shalt not make to thyself an idol, nor likeness of anything, whatever
things are in the heaven above, and whatever are in the earth
beneath, and whatever are in the waters under the earth.”
Waters Under The Earth
Greetings! We were recently asked by a colleague for any comments we might have concerning a video purporting to prove that mermaids do in fact exist and confirmed by a high ranking US Navel officer who revealed the US Navy had kept one alive in captivity for two to three years.
He also asked if we thought these might be hybrids. The Navy supposedly did DNA testing on the “mermaid” and found that their DNA was almost identical to humans.
In his enquiry he also expressed that if mermaids did in fact exist they would most likely be dangerous and harmful and wondered if any good hybrids existed.
It should be noted that every major culture in the world has references to “mermaids”.
The following was our response, we thought we would share with you.
“By the fourth century, when pagan beliefs were overtaken by Christianity, the belief in literal sirens was discouraged. Although Saint Jerome, who produced the Latin Vulgate version of the bible, used the word sirens to translate Hebrew tannīm ("jackals") in Isaiah 13:22, and also to translate a word for "owls" in Jeremiah 50:39, this was explained by Ambrose to be a mere symbol or allegory for worldly temptations, and not an endorsement of the Greek myth.
Sirens continued to be used as a symbol for the dangerous temptation embodied by women regularly throughout Christian art of the medieval era; however, in the 17th century, some Jesuit writers began to assert their actual existence, including Cornelius a Lapide, who said of woman, "her glance is that of the fabled basilisk, her voice a siren's voice—with her voice she enchants, with her beauty she deprives of reason—voice and sight alike deal destruction and death." Antonio de Lorea also argued for their existence, and Athanasius Kircher argued that compartments must have been built for them aboard Noah's Ark.”
“Therefore shall she lament and wail, she shall go barefooted, and being naked she shall make lamentation as that of serpents, and mourning as of the daughters of sirens.” Micah 1:8 (Septuagint)
“And the women also of the angels who went astray shall become sirens.” Enoch 29:2
“And the sirens shall sigh because of you-and weep.” Enoch 96:2
THE BOOK OF THE APOCALYPSE OF BARUCH THE
SON OF NERIAH
'I will call the Sirens from the sea.” 10:8
2 Baruch is a Jewish pseudepigraphical text thought to have been written in the late 1st century AD or early 2nd century AD, after the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. It is attributed to the biblical Baruch and so is associated with the Old Testament, but not regarded as scripture by Jews or by most Christian groups.
Since Satan can only imitate what God has done perhaps he was attempting to imitate the following verses in Ezekiel and Revelation and also make a deliberate attempt to provoke God at the same time.
“And their judges and rulers went to the daughters of men and took their wives by force from their husbands according to their choice, and the sons of men in those days took from the cattle of the earth, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and taught the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order therewith to provoke the Lord; and God saw the whole earth and it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon earth, all men and all animals.” Jashur 4:18
Ezekiel Chapter 1:5-12
“And in the midst as it were the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; the likeness of a man was upon them. And each one had four faces, and each one had four wings. And their legs were straight; and their feet were winged, and there were sparks, like gleaming brass, and their wings were light. And the hand of a man was under their wings on their four sides. And the faces of them four turned not when they went; they went everyone straight forward. And the likeness of their faces was the face of a man, and the face of a lion on the right of the four; and the face of a calf on the left of the four; and the face of an eagle to the four. And the four had their wings spread out above; each one had two joined to one another, and two covered their bodies. And each one went straight forward: wherever the spirit was going they went, and turned not back.”
Ezekiel Chapter 10:8-22
“And I saw the cherubs having the likeness of men’s hands under their wings. And I saw, and behold, four wheels stood by the cherubs, one wheel by each cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was as the appearance of a carbuncle stone. And as for their appearance, there was one likeness to the four, as if there should be a wheel in the midst of a wheel. When they went, they went on their four sides; they turned not when they went, for whichever way the first head looked, they went; and they turned not as they went. And their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about the four wheels. And these wheels were called Gelgel in my hearing. And the cherubs were the same living creature which I saw by the river of Chobar.
This is the living creature which I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chobar; and I knew that they were cherubs. Each one had four faces, and each one had eight wings; and under their wings was the likeness of men’s hands. And as for the likeness of their faces, these are the same faces which I saw under the glory of the God of Israel by the river of Chobar: and they went each straight forward.”
“And before the throne [there was] a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, [were] four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast [was] like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast [was] like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about [him;] and [they were] full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever.”
“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, [be] unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four [and] twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.”
“And afterward about one hundred and twenty great and terrible animals came out from the wilderness at the other side of the sea, and they all came to the place where the asses were, and they placed themselves there.
And those animals, from their middle downward, were in the shape of the children of men, and from their middle upward, some had the likeness of bears, and some the likeness of the keephas, with tails behind them from between their shoulders reaching down to the earth, like the tails of the ducheephath, and these animals came and mounted and rode upon these asses, and led them away, and they went away unto this day.
And one of these animals approached Anah and smote him with his tail, and then fled from that place. And when he saw this work he was exceedingly afraid of his life, and he fled and escaped to the city. And he related to his sons and brothers all that had happened to him, and many men went to seek the asses but could not find them, and Anah and his brothers went no more to that place from that day following, for they were greatly afraid of their lives.”
“And Zepho went and he saw and behold there was a large cave at the bottom of the mountain, and there was a great stone there at the entrance of the cave, and Zepho split the stone and he came into the cave and he looked and behold, a large animal was devouring the ox; from the middle upward it resembled a man, and from the middle downward it resembled an animal, and Zepho rose up against the animal and slew it with his swords.
And the inhabitants of Chittim heard of this thing, and they rejoiced exceedingly, and they said, What shall we do unto this man who has slain this animal that devoured our cattle?”
It would seem a case could be made to surmise the possibility that mermaids-sirens do exist.
Saudi prince orders Palestinian president to accept Jared Kushner’s peace plan
Richard Spencer, Middle East Correspondent | Anshel Pfeffer, Jerusalem
November 14, 2017
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is said to have discussed issues in the Middle East with Jared Krushner, second right, when he made an unannounced visit to Riyadh two weeks agoJONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS
Saudi Arabia’s all-powerful crown prince has opened up a new front in his attempts to change the Middle East by intervening in Palestinian politics and demanding backing for President Trump’s vision for peace with Israel.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, was summoned to Riyadh last week for a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Details were overshadowed by the purge ordered by the prince of rival royals, ministers and businessmen on corruption allegations and the apparently Saudi-orchestrated resignation of Saad Hariri, the Lebanese prime minister.
However, the meeting coincided with preparations, led by Jared Kushner, President Trump's sonn-in-law and Middle East point man, for a new effort to forge some sort of peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Leaked: Saudis have ‘plans for official ties with Israel’
November 15, 2017
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (R) and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir
A Lebanese newspaper has published a secret undated letter from Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that puts forward a plan to normalize ties with Israel despite “risks” of a public backlash.
Lebanon’s al-Akhbar daily released the correspondence on Tuesday in the wake of reports that Riyadh and Tel Aviv are increasingly tilting toward one another in defiance of strong opposition among the Arabs to such rapprochement.
“I have the honor to submit to you the draft of the plan to establish relations between the kingdom and the State of Israel, based on the strategic partnership agreement with the United States of America, which was discussed with the secretary of state,” the letter reads.
Jubeir referred to Israel as a “state” while Saudi Arabia, along with other Arab League states, does not formally recognize the occupying entity.
It, however, warned that the establishment of ties with Israel involves a risk to Saudi Arabia “given the spiritual, historical, and religious status of the Palestinian issue” in public opinion.
“The Kingdom will not take this risk unless it feels the United States’ sincere approach to Iran, which is destabilizing the region,” it went on to say.
