3 May 2017

North Korea Missile Launch Fails, U.S. and South Korea Say
“A missile appears to have exploded within seconds of launch,” U.S. Pacific Command spokesman Dave Benham said in a statement. “We are working with our interagency partners on a more detailed assessment. We continue to monitor North Korea’s actions closely.”

Antarctic Peninsula ice more stable than previously thought
The earlier study reported that the region was losing three times this amount of ice, based on measurements of glacier thinning and mass loss determined from other satellite measurements. The Leeds study casts doubt on that interpretation, because the degree of glacier speedup is far too small. Study co-author Professor Andrew Shepherd, from Leeds’ School of Earth and Environment, explained: “Although Western Palmer Land holds a lot of ice – enough to raise global sea levels by 20 centimetres – its glaciers can’t be dramatically out of balance, because their speed hasn’t changed much over the past 25 years.

Did Bannon reveal plan to move US Embassy to Jerusalem?
Though President Trump’s intentions vis-à-vis the embassy move have remained a mystery, an innocuous photograph taken by Rabbi Shmuel “Shmuley” Boteach during a visit with White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon may have let the cat out of the bag.

US military trying to hack HUMAN BRAIN to create ‘full potential’ super soldiers
“DARPA’s goal with TNT is to further enhance the most effective existing training methods so the men and women of our Armed Forces can operate at their full potential.” The respective agencies involved will send electrical pulses to the nervous system of animal and human trialists to see how different nerves effect learning processes.

FBI rogue employee marries ISIS terrorist she investigated
A CNN report revealed the alarming case of former FBI translator Daniela Greene who married an ISIS operative she was assigned to investigate, catching the FBI off guard in a shocking incident.

PM orders Israel to cut payments to UN over UNESCO’s ‘demented’ Jerusalem vote
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday directed the Foreign Ministry to deduct another $1 million from the funds Israel annually pays to the UN in response to UNESCO’s “demented” vote to disavow Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. “There is a price for harassment,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “I directed the director-general of the Foreign Ministry to deduct a further million dollars from the money Israel transfers to the UN.”

NSA collected over 151mn phone records in 2016 despite surveillance law changes
The NSA collected over 151 million phone records from Americans last year, while having warrants for only 42 terrorist suspects, an annual report shows. In 2015, the agency’s snooping powers were cut following Edward Snowden’s revelations. The new transparency report revealing the agency’s haul was released Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Reported increase in activity at “Kick-Em-Jenny submarine volcano
A reported increase in activities at “Kick-Em-Jenny”….the region’s only submarine volcano located between Grenada and the Grenadine island of Carriacou. As a result, the alert level is now on “yellow” and sea users and ships have been warned to stay away from vicinity of the submarine volcano.

US Air Force launches another long-range missile into Pacific
The Minuteman III missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California by a team in Montana shortly after 3 a.m. ET, the Air Force said in a statement. Officials said the launch was planned years in advance and was not related to rising tensions with North Korea.

Iran Using U.S. Cash to Fund Unprecedented, Massive Military Buildup
Iran is using the billions in cash resources provided under the landmark nuclear deal to engage in an unprecedented military buildup meant to transform the Islamic Republic’s fighting force into an “offensive” juggernaut, according to a largely unreported announcement by Iranian military leaders that has sparked concern among U.S. national security insiders and sources on Capitol Hill.

New Huma Abedin Emails Reveal 29 Previously Undisclosed Clinton Emails With Classified Information
Judicial Watch released State Department documents on Tuesday revealing 29 email correspondences between Hillary Clinton and her aide Huma Abedin containing classified information. As a result of the FOIA request, 29 previously undisclosed email exchanges including classified information were released, part of a total of 317 emails that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to turn over to the State Department.

Trump to seek Abbas commitment to peace
“The president will seek President Abbas’ commitment to work with us as we try to move peace efforts forward,” the official, who was not named, said. Abbas arrived Tuesday in Washington and will remain for three days. During their meeting Wednesday, Trump and Abbas are expected to make statements to the media,

Israel summons Swedish envoy to protest UNESCO vote on Jerusalem
Israel summoned Swedish Ambassador Carl Magnus Nesser to the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday to protest Sweden’s vote on Tuesday in favor of the UNESCO resolution disavowing Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem. Sweden was the only EU country to vote for the resolution, which passed by a vote of 22-10, with another 26 states either abstaining (23) or not showing up to vote (3).

