Signs Of The Times RSS

Signs of the Times: The World for People who Think. Featuring independent, unbiased, alternative news and commentary on world events.
  1. A woman in Bellingham, Massachusetts, is lucky to be alive after being struck by lightning inside her own home during a thunderstorm on July 1. A simple on switch of a lamp nearly proved fatal for a Massachusetts woman on Wednesday when a jolt of electricity from a nearby lightning strike came through the house's wiring. "I'm just very happy to be alive and I'm happy to be coming home to my children tonight, because it could have gone a very different way," Shelby Klopf said after returning home the night of the accident.
  2. This July 4th, a larger-than-usual shadow is cast upon America which has come face-to-face with some serious historic reckonings. While the existence of an oligarchy and international "deep state" should not be ignored as a political force of history - arranging wars, assassinations and promoting economic enslavement of people and nations throughout the centuries, the guilt cannot entirely be placed on this apparatus. As Shakespeare's Cassius once said to Brutus "our fate... is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." The mob which Shakespeare mocked as a mindless instrument of tyrants in his play Julius Caesar, has again been deployed in America where George Soros' funding has turned this social-justice beast against the very republic itself (ironically under the banner of Freedom from Tyranny" of course). Instead of hearing calls to save America, break up the Wall Street banks or return America back to its anti-colonial heritage, today we hear only calls for...
  3. A Christopher Columbus statue in Baltimore, Maryland has been toppled by a group of people, who used ropes to tear it down before tossing it into the water. The mayor's office said it stands with the protesters. Videos show a large group of demonstrators pulling down the Christopher Columbus statue near the Little Italy neighborhood in Baltimore on Saturday night. Vandals used ropes to knock the monument from its pedestal, which eventually came crashing down to the loud cheers and applause from the gathered crowd. Police were a no-show at the spectacle.
  4. A suspected case of bubonic plague has been registered in China's north, according to local health authorities. The news comes after two similar cases were detected in neighboring Mongolia. The case was registered at a hospital in China's Inner Mongolia region, its health commission said in a statement on Sunday. This prompted a third-level warning of a potential epidemic in the region. The alert comes into force immediately and will be in place until the end of this year. It's believed the patient in question is suffering from the bubonic form, which causes swollen lymph nodes, and is considered to be the most easily treated variant of the disease.
  5. Thousands of tiny, substandard "rabbit-hutch" flats could be created in commercial buildings left empty by the coronavirus economic slowdown under planning reforms championed by Boris Johnson. University College London professor Ben Clifford - who recently completed a government review of housing produced outside the conventional planning system - said allowing developers to turn a wider range of commercial properties into flats without planning checks could lead to a wave of substandard conversions. "Unless there are proper safeguards, we could see even more poor-quality, tiny flats being crammed into commercial buildings lacking amenities and green space," he said. "These could be what others have rightly called the slums of the future."
  6. Flying snakes exist. And now, scientists finally understand how they can fly... There are snakes that can fly and scientists now know how Anyone scared of snakes on the ground may not want to read this story — because the reptiles are also in the sky. The paradise snake, which is native to south and southeast Asia, has been known to scientists for some time. But they never really understood how the species — and others like it — are able to glide through the air. Researchers at Virginia Tech conducted controlled tests with the snakes in an indoor environment.
  7. A controlled demolition of our global food supply is taking place at a staggering rate: Ontario FORCES closure of farms. China BANS sale of live poultry. Aldi Sud SHAMES customers for buying meat. MILLIONS of pounds of seed potatoes are DISCARDED in a giant hole. One could not shut down food production more rapidly than is NOW taking place -- we must all grow food immediately for our families and communities. Spread the word. Sources
  8. Leaks about Russia offering bounties to Taliban-linked fighters to target U.S. and other coalition troops in Afghanistan likely came from counterintelligence officials aligned with the Democratic Party, according to the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. Rep. Devin Nunes also told Fox News on Saturday that it is unlikely the leakers will ever be found, lamenting how the nation's intelligence agencies have been "politicized" since the 2016 election. "The idea that this would leak likely — and I'll say this, and I think this is the most important thing I'm going to say this morning — this leak probably came from the area of our intelligence agencies that look at counterintelligence," the California Republican said. "These are the very people that are actually going to be investigating themselves. I think we have a real problem when the intelligence agencies within our counterintelligence capabilities... when have to actually investigate themselves. I don't think...
