The Syrian government seems to be deploying Pantsir-S1 air defense systems to Libya to assist forces of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar in their battle against the Turkish-controlled Government of National Accord.An unusual Pantisr-S1 air defense system was for the first time spotted in Libya last week, when local activists released a video of a Libyan National Army convoy moving towards the port city of Sirte besieged by Turkish-led forces.A spokesman for the GNA forces in the region, Brig. Abdul Hadi Draa, also said that the Pantsir-S1 systems and other weapons were deployed at the Sirte airport on July 11. One of the convoys moving towards the airport included the Pantsir-S1 system on the unusual KAMAZ-6560 8×8 chassis. Previously, all the Pantsir-S1 systems operated by the LNA were based on the German MAN SX 45 8×8 chassis. This variant was supplied by Russia to the UAE, which later supplied systems to the LNA.Other discriminant marks of the filmed Pantsir-S1 were a desert yellow paint and the older passive electronically scanned array search radar. The only country in the Middle East that operates Pantsir-S1 systems with such specifications and supports the Libyan National Army is Syria.Earlier in 2020, Syria officially established diplomatic ties with the House of Representatives, a democratically elected body that supports the Libyan National Army and manages the daily social and economic life in the territories controlled by it.Damascus also sees the Libyan National Army and the House of Representatives as a natural ally because they also fight against the occupation of their country by Turkey.In the last few weeks, Syrian Il-76 cargo planes made several unusual flights between Damascus International Airport and the al-Khadim Air Base in northeast Libya. The base is known to be hosting service members of the UAE that are involved in the assist and advice mission to support Haftar’s forces. The Pantsir-S1 system spotted on the road to Sirte may have been shipped from Syria to Libya during one of these flights.At the same time, the Syrian government currently have good relations with Egypt, the UAE – the main backers of the Libyan National Army, and obviously with Russia – the producer of Pantsir-S1 systems and the country that provides background diplomatic support to the UAE-Egypt bloc in the conflict.The Syrian Air Defense Forces operate dozens of Pantsir-S1 systems. Most of the Syrian systems are equipped with the advanced active electronically scanned array search radar. Therefore, Damascus may have opted to sell a part of its older systems to Haftar.If this is confirmed, this move will likely allow Syria to improve its relations with the Libyan National Army, the UAE and Egypt, complicate Turkish plans to capture Srite, and last but not least strengthen the Syrian regional positions, which were significantly undermined by the ongoing war inside the country.Related NewsWar Preparations: Egypt And Turkey Kick Off Large-Scale Drills Near LibyaSyrian Army launches retaliatory strikes against jihadist forces behind Hmeimim Airbase attackSyrian commander threatens US soldiers: ‘If you return, I will burn your patrol’ – videoIran reveals more details about joint military agreement with SyriaIran To Help Syria With Air Defense To Repel US, Israeli AttacksRussian air defenses foiled jihadist attack on largest base in SyriaTurkish Proxies Create Chaos In Northeastern SyriaJihadist attack ends in disaster along southern Idlib front-lines70 Years Of NATO: Is It A High Time To Retire?

By Staff, AgenciesThe United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, who has raised a firestorm by condemning the assassination of Iranian Lt. General Qassem Soleimani, has once again denounced the United States’ sheer disregard for international law.“It is just violation of every single principle not only governing international law, but governing international relations,” Callamard told Beirut-based al-Mayadeen TV network in remarks aired on Sunday.General Soleimani, the former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC] Quds Force, was assassinated in a US airstrike at Baghdad airport on January 3, along with Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], and their companions.Both commanders were extremely popular for their key role in eliminating the US-sponsored Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group in the region], particularly in Iraq and Syria.On Thursday, Callamard provided the UN Human Rights Council with a report on the atrocity, which underlined the “unlawful” nature of the operation because the US had failed to provide evidence of an ongoing or imminent attack against its interests to justify the strike.In her interview, Callamard repeated that the US has “failed to demonstrate how the strike could match and meet the requirement under the definition ‘self-defense.’”“I should add that what they have done is part of an evolution that has been worrying me and many others for a number of years now,” she added.The UN official explained how the US has falsely tried to rationalize such acts of aggression.In response to the assassination, the IRGC fired volleys of ballistic missiles at a US air base in Iraq on January 8. Iran has also issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining US President Donald Trump, who ordered the assassination, and several other US military and political leaders behind the strike.Had an official “from a so-called ‘democratic’ Western country” been targeted in such a manner, that country would have considered the attack “as an act of aggression and as declaration of war,” Callamard emphasized.She reminded how the aftermath of the strike featured a flurry of diplomatic efforts at avoiding the exacerbation of the already dire situation brought about by the assassination, “because everyone understood that we were on the brink of something extremely serious”.The UN rapporteur finally issued a warning to the US and other countries, urging them not to repeat such acts of aggression.“I’m hoping that the international community and the United States will understand that we avoided the abyss after that strike,” she said. “Let’s make that the one and only moment, where such a step would have been taken.”Callamard’s stance has enraged the United States, with State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus calling her report “tendentious and tedious.”Ortagus on Wednesday accused her of “a special kind of intellectual dishonesty” for condemning the United States, claiming that Washington’s assassination of Gen. Soleimani was an act of “self-defense”.Related Videos

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” — Ernest HemingwayDarius Foroux wrote this gem of an article, and I want to add my own words.Blogging is mostly a balancing act. Just like walking on tightrope.One one hand, you have to write about the things that matter to you. And you have to write them however you feel like it. On the other hand, you have to cater to your audience and deliver them what they want to read most.What do most bloggers do?They sell their souls. They begin to chase the numbers. They give up on a bit of their own souls in order to write pretty words that mean nothing in the headlines and then deliver a poorly executed idea that has nothing to do with said headlines.The truth is that you find your ideal reader by becoming your ideal reader. Write from the heart about the things you care most about.If you don’t like to write about personal development, then don’t write about personal development, no matter how successful it is. Don’t sell your soul, because you will hate yourself for it.Also, don’t write about what your cat had for breakfast and expect to become the best paid blogger on the planet.Walk on that tightrope by writing about the things that you’d most like to read about. And I bet that your day to day life, the boring bits at least, are not what you want to read about. No one does.You can’t please everyone, so don’t even try.And you don’t even need a million followers, or a even a thousand. You need just one, and that one is yourself.You need to like what you do enough, so you do it for as long as it takes to build the thousands and thousands of words that are required in order to get some readers.If you don’t like what you write, you don’t feel the itch to read it again, from time to time, if all you do is write, edit, publish, and abandon, you are going to have a hard time building enough momentum to become successful as a blogger.Look, especially when you’re just starting out, you won’t get the feedback you expect from your readers. Odds are, you won’t be getting much feedback at all. And that’s when you will quit.If writing a blog post about a certain topic feels like selling your soul, if you’re not punching those keys, if you’d have a hard time talking in front of a wall for fifteen minutes straight about whatever it is you’re writing, stop.If you don’t stop, if you keep writing what you think is popular, what you think is a shortcut to fame and fortune, you will forever feel that people just don’t get what you’re all about.Do the hard work to become great without selling your soul. Sell your heart, sell the best parts of yourself, write with tears in your eyes, write your truth, your fingers shaking against the keyboard.Write about the things that matter to you, whether it’s finance or gardening, it doesn’t matter.There are no limits to any of this. Your mindset is your limit.If you don’t write words that impress you, as the writer, then the ideas you express are worthless.Don’t sell your soul to get as many readers as possible. Write about the things you could read, over and over again, with a smile on your face. Write about them until you manage to make someone else smile.This is the art of blogging. Writing about a topic in such a way that our readers fall in love with our words. Writing about ideas that are just outside their mind’s peripheral vision in order to bring them into focus, and we develop this skill by spending hours and hours punching those damn keys.Don’t compromise. Improvise. Learn the rules, and then break the ones that make you feel like you’re trapped within a gold cage.

