil rights movement in K-12 textbooks, NPR reported. The measure, which now heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's (D) desk for a signature, requires schools to include "the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State" in official textbooks. Supporters of the rule say the measure is intended to reduce anti-LGBT bullying in schools by teaching students about the historical place of LGBT figures in American society.

US Supreme Court to rule on identity fraud committed by illegal immigrants

US Supreme Court to rule on identity fraud committed by illegal immigrants

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider letting states prosecute undocumented immigrants for identity theft if they use someone else's Social Security number to apply for a job, agreeing to take up what could be a polarizing fight. Heeding calls from Kansas and the Trump administration, the justices said they'll decide whether the Kansas Supreme Court was right to say that only the federal government has the power under U.S. immigration law to press those types of prosecutions. A victory for Kansas would give states a new tool for battling illegal immigration, letting them be more aggressive on an issue handled primarily at the federal level. The court will hear the case during the nine-month termthat starts in October. Kansas says the dispute is more about identity theft than illegal immigration. The state is trying to reinstate the convictions of three men who got restaurant jobs using another person's Social Security number.

Measles: The New Red Scare - Fear as a pretext for infringing on individual rights

Measles: The New Red Scare - Fear as a pretext for infringing on individual rights

The fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful, is the cause of half their errors. - John Stuart Mill, 1859 Majorities are never a proof of the truth. - Dr. Walter R. Hadwen, 1896 The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. - Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933 Fear. It's a natural and primal human emotion. While human instinct is exceptional in evaluating and reacting to a natural personal risk, as in facing a predator, humans are terrible at assessing modern risks. According to Psychology Today1 this is because our ancestors were programmed to quickly react and respond to a situation before it is even consciously perceived. Our reactions aren't based in logic and statistics, but in lightning fast primitive responses. Threats such as venomous spiders and snakes2 cause an out-of-proportion fear compared with the more likely threat of being killed in a car crash.3 The low risk of a being killed in a shark attack4 evokes more terror than...

US weather patterns go crazy: Nebraska flooding has broken 17 records, snow buries parts of west coast

US weather patterns go crazy: Nebraska flooding has broken 17 records, snow buries parts of west coast

One record breaking disaster after another has been hitting America in recent months. At this moment, Nebraska is dealing with the worst flooding that it has ever experienced, and the economic damage being done by all of this flooding is going to be absolutely crippling for many farmers. Of course the floods are the result of the "bomb cyclone" that brought hurricane-like winds and blizzard conditions to the central part of the country last week. Sadly, this was just the latest chapter in a very cold and very bitter winter that can't end soon enough as far as many of us are concerned. Unfortunately, a change in the seasons is not going to be enough to restore our weather patterns to normal. Prior to this winter, I repeatedly warned that this was going to be an extraordinarily cold and snowy winter, and it turns out that I was exactly correct. So how did I know this would happen? Well, it is actually very simple. I listened to the scientists that were warning us that our sun is...

Brexit could be 'terrific' for emerging markets... if it ever happens

Brexit could be 'terrific' for emerging markets... if it ever happens

The prospect of Britain leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement over the coming days could be "terrific" for emerging markets, according to veteran fund manager Mark Mobius. His comments come as British Prime Minister Theresa May considers whether to put her embattled Brexit deal before Parliament for the third time. May has urged U.K. lawmakers to make an "honourable compromise" on her twice-rejected Brexit deal, with less than 12 days to go before the world's fifth-largest economy is set to leave the bloc. "If the U.K. says: 'Look, we are free trade. Everybody can come into our country, everybody can trade free of problems,' then (Brexit) is going to be terrific," Mark Mobius, founding partner at Mobius Capital Partners, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Monday.

Bulgarian policemen use pepper spray against protesters...but wind blows it back in their faces

Bulgarian policemen use pepper spray against protesters...but wind blows it back in their faces

Bulgarian policemen inadvertently pepper-sprayed themselves during a protest rally in the country's capital Sofia on Sunday, when they diffused the chemical at demonstrators against the wind. Video has emerged online showing several police officers forming a barricade in a bid to calm the crowd of protesters, some of whom were waving national flags. One of the policemen then deploys pepper spray but it blows straight back into the cops' faces, forcing them to retreat. The footage ends with scenes of officers rinsing their eyes with water. The protest took place in front of the parliament in Sofia, where people were demanding a referendum that would change the country's constitution and transform the country to a "direct democracy," according to local media. Commenters online suggested that local police were not experienced enough to use pepper spray as violent protests are extremely rare in the country.

