Daily News, via SOTT.net aggregation.

One dead after car crashes into Marseille bus shelters

One dead after car crashes into Marseille bus shelters

Police have arrested a driver following an incident in the Old Port area of Marseille in which one person died when a car crashed into two bus shelters. The incident is not believed to be terrorism-related. A 35-year-old was arrested following the woman's death, after he hit two bus shelters in the area. At 8:15am local time the driver smashed into the first shelter in the 13th arrondissement before hitting the second in the 11th arrondissement. In a statement from police the public have been asked to avoid the area of boulevard Charles Livon. Another person was also injured, according to police. "At the moment we have no information on the motives of this individual," a police source told Reuters.

Major snowfall hits South Africa

Major snowfall hits South Africa

As South Africa does it's best to survive the almost-nuclear winter we are having, today would be as good a day as any to bring your duvet to work. The snow has found its way to our plains on the back of a country-wide cold front, and it isn't just the moutainous regions that are enjoying a flurry: Parts of KZN, Eastern Cape and Free State are being covered by a wonderful white dusting. Snowfall in South Africa The South African Weather Service have warned that snowfall in all three of the aforementioned areas will be disruptive, and advised motorists to take extra care on the roads: Eastern Cape - #SNOW ROADS CLOSED: N9 Lootsberg Pass, R61 Wapadsberg Pass, R57 Nico Malan Pass, R58 Barkly Pass — Rob Beezy (@TrafficSA) August 17, 2017

Putin appoints Anatoly Antonov as Russia's new ambassador to US

Putin appoints Anatoly Antonov as Russia's new ambassador to US

Moscow has selected Anatoly Antonov, a career diplomat specializing in defense and security issues, as its next ambassador in Washington. Antonov replaces Sergey Kislyak, who was painted as a shadowy spymaster by those targeting the Trump administration. "According to the President's decree, Anatoly Antonov is appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the United States and the permanent observer of the Russian Federation at the Organization of American States in Washington," the statement on the Russian presidential website reads. Antonov is presently Russia's deputy foreign minister.

Rosneft enters India's energy market by acquiring Essar Oil for $13bn

Rosneft enters India's energy market by acquiring Essar Oil for $13bn

Russia's Rosneft and its partners including Dutch commodity trading house Trafigura have finalized the $12.9 billion purchase of India's second-largest oil refiner Essar Oil. It's the biggest foreign acquisition in the South Asian country. The deal announced last October gives Rosneft a 49 percent stake in Essar. According to an Essar Group statement, Trafigura and the Russian fund UCP will hold a similar stake in equal parts; retail investors will hold the rest. "Today is a historic day for Indo-Russian economic ties... I congratulate Rosneft, Trafigura, and UCP for investing in a world-class oil business, which we are proud to have built," said Essar Group Chairman Shashi Ruia. "The closing of the acquisition enables Rosneft to enter one of the world's fastest growing markets," said the Russian oil major.

Moscow court rejects Siemens' demand to seize its gas turbines in Crimea

Moscow court rejects Siemens' demand to seize its gas turbines in Crimea

The Moscow Arbitration Court has rejected a plea by Siemens to seize its gas turbines sent to Crimea. The German company claims its turbines were delivered to the Russian Black Sea peninsula illegally. A further court hearing is scheduled for September 18. Siemens has sued Technopromexport, accusing the subsidiary of Russian state firm Rostec of misrepresenting the destination for the final delivery of the turbines. Siemens says the turbines were intended to be used in a project in Russia's Taman. Taman is a peninsula in the Krasnodar region of Russia not far from the Crimea.

US embassy in Moscow temporarily halts issue of non-immigrant visas

US embassy in Moscow temporarily halts issue of non-immigrant visas

The US embassy in Russia is suspending all "nonimmigrant visa operations" in Russia as of August 23. Visa operations will be resumed only in the main embassy building in Moscow on September 1. "As of 0900 Moscow time Monday, August 21, the U.S. Mission will begin canceling current nonimmigrant visa appointments countrywide," the US mission said in a statement. The embassy also announced that "all nonimmigrant visa operations across Russia will be suspended starting August 23." "Visa operations at the U.S. consulates will remain suspended indefinitely," the US mission stated, adding that they will resume at the embassy in Moscow on September 1.

Signs and Portents: Two-headed sea turtle found on Florida Space Coast

Signs and Portents: Two-headed sea turtle found on Florida Space Coast

Researchers with the University of Central Florida Marine Turtle Research Group discovered a rare two-headed Loggerhead sea turtle while conducting sea turtle nest surveys along beaches in Brevard County, Florida. The condition is called Dicephalic parapagus, a rare form of partial twinning where there are two heads side by side on one torso. Although rare, two-headed sea turtles are not unheard of. In 2012, a two-headed sea turtle hatchling was discovered on Jupiter Island in Broward County, Florida.

Russian air force destroys over 200 ISIS terrorists heading for Deir ez-Zor, Syria

Russian air force destroys over 200 ISIS terrorists heading for Deir ez-Zor, Syria

The Russian air force has destroyed a large column of Islamic State militants, vehicles and large caliber weapons heading to the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, the Russian defense ministry has said. "The Russian Air Force destroyed another large column of ISIS fighters that was heading to the area of the city of Deir ez-Zor, where international terrorists are trying to regroup and equip their last base in Syria," the statement says. The ministry further noted that "more than 200 militants" have been killed in the strikes, which also destroyed "heavy vehicles with ammunition."

