Daily News, via SOTT.net aggregation.

Researchers plan expeditions to Larsen C ice shelf to investigate newly exposed marine life

Researchers plan expeditions to Larsen C ice shelf to investigate newly exposed marine life

In 2015, glaciologist Daniela Jansen reported that a large rift was rapidly growing across one of the Antarctic Peninsula's ice shelves, known as Larsen C. When the shelf broke, she and colleagues predicted, it would be the largest calving event in decades. Comment: Larsen C ice shelf crack may portend formation of giant Antarctic iceberg It was. In July, a Delaware-sized iceberg split off from Larsen C (SN: 8/5/17, p. 6). And researchers knew practically the moment it happened. After Jansen's 2015 paper, a U.K.-led group called Project MIDAS began keeping close track of the rift, aided by new data delivered every six days from a pair of European polar-orbiting satellites known as Sentinel-1. Jansen, of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, and glaciologist Adrian Luckman of Swansea University in Wales were among the MIDAS team members who reported their observations on the team's blog. To the scientists' surprise, the news media, perhaps anticipating a climate change moment, began to track the trackers. When interviewed, the researchers repeatedly noted that ice shelves calve naturally, and that any link between the new rift and climate change is complicated at best. But the crescendo of public interest still rose, particularly during the spring and summer of 2017 as the final break loomed.

What 'white privilege'? No one has been prosecuted in Justine Ruszczyk's death

What 'white privilege'? No one has been prosecuted in Justine Ruszczyk's death

It sure sounded like a cut-and-dry case. A woman bent over, conversing with police at the driver's side window when the officer in the passenger seat pulled his weapon and shot her. It horrified Americans and spun the whole debate over #BlackLivesMatter on its head, all because Ruszczyk was white. Months later, no one has been charged in what seemed like the biggest slam dunk out there. Why? Well, believe it or not, there's not enough evidence.

Astronomers discover 7 exoplanets roughly the size of Earth

Astronomers discover 7 exoplanets roughly the size of Earth

Discoveries of planets around distant stars have become almost routine. But finding seven exoplanets in one go is something special. In February, a team of planet seekers announced that a small, cool star some 39 light-years away, TRAPPIST-1, hosts the most Earth-sized exoplanets yet found in one place: seven roughly Earth-sized worlds, at least three of which might host liquid water (SN: 3/18/17, p. 6). These worlds instantly became top priorities in the search for life outside the solar system. "TRAPPIST-1 is on everybody's wish list," says exoplanet astronomer Lisa Kaltenegger of Cornell University. But the planets and their dim star have also stoked a raging debate about what makes a planet habitable in the first place.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte hits back at Catholic Church after clerics tried to undermine drug war

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte hits back at Catholic Church after clerics tried to undermine drug war

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has apparently switched his position on the issue of homosexual marriage, in a move which is a clear challenge to the power of the Catholic Church, whose leaders have opposed Duterte from the moment he took office. Duterte has been known to have very poor relations with the Catholic Church as clerics have spoken out in opposition to Duterte's war on drugs and related violent drug criminals. From the point of view of a secular leader, the drug war has been instrumental in helping to reduce crime, cutting off an important funding source for terrorists like the ISIS affiliated Maute group, as well as helping to make Philippines a safer place for international investors, including those from China and Russia.

Saakashvili supporters storm Kiev center, call for Poroshenko impeachment

Saakashvili supporters storm Kiev center, call for Poroshenko impeachment

Thousands of people supporting Mikhail Saakashvili, the fugitive ex-Georgian president turned Ukrainian opposition figure, have once again taken to the streets of Kiev to take a local cultural center by storm. Some 2,000 people turned up for yet another protest action in support of Saakashvili in the Ukrainian capital on Sunday. The demonstrators marched through the city center to Maidan Square, scene of the 2013-14 unrest which brought about the coup and subsequently the civil war in the east. There, they staged a rally calling on lawmakers to impeach Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Saakashvili also attended the protest on Maidan Square, where he said that would never make any agreements with Poroshenko and would speak to the Ukrainian president only about his potential resignation.

How US pressure may help turn China-Russia strategic ties into alliance

How US pressure may help turn China-Russia strategic ties into alliance

The Chinese Ambassador has praised the Russia-China relationship as "the best in the world," but analysts tell RT it falls short of a close economic or military alliance. This may change if Washington chooses to confront Beijing. Over the course of history Moscow and Beijing, former Communist allies and later bitter rivals, now find themselves on the same side in opposing Washington in its insistence on global dominance. The Russian and Chinese positions are often aligned on issues such as the Syrian conflict, the North Korean crisis or America's habit of using military force to achieve its geopolitical goals. Commenting on relations between the two nations, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui praised the current state of affairs. "The Chinese-Russian relations of comprehensive strategic cooperation and partnership are the most important bilateral relations in the world and, moreover, the best relations between big countries," he said at an event dedicated to the 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress in October. "One can say that they are a classic example of the healthiest and most mature interstate relations and an important force to protect peace and stability throughout the world."

