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Sott.net E-mail Edition for Sat, 31 Dec 2016

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Saturday, 31 December 2016

SOTT Focus

Real News Trumps Fake News! SOTT’s Annual Fundraiser: Get your SOTT Calendar!

Sott.net
2016-12-02 09:19:00

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Dear Readers,

The end of 2016 is approaching, and if you’ve been following SOTT closely, you’ll know that this has been a year full of surprises! The world keeps changing, and us with it. The planet has been speaking loud and clear, as you can see in our monthly weather videos, and the sociopolitical stage had some surprises in store.

This year could be described as a year of division and polarization. From the US elections, to the debate over « progressive liberal ideologies », people seem to be making a choice, for better or for worse. Some are aligning themselves with the increasingly blatant lies peddled by the mainstream media and the pathological governments of our world, and some have taken a stand against those lies and are reaching a point where they finally see that there is something terribly wrong with the version of reality with which they are presented. More than minorities vs. majorities of all kinds, that is perhaps the biggest division: the choice between aligning oneself with lies or truth. We think that many of our readers have naturally chosen the latter, and we hope that that knowledge will always protect you.

The recent fraudulent « Fake News Furor » emphasizes this Truth vs. Lies factor; indeed, SOTT.NET was defamed by The Washington Post along with many other respectable Alt News sites, some not so respectable, and some of dubious origins. As our attorney wrote in a demand for retraction letter,

…SOTT is one of the accused organizations in a PropOrNot report referenced by the Post, which, contrary to Fake News’ claim that the report had not been published, was available on the Internet well before Fake News ran. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, SOTT’s tax returns are publicly available and transparent, such that allegations of Russian government support due would have been known as false given even casual inquiry by your publication. …

Your identification of SOTT as a « fake news site » and as an agent for Russian propaganda designed to undermine American democracy is defamatory per se. You accuse SOTT of spreading « Russian-backed phony news to outcompete traditional news organizations for audience. » These serious allegations have caused and will continue to cause great harm to SOTT, including but not limited to damage to policy impact and reputation, diversion of scarce reporting and managerial resources to respond to concerned inquires and debunk this smear, loss of readers, and damage to the site’s financial sustainability. Moreover, writers and editors associated with SOTT face ridicule, emotional distress, loss of reputation, and risk to future career advancement, including for example, difficulty passing background and security checks. …

Your article did not provide even a single example of « fake news » allegedly distributed or promoted by SOTT or indeed any of the other 200-plus sites on the PropOrNot blacklist….

As our readers know, and as emphasized by our attorney above, SOTT.NET is TOTALLY reader supported and anyone can view our non-profit tax returns to verify this claim. We don’t carry ANY paid advertising and we are beholden to no one except YOU, the reader, and our consciences (something that seems to be seriously in want at MSM news sites.) Obviously, we may have a legal battle ahead of us and that means we need your support more than ever as we sail into these turbulent waters of attempts to totally stifle free speech. With your help, we won’t go down without a fight!

We should also tell you that those of us here at SOTT who daily monitor the news in order to bring together the most complete picture of the « State of the Planet » often find it difficult to keep going in the face of the apparent lack of hope in spite of the confidence that some have in the abilities of Donald Trump to get the USA back on course. We are painfully aware of the struggle that must take place in order to right the wrongs and set things back on a positive footing; we are also aware that it will have to be a decision of the masses, not just 10% or 20% or 48% of the people. And that is why it is so important to continue to share knowledge. As conditions across all spheres of life continue to degrade, there will inevitably be more pain and suffering. With that, there will be more and more people who, having believed the chaos would never enter their lives, find that this is not the case: chaos is coming everywhere; and that makes it ever more important that we continue to fire the lighthouse for as long as we can.

Saying goodbye to the year 2016, we’d like to tell you a little bit about our accomplishments, since you may not be aware of them all. We have reason to be proud of our stamina and perseverance, and much more reason to be thankful for you, our readers and supporters, who make it all possible because, frankly, if we did not receive so many messages of thanks and support, we would have no hope either! There is always much more we can do, but this year, just as we thought our plates were too full, thanks to our readers’ support, and the impetus from many new volunteers around the world, we did even more!

