Daily News, via SOTT.net aggregation.

Female athletes urged to boycott Tokyo Olympics as New Zealand accused of 'cheating' after trans weightlifter selected for Games

Female athletes urged to boycott Tokyo Olympics as New Zealand accused of 'cheating' after trans weightlifter selected for Games

New Zealand has been accused of undermining female athletics after tapping trans weightlifter Laurel Hubbard for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, with some even describing the decision as outright cheating. The New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) CEO Kereyn Smith said that Hubbard met the requirements to compete in the international games, and stressed that New Zealand's team has a "strong culture of... inclusion and respect for all." Smith acknowledged that the decision was controversial, stating that "human rights" must be balanced with "fairness on the field of play" when it comes to gender identity in sports. However, many took issue with the assertion that New Zealand had carefully weighed all the relevant factors before inviting Hubbard to compete.

Oxford alumni warn woke mob wants 'sensitivity readers' to vet and edit university's oldest newspaper

Oxford alumni warn woke mob wants 'sensitivity readers' to vet and edit university's oldest newspaper

Move described as '"horrific" attempt to trample over press freedom and silence non-woke viewpoints'. Oxford University alumni have slammed attempts by the Student Union there to employ "sensitivity readers" to vet, edit and place 'trigger warnings' on the institution's oldest newspaper in order to resolve 'problematic' articles. As the London Telegraph reports, 'Student Consultancy of Sensitivity Readers' are to be paid by Oxford Student Union to address "high incidences of insensitive material being published" by the Cherwell newspaper.

Bear attacks sleeping 16-year-old girl at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Bear attacks sleeping 16-year-old girl at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A black bear in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park attacked and injured a 16-year-old girl while she was sleeping in a hammock early Friday morning, according to a news release. The family got the bear to leave their campsite in the Cosby section of the park immediately after the attack and park rangers provided medical care to the girl just after midnight Friday. She was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center by Tennessee Army National Guard at about 9 a.m. The girl was conscious throughout the attack and is now in stable condition, the release said. She received multiple injuries, including head lacerations. There were two bears near the campsite after the attack. The family identified one bear as being the one that attacked the girl. Rangers shot and killed it. Forensic testing showed the bear had human blood on it. The campsite located about 6 miles from the Maddron Bald Trailhead is closed until further notice.

Seattle Pride charges white people 'reparations' fee while 'BIPOC' attend for free

Seattle Pride charges white people 'reparations' fee while 'BIPOC' attend for free

A new Pride event is happening in Seattle this month specifically for BIPOC people. Promotional material for event, called Taking B(l)ack Pride, states that while the event will be free for people of color, white people will be charged a "$10 to $50 reparations fee." "All are free to attend HOWEVER this is a BLACK AND BROWN QUEER TRANS CENTERED, PRIORITIZED, VALUED, EVENT," the materials read. "White allies and accomplices are welcome to attend but will be charged a $10 to $50 reparations fee that will be used to keep this event free of cost for BLACK AND BROWN Trans and Queer COMMUNITY." Capitol Hill Pride, which is hosting a Pride March and Rally over the same weekend, took issue with the Taking B(l)ack Pride fee structure, and made a complaint to the City of Seattle Human Rights Commission. That complaint was denied.

Bear kills man in Slovakia forest in what could be first fatal attack

Bear kills man in Slovakia forest in what could be first fatal attack

A 57-year-old man has been killed by a brown bear in central Slovakia, in what the state forestry company said could be the first confirmed deadly attack by a wild bear, whose population has tripled in 20 years. "An autopsy confirmed today that the man from Liptovska Luzna died from injuries caused by this predator," the forestry company, Lesy Slovenske Republiky, said on Facebook. Bears are common in Slovak mountains, and their numbers have swollen to an estimated 2,760 last year from fewer than 900 two decades ago, said the forestry company, which has argued for legal hunting of bears to manage their population.

'Democracy is dead': Time-traveling Katy Perry & Orlando Bloom star in 'cringe' pro-Democrat political ad to conservative mockery

'Democracy is dead': Time-traveling Katy Perry & Orlando Bloom star in 'cringe' pro-Democrat political ad to conservative mockery

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom have been mocked by conservatives for a hammed-up political ad warning America that democracy will be "dead" in the future unless they support some Democrat-pushed voting bills. Released on Thursday, the ad stars Perry and Bloom as a pair of ragtag freedom fighters living under a presumably Republican dictatorship in the year 2055. In a message beamed back to the present day, they warn that "democracy is dead" in the future, and that "the regime watches our every move."