The letter also set out a number of conditions for the normalization of relations with Israel:
Saudi seeks ‘military equivalence’
The letter says any Riyadh-Tel Aviv rapprochement needs “equivalence” between the two sides.
“At the military level, Israel is considered the only country with nuclear weapons in the Middle East.... accordingly, the kingdom must acquire this deterrent or seek to remove Israel’s,” it said.
‘Palestine refugees won’t be back’
The Saudis would contribute to the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by proposing resettling Palestinian refugees in their host countries rather than returning to their homeland.
The kingdom would also propose for Jerusalem al-Quds to be placed under international control administered by the United Nations.
Iran ‘common Israel-Saudi target’
In the letter, Jubeir describes Iran as the “main threat” to the region, saying a resolution of Israel-Palestine conflict would help Riyadh and Tel Aviv to focus on the Islamic Republic.
When the conflict is settled, Jubeir writes, Saudi Arabia and Israel would pursue their “common goals” regarding Iran.
The two regimes, according to the letter, want tougher US and international sanctions against Iran over its missile program and human rights issues.
Among other goals are lobbying the six parties to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran to ensure its strict implementation and capitalizing on Iran’s economic problems to increase pressure on the country.
The two sides are also concerned over Iran’s influential role in the Middle East, which the letter says should be confronted.
The letter was leaked amid numerous reports of behind-the-scene contacts between Riyadh and Tel Aviv.
In September, Israeli and Arab media reported that a Saudi prince had traveled to Israel and had held consultations with senior Israeli officials over “regional peace.”
A month later, an Israeli official, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP Arabic that Mohammed bin Salman had in fact been the prince who visited Israel in September.
An official source at the Saudi Foreign Ministry, however, dismissed the news about bin Salman's trip.
Back in June, The Times cited unnamed Arab and American sources as saying that Tel Aviv and Riyadh were in clandestine talks to establish official economic ties for the first time since the entity was created.
Additionally, Israel’s Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz called on Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to invite Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to Riyadh to establish full diplomatic relations.
Liberals now claim Christian parents are dangerous. This is an existential threat we can’t ignore
JONATHON VAN MAREN
November 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Over the past two decades, it has slowly dawned on Christians that the implications of same-sex “marriage” are far greater for those who still believe in the traditional understanding of marriage than even the cynics first thought possible. The politicians, the academics, and the media have reached the collective conclusion that if gay “marriage” is a civil right, those who oppose it are not simply dissenters holding to a two-thousand-year-old tradition, but ugly bigots who deserve to be marginalized for their discriminatory views. Thus, “live and let live” turned into “you will be forced to participate and approve,” with bakers, florists, property owners, and adoption agencies finding themselves to be the targets of gay activists who show a shocking ruthlessness in their enthusiasm for prosecuting supposed thought crimes.
None of this will be news to most of you, but the impact of radical reinvention of our social structures is beginning to impact Christian communities in ways that are striking even closer to home. There is the fact that public schools across Canada (and many places in the United States) are beginning to implement sex education that runs directly contrary to the beliefs of many traditionalist communities—and governments are beginning to eye Christian and private schools as unwelcome havens of dissenting thought and education. And worse: Christian parents and foster parents are increasingly finding themselves “disqualified” from adopting children or taking children into their homes because of their views.
I’ve spoken to many prospective parents and foster parents over the last several years who were either overtly rejected as a result of their views on sexuality, or otherwise found that they were suddenly and abruptly rejected when their views were made known. Often, direct questions are put to Christian parents to find out if they still hold to Christian principles, with the obvious insinuation that answers not fitting with the current progressive ideology will render them unfit to care for children.
Considering the massive shortage of willing foster parents across Canada, this is a rather shocking and blunt move on the part of those in charge of the process: Essentially, Christian parents are being told that their views render them so dangerous that it is better that children desperate for a loving home are still shuffled from place to place rather than come into contact with views that were nearly universal only short decades ago. Such stories are now just beginning to surface in the mainstream media, with an Edmonton, Alberta couple being the latest example. From Canada’s national broadcaster:
An evangelical Christian couple is accusing Alberta of discrimination, claiming their application to adopt a child was rejected over their religious views on gay marriage and homosexuality. The Edmonton married couple say they submitted their application last year and passed a required course for potential adoptive parents.
But during a followup by officials this year, the couple say they ran into trouble when they answered questions about sexuality. The couple say they accept that same-sex marriage is a legal reality, but they don't support it and believe that homosexuality is wrong.
"The casework supervisor explained that our religious beliefs regarding sexuality were incompatible with the adoption process," says an affidavit filed in support of an application for a judicial review of the government's decision.
"The casework supervisor said this stance was the 'official position of the Alberta government.' "
The couple said they were also asked how they would deal with a child who was questioning his or her sexuality. They told officials that children should be taught that sexuality should not be experienced or explored until a person is an adult and is married. The couple, who aren't named in the legal documents, said they treat all people with respect and their views on sexuality would have no bearing on their ability to provide a loving, secure and happy home to a child. They said they never dreamed they would be disqualified from helping children in need because of their religious beliefs.
You’ll notice that the initial myths propagated by those who advocated for the reinvention of marriage are crumbling away. The government does not take a neutral position—after all, it is not only evangelicals who hold to a traditional understanding of marriage. Sikhs, Muslims, mainstream Mormons, Catholics, and Orthodox Jews also reject the progressive reinvention of marriage. Of course, it is so far only Catholics and evangelicals who have found themselves in the crosshairs, and so politicians feel perfectly comfortable smearing and bashing these communities as bigots without feeling as if they are undermining their vacuous virtue-signalling on multiculturalism and immigration. There is now an official “government position,” and those who do not hold it are rapidly becoming second-class citizens.
As I mentioned, I’ve heard many versions of this story over the past several years, and I expect that this will only increase in the coming years. But what is important for Christians to note here is that they are being demonized in a very, very dangerous way. The government’s rejection of Christian homes as loving environments for children is an implicit statement: They are stating that Christians are not fit to raise children—because they are Christian. This is why provincial governments across Canada are making moves to force Christian schools to change thousands of years of doctrine, and this is why Christians must be alert and aware of what is taking place, and engaged in the political process.
After all, if Christian parents are deemed unfit to care for children with nowhere else to go, how long will it be before the government decides that they are unfit to care for any children? What if they decide that any educational institution or homeschooling group that does not adhere to the “government position” can no longer be entrusted with children? What if they decide that parents who hold to Christian principles are damaging their own children because of those principles?
Listen closely to the rhetoric that is being used, and look carefully at the justification politicians like Alberta Premier Rachel Notley are using to make it illegal for parents to be told what their children are doing while at school in the care of government employees. They are already making the case that Christian parents are dangerous. And that, for Christian parents and their children, could turn into an existential threat. It is time that communities that still believe parents have the right to educate their children and pass on their own values to stand up and pay attention. If we don’t, things could get even worse very quickly.
NEW YORK POST
Harvard hosts annual ‘Anal Sex 101’ class
By Ruth Brown
November 8, 2017
Students at Harvard University were able to get answers to their most probing questions Tuesday, when the Ivy League institution hosted its annual “Anal Sex 101” class.
“It’s all about practice, practice, practice,” instructor Natasha advised scholars at the alma mater of Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, according to a report from the College Fix.
Pupils at the nation’s No. 2 college learned how to relax their rectums and passed around butt plugs as they were schooled in the ins and outs of sodomy, the site reports.
“Not all men have penises, not all women have vaginas … the butthole is the great sexual equalizer. All humans have a butthole,” Natasha told the future leaders of America.
The class didn’t come with homework — but some lucky raffle winners did take home vibrators, and everyone walked away with free condoms and sex toy cleaners.
