1 Mar 2017

NASA Data Show California’s San Joaquin Valley Still Sinking
Since the 1920s, excessive pumping of groundwater at thousands of wells in California’s San Joaquin Valley has caused land in sections of the valley to subside, or sink, by as much as 28 feet (8.5 meters).

Franklin Graham: Supporting Planned Parenthood is Like ‘Raising Money to Fund a Nazi Death Camp’
Graham’s words came in response to the news that Barbara Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, would be delivering the keynote address at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser.

President ‘doing something right’ if critics resort to magic
A showdown last week that saw witches attempting to cast a spell on President Trump and Christians praying for his defense apparently is just the beginning of an ongoing spiritual battle.

The Public Should Have a Say in Allowing Modification of Our Germline Genetic Code
the report appears to exclude the public from participation and concludes that “clinical trials using heritable germline genome editing should be permitted.” They should not—not without public discussion and a more conscious evaluation of how this impacts social standing, stigma and identity, ethics that scientists often tend to cite pro forma and then swiftly scuttle.

ISIS Destruction of Jonah’s Tomb Incredibly Reveals Ancient Palace of Biblical King Sennacherib
The palace of the Biblical King Sennacherib, long buried underneath the tomb of the prophet Jonah in the Biblical city of Nineveh, has incredibly been discovered by Iraqi archaeologists as a result of efforts by the Islamic State (ISIS) to destroy the site and loot its priceless antiquities.

Republican Senators Reintroduce Bill to Cut US Funding to Palestinian Authority
A group of leading Republican senators reintroduced legislation Tuesday seeking to cut off all U.S. funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if the PA continues its policy of paying monetary rewards to terrorists.

Media Praise For President Trump’s First Address To Congress Rolls In
One of the best speeches in that setting I’ve ever heard any president give,” Chris Wallace said on Fox News. “The President of the United States, delivering an important, powerful speech,” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer noted. “His tone clearly different than the speech he delivered at the inauguration. The President going through a whole range of issues.” “This was probably, without a doubt, one of his best speeches that I’ve ever heard,” Anderson Cooper added.

Trump pitches 37 percent cut to State Department budget
The Trump administration is proposing a 37 percent spending cut for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), according to multiple reports.

5.3 magnitude earthquake jolts Pakistan; tremors felt in Kashmir
An earthquake of magnitude 5.3 jolted northern Pakistan on Tuesday evening. However, no casualties or property damages have been reported so far.

ISIS attacks on Sinai Christians pose challenge to Sisi
At the Mary Jirjis Church in Ismailia Egypt, Mervat Jirjis describes how her family recently fled their home in the northern Sinai town of El Arish after her husband received a threat to leave immediately or be slaughtered…Jirjis is one of hundreds of Coptic Christians forced to flee their homes in El Arish due to ISIS attacks. They have become the region’s newest group of displaced persons.

Murderer Tanveer Ahmed inspires Pakistani hardliners from Scottish jail
When Tanveer Ahmed was sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in jail for murder last August, Judge Lady Rae said he had committed a “brutal, barbaric and horrific crime”. Ahmed stabbed to death Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah – who belonged to the persecuted Ahmadi sect – because he believed he was committing blasphemy by uploading online videos in which he claimed to be a prophet.

Nicaragua woman burnt on a fire in exorcism ritual
A young woman in an isolated part of Nicaragua has died a week after being tied up and allegedly thrown on a fire in an exorcism ritual. Family members told local media that Vilma Trujillo had been attacked by four people led by a man who said he was an evangelical pastor. Juan Rocha denied burning Mrs Trujillo, saying evil spirits had suspended her above the fire and then dropped her.

Islam Set To Overtake Christianity As Most Popular Religion
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and will overtake Christianity as the most popular before the end of this century, according to an analysis of religious surveys published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. With 1.6 billion, Muslims made up 23 percent of the world’s population, according to a 2010 Pew estimate. That figure was still some way short of the 2.2 billion Christians which comprised 31 percent of the population.

Amazon cloud storage failure causes widespread outages
Amazon’s cloud-hosting service Amazon Web Services is experiencing problems in its eastern U.S. region, causing widespread problems for websites and apps. Amazon’s service site states that its customers are experiencing “increased error rates” and notes that it is working on the problem. Affected sites including Trello, Scribd and IFTTT appear to be down. The Associated Press’ own photos, webfeeds and other online services are affected.

South Korea, U.S. begin large-scale annual drills amid North Korea tension
South Korean and U.S. troops began large-scale joint military exercise on Wednesday conducted annually to test their defense readiness against the threat from North Korea, which routinely characterizes the drills as preparation for war against it. The exercise, called Foal Eagle, comes amid heightened tension following the latest test launch of a ballistic missile by the North on Feb. 12 and in the past prompted threats by Pyongyang to launch military action in retaliation.

U.S. seeks end to U.N. rights council’s ‘obsession’ with Israel
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is reviewing its participation in the U.N. Human Rights Council, seeking reform of its agenda and an end to its “obsession with Israel”, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday. Washington has long argued that the Geneva forum unfairly focuses on Israel’s alleged violations of human rights, including war crimes against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

U.N. nuclear watchdog chief to discuss Iran deal with Trump officials
The chief of the U.N. atomic watchdog will hold talks on Iran’s nuclear deal on Thursday for the first time with senior officials from the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has branded it “the worst deal ever negotiated”. The 2015 deal between Tehran and major powers places restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Tax Strike? IRS Has Received 13% Fewer Returns This Year
As of the end of last week, the Internal Revenue Service had received 13.3% fewer tax returns from individual filers than last year (42.5 million versus 49.0 million).  Moreover, visits to the IRS.gov website are down 16.2%.  All this has put a crimp in tax refunds, which are down 14.4% versus last year ($103 billion versus $121 billion).


Face-biter said he fled demon-like figure before killings

A Florida college student accused of randomly killing a couple in their garage and chewing on the dead man’s face told television psychologist Phil McGraw he was fleeing a demon-like figure named Daniel and only had a vague recollection of the slayings.

NY Teamsters Pension Becomes First To Run Out Of Money As Expert Warns “Pension Tsunami” Is Coming
“This is a quiet crisis, but it’s very real. There are currently 200 other plans on track for insolvency – that’s going to affect anywhere from 1.5 to 2 million people.  The prognosis is bleak minus some new legislative help. Municipal and state plans are the next to go down – that’s a pension tsunami that’s coming.”

Obamas To Make Over $60 Million From Book Deal
Several publishers are outbidding each other in a blockbuster auction for the global rights to two books by Barack and Michelle Obama, where the latest bid has surpassed a record $60 million for presidential memoirs.

Russian vetoes of UN resolutions on Syria
Russia has now blocked seven UN resolutions regarding Syria since unrest erupted there in 2011, almost always with support from China. Moscow is an unconditional supporter of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Damascus, and its latest veto adds to the six previous ones listed below.

1 dead as tornado hits Ottawa during repeated rounds of severe storms
One person was confirmed dead in Ottawa in north-central Illinois after a tornado touched down there, part of a weather system that produced severe weather across the northern part of the state Tuessday night, according to the National Weather Service.