Refugees in US controlled area of Syria appeal to Moscow and Damascus for help while the US is busy training 'moderate' terrorists

Refugees in US controlled area of Syria appeal to Moscow and Damascus for help while the US is busy training 'moderate' terrorists

Syrian refugees living in the al-Rukban camp on the Jordan-Syria border have appealed to Russian and Syrian authorities for help due to the extremely difficult humanitarian situation caused by the actions of the US military, a source familiar with the matter told Sputnik. According to the source, the negotiations between the Russian and US militaries also addressed the proposal of the Syrian government to relocate refugees from al-Rukban to Damascus, Homs and Deir ez-Zor provinces that are under the control of the government's forces. "They [the United States] have tried to shift the blame onto the Syrian government, which allegedly does not ensure the passage of humanitarian convoys to the borders of the 55-kilometer zone at al-Tanf. Afterward, the United States [said that it] is allegedly ready to escort the humanitarian aid to the camp, but it is unclear how they can do this if, according to their own words, 500 troops stationed at the base in al-Tanf lack power to control the situation in al-Rukban," the source explained. Comment: See: US abandons militants it backed in Syria after failure to overthrow Assad US refusing to assist refugees in Syria considered war crime by Russia

Disgusting! Police dept. covering up details as cop charged with first-degree rape of disabled person

Disgusting! Police dept. covering up details as cop charged with first-degree rape of disabled person

Nearly five years after two men were accused of sexually assaulting a disabled person, a sheriff's deputy has been charged with first-degree rape and first-degree sexual assault. The charges were confirmed in a report from the Ithaca Voice, which noted that both Tompkins County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Walters and another man named Matthew Pinney, are facing felony charges for an assault that was carried out in Walters' home on Feb. 2, 2013. There are very few details available about the victim of the assault. The report claimed the men "had sexual intercourse and sexual contact with a person who was incapable of consenting 'by reason of being physically helpless.'"

SOTT FOCUS: End of Year 2017 Greetings, Thanks and a Request for Your Continued Support

SOTT FOCUS: End of Year 2017 Greetings, Thanks and a Request for Your Continued Support

Dear Readers, 2017 has been another year full of surprises. The world keeps changing, and us all with it. This year could be described as a year of madness (both in the weather and on the sociopolitical stage), more division and polarization. Just like last year, people seem to be making a choice, for better or for worse. Some are aligning themselves with the increasingly blatant lies peddled by the mainstream media and the pathological governments of our world, and some have taken a stand against those lies and are reaching a point where they finally see that there is something terribly wrong with the version of reality with which they are presented. More than minorities vs. majorities of all kinds, that is perhaps the biggest division: the choice between aligning oneself with lies or truth, and being prepared to do the work necessary to be able to identify the difference. We think that many of our readers have naturally chosen to 'take the high road', and we hope that that knowledge will always protect you.

Quantum memory with record-breaking capacity

Quantum memory with record-breaking capacity

The emerging domain of parallelized quantum information processing opens up new possibilities for precise measurements, communication and imaging. Precise control of multiple stored photons allows efficient handling of this subtle information in large amounts. In the Quantum Memories Laboratory at Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw a group of laser-cooled atoms has been used as a memory which can store simultaneously up to 665 quantum states of light. The experimental results have been published in a prestigious Nature Communications journal. Every information processing task requires a memory. As any classical computer cannot exist without a RAM memory, quantum computer could not be built without a quantum memory. Quantum memory is a device capable of storage and on demand retrieval of quantum states. The key parameter of such memory is its capacity, in other words the number of qubits (quantum bits) which the memory can effectively process. Simultaneous operation on many qubits is a key to efficient quantum parallel computation, providing new possibilities in the fields on imaging or communication. Regardless of significant efforts, the on demand generation of many photons remains a key challenge for many experimental groups dealing with quantum information. For a recently widely-used method of multiplexing many single-photon emitters into one network the complexity of experimental systems grows unfavorably with its advantages. Using a quantum memory on the other hand one can generate a group of a dozen photons within seconds rather than years. Among many methods of encoding information about single photons in a quantum memory the spatial multiplexing aided by a single-photon sensitive camera stands out as an effective way to obtain high capacity at low cost.

Russia will use Syrian seaports to export grain to the Middle East - official

Russia will use Syrian seaports to export grain to the Middle East - official

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Russia wants to use Syrian ports to ship grain to Syria and neighboring countries. "Syrian ports are ideal for exports of Russian wheat not only to Syria, but via Syria to Iraq and other nearby countries. That's beneficial for us," Rogozin said as quoted by RIA Novosti. The Deputy PM added that Russia harvested another record wheat crop this year, highlighting the necessity to export the grain. Russia and Syria are also planning to jointly create a phosphates deposit developer, according to Rogozin.