Source: Bruce Bennett / GettyAscena Retail Group Inc. – the owner of Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant and the Loft announced it has been extremely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be shutting down 1,200 out of 3,000 stores, reports Bloomberg.The company is preparing to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy in an attempt to eliminate $700 million of its $1.1 billion debt load. According to the report, Ascena has seen less profit and traffic in their brick and mortar shops while their online stores have seen a rise in sales.The coronavirus pandemic forced many retail stores to close their doors resulting in loss of jobs and financial gain. Although stores have reopened as of early May, reports suggest traction has not gotten back to where it was before stores closed in March at the beginning of the virus.“The company’s earnings and cash flow have been “significantly reduced” despite efforts to preserve liquidity, Carrie Teffner, Ascena’s interim executive chair, said in the update.”Lane Bryant is a beloved retailer for plus size women, who’ve long shopped their for their extended size and trendy clothing. Despite news many of Ascena’s physical businesses will close, Lane Bryant is doing its best to encourage shoppers to go back to their stores.“We 👏🏽can’t 👏🏽wait 👏🏽 to see you! Most of our stores are open—check our store locator to see if yours is one of them!” they wrote on Instagram.Ascena Retail Group Inc. isn’t the only company to claim financial strife, Brooks Brothers recently made headlines for also filing bankruptcy. Neiman Marcus and potentially Forever 21 also filed for bankruptcy.READ MORE STORIES ON BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM:Cops Fired Over Photos of Chokehold Used on Elijah McClainPolice Execute Search Warrant At Home Of Gun-Toting CouplePandemic, Racism Compound Worries About Black Suicide RateHEAD TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The federal government is planning to carry out the first federal execution in nearly two decades on Monday, over the objection of the family of the victims and after a volley of legal proceedings over the coronavirus pandemic.Daniel Lewis Lee, of Yukon, Oklahoma, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 4 p.m. on Monday at a federal prison in Indiana. He was convicted in Arkansas of the 1996 killings of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife, Nancy, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell.The execution, the first of a federal death row inmate since 2003, comes after a federal appeals court lifted an injunction on Sunday that had been put in place last week after the victims’ family argued they would be put at high risk for the coronavirus if they had to travel to attend the execution. The family had vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court.The decision to move forward with the execution — and two others scheduled later in the week — during a global health pandemic that has killed more than 135,000 people in the United States and is ravaging prisons nationwide, drew scrutiny from civil rights groups and the family of Lee’s victims.The decision has been criticized as a dangerous and political move. Critics argue that the government is creating an unnecessary and manufactured urgency around a topic that isn’t high on the list of American concerns right now. It is also likely to add a new front to the national conversation about criminal justice reform in the lead-up to the 2020 elections.In an interview with The Associated Press last week, Attorney General William Barr said the Justice Department has a duty to carry out the sentences imposed by the courts, including the death penalty, and to bring a sense of closure to the victims and those in the communities where the killings happened.But relatives of those killed by Lee strongly oppose that idea. They wanted to be present to counter any contention that it was being done on their behalf.“For us it is a matter of being there and saying, `This is not being done in our name; we do not want this,’” said relative Monica Veillette.The relatives would be traveling thousands of miles and witnessing the execution in a small room where the social distancing recommended to prevent the virus’ spread is virtually impossible. The federal prison system has struggled in recent months to contain the exploding number of coronavirus cases behind bars. There are currently four confirmed coronavirus cases among inmates at the Terre Haute prison, according to federal statistics, and one inmate there has died.“The federal government has put this family in the untenable position of choosing between their right to witness Danny Lee’s execution and their own health and safety,” the family’s attorney, Baker Kurrus, said Sunday.Barr said he believes the Bureau of Prisons could “carry out these executions without being at risk.” The agency has put a number of additional measures in place, including temperature checks and requiring witnesses to wear masks.On Sunday, the Justice Department disclosed that a staff member involved in preparing for the execution had tested positive for the coronavirus, but said he had not been in the execution chamber and had not come into contact with anyone on the specialized team sent to the prison to handle the execution.The victim’s family hopes there won’t be an execution, ever. They have asked the Justice Department and President Donald Trump not to move forward with the execution and have long asked that he be given a life sentence instead.The three men scheduled to be executed this week had been scheduled to be put to death when Barr announced the federal government would resume executions last year, ending an informal moratorium on federal capital punishment as the issue receded from the public domain. A fourth man is scheduled to be put to death in August.The Justice Department had scheduled five executions set to begin in December, but some of the inmates challenged the new procedures in court, arguing that the government was circumventing proper methods in order to wrongly execute inmates quickly.Executions on the federal level have been rare and the government has put to death only three defendants since restoring the federal death penalty in 1988 — most recently in 2003, when Louis Jones was executed for the 1995 kidnapping, rape and murder of a young female soldier. Though there hasn’t been a federal execution since 2003, the Justice Department has continued to approve death penalty prosecutions and federal courts have sentenced defendants to death.In 2014, following a botched state execution in Oklahoma, President Barack Obama directed the Justice Departmen t to conduct a broad review of capital punishment and issues surrounding lethal injection drugs.The attorney general said last July that the Obama-era review had been completed, clearing the way for executions to resume. He approved a new procedure for lethal injections that replaces the three-drug combination previously used in federal executions with one drug, pentobarbital. This is similar to the procedure used in several states, including Georgia, Missouri and Texas, but not all.

Human Wrongs WatchBy William Mebane*10 July 2020 (Wall Street International)* — Attempting to prevent police racism and violence is a worthy and overdue reform. However, to adequately address racism, we need to take a step back and understand the ‘me’ generations. Then perhaps we may begin to move away from the me-culture towards a we-culture.A Green-Brown-Black New Deal could be the first step to help America heal | Image from Wall Street International.We might even consider completing the French revolution, giving equality and fraternity the same priority as individual freedom (Prilleltensky 2020). We may find our lost morality and build community (Brooks 2020). Let us try to understand how the me generations evolved over the last 60 years.The backgroundThe generation of the sixties created a new kind of individualism. For example, Students for a Democratic Society wrote in the Port Huron Statement, “the goal of man and society should be personal independence… a concern not with an image of popularity but with finding a meaning of life that is personally authentic.”At the time, we interpreted this as emancipation from conformity, dogma, prejudice, and political oppression. And as David Brooks points out, “the individualistic culture that emerged in the sixties broke through many of the chains that held down women and oppressed minorities. It loosened the bonds of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia.” He also believes that “we could not have had Silicon Valley or the whole information age economy without the rebel individualism and bursts of creativity that were unleashed by this culture” (Brooks 2020).However, gradually our society began to take this framework to an extreme.One of the most prominent examples of this tendency is the star system of rewards, which remarkably spread to many endeavors. It began in Hollywood with the public’s desire to know the name of the actors, and the concept of movie star was born. It spread to Broadway and then to sports, to fashion, to academics, to cooks, to authors, to every profession. The media continually presents the stars with evident admiration.We are being told to strive to be like these winners. It is a very effective motivational system since we also believe that the stars are worthy. This provides sport for the economic elite. We work ourselves very hard to be exceptional individuals, downplaying all the resulting frustrations and health consequences such as divorce, opioid abuse, and obesity. The uncomfortable secret is that in the end, there is not much room for everybody to be a star, and not all stars are worthy. This is conveniently forgotten.With this individualism, the autonomous individual becomes the fundamental unit of society, free to achieve self-realization. It is no longer the task of parents, schools, and institutions to create a shared moral order; it is something you can do on your own (Brooks 2020). Social goals are your individual option or can be ignored.The nature of consumption has also evolved towards sustaining hyper-individualism, using all means possible, such as Artificial Intelligence, to forecast and even control the selection of individual products and services. The other essential task is to individualize, design, and produce these personalized products.This, together with the fast delivery of Amazon, has created a very seductive individual model of consumption, imitated worldwide. Unfortunately, it ignores the environmental and social costs. Also, our social problems concerning inequality and fraternity are reframed into individualized services of amelioration rather than looking at the primary causes.Police dog reaction against a demonstrator | Image from Wall Street International.MeritocracyIn this context, it is crucial to understand the role of meritocracy. The economic elite certainly relies on it for justification of their position of power. The rationale goes like this: since the elite (presumably) have worked hard at achieving their success, they naturally view themselves as being merit worthy. However, the others, the less successful (perhaps they have worked less hard), are less worthy.And finally, the less than less worthy become the least deserving and possibly unworthy. In addition to believing that these persons simply have not strived enough, they may also be viewed as biologically inferior, lacking behavioral traits, or other forms of inferiority. The economic elite can see their position as a merited evolution of the fittest.There are two essential problems with meritocracy. One is that it is a half-truth to which the medium and lower classes also frequently adhere, thus reinforcing the elite’s dominant position. We wish to be merit worthy and to have such leaders. However, we forget all the social determinants and the role of luck in achieving individual economic success, noted by Jencks decades ago (Jencks 1972).The second troubling issue is the oversized rewards we allow the merit worthy to accumulate. With the Internet spanning the globe, the network economies of scale with extremely low costs of each additional customer made possible extraordinary income and wealth accumulation of the service provider.However, we forget that the Internet was made possible by numerous projects in computer networking, primarily with funding from the public sector, the federal government in the US, and CERN in Europe. We allowed the benefits of public investment to be captured by the private sector in what became an individualistic, winner-take-all framework.The top three US billionaires have more wealth than the lower 50 percent of the population in 2018 (Collins 2019). CEO compensation has grown 980 percent since 1978, while typical worker compensation has risen only 12 percent. The compensation ratio of CEO-to-typical-worker reached 221 in 2018. It was 20-to-1 in 1965 (Mishel 2019).Police violence against protesters is just the tip of an iceberg of racial injustice in America | Image from Wall Street International.Pervasive individualism spreading to groupsDuring the same period, the liberation of many minority movements had produced a heterogeneity of groups and small political movements. With no strong counter-balancing social goals, these groups followed the pervasive individualistic pattern of thought, stressing their particular goals instead of finding common ones. Group identity became an emotional issue. Often our clans rallied against the others. We gained emotional satisfaction being within our clan and attacking the others.The same occurred within the two political parties, clearly exacerbated by Trump. Gridlock prevails, and now few significant social programs are undertaken, the exceptions being Obama Care, and reactions to the Coronavirus pandemic. Gridlock can serve to keep power relations unaltered.Over the last decade, the economic elite’s control over politics has become stronger. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to prohibit corporations and unions from spending from their general treasuries to finance independent expenditures related to campaigns. This gave new birth to the PACs (Political Action Committees) and Super PACs, raising funds from individuals, corporations, unions, and other groups without any legal limit on donation size.In this context of hyper-individualism and an extremely wealthy economic elite, with increased political influence, our social and collective goals have been deprioritized. Unions historically weak in the US, have continued to decline. All this has created a perfect storm for the forgotten poor.The transformation of key sectorsWithin this cultural and economic background, critical areas of our economic and social structure changed over the last decades. These include health care, the food industry, college education, incarceration, housing segregation, workers’ wages, and military defense.These sectors have often been transformed by the direct participation of business in creating new activity and markets, with little attention to the private/public tradeoffs. Not surprisingly, the changes have been in favor of the elite to the disadvantage of the poor.Fraternity cannot be imposed, but minority inequalities and injustices can be reduced | Image from Wall Street International.Health care: paying if you canWith COVID-19, we are all very familiar with the limitations of our health care system. In the building of the US health services, it almost appears that each individual sector (insurance companies, pharmaceutical industry, physicians, and hospitals) attempted to maximize their profits, ending up in a very costly and cumbersome system.The US health system costs are twice the average of other rich OECC countries. Services are centered on the hospital and private care, with little attention paid to prevention, as shown by the high levels of obesity. Middle and lower-class US citizens often cannot afford it, and frequently, when one loses their job, they may lose their health insurance. The poorest part of the population has the worst health and is precisely the group that can least afford health care.According to Census Bureau projections, the 2015 life expectancies at birth for blacks are 76.1 years compared to 79.8 years for non-Hispanic whites (HHS 2019). Twenty-two percent of blacks and 19 percent of Hispanics are living in poverty compared to 9 percent of whites in 2018 (KFF 2019).Food: eating it all“Before industrial agriculture and food processing, people ate food that consisted of whole grains and fruits and vegetables eaten in season or naturally preserved in the summer for winter months. Their food came from animals that grazed freely and lived according to their natural instincts. Now, industrial agriculture has taken over our food supply. Food has become “products” for the profit-driven food industry” (Hong 2016).Producers are free to manufacture any form of food; advertisers are free to promote everything, and consumers are free to eat what they want. However, all this excess of freedom and power of business has resulted in a health disaster and less freedom for the consumer. He is bombarded by advertising for all kinds of foods, including those with a high content of fats and sugars, and most importantly, the consumer is not encouraged to eat in healthy portions.The US obesity rate has steadily increased since the initial 1962 recording of 23% to the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity in adults of 42.4% in 2017–2018 (Hales 2020) and 18.5 % for children. Overall life expectancy in the US ranks 38th among other countries, at 78.9 years. The US poor minorities also have higher obesity rates and lower life expectancy.By contrast, Italy, a less developed country, with the Mediterranean diet (mainly of fresh foods), ranks 4th among developed nations with an overall life expectancy of 83.6 years (Conceicao 2019) and with an adult obesity rate of only 10.4 percent (ISTAT 2017).College education: graduating the well to do at a cost“The price of going to college has been increasing since the 1980s. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost per year for the 2015-2016 academic year was just over $19,000 for a public four-year university. The figure jumps to nearly $40,000 for a private university…The average annual growth in wages was only 0.3% between January 1989 and January 2016. That’s right, the cost to attend a university increased nearly eight times faster than wages” (Maldonado 2018).“The closing of enrollment selectivity gaps for both Black and Hispanic students appears to be driven entirely by more of these students making the choice to enroll in non-degree-granting postsecondary programs rather than not enroll in college at all. Indeed, once we remove these marginal postsecondary enrollees from our analysis, over the past three decades, enrollment selectivity gaps have been consistently growing for Black students and growing, albeit more gradually, for Hispanic students… Black and Hispanic students are still falling behind their White peers in the rate at which they can access more-selective levels of higher education” (Baker 2018).Jails: keeping many in and privatizingThe population of inmates housed in prisons and jails in the United States exceeds 2.3 million, with the per capita incarceration population higher than that officially reported by any other country in the world. Blacks comprise 12 percent of the adult population and 33 percent of the prison population, compared to 64 and 30 percent for whites in 2017 (Gramlich 2019).“Systemic racism drives both poverty and mass incarceration of low-income people of color, putting these communities, especially at risk for justice system involvement. Low-income neighborhoods are the most heavily policed; social safety net benefits recipients are monitored, tracked, and prosecuted for fraud; low-income individuals of color are disproportionately drawn into the child support and welfare system and separated from their family members; justice system fees and fines have a greater punitive impact on low-income people; and exclusionary discipline in schools drives disengagement” (Fajardo 2020). Policing policies have targeted low-income neighborhoods that predominantly house Black and Hispanic community members for surveillance, increasing the frequency of arrests and the possibility of police violence.The introduction of private companies to build and manage prisons, now about 8 percent of the total, has raised many questions. “The goal of the prison system is to rehabilitate prisoners. Since prison has over a 77% recidivism rate for violent crimes, those goals have been doubted. Besides that point, if prison was 100% effective, the private prisons would be working themselves out of business. This makes one wonder: is prison supposed to rehab the individual, or is it supposed to earn money? If the goal is to earn money, then a high prison population is the end goal” (Bryant 2020).It is necessary to to begin a large scale program of public housing for minorities | Image from Wall Street International.Housing segregation: maintaining the status quo“Where people live affects their well-being and ability to thrive… but not all neighborhoods provide their residents equal access to the opportunities necessary to succeed. White residents tend to have more access to high-opportunity neighborhoods than residents of color do.This trend did not come about by chance. Programs, policies, and practices have systematically denied equal opportunity to people of color, resulting in segregated neighborhoods with unequal access to resources”… “White and Asian or Pacific Islander households tend to live in neighborhoods with stronger labor markets and better-performing elementary schools than black, Hispanic, and Native American residents.” Taking into consideration the racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty (R/ECAPs), persons living in these areas have an opportunity index of 11 compared to an index of 53 for persons residing in other zones” (Gourevitch 2018).“As of June 2019, black homeownership, nationally, stood at 40.6%, the lowest since 1960, when racial discrimination in mortgage lending was actually federal policy. That’s almost 33 percentage points short of the white homeownership rate (73%), the biggest gap on record” (Whitehouse 2019).In the 52 largest cities, the segregation level is between 50 and 70, indicating that more than half of blacks would have to have to move to reach complete integration (Frey 2015). The tragedy of this status quo is that black homeownership is kept low and out of neighborhoods where the value of home investments grow.Workers’ wages: stagnatingCumulative change in real median wages from 1979–2019 was only 15.1 percent. “In 2019, black wages exceeded their 2000 and 2007 levels across the wage distribution for the first time in this recovery. Even so, black-white wage gaps are significantly wider now than in 2000…From 2000 to 2019, the strongest growth among white, black, and Hispanic workers occurred at the top of the wage distribution, a sign that wage inequality is growing within each of these groups as well as among workers overall (Gould 2020).Recent research shows that the black-white wage gap is as large today as it was in 1950: black males earn $0.51 for every $1 earned by white men in 1950 and in 2014 (Leonhardt 2020). The “gig economy,” whereby individuals have greater work flexibility but without the benefits of the employed, such as healthcare, pensions and paid holidays, has been around for more than a century but has grown from the 1990s when about ten percent of work was given to outside contractors and services, until today where it is estimated that a third of workers are now in the gig economy (Pichard-Whitehead 2019).This provides them with greater freedom, flexibility, and possibly better work/life balance, but at the expense of increased economic uncertainty. To date, the gig worker seems to have little bargaining power for wages. The percentage of workers belonging to a union is down to 10.3 percent of workers in 2019, about half of the 20.1 percent in 1983 (USDLC 2010).As a result of these trends, income distribution has changed. In 2016 Western Europe’s bottom 50 percent’s share of national income was 22 percent, compared to 13 percent for the US. In 1980 the US share was 21 percent, indicating a massive shift in favor of the rich in this period (UNESCO 2018). In the bottom 50 percent the minorities are concentrated, but the largest portion at least 27 percent, more than half, is white.Defense: always increasing the military budgetThe last sector, the US defense industry, is crucial because it is always expanding and taking so many resources that could be allocated to other priorities. The size of the US ‘defense’ budget, $ 738 billion, is more than the next seven countries combined. It is hard to justify with our history of wars without strategic importance such as the Vietnam War and others.Since wars are unpopular with the youth who have to fight them, private ‘security’ firms are increasingly being utilized. Eisenhower warned us of the industrial-military complex and yet we are still reluctant to ask if such large expenditures are required or serve our best interests.ConclusionsPolice violence against blacks is only the tip of an iceberg of racial injustice in America. Let us remove the roots of racism! It is necessary to dismantle the excessive incarceration; to begin a large scale program of public housing for minorities; to fight obesity and transform the food industry into a health food industry: raise the minimum wage and spend less on the defense industry. Fraternity cannot be imposed, but minority inequalities and injustices can be reduced.Adding a multi-year program with job creation and training would be extremely helpful. Something that would improve the lives of minorities, renew the old infrastructure, help industry take the lead in new technologies, improve our environment, and help save our planet. Call it a Green-Brown-Black New Deal. It could be the first step to help America heal. Can me become we?BibliographyBaker, R, et al. (2018). “Race and Stratification in College Enrollment Over Time,” AERA Open, January-March 2018, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 1–28.Brooks, D. (2020). The Second Mountain, Penguin Books Ltd.Bryant, S. (2020). “The Business Model of Private Prisons,” Investopedia, February 22, 2020.Collins, C, et al. (2019). Billionaire Bonanza 2018, Forbes, October 30, 2019.Conceicao, P., et al. (2019). Human Development Report 2010, United Nations Development Programme, December 10, 2019.Gould, E., (2019). State of Working America’s Wages 2019, February 20, 2020 Report, Economic Policy Institute.Gourevitch, R., et al. (2018). “Federal fair housing data highlight the need for action to reverse the nation’s legacy of segregation,” Urban Wire, June 28, 2018, Urban Institute.Hales, C.M., (2020). “Prevalence of Obesity and Severe Obesity Among Adults: United States, 2017–2018,” NCHS Data Brief No. 360, February 2020.Fajardo, S., et al. (2019). “Ending the Poverty to Prison Pipeline,” FWPA. April 2019.Frey, W.M., (2015). “Census shows modest declines in black-white segregation,” The Avenue, December 8, 2015, Brookings Institution.Gramlich, J., (2019). The gap between the number of blacks and whites in prison is shrinking, April 30, 2019, Pew Research Center.Hong, H., (2016). “Modern Industrial Foods and Their Effects on the Human Body,” Natural Medicine Journal, April 2016, Volume 3, Issue 4.ISTAT, (2017). “Tavole di Dati: Fattori di rischio per la salute: fumo, obesità, alcol e sedentarietà,” 6 luglio 2017.Jencks, C., et al., (1972). “Inequality: A Reassessment of the Effects of Family and Schooling in America,” KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation), (2018).Leonhardt, D., (2020). “The Black-White Wage Gap Is as Big as It Was in 1950,” New York Times, June 25.Maldonado, C., (2018). “Price of College Increasing Almost 8 Times Faster Than Wages,” Forbes, July 24, 2018.Mishel, L., et al, (2019). CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978, August 14, 2019, Economic Policy Institute.OMH (Office of Minority Health), (2019). Profile of Black/African Americans, August 22, 2019.Pichard-Whitehead, G., (2019). “The History and Future of the Gig Economy,” Small Business Trends, November 12, 2019.Prilleltensky. I., and O., (2020). How People Matter, forthcoming book.UNESCO, (2018). World Inequality Report 2018 Executive Summary, July 31, 2018.USBLC (US Bureau of Labor Statistics), (2020). “Union Members Summary.” Economic News Release. January 22, 2020.Whitehouse, M., (2019). “For Black Americans, the Housing Crisis Isn’t Over,” Bloomberg Opinion: Economics, August 12, 2019.