‘Valuable progress’ already made toward Mideast peace, Pence says
The Trump administration has already reconstituted the Middle East peace process by fostering “goodwill” amongst Israelis and Palestinians, US Vice President Mike Pence said at an Israeli Independence Day reception held at the White House on Tuesday. Reiterating the president’s “personal commitment to resolving the Israeli and Palestinian conflict,” Pence said the new administration had found a way to pursue peace whilst simultaneously devoting itself to securing the Jewish state.

Kabul bomb attack targeting Nato convoy kills eight
A suicide attack on a convoy belonging to the Nato mission in Afghanistan has killed at least eight people in Kabul, officials say. The victims were all civilians, a government spokesman said. About 25 other people were injured, including three US service members. The attack on the group of military vehicles happened next to the US embassy during the morning rush hour.

Brexit: UK and EU at odds over size of ‘divorce bill’
The UK won’t pay a 100bn-euro (£84bn) “divorce bill” to leave the EU, Brexit Secretary David Davis has said, as the two sides clashed over the issue. He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain the UK would pay what was legally due, in line with its rights and obligations, but “not just what the EU wants”. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said there was no desire to punish the UK but “its accounts must be settled”.

Venezuela crisis: Opposition condemns Maduro move
Opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro have set up roadblocks and staged demonstrations demanding elections as the country’s political and economic crisis deepens. They responded with defiance to his call for a new constitution to end unrest that has killed 28 people. Mr Maduro said his move was necessary to fend off a foreign-backed plot against him.

Trump and Putin: Syria ceasefire heads leaders’ agenda
US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to press for a ceasefire to halt the war in Syria. The two spoke by telephone for the first time since the US launched air strikes against Syria nearly a month ago, straining relations. White House and Kremlin statements suggested a productive conversation.

NSA collected Americans’ phone records despite law change: report
The U.S. National Security Agency collected more than 151 million records of Americans’ phone calls last year, even after Congress limited its ability to collect bulk phone records…The report from the office of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats…found that the NSA collected the 151 million records even though it had warrants from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court to spy on only 42 terrorism suspects in 2016…

Praise Allah! Islam goes evangelical in Nigeria’s south
Sunday morning is usually the preserve of Christian pastors in the Nigerian megacity of Lagos but a new form of worship is emerging to challenge the monopoly. “Praise Allah!” shouts the imam of the Nasrul-lahi-li Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) before thousands of his faithful, gathered under tents on the outskirts of the city. Pacing up and down through the crowd, he punctuates his message with vigorous “Allahs” in the trademark bombastic style of Nigeria’s evangelical preachers.

As U.S. and China find common ground on North Korea, is Russia the wild card?
When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent Lunar New Year greetings this year, the first card went to Russian President Vladimir Putin, ahead of leaders from China and other allies of the isolated country, according to its official news agency. Some academics who study North Korea argue Kim could be looking for Russia to ease any pain if China, which accounts for about 90 percent of North Korea’s trade, steps up sanctions against the isolated country as part of moves to deter its nuclear and missile programs.

Trump, Putin discuss Syria ceasefire in first talks since U.S. air strikes
U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday moved to ease the tension from U.S. air strikes in April against Russian ally Syria, expressing a desire for a Syrian ceasefire and safe zones for the civil war’s refugees. The two leaders spoke by phone for the first time since U.S. relations with Russian were strained by the U.S. attack on a Syrian airfield.

North Korea says U.S. bomber flights push peninsula to brink of nuclear war
North Korea accused the United States on Tuesday of pushing the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war after a pair of strategic U.S. bombers flew training drills with the South Korean and Japanese air forces in another show of strength.

Feds Send In Reinforcements After Baltimore Mayor Pleads For Help: “Murder Is Out Of Control”
“We’re grateful to the federal intervention in the city of Baltimore.  We are looking for all the help we can get. Murder is out of control.”

China Issues Unprecedented Warning To Citizens In North Korea: Return Home
“The embassy has never given such a warning. I was worried and left the country in a hurry…”

Vaccine industry goes “nuclear” in push for new law that would deny you YOUR JOB if you aren’t vaccinated
North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, a Republican, has introduced new legislation that, taken to its logical end, might eventually provision for employers to force their employees to be vaccinated under the guise of “wellness.”

DOJ: One in Four Federal Inmates Is Foreign-Born
Nearly a quarter of the inmates in federal prisons were born outside the United States, and more than half of those have final deportation orders, the Department of Justice said Tuesday.

Big Brother Is Still Watching You: Don’t Fall for the NSA’s Latest Ploy
Supposedly the National Security Administration is going to stop collecting certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target