Russia-Gate is state-sponsored paranoid propaganda

Russia-Gate is state-sponsored paranoid propaganda

The American public is now experiencing mass paranoia that is called Russia-gate. Obnoxious and dangerous as this officially encouraged madness may be, it is, alas, nothing new. As from 9/11, the same kind of group hypnosis was administered from the Nation's Capital on the body politic to serve the then agenda of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, turning back civil liberties that had accrued over generations without so much as a whimper from Congress, our political elites and the country at large. This time the generalized paranoia started under the nominally left of center administration of Barack Obama in the closing months of his presidency. It has been fanned ever since by the centrists in both Democratic and Republican parties who want to either remove from office or politically cripple Donald Trump and his administration, that is to say, to overturn the results at the ballot box on November 8, 2016. Comment: Vladimir Putin says 'absurd' election meddling claims are designed to hurt Donald Trump Foreign policy issues are instrumentalized for domestic political objectives. In 2001 it was the threat of Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world attacking the American homeland. Today it is the alleged manipulation of our open political system by our enemies in the Kremlin. Fear and alarm close minds to reason and facts. But in the case of our ongoing obsession with Russia there is more at stake than the careers of present-day victims of a McCarthyite witch-hunt.

Refugee backlash: Austria's far-right coalition calls for benefit cuts to immigrants

Refugee backlash: Austria's far-right coalition calls for benefit cuts to immigrants

The head of Austria's far-right hailed on Sunday plans by his incoming government to slash benefit payments for immigrants, a day before he was due to be sworn in as vice-chancellor. "It will no longer happen for migrants who have never worked here a single day or paid anything into the social system to get thousands of euros in welfare!" Heinz-Christian Strache said. In a post to his 750,000 followers on Facebook, the head of the Freedom Party (FPOe) called it "very important point when it comes to fairness for the Austrian population."

Reasons why I quit teaching

Reasons why I quit teaching

Some years back, I decided I had to quit the teaching profession to which I had dedicated half my life. The modern academy, I felt, was so far gone that restoration was no longer possible. Indeed, I now believe that complete collapse is the only hope for the future, but as Woody Allen said about death, I'd rather not be there when it happens. Three reasons determined my course of action. For one thing, administration had come to deal less with academic issues and more with rules of conduct and punitive codes of behavior, as if it were a policing body rather than an arm of the teaching profession. Woe betide the (male) student accused of sexual assault or misconduct; the administration will convene an extra-judicial tribunal to punish or expel the accused, often with a low burden of proof. It will find ways to shut down conservative speakers. It will browbeat faculty and students to attend sensitivity training sessions on matters of race and gender. It will strike task forces to deal with imaginary issues like campus rape culture and propose draconian measures to contain a raging fantasy. The administration is now beset by two basic compulsions: to expand its reach at the expense of the academic community and to ensure compliance with the puritanical norms of the day. I thought it prudent to take early retirement rather than wait for the guillotine to descend.

Secret Santa pays off over $40,000 in layaways at New Jersey Walmart

Secret Santa pays off over $40,000 in layaways at New Jersey Walmart

A secret Santa paid off more than $40,000 worth of layaway orders at a New Jersey Walmart over the weekend. Store managers told WTXF that they suspect a local businessperson paid the $40,000 in layaway orders for more than 200 customers at the Millville Walmart. Jaquetta Maddox, one of the customers who benefited from this secret Santa's generosity, said she is grateful for this early "Christmas blessing," especially after she and her family had been evicted from their home earlier in the year.

'We will expect further improvements in US-Russia relations', says US Ambassador

'We will expect further improvements in US-Russia relations', says US Ambassador

Earlier this week, the US and Russian presidents discussed the settlement of the North Korean crisis in their third phone conversation since Trump had assumed office. "I think we will expect to see further improvements in the US-Russia relationship. Why do I say that? Because the American people expect it and demand it. And the Russian people expect it and demand it as well. Sometimes politics can get in the way, and the issue can be tricky. But I am convinced the longer that I am here, the American and Russians should be able to find common solutions to global problems," US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman has stated in a video released on the embassy's Twitter page. According to the envoy, the cooperation between Washington and Moscow has already been bearing fruit with regard to "gaining greater security in Syria or commitment to counter-proliferation issues with North Korea," adding that he hopes the parties would also find a common ground on the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine.

Drinking Hot Tea Associated With Reduced Risk of Glaucoma

Drinking Hot Tea Associated With Reduced Risk of Glaucoma

There have been many claims made to the benefits of tea consumption, including better oral health, lower incidences of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, decreased risk of ovarian cancer and seemingly a mechanism that breaks down your fat (I'll be using that one over this festive period when I've done nothing but eat and sit still). But a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology on Dec 14th shows another possible benefit to your morning cuppa: people who drink hot tea are less likely to suffer from glaucoma. That's the finding of professor of ophthalmology, Anne Coleman, and colleagues at David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Zakharova responds to Boris Johnson: 'Impossible to imagine anything more oligarchic than the UK'

Zakharova responds to Boris Johnson: 'Impossible to imagine anything more oligarchic than the UK'

Earlier the UK's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson compared Russia with closed, nasty ancient Sparta Russia has never been a "militaristic" country, unlike European states, the Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook in response to the UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's comparing Russia with Sparta. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Johnson called Athens "the analogue of the United States and the West," and Russia - like "closed, nasty, militaristic and antidemocratic" Sparta, adding though the countries need to cooperate.