The workshop is part of Harvard’s annual Sex Week, and has been taught in the hallowed halls of learning since at least 2014. Other events on the schedule include “Kink 101” and “Beyond the Hub: Broadening Your Porn Horizons.”
(Although never formally affiliated with any denomination, the early College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard had emerged as the central cultural establishment among Boston elites.
In its early years trained many Puritan ministers. It offered a classic curriculum on the English university model—many leaders in the colony had attended the University of Cambridge—but conformed to the tenets of Puritanism. It was never affiliated with any particular denomination, but many of its earliest graduates went on to become clergymen in Congregational and Unitarian churches.
The leading Boston divine Increase Mather served as president from 1685 to 1701. In 1708, John Leverett became the first president who was not also a clergyman, marking a turning of the college from Puritanism and toward intellectual independence. Wikipedia
"I am much afraid that the universities will prove to be the great gates of hell, unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures, and engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not unceasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt.” Martin Luther
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” Romans 1:28)
Pope reaffirms conscience as heresy debate divides church
November 11, 2017
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Saturday reaffirmed the "primacy" of using one's conscience to navigate tough moral questions in his first comments since he was publicly accused of spreading heresy by emphasizing conscience over hard and fast Catholic rules.
Francis issued a video message to a conference organized by Italian bishops on his controversial 2016 document on family life, "The Joy of Love." The document has badly divided the Catholic Church, with some commentators warning that it risked creating a schism given its opening to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.
Francis told the conference that priests must inform Catholic consciences "but not replace them." And he stressed the distinction between one's conscience — where God reveals himself — and one's ego that thinks it can do as it pleases.
"The contemporary world risks confusing the primacy of conscience, which must always be respected, with the exclusive autonomy of an individual with respect to his or her relations," Francis said.
Francis reaffirmed the centrality of "The Joy of Love" as the church's guide to Catholic couples today trying to navigate the ups and downs of complicated family situations.
When it was released in April 2016, "The Joy of Love" immediately sparked controversy because it cautiously opened the door to letting civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion.
Church teaching holds that unless these Catholics obtain an annulment — a church decree declaring their first marriage invalid — they cannot receive the sacraments since they are seen as committing adultery in the eyes of the church.
Francis didn't give these Catholics an automatic pass, but suggested that bishops and priests could do so on a case-by-case basis, with the couples' "well-formed" consciences as the guide.
Conservatives accused the pope of sowing confusion and undermining the church's teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. Four prominent cardinals formally asked for a clarification to five "dubia," or doubts, they said had been spawned by the document.
More recently, a group of traditionalist and conservative priests and scholars formally accused Francis of spreading heresy.
Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, whom Francis recently removed as the Vatican's chief doctrinal watchdog, didn't join the four "dubia" cardinals or the heresy accusers. But he warned in a recent book preface that "schismatic temptations and dogmatic confusion" had been sown as a result of the debate over the document. He said such confusion was "dangerous for the unity of the church."
Mueller sought to offer his own interpretation — that "The Joy of Love" can only be read as a continuity of the church's traditional teaching on marriage — offering what he said was his own "contribution to re-establishing peace in the church."
(Depending to whom you are referring; conscience may not may not be the best judge of character. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” 1 Timothy 4:1-2)
Scientists look for a cure against politically undesirable behaviour
The ‘Free World’ has taken on where the Soviet scientists and psychiatrists left off. German and American scientists of renowned Universities in Bonn and Lübeck do research on treatment for politically undesirable behaviour like their Soviet colleagues from the infamous Serbsky Central Research Institute in Moscow. In the Soviet Union people who protested the system had to undergo psychiatric treatment.Vladimir Bukovsky, a world-known dissident survived one and described it.1)The same will be the fate of the so called Free World’s citizens if they fail to conform to the idea of a multi-cultural society. The powers that be have given a signal, and obliging, complaisant scientists are already busy working on bettering our collective and individual psyche. Apart from homophobia and Islamophobia, xenophobia is another psychiatric condition that needs to undergo therapy. Hormonal therapy.
Since social engineers have come up with the idea of building new, multi-racial, multi-national, multi-religious, multi-cultural societies, they have encountered the natural barrier: xenophobia, which is another name for in-group loyalty and out-group avoidance. Xenophobia is a biological mechanism imprinted at the genetic level that carries a survival advantage. It tells an individual to create bonds with members of the same group and be on his guard against aliens.2)To put it in plain language: xenophobia is practised at the very basic personal level each time parents warn their offspring to be wary of strangers: not to open the door to them, not to trust them. So modern social engineers have a problem. They need to overcome this deeply rooted biological barrier.
A sign has been given, most probably followed by substantial grants and other financial incentives, and so scientists got down to work to find a cure for xenophobia. One of the research teams included psychologists and psychiatrists from Bonn, Tulsa, and Lübeck scientific institutions.
Urged by the increasing globalization and the mass migration of peoples, as they say, the mentioned scientists, who otherwise dutifully recognize the evolutionary advantage of the in-group loyalty/out-group exclusion, nevertheless set themselves a task of demonstrating whether oxytocin can enforce the acceptance of aliens and reduce xenophobic out-group rejection. To this end they devised experiments in which subjects were asked to donate a certain amount of money to people in need, either compatriots or refugees.3) Before the experiment the subjects were screened for the level of xenophobia. During the experiment the subjects were either allowed to act on their own, or were exposed to peer pressure or were administered oxytocin intranasally. It turned out that (i) refugee-directed donation among the subjects scoring low on xenophobia were significantly increased by oxytocin, whereas (ii) oxytocin alone was not enough in the case of the subjects scoring high on xenophobia: their out-group avoidance (or parochial, as it is patronizingly named, altruism) could only be overcome by the orchestrated operation of oxytocin and peer pressure.
Throughout history, the world has been torn by two opposing factors that face each other with daggers drawn. These are natural biological, and unnatural forces, or reality and dystopia. It is natural for a human being to want to possess things and work as little as possible; to counter it, dystopian socialists, communists or Christian heretics came up with an idea of a society governed by the principle: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. It was supposed to work. And it failed miserably everywhere it was installed and implemented, from Cuba to East Germany, to the Soviet Union, to North Korea.
The human being, an evolutionary extension of the animal world, is endowed with certain indelible features at the genetic level. Group loyalty and fear of aliens are among them. Man cannot survive alone. Mankind is not a biologically monolithic, homogeneous family. Rather, it is made up of human groups (clans, tribes, nations, races) that as a result of their long development are moving apart from each other. Biology is the basis on which human communities create culture and ultimately civilization, not the other way round.
Human groups, which have come into being as a result of living separately from each other for ages and so have developed incompatible cultures and religions, compete for resources i.e. for survival. Since man cannot make it through life on his own, he is a part of a group (clan, tribe, nation). In order for the group to function well and safeguard its (and simultaneously its members’ survival success), each group member is equipped with two psychological mechanisms (i) in-group loyalty and (ii) out-group enmity. Group members collaborate, and support each other even to the point of sacrificing themselves for the whole. That’s the origin of altruism. Defection to another group means weakening one’s own group and strengthening the alien group, which has always been regarded as the gravest mortal sin: treason. (Dante’s hell has Judas Iscariot in its centre, which is the severest punishment for it).4)Altruism towards members of the out-group is something between in-group loyalty and defection. Its exuberant instances are technically referred to as pathological altruism.
The phenomenon can be compared to the rivalry among soccer teams. The team’s (survival) objective is to win the cup. The prize will be shared by all team members. In order to achieve it, each one of them has to cooperate with the others: no cooperation with members of any other, opposing, team is thinkable. A team’s player may want to sacrifice his personal career for another player from the same team by helping him to score as many goals as possible and thus becoming the team’s star, or by fouling the opposite team’s player and thus risk being sent out of the playground (death), thus enhancing the chances of his team’s win, but the same will not make things easier on the playground for any member of the opposing team. Helping members of the other team means lessening the chances for winning the cup (survival) of one’s own team and, ultimately one’s own chances.