Lebanese army steamrolls ISIS border positions and raises Spanish flag for Barcelona victims

Lebanese army steamrolls ISIS border positions and raises Spanish flag for Barcelona victims

The Lebanese army has scored major victories in the ongoing offensive against Islamic State terrorists along the Syrian border, securing over a dozen of outposts, and raising a Spanish flag in solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attacks in Catalonia. The Lebanese army seized 80 of 120 square kilometers from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) fighters along its north-eastern border with Syria in its ongoing 'Jroud Dawn' military operation, which began 5am (0200 GMT) Saturday. The Lebanese military operation coincided with a joint Syrian army-Hezbollah offensive across the border in the Qalamoun region of Syria.

5 injured and 10 missing after US destroyer USS John S McCain collides with oil tanker off Singapore

5 injured and 10 missing after US destroyer USS John S McCain collides with oil tanker off Singapore

At least 5 sailors have been injured and 10 are missing after a US guided-missile destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, "sustained damage" in collision with a merchant vessel while on a routine port visit to Singapore, the US Navy has said. The vessel arrived at Changi Naval Base in Singapore with significant damage and several flooded compartments. "Significant damage to the hull resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms. Damage control efforts by the crew halted further flooding," the US Navy's 7th Fleet said in a statement.

Two family dogs maul 8-week-old infant to death in Houston, Texas

Two family dogs maul 8-week-old infant to death in Houston, Texas

A tragedy is unfolding on Houston's north side where an 8-week-old baby boy is dead after being mauled by the family pets. Sources tell ABC13 the baby boy was in his bassinet when the parents stepped away. That's when the family's dogs, a giant schnauzer mix and a Labrador retriever mix, apparently attacked. The baby was mauled mainly in his torso area. Parents called 911, but the little boy's life could not be saved. "I just broke down when I heard about the baby, I didn't expect that," said neighbor Maria Medina, who saw the ambulance take the little baby away. "It was, I have no words for it, it was really bad."

California's Death Valley breaks record for hottest month ever in the US

California's Death Valley breaks record for hottest month ever in the US

July temperatures in Death Valley have incinerated previous records. With an average daily high temperature of 107.4 degrees Fahrenheit (41.9 degrees Celsius), July was the valley's hottest month on record, blazing through the former record of 107.2 degrees F (41.8 degrees C) set in 1917, the National Weather Service's Las Vegas Forecast Office (NWS Las Vegas) wrote Aug. 2 in a tweet. Temperatures in Death Valley in July blazed into the record books not only as the hottest month in the desert valley in eastern California but also as the hottest month ever recorded in the United States, according to NWS Las Vegas. During July, temperatures were at their lowest at around 5 a.m. local time, averaging about 95 degrees F (35 degrees C), Death Valley National Park representatives wrote in a Facebook post on Aug. 3. "This is an extreme place to live and visit in the summer, especially this past month," they said. A photo shared in the post showed a National Park Service (NPS) official posing next to the Furnace Creek Visitor Center in the park, leaning against a sign displaying a local temperature of 124 degrees F (51.1 degrees C). Death Valley's highest temperatures during July were 127 degrees F (52.8 degrees C) on July 7; 126 degrees F (52.2 degrees C) on July 8; and 125 degrees F (51.7 degrees C) on July 31, according to daily temperature reports compiled by the National Weather Service, The Washington Post reported.

Polluted river in India turns dogs blue!

Polluted river in India turns dogs blue!

Have you ever seen or heard about a blue dog? It might be funny and odd, but the reason behind it makes animal lovers furious. Photos and videos of blue stray dogs in the Indian town of Navi Mumbai have gone viral this week. But what's causing it?

Scientists perplexed as unusually large wildfire has burned for weeks in icy Greenland

Scientists perplexed as unusually large wildfire has burned for weeks in icy Greenland

There's something curious happening in icy Greenland: a wildfire that has been burning for weeks. The wildfire appears to be historic in both its size and its duration, but no one can say for sure - because Greenland doesn't have longstanding records of fires. Officials haven't had much of a need for them, seeing as nearly 80 percent of the Arctic island is covered in an ice sheet. "There are wildfires, but it's not a typical wildfire environment, and it's a remote area," said Stef Lhermitte, a remote sensing scientist at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. At about two square miles, this wildfire is relatively small compared to others around the world. But it's the biggest in Greenland since satellite record-keeping began in 2000. This one was first spotted on satellite on July 31 in western Greenland, about 90 miles northeast of the city of Sisimiut - and it's still burning. Past wildfires in Greenland have only lasted one to three days, said Dr. Jessica McCarty, an assistant professor of geography at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and an expert in satellite data analysis. This one is about 40 miles west of the ice sheet.

Reporter who exposed BBC pedophilia cover-up 'drops dead'

Reporter who exposed BBC pedophilia cover-up 'drops dead'

Liz MacKean, the former British investigative reporter who exposed Jimmy Savile and the culture of pedophile protection at the BBC, has been found dead. She was 52. MacKean worked at the BBC until she quit in 2013 after executives decided to ban her groundbreaking and brave investigation into predatory pedophile Jimmy Savile in order to protect him and other pedophiles. Dismissed by the establishment as mad and dangerous, MacKean was finally vindicated when the truth about Savile's pedophilia eventually came out in 2012, a full year after MacKean first tried to bring his notorious crimes to light. The BBC, who blocked her groundbreaking investigation from airing and spent the next few years attempting to destroy her reputation, are reporting that she died of "complications from a stroke." Acknowledging her life was under threat during the time she was investigating Savile and BBC elites, MacKean said her conscience left her no option but to pursue the truth and expose the culture of pedophila. The mother of two children believed it was her duty. When it became public that BBC News blocked her investigation from airing, she admitted on Panorama: "I was very unhappy the story didn't run because I felt we'd spoken to people who collectively deserved to be heard. And they weren't heard. "I thought that that was a failure... I felt we had a responsibility towards them. We got them to talk to us, but above all, we did believe them. And so then, for their stories not to be heard, I felt very bad about that. I felt, very much, that I'd let them down."