…….*William Mebane.William Mebane, son of a petroleum geologist born and raised in Texas, is an energy economist who worked in the oil industry and subsequently helped introduce energy efficiency in Italy and the European Union, through legislation, appliance labeling, training, and incentive programs.He has degrees from the University of Texas and Harvard Business School..Author profile*William Mebane‘s article was published in Wall Street International. Go to Original.2020 Human Wrongs WatchHuman Wrongs WatchBy William Mebane*10 July 2020 (Wall Street International)* — Attempting to prevent police racism and violence is a worthy and overdue reform. However, to adequately address racism, we need to take a step back and understand the ‘me’ generations. Then perhaps we may begin to move away from the me-culture towards a we-culture.A Green-Brown-Black New Deal could be the first step to help America heal | Image from Wall Street International.We might even consider completing the French revolution, giving equality and fraternity the same priority as individual freedom (Prilleltensky 2020). We may find our lost morality and build community (Brooks 2020). Let us try to understand how the me generations evolved over the last 60 years.The backgroundThe generation of the sixties created a new kind of individualism. For example, Students for a Democratic Society wrote in the Port Huron Statement, “the goal of man and society should be personal independence… a concern not with an image of popularity but with finding a meaning of life that is personally authentic.”At the time, we interpreted this as emancipation from conformity, dogma, prejudice, and political oppression. And as David Brooks points out, “the individualistic culture that emerged in the sixties broke through many of the chains that held down women and oppressed minorities. It loosened the bonds of racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia.” He also believes that “we could not have had Silicon Valley or the whole information age economy without the rebel individualism and bursts of creativity that were unleashed by this culture” (Brooks 2020).However, gradually our society began to take this framework to an extreme.One of the most prominent examples of this tendency is the star system of rewards, which remarkably spread to many endeavors. It began in Hollywood with the public’s desire to know the name of the actors, and the concept of movie star was born. It spread to Broadway and then to sports, to fashion, to academics, to cooks, to authors, to every profession. The media continually presents the stars with evident admiration.We are being told to strive to be like these winners. It is a very effective motivational system since we also believe that the stars are worthy. This provides sport for the economic elite. We work ourselves very hard to be exceptional individuals, downplaying all the resulting frustrations and health consequences such as divorce, opioid abuse, and obesity. The uncomfortable secret is that in the end, there is not much room for everybody to be a star, and not all stars are worthy. This is conveniently forgotten.With this individualism, the autonomous individual becomes the fundamental unit of society, free to achieve self-realization. It is no longer the task of parents, schools, and institutions to create a shared moral order; it is something you can do on your own (Brooks 2020). Social goals are your individual option or can be ignored.The nature of consumption has also evolved towards sustaining hyper-individualism, using all means possible, such as Artificial Intelligence, to forecast and even control the selection of individual products and services. The other essential task is to individualize, design, and produce these personalized products.This, together with the fast delivery of Amazon, has created a very seductive individual model of consumption, imitated worldwide. Unfortunately, it ignores the environmental and social costs. Also, our social problems concerning inequality and fraternity are reframed into individualized services of amelioration rather than looking at the primary causes.Police dog reaction against a demonstrator | Image from Wall Street International.MeritocracyIn this context, it is crucial to understand the role of meritocracy. The economic elite certainly relies on it for justification of their position of power. The rationale goes like this: since the elite (presumably) have worked hard at achieving their success, they naturally view themselves as being merit worthy. However, the others, the less successful (perhaps they have worked less hard), are less worthy.And finally, the less than less worthy become the least deserving and possibly unworthy. In addition to believing that these persons simply have not strived enough, they may also be viewed as biologically inferior, lacking behavioral traits, or other forms of inferiority. The economic elite can see their position as a merited evolution of the fittest.There are two essential problems with meritocracy. One is that it is a half-truth to which the medium and lower classes also frequently adhere, thus reinforcing the elite’s dominant position. We wish to be merit worthy and to have such leaders. However, we forget all the social determinants and the role of luck in achieving individual economic success, noted by Jencks decades ago (Jencks 1972).The second troubling issue is the oversized rewards we allow the merit worthy to accumulate. With the Internet spanning the globe, the network economies of scale with extremely low costs of each additional customer made possible extraordinary income and wealth accumulation of the service provider.However, we forget that the Internet was made possible by numerous projects in computer networking, primarily with funding from the public sector, the federal government in the US, and CERN in Europe. We allowed the benefits of public investment to be captured by the private sector in what became an individualistic, winner-take-all framework.The top three US billionaires have more wealth than the lower 50 percent of the population in 2018 (Collins 2019). CEO compensation has grown 980 percent since 1978, while typical worker compensation has risen only 12 percent. The compensation ratio of CEO-to-typical-worker reached 221 in 2018. It was 20-to-1 in 1965 (Mishel 2019).Police violence against protesters is just the tip of an iceberg of racial injustice in America | Image from Wall Street International.Pervasive individualism spreading to groupsDuring the same period, the liberation of many minority movements had produced a heterogeneity of groups and small political movements. With no strong counter-balancing social goals, these groups followed the pervasive individualistic pattern of thought, stressing their particular goals instead of finding common ones. Group identity became an emotional issue. Often our clans rallied against the others. We gained emotional satisfaction being within our clan and attacking the others.The same occurred within the two political parties, clearly exacerbated by Trump. Gridlock prevails, and now few significant social programs are undertaken, the exceptions being Obama Care, and reactions to the Coronavirus pandemic. Gridlock can serve to keep power relations unaltered.Over the last decade, the economic elite’s control over politics has become stronger. In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to prohibit corporations and unions from spending from their general treasuries to finance independent expenditures related to campaigns. This gave new birth to the PACs (Political Action Committees) and Super PACs, raising funds from individuals, corporations, unions, and other groups without any legal limit on donation size.In this context of hyper-individualism and an extremely wealthy economic elite, with increased political influence, our social and collective goals have been deprioritized. Unions historically weak in the US, have continued to decline. All this has created a perfect storm for the forgotten poor.The transformation of key sectorsWithin this cultural and economic background, critical areas of our economic and social structure changed over the last decades. These include health care, the food industry, college education, incarceration, housing segregation, workers’ wages, and military defense.These sectors have often been transformed by the direct participation of business in creating new activity and markets, with little attention to the private/public tradeoffs. Not surprisingly, the changes have been in favor of the elite to the disadvantage of the poor.Fraternity cannot be imposed, but minority inequalities and injustices can be reduced | Image from Wall Street International.Health care: paying if you canWith COVID-19, we are all very familiar with the limitations of our health care system. In the building of the US health services, it almost appears that each individual sector (insurance companies, pharmaceutical industry, physicians, and hospitals) attempted to maximize their profits, ending up in a very costly and cumbersome system.The US health system costs are twice the average of other rich OECC countries. Services are centered on the hospital and private care, with little attention paid to prevention, as shown by the high levels of obesity. Middle and lower-class US citizens often cannot afford it, and frequently, when one loses their job, they may lose their health insurance. The poorest part of the population has the worst health and is precisely the group that can least afford health care.According to Census Bureau projections, the 2015 life expectancies at birth for blacks are 76.1 years compared to 79.8 years for non-Hispanic whites (HHS 2019). Twenty-two percent of blacks and 19 percent of Hispanics are living in poverty compared to 9 percent of whites in 2018 (KFF 2019).Food: eating it all“Before industrial agriculture and food processing, people ate food that consisted of whole grains and fruits and vegetables eaten in season or naturally preserved in the summer for winter months. Their food came from animals that grazed freely and lived according to their natural instincts. Now, industrial agriculture has taken over our food supply. Food has become “products” for the profit-driven food industry” (Hong 2016).Producers are free to manufacture any form of food; advertisers are free to promote everything, and consumers are free to eat what they want. However, all this excess of freedom and power of business has resulted in a health disaster and less freedom for the consumer. He is bombarded by advertising for all kinds of foods, including those with a high content of fats and sugars, and most importantly, the consumer is not encouraged to eat in healthy portions.The US obesity rate has steadily increased since the initial 1962 recording of 23% to the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity in adults of 42.4% in 2017–2018 (Hales 2020) and 18.5 % for children. Overall life expectancy in the US ranks 38th among other countries, at 78.9 years. The US poor minorities also have higher obesity rates and lower life expectancy.By contrast, Italy, a less developed country, with the Mediterranean diet (mainly of fresh foods), ranks 4th among developed nations with an overall life expectancy of 83.6 years (Conceicao 2019) and with an adult obesity rate of only 10.4 percent (ISTAT 2017).College education: graduating the well to do at a cost“The price of going to college has been increasing since the 1980s. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost per year for the 2015-2016 academic year was just over $19,000 for a public four-year university. The figure jumps to nearly $40,000 for a private university…The average annual growth in wages was only 0.3% between January 1989 and January 2016. That’s right, the cost to attend a university increased nearly eight times faster than wages” (Maldonado 2018).“The closing of enrollment selectivity gaps for both Black and Hispanic students appears to be driven entirely by more of these students making the choice to enroll in non-degree-granting postsecondary programs rather than not enroll in college at all. Indeed, once we remove these marginal postsecondary enrollees from our analysis, over the past three decades, enrollment selectivity gaps have been consistently growing for Black students and growing, albeit more gradually, for Hispanic students… Black and Hispanic students are still falling behind their White peers in the rate at which they can access more-selective levels of higher education” (Baker 2018).Jails: keeping many in and privatizingThe population of inmates housed in prisons and jails in the United States exceeds 2.3 million, with the per capita incarceration population higher than that officially reported by any other country in the world. Blacks comprise 12 percent of the adult population and 33 percent of the prison population, compared to 64 and 30 percent for whites in 2017 (Gramlich 2019).