If my well-being and survival depends on that of the group that I am a member of, and, conversely, if my group’s survival is contingent on the cooperation, altruism and self-sacrifice of its members, including me, then in-group loyalty is in high demand whereas out-group (pathological) altruism is detrimental. That’s evolutionary mechanism. That’s game theory. That’s common sense. Everybody knows it. So do social engineers.
The conclusions are obvious. Citizens of host countries must be forced to accept the influx of aliens whether they like it or not. If they do not comply then, in the name of high-flown ideals of universal brotherhood of men, they will be forced either by peer pressure or by oxytocin or by both. Oxytocin suits this purpose very well as this hormone raises the emotional well-being, it so to say oh-so humane. Like Aldous Huxley’s soma in his book Brave New World.5)The human being with his biologically-driven likes and dislikes is not to be tolerated, he must be changed. By ideological interaction or by chemistry. He must not be left alone. He must accept what he does not like not merely passively. He must be made to like what he previously disliked.6) There was systematic political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union, based on the interpretation of political opposition or dissent as a psychiatric problem. The ‘Free World’ has taken on where the Soviet ‘scientists’ left off.
FDA Approves New Digital Sensor To Ensure "Patients With Mental Health Issues" Take Their Meds
by Tyler Durden
Nov 15, 2017 12:09 PM
Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,
The Food and Drug Administration has just approved a new pill with a digital sensor in it.
It will “ensure” that patients who suffer from mental health issues take their medicine when they are told. But privacy concerns have not gone unnoticed.
Regulators in the United States have approved the first pill that can be digitally tracked as it makes its way through the human body. The Abilify MyCite aripiprazole tablets used for treating schizophrenia and manic episodes have an ingestible sensor embedded inside them that records that the medication has been taken. A patch worn by the patient transmits this information to their smartphone.
But many are raising the red flag that this could simply be another form of medical “big brother.” You may no longer have the right to refuse medications in the very near future.
The Abilify MyCite features a sensor the size of a grain of sand made of silicon, copper, and magnesium. An electrical signal is activated when the sensor comes into contact with stomach acid - the sensor then passes through the body naturally.
A patch the patient wears on their left rib cage receives the signal several minutes after the pill is ingested. The patch then sends data like the time the pill was taken and the dosage to a smartphone app over Bluetooth.
The patch also records activity levels, sleeping patterns, steps taken, activity, and heart rate, and must be replaced every seven days. The patient’s doctor and up to four other people chosen by the patient, including family members, can access the information. The patient can revoke access at any time.
– The Verge
Is it really hard to understand why people are raising concerns about privacy over this new pill? The pill is one way to address the prevalent problem of patients not taking their medication correctly. According to the IMS Institute’s estimates, the improper and unnecessary use of medicine cost the US healthcare sector over $200 billion in 2012.
But, the approval also opens the door for pills that are used for other conditions beyond mental health to be digitized and monitored, and could eventually lead to tracking devices for humans being slipped into medication. What is the government’s obsession with keeping the people doped up? Complacency, perhaps?
Others are worried that tracking pills will be a step towards punishing patients who don’t comply with either medical or government demands to take drugs.
Ameet Sarpatwari, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School told The New York Times the digital pill “has the potential to improve public health. [But] if used improperly, it could foster more mistrust instead of trust.”
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE COULD HIJACK BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACES AND TAKE CONTROL OF OUR MINDS
BY ANTHONY CUTHBERTSON
November 8, 2017
Brain-computer interfaces (BCI), such as those being developed by Elon Musk’s Neuralink startup, risk being hijacked by a rogue artificial intelligence, experts have warned—meaning a person’s thoughts, decisions and emotions could be manipulated against their will by AI.
The warning comes in a comment piece in the scientific journal Nature this week written by 27 neuroscientists, ethicists and machine intelligence engineers.
The researchers use the hypothetical example of a paralysed man participating in a brain-computer interface trial who doesn’t like the research team working with him. Artificial intelligence reading his thoughts could take his dislike as a command to harm the researchers, despite no direct command being given by the paralysed man.
The researchers write: “Technological developments mean that we are on a path to a world in which it will be possible to decode people’s mental processes and directly manipulate the brain mechanisms underlying their intentions, emotions and decisions; where individuals can communicate with others simply by thinking; and where powerful computational systems linked directly to people’s brains facilitate their interactions with the world such that their mental and physical abilities are greatly enhanced.”
In order to protect against this, the group of researchers say there are four ethical priorities that need to be addressed: privacy and consent, agency and identity, augmentation, and bias.
The researchers estimate that more than a dozen companies that are currently working on some form of BCI technology, specifically mentioning Musk’s Neuralink startup that launched earlier this year.
Neuralink is developing a wireless brain-computer interface capable of uploading or downloading information to a computer in order to augment natural intelligence. Musk’s technology is based on the neural lace concept first described in the 1987 ‘Culture’ novels by science fiction author Iain M. Banks, who described a futuristic mesh that molds to the human brain so that neurons can be programmed.
If the potential of such technology is realized, it could lead to a new technological era for humanity. The researchers warn, however, that history indicates “profit hunting will often trump social responsibility” in this field. It is therefore vital to address the four ethical priorities to make sure the technology benefits rather than harms humanity.
“The possible clinical and societal benefits of neurotechnologies are vast,” the researchers conclude. “To reap them, we must guide their development in a way that respects, protects and enables what is best in humanity."
World's first human head transplant a success, controversial scientist claims
By Sarah Knapton, science editor, in vienna
The world's first human head transplant has been carried out on a corpse in China in an 18-hour operation that showed it was possible to successfully reconnect the spine, nerves and blood vessels.
At a press conference in Vienna on Friday morning, Italian Professor Sergio Canavero, director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, announced that a team at Harbin Medical University had "realised the first human head transplant" and said an operation on a live human will take place "imminently".
The operation was carried out by a team led by Dr Xiaoping Ren, who last year successfully grafted a head onto the body of a monkey.
Prof Canavero, said: "The first human transplant on human cadavers has been done. A full head swap between brain dead organ donors is the next stage.
Prince Charles blames ‘foreign’ Jews for Mideast unrest in 1986 letter
November 12, 2017
Prince Charles following Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’ induction ceremony as the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth at the St John’s Wood Synagogue in London, Sept. 1, 2013. (Stefan Rousseau/Pool/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM (JTA) — In a newly revealed letter from 1986, Prince Charles suggested the “influx of foreign, European Jews” was a cause of turmoil in the Middle East.
After a visit to the Gulf with Princess Diana, Charles wrote to a friend that he had gained greater insight into Arab’s hostility toward Israel, the Daily Mail reported Saturday. He suggested the arrival of Jews from Europe was a driver of terrorism.
“Also begin to understand their point of view about Israel. Never realized they see it as a US colony,” he wrote on Nov. 24, 1986. “I now appreciate that Arabs and Jews were all a Semitic people originally + it is the influx of foreign, European Jews (especially from Poland, they say) which has helped to cause great problems.”
In the next sentence, he said, “I know there are so many complex issues, but how can there ever be an end to terrorism unless the causes are eliminated?
Many Jews consider Israel part of their ancient homeland and reject suggestions that they are outsiders in it.
Charles, who was 38 years old at the time, ended the letter to explorer Laurens van der Post “naive” by expressing naive hope that a U.S. president would stand up to the “Jewish lobby.”
“Surely some US president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in US? I must be naive, I suppose,” he said.
Some see the term “Jewish lobby” as invoking anti-Semitic canards that paint Jews as nefarious outsiders who seek to manipulate their countries for their own ends.
Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, a British watchdog for hatred of Jews, called Charles’ letter “unmistakably antisemitic.”
“This letter is disturbing. It appears that our future king believed in 1986 that the ‘influx’ of Holocaust survivors to Israel were not ‘Semitic’, ’cause great problems’ including terrorism, and should be ‘eliminated’, presumably through their removal,” said the group’s chairman, Gideon Falter, in a statement Sunday. “The letter also appears to endorse the view that Israel is not simply the result of Jewish self-determination in the historic Jewish homeland, but the result of bullying by an all-powerful ‘Jewish lobby’ which holds US presidents in its clutches. We view these comments as unmistakably antisemitic.”
However, Falter said that since the letter was written, Charles “appears to have warmed to the Jewish community,” noting his friendship with Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, and his attendance of the inauguration of Emphraim Mirvis, Sacks successor as chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations.
“In order to reassure the worldwide Jewish community, including Jews living in Israel, that the heir to the throne has changed his views, these historic remarks must urgently be repudiated by Prince Charles,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Charles said he was not expressing his views in the letter but only recounting those he encountered during this trip.
“He was sharing the arguments in private correspondence with a long-standing friend in an attempt to improve his understanding of what he has always recognized is a deeply complex issue to which he was coming early on in his own analysis in 1986,” the spokeswoman said.
She also said Charles “has continued his study of the complex and difficult themes he referenced here” and defended his “proven track record of support for both Jewish and Arab communities around the world” and promotion of interfaith dialogue.
Despite numerous invitations over the years, no British royal has ever come to Israel on an official “royal tour.” Prince Charles attended the funerals of Israeli prime ministers Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, but did not hold diplomatic meetings.
New Silicon Valley Cyber Center to Tackle anti-Semitic Online Hate
New Silicon Valley 'command center' will use technology to fight Islamophobia, racism, and other hatreds that 'have exploded online'
November 13, 2017
The Anti-Defamation League is setting up a new center to combat what it calls "the growing threat of hate online." The center, which the New-York based organization described on Sunday as a "state-of-the-art command center in Silicon Valley," will work to monitor different forms of hate speech on the internet, and work on mechanisms to fight back against it.
"Now more than ever as anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other hatreds have exploded online, it’s critical that we are bringing best-in-class technology and resources to this fight. That’s why we will build this center in Silicon Valley," the group's CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, said on Sunday, during an appearance at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference. A press release by the organization said that funding for the project will come from the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic initiative.
According to a statement, "the center will employ the best technology and seasoned experts to monitor, track, analyze and mitigate hate speech and harassment across the internet, in support of the Jewish community and other minority groups."
The director of the new center will be Brittan Heller, a former Justice Department official who joined the ADL last September to focus on cyber issues. The organization did not provide a timeline for establishing the new center, but said that Heller and other ADL officials will work with "a wide range of stakeholders in Silicon Valley and beyond" over the coming months.
Last October, the organization published a report on anti-Semitism on Twitter, which detailed the clear rise in anti-Semitic attacks against American journalists on the popular social network. The report showed a particularly steep rise in the spread of anti-Semitic content on Twitter between January and July of 2016, possibly as a result of the U.S. election.
That report was one of a handful of recent studies to focus on how anti-Semitism played out on social media over the past year. It highlighted that more than two-thirds of the hate speech directed at Jewish-American journalists on Twitter came from a group of roughly 1,600 users, who in most cases identified as supporters of Donald Trump and of the far-right. One of the findings of that study was that Twitter only suspended 21 percent of the accounts responsible for majority of the anti-Semitic hate being spread on the platform.
Greenblatt said on Sunday that the new center will be "a natural extension of the cyber hate work ADL has been doing for decades and builds on the new presence we established last year in the Valley to collaborate even closer on the threat with the tech industry."
Putin: Russia-Turkey Relations Restored Almost in Full
November 13, 2017
The presidents of Russia and Turkey held talks in the Russian resort of Sochi on Monday to discuss regional issues including the Syrian crisis.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Vladimir Putin said that Russia-Turkey ties "could be considered to be almost fully restored," while President Erdogan said that the bilateral ties are developing "every single minute."
The Russian president, who arrived in Sochi to meet his Turkish counterpart, noted that trade turnover between the two nations has grown by a third during the first eight months of the current year after a fall in 2016. He added that Russia and Turkey are cooperating on a number of regional and international issues, including the settlement of the Syrian crisis.
Putin also thanked Erdogan and noted that the two countries continue the high-profile meetings, expressing the confidence that the current gathering will be successful.
The relations between the two nations have experienced a number of ups and downs in recent years after a Russian warplane was shot down by Turkey in 2015.
(“Behold, I am against thee, Rhos prince of Mesoch and Thobel: 4 and I will gather thee, and all thine host, horses and horsemen, all wearing breast-plates, with a great multitude, shields and helmets and swords: 5 Persians, and Ethiopians, and Libyans; all with helmets and shields. 6 Gomer, and all belonging to him; the house of Thorgama, from the end of the north, and all belonging to him; and many nations with thee.” Ezekiel 38:3-6)
Radiation near Tokyo spiked to 100,000,000 times normal after Fukushima — “Intensive contamination” hit Tokyo area… “Extremely high” levels detected — Info about radioactive contamination hidden from public
November 16, 2017
PLOS, Nov 14, 2017 (emphasis added): Radioactive contamination in the Tokyo metropolitan area in the early stage of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident and its fluctuation over five years
The activity and inventory of radioactive material in the eastern part of Tokyo tended to be high… The radioactive plume with high 131I activity spread into the Tokyo metropolitan area…
Almost no public information about the radioactive contamination in the Tokyo metropolitan area and Kanto district had been shared…
The plume containing a large amount of radioactive material drifted into the Tokyo metropolitan area… where over 30 million residents live… [Publications] include almost no discussion of the fact that radioactive materials were carried into the Tokyo metropolitan area…
The contamination level was extremely high in a roadside ditch sludge in Kashiwa City…
The quantity of 134+137Cs deposited in the region studied was estimated… from values measured in the soil, it was estimated as 5.35 TBq…
High activities and inventories of the radionuclides were found in eastern Tokyo and northern Chiba… The contamination was even higher in the adjoining northern part of Chiba located east of Tokyo…
The results reveal that the Tokyo metropolitan area even now continues to be affected by radioactive contamination caused by the FDNPP accident…
Gordon Edwards, Ph.D, nuclear expert, 2017 (pdf): Intensive contamination extends over 200 km south – right down to the outskirts of Tokyo
IRSN, 2016 (pdf): Fukushima-Daiichi Accident: Main contamination events… Event of 14-16 March – This event is marked by turning winds and by a rainfall that generated significant contamination of the Japanese territory. On the evening of the 14th of March, a first radioactive plume was transported by winds towards the southwest… and reached the Tokyo area. At Tsukuba, 153 Bq/m3 were measured…
** 153 Bq/m3 = 153,000,000 uBq/m3 Cs-137 in Tsukuba after Fukushima vs. 1.2 uBq/m3 Cs-137 in Tsukuba before Fukushima (source) = 127,500,000 times higher Cs-137 after Fukushima
After 37 years, rule of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe appears to be ending
Army has Mugabe and his wife Grace in custody, but denies this is a military takeover
The Associated Press Posted: Nov 15, 2017 5:06 AM ET Last Updated: Nov 15, 2017 9:56 PM ET
An armed soldier patrols a street in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Wednesday. The future of the country remains uncertain. (Associated Press)
Zimbabwe's military controls the capital Harare and the state broadcaster and is holding President Robert Mugabe, 93, and his wife under house arrest. It appears that the world's oldest head of state has been deposed by a coup.
The military is at pains, however, to say it didn't stage a military takeover, instead starting a process to restore Zimbabwe's democracy.