Our newspapers and politicians are fanning the flames of fascism and violence

Our newspapers and politicians are fanning the flames of fascism and violence

We mourn a brave hero like Bernard Kenny, while the rightwing racists boldly rise. Blame those marching in Charlottesville, but look to the real perpetrators They pour the petrol and then wonder why it burns. Fascism is on the rise in the west, and it is emboldened, legitimised and fuelled by "mainstream" politicians and newspapers. When we mourn a hero like Bernard Kenny - who courageously tried to stop a fascist terrorist murdering Jo Cox - we have to ask ourselves: who are those with power and influence who helped create the conditions in which racists and fascists breed? "Cannot believe we're seeing Nazi salutes in 21st century America," tweets Nigel Farage about Charlottesville, dragging a can of petrol behind him. Perhaps next the chief executive of a fast-food company will express disbelief at levels of obesity; or a tobacco company will issue a press release spluttering about lung cancer deaths. Farage: the man who stood, arms outstretched, in front of a poster featuring dark-skinned refugees and the words "Breaking Point". Farage: the man who expressed his "concern" at having Romanians move in next door, and made apocalyptic warnings of Romanians and Bulgarians flooding Britain. Farage: the man who cheered on the ascendancy of Donald Trump, a US president whose most fervent supporters are now triumphantly chanting "Heil Trump!" as they menace minorities and progressives.

84 Palestinians 'administratively detained' without charge by Israel

84 Palestinians 'administratively detained' without charge by Israel

Israel has issued 84 detention orders against Palestinians as part of its administrative detention policy without carrying out trials or filing charges, local media reported Sunday. Wafa news agency reported, citing the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS), that 38 of the detention orders were renewed while the other orders were newly issued. rIsrael has been widely using its administrative detention policy against Palestinians. The practice allows the authorities to issue detention orders for renewable intervals on the basis of classified evidence which is not disclosed even to the detainees' lawyers. This practice has been repeatedly criticized by international organizations, including the United Nations and human rights watchdogs as a violation of civil and political rights. The are over 700 Palestinian administrative detainees currently held in Israel, according to figures provided by the European Union.

The new authoritarians: It now looks like Google is working with liberal groups to take out conservative websites

The new authoritarians: It now looks like Google is working with liberal groups to take out conservative websites

Google revealed in a blog post that it is now using machine learning to document "hate crimes and events" in America. They've partnered with liberal groups like ProPublica, BuzzFeed News, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to make information about "hate events" easily accessible to journalists. And now, there are troubling signs that this tool could be used to ferret out writers and websites that run afoul of the progressive orthodoxy. In the announcement, Simon Rogers, data editor of Google News Labs, wrote: Now, with ProPublica, we are launching a new machine learning tool to help journalists covering hate news leverage this data in their reporting. The Documenting Hate News Index - built by the Google News Lab, data visualization studio Pitch Interactive and ProPublica - takes a raw feed of Google News articles from the past six months and uses the Google Cloud Natural Language API to create a visual tool to help reporters find news happening across the country. It's a constantly-updating snapshot of data from this year, one which is valuable as a starting point to reporting on this area of news. The Documenting Hate project launched in response to the lack of national data on hate crimes. While the FBI is required by law to collect data about hate crimes, the data is incomplete because local jurisdictions aren't required to report incidents up to the federal government. All of which underlines the value of the Documenting Hate Project, which is powered by a number of different news organisations and journalists who collect and verify reports of hate crimes and events. Documenting Hate is informed by both reports from members of the public and raw Google News data of stories from across the nation.

Petition calls on WH to recognize Antifa as terrorists, over 35K signatures - UPDATE: 81K and climbing!

Petition calls on WH to recognize Antifa as terrorists, over 35K signatures - UPDATE: 81K and climbing!

A petition urging the Donald Trump administration to formally classify the Antifa movement as a terrorist organization has been launched on the White House website. The petition was started Thursday, and by Saturday, had garnered over 35,000 signatures. The White House is obliged to review the initiative if it reaches the benchmark of 100,000 signees by September 16 - within the 30 day period. The author of the petition said anti-fascists should be recognized as terrorists because of their "violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States." He added that "terrorism is defined as the use of violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims," and urged the Pentagon to be "consistent in its actions." "Just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare Antifa a terror group - on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety," the wording of the petition said.

Eclipse will send temperatures tumbling as day turns to night

Eclipse will send temperatures tumbling as day turns to night

Getting ready to watch the solar eclipse? Bring a sweater along with those special glasses because the mercury could dip as the moon's shadow crosses the land. Millions of Americans across a 70-mile-wide (113-kilometer) corridor from Oregon to South Carolina will see the sky darken as the sun disappears from view, albeit for only a few minutes at a time. Temperatures in those areas could tumble by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5.6 Celsius), according to Paul Walker, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. Other parts of the nation will only experience a partial eclipse. "That is assuming a totally sunny sky," Walker said by telephone. "We will see a temperature drop where totality happens," he said, referring to the path the eclipse will take across the U.S. where the sun will be completely blocked out. The eclipse will disrupt the sun's power to heat the ground, warm the atmosphere and supply electricity. It could also be ruined by a rainy day, patch of fog or even just a sudden thunderstorm in the wrong place. Given the limits of modern-day forecasting, predicting any one of those days in advance for an event that only lasts minutes is near impossible.

Examining the timeline: Can the official reports of who was behind the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks be trusted?

Examining the timeline: Can the official reports of who was behind the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks be trusted?