“Systemic racism drives both poverty and mass incarceration of low-income people of color, putting these communities, especially at risk for justice system involvement. Low-income neighborhoods are the most heavily policed; social safety net benefits recipients are monitored, tracked, and prosecuted for fraud; low-income individuals of color are disproportionately drawn into the child support and welfare system and separated from their family members; justice system fees and fines have a greater punitive impact on low-income people; and exclusionary discipline in schools drives disengagement” (Fajardo 2020). Policing policies have targeted low-income neighborhoods that predominantly house Black and Hispanic community members for surveillance, increasing the frequency of arrests and the possibility of police violence.The introduction of private companies to build and manage prisons, now about 8 percent of the total, has raised many questions. “The goal of the prison system is to rehabilitate prisoners. Since prison has over a 77% recidivism rate for violent crimes, those goals have been doubted. Besides that point, if prison was 100% effective, the private prisons would be working themselves out of business. This makes one wonder: is prison supposed to rehab the individual, or is it supposed to earn money? If the goal is to earn money, then a high prison population is the end goal” (Bryant 2020).It is necessary to to begin a large scale program of public housing for minorities | Image from Wall Street International.Housing segregation: maintaining the status quo“Where people live affects their well-being and ability to thrive… but not all neighborhoods provide their residents equal access to the opportunities necessary to succeed. White residents tend to have more access to high-opportunity neighborhoods than residents of color do.This trend did not come about by chance. Programs, policies, and practices have systematically denied equal opportunity to people of color, resulting in segregated neighborhoods with unequal access to resources”… “White and Asian or Pacific Islander households tend to live in neighborhoods with stronger labor markets and better-performing elementary schools than black, Hispanic, and Native American residents.” Taking into consideration the racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty (R/ECAPs), persons living in these areas have an opportunity index of 11 compared to an index of 53 for persons residing in other zones” (Gourevitch 2018).“As of June 2019, black homeownership, nationally, stood at 40.6%, the lowest since 1960, when racial discrimination in mortgage lending was actually federal policy. That’s almost 33 percentage points short of the white homeownership rate (73%), the biggest gap on record” (Whitehouse 2019).In the 52 largest cities, the segregation level is between 50 and 70, indicating that more than half of blacks would have to have to move to reach complete integration (Frey 2015). The tragedy of this status quo is that black homeownership is kept low and out of neighborhoods where the value of home investments grow.Workers’ wages: stagnatingCumulative change in real median wages from 1979–2019 was only 15.1 percent. “In 2019, black wages exceeded their 2000 and 2007 levels across the wage distribution for the first time in this recovery. Even so, black-white wage gaps are significantly wider now than in 2000…From 2000 to 2019, the strongest growth among white, black, and Hispanic workers occurred at the top of the wage distribution, a sign that wage inequality is growing within each of these groups as well as among workers overall (Gould 2020).Recent research shows that the black-white wage gap is as large today as it was in 1950: black males earn $0.51 for every $1 earned by white men in 1950 and in 2014 (Leonhardt 2020). The “gig economy,” whereby individuals have greater work flexibility but without the benefits of the employed, such as healthcare, pensions and paid holidays, has been around for more than a century but has grown from the 1990s when about ten percent of work was given to outside contractors and services, until today where it is estimated that a third of workers are now in the gig economy (Pichard-Whitehead 2019).This provides them with greater freedom, flexibility, and possibly better work/life balance, but at the expense of increased economic uncertainty. To date, the gig worker seems to have little bargaining power for wages. The percentage of workers belonging to a union is down to 10.3 percent of workers in 2019, about half of the 20.1 percent in 1983 (USDLC 2010).As a result of these trends, income distribution has changed. In 2016 Western Europe’s bottom 50 percent’s share of national income was 22 percent, compared to 13 percent for the US. In 1980 the US share was 21 percent, indicating a massive shift in favor of the rich in this period (UNESCO 2018). In the bottom 50 percent the minorities are concentrated, but the largest portion at least 27 percent, more than half, is white.Defense: always increasing the military budgetThe last sector, the US defense industry, is crucial because it is always expanding and taking so many resources that could be allocated to other priorities. The size of the US ‘defense’ budget, $ 738 billion, is more than the next seven countries combined. It is hard to justify with our history of wars without strategic importance such as the Vietnam War and others.Since wars are unpopular with the youth who have to fight them, private ‘security’ firms are increasingly being utilized. Eisenhower warned us of the industrial-military complex and yet we are still reluctant to ask if such large expenditures are required or serve our best interests.ConclusionsPolice violence against blacks is only the tip of an iceberg of racial injustice in America. Let us remove the roots of racism! It is necessary to dismantle the excessive incarceration; to begin a large scale program of public housing for minorities; to fight obesity and transform the food industry into a health food industry: raise the minimum wage and spend less on the defense industry. Fraternity cannot be imposed, but minority inequalities and injustices can be reduced.Adding a multi-year program with job creation and training would be extremely helpful. Something that would improve the lives of minorities, renew the old infrastructure, help industry take the lead in new technologies, improve our environment, and help save our planet. Call it a Green-Brown-Black New Deal. It could be the first step to help America heal. Can me become we?BibliographyBaker, R, et al. (2018). “Race and Stratification in College Enrollment Over Time,” AERA Open, January-March 2018, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 1–28.Brooks, D. (2020). The Second Mountain, Penguin Books Ltd.Bryant, S. (2020). “The Business Model of Private Prisons,” Investopedia, February 22, 2020.Collins, C, et al. (2019). Billionaire Bonanza 2018, Forbes, October 30, 2019.Conceicao, P., et al. (2019). Human Development Report 2010, United Nations Development Programme, December 10, 2019.Gould, E., (2019). State of Working America’s Wages 2019, February 20, 2020 Report, Economic Policy Institute.Gourevitch, R., et al. (2018). “Federal fair housing data highlight the need for action to reverse the nation’s legacy of segregation,” Urban Wire, June 28, 2018, Urban Institute.Hales, C.M., (2020). “Prevalence of Obesity and Severe Obesity Among Adults: United States, 2017–2018,” NCHS Data Brief No. 360, February 2020.Fajardo, S., et al. (2019). “Ending the Poverty to Prison Pipeline,” FWPA. April 2019.Frey, W.M., (2015). “Census shows modest declines in black-white segregation,” The Avenue, December 8, 2015, Brookings Institution.Gramlich, J., (2019). The gap between the number of blacks and whites in prison is shrinking, April 30, 2019, Pew Research Center.Hong, H., (2016). “Modern Industrial Foods and Their Effects on the Human Body,” Natural Medicine Journal, April 2016, Volume 3, Issue 4.ISTAT, (2017). “Tavole di Dati: Fattori di rischio per la salute: fumo, obesità, alcol e sedentarietà,” 6 luglio 2017.Jencks, C., et al., (1972). “Inequality: A Reassessment of the Effects of Family and Schooling in America,” KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation), (2018).Leonhardt, D., (2020). “The Black-White Wage Gap Is as Big as It Was in 1950,” New York Times, June 25.Maldonado, C., (2018). “Price of College Increasing Almost 8 Times Faster Than Wages,” Forbes, July 24, 2018.Mishel, L., et al, (2019). CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978, August 14, 2019, Economic Policy Institute.OMH (Office of Minority Health), (2019). Profile of Black/African Americans, August 22, 2019.Pichard-Whitehead, G., (2019). “The History and Future of the Gig Economy,” Small Business Trends, November 12, 2019.Prilleltensky. I., and O., (2020). How People Matter, forthcoming book.UNESCO, (2018). World Inequality Report 2018 Executive Summary, July 31, 2018.USBLC (US Bureau of Labor Statistics), (2020). “Union Members Summary.” Economic News Release. January 22, 2020.Whitehouse, M., (2019). “For Black Americans, the Housing Crisis Isn’t Over,” Bloomberg Opinion: Economics, August 12, 2019.…….*William Mebane.William Mebane, son of a petroleum geologist born and raised in Texas, is an energy economist who worked in the oil industry and subsequently helped introduce energy efficiency in Italy and the European Union, through legislation, appliance labeling, training, and incentive programs.He has degrees from the University of Texas and Harvard Business School..Author profile*William Mebane‘s article was published in Wall Street International. Go to Original.2020 Human Wrongs Watch

NEW YORK — The annual global temperature average is expected to rise above pre-industrial levels by at least 1.64 degrees more each year for the next five years, according to the World Meteorological Organization.Pre-industrial levels refers to the temperatures seen between 1850 and 1900, according to the WMO. The Earth’s average temperature is already 1.8 degrees above the pre-industrial period and the last five-year period has been the warmest on record.“This study shows – with a high level of scientific skill – the enormous challenge ahead in meeting the Paris Agreement on Climate Change target of keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.There is also a 20% chance that the average global temperature will exceed the 1.5 degrees Celsius increase, which is 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, in at least one of those five years, according to the WMO.That figure is important because it is a target countries agreed to avoid hitting in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. The predictions take into account natural influences as well as human impact on the climate.The forecast models have not, however, taken into account the changes in emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols during the COVID-19 pandemic.“WMO has repeatedly stressed that the industrial and economic slowdown from COVID-19 is not a substitute for sustained and coordinated climate action. Due to the very long lifetime of CO2 in the atmosphere, the impact of the drop in emissions this year is not expected to lead to a reduction of CO2 atmospheric concentrations which are driving global temperature increases,” said Taalas.“Whilst COVID-19 has caused a severe international health and economic crisis, failure to tackle climate change may threaten human well-being, ecosystems and economies for centuries, Governments should use the opportunity to embrace climate action as part of recovery programmes and ensure that we grow back better,” he said.Professor Adam Scaife, head of long-range prediction at the Met Office Hadley Centre, stated, “This is an exciting new scientific capability. As human-induced climate change grows, it is becoming even more important for governments and decision makers to understand the current climate risks on an annually-updated basis.”One notable highlight from the predictions was that over the next five-year period, almost all regions, except for part of the southern oceans, were likely to become warmer than in the past.Some impacts of the oncoming warming pattern may have already taken effect in the Arctic where the area has warmed by more than twice the global average.Temperatures in the tropics of the Southern Hemisphere should expect little to no change, and regions in South America, southern Africa, as well as Australia will see significantly dryer conditions, according to the WMO.With the U.K.’s Met Office acting as lead center, climate prediction groups from Spain, Germany, Canada, China, the United States, Japan, Australia, Sweden, Norway and Denmark contributed new predictions this year. Combining forecasts from climate prediction centers worldwide enables a higher quality prediction than what can be obtained from any single source.The figures come less than a year after the U.S. started its withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement in November of 2019.The climate agreement, which went into force Nov. 4, 2016, committed countries that signed the measure to take certain voluntary steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement was not legally enforceable and countries set their own emissions targets. The accord banned countries from announcing their intent to withdraw in its first three years.The agreement set goals of preventing another 0.9 degrees (0.5 degrees Celsius) to 1.8 degrees (1 degree Celsius) of warming from current levels. Even the pledges made in 2015 weren’t enough to prevent those levels of warming.The deal calls for nations to come up with more ambitious pollution cuts every five years, starting in November 2020. Because of the expected withdrawal, the U.S. role in 2020 negotiations will be reduced, experts said.Climate change, largely caused by the burning of coal, oil and gas, has already warmed the world by 1.8 degrees (1 degree Celsius) since the late 1800s, caused massive melting of ice globally, triggered weather extremes and changed ocean chemistry. And scientists say, depending on how much carbon dioxide is emitted, it will only get worse by the end of the century, with temperatures jumping by several degrees and oceans rising by close to 3 feet (1 meter).FOX 5 DC contributed to this report.