  9. Russia's Foreign Ministry has responded to a report by the US State Department on arms control, which focused primarily on baseless allegations against Moscow, calling US diplomats out for "fact juggling" and "falsification." The annual report, titled "Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments," was recently presented by the Department of State to Congress. While the piece is basically an internal US document from one government body to another, it is primarily focused on activities of other nations - instead of providing an account of the US' own activities, Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday. "The American authorities use their traditional tactics of shifting responsibility in order to divert the attention of the international community from their own real efforts to break the decades-old system of treaties and agreements in the field of arms control. "
  10. Stoke chaos, obstruct economic recovery, and hide Biden in the basement till Election Day. Joe Biden is tragically suffering a mental eclipse and sliding away at a geometric rate. Understandably, his handlers have kept him out of sight. He stays off the campaign trail on the pretext of the virus and his age-related susceptibility to COVID-19 morbidity. I say "pretext" without apology. Quarantine should not have otherwise stopped Biden over the past three months from doing daily interviews, speeches, and meetings. But each occasion, however scripted, rehearsed, and canned, would only have offered further daily proof that Biden is cognitively unable to be president or indeed to hold any office. Often Biden cannot finish a sentence. Names are vague eddies in his mind's river of forgetfulness. He is in a far more dire mental state than a physically failing FDR was in his 1944 campaign for a fourth term.
  11. In previous articles, I demonstrated how substantial quantities of biological information cannot emerge through any natural process (see here and here), and I described how such information unambiguously points to intelligent design. Now, in posts today through Friday, I will address the mistakes typically made by critics who challenge these claims (see here, here, here, and here). Nearly always, the errors fall into three categories: Misapplying information theory. Misinterpreting research related to protein rarity. Misunderstanding the creative potential of evolutionary processes. The Nature of Biological Information Skeptics of information-based design arguments typically misunderstand the nature of biological information (see here and here). For instance, one physicist, Randy Isaac, stated the following: We first note that, from a thermodynamics perspective, living cells are dynamic, open systems that continually exchange energy, entropy, and information with their surrounding...
  12. As the Southwest monsoon remained active over Saurashtra and Kutch, Khambhaliya in Devbhumi Dwarka was deluged with 11.49 inches of rainfall between 6 pm and 8 pm on Sunday, prompting the district administration to evacuate over 100 persons from the low-lying areas in the town. The taluka recorded 17 inches of rainfall in 12 hours till 8 pm. All the 12 districts of Saurashtra-Kutch region received heavy rain. A farmer was killed after being struck by lightning in Surendranagar while a man transporting carcasses of domestic animals went missing after being washed away in a flooded causeway in Rajkot city. Ranavav and Porbandar talukas in Porbandar district too reported heavy rainfall of 6 inch and 4.7 inch respectively, while Sutrapada in Gir Somnath district received 4 inches of rain till 8 pm. South Gujarat districts, including Surat, Navsari and Valsad, also received heavy downpour.
  13. US troops have been ordered to suspend activities in Colombia for 48 hours after a court ruled that their presence in the South American country was unlawful. The finding came after legal action was initiated by a group of opposition senators, arguing that President Ivan Duque had deliberately violated the constitutional requirement that the entry of foreign troops into Colombia must be debated in the Senate, Morning Post reported.
  14. The NEOWISE comet has just passed so close to the Earth, it has been seen with a naked eye. Yet, Russian cosmonaut Ivan Vagner saw right from space - and shared his photos of the rare event. The celestial object, also known as C/2020 F3, raced past our planet at a distance of some 103 million kilometers. Vagner snapped a photo of it while on board the International Space Station (ISS) and shared the picture on Twitter.
  15. I've lost all trust in medical research - the financial muscle of Big Pharma has been busy distorting science during the pandemic Evidence that a cheap, over-the-counter anti-malarial drug costing £7 combats COVID-19 gets trashed. Why? Because the pharmaceutical giants want to sell you a treatment costing nearly £2,000. It's criminal. A few years ago, I wrote a book called Doctoring Data. This was an attempt to help people understand the background to the tidal wave of medical information that crashes over us each and every day. Information that is often completely contradictory 'Coffee is good for you... no, wait it's bad for you... no, wait, it's good for you again,' repeat ad nauseam. I also pointed out some of the tricks, games and manipulations that are used to make medications seem far more effective than they truly are, or vice-versa. This, I have to say, can be a very dispiriting world to enter. When I give talks on this subject, I often start with a few quotes. For...