"Three fatal incidents believed to be linked to terrorism occur over a 24-hour period and a 190-mile stretch of north-east Spain" "Fourteen people have been confirmed killed in two attacks in Spain on Thursday. Thirteen died when a van was driven in to crowds on Las Ramblas in Barcelona, and one person was killed by a car in Cambrils, a coastal town 75 miles (120km) to the the south. The horrific events appear to have begun the night before, in another town 120 miles south of Barcelona." (Guardian) UPDATE (Saturday, August 19, 13.40pm local time, 07.40am ET) Moussa Oukabir is dead. And now the police reports say we made a mistake, he was not the driver. There is another guy that we are going after. In the meantime two suspected drivers have been killed. One of them, according to police reports was not involved in the attacks. How many innocent "suspects" have been killed by the police.

Americans didn't elect Donald Trump to expand foreign military intervention

Americans didn't elect Donald Trump to expand foreign military intervention

US President Donald Trump is finding his campaign promises increasingly difficult to fulfill, but his leaning towards military interventionism could be the most fundamental breach of trust for his Rust Belt supporters. Across the globe, we see potential new Trump foreign military actions or the expansion of old ones. The US leader recently made threats of US military action in Venezuela and North Korea (of the nuclear variety), US operations in Syria were ratcheted up and there has been pressure from his advisers to expand rather than scale back US operations in Afghanistan. It wasn't supposed to be this way. The latest sacked apparatchik to emerge blinking into the light from the bunker of Trump's White House, Steve Bannon, admitted on Friday that the Trump Presidency was 'over'. And Trump's former chief strategist was no ordinary adviser. Bannon most ably articulated what Trump and his supporters stood for.

Could Trump and Bannon be ready to checkmate the Dems?

Could Trump and Bannon be ready to checkmate the Dems?

"Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts." - Ambassador Londo Mollari - Babylon 5 Something is up in the White House and it isn't just the heat being applied to Donald Trump in the wake of the latest gaslighting incident known now as "Charlottesville." Earlier today, Halsey English ripped off a quick note about White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon's dismissal being the beginning of something bigger. The basic thesis? Trump loyalist Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) is coming back from meeting with Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, with information that Rohrabacher feels may be worthy of a presidential pardon. This is the first time anyone from the U.S. government has met with Assange in his five-year asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. You know they didn't just discuss getting Wikileaks a White House press pass. By Bannon leaving the White House, it puts him in the right place to do the most damage to the people Trump is about to go on the offensive against, Breitbart. By being out of the White House Bannon can securely push the information out through Breitbart without worrying about leaks from the inside. What could that information be? Only an heir to the throne of the kingdom of idiots doesn't already know what that is. It's the smoking gun that ties together the whole sordid L'affair Seth Rich - "His name was Seth Rich" - and everyone who's involved in it. And that, by extension, will unmask the entire "Russia-Gate" accusations as the fever dream of a cornered and frightened DNC leadership, including Lady Macbeth herself, Hillary Clinton. Remember, Hilly was caught on tape saying, "If that F$#&ing bastard wins, we're all going to hang from nooses" in the wake of the Matt Lauer interview last year. If we look at the sheer insanity surrounding Donald Trump at this point it's clear that his enemies are both scared to death and angling in for the kill.

Erdogan attacks German FM: 'Who are you? Know your limits!'

Erdogan attacks German FM: 'Who are you? Know your limits!'

Recep Erdogan has told Germany's FM to "know his limits" after Sigmar Gabriel accused the Turkish president of interfering in the his country's upcoming elections. Erdogan once again urged German based Turks not to vote for the ruling coalition. Comment: Erdogan, with notable control issues, is not too keen on restraint himself. On Saturday, Erdogan once again urged nearly 3 million German Turks not to cast their vote for Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, Martin Schulz's Social Democrat Party (SDP) or the Green Party in the upcoming German federal election on September 24 because of the alleged anti-Turkish stance of the parties. "You should give them the most beautiful lesson by providing your democratic right... You should vote for those who are not hostile to Turkey," Erdogan said Saturday, the Hurriyet daily news reported. The message echoed Erdogan's statement made on Friday to a live television audience when he first called on Turks in Germany not to vote for the "enemies of Turkey." Erdogan's comments sparked a strong reaction from Gabriel who accused Ankara of election interference. "That is an unprecedented act of interference in the sovereignty of our country," Gabriel told the RedaktionsNetzwerk media group, adding: "Erdogan's interference in Germany's electoral campaign shows that he wants to incite people in Germany against each other." Erdogan lashed out against Gabriel Saturday, telling the German diplomat to "know his limits." "Now they have a foreign minister who does not know his limits. Who are you to talk to the President of Turkey? Talk to the Foreign Minister of Turkey. Know your limits. He is trying to teach us a lesson. What is your background in politics? How old are you?" Erdogan bellowed at his Justice and Development Party's (AKP) provincial advisory council meeting in the Aegean province of Denizli.

Leaked UN report may give cause to blacklist Saudi Arabia over child deaths in Yemen

Leaked UN report may give cause to blacklist Saudi Arabia over child deaths in Yemen

Saudi-led coalition strikes have resulted in hundreds of Yemeni children being killed or maimed, a leaked UN report has said. The paper also urges that Riyadh and its allies be added to a black list of countries violating children's rights. The confidential draft, which is yet to be presented by the UN Secretary-General but seen by Reuters and Foreign Policy (FP) magazine, alleges that Saudi forces and their Gulf allies were complicit in more than half of the deaths and injuries of children in Yemen last year. "The killing and maiming of children remained the most prevalent violation" of children's rights in Yemen, the 41-page paper says, as cited by FP. "In the reporting period, attacks carried out by air were the cause of over half of all child casualties, with at least 349 children killed and 333 children injured." The report, which is expected to be released next month, still requires the endorsement from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. It was reportedly drafted by Guterres' special envoy for children and armed conflict, Virginia Gamba, acting on a request from the UN Security Council. Citing "well-placed sources," FP said Gamba notified high-ranking UN officials that she suggested the coalition - comprising Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Sudan and the UAE - be included in a black list of rogue countries responsible for killing and maiming children. Similar attempts to put Riyadh on the rogue list failed last year, when then Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon caved in to Saudi Arabia's threats to cut millions international aid funds. The Saudis further threatened to initiate a walk-out by Arab countries from the UN. This time, however, the US pressured the UN over the proposed move, urging the global organization to single out specific countries complicit in atrocities, FP reports. Gamba told the publication the report still needs to be finalized, adding that she was unaware of US pressure. "None of what you indicate has reached me," the official said.