LANCASTER, Pa. — A man in Pennsylvania has been taken into custody and charged in connection with the disappearance of an Amish woman three weeks ago, according to officials.The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release that Justo Smoker, 34, of Paradise, was arrested Friday and charged with felony kidnapping and misdemeanor false imprisonment in the search for 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos.Stoltzfoos has been missing since June 21, when she was last seen walking home from church in the Bird-in-Hand area, located to the east of Lancaster.Justo Smoker, 34, was arrested Friday and charged with felony kidnapping and misdemeanor false imprisonment in the search for 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos. (Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office/East Lampeter Township Police Department)“Investigators are actively searching and working to determine what happened to Stoltzfoos after she was taken,” the district attorney’s office said Saturday. “Investigators have reason to believe Stoltzfoos was harmed following her abduction.”Smoker was arrested Friday night at his job and arraigned Saturday morning on the two charges. At his arraignment, a judge made the 34-year-old ineligible for bail, citing the nature of the charges and ongoing investigation.According to prosecutors, investigators on Friday evening searched a rural location in Ronks, where they believe Stoltzfoos might have been taken after being kidnapped.“Investigators found buried in a wooded area articles of clothing believed to belong to Stoltzfoos,” the DAs’s office said.Smoker’s vehicle, a red Kia Rio sedan with a “distinct spoiler” and “LCM” sticker on the trunk was seen parked in the rural area on June 23, according to police.The 34-year-old became a person of interest in the investigation after police said they received information about a red/orange vehicle seen in the Gap area on the afternoon of Stoltzfoos’ abduction.Multiple witnesses in that area also told authorities they saw an Amish female in the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by a male.“Witness descriptions of the driver and vehicle are consistent with Smoker and his vehicle,” officials said.Investigators also revealed that they obtained and viewed surveillance video that was enhanced by FBI forensic technicians that shows Stoltzfoos’ abduction on Beechdale Road, where she would have been walking back from church.“That video shows a red Kia Rio involved in the abduction,” the DA’s office said.The 18-year-old’s father reported her missing when she did not return from a youth group late into the night of June 21. Investigators confirmed that Stoltzfoos did not make it to that social gathering.“Police found nothing indicating Stoltzfoos was unhappy and wanted to leave her community,” officials said.The East Lampeter Township Police Department is being assisted by multiple agencies in their investigation over the Amish woman’s disappearance, including the FBI, Pennsylvania State Police and Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.On Friday, the FBI offered a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to her recovery.Stoltzfoos has brown hair and blue eyes, and is approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall and 125 pounds, police said. She was last seen wearing a tan dress, white apron, and a black head covering.Read updates on FOXNews.com.

Abdelaziz DahmaniGHANNOUCHI COMPTE , un vrai Conte d épouvantes … , SUR LE SOUTIEN DE ERDOGHAN … La Tunisie va mal ! Très mal même ! Le pays est menacé de tous les dangers , le non moindre est l anéantissement de l État , bien que son Histoire remonte si loin en millénaires … Oui , la Tunisie a connu des vicissitudes dans sa longue Vie , de nombreuses occupations , et des moments de gloires . Et Carthage a son époque à failli devenir le maître du monde ,qui alors s articulait autour de la Méditerranée , mère des grandes civilisations , et des grandes religions …De nos jours on ramasse dans cette même Méditerranée , des centaines de cadavres de Tunisiens , parce que leurs passeports ne valent plus leurs poids en clous rouillés …Allah Yarham le Passeport de L époque de Bourguiba ! J ai alors traversé , visité tant de pays …sans visas ….Dans ce désastre un nom est désigné , responsable de ce désastre : En Nahdha , son prénom : Rached … Derrière , des complots internationaux , des services secrets , des slogans de Démocratie , Libertés … , le feu a commencé , involontairement dans un pauvre village , d une région déshéritée du centre tunisien , loin des images rassurantes des belles côtes touristiques . Voilà , le feu des cœurs , des raisons , des intérêts , embraser non seulement la Tunisie , mais presque l ensemble du monde arabe .Sauf ceux des pays du Golfe , ou le mot Démocratie n à pourtant aucun sens ! Des pouvoirs tribaux , familiaux … Sauf la démocratie , de pouvoir tout acheter ! Et la Tunisie de naguère , même de Ben Ali , fut il dictateur , n était pas achetable ! . Et , dans le jeu des Massacres , eux , ont les mirobolantes bourses , les milliards à gogo . Des minables , des tunisiens , se sont mis à leurs soldes . Avec quelques vestes retournées , méprisantes , méprisables …Le Drame tunisien , en raison , de toutes les forfaitures , les lâchetés , les corruptions , a conduit au prises du pouvoir par les plus soutenus . Appliquant à la lettre , les ordres d une idéologie commune , celle , d user de l Islam comme armure à leurs volontés de prendre le pouvoir coûte que coûte . Et une partie du peuple , oppressé par la misère , l ignorance , le fanatisme religieux , et les cadeaux d espoirs , ont voté pour eux , eux camouflés derrière des noms pompeux , tirés des bons romans de Neguib Mahfoudh et autres : EnNahdha , El Karama , El , El . ..Dire a un voyou primaire qu il porte en lui El Karama , ne change pas sa nature de voyou , devenu de surcroît vociférant , parce que nourri par la Vanité de toucher bientôt le pouvoir , à ses dorures et à ses bottes , , mocassins vernis , des bendirs chauffés …Non seulement , la Tunisie va très mal , mais son parlement , qui devait être la voix de la sagesse , des lois , des équilibres , est devenu dans ses travées , le Grand Cirque . Insultes , crachats , menaces , accusations d apostats conduisant à la peine de mort , dans la compréhension de quelques têtes fanatiques . Et circulation , à l intérieur du Parlement d autres voyous , gros bras de videurs , et même ayant été fichés , certains de terroristes actifs ! S opposer à leurs libres entrées , c est devenu , dans le désastre national , sacrilège ! D ou insultes honteuses contre la Sécurité , la Garde Présidentielle qui veulent garder un semblant d ordre ! Dans le Silence du gardien du Temple ! , de celui qui se veut , le Sage , “ Le Président de tous les tunisiens “Pouvez t il protester ? , vouloir appliquer la loi ? , appliquer les règles de son parlement ? NON et NON ! Lui , sa tête est ailleurs . Les insultes , les menaces , ne sont que des jeux d enfants mal polis . LUI , sa tête est dans. Les GRANDS ENJEUX . La Tunisie , ou ce qu il en reste , faisant partie d une coalition internationale , à dominante turque …Ghannouchi , c est de surcroît , un cynique calculateur , sait que ses chances sont ultra nulles , d avoir le POUVOIR PERSONNEL ,en Tunisie , parce que il est rejeté par la quasi majorité du pays . Même s il pouvait compter sur un million d électeurs acquis . IL sait , que Cinq ou Six millions de Tunisiens n en veulent pas de lui ! IL le sait ! D autant , que depuis qu il pris le pouvoir réel , depuis 2011 , le pouvoir , de nommer ou de se débarrasser des Gouvernements pays , une dizaine ! , la Tunisie , n à cesse d aller vers l enfer ! l insécurité , et le déclin … son bilan à lui , et de ses sbires ,est un désastre . D ou son regard , ses cyniques espoirs , c es l ÉTRANGER DICTATEUR !Le pouvoir , ? , il le voit , venir d Istanbul . Ou avant hier un célèbre Musée , Sainte Sophie , a été transformé en Mosquée … D ou , RG , son total engagement personnel , dans le soutien de la guerre libel-libyenne .. Guerre devenue internationale , demain mondiale ? Le soutien de Ghannouchi au clan turc-Qatar-frères musulmans , soutenant un fantoche , est nécessaire aux yeux de Erdoghan , le cynique . S’ il , lui reste une petite chance , un jour d être imposé …à Carthage ! . Non , en temps “ Président de tous les Tunisiens “ . Mais “ président “ harki , fantoche , casserole des intérêts étrangers . Oui dans sa longue Histoire la Tunisie , a connu d autres vicissitudes , d autres traîtres , et Elle a relevé la Tête …Elle pourrait le faire , bien plus vite que prévu . Et les prochains jours seront decesifs .Nous sommes au XXI eme siècles . Erdogan , de plus en plus fou de pouvoirs , occupations , de nos jours Syrie , Irak , Libye , soldats mercenaires , de grès ou de force , conquêtes ,rêver de Califat , restaurer l Empire Ottoman…. Dans ces rêves et scénarios grandiloquents , Ghannouchi , n est qu un pion . D esprit de revanches mesquines , son ambition de fin de parcours , c est s ‘ assoir un jour dans le fauteuil de Bourguiba ,son ennemi mortel . Soutenu par d‘autres pantins . L un d’ eux hurlant , bave en étincelles : “ celui qui m empêchera d introduire qui JE veux , n est pas encore né …” A son Bar …Pouvons nous tomber encore plus bas ? AD