Poor Sen. John McCain will miss GOP tax bill vote

Poor Sen. John McCain will miss GOP tax bill vote

Sen. John McCain is returning home to Arizona after being hospitalized for side effects because of his cancer treatment and will miss the Republican's tax bill vote this week, according to a report. The 81-year-old senator, who was admitted to the Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland on Wednesday, was returning home from Washington, D.C., on Sunday, CBS News reported. McCain (R-Ariz.) will not attend the GOP's tax bill vote that is expected to take place sometime early this week. The bill has the support of Republican Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Marco Rubio of Florida. Both pols originally opposed the Senate's plan.

SOTT FOCUS: Thomas Fire Becomes Third-Largest Ever as California Experiences Another Record-Breaking Wildfire Season

SOTT FOCUS: Thomas Fire Becomes Third-Largest Ever as California Experiences Another Record-Breaking Wildfire Season

It's still wildfire season in California. If you're wondering when the season ends, it's November 20th, although as you may have noticed, it's still going strong. In fact, for the last decade or so, California's 'new normal' is that wildfires continue erupting for an extra two months, and this year they may burn well past that into February. New evacuation orders were issued this past weekend in Santa Barbara County, making downtown Santa Barbara a virtual ghost town as the Thomas fire moved closer. Wind gusts of up to 60mph pushed what is now the third-largest wildfire in California's history towards Montecito, the wealthiest city in Santa Barbara County. The rich and famous - like Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres - have fled too, but fear not, their homes are less likely to burn because they pay private insurance to hire private 'concierge firefighters' to protect their homes. Fire officials said Saturday that the Thomas fire, which started December 4, had now burned nearly 105,000 hectares (400 square miles), leaving a footprint larger than those of some cities. The fire is said to be about 40 percent contained, but fire officials added that about 18,000 structures remain threatened, and that high winds could kick up new blazes by flinging embers far from the heart of the inferno.

8 dead as suicide bombers target Methodist church with 400 people inside, in Pakistan

8 dead as suicide bombers target Methodist church with 400 people inside, in Pakistan

An attack on a Methodist church in Quetta, Pakistan by a pair of suicide bombers killed at least 8 deaths and wounded 45 others on Sunday according to officials. Two gunmen approached the packed cathedral armed with explosive vests and firearms just as service began at Bethel Memorial Methodist Church on Sunday morning. The pair were stopped at the gate by church guards and a dispute ensued, causing one attacker to detonate his vest while his partner exchanged gunfire with police before being shot down.

Power outage at Atlanta airport traps travelers in planes and terminals

Power outage at Atlanta airport traps travelers in planes and terminals

A huge power outage brought the world's busiest airport to a standstill over the weekend, ruining holiday travel for thousands with hundreds of flights on Monday already canceled. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta lost power shortly after 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, leaving passengers trapped inside airport terminals and some in planes on the tarmac for hours. By late Sunday, the airport had canceled 1,173 flights and delayed 207, according to FlightAware.com. Delta Air Lines, which is headquartered in Atlanta, said it was canceling another 300 flights, mostly to Atlanta, on Monday. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said a fire at the main substation powering the airport triggered the outage, which caused the Federal Aviation Administration to put a ground stop in place, slowing or halting inbound air traffic.

Uzbekistan restores military ties with Russia, buys attack helicopters

Uzbekistan restores military ties with Russia, buys attack helicopters

Uzbekistan has agreed to buy Russian attack helicopters, the latest sign that the new leadership in Tashkent is committed to reversing the country's previous policy of shunning Moscow's military advances. The purchase of the 12 Mi-35 helicopters wasn't formally announced, but reported by Russian news agency TASS, citing a "diplomatic source." The source said the deal was reached after "prolonged negotiations" during the visit of Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev to Tashkent in November. The deal appears to be the first significant arms purchase made under the leadership of Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who assumed power last year after the death of longtime president Islam Karimov. Mirziyoyev has been opening up the country in a variety of directions, including in the military sphere. And he seems to be opening up to no one as much as Russia. In October the two countries held their first joint military exercises since 2005. Uzbekistan also took part, albeit in a limited fashion, in Russia-led exercises in Tajikistan earlier this year, which would not have happened under Karimov

Hillary still publicly making excuses for election loss

Hillary still publicly making excuses for election loss

Hillary Clinton, appearing on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," blamed misogyny, voter suppression, and "FBI intervention," as some of the key reasons for her loss in the 2016 presidential election. Clinton told DeGeneres she wrote her book, "What Happened" because wanted to figure out...what happened. The book details her experiences during the presidential race. Writing the book was so painful, Clinton said, that she would have to take small rest breaks to regain her strength to continue.