After 37 years, the military seems to have brought an end to Mugabe's long reign in what the army's supporters praised as a "bloodless correction." South Africa and other neighbouring countries have sent leaders to negotiate with Mugabe and the generals to encourage the transition.
Citizens in Zimbabwe's tidy capital, Harare, contributed to the feeling of a smooth change by carrying on with their daily lives, walking past the army's armoured personnel carriers to go to work and to shops.
Tanks blocked roads after dark Wednesday night and soldiers with automatic weapons kept up their patrols, but the situation appeared calm.
The chairperson of the African Union Commission has told reporters in Washington that Mugabe and his wife are "safe in the country."
The comments by Moussa Faki Mahamat at the National Press Clubwere shared on Twitter by a spokesperson for the continental body. There had been questions over whether first lady Grace Mugabe had left Zimbabwe.
The AU leader also says a delegation from the 15-nation Southern African Development Community is already in Harare as authorities seek to meet with Mugabe and the army.
Many who have never known any leader but Mugabe waited, as usual, in long lines at banks to draw limited amounts of cash, a result of this once-prosperous country's plummeting economy.
"I am just following what is happening on WhatsApp but I am still in the dark about what is happening," said Felix Tsanganyiso, who sells mobile airtime vouchers. "So far so good; we are going about our business without harassment. My plea is that whoever takes over should sort out the economy. We are tired of living like this."
First lady unpopular
The whiplash developments followed Mugabe firing his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, last week, which appeared to position the first lady, Grace Mugabe, to replace him as one of the country's two vice presidents at a party conference next month.
But the first lady is unpopular among many Zimbabweans for her lavish spending on mansions, cars and jewels. Last month she went to court to sue a diamond dealer for not supplying her with a 100-carat diamond that she said she had paid for.
Grace Mugabe, 52, has been known as the leader of the G40, a group of cabinet ministers and officials in their 40s and 50s who are too young to have fought in Zimbabwe's war to end white-minority rule in Rhodesia.
When Mnangagwa was fired, the generals and war veterans felt they were being sidelined and took action to stop that, analysts say.
Mnangagwa's whereabouts were not clear Wednesday, with some sources saying he is in Zimbabwe.
'The old man should be allowed to rest'
Critics of the government urged Mugabe to go quietly. "The old man should be allowed to rest," former Zimbabwe finance minister and current activist Tendai Biti told South African broadcaster eNCA.
On Monday the army commander made an unprecedented statement criticizing Mugabe for pushing aside veterans of the liberation war. The following day, the ruling party condemned the army leader for "treasonable conduct."
On Tuesday evening the army sent armoured personnel carriers into Harare and soon seized control of the state broadcaster and other strategic points, including Mugabe's residence.
Overnight, at least three explosions were heard in Harare. Military vehicles were seen in the streets.
Mugabe's security 'guaranteed'
Early Wednesday, in a televised address to the nation, Major General Sibusiso Moyo said the army had "guaranteed" the safety of Mugabe and his wife, but added the military would target "criminals" around Mugabe, probably referring to the first lady's G40 group.
He urged other security forces to "co-operate for the good of our country," warning that "any provocation will be met with an appropriate response."
In the clip below, the CBC's Margaret Evans, who spent time reporting in Zimbabwe earlier this year, spoke to The National's Andrew Chang about the implications of a potential coup.
Local media reported South Africa's defence and state security ministers, dispatched by President Jacob Zuma as regional envoys, arrived in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, on Wednesday night and were expected to meet both Mugabe and the military. Their ultimate goal was not clear.
Zuma earlier called for "calm and restraint" and asked the defence forces "to ensure that peace and stability are not undermined in Zimbabwe."
Who will rule Zimbabwe should be established in the coming days.
"There is a soft transition underway," said Zimbabwean analyst Alex Rusero. "The whole idea is that the military has always been the chief broker in [Mugabe's ruling party] ZANU-PF … but there were attempts to sideline the military by G40 and [the military] are reasserting their position."
'Lipstick on the pig'
Mnangagwa may well be installed as a transitional leader to return Zimbabwe to constitutional rule, Rusero said.
Zimbabwe may enter a period of negotiation to get Mugabe to step down voluntarily, said Piers Pigou, southern Africa consultant for the International Crisis Group, who also suggested that Mnangagwa may be an interim leader.
"Zimbabwe could have some kind of inclusive government and some kind of democratic process, possibly leading to elections," Pigou said.
"It's clearly a coup d'etat, but typical of Zimbabwe, the military is trying to put a veneer of legality on the process … It is part of the theatre that Zimbabwe is so good at, to try to make things look orderly and democratic. South African and other neighbouring countries may be brought in to help put some lipstick on the pig."
War veterans praise army
The army has been praised by the nation's war veterans for carrying out "a bloodless correction of gross abuse of power." The military will return Zimbabwe to "genuine democracy" and make the country a "modern model nation," Chris Mutsvangwa, chairman of the influential war veterans' association, told The Associated Press in Johannesburg.
That organization's secretary general, Victor Matemadanda, says the veterans stand with the army and Mugabe should be recalled as president and ruling party leader.
Matemadanda told reporters in Harare that the country has been sliding into a "state of chaos."
He said the ruling party should establish a commission of inquiry into Mugabe and why he decided to let his wife insult veterans and the Armed Forces.
Human rights violations
Mugabe has long been accused of human rights violations, including increasing crackdowns on dissent, amid a deteriorating economy.
"Police abuse increased, and there was excessive use of force to crush dissent," New York-based Human Rights Watch said in its latest reporton the country.
"Human rights defenders, civil society activists, journalists and government opponents were harassed, threatened or faced arbitrary arrest by police. Widespread impunity continues for abuses by police and state security agents."
UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed "the importance of resolving political differences through peaceful means and dialogue, and in line with the country's constitution."
Haq wouldn't speculate on what's going to happen in Zimbabwe, saying "at this stage there's a bit of confusion on the ground."
Haq added that "we are aware that our colleagues in Harare have been able to go about their work."
Diaspora expresses cautious optimism
Several million Zimbabweans fled the country, mostly to South Africa, after the economy shrank by more than a third from 2000 to 2008 following the collapse of the agriculture sector. Unemployment rose to over 80 per cent.
Many in the diaspora said they were happy to see change back home at last.
"I think it's a step in the right direction for a political situation which was now a joke," said Kevin Mpofu, 28. "The arrests that have happened so far are a celebration for many Zimbabweans tired of the corruption and abuse of power."
A 30-year-old Zimbabwean working as a marketing officer in South Africa who gave his name as Billy said it was "about time, but it might be 20 years too late."
He worried that one strongman might follow another: "It may be hard in future to remove that person as well. We might have another 37 years ahead of us of a single person."
Turks follow Erdogan's call to get rid of dollars & buy gold
15 November 2017
© Enny Nuraheni / Reuters
The latest World Gold Council report shows Turkey has sharply ramped up gold buying with both the central bank and ordinary people joining the rush.
“Bar and coin purchases, a measure of investment demand, were 47 metric tons so far in 2017, compared with 14.8 tons in the same period a year ago,” ZeroHedge quotes the report as saying.
The Turkish central bank has bought almost 30.4 tons of gold this year. The surge in buying is reportedly triggered by state measures aimed at diversifying international reserves in light of rising tensions between Turkey and its traditional Western allies the US and Europe.
A year ago, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the Turkish public to keep savings in gold and avoid the US dollar, urging the central bank to back that policy.
At the same time, the exchange value of the Turkish lira has dropped 15 percent since the beginning of October. The plunge inevitably makes the national currency increasingly unattractive as a savings vehicle.
Most emerging market currencies have been under pressure, but the US-Turkey row, escalated by tit-for-tat travel and visa restrictions, has boosted speculation.