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Rise of the War Harpies: The Women Destroying our World

Aeneas Georg
Sott.net
2016-12-28 20:20:00

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The biggest problem besetting the psychopathic elite in their push for global domination is that normal human beings don’t want war. Most people, for the most part, just want to live a peaceful life with their family and friends. So how do you sell something as unpalatable as war? There are several options, which can be used alone, or in combination:

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Puppet Masters

Obama, congressional Democrats hell-bent on keeping Obamacare for 22M Americans

RT
2016-12-30 23:51:00

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Millions of Americans ‒ more than 22 million of them ‒ are wondering what will become of Obamacare in the new year. President-elect Donald Trump has been anything but clear about his plans, but President Barack Obama and Democrats may have an idea.

The outgoing president will confer with Democratic lawmakers about how to proceed with his signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also dubbed « Obamacare »), on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, the day after the 115th Congress is sworn in. The meeting is expected to last « at least one hour, » according to guidance provided by the White House and released to multiple news outlets.

Obama will use the time to « share his perspective about the dangers posed by Congressional Republicans’ stated strategy to repeal the [Affordable Care Act] before proposing any replacement, creating chaos in the health system in the short run — and holding hostage Americans’ health care — while Republicans develop their plan, » the guidance said.

Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have repeatedly pledged to repeal large parts of Obamacare early next year, citing rising health insurance premiums, among other things. It was a promise that may have helped Trump win the election, as voters expressed their dismay that Obamacare premiums were expected to jump 25 percent in 2017. The White House announced the increases about two weeks before Election Day.

Comment: Insurance companies could be back in charge, changes to policies, more products with subpar coverage. Public options always come secondary to Big Biz and Big Government. And, the population is getting more unhealthy every day.
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White House expels chef from Russian Embassy

Sputnik
2016-12-31 01:25:00

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Not only has the White House banned Russian diplomats from a Maryland « spy compound » which is actually a vacation retreat, the Obama administration has expelled a chef from the Russian Embassy in San Francisco, forcing diplomats and their families to cook for themselves.

The consul general of the embassy, Sergey Petrov, confirmed to the Associated Press that the chef is among four diplomats who have been kicked out of the San Francisco embassy. The move means that this New Year’s Eve, « we’ll have to cook ourselves, » Petrov said.

The 31 other Russian diplomats that are being kicked out of the country are from the Washington DC embassy. Seven family members will also be leaving with the diplomats, three of whom are children. They « have to leave within hours, and it’s just not human, frankly, » Petrov added. « They are bitter because they have to leave before their term expired, » he said.

As Sputnik reported yesterday, the US also shut down a vacation retreat center in Maryland « where families grilled burgers, hot dogs, and maybe even nuclear-Russian shish kebobs. »

While Russian President Vladimir Putin is being praised by US President-elect Donald Trump for his refusal to retaliate against the outgoing administration, it is clear that, for the next few weeks, the White House does not want Russian diplomats or their families to enjoy their time in the nation.

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Merkel: Attacks by refugees ‘bitter & repulsive,’ Islamic terrorism ‘most serious test’ for Germany

RT
2016-12-31 21:15:00

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted there is « no doubt » the recent spate of terrorist attacks that hit the country was the most challenging test it had to undergo this year. Refugee attackers « mocked » the readiness to help those in need, she added in her New Year’s address.

« The most serious test is undoubtedly Islamic terrorism, which has been targeting Germans for many years. In 2016, it attacked us in the middle of our country, » Merkel said, referring to Islamic State (IS, ISIS/ISIL)-linked attacks in Wurzburg and Ansbach in July and to the recent attack on a Christmas market by Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri in Berlin.

The attack on a wine bar in the Bavarian city of Ansbach, which left 15 people wounded, was perpetrated by a Syrian refugee, who, like Amri, pledged allegiance to ISIS. In Wurzburg, a knife-wielding asylum seeker from Pakistan went on a rampage on a train, wounding five on July 18, in an attack also claimed by Islamic State.

The fact that these atrocities were committed by the people who were supposed to be seeking Germany’s protection is a huge blow not only to the nation’s ideals but also for asylum seekers and refugees who genuinely want to live in peace, Merkel said.

« It is particularly bitter and repulsive when terrorist attacks are committed by people who are supposed to seek shelter in our country. Who, exactly for this reason, have experienced our country’s willingness to help and now mock this [willingness] with their deeds, » Merkel said.