'Child Trafficking' investigation launched on NGO that attempted to fly 120 children from Venezuela to Peru

'Child Trafficking' investigation launched on NGO that attempted to fly 120 children from Venezuela to Peru

An investigation is being launched into a Venezuelan NGO which yesterday attempted to fly more than 100 children to Peru, allegedly to be reunited with their parents, in what Venezuela's Attorney General has called a case of "child trafficking." Several members of 'Union Venezolana en Peru' (Venezuelan-Peru Union), which Attorney General Tarek William Saab said is not registered, have been arrested and the children's passports cancelled. "Yesterday we were informed of the unprecedented action - unprecedented in our republican history - of an undocumented NGO allegedly chartering a flight to Peru with 120 children on board, using fraudulent powers and travel permits," Saab wrote on his Twitter account Saturday.

Ski area of Les Paccots in Switzerland claims 3.5m (almost 12 feet) of snow in 7 days; second resort has 9ft in 72 hours

Ski area of Les Paccots in Switzerland claims 3.5m (almost 12 feet) of snow in 7 days; second resort has 9ft in 72 hours

The huge snowfalls in the Alps have continued through the past 10 days and Eastern Switzerland seems to be at the heart of the perfect snow storm. The small Eastern Swiss ski area of Les Paccots claims to have received 3.5 metres of snowfall (nearly 12 feet) over the past even days, with accumulations of up to a metre in 24 hours. The centre is not yet fully open for the season, opening at weekends before Christmas, but says it will be operating on Wednesday 20th December then daily from Friday 23rd December. All the snow has not been without problems though, a tree came down on a lift cable last week forcing the centre to close until the cable was replaced.

Blackmail material? Mueller obtains tens of thousands of Trump transition emails - potentially illegally

Blackmail material? Mueller obtains tens of thousands of Trump transition emails - potentially illegally

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators is in possession of tens of thousands of emails from the Trump transition team, Axios reported Saturday. Those emails include messages belonging to President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, as well as other members of the transition team's political leadership and the foreign policy team, according to Axios. Mueller's prosecutors reportedly used the emails to question witnesses, and are also looking to the messages to confirm information and follow new leads. According to Axios, Mueller obtained the emails from the General Services Administration, which managed the transition team's email accounts. Transition officials had reportedly assumed that Mueller would want the emails, and separated ones that they believed contained privileged information. But Mueller was reportedly able to obtain all the emails from 12 accounts.

Shocking video showing UFO encounter released after Pentagon admits to UFO program

Shocking video showing UFO encounter released after Pentagon admits to UFO program

The Pentagon spent $22 million to study UFOs in a 2007-12 program whose existence has been confirmed by the Department of Defense. An official formerly in charge of the program told media it remains alive to this day. The secretive program, which the US Department of Defense has been keeping under wraps, was brought to light in simultaneous reports by Politico and the New York Times on Saturday, citing interviews with people involved or with knowledge of the program, as well as contracts, and Pentagon and Congressional records.

New brief lava flow at Stromboli volcano, Italy; activity remains elevated

New brief lava flow at Stromboli volcano, Italy; activity remains elevated

Yesterday's lava flow was only short-lived. The overflow from the crater terrace over the northeastern crater rim stopped in the evening. Volcanic activity (strombolian explosions) remains elevated as the magma continues to stand high in the conduits. The current situation of the volcano resembles the one from January 2013 when lava frequently over-spilled the crater rims, producing numerous smaller and larger lava flows on the upper Sciara del Fuoco.

Opioid epidemic causing uptick in HIV among injecting drug users

Opioid epidemic causing uptick in HIV among injecting drug users

The opioid epidemic is threatening to trigger a resurgence of HIV in Massachusetts, potentially undoing decades of work that had made the state a national leader in stopping the spread of the virus. A sharp uptick in new HIV cases among injecting drug users, who often share needles, has raised worries among health officials. They fear Massachusetts could experience an outbreak like the 2015 calamity in rural Scott County, Indiana, where one person introduced the virus into a network of drug users, and within four months more than 180 had become infected. "It would be a little early to say we have an epidemic on our hands, but we're primed for it," said Dr. Jenifer L. Jaeger, interim medical director of the Boston Public Health Commission.

Trolling Nikki! Russian Embassy online poll shows 82% think the US is the real threat in the Middle East - Iran gets less votes than Aliens

Trolling Nikki! Russian Embassy online poll shows 82% think the US is the real threat in the Middle East - Iran gets less votes than Aliens

After the disastrous wars on Afghanistan, Irak, Libya and Syria, nowadays whenever a politician tries to pull a 'Colin Powell' on us they deserve to be trolled. We are glad that the Russian Embassy in the Republic of South Africa has taken the initiative on this most important duty.

Quantum droplets are the most dilute liquids

Quantum droplets are the most dilute liquids

A team of physicists in Barcelona has created liquid droplets 100 million times thinner than water that hold themselves together using strange quantum laws. In a paper published Dec. 14 in the journal Science, researchers revealed that these bizarre droplets emerged in the strange, microscopic world of a laser lattice - an optical structure used to manipulate quantum objects - in a lab at the Spanish Institut de Ciències Fotòniques, or Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO). And they were true liquids: substances that maintain their volume regardless of external temperature and form droplets in small quantities. That's as opposed to gases, which spread to fill their containers. But they were far less dense than any liquid that exists under normal circumstances, and maintained their liquid state through a process known as quantum fluctuation. The researchers cooled a gas of potassium atoms cooled to minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 273.15 degrees Celsius), close to absolute zero. At that temperature, the atoms formed a Bose-Einstein condensate. That's a state of matter where cold atoms clump together and start to physically overlap. These condensates are interesting because their interactions are dominated by quantum laws, rather than the classical interactions which can explain the behavior of most large bulks of matter.