  16. President Donald Trump has tweeted that the high number of Covid-19 cases in the US is actually a good thing as it is due to expanded testing, but the "fake news media" refuses to cover the shrinking mortality rate. "Cases, Cases, Cases! If we didn't test so much and so successfully, we would have very few cases. If you test 40,000,000 people, you are going to have many cases that, without the testing (like other countries), would not show up every night on the Fake Evening News," the president tweeted on Saturday. He continued, "In a certain way, our tremendous Testing success gives the Fake News Media all they want, CASES. In the meantime, Deaths and the all important Mortality Rate goes down. You don't hear about that from the Fake News, and you never will. Anybody need any Ventilators???"
  17. Sheikh Senussi al-Haleeq, the deputy chairman of the Supreme Council of Libyan Sheikhs and Elders, told Sputnik in an interview that a great number of tribal young men were ready to engage in fighting if Turkey took over oil fields, controlled by the tribes: "We have a formidable number of young men ready to fight in the case of Turkish occupation of our lands. If they go for the oil fields, I assure you that they will head to training camps and we will wage a war on the oil fields. This is not a [preferred scenario] because I do not wish for the fields to be involved in political divisions or to drag the oil sector into the war because that will be harmful to the Libyans and to those who are our allies among the Europeans and Americans." Sheikh Senussi al-Haleeq confirmed that Libya was in talks with Egypt regarding the possibility for Cairo to train and arm Libyan tribes to repel Turkey's attacks. No final agreement has been reached yet, but if any training takes place, it will...
  18. Iran intends to sue the US at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), saying Washington's sanctions have damaged Tehran's ability to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The intention to initiate litigation was announced by the country's Vice-President for Legal Affairs Laya Joneydi during a visit to the Pasteur Institute of Iran, which plays a leading role in dealing with the deadly coronavirus. The ICJ is one of the principle bodies in the United Nations' system for handling disputes between UN members. Washington refuses to acknowledge its jurisdiction in full since The Hague-based body ordered the US to pay compensation to Nicaragua for waging an undeclared war against the Sandinista government in the 1980s. The court is already reviewing a lawsuit filed by Iran over sanctions imposed by the Donald Trump administration. In 2018, it ordered the US to lift restrictive measures linked to humanitarian trade, food, medicine and civil aviation. Washington ignored the order and instead...
  19. An attorney who represented the victims of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's sexual assault said that in 2009, the only person that helped him was then citizen Donald Trump. Prosecuting attorney Bradley Edwards was interviewed in December 2018 in Palm Beach, Florida shortly after settling a court case he had with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. After the settlement was announced, attorney Edwards was interviewed outside the courthouse. He shared much about the case and then answered the interviewer's question about whether Donald Trump was somehow related to the case since Epstein was a reportedly a friend of Trump (at the 5:00 mark - emphasis added) - The Palm Beach Daily News reported at that time -
  20. A large blaze has erupted at a power station in southwest Iran, causing brief electricity outages in the area. The incident is the latest in the string of mishaps at strategic facilities across the country. The fire broke out on Saturday at the Zargan plant, located in the city of Ahvaz. Footage from the scene, which has been circulating online, shows a large column of black smoke coming from the facility. A fire department official told local media that the blaze was caused by a transformer, which exploded after overheating. The fire was promptly contained by firefighters, limiting damage to the facility.
  21. Armed black protesters marched in Geogia on Independence Day to protest one of the largest Confederate monuments in the world. "Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial, a nine-story-high bas-relief sculpture carved into a sprawling rock face northeast of Atlanta, is perhaps the South's most audacious monument to its pro-slavery legacy still intact," Reuters reported on Friday. "The monument - which reopens on Independence Day weekend after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to close for weeks - has faced renewed calls for removal since the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died during an arrest by a white police officer who pinned his neck to the ground with a knee." Upon reopening, a huge group of armed Black protesters marched through Stone Mountain. Here are some of the scenes from the protests:
  22. Portland police used tear gas against protesters who had erected barricades and shot fireworks at the Hatfield Federal Courthouse in the city. Friday was the third riot in Portland this week. Several hundred activists marched on Friday evening into the streets around the courthouse in downtown Portland, bearing makeshift shields and diverse materials they used to erect some barricades, police said. In the early hours of Saturday, the situation became increasingly volatile, with Portland police declaring a riot at around 4am local time. Officers deployed tear gas and pushed the protesters away from the courthouse.