Trump announces he is building 1,954-mile long Trump Hotel along southern border

Trump announces he is building 1,954-mile long Trump Hotel along southern border

Trump flew to America's southern border this week to announce a brand-new Trump hotel unlike anything the world has ever seen. The planned hotel will be almost 2,000 miles long and will be situated right on the southern border. "Yes folks, I'm proud to announce we are building a big, beautiful, golden Trump hotel on the southern border," said Trump to reporters. "Land just happens to be really cheap down here, what can I say? The border just looks terrible ever since Sleepy Joe 'Loserface' Biden stole the presidency from me. Just a disgrace. I'll bet he can't even build a wall as fast and cheap as I can build my new Trump hotel. Watch!" The luxurious hotel will also include an 800-mile golf course and a 1,000-mile lazy tubing river. The southern wall will be a gleaming and impenetrable barrier with Trump's name emblazoned on it every couple of miles.

On Nasser's fight for Arab independence and a free Palestine

On Nasser's fight for Arab independence and a free Palestine

In the 1950s the so-called enemy of the West was not only Moscow but the Third World's emerging nationalists, from Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt to Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran. The United States and Britain staged a coup d'état against Mossadegh, and used the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist movement and the grandfather organization of the militant Islamic right, in an attempt to remove Nasser, the leader of the Arab nationalists. In the 1960s, left wing nationalism and Arab socialism spread from Egypt to Algeria to Syria, Iraq and Palestine. This emergence presented a threat to the old imperialist game of Great Britain, to which the United States was a recent recruit of, and thus they decided to forge a working alliance with Saudi Arabia intent on using Wahhabi fundamentalism as their foreign policy arm in the Middle East, along with the Muslim Brotherhood. This paper will go through the carving up of the Middle East under Sykes-Picot, the British creation of Saudi Arabia and Israel...

Previously deported sex offenders arrested after crossing into multiple border sectors

Previously deported sex offenders arrested after crossing into multiple border sectors

Border Patrol agents in multiple southern border sectors arrested several previously deported sex offenders after they illegally crossed the border from Mexico into the United States. Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents detected a group of three migrants on Tuesday evening after they illegally crossed the border from Mexico into Arizona, according to information provided by Border Patrol officials in Arizona. The agents arrived at the location and arrested the three migrants. The agents transported the migrants to a processing center where a records check identified one of the men, 37-year-old Juan Nunez-Tavarez, as a four-time previously deported sex offender.

Massive George Floyd head sculpture in Brooklyn divides opinion as it's unveiled to mark Juneteenth

Massive George Floyd head sculpture in Brooklyn divides opinion as it's unveiled to mark Juneteenth

A six-foot-tall sculpture of George Floyd's head has been unveiled in Brooklyn, New York City, both drawing praise and raising eyebrows. The statue was inaugurated by Floyd's brother on the occasion of Juneteenth. The larger-than-life art piece by sculptor Chris Carnabuci was installed at Brooklyn's Flatbush Junction on Saturday. The unveiling ceremony was headlined by Terrence Floyd, who called the police killing of his brother a "sacrifice" to the cause of racial justice. New York Council Member Farah Louis described Floyd's legacy as "truly monumental," insisting that it was not "just a figure of speech." Louis argued that Floyd's death became a springboard for America to reckon with its legacy of "systemic racism and police brutality."

Qatar will only allow vaccinated at World Cup 2022, will 'offer' vaccines to fans

Qatar will only allow vaccinated at World Cup 2022, will 'offer' vaccines to fans

Qatar said on Sunday that only people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 would be allowed to attend the World Cup next year, adding that it is in negotiations to secure one million doses in case the global vaccination drive falls behind. The Gulf emirate will host the four-week tournament in November 2022 and the president of global soccer body Fifa has said the matches would be held in full stadiums. Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani told newspapers that while most countries were expected to have vaccinated their citizens by then, Qatar was still taking measures to ensure a successful event. Comment: Except there's a significant number of people refusing to participate in these mass experimental vaccine trials: Unused Covid vaccines piling up across US as those rejecting offer increase - Bloomberg

Julian Assange's partner brands his incarceration 'intolerable and grotesque'

Julian Assange's partner brands his incarceration 'intolerable and grotesque'

The partner of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has described his ongoing incarceration in one of England's highest security prisons as "intolerable and grotesque". Intolerable Stella Moris and the couple's two young sons, Gabriel and Max, visited Assange in prison for the first time in eight months on the morning of Saturday 19 June. Despite winning his long-running extradition battle in January against the US, Assange remains in HMP Belmarsh in south London pending the outcome of an appeal. Assange is still wanted in the US on an 18-count indictment. He's facing allegations of plotting to hack computers and conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defense information. The prosecution followed WikiLeaks' publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents in 2010 and 2011 relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, as well as diplomatic cables. Moris said the last time she had seen Assange in the flesh was his last court appearance in early January.