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Russian deminers in Syria clear 2,650 acres, neutralize 16,000 explosives in one month

Sputnik
2016-12-30 20:04:00

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Russian field engineers have performed mine-clearing operations in an area around 2,650 acres, neutralizing ore than 16,000 explosives in less than a month, the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday.

The ministry’s International Mine Action Center unit departed to Syria for its mine removal campaign on December 2.

« Overall since December 5, 2016, Russian deminers cleared land with the total area of 1,072 hectares [2,648 acres], more than 400 kilometers of roads [248 miles] and around 2,200 buildings, » the ministry said in a social media post.

It added that more than 16,000 explosive objects have been neutralized in that period.

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Le Figaro: « Putin makes a mockery of Obama’s sanctions »

Translated by Tom Winter
Fort Russ News/ Le Figaro
2016-12-31 20:30:00

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What a slap for Obama! It is a maneuver that is both clever, noble and powerful. A Christmas miracle! No one had so humiliated Obama.

Putin mocks Obama’s sanctions

The Russian president has refused to apply the usual reciprocity and to expel American diplomats in return. On the contrary, he invited their children to the Noël in the Kremlin.

Vladimir Putin, a fan of « asymmetrical » answers, on Friday rejected his Foreign Minister’s proposal to apply the usual reciprocity for the expulsion of diplomats. Mingling the serious with the derisive, the Russian president described the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats as « another unfriendly gesture of the outgoing American administration » and a « provocation to further destabilize Russian-American relations. »

Further on, he adds, contemptuously refusing to « go down to the level of kitchens », he would prefer « to orient (his) policy on that of the future Administration of Donald Trump. » Any eventual retaliatory measures are postponed. Vladimir Putin chooses to remain in the living room of the Kremlin, where, magnanimous, he invites « all the children of the American diplomats accredited in Russia around the Christmas tree. »

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UN Security Council unanimously approves Russian-drafted resolution on Syria ceasefire

RT
2016-12-31 20:14:00

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The UN Security Council has unanimously passed a resolution drafted by Russia that endorses a nationwide Syrian ceasefire, which was earlier brokered by Moscow and Ankara.

The draft resolution prepared by Russia was officially presented to the UNSC on Friday, a day after Moscow sent the texts of two agreements signed by the Syrian government and seven armed opposition groups to the UN body.

The documents that « establish a ceasefire as well as obliges the Syrian government and the opposition to start direct talks in Astana in late January, » Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin told journalists on Friday, speaking about the documents he presented at the Security Council meeting together with a draft resolution supporting the ceasefire in Syria.

He also said that all groups that genuinely want to join talks between the Syrian government and the opposition in Astana scheduled for early 2017 are welcome in the Kazakh capital.

Security Council members welcomed the agreements reached through the mediation of Russia and Turkey, and stressed the importance of its « full and immediate implementation. »

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‘If you’re so sure’: Israeli opposition suggests referendum after calls to annex West Bank

RT
2016-12-31 19:06:00

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Israeli MPs from the Zionist Union have suggested holding a referendum on the status of the West Bank to let the people decide if it should become a part of a single Jewish state or a future State of Palestine after a pro-settlement minister called for annexation.

Isaac Herzog, the chairman of the Zionist Union, a center-left political alliance in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, on Friday proposed to decide the fate of the West Bank in a plebiscite following a controversial poll released earlier. The poll showed that almost 40 percent of Israelis would favor the annexation of the entire West Bank. While the majority still would not mind the establishment of the Palestinian state alongside the Jewish one, only 30 percent agreed to accept it within 1967 borders.

Comment: The way referendums have been going lately, if this Israeli referendum is called, it might have unintended consequences.
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Rick Santorum ‘unconvinced’ Russia behind alleged election hacking

RT
2016-12-31 18:55:00

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Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has said he is « unconvinced at this point » that Russia was behind the hacking of a number of US institutions in the run up to November’s elections.