  23. Flooding and landslides caused by unprecedented rain in southern Japan have left at least 35 people confirmed or presumed dead. Standing water and risk of more mudslides delayed rescue operations on Sunday, according to the Japan Times. The victims include 14 residents of a nursing home that was flooded when a river overflowed its banks. Another 50 residents and 30 caregivers were rescued by boats on Sunday. More than a dozen people were missing, and more than 2,000 households remained cut off in eight municipalities in Kumamoto prefecture on Japan's southwestern Kyushu island, the Kyodo News agency reported.
  24. The Michigan House of Representatives has passed a controversial bill to microchip humans voluntarily in the state under the guise of protecting their privacy. The Microchip Protection Act would allow Michigan employers to use microchipping of their workers with their consent. However, research has shown that RFID transponders causes cancer. The plan to microchip humans is sponsored by Rep. Bronna Kahle under the guise of protecting the privacy of workers. The stated objective of the bill is that it will protect the privacy rights of Michigan workers and promote further growth for job providers as it relates to microchipping - a cutting-edge technology on the rise that increases workplace efficiency. "With the way technology has increased over the years and as it continues to grow, it's important Michigan job providers balance the interests of the company with their employees' expectations of privacy." "Microchipping has been brought up in many conversations as companies across the...
  25. Kumbaya and pass the bubbly! World peace has been achieved! What, haven't you heard? The UN Security Council just passed a resolution that calls for a global ceasefire as a type of "humanitarian pause" while the world deals with the coronavirus pandemic that (we are told) is wreaking such havoc on the human population. Or, as the UN puts it: The Security Council on Wednesday echoed the Secretary-General's call for a worldwide ceasefire, to combat the coronavirus pandemic that has already claimed more than half a million lives. The UN chief welcomed the long-awaited move, calling for countries to "redouble their efforts for peace". This tells us three things: Our noble leaders love us and care for us and want to protect us during this time of crisis. The pandemic must be real and it must be supremely grave, because why else would the Security Council be acting like this? We can expect the next 90 days to be a heaven on earth where the nations of the world lay down their arms and...
  26. If all goes to plan, in September 2022 a NASA spacecraft, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission or DART, will slam into a space rock with the equivalent energy of three tons of TNT. The goal is to nudge the orbit of its target object ever-so-slightly, a practice run to see if we could divert an asteroid from a catastrophic impact with our planet in the future. The impact on that asteroid could produce the first meteor shower ever to result from human activities in space, according to a paper published earlier this year in The Planetary Science Journal. Observing the shower could let scientists on Earth study the composition of near-Earth asteroids. But this cloud of debris would also mark a small irony for a space mission that has a goal of helping to protect our planet. If this small shower of space rocks reaches our planet, it will create a minuscule amount of peril for orbiting satellites. Although the risk is tiny, the study's author says, anticipating the effects of the...
  27. Multiple Pennsylvania gaming properties are now smoke-free after recent directives from state regulators to improve worker and player health. Among them is The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, located in Washington, which announced on social media that smoking was "phased out in the casino" and it reopened Saturday (July 4) morning "as a 100% smoke free facility." The decision was made after an order from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, according to WPXI, a local TV station. Another Pennsylvania TV station, WGAL, reported that Hollywood Casino, located in Grantville, also banned smoking. It also follows a decision by the Department of Health and Gaming Control Board.
  28. Western media's misleading claim that Russia is glorifying Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin serves an obvious purpose: to prompt urgent calls from its readers for foreign intervention. Russia is not rehabilitating Stalin. However, Western commentators who purport to be so concerned about this unlikely prospect would do well to wonder about the wisdom of policies toward Russia that cause ordinary Russians to look back with admiration on a leader who, whatever his crimes, protected them from foreign aggressors. The echo chamber of contemporary Western commentary on Russia has long resounded with the claim that Russia is in the process of such a rehabilitation. Such claims long pre-date President Putin's recent National Interest article, which defended the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact as Stalin's reasonable response to the Western powers' appeasement policy toward Nazi Germany.