Fragmenting meteor fireball captured over Russia's Sochi (VIDEO)

Fragmenting meteor fireball captured over Russia's Sochi (VIDEO)

A sparkling bolide that lit up the sky over Russia's Sochi on Friday, Alexander Ivanov, head of the Kuban University laboratory of astrophysics, told RIA Novosti in an interview. Internet users speculated over violent clapping sounds supposedly accompanying the fireball. Some cited a hissing sound as an unidentified object flew past the location; others remarked they saw merely a flash of light. On December 4-17 the Geminid meteor shower was expected to approach Earth, peaking on December 13-15, Ivanov was cited as saying. "There were some flashes of light in the night sky, as a standard bolide, the size of a soccer ball, entered the atmosphere. Part of it was caught on our cameras. Armavir and Sochi also detailed their observations. This brings us to the conclusion that the object had burnt down about 20 kilometers above Earth." A video of the phenomena has been uploaded here.

"Great Man-Made River": Muammar Gaddafi's gift to Libya

"Great Man-Made River": Muammar Gaddafi's gift to Libya

From the documentary filmmaker and producers Winfried Spinler and its crew, first in Hollywood at the documentary film festival in 2001 presented film, another reality about the states points in Libya and their revolutionary leader Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi. Now in times of the raw material shortage it isn't any more only about oil and other mineral resources, now are looked apparently also the biggest water reservoir of the world as desirable properties. Gaddafi corresponds in this documentary film not to the in general provided world view of the tyrant, but rather to a peace angel for the North-African neighboring states. The worldwide biggest water reservoir to the greening of the wild areas, linked with thousands of kilometers of pipeline, there flowed up to now the biggest shares of the oil income of Libya. It is almost incredibly this now scarcely before the completion of the pipelines (2011) an invasion of Libya begins. Hardly worth mentioning to one of the biggest advocates of this project, to the Egyptian president Mubarak, shortly before the power was taken.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to run for President of Libya in 2018

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to run for President of Libya in 2018

A family spokesman has broken the news on Egyptian television.Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the second son and erstwhile heir apparent to revolutionary leader Muammar Gaddafi has confirmed to Egyptian television, through a family spokesman, Basem al-Hashimi al-Soul, that he seeks to run in next year's tenuous Presidential elections in Libya. While Libya remains a failed state in the wake of the 2011 NATO war against the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, many have pinned their hopes on Saif al-Islam Gaddafi who since his release from captivity this year, has been touring the country and buildilng support among Libya's many tribal factions. According to his spokesman, "Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan president, enjoys the support of major tribes in Libya so he can run for the upcoming presidential elections due in 2018. Saif al-Islam plans to impose more security and stability in accordance with the Libyan geography and in coordination with all Libyan factions".

US defense secretary James Mattis rejects war on Iran

US defense secretary James Mattis rejects war on Iran

James "Mad Dog" Mattis has injected some sanity into mad Nikki Haley's tirades. US Defense Secretary James "Mad Dog" Mattis has refuted claims that the US is preparing for war on Iran after US Ambassador to the UN, Nikkie Haley led a bizarre press conference in which she stated that Iran has armed Houthi fighters in Yemen and thus violating the terms of the JCPOA (aka Iran nuclear deal). Haley did not provide any evidence to substantiate her claims, claims which are logistically impossible given the Saudi led blockade of Yemen which predates the JCPOA by nearly four months.

The Julian calendar and the Groundhog year

The Julian calendar and the Groundhog year

In the broad sweep of history the mainstream narrative implies the Julian Calendar was in "general use" across Europe throughout the Medieval Period. The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in 46 BC (708 AUC), was a reform of the Roman calendar. ... It took effect on 1 January 45 BC (AUC 709), by edict. The Julian calendar was in general use in Europe and northern Africa until 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII promulgated the Gregorian calendar. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_calendar In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or Medieval Period lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_period Unfortunately, this implied storyline is very misleading because the Julian Year only started to slowly enter general circulation in Western Europe during the 13th century.

Russian Presidential election campaign has officially launched

Russian Presidential election campaign has officially launched

The Russian upper house has issued a resolution on the launch of the Russian presidential campaign. The Russian presidential campaign has officially started, the relevant upper house's resolution was published in Monday's edition of the government's Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper. The Russian upper house, the Federation Council, officially set March 18, 2018 as the day for the presidential vote on Friday.

Saudi Arabia begins exploration of uranium

Saudi Arabia begins exploration of uranium

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud announced in 2015 a plan for the country's economic development until 2030, stipulating the cessation of oil dependence. Saudi Arabia has begun exploring the country's uranium deposits within a program of developing alternative sources of energy, the Saudi al-Okaz newspaper reported Sunday, citing the head of the kingdom's geological administration, Zahir Nawab.