The Trump administration on Sunday again pressed for full school reopenings in the fall, even as resurgent COVID-19 infections and a record spike in cases in Florida raised mounting questions about the risk of a premature return to classes.With the virus setting new records by the day in many parts of the country, a top health official warned that “everything should be on the table” and even US President Donald Trump wore a mask in public for the first time.In two television interviews Sunday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos insisted on the need for schools to reopen, even as several states were registering record numbers of coronavirus cases and hospitals in many cities were struggling to cope.“Kids need to get back to school, they need to get back in the classroom,” DeVos said on CNN, while acknowledging that local conditions should be taken into account. “Families need for kids to get back in the classroom. And it can be done safely.”Yet, another administration spokesman cautioned Sunday that some areas might need to return to lockdowns.Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of health, said that with COVID-19 deaths continuing to rise, “everything should be on the table.”“We’re all very concerned,” Giroir added on ABC’s “This Week,” as he called for the re-closing of bars, greater spacing in restaurants and the near-universal wearing of masks in the areas most afflicted, largely in southern states that reopened aggressively.– Pressure from Trump –The pressure to reopen schools has come from the top, with Trump threatening to withhold federal funding from schools that refuse to reopen – a stance that DeVos reconfirmed.Trump has criticised guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control for the safe reopening of schools, saying they were too rigid and too expensive.But many school systems say the safety of millions of students, teachers and staff can be ensured only with some combination of remote and in-person schooling – or in some cases remote-only teaching – and that a fully in-person approach, to be safe, would impose extreme costs.DeVos was pressed as to whether the government would actually withhold federal funds from schools, which generally account for around 10 percent of local school budgets – a substantial contribution at a time when reopening costs for larger school systems can run to the millions.“There is no desire to take money away,” she said on CNN. “In fact, we want to see schools open and have been committed to ensuring the resources are there to do that.”

Michael MattioliMILWAUKEE — Michael Mattioli, 32, is set to appear in court on Monday, July 13. Mattioli, a 13-year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department, faces a charge of first-degree reckless homicide in connection with the death of Joel Acevedo, 25, following a fight inside Mattioli’s home near 45th Street and W. Cleveland Avenue on Sunday, April 19.Prosecutors said Mattioli indicated he “held (Acevedo) on the ground” after Acevedo tried stealing from him and punched another man in the home. It happened the morning after the off-duty officer hosted a get-together at his home.Acevedo, 25, died from his injuries at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center on Saturday afternoon, April 25. His death was ruled a homicide as a result of anoxic encephalopathy due to traumatic asphyxia (brain injury due to traumatic strangulation).Joel AcevedoNearly two months after taking control of the investigation, the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission announced Friday, July 10 that it has filed disciplinary charges against Milwaukee Police Officer Michael Mattioli. A referral for a disciplinary trial was also announced.The disciplinary charges, as filed by the FPC, include the potential violation of the code of conduct as it relates to “integrity, respect and violation” of Milwaukee police standard operating procedure. Details regarding a trial date and next steps will be released at a future time.Off-duty police officer involved in fight that left 25-year-old man seriously injured near 45th and ClevelandThe disciplinary trial referred by the FPC is the first step toward terminating his employment with the department.

Welcome to the eleventh and final week of Medieval Monday…for this round, at least! We’re finishing our nature theme, and I’m sharing the conclusion to the excerpt from my time travel romance, Night of the Owl. So without further ado…Hugh frowned. “What is it?”“Naught. I’m sure I’m wrong. Anyway, we found you, and the rest you know.”“Not in full. You said you kicked and punched the man called Degarre. I would I’d seen you.”Ardyth jumped to her feet. “I’ll show you now, if you’d like. I promise to be gentle.”A wicked grin spread across her face. God’s teeth, but she was alluring!He stood, all too aware of his stiff manhood. “Show me.”She stepped closer. “I kicked here…” Swiftly, she lifted her leg between his, thankfully stopping short of the obvious goal. “…and he bent forward.” Grasping his shoulders, she made him fold over at the waist. “Then I punched him right here.” Her fist tapped his temple. “He fell to the ground, and your mother hit him over the head with a rock. Then I tied his hands and feet with my stockings.”He whistled as he straightened. “Pray, remind me not to anger you in future.”Again, she grinned. “Fear not. You’re safe with me.”“Am I?” He inched closer, and an invisible cloak of intimacy wrapped around them.Her smile disappeared, and her eyes darkened in a subtle yet soulful invitation. “Always.”A little more about Night of the Owl:PhD student Ardyth Nightshade has renounced men and pursues her twentieth-century career with single-minded focus. When fate whisks her to medieval England, she meets her match in a man whose passions mirror her own. Can she sacrifice ambition for a love she never sought?Hugh, Lord Seacrest confounds all who know him. He refuses to marry without a meeting of minds and hearts, and no lady has even approached his ideal…until Ardyth. But she’s an odd one, with unique skills, shocking habits, and total conviction she needs no man. She also harbors secrets, and in the midst of rumors, plots, and murder, trust is fragile.A woman outside of her time. A man ahead of his. They must take a leap of faith to forge a bond that will shape history.Buy the book:Amazon | Amazon UK | B & N | Apple Books | KoboThanks so much for joining us for this round of Medieval Monday. We’ll be back with another one soon! 🙂

Benjamin Keough, grandson of Elvis Presley, dies at 27By Hollie Silverman and Theresa Waldrop, CNNUpdated 0220 GMT (1020 HKT) July 13, 2020Benjamin Keough died in Calabasas, California, a representative for his mother, Lisa Marie Presley, said.Benjamin Keough died in Calabasas, California, a representative for his mother, Lisa Marie Presley, said.(CNN)Elvis Presley’s grandson Benjamin Keough has died, a representative for his mother, Lisa Marie Presley, said. He was 27.Keough died in Calabasas, California, Roger Widynowski told CNN Sunday.Lisa Marie Presley shared a family photo, and fans see an Elvis doubleLisa Marie Presley shared a family photo, and fans see an Elvis doubleThe representative said he did not have further details on the circumstances of Keough’s death, including the date.Presley is “entirely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated,” Widynowski said in a statement, “but trying to stay strong for her 11 year old twins and her oldest daughter Riley.””She adored that boy. He was the love of her life,” Widynowski said.Keough’s father was the musician Danny Keough.Keough had a striking resemblance to his singer/actor grandfather. Priscilla Presley was his maternal grandmother