Pompeo perpetuates lies about Russia invading Ukraine in bid to woo US oil industry

Pompeo perpetuates lies about Russia invading Ukraine in bid to woo US oil industry

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history. After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to ... etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to "prove" that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Fouquet's Restaurant burns in Paris: Macron's false flag against the Yellow Vests

Fouquet's Restaurant burns in Paris: Macron's false flag against the Yellow Vests

One may have heard in the last 24 hours that the "evil" Yellow Vests set fire to Fouquet's restaurant on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris during March 16th's protest. Of course, western media - both printed and digital - has tried its best to reduce the protest down to this one incident in an attempt to further mobilise the bourgeoise voters of Macron against the Yellow Vests. For example, here is one example from "Radio France Internationale", a state-owned propagandist:

New Zealand gov backs tighter gun laws following Christchurch shootings

New Zealand gov backs tighter gun laws following Christchurch shootings

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has said she will announce detailed gun law reforms within days, after an attack on two mosques left 50 people dead. Ms Ardern said her cabinet had backed gun law changes "in principle". Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a self-described white supremacist, has been charged with murder. Police say the killer used military-style assault weapons modified to make them more deadly - which is not illegal under current legislation. What has the cabinet agreed?

Heroes who stood up to Christchurch shooter: 'We would all probably be gone'

Heroes who stood up to Christchurch shooter: 'We would all probably be gone'

As New Zealanders of all races and religions gather to pay respect to the dozens of victims of Friday's deadly mass shooting, stories of those who heroically tried to thwart the attacker are coming to light. 28-year Australian Brenton Tarrant opened fire on the congregations of two Christchurch mosques as worshippers gathered for Friday prayers, killing 49 and injuring dozens others. However, if it wasn't for the courageous actions of several people, the death toll may have been much higher. At the scene of the first attack in the al Noor Mosque, Naeem Rashid was left badly wounded after he launched himself at the attacker in an attempt to shield other worshippers from the gunman's bullets. The Pakistani later died from his wounds in hospital.

Overreaction? 22-yo New Zealand man arrested for allegedly distributing video of Christchurch mosque shooting

Overreaction? 22-yo New Zealand man arrested for allegedly distributing video of Christchurch mosque shooting

A 22-year-old man from New Zealand has been arrested in connection with distribution of the video recording of Friday's tragic mosque shootings that killed 50 people. Brenton Tarrant, 28, who has been charged with murder in the mass shooting, filmed the massacres at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Masjid in Christchurch on a Facebook livestream. Facebook was notified of the video and immediately took steps to remove the user and the recording, but not before it had been downloaded and reposted across the internet. The 22-year-old, who has not been named by police, will be charged under the Films Videos and Publications Classification Act. He is expected to appear in court Monday. New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have repeatedly urged citizens and the media not to share footage of the attack. Mia Garlick, a spokesperson for Facebook New Zealand, said 1.5 million videos of the attack had been removed from the platform globally within the first 24...

3 dead, 9 injured in suspected terror attack on tram in Dutch city of Utrecht - suspect arrested

3 dead, 9 injured in suspected terror attack on tram in Dutch city of Utrecht - suspect arrested

Three people have been killed and nine others injured in a terrorist attack that took place in the Dutch city of Utrecht. A nationwide manhunt for a 37-year-old Turkish suspect is now underway, police said. The Dutch counter-terrorism unit has surrounded a building where the gunman may be located, local media has reported. The perpetrator managed to escape the scene of the crime earlier, despite police cordoning off the area and adjacent streets. The shooting has left three people dead and nine injured, the city's mayor has confirmed.

A case against universal basic income

A case against universal basic income

Given recent progress in the development of artificial intelligence, many policy conversations take for granted that such advancements will lead to mass technological unemployment and could even create a permanent underclass. Once these "facts" are established, a radical and sweeping policy solution typically follows, most often an argument for the necessity of a Universal Basic Income (UBI). But despite their growing popularity, such apocalyptic predictions about the role of AI in replacing human labor and the need for a UBI are greatly overblown. Although I've written on this topic previously (one article even garnering a response from Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang), the doomsayers' case seems to be in need of a robust response. When thinking about UBI, it's important to understand the reasons why some may suggest it as a necessary solution in the first place and why the case is frequently overstated. Even beyond those issues, the concept of implementing UBI as a...