'ID cards by the backdoor': UK govt contracted IT firm that is 'openly plotting' to turn vaccine passports into national ID card, privacy groups warns

'ID cards by the backdoor': UK govt contracted IT firm that is 'openly plotting' to turn vaccine passports into national ID card, privacy groups warns

The British government has been accused of aiming to covertly implement a national ID programme, after it partnered with a company that has advocated turning vaccine passports into a multi-purpose document. Entrust, an IT firm that bills itself as a "global leader in identities, payments, and data protection," was awarded a contract by the Department of Health and Social Care last month to work on the UK's Covid-19 vaccine certificate system. The company was given £250,000 ($346,000) to provide cloud-computing services for the government's Covid-status certification scheme, iNews reported. The contract is due to expire in March 2022, but the government has the option of extending it for an additional year. Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated last month that proof of vaccination will be "necessary" for international travel, and in recent weeks reports have emerged claiming that the UK government may require the document of people attending sporting events or other large gatherings.

Mystery of dark-age grave exhumations probed by archeologists

Mystery of dark-age grave exhumations probed by archeologists

The practice of re-opening graves to remove symbolic items, including swords from men's burials and broaches from women's, spread widely across Europe in the sixth century but died out in the eighth. The motives for the practice remain unknown. Archaeologists are trying to solve the riddle of why people of the Dark Ages, from Romania to Anglo-Saxon England, commonly reopened the graves of their own dead to remove specific items. "The practice of reopening and manipulating graves soon after burial, traditionally described — and dismissed — as 'robbing,' is documented at cemeteries from Transylvania to southern England," said a team of Swedish, Austrian, Dutch and German scholars, writing in a paper published in the journal Antiquity on Friday.

Meteor fireball over the southwest of Bohemia, Czech Republic

Meteor fireball over the southwest of Bohemia, Czech Republic

A meteoroid flew over the eastern part of Bavaria and southwestern Bohemia on Thursday evening. The body, weighing approximately five kilograms, disintegrated during the flight, said Pavel Spurný from the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Ondřejov, Central Bohemia. Meteoroid fragments can be found mainly in Šumava. The meteoroid entered the Earth's atmosphere on Thursday shortly before 10:00 pm in the area around the German city of Deggendorf. "At that time, the body was moving at a speed of 11.7 kilometers per second, and along a runway sloping to the earth's surface of less than 25 degrees, it continued to fly in an east-southeast direction and gradually brightened," said Spurný.

Deadly tornado strikes Auckland, New Zealand

Deadly tornado strikes Auckland, New Zealand

A tornado has ripped through the city of Auckland, New Zealand leaving one person dead with damaging winds uprooting trees, exploding power lines and battering houses. The tornado hit before 8.30am on Saturday morning and fire and emergency crews have been called out to more than 100 locations affected by property damage. The force of the wind was so strong shipping containers toppled at the Port of Auckland, killing one person and injuring a further two who have been rushed to hospital, Stuff reports. 'The tornado caused significant damage to the site and dislodged multiple containers,' a Port of Auckland spokesperson said. 'We are shocked by this freak event and our thoughts are with the people affected.'

Supercell storm hits northern France with 44,000 lightning strikes recorded

Supercell storm hits northern France with 44,000 lightning strikes recorded

A supercell storm hit parts of France on June 19, with some 44,000 lightning strikes recorded, the most in a single day this year.

Most Germans say freedom of speech is in jeopardy, many name Islam and patriotism among topics they cannot speak freely about

Most Germans say freedom of speech is in jeopardy, many name Islam and patriotism among topics they cannot speak freely about

A majority of German citizens believe that freedom of expression is in danger, the latest poll shows. 'Patriotism' and Islam were named among topics one should be particularly careful about. Only 45% of Germans still believe they can express their political opinion freely, says a survey conducted by the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy - one of Germany's oldest and most respectable polling agencies. That is the lowest figure since 1953, when the institute started conducting such polls. Just a few years ago, two-thirds of Germans believed that nothing stops them from expressing their opinion freely. Most believe that their freedom of expression is in danger, while 44% feel one had better be careful about what one says, according to the survey published in Germany's FAZ newspaper on Wednesday.

Alberta to lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions on July 1 as it hits vaccination target

Alberta to lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions on July 1 as it hits vaccination target

Alberta will become the first province or territory to remove all COVID-19 restrictions when it lifts its remaining public health measures on July 1. Premier Jason Kenney announced Friday that the province had reached the vaccination threshold for the third and final phase of reopening, because 70.2 per cent of Albertans 12 and over had received at least one dose of a vaccine. That means it's safe to return to normal after the vaccines take full effect in two weeks, he said. "The end of this terrible time is just two weeks away. I know it's hard to believe, but it's true," Kenney said. "Thanks to vaccines and the millions of Albertans who have been protected by them, we finally have the upper hand on this virus and can safely open up our province."

