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Sunday, January 25, 2015

1/25/2015 January 25th 2015

Obama and Boehner and Clinton__________________________

An Obama administration official wants to hire the Walt Disney Co. to teach children about climate change using the wildly popular animated franchise “Frozen.”

(jan 24th, the hill)

Obama calls homosexuality a ‘lifestyle choice’; Where’s media outrage?

(Twitchy, jan 24th)


He’ll tell the nation on “60 Minutes” Sunday his critics on the right are turning him into a “human piƱata” so they can profit off their attacks.

“The issue with the tea party isn’t one of strategy,” he says. “It’s not one of different vision. It’s a disagreement over tactics, from time to time. Frankly, a lot is being driven by national groups here in Washington who have raised money and just beating the dickens out of me. It works. They raise money, put it in their pocket and pay themselves big salaries.”

(WND, jan 24th)

Former President Bill Clinton took a romantic jaunt in 2002 to convicted pedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein’s “orgy island” with “two young girls” from New York, according to a shocking new interview.

Virginia Roberts, who’s accused Epstein of turning her into a “sex slave” at age 17 and forcing her to sleep with his powerful friends, claimed Clinton stayed in one of the many villas on Epstein’s US Virgin Islands estate — where group sex was a “regular occurrence.”

(page six, jan 24th)

War on Terror___________________________

The latest video attributed to the Islamic State was produced in a studio with a green screen backdrop and not shot at an outdoor location, according to the Associated Press.

(Infowars, jan 24th)

The Islamic State announced one Japanese hostage’s execution and offered a swap for the other who still remains in their hands, Reuters reports.

(Sputnik, jan 24th)

19-year-old Colorado woman who planned to marry an Islamic State militant she had never met in person and join the terrorist group in Turkey was sentenced to four years in federal prison.

Shannon Maureen Conley, who pleaded guilty in September to one count of of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, said she never intended to hurt anyone, but instead hoped to defend Muslims. Following the prosecutor’s sentencing request, U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore said he wanted to send a warning to others considering the same thing.

“This is not a serious offense but an extremely serious offense. I need to send a message,” U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore said.

In April, Conley was arrested at Denver International Airport as she tried to board a plane for Turkey. She had planned to meet Yousr Mouelhi, a 32-year-old IS militant she had met online and who promised her marriage.

(UPI, jan 24th)

Global Conflicts______________________________________

Kiev Government and Militia Trade Accusations on Shelling of Mariupol:

A spokesman for the Donetsk militia headquarters told RIA Novosti it is not responsible for the attack and has “no weapon systems near Mariupol that would be able to shell that region. Our positions are simply too far away.”

The deputy speaker of the DPR parliament, Denis Pushilin, characterized the incident as a provocation.

“It is all clear, who shelled Mariupol: from which regions they are, from which spot and where the artillery was located. As far as I know, [rockets were] fired by a Grad multiple rocket launcher. Our militia units don’t have artillery capable of reaching the location of the shelling,” Pushilin said.

The BBC and other news agencies, however, report militia leader Alexander Zakharchenko ordered the shelling.

(Infowars, jan 24th)

The new top general in the Marine Corps released a 16-page plan on Friday detailing his vision for the service, emphasizing a realignment of troops to meet demands in the Pacific and Africa, better coordination with Special Operations units, and new psychological testing to assess resiliency in recruits.

(washington post, jan 23rd)

Tens of thousands of Yemenis marched in protest on Saturday against Shiite rebels who hold the capital, amid a power vacuum in a country that is home to what Washington describes as al-Qaida's most dangerous offshoot.

Some 20,000 hit the streets of the capital, Sanaa, where demonstrators converged on the house of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who resigned Thursday along with his Cabinet. It was the largest protest since the rebels, known as Houthis, swept into the capital in September.

(AP, Jan 24th)

Iran has threatened to attack Israel from the West Bank, in retaliation for an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria on Sunday that left 12 Iranian and Hezbollah operatives dead. The airstrike has been attributed to Israel and though Jerusalem has not officially confirmed it, anonymous government sources have admitted as much.

Deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Lt.-Gen. Hossein Salami vowed Saturday to “open new fronts [against Israel] and change the balance of power.” In an excerpt of an interview with Salami, the IRGC’s number two said that Iran and Hezbollah would provide a “special reprisal” to the strike, according to the Tasnim News Agency, adding that opening a new front in the West Bank was in the works.

“Opening up a new front across the West Bank, which is a major section of our dear Palestine, will be certainly on the agenda, and this is part of a new reality that will gradually emerge,” Salami said in the inteview with Iran’s Arabic-language news channel al-Alam.

(times of israel, jan 24th)

Iran's parliament has started to draft a law that would allow the country's nuclear scientists to intensify their uranium enrichment, a step that could complicate ongoing talks with world powers.

The move, announced Saturday by parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, comes after U.S. lawmakers said they were planning legislation that could place new sanctions on Iran.