  29. The White House unveiled an executive order Friday evening to create a "National Garden of American Heroes" that will feature statues of prominent Americans. The executive order, which President Trump announced during a Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore, comes as the nation grapples with calls to tear down Confederate statues across the country and address other racist iconography. "These statues are silent teachers in solid form of stone and metal. They preserve the memory of our American story and stir in us a spirit of responsibility for the chapters yet unwritten. These works of art call forth gratitude for the accomplishments and sacrifices of our exceptional fellow citizens who, despite their flaws, placed their virtues, their talents, and their lives in the service of our Nation," reads the executive order, which was disseminated by the White House.
  30. Nabil Shaath says he expects the potential uprising to be funded by the Arab world, adds that the West Bank and Gaza would 'combine forces' An adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned Saturday there was a possibility of a third intifada if the Israeli government goes ahead with its plan to annex parts of the West Bank. The Kan public broadcaster reported that Nabil Shaath told the Arabic-language arm of the France 24 network that Palestinian rivals Fatah and Hamas are in agreement that there should be a popular uprising if the controversial plan goes ahead. "When things flare up and it becomes a fully-fledged intifada, we will see a combination of forces between Gaza and the West Bank," Shaath said.
  31. Weather conditions that are forming certain kinds of clouds and bountiful rains in the region that are encouraging paddy farmers to be out in the field planting the crop have together resulted in a quiet tragedy in east Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that has gone almost unnoticed during the Covid-19 crisis -- death from lightning strikes. There were 26 deaths on Thursday in Bihar alone from such strikes (or flashes as they are called scientifically). On Friday, 15 people were killed in lightning strikes in different districts of the state. Another 21 people lost their lives and over 40 were injured due to lightning amid heavy rain and thunderstorms in seven districts of Bihar on Saturday. And at least 253 more people have lost their lives to lightning strikes and 49 have been injured in the past one and half months with 90% of the deaths recorded in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, according to data from the National Disaster Management Authority. The injured are undergoing treatment in local...
  32. A landslide caused by monsoon rains in Myanmar has killed no less than 113 people, the country's emergency services said on Thursday. Earlier in the day, the Xinhua news agency reported a death toll of 96. The landslide came at about 8 a.m. local time (1:30 GMT) at a jade mine near the Hpakant township, located in the Kachin state.
  33. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) said that a male Sowerby's beaked whale was spotted in distress in Wicklow Harbor on Saturday morning after it had appeared to lose its bearings. A rare whale has died after it became stranded in an Irish harbor on Saturday. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) said that a male Sowerby's beaked whale was spotted in distress in Wicklow Harbor on Saturday morning after it had appeared to lose its bearings. Sowerby's beaked whales are normally found in the North Atlantic and the one found in Wicklow Harbor was unable to survive in the shallower waters of the Irish Sea. Male Sowerby's beaked whale in Wicklow Harbour. Not looking in great condition, breathing regularly, suggestion of being thin in this video from Nick Veale. Expect it to die. deep-diving beaked whales particularly to acoustic trauma. pic.twitter.com/uFQqDWdAku — Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (@IWDGnews) July 4, 2020
  34. In last week's article I discussed the issue of American "balkanization" and the rapid migration of conservatives and moderates from large population centers and states that are becoming militant in their progressive ideology. In my home state of Montana there has been a surge of people trying to escape the chaos and oppression of leftist states. Some are here because of the pandemic and the harsh restrictions they had to endure during the first lockdowns. Others are here because they can't stand the hostility of identity politics, cancel culture and race riots. Either way, they are fleeing places with decidedly leftist influences. Uprooting and moving to an entirely new place is not an easy thing to do, especially in the middle of a pandemic. For many people, such an idea would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. Believe me, moving to a place like the Rocky Mountain Redoubt is not an easy transition for most. Hopefully these people understand that they will have to make...
  35. The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 after they failed to reduce mortality. The setback came as the WHO also reported more than 200,000 new cases globally of the disease for the first time in a single day. The United States accounted for 53,213 of the total 212,326 new cases recorded on Friday, the WHO said. "These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalised COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect," the WHO said in a statement, referring to large multicountry trials that the agency is leading.
  36. A bestselling children's author has been sacked after expressing support for fellow writer J. K. Rowling in the bitter row over transgender rights. In the latest example of 'cancel culture', novelist Gillian Philip was last week jettisoned from her role writing titles for a major publishing company. It came after the writer, who has penned a popular series of books for eight-to-12-year-olds, added the hashtag #IStandWithJKRowling to her Twitter handle.
