20 Apr 2017

Lois Lerner: Public Can Never Know What I Did
Embattled ex-IRS executive Lois Lerner was in federal court last week, asking a judge to seal her forthcoming deposition due to the inflammatory nature of her testimony.  Lerner told the judge that if her actions at the IRS were to become public knowledge, she could face death threats from angry Americans – particularly those on the conservative side of the spectrum.

Has Trump found religion in the Oval Office?
He’s also taken other steps to further cultivate a Christian right that helped elect him, granting new levels of access to Christian media and pushing socially conservative positions that don’t appear to come naturally to him.

Trump to Host Abbas May 3 at White House, Seeks ‘Conflict-Ending’ Deal
“They will use the visit to reaffirm the commitment of both the United States and Palestinian leadership to pursuing and ultimately concluding a conflict-ending settlement between the Palestinians and Israel,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday

Vice President Mike Pence Warns North Korea By Telling Them ‘The Sword Stands Ready’
Vice President Mike Pence warned North Korea not to test the resolve of the US military on Wednesday, promising it would give an ‘overwhelming and effective’ response to any use of conventional or nuclear weapons.

U.S. Green Party goes all in for Islam
The U.S. Green Party has put out a briefing paper for party activists instructing them to work with the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other Islamists in fighting “Islamophobia” and “oppression in all its forms.” The fact that Islam is a religion/political ideology and not a race seems not to stand in the way of the Green Party’s burgeoning alliance with Islam, says Robert Spencer, author of the Jihad Watch blog and several best-selling books about Islam.

Egypt army says kills 19 Islamic extremists in north Sinai
The Egyptian military says its air force has killed 19 Islamic extremists in the volatile Sinai Peninsula. It says in a statement Thursday that the strikes in northern and central Sinai on “terrorist strongholds” of the local ISIS affiliate also destroyed four vehicles.

Tillerson: An ‘unchecked Iran’ could follow same path as North Korea
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday accused Iran of “alarming ongoing provocations” to destabilize countries in the Middle East and of undermining US interests in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. “An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and to take the world along with it,” Tillerson told reporters a day after announcing a review of US policy towards Iran, including sanctions against Tehran.

Abbas: I am ready to meet Netanyahu any time under patronage of Trump
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday made several significant statements in favor of a dialogue with Israel and a hastening of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in an official interview with Japanese newspaper Ashai Shimbun. “I am ready to meet the prime minister of Israel any time in Washington under the patronage of President Trump,” Abbas declared.

‘With Syria in pieces, it’s time to recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan’
Michael Oren says it is time for the world to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel. In contrast to negotiations with the Palestinians, there is no Syria to negotiate with, Deputy Minister for Diplomacy in the Prime Minister’s Office Oren said on Tuesday. “Without Israel there [in the Golan], the region would be jeopardized. ISIS would be on the Kinneret,” he said, adding that other states in the region are glad Israel is on the Golan.

Australia unveils major changes to citizenship process
Australia will make it more difficult to gain citizenship in a major overhaul of its migration process. Aspiring citizens will undergo tougher tests on their English language skills and ability to demonstrate “Australian values”, PM Malcolm Turnbull said. Applicants must also have completed four years as a permanent resident – three years longer than at present.

Venezuela crisis: Three killed at anti-government protests
At least three people have been killed in Venezuela in protests against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. A teenager in the capital Caracas and a woman in San Cristobal, near the Colombian border, were shot dead. A national guardsman was killed south of the capital. Tens of thousands of people rallied to demand new presidential elections and the release of jailed opposition politicians.

Credit card with a fingerprint sensor revealed by Mastercard
A payment card featuring a fingerprint sensor has been unveiled by credit card provider Mastercard. The rollout follows two successful trials in South Africa. The technology works in the same way as it does with mobile phone payments: users must have their finger over the sensor when making a purchase. Security experts have said that while using fingerprints is not foolproof, it is a “sensible” use of biometric technology.

Facebook team working on brain-powered technology
Facebook says it is working on technology to allow us to control computers directly with our brains. It is developing “silent speech” software to allow people to type at a rate of 100 words per minute, it says. The project, in its early stages, will require new technology to detect brainwaves without needing invasive surgery.

CIA, FBI launch manhunt for leaker who gave top-secret documents to WikiLeaks
CBS News has learned that a manhunt is underway for a traitor inside the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA and FBI are conducting a joint investigation into one of the worst security breaches in CIA history, which exposed thousands of top-secret documents that described CIA tools used to penetrate smartphones, smart televisions and computer systems.

Russian bombers again fly near Alaska
For the second consecutive night, Russia flew two long-range bombers off the coast of Alaska on Tuesday, this time coming within 36 miles of the mainland while flying north of the Aleutian Islands, two U.S. officials told Fox News. The two nuclear-capable Tu-95 bombers were spotted by U.S. military radar at 5 p.m. local time. Unlike a similar incident Monday night, this time the U.S. Air Force did not scramble any fighter jets.

Gaza sisters smuggled explosives labeled medicine
Explosive materials used to manufacture explosive devices were found in the belongings of two sisters who entered Israel from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday for the purpose of receiving cancer treatment. According to the Shin Bet, the materials were concealed inside medical supply tubes and identified by the security guards of the Crossings Authority at the Erez Crossing.

North Korea warns of ‘super-mighty preemptive strike’ as U.S. plans next move
North Korean state media warned the United States of a “super-mighty preemptive strike” after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States was looking at ways to bring pressure to bear on North Korea over its nuclear programme. U.S. President Donald Trump has taken a hard line with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has rebuffed admonitions from sole major ally China and proceeded with nuclear and missile programmes in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions.

May to make election pledge to end EU free movement of people into UK
Prime Minister Theresa May will make a formal pledge ahead of the June 8 election to end European Union free movement of people into Britain, the Daily Mail newspaper reported, citing unidentified party sources. May will also include pledges in her election manifesto to pull out of both the EU single market and European Court of Justice, the newspaper said.

DHS: Almost as Many Americans Died of Drug Overdoses in 2015 as in ’12 Years in Vietnam’
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly has largely blamed Latin American drug cartels for the unprecedented 52,000-plus drug overdose deaths in America during 2015 alone, the latest year for which data is available.

Miracle? This time, the lions save the Christians
The chief of a Christian ministry that works underground because of its outreach into Muslim-dominant communities in the Middle East is reporting a startling claim – his rescue from Islamic “militants” by a pride of lions.

Census: More Americans 18-to-34 Now Live With Parents Than With Spouse
Four decades ago, in the mid-1970s, young American adults–in the 18-to-34 age bracket–were far more likely to be married and living with a spouse than living in their parents’ home.

Europe Opens First Concentration Camp Since Hitler, Guess Who This One is for
Chechnya, a region which is located under Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rule but controlled by Muslims, has opened up the very first concentration camp since Adolf Hitler. The detention center is for housing homosexuals.

School-issued computers spy on children in US without parental consent
School-issued computer devices – provided to one-third of school children across the US – collect excessive amounts of highly sensitive personal data on the students without parental consent or even prior notice, a new study finds.

What A War With North Korea Would Probably Look Like
So, if war with North Korea is inevitable given the circumstances, what would such a war look like? Here are some elements I think are most important; elements that make the war almost unwinnable, if winning is even the purpose…