Satire: Kurt Volker's "Tank Tales"

Satire: Kurt Volker's "Tank Tales"

A Review of Kurt Volker's "Tank Tales" by Gordon M. Hahn A new children's book is out written by the Trump administration's special envoy to Ukraine and former US ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker. His magical collection of fairy tales, titled "Tank Tales," makes wonderful bed-time reading not just for children but also for parents, especially those with a keen sense of humor and employment in the defense industry, journalism, or the think tank milieu. Mr. Volker introduced his new volume during his trip to Ukraine last week, as he also called for the US to deploy "lethal defensive weapons" to Ukraine as is being proposed by Mr. Volker's 'publisher' and 'literary agent' - the US Departments of Defense and State, respectively. One of the volume's most imaginative short tales is Edgeland and the Seven Thousand Fire-Horses of Magog (originally published by NATO in Ukrainian and translatable as Seven Thousand Russian Tanks Inside Ukraine). The Edgeland-Magog story is enchanting and comes with a moral. The tale begins with two very different lands that are neighbors: the evil empire of Magog, dark, cold and dank all year long, and the beautiful frontier country of Edgeland, with its golden plains, eternally blue skies, and river waters that taste like wine. But after centuries of living together in relative peace, these two lands began to fall into war because of evil Magog's 'bad behavior'. A good wizard from a land called Usa - oddly named after the author himself, Kurt Volker - claims that there are more Magogian fire-horses in Edgeland than there are on all the lands of its gigantic, if feeble-spirited friend-country, Yuropa. Fire-horses are deadly weapons that spew fire and smoke from a long thin cannon while galloping at speeds of 30mph or more.

Trump's language to describe Charlottesville was correct, MSM got it wrong

Trump's language to describe Charlottesville was correct, MSM got it wrong

Donald Trump should not be forced to name and shame the alt-right, he ought to be urged to show tact instead of slandering Islam and Muslims. Of the many peculiar things surrounding Donald Trump's initial statement made on the day of violence in the Virginia town of Charlottesville, the lack of dispassion on the part of allegedly neutral observers is quite striking. While many are debating over whether Trump has a preference of the so-called alt-right over the so-called alt-left, something that ought to be discussed is being left out. One ought to consider that this entire 'scandal' is due to how the mainstream mass media shapes the meaning of a speech, statement or phrase and how due to the sheer ability to proliferate the marketplace, even those opposed to the MSM (on both left and right) often fail to do anything but accept the initial MSM interpretation. From there, the wider public simply asks if Trump was right or wrong based on this interpretation.

Trump and Melania to skip Kennedy Center honors in December amid boycotts

Trump and Melania to skip Kennedy Center honors in December amid boycotts

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will skip this year's Kennedy Center Honors after two of the five honorees announced plans to boycott the ceremony and traditional White House reception. "The President and First Lady have decided not to participate in this year's activities to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement released Saturday morning. "First Lady Melania Trump, along with her husband President Donald J. Trump, extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year's award recipients for their many accomplishments," she added. Since Trump has come under fire for his response to the deadly rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, two of this year's honorees - TV producer Norman Lear and dancer Carmen de Lavallade - announced they would boycott the White House event scheduled for this December. Singer Lionel Richie indicated that he might also boycott the event, rapper LL Cool J has not indicated if he would attend, while singer Gloria Estefan said she would attend to try to lobby the president on immigration issues. The awards program, honoring Americans who have made substantial contributions to the arts, is still scheduled to take place on Dec. 3 and will be broadcast on CBS on Dec. 26.

Missouri Gov. calls for removal of senator who called for Trump assassination - she refuses to apologize

Missouri Gov. calls for removal of senator who called for Trump assassination - she refuses to apologize

Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens called on state lawmakers to expel state Democratic Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal for her refusal to apologize for a call to have President Trump assassinated. "Senator Chappelle-Nadal said she hopes the president is killed. Republicans and Democrats have called on her to resign. Her response: 'Hell no.' Last night, in an interview, she refused to apologize - twice. If she will not resign, the Senate can vote to remove her. I believe they should," Greitens said in a statement Friday. Earlier Friday, Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, warned that if she does not resign, "I will, in my position as president of the Missouri Senate, immediately seek the expulsion pursuant to Article III Section 18 of the Missouri Constitution." Chappelle-Nadal admitted Thursday that she posted a now-deleted comment on her private Facebook page expressing a hope that Trump "is assassinated" for his remarks regarding the racial violence in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend. The Secret Service, which must investigate all threats against a U.S. president, is investigating the matter.

Costa Rica: UFO recorded by pilot

Costa Rica: UFO recorded by pilot

Impressive! A video recorded in Costa Rica has gone viral on YouTube. What is the reason for this? It turns out that an airline pilot captured the very moment at which the UFO flew in the distance. The pilot, whose name is Jose Daniel Araya, wanted to record the sunset over Costa Rica on his cellphone without thinking he would capture a UFO. The images have gone around the world and have been seen millions of times on Youtube. At first, the pilot did not clearly see the UFO and wanted to be certain. Upon going home to inspect the recorded images, he was startled to find the UFO was clearly visible. Faced with this mystery, the pilot visited astronomer José Alberto Villalobos and UFO expert Alexis Astúa, who said it was in fact an 'extraterrestrial spacecraft'. As of this moment the video has over a millon views on YouTube and is a viral phenomenon.