  37. Why did politicians ever lockdown society in the first place? Can we all agree that the stated purpose was to "flatten the curve" so our hospital system could handle the inevitable COVID-19 patients who needed care? At that point, at least, back in early March, people were behaving rationally. They accepted that you can't eradicate a virus, so let's postpone things enough to handle it. The fact is, we have done that, and so much more. The headlines are filled with dire warnings of a "second wave" and trigger-happy Governors are rolling back regulations to try to stem the tide of new cases. But, is any of it actually true and should we all be worried? No, it's not a second wave. The COVID-19 virus is on its final legs, and while I have filled this post with graphs to prove everything I just said, this is really the only graph you need to see, it's the CDC's data, over time, of deaths from COVID-19 here in the U.S., and the trend line is unmistakable: If virologists were driving...
  38. 'Shawshank Redemption' star Tim Robbins has compared US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to Nazis, and claimed the agency's goal is to target people of color and give America an "ethnic cleansing." "ICE are massively funded, militarized police whose function is to deport people of color. Ethnic cleansing in America," tweeted the actor in reaction to a story about President Donald Trump designating ICE a "security agency" in an effort to protect the identities of its employees. "Now they are a massively funded, militarized SECRET police (SS) that don't have to identify themselves or answer to anyone. What could go wrong?" according to Robbins.
  39. American rapper Kanye West, who has in the past been eviscerated by the left over his vocal support for US President Donald Trump, has said he's launching his own presidential bid. "We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION," West wrote, breaking the news to nearly 30 million followers on Twitter on Saturday evening.
  40. During an interview on the "Awards Chatter" podcast, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton talked about her documentary series "Hillary," which the Critics' Choice Real TV Awards named as the year's best limited documentary series back in March, according to The Hollywood Reporter. But when the podcast host asked Clinton whether she would win in a rematch election against President Donald Trump, she didn't hesitate to offer her thoughts. "Yes. But I think people believe that this is a referendum on him," said Clinton, who lost the 2016 election by 70 electoral college votes. "You know, when he ran before, people who knew him mostly knew him from reality TV. He'd been in their living rooms, and he was a businessman, and he looked like a billionaire, and he rode around in his big plane and all of that," she said. "So they kinda thought, 'Well, hey, you know, give the guy a chance. Let's see what he can do.' And now everybody, I think, knows what the consequences of...
  41. The stark contrast between liberals and conservatives reacting to the Fourth of July on social media magnifies the deep cultural wedge in the US, with the left calling the holiday a "sham" and the right mourning what once was. While Independence Day is typically a time for celebration in the US, it's taken a different turn this year amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests. The hashtag "F**ktheFourth" is trending on Twitter, with the "u" in the curse word cleverly switched out with a "v."
  42. The Florida Department of Health on Friday announced the confirmed case of Naegleria fowleri -- a microscopic single-celled amoeba that can infect and destroy the brain. It's usually fatal, the DOH said. Since 1962, there have only been 37 reported cases of the amoeba in Florida. This one was found in Hillsborough County, though the DOH did not give any further details. Naegleria fowleri is typically found in warm freshwater like lakes, rivers and ponds. The DOH has cautioned people who swim in those freshwater sources to be aware of the amoeba's possible presence, particularly when the water is warm.
  43. New data shows Britain's Royal Air Force trained Saudi personnel in 2019 on fighter jets used to bomb civilians in Yemen - a country on the brink of famine - while UK soldiers coached other forces in the Saudi-led coalition at nearly a dozen army bases in Britain. Hundreds of Saudi military personnel received training at Royal Air Force (RAF) bases in the UK in 2019 - the same year a court banned new exports of British-made weapons to Saudi Arabia over human rights concerns in the Yemen war. Data obtained by Declassified UK from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) shows that 310 Saudis trained at six RAF sites in England and Wales last year. Some training for Saudi pilots is still under way, with courses lasting up to four years.
  44. The plot to rid the British Government of the man who combined more domestic and foreign policy-making powers than any British official in peacetime was not a clandestine Kremlin operation directed by President Vladimir Putin. But the sacking of Sir Mark Sedwill, the grammar school head-boy who became Cabinet Secretary and National Security Advisor under Prime Minister Theresa May in 2018, removes the plotter-in-chief of the Skripal affair, the Novichok plot, and the campaign of British info-warfare against Moscow over the past two years. The man who defeated Sedwill, Dominic Cummings, chief adviser of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is the only official in the prime ministry to have operated under cover in Russia. What Cummings' cover was has never been publicly revealed from his counter-intelligence vetting. The rise of Cummings has also not been reported by the NATO propaganda unit Bellingcat and the Murdoch press to have been a clandestine Kremlin operation.