35,000 year old cave paintings may depict ice age sign language

35,000 year old cave paintings may depict ice age sign language

Tens of thousands of years ago in what is now Europe, people held their hands against cave walls and blew a spray of paint, leaving bare rock where their hands had rested. Many of these stencils show all five fingers, but in some, fingers appear to be shortened or missing. Researchers have proposed grisly explanations for these absent digits: Perhaps the artists lost fingers to frostbite or disease, or perhaps they endured amputations for ritual purposes or punishment. But other experts have long argued that it's more likely they weren't missing any fingers at all. Instead, the stone age artists may have been folding their fingers down to make hand signs -- possibly humanity's earliest venture into writing on the wall.

Belgian 'anti-lockdown Rambo' that stole heavy weapons from depot whilst known as risk to intel services, found DEAD in the woods

Belgian 'anti-lockdown Rambo' that stole heavy weapons from depot whilst known as risk to intel services, found DEAD in the woods

A body found in the woods in Belgium on Saturday belonged to a rogue soldier who fled his unit a month ago with an arsenal of weapons and threatened to assassinate the country's top virologist, the Belgian Defense Ministry said. A massive manhunt involving the Belgian army and police and the militaries of neighboring Germany and the Netherlands was launched after the disappearance of veteran sniper Jurgen Conings on May 17. The 46-year-old soldier, with combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, snatched several anti-tank missiles, a submachine gun, a handgun and a bulletproof vest from a military warehouse, and left notes containing death threats against Belgium's top officials before he went missing. Virologist Marc Van Ranst, who had a hand in the Covid-19 restrictions in Belgium, was on that hit list and ended up being placed in a safe house by the authorities.

The 27.5-million-year cycle of catastrophic geologic activity

The 27.5-million-year cycle of catastrophic geologic activity

Geologic activity on Earth appears to follow a 27.5-million-year cycle, giving the planet a 'pulse,' according to a new study published in the journal Geoscience Frontiers. "Many geologists believe that geological events are random over time. But our study provides statistical evidence for a common cycle, suggesting that these geologic events are correlated and not random," said Michael Rampino, a geologist and professor in New York University's Department of Biology, as well as the study's lead author. Over the past five decades, researchers have proposed cycles of major geological events — including volcanic activity and mass extinctions on land and sea — ranging from roughly 26 to 36 million years. But early work on these correlations in the geological record was hampered by limitations in the age-dating of geologic events, which prevented scientists from conducting quantitative investigations.

Methane munching microbes crucial role in preventing escape of gas into atmosphere

Methane munching microbes crucial role in preventing escape of gas into atmosphere

One of the key steps to mitigating climate change is to better understand the multitude of factors that affect our planet's temperature - and a new study reveals the important role that ocean microbes play in the process. Microbes are responsible for most of Earth's naturally produced methane, a key greenhouse gas that contributes to the warming of the atmosphere. But as well as producing it, microbes also consume it, keeping it trapped in the ocean. The new research highlights how microbes in carbonate rocks such as limestone and dolomite play a crucial role in helping to regulate Earth's temperature by consuming methane and stopping it from escaping into the open air - a type of methane sink that has so far not been extensively studied. Comment: One needs to be cautious regarding these claims of 'regulating' Earth's temperature, because, after all, mainstream science still pushes the debunked theory of 'man-made global warming'. It seems that the temperature of our planet is...

Rallies in Peru over 'contested' election, despite observers recording no evidence of voter fraud

Rallies in Peru over 'contested' election, despite observers recording no evidence of voter fraud

Supporters of socialist Pedro Castillo and conservative Keiko Fujimori took to the streets by the thousands in Peru on Saturday, as tensions rose over the result of the June 6 presidential election. Castillo was leading the official count while Fujimori sought to get votes annulled, although pollster Ipsos Peru said it had done a statistical analysis of the ballots and found no evidence of abnormal voting patterns that would have benefited one candidate over the other. "We are not going to allow them to ignore the popular will, to ignore the electoral result. We are going to defend democracy," Veronika Mendoza, former leftist presidential candidate, said at the Castillo support rally.

Gunmen kill at least 14 in attacks in Mexico, near US border

Gunmen kill at least 14 in attacks in Mexico, near US border

Gunmen in vehicles opened fire in the Mexican city of Reynosa on the U.S. border, killing at least 14 people and causing widespread panic, authorities said. Security forces killed four suspects, including one who died near a border bridge. The attacks began Saturday afternoon in several neighborhoods in eastern Reynosa, which borders the Texan city of McAllen, according to the Tamaulipas state agency that coordinates security forces. Images posted on social media showed bodies in the streets. Authorities did not immediately comment on a possible motive for the attacks. The area's criminal activity has long been dominated by the Gulf Cartel, but there have been fractures within the group.