(naharnet, jan 24th)

 Faced with one of the biggest crises of her presidency, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez has given her countrymen a confusing and sometimes contradictory view of how her most damaging accuser was found dead, at first seeming to accept the idea of suicide and later describing it as an elaborate murder plot to undermine her government.

Fernandez's response to what reads like a whodunit movie script - prosecutor Alberto Nisman is found dead with a bullet in his head hours before he was set to elaborate on explosive allegations against Fernandez - has deepened a political crisis with wide implications for the last year of her presidency and perhaps even for the future of the country beyond that.

For the first time in her presidency, Fernandez appears to have lost control.

(AP, jan 24th)

U.S. and World Economy________________________________

More homeless camps are appearing beyond downtown L.A.'s skid row

Over the last two years, street encampments have jumped their historic boundaries in downtown Los Angeles, lining freeways and filling underpasses from Echo Park to South Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, a city-county agency, received 767 calls about street encampments in 2014, up 60% from the 479 in 2013.

Bound by court decisions, the city has largely quit breaking up homeless groups and confiscating their trash and belongings, leaving the camps to grow and multiply.

As many as 6,000 volunteers will go out Tuesday through Thursday searching for homeless people living in alleys, riverbeds, cars and RVs. For the first time, homeless people will be asked about their gender identity, domestic violence and prison histories, and years of military service — information that could better track where they came from and why.

(AP, jan 24th)

Rip up your euro forecasts: A day after the European Central Bank unveiled its bond-buying program, the single currency still was in free fall, blowing past analysts’ expectations for how low the euro can go.

Some investors now say the euro could fall to the point where it is on equal footing with the U.S. dollar for the first time since it climbed above the buck in late 2002.

“If you would have asked me a few months ago, I would’ve said that parity could be in the cards in the years ahead. Now, we can’t rule it out anymore even by the end of this year,” said Thomas Kressin, head of European foreign exchange at Pacific Investment Management Co., or Pimco, which has $1.68 trillion under management.

(WSJ, jan 24th)

How the European dream is dying, state by state:

As Greece prepares for an election which could decide the fate of Europe, find out how the EU project is slowly falling apart in the ten major member states and two cities which form its heart

(telegraph, jan 24th)

Deputy governor at Iranian Central Bank stated that Iran no longer uses the US dollar in foreign trade transactions, replacing it with other currencies.

(Sputnik, jan 24th)

Cable TV is about to get more expensive for millions of consumers because of a bidding war between networks and the country’s most powerful sports leagues.

Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and scores of rural cable providers are tacking on sports surcharges each month, the direct result of higher fees they are paying to ESPN and other sports networks to carry their channels. Beginning Feb. 5, DirecTV will raise fees by 5.7 percent.

The rise in cable prices is likely to test the patience of customers, who may already be tempted to cut their cords in exchange for streaming options that will soon be available to them. For providers and customers, the creeping prices amount to a test — at what point will viewers decide it isn’t worth paying for cable anymore?

(washington post, jan 23rd)

No need for speed: Cable industry opposes 25Mbps broadband definition. Normal people don't need 25Mbps down or 3Mbps up, cable lobby says.

The cable lobby is opposed to a Federal Communications Commission plan to define "broadband" as speeds of at least 25Mbps downstream and 3Mbps up.

Customers do just fine with lower speeds, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) wrote in an FCC filing Thursday (thanks to the Washington Post's Brian Fung for pointing it out). 25Mbps/3Mbps isn't necessary to meet the legal definition of "high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology," the NCTA said.

(ars technica, jan 24th)

Police State______________________________

Arkansas sheriff's deputies in Garland County have "stolen" seven homeschoolers from their parents in a home raid spurred by an anonymous caller who told authorities the family's house contained a "poisonous substance" — which turned out to be a mineral supplement/water purifier that isn't FDA-approved. It's been more than a week since the officers and the Department of Human Services (DHS) seized the seven homeschoolers. They remain in state custody.

Michelle Stanley, the mother of the seven children, is still in shock that the police and DHS have gotten away with abducting her children — taking them into custody under what she calls false pretenses.

"The DHS has come and stolen our kids from us under the guise of 'protecting our children," Stanley wrote in an email shortly after her home was raided by police and the DHS, according to Health Impact News.

(one news now, jan 20th)

Earths Ecosystem_______________________________________

Mass Death of Seabirds in Western U.S. Is 'Unprecedented'.....Why are so many auklets, from California to Canada, starving?

The gruesome auklet deaths come just as scientists around the globe are seeing a significant uptick in mass-mortality events in the marine world, from sea urchins to fish and birds. Although there doesn't appear to be a link to the virus that killed tens of millions of sea stars along the same shores from California to Alaska over the past 18 months, some scientists suspect a factor in both cases may be uncharacteristically warm waters.

The U.S. Geological Survey and others have performed animal autopsies, called necropsies, on several of the emaciated Cassin's auklets. They've found no evidence of disease or trauma—no viruses or bacteria, no feathers coated with spilled oil. The birds appear simply to have starved to death.

(nat geo, jan 24th)

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