Santorum described as « clearly political » the length of time Obama waited to announce the latest sanctions against Russia, with the real motive being to destabilize the incoming administration, adding that it was a decision that won’t « go down as a bright spot for the Obama presidency. »

« Some of this wasn’t even a hack, it was a basic phishing expedition, where one of the DNC officials gave a password. That’s not a hack, that’s just criminal activity, » Santorum said in an interview with CNN. « It may be Russia, or maybe somebody else took advantage. »

« First off, who did the actual hacking, » Santorum asked when pressed by host Kate Bolduan about Russian involvement, adding that « state actors aren’t the ones doing the hacking. »

« I’m unconvinced at this point, » the former Pennsylvania Senator added. « I’m willing to be convinced but I’m unconvinced at this point that this is what really happened here. »

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U.S-Israel foreign policy collision

Patrick Buchanan
Creators
2016-12-31 19:25:00

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Donald Trump has a new best friend.

« President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support of Israel, » gushed Bibi Netanyahu, after he berated John Kerry in a fashion that would once have resulted in a rupture of diplomatic relations.

Netanyahu accused Kerry of « colluding » in and « orchestrating » an anti-Israel, stab-in-the-back resolution in the Security Council, then lying about it. He offered to provide evidence of Kerry’s complicity and mendacity to President Trump.

Bibi then called in the U.S. ambassador and read him the riot act for 40 minutes. Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer charged that not only did the U.S. not « stand up to and oppose the gang-up » at the U.N., « the United States was actually behind that gang-up. »

When Ben Rhodes of the National Security Council called the charges false, Dermer dismissed President Obama’s man as a « master of fiction. »

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America’s Secret Planned Conquest Of Russia

Eric Zuesse
Sott.net
2016-12-31 17:39:00

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The U.S. government’s plan to conquer Russia is based upon a belief in, and the fundamental plan to establish, « Nuclear Primacy » against Russia — an American ability to win a nuclear war against, and so conquer, Russia.

This concept became respectable in U.S. academic and governmental policymaking circles when virtually simultaneously in 2006 a short-form and a long-form version of an article endorsing the concept, which the article’s two co-authors there named « nuclear primacy, » were published respectively in the world’s two most influential journals of international affairs, Foreign Affairs from the Council on Foreign Relations, and International Security from Harvard. (CFR got the more popular short version, titled « The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy », and Harvard got the more scholarly long version, which was titled « The End of MAD? ».)

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The militarization of America – Army, Navy, Air Force, EPA

Greg Walcher
The Daily Sentinel, Colorado
2016-12-30 18:18:00

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From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of – EPA? If sending Marines, Navy Seals, and Delta force to the world’s trouble spots doesn’t work, we could also send the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Both agencies have military equipment, weapons, SWAT teams, drones, and highly trained « Special Agents; » so do many others not traditionally considered law enforcement agencies.

A new report from transparency watchdog group Open the Books documents an explosion in the number of federal agencies with gun-toting, badge-wielding law enforcement divisions. The report, called « The Militarization of America » details the astonishing scope of federal police power. There are now over 200,000 federal officers with arrest and firearm authority, in a whopping 67 different federal agencies.

That is remarkable when you consider there are only 182,000 U.S. Marines. Those 67 federal agencies – 53 of which are not law enforcement agencies – spent a total of $1.48 billion on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment between 2006 and 2014.

We all understand that the EPA is tasked with enforcing environmental laws. But does it really need a full-blown military-style police force? Congress granted the EPA police powers in 1988, but not with SWAT teams in mind. Even now, the agency says its Criminal Enforcement Program « enforces the nation’s laws by investigating cases, collecting evidence, conducting forensic analyses, and providing legal guidance to assist in the prosecution of criminal conduct that threatens people’s health and the environment. » Well yes, but also by midnight raids with Swat teams and attack dogs, confiscating private property, hauling people off to jail for accidentally spilling a barrel of oil, and other « enforcement » horrors.

During the period covered by the Open the Books report, EPA spent over $3 million on military equipment, including guns and ammo, tanks, drones, helicopters, camouflage, night-vision goggles, and other military hardware. And cops – EPA spent $715 million altogether on its Criminal Enforcement Program. APHIS spent even more – $4.77 million on guns, ammo, and military equipment, as well as the salaries and expenses of 140 cops. At EPA, there are almost 200 of these « Special Agents, » and the agency estimates that each one costs taxpayers $216,000 per year in salary, travel, equipment, training and other expenses.