Biden's buffoonish war on extremism

Biden's buffoonish war on extremism

The Biden administration revealed on Tuesday that guys who can't get laid may be terrorist threats due to "involuntary celibate-violent extremism." That revelation is part of a new crackdown that identifies legions of potential "domestic terrorists" that the feds can castigate and investigate. But there is no reason to expect Biden administration anti-terrorism and anti-extremism efforts to be less of a farce and menace than similar post-9/11 campaigns. Since the French Revolution, politicians have defined terrorism to stigmatize their opponents, a precedent followed by the Biden administration's National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism. The report labels the January 6 clash at the Capitol as a "domestic terrorism" incident but fails to mention it spurred a mushroom cloud of increasingly far-fetched official accusations. Capitol Police acting Chief Yogananda Pittman told Congress that January 6 was "a terrorist attack by tens of thousands of insurrectionists." Less than...

We are now at the beginning of what will be a historic collapse

We are now at the beginning of what will be a historic collapse

Alasdair Macleod: Yesterday, the FOMC [Federal Open Market Committee] released its June statement which only served to remind us that its members are powerless in the face of inflationary conditions. They refuse to accept the price consequences of monetary inflation, still clinging on to an increasingly untenable hope that price rises are "transitory". The fact of the matter is that the world is now awash with excess money, the two greatest inflationists being the Fed and the Bank of England. In the US, the Fed's $120bn monthly QE continues to goose financial asset values, while the US Government has spent a further trillion into circulation from its general account at the Fed. This tidal wave of money threatened money market funds totalling over $4 trillion with negative rates, thereby "breaking the buck", which is why the Fed has increased its outstanding reverse repos to $721bn. Interest rates will have to increase far earlier than the Fed admits to stop foreigners dumping...

Iran's low voter turnout spells trouble for the future of the Islamic Republic

Iran's low voter turnout spells trouble for the future of the Islamic Republic

While an overwhelming percentage of voters chose the conservative candidate Ebrahim Raisi, the fact that less than 50% of the eligible voters participated underscores a growing lack of support for "religious democracy" in Iran. The 2021 Iranian Presidential election may go down in history as the event that broke the back of Iran's tumultuous 40-year experiment with "religious democracy," where the legitimacy of autocratic religious rule is validated by the will of the people as expressed through the vehicle of voter participation. It is not the result of the election that causes concern - the overwhelming victory of Ebrahim Raisi, the conservative former head of the judiciary, came as a surprise to no one, especially after the Guardian Council, Iran's constitutional body that, among other tasks, vets candidates for elected office, purged the list of potential contenders for Iran's executive, removing several would-be candidates, including the former Speaker of the Iranian...

Basel III and gold - Central bankers locking the fire exits

Basel III and gold - Central bankers locking the fire exits

"To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail," said Mark Twain. So it is that pundits have interpreted forthcoming Basel III rules as simply an opportunity to bash bullion banks and to assert that gold prices are going to the moon. Again ... yawn. Imagine for a moment that your cash at bank became "allocated" ... that is to say your bank holds it in physical form and it moves from account to account to reflect every single transaction you make, instead of the current book entry system that allows debits and credits to be offset, cleared and settled overnight through a central agency that used to be called BACS. Yes, chaos would ensue ... but assuming banks could manage, costs would rise dramatically, and that would be passed on to you. Madness you might think ... why would regulators introduce something so retrograde and inefficient ... herein lies the story behind the proposed Basel III changes and gold ...

Taliban says they are committed to Afghanistan peace talks

Taliban says they are committed to Afghanistan peace talks

The Taliban on Sunday said they are committed to peace talks, and want a "genuine Islamic system" in Afghanistan. Reuters reports Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, co-founder of the Taliban in Afghanistan, in a statement said: "We understand that the world and Afghans have queries and questions about the form of the system to be established following withdrawal of foreign troops. A genuine Islamic system is the best means for solution of all issues of the Afghans. Our very participation in the negotiations and its support on our part indicates openly that we believe in resolving issues through (mutual) understanding." This statement comes as progress on talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government have slowed amid rising violence brought on by foreign forces withdrawing from the country, Reuters notes. Officials have said the Taliban has not yet submitted a peace proposal upon which talks could be started. According to Reuters, Baradar said in his statement that women and...

Most riot, looting cases from last year dropped by NYC DAs

Most riot, looting cases from last year dropped by NYC DAs

One year ago, parts of New York City felt out of control as crowds of looters were seen smashing storefront after storefront. The mayhem continued night after night from late May into June. At one point, there was even a so-called "looting dance party" on the streets of SoHo. The mobs seemingly pillaged at will. Many were caught on tape, some with their faces visible. Others even posted on social their own videos of their actions those nights. "We got the Rolex store," some in the crowd can be heard screaming in one video. Police were far outnumbered and seemingly unprepared. Hundreds of arrests were made during the looting and riots. Many of those arrests took place in Manhattan and along some commercial streets in the Bronx where the problems were widespread. Surveillance videos show looters breaking into many locally owned Bronx stores, stores that were left ransacked. NYPD data reviewed by the NBC New York I-Team shows 118 arrests were made in the Bronx during the worst of the...