Israeli high court bans far-right candidate from election, but politics are still apartheid to the core

Israeli high court bans far-right candidate from election, but politics are still apartheid to the core

The Israeli High Court has ruled yesterday on several petitions regarding the upcoming elections. Taking the recommended position of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, the court reversed the Knesset Elections Committee decision to ban the Palestinian-Israeli party union of Balad-United Arab List; to reverse the ban on Jewish Ofer Cassif who is part of Hadash (Hadash-Ta'al is another dual Palestinian-Israeli union); and finally, to ban the leader of Jewish Power Michael Ben Ari from running - Ben Ari was otherwise approved by the committee. The merger of the rabbi Kahane disciples of Jewish Power with the Jewish Home party was a move orchestrated by Netanyahu, which drew widespread critique, as the Jewish Power is an extension of the Kahanist Kach party, which was banned from the Knesset in 1988 on grounds of racism. Netanyahu thus offered it political legitimacy, also in order to secure a future coalition and not lose votes under the 3.25% threshold. The permitting of the...

Humans have an inbuilt compass

Humans have an inbuilt compass

The Earth's magnetic field is faint, yet creatures from birds and bees to lobsters and bacteria have been shown to detect its dull pull. Now, after half a century of looking, scientists have reported the most convincing evidence yet to suggest humans, too, share this ability. The mysteries surrounding magnetoreception, as it is called, abound. It makes sense for globetrotting migratory birds and turtles to have an in-built compass, but it is far less obvious why cows might need one to orient their bodies along the magnetic field lines when grazing, or dogs to point north or south when defecating. The first inklings that humans might have an internal compass came from studies by Robin Baker at the University of Manchester in the UK. In 1980, he reported that if he blindfolded students and transported them out of town, they could almost always point towards the quadrant of their starting point, but they lost this ability if a bar magnet was strapped to their heads. Subsequent...

Rouhani says Iran will file legal case against US over sanctions, says they are a crime against humanity

Rouhani says Iran will file legal case against US over sanctions, says they are a crime against humanity

President Hassan Rouhani announced that Tehran will pursue legal action against US officials who imposed sanctions on Iran, adding that the dispute could be brought before an international court. The Iranian president said that he had ordered the ministries of foreign affairs and justice to "file a legal case in Iranian courts against those in America who designed and imposed sanctions on Iran." Describing the unilaterally imposed sanctions as a "crime against humanity," Rouhani said that if Iranian courts believe there is a strong case against Washington, Tehran would then pursue the legal challenge in international courts of justice. He said that the United States is seeking to "come back to Iran and rule the nation again."

Illegal aliens rescued from freezing, snowy mountain by Arizona Border Patrol

Illegal aliens rescued from freezing, snowy mountain by Arizona Border Patrol

Border Patrol agents worked together to rescue five illegal aliens who were trapped on a snowy mountain in Arizona on Thursday, U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) revealed. Officials say late in the day on Wednesday, Tucson Sector Border Patrol and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office (SCCSO) received 9-1-1 calls from one of the men, who managed to contact their number and ask for assistance. SCCSO coordinated efforts with a Department of Public Safety (DPS) aircrew who spotted the group on the mountain south of Tucson just after 1:00 a.m. Thursday morning, but had to postpone rescue operations until dawn as conditions worsened during the night. At daybreak, CBP said agents at the Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue team hiked to reach the stranded group. When they arrived, agents performed a medical check on the five men to stabilize their conditions and determined they weren't fit enough to walk back to safety.

California psychiatrist's body found in trunk of car, died of blunt-force injury, police say

California psychiatrist's body found in trunk of car, died of blunt-force injury, police say

A California psychiatrist was found bludgeoned to death in the trunk of his car in Nevada earlier this month and police have now launched an investigation into the man's murder. Thomas Burchard's body was discovered March 7 near the entrance to the Lake Mead National Recreational Area, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said. Authorities ruled that Burchard died from blunt force injury to the head, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Clark County's Coroner's Office said Thursday the 71-year-old Salinas, California native's death could officially be ruled a homicide, but police added no one had been arrested in his death, according to the newspaper.

The EU's 'Reichstaat' in Germany is in major disarray: A long cultural and political war is underway

The EU's 'Reichstaat' in Germany is in major disarray: A long cultural and political war is underway

"If the euro fails - Europe fails," Angela Merkel has said. "And indeed, the failure of the European project is now a genuine possibility: Monetary Union is no longer seen as irreversible, and neither is the EU", writes Professor Guido Montani of Padua University. Yes - but the profound structural nature to the crisis, and the concomitant perceived threat to German and to ruling euro-élite interests suggests that any solution will be as bitterly fought-over, as has been Brexit in the UK. It is a foretaste - and warning of the breakdown of national cohesion that is to come. After years of austerity and stagnation amongst some EU states, it is clear that both the structure - and the culture of the Union - insisted on by a post-war Germany, is facing a growing insurrection, a demand for change - both from member-states, and now, significantly, even from within Germany itself.