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Israel’s never-ending crimes: It’s not just settlements

Stanley L Cohen
Al Jazeera
2016-12-29 17:52:00

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Last week, the world stood fixated at a largely symbolic gesture by the United Nations in which it found the continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank of Palestine to be illegal. Or did it?

Although the UN Security Council, with rare uniformity, chastised Israel for flouting the law of occupation, the resolution, crafted with ambiguous lawyerly precision, left experienced thinkers on the subject debating just what it means.

In its most ambitious read, some would argue it appears that the decree concerned the occupation as a whole, and swept within its prohibitive reach all settlement activity since 1967 when Israel seized the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from Arab-Palestinian control.

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Turkish plane takes Daesh terrorists from Aleppo to Yemen

PressTV
2016-12-31 19:06:00

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Yemeni sources say a Turkish plane transporting scores of Daesh Takfiri terrorists has landed in the Aden International Airport in southern Yemen.

Yemen’s al-Masirah news website reported that the plane carried 150 terrorists who were evacuated from Syria’s northwestern city of Aleppo after Syrian government forces fully retook control of the city.

On December 22, the Syrian army said Aleppo had completely returned to government control after the last batch of civilians and militants were evacuated.

Yemeni security sources said the terrorists landed in the airport that is under the supervision of Emirati forces, who are taking part in the Saudi military campaign against Yemen, the report added.

The Turkish plane, al-Masirah said, will take to Turkey 158 Saudi-backed mercenaries, who were injured in recent fighting with the Yemeni army and popular committees in Yemen’s province of Ta’izz. The injured are to receive treatment in Turkish hospitals.

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At least 21 killed, 40 injured by two bombs in Baghdad

Sputnik
2016-12-31 08:29:00

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The Iraqi capital of Baghdad was rocked by two explosions on Saturday. At least 21 people were killed, more than 40 injured, local media reported, citing the police and medical services.

According to the Kurdistan24 broadcaster, both explosions occurred in the shopping area of the central Sanak district. The second bomb went off when people started gathering to rescue the wounded in the first explosion.

It remains unknown whether it was a suicide bomber attack or result of the remotely detonated explosive.

One of the explosions was performed by a suicide bomber, while the second blast was caused by the put explosives, a representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs told the media.

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Iran warns off US fighters and spy drones during military drill

Sputnik
2016-12-31 17:41:00

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On December 28, Iran said that its air defenses had warned off several US fighter planes and drones during an ongoing military drill. In an interview with Sputnik Persian, prominent Iranian political analyst Sabbah Zanganeh described the US behavior as a provocation.

« In the past three days of military drills, air defense has given warnings to 12 aircraft of trans-regional countries to stay away from the country’s airspace, » General Abbas Farajpour told the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

The agency said the aircraft included US fighter jets and UAVs.

« What are the Americans doing in this region? Why are they stoking up tensions and conflicts here by meddling in the internal affairs of the countries located in this sensitive part of the world? I wonder what they are doing near the Iranian border, » Sabbah Zanganeh told Sputnik Persian.

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Society’s Child

New Year’s present: Russia gives Syria airborne hospital

RT
2016-12-31 17:37:00

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As Russia’s Emergencies Ministry wraps up its medical mission in Aleppo, it is leaving behind its leftover medical equipment and medicine stockpiles as a gift from Russia to Syria. Syria now has a hospital outfitted to be airlifted to wherever needed.

The ministry dispatched the hospital and medical personnel to Syria in November as the fight for the eastern part of Aleppo turned in favor of the government forces. Over the month, it has treated over 1,500 patients, most of whom were women and children.

The hospital includes 16 medical and technical pods, as well as 22 connectors and gateway modules, which can be airlifted to a location in need of medical assistance and deployed in the required configuration. The facility can serve up to 200 patients a day and has 60 beds for inpatients.

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CDC considers lowering threshold for elevated childhood blood lead levels by 30%

Joshua Schneyer and M.B. Pell
Reuters
2016-12-30 12:52:00

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering lowering its threshold for elevated childhood blood lead levels by 30 percent, a shift that could help health practitioners identify more children afflicted by the heavy metal.

Since 2012, the CDC, which sets public health standards for exposure to lead, has used a blood lead threshold of 5 micrograms per deciliter for children under age 6. While no level of lead exposure is safe for children, those who test at or above that level warrant a public health response, the agency says.