Top Georgia Dems flip on voter ID amid push from Manchin for identification rules

Top Georgia Dems flip on voter ID amid push from Manchin for identification rules

Georgia Democratic rockstars Stacey Abrams and Sen. Raphael Warnock have both made major reversals on their feelings about voter identification, flips that could signal shifting Democratic priorities about voter ID as the Senate considers a sweeping voting bill that could include identification measures. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin this week proposed several additions to the controversial For the People Act, a bill that, if passed, would allow Congress to exert significant control over most U.S. elections. Among the measures Manchin has suggested are voter ID rules, which would require identification at the polls but would allow voters to use a variety of documents to prove their identity. Prominent Democratic activist Stacey Abrams this week came out in support of the measures, a sharp reversal from earlier hardline opposition to voting ID laws. Abrams suggested that widespread Democratic opposition to voting ID laws has been "one of the fallacies of Republican talking points...

Evanston goes forward with Juneteenth festivities, LGBTQ parades after cancelling July 4 events over Covid-19

Evanston goes forward with Juneteenth festivities, LGBTQ parades after cancelling July 4 events over Covid-19

Community leaders in the Democrat bastion of Evanston, Illinois, have apparently decided that Covid-19 is a greater public-health risk on Independence Day than during Juneteenth and Pride Month celebrations. The city celebrated Juneteenth, the new federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the US, on Saturday, holding a parade and a community gathering that featured live performances, art displays and food vendors. The partying will resume next Saturday, when Evanston hosts its annual Pride celebration, including a car parade, a community picnic and an evening candle-lighting ceremony. The event theme is "Proud to Be," which organizers said will celebrate "the deep intersectionality of the LGBTQIA+ community with other marginalized communities." But Evanston's annual parade for Independence Day, the holiday commemorating America's founding, has been canceled for a second straight year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Related activities, including a Fun Run, concert and...

At least 18 dead, 21 missing after floods and landslides in 26 districts of Nepal (UPDATE)

At least 18 dead, 21 missing after floods and landslides in 26 districts of Nepal (UPDATE)

Five fatalities have been confirmed, with a further 19 people reported missing after heavy monsoon rainfall in Nepal triggered floods and landslides. Disaster authorities in Nepal have reported over 70 incidents of rain damage, flooding and landslides since 15 June 2021. As many as 26 of Nepal's 77 districts have been affected. Ten people died in recent flash flooding in a remote highland areas of nearby country Bhutan on 16 June 2021. Nepal As of early 17 June, 5 people have died, 19 were reported missing and 14 people were injured as a result of floods, landslides and heavy rainfall in Nepal. As many as 50 houses have been completely destroyed and dozens of others damaged. The worst of the flooding struck in Helambu, Sindhupalchowk District, where 2 people have died, 6 injured and 15 reported as still missing. Flooding struck on 15 June 2021. Damage assessments are ongoing.

What does Ibrahim Raisi's victory as President of Iran mean to the US and Iran's allies?

What does Ibrahim Raisi's victory as President of Iran mean to the US and Iran's allies?

Sayyed Ibrahim Raisi's victory in the Iranian presidential elections was not a surprise, but the polls and their results are very significant and send domestic, regional and international messages. The number of voters is powerfully expressive: Raisi won 17.926.345 million votes out of the 28 million who voted in the elections, regardless of the Corona pandemic that continues to threaten all countries and cause a reduction of the participation in elections. It is noteworthy that the second place went to the hardliner, former IRGC - Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Mohsen Rezaei, who won 3.4 million votes. The third place went to former central bank governor Abdel Nasser Hemmati, who represented the weight of the reformists, reaching only 2.4 million votes. Conservative lawmaker Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi ended up with more than one million votes.

Truck runs over two people, killing one, at Florida Pride parade, police rule a 'tragic accident'

Truck runs over two people, killing one, at Florida Pride parade, police rule a 'tragic accident'

Two participants in a Florida Pride parade were run over by a truck Saturday night, in what the mayor of Fort Lauderdale called a "terrorist attack against the LGBT community." Others, however, including members of a local Gay Men's Chorus, have maintained the deadly crash was an accident by one of its own members. Police said they are investigating all possibilities. One of the victims died from their injuries, and the other is in critical condition, according to WPLG Local 10 News. The FBI was called in to help the investigation, according to the station.