SOTT FOCUS: The health program for Alzheimer's disease that mainstream treatment fails to surpass

SOTT FOCUS: The health program for Alzheimer's disease that mainstream treatment fails to surpass

According to the World Health Organization, the total number of people with dementia worldwide in 2015 is estimated at 47.5 million. The total number of new cases of dementia each year worldwide is nearly 7.7 million, implying 1 new case every 4 seconds. The number of people with dementia is expected to increase to 75.6 million in 2030 and 135.5 million in 2050. These figures are almost twice the rate of projected population growth over that time period. In the United States, approximately 6 million American adults have Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment. The estimate forecasts that these numbers will more than double to 15 million by 2060. These estimates include people with biomarkers or other evidence of possible preclinical Alzheimer's disease, but who do not have impairment or Alzheimer's dementia. People with such signs of preclinical disease are at increased risk to develop Alzheimer's dementia. We are led to believe that Alzheimer's disease (AD) has no cure or there is no possibility of halting the cognitive decline. At best, mainstream treatment just slows down the progression of the disease. As a rule, the person deteriorates beyond recognition throughout the remaining years of their life while hopeless caregivers get burned out. For this reason, I was pleasantly surprised when Mark Sisson wrote recently about a study which was published in Aging (2014) by Dale E. Bredesen. The study revealed incredible results that mainstream media outlets failed to cover.

SOTT FOCUS: Nutritional Research Has a 'Consensus': Use Bad Science to Damage People's Health

SOTT FOCUS: Nutritional Research Has a 'Consensus': Use Bad Science to Damage People's Health

Nothing can be more aggravating for me than seeing a headline, about nutrition, or eating, or food in some form or other, that I know from the get-go is wrong, but then watching as it gets traction beyond what it should, given that it's wrong. Although it is fun to tear these things apart from time to time, the fact that researchers, journalists or government institutions can get away with this stuff is frustrating. That's why it's always fun to see someone in a high-standing position, like an actual scientist, rip on the corrupt state of nutritional science. As luck would have it, just such a scientist - two of them actually - have stepped up to the plate. Get yer popcorn, folks. Edward Archer, the Chief Science Officer of EvolvingFX and Carl "Chip" J. Lavie, the Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Preventive Cardiology at Ochsner Clinical School of the University of Queensland School of Medicine, have penned an open letter to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The letter, published on Real Clear Science's website, is essentially a complaint against the Academies for ignoring the problematic nature of the data collection methods used in their report "Redesigning the Process for Establishing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans". Those sentences were a mouthful, so let's just say some hardcore science guys are ripping on some 'Ministry of Truth' guys.

60-year-old Palestinian woman dies of heart attack during IDF raid on her home

60-year-old Palestinian woman dies of heart attack during IDF raid on her home

A 60-year-old Palestinian woman suffered a fatal heart attack overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday when Israeli army soldiers raided her home in the village of al-Zubeidat, north of Jericho in the northeastern occupied West Bank. Official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency reported that Hamda Zubeidat, 60, suffered a heart attack after Israeli soldiers threw a stun grenade at her house during a raid on the town. Despite efforts to revive her, Wafa reported, Zubeidat died shortly after. "The soldiers raided the village after midnight, causing panic and fear among residents, throwing stun grenades at homes," Wafa reported, adding that "no reason was given for the raid." An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an they were looking into reports. Israeli raids into Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps are a near-daily occurrence. The UN reported that between November 21- December 4, Israeli forces carried out 100 search and detention raids across the West Bank. 2017 has seen a bi weekly average of 75 search and detention raids, according to the UN. Meanwhile, prisoners rights group Addameer recorded 6,198 Palestinians were detained by Israel as of October.

Dangers of Mercury: A case of 2 drops of dimethylmercury spilled on hand

Dangers of Mercury: A case of 2 drops of dimethylmercury spilled on hand

This is based on the true story of Professor KW.

Investigations of Trump and Clinton stacked with 'conflicts upon conflicts upon conflicts of interest'

Investigations of Trump and Clinton stacked with 'conflicts upon conflicts upon conflicts of interest'

Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer talked during his appearance on Friday's Breitbart News Tonight with SiriusXM hosts Rebecca Mansour and John Carney about the discovery of politically charged text messages between Peter Strzok, an FBI official involved in both the Trump and Clinton investigations, and his mistress. "We all expect that people at the FBI are going to have private political opinions," Schweizer allowed. "You know, these people vote, and they have views, and that's fine. In this particular case, Strzok had particularly strong feelings about Trump." He said the text message of greatest concern was part of a conversation between Strzok and the woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair, in which they talked about developing an "insurance policy" in the event Donald Trump won the 2016 election. "They never sort of spell out what the insurance policy is, but it's kind of implied in the context of the communication and what's going on at the time, which is this FBI investigation," he observed. "What is an insurance policy? I'd take out an insurance policy because I want to be prepared if disaster strikes. If in my mind a disaster occurs - a hurricane, an earthquake, a fire - I've got something in my back pocket to help set things right. Well, Strzok, who clearly did not like Trump and liked Hillary, said that they had an 'insurance policy.' In that context, what he seems to be saying is disaster striking would be Trump being president and that they had some insurance policy to sort of deal with that disaster," Schweizer explained.