Based on new data from a national health survey, the CDC may lower its reference level to 3.5 micrograms per deciliter in the coming months, according to six people briefed by the agency. The measure will come up for discussion at a CDC meeting January 17 in Atlanta.

But the step, which has been under consideration for months, could prove controversial. One concern: Lowering the threshold could drain sparse resources from the public health response to children who need the most help – those with far higher lead levels.

The CDC did not respond to a request for comment.

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Pennsylvania State Police in manhunt for armed cop killer

RT
2016-12-31 17:20:00

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Pennsylvania State Police are searching for the killer Landon Weaver, a state trooper gunned down in Hesston. The fugitive has been identified as Jason Robison, a white male, aged 32, who is considered armed and dangerous.

Police have released a photo of Robison, but say his hair may be dyed purple.

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Philly zoo euthanizes 25yo lioness for being too old & inactive

RT
2016-12-31 15:48:00

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As if our favorite movie and music stars weren’t enough, 2016 has managed to cram another death into its busy schedule – that of America’s oldest African lion, 25-year-old Zenda, who was euthanized in the Philadelphia Zoo.

« Philadelphia Zoo announced today that Zenda, a 25-year-old female African lion, was euthanized on Thursday, December 29th due to an acute decline in her mobility and behavior, » the Philadelphia Zoo said in a statement.

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Coast Guard suspending search and rescue operations for plane that vanished over Lake Erie

RT
2016-12-31 13:11:00

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The search for a plane that vanished over Lake Erie has been shelved by the US Coast Guard. The plane was carrying six passengers, including a beverage distribution company executive, his wife and their two sons.

An aircraft headed to Ohio State University Airport on Thursday vanished over Lake Erie shortly after takeoff from Cleveland, Ohio. The Coast Guard suspended their search-and-rescue efforts Friday to allow local authorities to begin recovering the plane and victims.

John T. Fleming, CEO of the Superior Beverage Company, was piloting the plane before it indicated a rapid altitude loss and lost radar contact. The time between takeoff and air traffic control notifying the Coast Guard of the missing plane was about 30 minutes, the Associated Press reported.

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Michelle Obama’s big failure: House Freedom Caucus wants Trump to rethink school lunches

Victor Skinner
EAG News
2016-12-27 00:00:00

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The conservative House Freedom Caucus wants Donald Trump to « rethink » restrictions imposed on food served in public schools within the first 100 days from taking office.

The caucus posted a list of hundreds of regulations and rules the president-elect should consider eliminating or modifying after he’s sworn in as the president of the United States Jan. 20, including the Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act championed by first lady Michelle Obama.

The caucus lists the act among its « recommended list of regulations to remove » from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

« The rules are hallmarks of the Obama administration, but kids aren’t eating the foods, industries can’t comply with the standards, and schools are wasting money, » according to the document, First 100 Days: Rules, Regulations, and Executive Orders to Examine, Revoke, and Issue.

Students across the country have revolted against the first lady’s effort to fight childhood obesity through government bureaucracy with parody videos online, school lunch boycotts and pictures of their gruesome, unidentifiable lunches posted online with the hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama.

Comment: The less-than-appetizing school breakfast is the latest in a long line of disgusting and inedible school meals served to students following restrictions on calories, fat, sugar, sodium and other aspects of school meals imposed by the federal government at the urging of first lady Michelle Obama in 2012. See also: Unbelievable: Hawaii school defends Michelle Obama poverty breakfast because it ‘meets federal guidelines’
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In the shadows of Silicon Valley more than one-third of schoolchildren are homeless

Alastair Gee
The Guardian
2016-12-28 15:39:00

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Tech economy is drawing new inhabitants and businesses but is contributing to dislocation, leaving families, teachers and even principals with housing woes.

Every night for the past year or so, Adriana and Omar Chavez have slept in an RV parked in East Palo Alto, a downtrodden community in Silicon Valley.

On a recent morning before sunrise, they emerged on to the empty street. Omar showed his phone to his wife: 7.07am. « Shall I wake up the girls? » he said, his breath visible in the freezing air.

He headed inside to rouse their three daughters, huddled together in the low-ceilinged bed just above the driver’s cab, and ready them for school.