Strong shallow magnitude 6.3 earthquake shakes New Zealand's Kermadec Islands

Strong shallow magnitude 6.3 earthquake shakes New Zealand's Kermadec Islands

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake shook the area around New Zealand's Kermadec Islands early Monday, the US Geological Survey reported. The quake, which struck at 1705 GMT Sunday, had an epicentre located 938 kilometers northeast of Ngunguru, on New Zealand's North Island, at a depth of 10 kilometers, the USGS said. There were no immediate reports of damage or a tsunami. The tiny Kermadec Islands are mostly uninhabited. Source: AFP

Antifa thugs attack pedestrians, shut down streets outside Denver conservative conference

Antifa thugs attack pedestrians, shut down streets outside Denver conservative conference

Antifa and Denver Communists attacked and threatened pedestrians while trying to block traffic outside of the Western Conservatives Conference on Friday night. The streets of Denver saw violence Friday as Antifa and Denver Communists attempted to shut down traffic and proceeded to assault individuals outside of the Western Conservative Conference. One woman was seen getting out of her car to confront Antifa who threw projectiles at her vehicle and was subsequently threatened with a mob-style beatdown if she proceeded. Another onlooker offered to help the one woman find the culprit who damaged her car, to which someone in the crowd yells: "If you touch one, you're gonna get touched by every last one of these motherf — ers!" The crowd implied that she was at risk for a brutal beating if she proceeded.

Woke British law association's 'guide for use of pronouns' met with storm of social media scorn

Woke British law association's 'guide for use of pronouns' met with storm of social media scorn

The Law Society has faced a storm of online mockery and criticism after it showcased its guide for the use of pronouns in the workplace. While some found the initiative ridiculous, others blasted it for not being inclusive enough. The law association, which represents and governs solicitors in the jurisdiction of England and Wales, has been actively participating in the virtual celebration of Pride Month, sharing its latest contribution on social media late on Saturday. The group showcased its supposedly inclusive guide on how to 'properly' use pronouns in the workplace to avoid offending anyone.

Facebook agrees to clarify what it considers satire after reprimand for flagging meme as hate speech

Facebook agrees to clarify what it considers satire after reprimand for flagging meme as hate speech

Facebook has pledged to provide a more detailed explanation of what constitutes satire on its platform, after the company's oversight board ruled that a meme commenting on the Armenian genocide was wrongfully removed. The social media giant said it was committed to developing a "new satire framework" which will be used to assess facetious or sarcastic content that may be flagged as suspected hate speech. Information will also be added to the site's community standards clarifying how satire factors into "context-specific decisions" about problematic content. The company already has a "satire exception" to its rules prohibiting hate speech, but the policy "is currently not communicated to users," Facebook acknowledged.

A new crack appears in Fauci's COVID-19 origins coverup story

A new crack appears in Fauci's COVID-19 origins coverup story

New information appears to show the point at which Dr Fauci forced "bat-pangolin-human" narrative. One thing about truth: It is inexorable. It can be hidden, but it will always appear at some point. At some time, any falsified story is and will be brought to account. That is why lies are harder to maintain. That being said, it appears that Dr. Fauci, a man educated at a Jesuit institute of higher learning, thought he could somehow beat the game. Maybe he has. After all, he made a cool $5 million on a book deal, even though it appears that the actual book's release is delayed or even canceled. Not bad!

Tropical Storm Claudette triggers floods in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama - up to a foot of rain overnight

Tropical Storm Claudette triggers floods in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama - up to a foot of rain overnight

Tropical Storm Claudette formed along the US Gulf Coast early 19 June, 2021 bringing heavy rains and some flooding to coastal areas of Mississippi and Louisiana. Flooding also affected parts of Alabama, where one person was reported missing. The National Weather Service (NWS) New Orleans said 8 to 10 inches (203 mm to 254 mm) of rain fell across portions of the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi Coast, with some areas near Slidell seeing more than 10 inches. Gulf Coast Flooding Flooding was reported in coastal Mississippi, in particular in areas of in Jackson and Hancock counties. Reportedly residents were trapped in their homes due to flooding in Shoreline Park, Hancock County. In Louisiana, severe flooding affected parts of St. Tammany Parish, mostly in Slidell where flood waters swamped city streets and damaged dozens of vehicles and some buildings. Damage assessments in Slidell are ongoing. The Parish Government said, "St. Tammany Parish, specifically Slidell,...

Severe flooding in Transbaikalia, Russia - up to 8 feet deep

Severe flooding in Transbaikalia, Russia - up to 8 feet deep

All television channels have repeatedly shown footage of the flooded cities of the Crimean Peninsula, but for some reason there is very little information about floods in the Trans-Baikal Territory? Over the past three days, June 17-19, 2021, there have been heavy and prolonged rains, which provoked the overflow of rivers. Roads, vegetable gardens, farmsteads and houses were under water. In seven settlements, 35 residential houses and 44 household plots were flooded, 7 wooden bridges were destroyed, 4 road sections were partially flooded, and transport links were disrupted. The emergency mode was introduced in Gazimuro-Zavodsky, Mogochinsky, Nerchinsky, Petrovsk-Zabaikalsky, Sretensky, Chernyshevsky and Shelopuginsky districts. In the Nerchinsk region, six villages were cut off from the regional center because of the bridge destroyed by the flood. In the city of Baley, another bridge over the Unda River was closed due to damage. In some settlements, residents were evacuated from...