  45. How much of what went on in the Middle Ages and early-modern periods do we look back on with abhorrence and a certain amount of perplexity? Burning witches at the stake, lynch mobs, self-flagellation - what possessed people to do such things, we wonder. But take a step back, look about and you see many of these practices are still flourishing today, though they go by different names. Here are just some of them. Let's start with excommunication. Excommunication meant so much more than being banned from taking communion. It involved you being shunned, shamed, spiritually condemned, even banished. Only through some kind of heavy penance - often a very public, lengthy and humiliating contrition - could you and your reputation be redeemed. Excommunication became a powerful political weapon. It was dished out to enemies of the faith to destroy their legitimacy. Often it was used as a punishment for sins as minor as uttering the wrong opinion.
  46. The landslide has displaced 400 people in the settlement and put 45 other households at risk of being swept away. At least six people died and a person went missing in a landslide that occurred in Bajhang district on Saturday morning. Among the deceased, four are of the same family. The landslide, which occurred at Mallesi Village in Ward No. 8 of Kedarsiyun Rural Municipality at around 1am, swept away 18 houses and damaged two others, locals say. Rammati Jethara, 40, her 12-year-old son Prayag, her two daughters Shanti, 14, and Ashmita, 16, and 80-year-old Dale Jethara and 13-year-old Santu Jethara were buried to death, according to Suresh Jethara, a local resident.
  47. President Vladimir Putin on Friday mocked the U.S. embassy in Moscow for flying a rainbow flag to celebrate LGBT rights, suggesting it reflected the sexual orientation of its staff. His comments followed a nationwide vote on constitutional reforms that included an amendment enshrining the definition of marriage specifically as a union between a man and a woman. Putin said the U.S. embassy's move to raise the LGBT pride flag "revealed something about the people that work there". "It's no big deal though. We have spoken about this many times, and our position is clear," said Putin, who has sought to distance Russia from liberal Western values and aligned himself with the Russian Orthodox Church.
  48. The bad-faith tactics employed by two Australian reporters on separate newspapers that were designed to smear the climate dissenter shows the environmental press is little more than the provisional wing of Extinction Rebellion. It's a well-worn trope these days that environmentalism has come to fill the God-shaped hole left in many a Western heart. They have their child saints (Greta), their wise old sages (Sir David Attenborough), their sacred texts ('The Uninhabitable Earth') and, obviously, they're predicting the end of the world. But what really brings out their zealotry is the way they treat apostates. Take the recent case of Mr Mike Shellenberger. Shellenberger is a well-known American green campaigner with previously impeccable lefty credentials guaranteed to get him invited to all the right drinks parties. He was Time 2008 Hero of the Environment and was so left-wing, he even spent time living in Nicaragua to show solidarity with the Sandinistas.
  49. The so-called 'outbreak' of Covid-19 in the English city of Leicester, which has precipitated a second lockdown there, has been driven by the young and people under 40. The very people who aren't much at risk of death. On Monday, the UK government announced that schools in Leicester will be shut to all children except those of essential workers. Furthermore, all non-essential shops and businesses have been closed. They're back in the deep freeze, so to speak. The lockdown was not based on a report, but rather the whisperings and rumours surrounding a report, which was released only on Wednesday evening. This report is by Public Health England - specifically a crack department of people who have given themselves the spiffy name Rapid Investigation Team, as if they are Power Rangers in spectacles.
  50. Californians are still free to attend their house of worship. But they're not supposed to sing or chant. Citing the risk of spreading the coronavirus, updated COVID-19 guidelines issued Wednesday by the state Department of Public Health say "places of worship must therefore discontinue singing and chanting activities." In previously allowing religious organizations to reopen in late May, the state merely said these institutions should "strongly consider discontinuing singing, group recitation, and other practices and performances." Health agencies such as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say shouting or singing can spread the coronavirus just as easily as coughing or sneezing. Comment: So singing is not safe but if you protest in the streets with thousands of people around you, you're fine. The logic of the leftists is mind boggling.