Meanwhile, global demand for gold continues to slump. It dropped nine percent to 915 metric tons in the third quarter of this year, the lowest level since 2009. The decline was reportedly caused by a softer quarter in the jewelry industry, and lower inflows into exchange-traded funds.
China Urges India to Reconsider Joining Belt and Road Initiative
10 November 2017
New Delhi objects to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC), which is a major strand of the BRI and passes through the Gilgit-Baltistan region that is currently administered by Pakistan, but which India claims as its own.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — A day after Russia urged China and India to resolve their disagreements over the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson asked India to set aside its objections to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC) and take advantage of the trillion-dollar infrastructure initiative, which Beijing claims has widespread international support.
"India is quite wavering on the issue of the Belt and Road Initiative…. We remain quite open and inclusive to cooperation involving the BRI. The BRI will bring benefits to more countries along the BRI. We have also said many times that the CPEC corridor is an economic cooperation. It is not targeted at any third country and does not involve territorial disputes," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in response to a query on Russia's move.
India was among a few countries that had not attended the BRI Summit organized in Beijing in May this year. The BRI is an ambitious plan to connect Asia, Africa and Europe through a maze of roads and waterways and personally backed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"No country can accept a project (OBOR, CPEC) that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity," India's foreign ministry had said in mid-May this year.
The recently concluded 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) amended the party's Constitution to include the promotion of the BRI as one of the major future objectives.
Experts say the BRI's inclusion in the Chinese Constitution is not a minor development, especially in the context of tension between India and China over the CPEC.
"The BRI's inclusion in the Chinese Constitution clearly means it will be pursued more vigorously, more than ever before and with President Xi Jinping securing his second term in the 19th CPC. We also need to understand that President Xi has now consolidated his position as well with even his name included in the Constitution along with founder Mao Ze Dong and another great Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Xi's whole ideological thought process will now remain etched in the Chinese Constitution and the BRI is part of that," Dr Swaran Singh, a professor with the School of International Studies at JNU, told Sputnik.
India is not fully out of the BRI; it is taking part in discussions and working groups that are linked to the mega-infrastructure project. However, it has made its objections clear against the CPEC, which passes through the Gilgit-Baltistan region, a disputed territory between India and Pakistan.
"Despite Chinese assertion, the fact that the economic corridor passing through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and referred as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a change of stance on Beijing's part," Dr Swaran Singh added.
Farage: Soros and EU Allies Engaged in ‘The Biggest Level of International Political Collusion in History’
by JACK MONTGOMERY14 Nov 2017
Speaking in a debate on the Paradise Papers in the European Parliament, the UKIP MEP pointed out that the financier had funded the exposé.
“I say this at a time when the use of money and the influence it may have had on the Brexit result or the Trump election has reached a level of virtual hysteria,” he said.
“Just last week the Electoral Commission in the UK launched an investigation to find out whether the Leave campaign took offshore money or Russian money.
“This came about as a result of questions asked in the House of Commons by one Ben Bradshaw, somebody linked to an organisation called Open Society.
“I just wonder when we’re talking about offshore money, when we’re talking about political subversion, when we’re talking about collusion, I wonder whether we’re looking in the wrong place.
“And I say that because George Soros recently gave Open Society, his organisation, which of course campaigns for free movement of peoples and supports supranational structures like the European Union, he recently gave it 18 billion dollars.
“And his influence here, and in Brussels, is truly extraordinary.”
“Open Society boasts that they had 42 forty-two meetings last year with the European Commisision. They’ve even published a book of ‘reliable’ friends in the European Parliament and there are 226 names on that list — including yours, sir! I thought you’d find this interesting!” he told a heckling MEP.
“We even had last week [Guy] Verhofstadt lobbying on behalf of Mr. Soros, at the Conference of Presidents in a battle that is going on with Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary.”
“If we’re going to have a debate, and we’re going to talk about full political and financial transperency, well, let’s do it!
“So I shall be writing today to all 226 of you, asking some pretty fair questions:
“Have you ever received funds, directly or indirectly, from Open Society?
“How many of their events have you attended?
“Could you please give us a list of the meetings of all the representatives [you have met], including George Soros [himself]?”
“I think this parliament should now set up a special committee to look into all of this,” he concluded.
“And I say this because I fear we could be looking at the biggest level of international political collusion in history.”
Nationalist protesters disrupt Poland independence day events
By Matthew Day, for CNN
Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT) November 12, 2017
Warsaw, Poland (CNN)Tens of thousands of nationalist protesters disrupted Poland's independence day events Saturday, waving flags and burning flares as they marched down the streets of Warsaw.
Demonstrators carried banners that read "White Europe, Europe must be white," and "Pray for an Islamic Holocaust."
Some wore masks and waved red and white Polish flags, chanting "Death to enemies of the homeland," and "Catholic Poland, not secular."
Police estimate that 60,000 people took part in the nationalist demonstration. While the vast majority were Poles, other protesters came from all over Europe.
One of the lead organizations behind the nationalists march is the National Radical Camp, which has previously taken to the streets to protest against Muslim immigration,gay rights, the EU and anything it considers undermines Polish Catholic values.
Tens of thousands attended the march in Warsaw.
While support for the group remains small, its critics argue that the Polish government, which has struck a nationalistic tone and linked immigrants to crime and disease, has fostered an atmosphere of intolerance and xenophobia that has emboldened it.
Earlier on Saturday, the Polish capital had seen a far smaller demonstration by groups condemning the protesters' hijacking of Polish independence day, which falls on November 11.
The day celebrates the re-birth of Poland in November 1918, 123 years after the Prussian, Habsburg and Russian empires carved up Poland among themselves and erased it from the map of Europe.
But in the past few years, the holiday has been overshadowed by the far-right march and fears of violence.
Polish President Andrzej Duda led the formal celebrations of Polish independence day in central Warsaw. After laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier, he told the crowd to remember the price of freedom and independence.
Nuclear accident alert after high levels of radiation over Europe — “Major release” of radioactive material reported; Over 100 Trillion becquerels — Official: “An unusual isotope… I don’t think we have seen it since Chernobyl”
Published: November 11th, 2017 at 7:05 am ET
Telegraph, Nov 10, 2017 (emphasis added): Nuclear ‘accident’ sends radioactive pollution over Europe — A cloud of radioactive pollution spread over Europe after a possible “accident” at a nuclear facility in Russia or Kazakhstan, French nuclear safety officials confirmed on Friday… At the source of the leak, the quantity of ruthenium 106 released was “major”, between 100 and 300 teraBecquerels, it said… Measurement from European stations showed high levels of ruthenium 106 in the atmosphere… A spokeswoman for the Russian Emergencies Ministry told Reuters she could not immediately comment.