Roads closed, homes evacuated after floods in Gisborne, New Zealand - up to 7 inches of rain in 24 hours

Roads closed, homes evacuated after floods in Gisborne, New Zealand - up to 7 inches of rain in 24 hours

Another spell of torrential rain has caused flooding in New Zealand, closing roads and promoting evacuations on the East Coast of North Island. Severe flooding last month caused widespread damage in the South Island region of Canterbury. Gisborne Civil Defence said that serious flooding in Tokomaru Bay has forced some families to self-evacuate. The State Highway SH35 north and south of Tokomaru Bay is closed. Gisborne District Council said at least 4 other roads have been washed out or blocked by landslips. Local media said flooding has damaged a bridge and roads in Waipiro Bay, isolating around 15 houses. Flooding was also reported along the Wharekahika River. Civil Defence said some families have self-evacuated and teams were working with those families along with Police and Fire and Emergency.

Rampaging bear in Japan injures 4 before being fatally shot

Rampaging bear in Japan injures 4 before being fatally shot

A wild brown bear on the loose in a city in northern Japan wounded four people, entered a military camp and disrupted flights at an airport before being fatally shot. The bear was seen wandering through the streets of Sapporo in the early hours of Friday, triggering a number of calls to police. Over the next eight hours police said the bear injured a woman in her 80s, a man in his 70s and a man in his 40s. The bear then forced its way into a military camp, injuring a soldier at the gate, before making its way onto a runway at a nearby airport. The bear finally fled into the woods, where it was shot.

At least 3 injured & evacuation ordered after blasts rock Serbian ammunition factory for 2nd time in a MONTH

At least 3 injured & evacuation ordered after blasts rock Serbian ammunition factory for 2nd time in a MONTH

Parts of the Serbian city of Cacak are being evacuated after an explosion hit a local ammunition plant, setting it on fire. A similar blast caused major damage to the facility around two weeks earlier. "Due to the explosion at the Sloboda facility, it is necessary to urgently evacuate all citizens living in the vicinity of the factory. The place of evacuation is the city stadium," Cacak Mayor Milun Todorovic announced on social media on Saturday evening, as flames were ripping through the factory and reportedly began spreading to nearby territory. The 'Sloboda' (Freedom) plant, southwest of Cacak, was shaken by a powerful blast around 8pm local time, which was followed by another, smaller one, according to Serbian TV.

Biden administration takes steps to make sex-change surgery available as a healthcare benefit for military veterans

Biden administration takes steps to make sex-change surgery available as a healthcare benefit for military veterans

The Joe Biden administration is poised to offer gender-reassignment surgery as a standard medical benefit for military veterans, boosting transgender services in a system with a history of delaying or denying basic care. Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough announced the move on Saturday at a LGBTQ Pride Month event in Orlando. "We are taking the first necessary steps to expand VA's care to include gender-confirmation surgery, thus allowing transgender vets to go through the full gender-confirmation process with the VA by their side," McDonough was quoted as saying by CNN. The new benefit marks President Biden's latest effort to expand transgender services and protections. Within the first few days after he took office in January, he signed executive orders expanding protections under federal anti-discrimination laws to transgender people and ending former president Donald Trump's ban on transgender troops in the military.

Charges dismissed against trucker who drove into George Floyd protest

Charges dismissed against trucker who drove into George Floyd protest

Charges have been dismissed against a trucker who drove into a crowd of protesters in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd last year. In an online court session on Friday, Bogdan Vechirko entered into a "continuance without prosecution" agreement with prosecutors, according to the Star Tribune. Under the agreement, he has to remain law-abiding for the next year and pay restitution.

Food shortages now 'inevitable' due to labour crisis, industry warns

Food shortages now 'inevitable' due to labour crisis, industry warns

Worsening supermarket food shortages are now "inevitable" in the coming weeks as labour shortages across the food supply chain approach crunch point, the sector has warned. Chronic driver shortages have been compounded by shortfalls across other low-paid sectors including harvesting, manufacturing and packaging, and the supply chain is creaking under the pressure. Trade bodies, logistics firms and suppliers all warn that the continued reopening of the economy combined with the start of the summer holidays will see a tipping point in supermarkets' ability to keep shelves fully stocked.

They looted businesses during Black Lives Matter riots. Their charges were dropped and storeowners aren't happy

They looted businesses during Black Lives Matter riots. Their charges were dropped and storeowners aren't happy

Last summer, as the Black Lives Matter movement protested and rioted across the country in response to the police-involved death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd, businesses in numerous U.S. cities were ravaged and looted. NBC News reported that prosecutors in the Bronx and Manhattan have decided to drop burglary and looting charges against hundreds of rioters, angering store owners who had their businesses destroyed. "I was in total shock that everything is being brushed off to the side," Jessica Betancourt, whose eyeglass shop was one of the businesses looted, told NBC.