21 Apr 2018

Royal Navy ship HMS St Albans escorts Russian frigate Yaroslav Mudry as it passes close to British coast
…Russian frigate Yaroslav Mudry was closely watched by HMS St Albans as it made its way through the English Channel and Dover Strait as tensions between the UK and Russia continue to simmer. Yaroslav Mudry measures 129m long and is complete with anti-ship missiles, guns and torpedoes. But HMS St Albans, a Portsmouth-based Type 23 frigate, wasn’t far away, having been activated earlier this week and was keeping a close eye on the Russian warship.

China Military Islands Now Control South China Sea
China has deployed electronic attack systems and other military facilities on disputed islands in the South China Sea and is now capable of controlling the strategic waterway… Additionally, the command nominee Adm. Philip Davidson told the Senate Armed Services Committee in a written statement this week that the military urgently needs hypersonic and other advanced weaponry to defeat China’s People’s Liberation Army in a future conflict.

Twin Cities School Bus Driver Removed after Leading Prayer
A Twin Cities-area school bus driver says his rights to free speech and to practice his religion were violated when he was taken off his route for leading students in prayer. The Star Tribune reports that Quality Care Transportation removed George Nathaniel from his route last week. He drove children to Nasha Shkola, a charter school focused on Russian language and culture.

UN Mid-East envoy chides IDF response at border protest
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov condemned Friday the IDF killing of a 15-year-old Palestinian that occurred earlier that day during a riot on the Gaza border, echoing UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres by calling for an investigation of the “outrageous” incident.

EU needs ‘full’ exemption from U.S. tariffs: France’s Le Maire
The European Union needs to be exempted from steel and aluminum tariffs…in order to work with Washington on trade with China, France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said… “We are close allies between the EU and the United States. We cannot live with full confidence with the risk of being hit by those measures and by those new tariffs. We cannot live with a kind of sword of Damocles hanging over our heads,”…

Senate’s top Democrat seeks to tear down barriers to legal pot
U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday backed the decriminalization of marijuana, unveiling a bill removing it from the federal schedule of controlled substances days after President Donald Trump softened his own stance over the drug. Schumer said his position had “evolved” and threw his support behind more local efforts to legalize the substance that has already been legalized in some form in most of the 50 U.S. states.

Netanyahu: Preferential treatment given for first 10 embassies moving to Jerusalem
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday at a welcoming ceremony for diplomats and consular staff that “preferable treatment” will be given to the 10 first embassies moving from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The US is set to be the first to move its embassy to Jerusalem, followed by Guatemala.

Bill Gates Backs Plan to Surveil the Entire Planet From Space
EarthNow is a new company looking to provide satellite imagery and live video in virtually real-time. Its unsettling pitch describes a network of satellites that can see any corner of the globe and provide live video with a latency of about a second. And a look at the startup’s top investors gives a lot of confidence that this thing is happening.

April on track to be the coldest in 143 years
No, you’re not crazy. It has been the coldest April in more than 140 years.  A year ago today, on April 19, 2017, it was 78 degrees and sunny, while Thursday’s expected high is 48 degrees, said National Weather Service meteorologist Trent Frey.

Parents Can’t Opt Out Of Sex Ed Class
A California school district says that parents can’t opt out of a new sex education course that will deal with abortion, homosexuality and transgender issues.

Police Testing Controversial Portable DNA Machine
For the last 10 months, Houston police have been testing a new mobile DNA machine called rapid DNA that runs tests in under two hours.

Liberty Counsel warning: California about to ban Bible sales
Liberty Counsel, which defends religious and civil rights, Friday warned that the state of California effectively is about to ban the sale of Bibles.

CAIR Pushes Effort to Block Pompeo Confirmation
As the battle over CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination as secretary of state reaches make-or-break, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Friday plans a joint event with mostly other Muslim groups to urge the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to vote him down on Monday.

GQ Condemns the Holy Bible: ‘Repetitive, Self-Contradictory, Sententious, Foolish…Ill-Intentioned’
In an article by “The Editors of GQ,” the men’s magazine blasts the Holy Bible, declares it a book you don’t have to read, and suggests an alternative.

US-Mexico Border Reached by First 50 Caravan Migrants
The first 50 Central American migrants in a caravan that set out from southern Mexico in late March have reached the U.S. border, now secured with help from National Guard personnel sent by President Donald Trump.

Drought Returns to Huge Swaths of U.S., Fueling Fears of a Thirsty Future
Less than eight months after Hurricane Harvey pelted the Texas Gulf Coast with torrential rainfall, drought has returned to Texas and other parts of the West, Southwest and Southeast, rekindling old worries for residents who dealt with earlier waves of dry spells and once again forcing state governments to reckon with how to keep the water flowing.

Government Leaks File Describing ‘Remote Mind Control,’ ‘Forced Memory Blanking’
The US government may have been secretly collecting documents on ‘remote mind control’ and ‘forced memory blanking’, accidentally leaked files suggest.

Putin warns Russian students in the UK to come home immediately – is war on the way
RUSSIAN students and graduates living in Britain should go home immediately, so they can be sent to study or work in Siberia, says a new official initiative.

Michigan churches join Muslim prayers against ‘gun violence’, stage symbolic school ‘walkout’
Parents, pastors, politicians and educators will join a Muslim imam at a mosque Friday in Oakland County, Michigan, to pray and discuss how to make their schools and community safer in an era of mass school shootings.

Are some doctors literally possessed by demons? Pediatrician yells “SATAN!” when visiting patients
A Dallas-area doctor was recently suspended by the Texas Medical Board following a spate of bizarre and even dangerous behavior at his practice that some might describe as being demonically inspired.