Inside Russia-gate without Russia, the scary void

Inside Russia-gate without Russia, the scary void

The foundational accusation of Russia-gate was, and remains, charges that Russian President Putin ordered the hacking of Democratic National Committee e-mails and their public dissemination through WikiLeaks in order to benefit Donald Trump and undermine Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, and that Trump and/or his associates colluded with the Kremlin in this "attack on American democracy." As no actual evidence for these allegations has been produced after nearly a year and a half of media and government investigations, we are left with Russia-gate without Russia. Special counsel Mueller has produced four indictments: against retired Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's short-lived national-security adviser, and George Papadopolous, a lowly and inconsequential Trump "adviser," for lying to the FBI; and against Paul Manafort and his partner Rick Gates for financial improprieties. None of these charges has anything to do with improper collusion with Russia, except for the wrongful insinuations against Flynn. Instead, the several investigations, desperate to find actual evidence of collusion, have spread to "contacts with Russia" - political, financial, social, etc. - on the part of a growing number of people, often going back many years before anyone imagined Trump as a presidential candidate. The resulting implication is that these "contacts" were criminal or potentially so.

Third sea lion attack in a week prompts swimming ban at San Francisco's aquatic park

Third sea lion attack in a week prompts swimming ban at San Francisco's aquatic park

A third attack by a sea mammal in San Francisco in a week has prompted officials to ban swimming in the Aquatic Park Cove on the northern edge of the city's waterfront. "The Aquatic Park Cove has been closed to swimming due to reports of an aggressive marine mammal biting swimmers in the area," the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park tweeted Friday. The closure is scheduled at least through Monday.

Former CIA Director Morell: We didn't think about the downside of the intel community becoming political

Former CIA Director Morell: We didn't think about the downside of the intel community becoming political

Former CIA Director Michael Morell sat down with Politico's Susan Glasser, where he admitted that he and others from the intelligence community didn't think through the consequences of them becoming political last year. Last year, Morell wrote an op-ed in The New York Times that endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. Within the agency, Morell sharked his way up the halls of the CIA becoming the chief intelligence briefer to President George W. Bush, and then acting director twice. Intelligence analysts serve the country. There is no politics involved in any of their analyses - at least not until Trump was elected. Morell noted that putting himself in 'Trump's shoes' did not factor into his decision to become political, and that is something he admits he fell short on concerning the backlash for the community. At the same time, he doesn't think that going public with that op-ed was a mistake.

Merk and Mac say they would support EU move against Poland

Merk and Mac say they would support EU move against Poland

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Brussels that if the EU's executive decides on such a move against Poland "then we will support it." The European Commission is on Wednesday due to assess sweeping changes to Poland's Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS), an influential body that nominates new judges, which were passed by lawmakers in Warsaw last week. The Commission is then expected to decide whether to activate Article 7.1 of the EU treaty. The article means that, at the request of a third of member states, the European Parliament or the European Commission, the EU Council can declare that there is a "clear risk of a serious breach" by an EU country of the bloc's values.

Saudi Arabia to limit media coverage of Trump's Jerusalem move, take aim at Iran

Saudi Arabia to limit media coverage of Trump's Jerusalem move, take aim at Iran

Saudi Arabia has ordered media outlets in the kingdom to not focus "too much attention" on Washington's controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, sources have said. The Saudi royal court sent a "severe warning" to bosses of newspapers and television and radio stations this week about the issue which has sparked protests across the Arab world, sources told The New Arab on Thursday. Speaking on condition of anonymity, they added that the directive ordered media to instead "take aim at Iran and other regional countries" in its coverage. US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday in a move that has outraged Palestinians and drawn near universal condemnation. Trump also began the process of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Saudi royal court on Thursday slammed Trump's "unjustified and irresponsible" decision, in a surprise move that likely embarrassed Riyadh's leadership.

UNSC weighs resolution nullifying Jerusalem capital decision

UNSC weighs resolution nullifying Jerusalem capital decision

The United Nations (U.N.) Security Council is weighing a draft resolution that would essentially seek to nullify any move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The resolution, drafted by Egypt and circulated among the Security Council's 15 members, does not directly mention the United States or President Trump, who moved last week to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel's capital city, according to Reuters, which viewed a copy of the text. To be sure, any effort by the Security Council to call for the U.S. decision to be withdrawn would be largely symbolic. As one of the body's five permanent members, the U.S. wields veto power over any resolution, and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley is almost certain to shoot the measure down. Still, the resolution has wide support on the council, according to Reuters, and the body could vote as soon as Monday or Tuesday on the matter. It would need at least nine votes to pass. A veto from the U.S., the United Kingdom, France, Russia or China would effectively kill the resolution. According to Reuters, the resolution "affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council." Please note: After opening remarks, the UNSC comments in English begin at 4:08.