'Domino effect': Dozens of vehicles pile up in row after mudflows in Crimea

'Domino effect': Dozens of vehicles pile up in row after mudflows in Crimea

Dozens of cars were swept away and piled up after massive mudflows caused by heavy rainfall rocked a resort town in Crimea, videos on social media show. The chain of wrecked vehicles triggered a 10-km traffic jam on the local highway. The town of Sudak and surrounding area in eastern Crimea were pounded by heavy rain on Friday evening. The town has around 16,000 residents, but the total number of people is higher in the summer due to the influx of tourists. The rain triggered flooding in areas near the Suuksu river, and a part of the highway from Sudak to Crimea's capital, Simferopol was heavily eroded. At least 41 households were flooded, authorities say, adding that dozens, including children, have been evacuated. Around 50 cars piled up in a 50-meter-long row on the Sudak-Simferopol highway. The vehicles were partially flooded due to the mudflows and rains. The pile-up caused a 10-km traffic jam on the highway, the town said. On Saturday, authorities said that the town was in a state of emergency.

Yosemite fire near famous tree grove forces evacuation of Wawona

Yosemite fire near famous tree grove forces evacuation of Wawona

With a growing forest fire and more forecasted thunderstorms, fire officials have ordered the evacuation of this small town just inside the south entrance of Yosemite National Park. The South Fork Fire, near the South Fork of the Merced River, has burned more than 2,900 acres since Aug. 13 and is only 10 percent contained, a fire official said Saturday. The fire intensified Friday night as a result of thunderstorm downdraft winds and several spot fires from that weather, according to Yosemite officials.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies: Money revolution, or a move towards a cashless society?

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies: Money revolution, or a move towards a cashless society?

Market analyst Lynette Zang says get ready for a "money standard shift." A reset in how we buy and sell things is being put into place. Zang contends, "Look at the crypto currency area because they know that's where they want to go. They have to take us there so they can get rid of cash, and they can control everything directly. . . . Generally speaking, all these new crypto coins that are coming out and are making lots of money and people marry that money because of nominal confusion, what is really happening is they are preparing us . . . for a money standard shift." Zang explains that the U.S. dollar has lost about 96% of its value since inception of the Federal Reserve, and its value is "nearing the bottom. . . . So, there is no place else to go but to digital currency," says Zang.

Eclipse destinations brace for huge traffic tie-ups

Eclipse destinations brace for huge traffic tie-ups

On most weekdays, a steady stream of cars and pickups winds down U.S. Route 441 through this tiny mountain town. Locals stop to stock up on bread and eggs at the Piggly Wiggly. Tourists browse a string of antique stores. Nearly everyone pulls over at the Osage Farm stand to pick up ripe peaches, silver queen corn and heirloom tomatoes. This Monday will be different.

Siberian 'cyber-doctor' has 6 microchips implanted as a multi-functional gadget

Siberian 'cyber-doctor' has 6 microchips implanted as a multi-functional gadget

A Siberian doctor has implanted six microchips under his skin to turn his body into a no-nonsense multi-functional gadget. This has opened quite a few doors for Aleksandr Volchek - including literally. Some of the chips function as swipe cards, letting him into his home and office. A syringe with a thick needle is needed to inject a microchip. The size of a standard chip is 2 × 12mm, and the smallest one is no more than 1.5 × 8mm, the doc says.

Man's 'Neo-nazi haircut' gets him stabbed by an unknown, crazed assailant

Man's 'Neo-nazi haircut' gets him stabbed by an unknown, crazed assailant

This Colorado man is avowedly not a neo-Nazi. But he believes his long-on-top, buzzed-on-the-sides haircut got him mistaken for one - and nearly stabbed to death by a confused anti-fascist. Joshua Witt, 26, escaped his brush with hairdo-doom with a defensive slice to the hand and three stitches. "Apparently, my haircut is considered a neo-Nazi statement," he told The Post Saturday, as his account on Facebook garnered 20,000 shares. Witt says he'd just pulled in to the parking lot of the Steak 'n Shake in Sheridan, Colo., and was opening his car door.

Canada struggles with Haitian refugee surge from US

Canada struggles with Haitian refugee surge from US

Soldiers busily assemble tents with wooden floors, lighting and heating in Canada's Quebec province near the US border to temporarily house a surge in asylum seekers from the United States. Children run between rows and rows of the military green tents as their parents line up to speak with immigration officials and file refugee claims. Throughout the day, school buses drop off dozens of people at a time at the makeshift tent city in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec. They walked across the border with suitcases in hand, before being picked up by federal police who deliver them here. Eventually, the newcomers will be transferred to Montreal or a government facility in Ontario province where officials will help them find more suitable accommodations while their claims are considered. Security prevented media from speaking to any of the tent city residents.

Born without a vagina: Woman speaks about her rare condition

Born without a vagina: Woman speaks about her rare condition

A woman in Arizona who was born without a vagina - the result of a rare condition - is speaking out about her condition, and raising money for a surgery to treat it. Kaylee Moats, who is 22, first learned she did not have a vagina when she was 18 and had never had a menstrual period, according to a video about Moats' case, made by Barcroft TV. An ultrasound performed at her doctor's office revealed that she did not have a uterus, cervix or vagina. "It makes me feel less of a woman," Moats said in the video. "I'm still trying to accept myself, accept what I have and not dwell on it." Moats was diagnosed with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, a condition that affects about 1 in every 4,500 newborn girls, according to the National Institutes of Health. It happens when, during embryonic development, the female reproductive organs (including the uterus, cervix and vagina) do not develop properly. As a result, the uterus and vagina may be underdeveloped or absent entirely, the NIH said.