News Corp Australia, Nov 11, 2017: Unexplained radiation cloud detected over Europe traced to Russia, Kazakhstan… Europe’s radiation experts are on alert…
Reuters, Nov 9, 2017: French institute suspects nuclear accident in Russia or Kazakhstan in September — A cloud of radioactive pollution over Europe in recent weeks indicates that an accident has happened in a nuclear facility in Russia or Kazakhstan in the last week of September, French nuclear safety institute IRSN said…
NPR, Nov 10, 2017: European authorities are providing new details about a cloud of mysteriousradioactive material… 28 European countries saw the radioactive cloud, the report says… [Jean-Christophe Gariel, director for health at the IRSN, said France] will conduct random checks of foodstuffs from the region… “It’s an unusual isotope,” says Anders Ringbom, the research director of the Swedish Defence Research Agency, which runs radioactive monitoring for that nation. “I don’t think we have seen it since the Chernobyl accident“…
Fox News, Nov 10, 2017: Officials in Europe said they began detecting unusually high levels of ruthenium 106… The IRSN immediately “mobilized all its means of radiological monitoring of the atmosphere and conducted regular analysis of the filters from its monitoring stations”…
AP, Nov 10, 2017: Russia named as likely source of Europe radioactivity spike — An apparent accident at a Russian facility is suspected of causing a recent spike in radioactivity in the air over much of Europe… [IRSN] suggested random checks on food imports from the region…
DW, Nov 10, 2017: The IRSN… said on Thursday that in recent weeks it and several other nuclear safety institutes in Europe had measured high levels of ruthenium 106… The IRSN estimated that the quantity of ruthenium 106 released was major, between 100 and 300 teraBecquerels…
Missing explorer Benedict Allen in Papua New Guinea searching for tribe of headhunters
Richard Hartley-Parkinson for Metro.co.uk
15 November 2017
The last picture he posted on Twitter as he set off for Papua New Guinea
Explorer Benedict Allen has gone missing after attempting to find an indigenous tribe in Papua New Guinea, it is reported. The 57-year-old, who has previously recorded series for the BBC and written books on exploration, was on a journey to rediscover the Yaifo tribe. In a post on his website before setting off titled ‘I may be some time’, adding ‘don’t try to rescue me, please – where I’m going in [Papua New Guinea] you won’t ever find me you know…) Mr Allen said he was looking to meet with the tribe 30 years after discovering them for the first time. He said: ‘No outsider has made the journey to visit them since the rather perilous journey I made as a young man three decades ago. ‘This would make them the remotest people in Papua New Guinea, and one of the last people on the entire planet who are out-of-contact with our interconnected world.’
A helicopter dropped Mr Allen off at Bisorio without a satellite phone, GPS or companion and he was due back in the country’s capital Port Moresby on Sunday to travel to Hong Kong. His agent Joanna Sarsby told the Daily Mail his wife Lenka was ‘very worried’. She added: ‘He is a highly experienced explorer, very clever and resourceful and adept at surviving in the most hostile places on Earth, and he would never give up. He may not be a young man any more but he is very fit. ‘He was trying to reach the Yaifo people, a very remote and reclusive tribe – possibly headhunters, quite a scary bunch. Goodness knows what has happened. ‘I just imagine he might have been taken ill or is lying injured somewhere, perhaps with a broken leg, and maybe being helped by locals. He never takes a phone with him – he believes in living like the locals. For him not to come back is really odd.’
She Took On Colombia’s Soda Industry. Then She Was Silenced.
By Andrew Jacobs and Matt Richtel
Nov. 13, 2017
BOGOTÁ, Colombia–It began with menacing phone calls, strange malfunctions of the office computers, and men in parked cars photographing the entrance to the small consumer advocacy group’s offices.
Then at dusk one day last December, Dr. Esperanza Cerón, the head of the organization, said she noticed two strange men on motorcycles trailing her Chevy sedan as she headed home from work. She tried to lose them in Bogotá’s rush-hour traffic, but they edged up to her car and pounded on the windows.
“If you don’t keep your mouth shut,” one man shouted, she recalled in a recent interview, “you know what the consequences will be.”
The episode, which Dr. Cerón reported to federal investigators, was reminiscent of the intimidation often used against those who challenged the drug cartels that once dominated Colombia. But the narcotics trade was not the target of Dr. Cerón and her colleagues. Their work had upset a different multibillion-dollar industry: the makers of soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages.
Their organization, Educar Consumidores, was the most visible proponent of a proposed 20 percent tax on sugary drinks that was heading for a vote that month in Colombia’s Legislature. The group had raised money, rallied allies to the cause and produced a provocative television ad that warned consumers how sugar-laden beverages can lead to obesity and diet-related illnesses like diabetes.
The backlash was fierce. A Colombian government agency, responding to a complaint by the nation’s leading soda company that called the ad misleading, ordered it off the air. Then the agency went further: It prohibited Dr. Cerón and her colleagues from publicly discussing the health risks of sugar, under penalty of a $250,000 fine.
The battle over taxing sugar-sweetened beverages is becoming one of the world’s most ferocious policy brawls–a clash of science, politics and money in dozens of countries and cities.
“The industry sees sugary-drink taxes as an existential threat,” said Dr. James Krieger, executive director of Healthy Food America, which tracks beverage tax initiatives. In the United States, the industry has spent at least $107 million at the state and local levels since 2009 to beat back soda taxes and beverage warning labels, a new study found. Compared to the domestic tactics, Dr. Krieger said, overseas, “it’s much dirtier, much more bare-knuckled.”
The harassment of Dr. Cerón and her colleagues was never proven to be carried out by the industry, and federal prosecutors declined to investigate. In response to questions from The New York Times, Coke and Pepsi said they were not involved, and Postobón, the soda company that filed the complaint about the organization’s ad, deferred comment to The National Business Association of Colombia. The association, which represented national and international beverage makers on the soda tax issue, said it had nothing to do with the episodes.
The International Council of Beverages Associations, the parent organization of trade groups around the world fighting the taxes, would not directly answer the question about whether its allies in Colombia were connected to the alleged harassment, but it condemned such actions.
The experience in Colombia may be the most extreme, but a juggernaut of industry opposition has killed or stalled soda tax proposals around the globe, including in Russia, Germany, Israel and New Zealand.
Nevertheless, the idea is gaining momentum; such levies have been enacted in 30 countries, including India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, Britain and Brunei. More than a billion people now live in places where such taxes have driven up the price of sugar-sweetened beverages.
The battles have been particularly intense in emerging markets as the industry seeks to make up for falling soda consumption in wealthier nations. Latin America has surpassed the United States as the world’s biggest soft-drink market, according to the World Health Organization, with sales of carbonated soft drinks doubling there since 2000 while they declined in the United States.
The beverage industry asserts that soda taxes unfairly burden the poor, cause higher unemployment by squeezing industry sales, and fail to achieve their policy goal: reducing obesity. Studies of soda taxes have shown they lead to a drop in sales of sugar-sweetened beverages–a 10 percent sales decline, for example, over the first two years of Mexico’s tax–however, such measures are so new that there is not yet evidence of their impact on health.
“Slapping a tax on our products and walking away won’t do anything about obesity in this country or globally,” said William Dermody, spokesman for the American Beverage Association, an industry trade group.
But public health organizations, including the W.H.O., cite soda taxes as one of the most effective policy tools for cutting consumption of what nutritionists call a “liquid candy” that has contributed to an epidemic of obesity and related health conditions around the world. Dr. Kathryn Backholer, an expert on the issue at Deakin University in Australia, said taxes on soda were “low-hanging fruit” in the fight against obesity, diabetes and other weight-related diseases because such drinks are easily categorized to tax and sensible to target because they “have little or no nutritional value.”
Dr. Backholer and other experts said the turning point for soda tax proponents came in 2014, when Mexico–Coca-Cola’s biggest consumer market by per capita consumption–approved a 10 percent tax.
Mexico also showcased how dirty the fight could get.
Last year, numerous advocates of a proposal to double Mexico’s tax to 20 percent received strings of upsetting and fraudulent texts from unknown numbers. One man got a message saying his daughter had been seriously injured; another found a text saying his wife was having an affair; a third received a link to a funeral home. Spyware was found on the phones. The proposal failed.
Elsewhere in the world, soda companies have assiduously worked their government connections and economic clout. In internal company emails leaked to an American watchdog group last year, Coke executives described strategies for winning over government ministers and other officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ecuador, Portugal, and regions of Spain.
The Australian Beverages Council wrote in its 2016 annual report that fighting a soft drinks tax “has been consuming vast amounts of resources,” and that “our learnings from other markets through our international network tells us that these types of threats must be constantly challenged before they get before a parliament for debate.”
next week...keep on believing.
shall be fully satisfied with the fatness of thine house; and thou
shalt cause them to drink of the full stream of thy delights.”
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