26 Feb 2018

President Trump, Congress Order Extraordinary Honors for Rev. Billy Graham
President Donald Trump and Congress are taking official action to honor the passing of Rev. Billy Graham last Wednesday, through a presidential proclamation and the announcement that Graham’s body will lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol—only the fourth private citizen in American history to receive such honors. Congress is likewise demonstrating its collective admiration of Graham by deciding that his body should lie in honor in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol this Wednesday.

Exxon Shuts Papua New Guinea Output to Inspect Quake Damage
The U.S. oil giant closed the facilities to assess damage from a magnitude 7.5 earthquake early Monday morning, it said in a statement. Administrative buildings, living quarters and a mess hall at the Hides operations in Hela Province were damaged, it said.

Oakland mayor warns of impending ICE raid, ramping up sanctuary-city tension
Libby Schaaf, the Democratic mayor of Oakland, shared the warning — which she said she “learned from multiple credible sources” — in a press release on Saturday, “not to panic our residents but to protect them,”

Jerusalem Jewish? Yes, says 2,700-year-old relic
Papyrus find is oldest known, non-biblical reference to capital. The date places Jerusalem under the control of the Jews 1,300 years before Islam was founded, a point of interest considering Muslim leaders have challenged Israel’s historic claims to Jerusalem, prompting the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization, or UNESCO, to deny Israeli claims to Jerusalem in a vote last year.

Trump: U.S. Should Execute Major Drug Dealers
Inspired by Singapore’s policy of executing drug traffickers, President Trump is said to relish the idea of putting major dealers to death – who he is said to compare to serial killers, Axios reports. According to five sources who have spoken with Trump on the subject, it’s no joke to the President – who says that a softer approach to drug reform where you show sympathy to the offenders “will never work.”

Iran talks 2.0: Trump battles Europe on the nuclear deal
NEGOTIATIONS THAT led to a landmark nuclear deal with Iran in 2015 were lavish and public affairs. Over a two-year period, diplomats from six world powers and Tehran camped out in Europe’s finest hotels, surrounded by legions of press from all across the world eager for details from behind gilded conference room doors.

US ties any North Korea talks to nuclear arms
The United States says any dialogue with North Korea must have nuclear disarmament as the end goal. The North indicated on the last day of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang it was ready for talks, according to South Korea. North Korea has previously said it will not accept any preconditions. “We will see if Pyongyang’s message… that it is willing to hold talks, represents the first steps along the path to denuclearization,” the US said.

Turkey’s Erdogan in row over ‘girl martyr’ comment on TV
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been criticised after telling a girl in military uniform that she would be honoured if killed while fighting. “If she’s martyred, they’ll lay a flag on her,” he told the sobbing girl at a televised congress of his AK party. His supporters cheered “Chief! Take us to Afrin!”, in reference to Turkey’s operations against Kurdish fighters in Syria’s northern Afrin region.

Florida Gun Show sees ‘record number’ of attendees despite gun control debate
Thousands of gun enthusiasts — more so than ever — flocked to the Florida State Fairgrounds for the Florida Gun Show event. Organizers say they had a record number of people attend the event on Saturday, Feb. 24, almost 7,000, and expected more Sunday. The manager for the Florida Gun Show, George Fernandez, says they’ve never seen such a big crowd.

Rare snowfall blankets Rome, closing schools
Romans woke up to a rare snowfall Monday, after an Arctic storm passing over much of Europe dumped enough snow to force schools to close and public transport to reduce services. Italy’s civil protection agency decided to deploy the army to clear streets in the capital after the snowfall paralyzed Rome with just a few centimeters (inches) of snow.

Super-secret spy court raises alarm over feds’ snooping
It’s a mysterious court that hides behind a hulking vaulted door and impenetrable concrete walls – and it’s where the federal government makes some of its most secretive decisions concerning Americans’ basic liberties. If you dare ask where the secret court is located, employees at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C. – where the court reportedly relocated in 2009 – won’t tell you.

How Companies Scour Our Digital Lives for Clues to Our Health
Your digital footprint — how often you post on social media, how quickly you scroll through your contacts, how frequently you check your phone late at night — could hold clues to your physical and mental health. That at least is the theory behind an emerging field, digital phenotyping, that is trying to assess people’s well-being based on their interactions with digital devices.

Explosion In Leicester, England Video Updates
Police are currently responding to reports of a large explosion in the major British city of Leicester. The situation is being treated as an ongoing “major incident.”

Broward Sheriff Denies Mishandling Shooting
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel declined to answer when CNN’s Jake Tapper asked him if four deputies were ordered to stand down during the Parkland school shooting.

“America Uses 30x More Opioids Than Is Medically Necessary For A Population Its Size”
Perhaps America does not need Russia to “hack its democracy” and destroy “American exceptionalism”, perhaps the US is perfectly capable of unleashing social, economic and political devastation within its border without anyone’s help; perhaps the surge in mass shootings has little to do with gun availability (see homicides in Chicago and Baltimore where guns are banned), and everything to do with a creeping US social decay?

With Demonic Possessions on the Rise, Vatican Offers Courses
With demonic possessions rising, even tripling in recent years, the Vatican is reportedly setting up new training for exorcists,   according to Sicilian priest Benigno Palilla.

5 Dead after Tornado, Flooding from Central US Storms
The death toll rose to at least five on Sunday after severe thunderstorms swept through the central U.S., spawning a tornado that flattened homes, gale force winds and widespread flooding from the Upper Midwest to Appalachia.

Spain Hosts Annual ‘Devils of Luzon’ Carnival in Guadalajara
Huge devil horns, soot-covered faces, and scary carved teeth; these are the “Devils of Luzon” that attend the annual Devils Carnival of Luzón in Guadalajara, Spain.

Contradicting the Jewish Torah, Episcopal Church Bans Gender Pronouns for G-d
In a move further distancing itself from accepted mainstream theology, the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Washington, D.C. voted to abolish the use of masculine pronouns for God. The change will be implemented in the newest edition of their Book of Common Prayer.

GOING BIBLICAL: Trump’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley Presents a Blessing and a Curse to ‘Palestinian Leadership’
US Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Nikki Haley told Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday that his leadership must choose between a path of absolutist demands, hateful rhetoric, and incitement to violence and another path of negotiation and compromise.