Total of 6 officers shot in Florida and Pennsylvania [Updates]

Total of 6 officers shot in Florida and Pennsylvania [Updates]

A massive manhunt is underway in the city of Kissimmee, Florida, after two police officers were shot Friday night. Two suspects have been arrested so far, but a third is believed to be on the run. Dozens of police are sweeping the area after the two Kissimmee police officers were shot in the area of Palmway and Cypress streets. One of them succumbed to his injuries, while the 2nd remains in grave condition, authorities told local media. Officers Howard and Baxter were shot when they responded to a call, the Kissimmee police chief told reporters, adding, "Looks as though it may have been an ambush."

'Stop wasting human lives': Archbishop of Manila speaks out against Duterte's war on drugs

'Stop wasting human lives': Archbishop of Manila speaks out against Duterte's war on drugs

The Archbishop of Manila has spoken out against Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs following a week of deadly raids which saw over 80 people killed, including a 17-year-old boy. "We knock on the consciences of those who kill even the helpless, especially those who cover their faces with bonnets, to stop wasting human lives," Cardinal Luis Tagle said in a letter read at masses across Manila on Sunday, the Inquirer reported. The Cardinal also called on "the consciences of those manufacturing and selling illegal drugs to stop this activity," stressing the complexity of the issue with no one organization unable to claim they have the correct solution. Calling for a joint response to the issue, he asked for government, police, faith-based communities, and recovering addicts to come together to find a solution.

Pyongyang warns US-South Korea drills could lead to 'uncontrollable phase of nuclear war'

Pyongyang warns US-South Korea drills could lead to 'uncontrollable phase of nuclear war'

Pyongyang has described the US-South Korea annual military drills, set to kick off on Monday, as the "most explicit expression of hostility," voicing fears that the war games, known as the Ulchi Freedom Guardian, may "evolve into actual fighting." Some 40,000 American and South Korean troops as well as civilians, training civil defense response, will participate in the exercises. The Ulchi-Freedom Guardian drills are designed to "enhance readiness, protect the region and maintain stability on the Korean Peninsula," the US State Department said on Friday. "The joint exercise is the most explicit expression of hostility against us, and no one can guarantee that the exercise won't evolve into actual fighting," an editorial in the Rodong Sinmun, the North's official newspaper, said on Sunday, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported. "If the United States is lost in a fantasy that war on the peninsula is at somebody else's door far away from them across the Pacific, it is far more mistaken than ever," it noted, adding that Washington will be "adding fuel to the fire" by moving ahead with the exercises. "The Trump group's declaration of the reckless nuclear war exercises against the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] ... is a reckless behavior driving the situation into the uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war," the editorial went on to say, as cited by CNN. "The US should pay heed to the statement of the DPRK government that we would not rule out the use of any final means," Rodong Sinmun warned in another article, published on Wednesday. "Reckless and wild acts of the US can accelerate its final ruin," it concluded.

When PR and marketing get gory: Paid rioting gains momentum in US politics

When PR and marketing get gory: Paid rioting gains momentum in US politics

Paid protesters are not a new phenomenon in domestic US politics; however, after things turned ugly in Charlottesville over the last weekend, the practice of hiring a political crowd as if it were a movie scene is becoming increasingly questionable. Kristian Rouz - Multiple signs of "professional protesters" appearing at political events and rallies throughout the US have been reported in recent months, with companies specializing in hiring personnel for movie crowd scenes entering the US politics. Cases of paid protesters appearing in the streets of the US have intensified recently, especially on the left side of the political spectrum -protesting US President Donald Trump's policies has allegedly become a lucrative trade. The recent outbreak of violence and civil unrest in Virginia and North Carolina, which resulted both in deadly clashes between far-right and left-wing extremists (Charlottesville, VA), or damages to public property and disruptions in transport infrastructure (Durham, NC), have brought into the spotlight the issue of what motivates protesters to participate.

Siberia: Police kill knife-wielding attacker who stabbed seven people [Update]

Siberia: Police kill knife-wielding attacker who stabbed seven people [Update]

A CCTV video has emerged online showing what appears to be a suspected knife attacker being chased by an armed policeman in the Siberian city of Surgut. The footage was published by Telegram channel Mash on Sunday, purportedly showing the stabber being chased and shot by a policeman. The 14-second video from a roadside CCTV camera shows a black-clad man running away along the street before collapsing to the ground. The authenticity of the video cannot be immediately verified. On Saturday the assailant stabbed seven people, four of whom are said to be in life-threatening condition. Identified by authorities as a 19-year-old Surgut resident, the attacker was brought down by police after resisting arrest.

Electronic Frontier Foundation fights ban of neo-Nazi internet site

Electronic Frontier Foundation fights ban of neo-Nazi internet site

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has spoken out against the banning of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, after back-end web infrastructure companies like GoDaddy and Google cut services to the site for political reasons. Silencing one group could lead to the silencing of others whose opinions companies don't agree with, the EFF warned, adding that this kind of corporate overreach was dangerous. "Protecting free speech is not something we do because we agree with all of the speech that gets protected. We do it because we believe that no one - not the government and not private commercial enterprise - should decide who gets to speak and who doesn't," EFF argued in a blog post titled "Fighting Neo-Nazis and the Future of Freedom of Expression" on Thursday. "Any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with." "Those on the left face calls to characterize the Black Lives matter movement as a hate group. In the Civil Rights era, cases that formed the basis of today's protections of freedom of speech, the NAACP's voice was the one attacked," EFF wrote.