New Zealand mosque attacker appears in court, charged with murder - UPDATE

New Zealand mosque attacker appears in court, charged with murder - UPDATE

Australian-born Brenton Tarrant has been formally charged with murder in a shooting rampage that left 49 people dead in two New Zealand mosques. Police said more charges will be filed against him. Three more people are in custody. Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian man, was charged with murder over the Christchurch massacre during a brief court appearance on Saturday. He did not request bail and was ordered to remain in custody until the date of his next hearing, scheduled for April 5. The investigation is led by New Zealand police and assisted by Australian police in New South Wales. NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing told media that the region's joint counterterrorism unit has joined the investigation. Tarrant's relatives have been assisting the police as well.

New world record? Russian explorer rows through half of southern Pacific in 100 days

New world record? Russian explorer rows through half of southern Pacific in 100 days

Russian traveller Fedor Konyukhov, who is rowing through the stormy waters of the southern Pacific, managed to cross half of the ocean in just 100 days. The famous Russian survivalist and explorer started his round-the-world voyage aboard a solo rowboat on December 6 in Dunedin, New Zealand. Despite sailing through especially turbulent waters in strong winds known as the Roaring Forties, Konyukhov is advancing at an unprecedented rate. "It is a landmark achievement by all standards," the traveler's son and chief of the expedition headquarters, Oscar Konyukhov, told RIA Novosti. "No one has ever spent 100 days in a rowboat in [the] roaring forties," he said. Konyukhov is currently heading to South America and intends to pass through the Drake Passage. In a recent Instagram post, the explorer wrote that he is almost 1,800 nautical miles away from Cape Horn, the southernmost point of the continent. With wind, rain, snow, and hail already accompanying the journey, Konyukhov expects the...

The statistical mathematics that tells a cell what it is

The statistical mathematics that tells a cell what it is

During development, cells seem to decode their fate through optimal information processing, which could hint at a more general principle of life. In 1891, when the German biologist Hans Driesch split two-cell sea urchin embryos in half, he found that each of the separated cells then gave rise to its own complete, albeit smaller, larva. Somehow, the halves "knew" to change their entire developmental program: At that stage, the blueprint for what they would become had apparently not yet been drawn out, at least not in ink. Since then, scientists have been trying to understand what goes into making this blueprint, and how instructive it is. (Driesch himself, frustrated at his inability to come up with a solution, threw up his hands and left the field entirely.) It's now known that some form of positional information makes genes variously switch on and off throughout the embryo, giving cells distinct identities based on their location. But the signals carrying that information seem to...

We're not a-moosed: Woman hurls cat at moose to chase it away, gets grilled online

We're not a-moosed: Woman hurls cat at moose to chase it away, gets grilled online

A woman who used a cat as a projectile to avoid an attack from a disoriented stray moose was blasted as "barbarian" on the internet for the way she treated both animals. The moose apparently knew that, despite being cute, kitties are vicious in a fight. The large animal retreated as soon as it saw the cat flying in its direction. The wild moose was later spotted wandering among apartment blocks in other parts of the town of Neftekams before it was tranquilized and safely returned to the forest. The fate of the cat is unknown, but judging by the footage it most likely landed on its feet after the controversial stunt.

Girl fights for life at hospital after hyena attack in Kenya

Girl fights for life at hospital after hyena attack in Kenya

An eleven-year-old girl is fighting for her life at Nakuru Level Five hospital after she was attacked by a hyena while herding livestock at Opiroi village in Samburu County. Ripali Lenerpita sustained deep bites on her face, cheeks, jaw, neck, head and limbs following the Friday evening attack. The minor was in pain and could not hear and see clearly when she was brought to the hospital for specialized treatment. Her body was swollen. The hospital head of clinician services Joseph Keriyo said that though the girl was received while bandaged and dressed up, she was in a critical condition.

Interfaith kidney swap: Muslim, Hindu families in India form close bond after exchanging organs

Interfaith kidney swap: Muslim, Hindu families in India form close bond after exchanging organs

A pair of Indian families waiting for kidney transplants may have found the secret to ending religious strife: interfaith organ sharing. The Hindu and Muslim households are now close friends after swapping their innards. Nadeem and Nazreen Patel forged an unbreakable bond with Ramswarth Yadav and his wife Satyadevi after a doctor proposed that the Muslim and Hindu families serve as kidney donors for each other. Nadeem, a father of three children, was on dialysis for four years and was facing death unless a suitable kidney donor was found. Ramswarth was also suffering from kidney disease and hoped to undergo a transplant. A doctor at Mumbai's Saifee Hospital suggested a swap between the two families, since Ramswarth's blood group (A) matched that of Mrs Patel, while Nadeem's (B) was a perfect fit for Mrs Yadav. After a month of consultations, a swap transplant was agreed upon. The surgery was a success, with the two households now treating each other as family.