In most places, the Chavez family would be an exception. But in the school district that includes East Palo Alto, located amid the extraordinary wealth generated by the tech industry, their plight is not uncommon.

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The spirit of giving: Lonely homeless man ‘froze to death’ as families watch New Year pantomime

Anthony Bond
The Mirror
2016-12-31 15:19:00

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Police were called to Solomons Road in Chatham, Kent, in sub-zero temperatures at 3.20am yesterday when the man, known locally as Greg, was discovered.

He had been sleeping rough with a group of three friends near the Central Theatre where TV Dancing on Ice star and Olympic gold medallist Robin Cousins was starring in Jack and the Beanstalk.

The tragedy comes less than a week after another homeless man, Michael McCluskey, was found dead a few minutes’ walk away in Chatham High Street on Christmas Eve.

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Precious snowflake syndrome: The most ridiculous college protests of 2016

Karin Agness
Forbes
2016-12-30 15:05:00

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As we close the book on 2016, it’s time to look back on the year on American college campuses. It was another year filled with protests, many fueled by Republican Donald Trump’s victory. Here are the top ten most ridiculous college protests of 2016:

Cornell Students Hold A Post-election « Cry in »

Cornellians held a « cry in » over hot chocolate to « mourn » Trump’s victory on campus. The Cornell Daily Sun reports that students, « sat in a circle to share stories and console each other, organizers encouraging attendees to gather closer together and ‘include each other.' » Additionally, students signed posters in protest.

UT Austin Students Organize « Cocks Not Glocks » Protest

On the first day of classes at the University of Texas at Austin, students picked up and strapped on dildos to protest Texas’s new « campus carry » law permitting licensed gun owners to carry concealed handguns on campus. More than 5,000 dildos, which were donated by sex shops, were distributed over five days.

UMass Students Hold A « Shit-in »

For a week, students at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst planned a « shit-in, » occupying restrooms to demand more gender-neutral facilities. The « shit-in » sign up google form gave protesters the option of sitting alone or « with other sitters » and the choice of a « ‘Men’s’ rooms » or « ‘Women’s’ rooms. »

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Trump inauguration cuts way down on pomp, circumstance – wants administration to get right to work

Matthew Boyle
Breitbart
2016-12-29 15:20:00

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President-elect Donald J. Trump’s inauguration will have less official celebration throughout the day and evening so he can focus on getting right to work on behalf of the American people, officials involved in the planning process tell Breitbart News. The inauguration itself will be less focused on the donor class and ritzy Washington insiders as in years past and more focused on the regular working class people across the country for whom Trump has become the champion.

« The inauguration and inaugural is a representation of the president-elect and a representation of the vice president-elect, » Boris Epshteyn, the director of communications for the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC), told Breitbart News in an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the PIC’s offices in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

« What does that mean? It’s all about the people, » Epshteyn said. « It’s not about any one celebrity or any one entertainer or about any of those folks sipping champagne and cocktails somewhere in the Hamptons or in Beverly Hills. It’s about the American people. We’re so proud of the amount of support and outreach we’ve received from all over the country. This inaugural will represent the people. That’s one, and two it’s about getting to work right away. »

So, logistically, what does this all mean? Specifically, Epshteyn says, Trump will only have three official inaugural balls as compared with 10 separate balls for Barack Obama‘s 2009 inauguration.

« There will three balls instead of 10, as there were in 2009 with President Obama because this president—Donald J. Trump—is all about getting to work and making sure Americans are safe in their homes, safe in their jobs, » Epshteyn said. « Look at the news that just came out this week: 8,000 jobs being brought to America between Sprint and OneWeb. »

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Finland: Car strikes crowd of people; 7 injured

RT
2016-12-31 14:47:00

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Up to seven people were injured when a car plowed into a crowd in the eastern part Helsinki, Finland’s capital. Police say that nothing indicates the incident was intentional, however.

No one was killed in the collision, but at least three people were taken to hospitals in critical condition, Finnish media report, citing police sources. At the same time, Helsinki’s rescue services department said that two women and one man were seriously injured, while another man received light injuries, Finnish M TV Channel reports.