How to build your own solar eclipse viewer

How to build your own solar eclipse viewer

Are you scrambling to find eclipse glasses to view Monday's historic eclipse? It's too late to order them online and many stores and other sellers have sold out of the protective eyewear. Don't panic - You can still safely watch the Great American Solar Eclipse with the rest of the United States if you're up for a simple do-it-yourself project. The excitement is in the air as Aug. 21 gets closer: This will be the first total eclipse in 40 years to be visible from the continental U.S., and for the first time in 99 years, the path of totality - when the sun's light is completely blocked by the moon - will travel across the length of the continent. However, it's extremely dangerous to look at the sun, even if most of its light is obscured by the moon. Just as a magnifying glass can focus enough sunlight onto a leaf to start a fire, the lens in your eye can also focus that sliver of light onto your retina to burn it. And because retinas have no pain receptors, you can damage your vision without even feeling it happen. Let us make this perfectly clear: Don't look at the sun during a solar eclipse!

SOTT FOCUS: Behind the Headlines: Charlottesville Mass Hysteria Bubble, Terror Strikes Barcelona

SOTT FOCUS: Behind the Headlines: Charlottesville Mass Hysteria Bubble, Terror Strikes Barcelona

Who knew the US was full of neo-Nazis and fascists? Last weekend's mayhem in Charlottesville, Virginia has people up in arms about the KKK, white supremacists and neo-Nazis, an apparently 'yuge' mass movement that has launched a full ground war to take over the US and install Trump as dictator. In an effort to prevent this horrible scenario from happening, a counter-movement (hashtag: 'The Resistance') is actively removing potentially racist statues from every city and town across the land and has resolved to "destroy the Confederacy." Confused? You should be, because it's a complete psy-op being conducted by the usual suspects, and starring a hystericized population as willing participants. Meanwhile, a spate of terror attacks and maybe-terror-related murders hit Europe this week, including yet another mass hit-and-run, this time in Barcelona during peak tourist season. Join us from 12-2pm EST (4-6pm UTC / 6-8pm CET) this Sunday 20 August 2017, as we go behind the week's sea of insane headlines in search of an island of sanity. Running Time: 01:33:44 Download: OGG, MP3 Listen live, chat, and call in to future shows on the SOTT Radio Network!

Can you really go blind from looking at a solar eclipse?

Can you really go blind from looking at a solar eclipse?

People across the United States will have the chance to see a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, the first time the spectacle was viewable from the continental U.S. since 1979. While it may be tempting to brush off warnings about looking up at this eclipse bare-eyed, don't: The light of an eclipse really can damage your eyes - though warnings of total blindness may be overstated. The condition is called solar retinopathy, and it occurs when bright light from the sun floods the retina on the back of the eyeball. The retina is home to the light-sensing cells that make vision possible. When they're over-stimulated by sunlight, they release a flood of communication chemicals that can damage the retina. This damage is often painless, so people don't realize what they're doing to their vision. Solar retinopathy can be caused by staring at the sun (regardless of its phase), but few people can stand to look directly at our nearest star for very long without pain. It does happen occasionally - medical journals record cases in which people high on drugs have stared at the sun for long periods of time, causing serious damage. Adherents of sun-worshipping religious sects are also victims. In 1988, for example, Italian ophthalmologists treated 66 people for solar retinopathy after a sun-staring ritual.

Media shamefully remains silent on Sen. McCain's KKK ancestry and how he put neo-Nazis in power in Ukraine

Media shamefully remains silent on Sen. McCain's KKK ancestry and how he put neo-Nazis in power in Ukraine

When former Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain is mentioned in the media, he is typically painted in a good light-an elderly senator and war hero battling brain cancer who has devoted the rest of his life to fighting for government healthcare and the removal of a tyrannical dictator in Syria. McCain added even more fuel to his fire on Tuesday when he joined the mainstream media in condemning President Trump for his response to violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia. "There's no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate & bigotry," McCain wrote on Twitter. "The President of the United States should say so." McCain's words were quoted by a number of mainstream outlets, from CNBC to The Hill, which reported that the Arizona Senator was simply "pressing President Trump to make clear that there is not a 'moral equivalency' between white nationalists and the counterdemonstrators that turned out in Charlottesville."

US wages cyberwar abroad under guise of 'activism'

US wages cyberwar abroad under guise of 'activism'

The threat of cyberterrorism has competed for center stage in American politics with fears of "Russian hackers" disrupting everything from elections to electrical grids. And yet as US policymakers wield threats of cyberterrorism to promote a long and growing list of countermeasures and pretexts for expanding its conflict with Moscow, it is simultaneously promoting very real cyberterrorism globally. Worst of all, it does so under the guise of "activism." The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently published a paper titled, "Growing Cyber Activism in Thailand." In it, readers may have expected a detailed description of how independent local activists were using information technology to inform the public, communicate with policymakers and organize themselves more efficiently. Instead, readers would find a list of US-funded fronts posing as "nongovernmental organizations" (NGOs) engaged in subversion, including attacks carried out against Thai government websites aimed at crippling them, the dumping of private information of ordinary citizens online and coercing policymakers into adopting their foreign-funded and directed agenda.

Sad ending for beached humpback whale near Red Cliff, Australia

Sad ending for beached humpback whale near Red Cliff, Australia

Despite the best efforts of volunteers, a humpback that beached itself north of Red Cliff over the weekend could not be saved. It is believed the "severely emaciated" whale washed ashore on the beach north of Brooms Head some time on Friday, and died on Saturday. Rescue organisation ORCCA co-ordinated a volunteer response with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, using sheets and towels to cover the 13.5m mammal and keep it wet, cool and as comfortable as possible while it was still alive. But Dolphin Marine Magic's manager of life sciences Aaron Tolley said by the time his team arrived to assess its condition on Saturday, it had drawn its last breath 10 minutes before. There will now be a discussion between Clarence Valley Council and National Parks and Wildlife about what to do with the body, he said.