101 dead sea turtles found in state of Guerrero, Mexico

101 dead sea turtles found in state of Guerrero, Mexico

Environmental officials continue with research into the deaths of 101 sea turtles along beaches in several municipalities in the state of Guerrero. Officers with la Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (Profepa) say that in coordination with various other federal agencies, they continue to work to find the cause of the deaths of the 101 sea turtles. Profepa reports the sea turtles have been found in varying degrees of decomposition in six municipalities of the state of Guerrero, adding that the turtles do not exhibit any signs of marks related to fishing gear.

Thirty years of fast food: Study show greater variety, but more salt, larger portions, and added calories

Thirty years of fast food: Study show greater variety, but more salt, larger portions, and added calories

Despite the addition of some healthful menu items, fast food is even more unhealthy for you than it was 30 years ago. An analysis of the offerings at 10 of the most popular US fast-food restaurants in 1986, 1991, and 2016, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, demonstrates that fast-food entrees, sides, and desserts increased significantly in calories and sodium and entrees and desserts in portion size over time. It also shows that while the variety of entree, sides, and dessert options soared by 226 percent, new or discontinued items tended to be less healthy than those available throughout the study period. "Our study offers some insights on how fast food may be helping to fuel the continuing problem of obesity and related chronic conditions in the United States. Despite the vast number of choices offered at fast-food restaurants, some of which are healthier than others, the calories, portion sizes, and sodium content overall have worsened...

Zimbabwe landslide kills school pupils as Cyclone Idai death toll rises to at least 157

Zimbabwe landslide kills school pupils as Cyclone Idai death toll rises to at least 157

Schoolchildren were among those killed by landslides and flooding in Zimbabwe as the death toll from tropical cyclone Idai rose to at least 157. The pair of boarders were asleep when a rock fall hit the dining hall and dormitory at St Charles Lwanga school in the eastern province of Manicaland, according to officials in the southern African country. Cyclone Idai has affected more than 1.5 million people across southern Africa since it hit land in Mozambique last week. At least 126 people have died in Mozambique and Malawi and another 31 have died in Zimbabwe. Hundreds more are missing or have been left homeless by the disaster. Both Zimbabwe's president Emmerson Mnangagwa and Mozambique's leader Filipe Nyusi cut short their trips to the United Arab Emirates and Eswatini respectively after being criticised for failing to deal with the crisis.

Ferguson protester deaths spark speculation of something sinister

Ferguson protester deaths spark speculation of something sinister

Two young men were found dead inside torched cars. Three others died of apparent suicides. Another collapsed on a bus, his death ruled an overdose. Six deaths, all involving men with connections to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, drew attention on social media and speculation in the activist community that something sinister was at play. Police say there is no evidence the deaths have anything to do with the protests stemming from a white police officer's fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, and that only two were homicides with no known link to the protests.

Indonesia flash flood death toll rises to at least 77 people

Indonesia flash flood death toll rises to at least 77 people

At least 77 people are now known to have died in flash floods and mudslides in Indonesia's eastern Papua province, the disaster agency says. Two more people died in an earthquake on Lombok island. Indonesia's disaster agency on Monday raised the death toll from flash floods in the country's easternmost province, saying at least 77 people had died. Scores were injured and more than three dozen left missing after torrential downpours sent flash floods and mudslides through mountainside villages in Papua, the agency said. National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said rescue efforts had been hampered by the destruction of roads and bridges in several areas of Jayapura district after days of fierce rain.

Scientists warn Apple AirPods may 'pose cancer risk,' urges WHO to act

Scientists warn Apple AirPods may 'pose cancer risk,' urges WHO to act

As many as 250 researchers have appealed to the WHO and UN member nations, drawing their attention to the harm even minimal electromagnetic waves were scientifically found to cause in humans, including an increase in free radicals and cellular damage, demanding that the international medical watchdog should come up with more protective guidelines. Despite the enormous popularity wireless headphones, such as AirPods and the similar Samsung Galaxy Buds, have earned in recent years, researchers are increasingly voicing concerns about the harmful effects they may have on human health. The devices, which harness Bluetooth technology, a type of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radio wave that can transmit data, are in dangerous proximity to the user's inner skull, literally rubbing against it.