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Virginia lawmaker proposes declaring pornography a ‘public health crisis’

RT
2016-12-31 14:30:00

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Cigarettes, disease and now pornography are to be considered public health hazards if a Virginia state delegate gets his way. A resolution declaring porn to be an « epidemic » is sounding the alarm for more to be done to thwart the « harm » done by sex films.

State Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Prince William) compares his resolution to the 1964 declaration made by the US surgeon general, which reported the links between cigarettes and disease.

« Before smoking was identified as a problem, at least the recognition that it led to certain pathologies was a starting point to put restrictions on it, » Marshall said on Thursday, according to the Washington Post. « If you recognize it as a problem, then you’re going to try to find ways to solve it within the framework of the statutes we can pass and the institutions we have. »

Marshall’s House Joint Resolution 549 (HJ549) is not proposing any sort of ban or restrictions, only for « education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of the Commonwealth and the nation. »

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French doctor accused of raping 37 patients, including minors, videos found

RT
2016-12-30 21:08:00

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A doctor is before criminal courts in France accused of dozens of counts of rape. The former general practitioner allegedly filmed his patients for nearly a decade. Some of his victims were minors when the alleged incidents took place.

Thierry Dassas, who worked in the small village of Argent-sur-Sauldre in the Centre-Val de Loire region, was arrested in late 2014 after an 18-year-old woman made a complaint to police, which led to a wider investigation.

Investigators seized dozens of videos, prompting a judge to launch a call for other victims to come forward. A total of 37 patients filed complaints for incidents between 2005 and 2014.

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Suicides kill more U.S. soldiers than Daesh – Department of Veteran Affairs

Sputnik
2016-12-31 10:21:00

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The number-one killer of American troops is not Daesh, but suicide, according to the latest Pentagon data.

US Operation Inherent Resolve, the Pentagon’s codename for its anti-Daesh initiative, has resulted in 31 fatalities as of December 27. While eight lives have been lost at the hands of Daesh terrorists in actual combat, 11 soldiers have committed suicide. Seven others died from accidents, four more from illness or injury, and one fatality is still under investigation.

While experts have struggled to pinpoint the root cause of the rampant suicides, suicide rates for US veterans back home have shot up 32.2 percent since 2001, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).

According to VA data, an estimated 20 veterans ended their lives each day In 2014. Two-thirds of the deaths were caused by firearms. Meanwhile, the suicide risk for veterans is 21 percent higher than it is for civilians.

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Huge inferno engulfs under construction apartment complex in Las Vegas

RT
2016-12-31 05:31:00

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A huge blaze has engulfed what is reported to be an apartment complex under construction in western Las Vegas, fire rescue services and witnesses on social media have reported.<

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Auteur : erlande

68 ans;45 ans d'expérience dans la communication à haut niveau;licencié en lettres classiques;catholique;gaulliste de gauche à la Malraux;libéral-étatiste à la Jacques Rueff;maître:Saint Thomas d'Aquin:pro-vie sans concession.Centres 'intérêt avec connaissances:théologie,metaphysie,philosophies particulières,morale,affectivité,esthétique,politique,économie,démographie,histoire,sciences physique:physique,astrophysique;sciences de la vie:biologie;sciences humaines:psychologie cognitive,sociologie;statistiques;beaux-arts:littérature,poésie,théâtre,essais,pamphlets;musique classique.Expériences proffessionnelles:toujours chef et responsable:chômage,jeunesse,toxicomanies,énergies,enseignant,conseil en communication:para-pubis,industrie,services;livres;expérience parallèle:campagne électorale gaulliste.Documentation:5 000 livres,plusieurs centaines d'articles.Personnalité:indifférent à l'argent et aux biens matériels;généraliste et pas spécialiste:de minimis non curat praetor;pas de loisirs,plus de vacances;mémoire d'éléphant,pessimiste actif,pas homme de ressentiment;peur de rien sauf du jugement de Dieu.Santé physique:aveugle d'un oeil,l'autre très faible;gammapathie monoclonale stable;compressions de divers nerfs mal placés et plus opérable;névralgies violentes insoignables;trous dans les poumons non cancéreux pour le moment,insomniaque.Situation matérielle:fauché comme les blés.Combatif mais sans haine.Ma devise:servir.Bref,un apax qui exaspère tout le monde mais la réciproque est vraie!

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