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of liberal “Black Lives Matter” activists, many of which are not African Americans, are tormenting the teenage daughter of a slain police officer on social media for saying #bluelivesmatter.Police Officer Edelmiro Garza Jr.Police Officer Ismael Chavez.Two Texas Police Officers Edelmiro Garza Jr., 45, and Ismael Chavez, 39, were shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance in McAllen. They were both shot and killed by Audon Ignacio Caramillo as they officers approached the door.Coward Audon Ignacio Caramillo.“The officers never had a chance to suspect a deadly assault on them, much less death, at that moment in time,” McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said during a press conference about the shooting.When additional officers arrived, the “coward” thug shot and killed himself.Savannah Chavez, the 18-year-old daughter of Officer Chavez, wrote in a heartbreaking tweet, along with photos with her dad, about her grief on Twitter shortly after the news broke.Though most “normal” people responded to the distraught young woman with “compassion and kindness”, the radical left did not hold back on “attacking” her.Many of the shocking and cruel tweets directed towards her were compiled and shared by the Nationalist Review. They included people saying that he “finally became a good cop,” now that he was dead, and worse.Others scolded her for daring to talk about his death, telling her “now is not the time or place” and to “read the room.”Though she faced a “barrage of cruelty”, the young woman conducted herself with “grace and dignity.” It is clear that her father raised her right.“Now it’s my turn to make you proud. Everything I do, I do for you.” #daddysgirl https://t.co/bNKRILX5K8 — Savannah Chavez (@sweeetsav) July 12, 2020Here a “Grandma” has a message for Marxist Black Lives Matter idiots…“This patriot and Vietnam Veteran has a powerful message for Black Lives Matter and ANTIFA.” pic.twitter.com/WmtKw2pZcj — Derek Utley (@realDerekUtley) July 9, 2020Two Texas Cops are shot dead

SourceJuly 11, 2020Amid the Zionist pressures to change the missions of the UNIFIL troops so that they comply with the Israeli interests, the enemy’s foreign ministry organized a tour for the foreign diplomats along the Palestinian borders with Lebanon.The foreign diplomats listened to explanations from the Israeli military commanders who aimed at provoking the international community against Hezbollah resistance ahead of the extension of the UNIFIL mandate, calling for expanding the missions of the international forces to guard the border of the entity.The commander of the Galilee Division in the Zionist Army Shlomy Bandar instigated the diplomats against the Lebanese Resistance, saying that Hezbollah army is deployed on Lebanon’s border to destabilize Israel’s security.Israeli Chief of Staff in Desperate Attempt to Boost Occupation Forces’ MoraleJuly 12, 2020Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi is attempting to raise morale of occupation forces, Al-Manar’s editor of Israeli affairs Hasan Hijazi reported on Thursday.Citing an article by Kochavi on Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Hijazi said that the Israeli chief of staff “is trying to rehabilitate the humanitarian resource in the occupation army. However, the Israeli forces only rely on technology.”“Concerning the humanitarian resource in the Israeli military, ombudsman Yitzhak Brick talked earlier in details about the failure of this resource when he reported that the land corps were not ready for any future war,” Hijazi said.Al-Manar’s editor quoted Kochavi as saying in the Israeli daily: “Through analyzing most of the (army’s) resources we have to add an important one which is the humanitarian one, which means the qualifications of the soldiers and officers.”The Israeli chief of staff also cited David Ben Guorion, the founder of the Zionist entity, who said that Israeli soldiers and officers should be highly qualified.“We have to facilitate conditions in a bid to encourage our youth to head for military duty and don’t be worry about their lives,” Hijazi quoted Kochavi as saying in the article.“The humanitarian resource is the ‘capital’ which makes the Israeli military one of the most high-quality armies in the world,” Kochavi added.Related VideosRelatedعين على العدو – 11-07-2020عين على العدو – جنود وقادة العدو يروون كيف أذلهم حزب الله في جنوب لبنانIslamic Jihad spokesman: Our rockets can hit any target across the occupied Palestinian territories

محمد صادق الحسينيأكدت مصادر مواكبة لقمة ‏باقري – ايوب التي انعقدت الأسبوع الماضي في دمشق ‏بأنّ قراراً سورياً إيرانياً بفتح جبهة الجولان قد اتخذ في هذه القمّة العسكريّة على مستوى أركان جيوش البلدين…‏وأضافت المصادر بأنّ العام 2021 سيكون عام تحرير الجولان من لوث الاحتلال الصهيونيّ… وانّ غرفة عمليات المقاومة اتخذت قرارها والمشاركون في التحرير‏سيكونون بالإضافة الى الجيش العربي السوري الذي سيكون هو عماد جيش التحرير كل من الحرس الثوري الإيراني وسائر الحلفاء ومنهم بشكل خاص قوات فاطميّون المعروفة في أدائها الاستشهادي الفذّ على امتداد معارك تطهير سورية من الإرهاب..في هذه الأثناء فإنّ الأنباء الميدانيّة الواردة من أرض الصمود والمقاومة وكسر احتكار السلاح على إيران وسورية تفيد بأن نهاية السيطرة الجوية الاسرائيلية باتت قاب قوسين، بعد أن صار بإمكان حلف المقاومة هناك ضرب الطائرات الإسرائيلية وهي خارج الأجواء السورية بعد أن زوّدت طهران دمشق ‏بمنظومات من الدفاع الجوي الإيراني المقتدرة المحليّة الصنع والتي إحداها هي باور 373 الذكيّة المتقدّمة جداً والتي تحاكي أس 300 الروسية والتي تمّ التدرّب عليها من قبل رجال الدفاع الجوي السوري.منظومة ‏»باور» هذه والتي تعني بالفارسية العقيدة، قد تمّ نصبها على الأراضي السورية وبإمكانها أن تكشف طائرات الخصم على بعد 350 كم وتصطادها من مسافة 250 وتضربها من مسافة 200 كم وهي على علو 27 كم…هذه الخطوات المشتركة التي اتخذتها القيادة العليا السورية الإيرانية أخيراً ورافقتها بمجموعة خطوات ميدانية مهمة للغاية ستغيّر بالتأكيد في قواعد الاشتباك على الأرض، كما في السماء السورية…!وتبقى العين على لبنان التي تنتظر حصول مفاجآت وإنجازات كبيرة في مجال انتصار المقاومة على مشروع الحصار المالي والاقتصادي الأميركي الغاشم…وفي هذا السياق كلكم يتذكر ما سبق وذكرناه قبل أسابيع بأنّ مصادرنا الخاصة أفادت في حينها بأنّ الأسابيع المقبلة ستكون حافلة بالتطورات المفاجئة والمتلاحقة، والتي ستُتوّج بإنجاز «استراتيجي» غير مسبوق لحزب الله يُجبر الإدارة الأميركية فيه الى اتخاذ قرار «صادم» بمنزلة «هدف ذهبي» لصالح سورية ولبنان، باكورة مفاجآت محور المقاومة في الحرب الاقتصادية الجديدة…والحقيقة انّ كلّ هذا بدأ يتبلور منذ ان قرّر الأمين العام لحزب الله سماحة السيد حسن نصر الله ردّ الصاع صاعين للأميركيين ولوّح لهم بالخيارين الصيني والإيراني…الأمر الذي أجبر الأميركي أن يفكر بخطوط العودة سريعاً عن قراره بخنق لبنان آخذاً بالتقهقر خطوة خطوة محاولاً تسجيل تراجعات تكتيكية لعله ينقذ بعض ماء وجهه الذي سال بين أقدام رجال المقاومة في لبنان في زحمة تسارع استعدادات الحزب وحلفائه في السلطة والمجتمع لعمليات المقاومة الشاملة بوجه الحصار…فلكم أن تتصوّروا مثلاً بداية مشهد السقوط الأميركي على الشكل التالي:يقرر الجنرال كينيث ماكينزي قائد قوات السنتكوم أي القيادة المركزية الأميركية التي هي بمثابة أهم اعمدة الجيش الأميركي ومقرها الدوحة والتي كان مقرها هايدلبرغ في المانيا والتي كانت مسؤولة عن انتزاع صكّ الاستسلام من المانيا النازية نهاية الحرب العالمية الثانية والمسؤولة حالياً عن الجيوش الأميركية من الجزر البريطانية حتى الصين…هذا الجنرال العظيم يقرّر أن يحتفل بقتلاه قرب مطار بيروت الذين سقطوا بالمئات في العام 1983 على يد الاستشهاديين الخمينيين، فإذ به يفشل في ذلك فشلاً ذريعاً ويضطر للهرب على متن حوامة الى سفارته في عوكر…ومن ثم يظهر في ما بعد متسللاً الى القامشلي في شمال شرق سورية ليجتمع بقائد عصابة كردي متخصص في سرقة النفط السوري والمتاجرة بالمواشي والحبوب وبقايا داعش…ليختفي من المشهد جاراً ذيول خيبته عائداً الى بلاده بخفي حنين…ثم تبدأ سفيرته في «الحج» إلى رموز حلفاء حزب الله فتبدأ بالرئيس نبيه بري متمنية عليه تهدئة الموقف، لكنه يسمعها كلاماً قاسياً تخجل ان تظهر بعدها على الإعلام، ومن ثم تكر المسبحة فتذهب الى حسان دياب رئيس حكومة حزب الله كما كانت تسمّيها الذي يبقيها بدوره على الغداء، لتخبره قرار واشنطن بتجرّع الخيار العراقي للتجارة النفطية مع لبنان من خلال إعفاء تتبلّغه من قيادتها في واشنطن حول تطبيقات قانون قيصر الظالم خوفاً من أن يقع لبنان في حضن إيران الجمهورية الإسلامية فتفقد أميركا آخر حصة لها في هذا البلد الذي يرهقها منذ ثمانينيات القرن الماضي…ويستمر التراجع والاندحار خطوة بعد أخرى، ليخسر الدولار الأميركي وهجه ويتسارع في الانخفاض أمام العملة اللبنانية رويدا رويداً…في هذه الأثناء تفيد الأخبار بأنّ وزير خارجية فرنسا الشريكة في حصار لبنان من خلال سيدر وغيره، هو الآخر قادم الى لبنان نهاية الاسبوع ليحجز لبلاده مقصورة ذهبية في قطار الهزيمة الاقتصادية التي لحقت بالغرب امام صلابة الموقف اللبناني القائم على ثلاثية صمود الحزب والحكومة وجمهور المقاومة من أمة أشرف الناس…إنّ ما يحصل في اللحظة التاريخية الراهنة هو ما كنا نتوقعه وقلنا وقتها جنرال الصبر سيهزم رعاة البقر..وإن واشنطن ستضطر بالتراجع عن حصارها وسيسجل حزب الله هدفاً ذهبياً في الشباك الأميركية وها هو في طريقه للحصول…قد تبرر واشنطن تراجعها هذا بكونه ليس الا تراجعاً تكتيكياً، لكن الواقع سيسجل ما حصل على جبهتنا بمثابة مكسباً استراتيجياً كبيراً في المواجهة الشاملة بين حلف المقاومة وحلف الاستكبار العالمي بقيادة الشيطان الأكبر…والأيام المقبلة ستشهد المزيد سترضخ أميركا لفتح الحدود بين لبنان وسورية وفتح الحدود بين الأردن وسورية… وفتح حدود دول المشرق على بعضها، بحجة الإبقاء على «شعرة معاوية» مع لبنان الذي يسير وإن بخطى بطيئة، ولكنها ثابتة باتجاه الشرق الكاسر للأحادية الأميركية الممتد من طهران حتى بكين مروراً بباب المندب…وأخيراً وليس آخراً فواشنطن هذه هي من أوعزت للصراف الآلي القطري وأخواته الخليجيات لوضع بعض الودائع في المصارف اللبنانية أو منح بعض التسهيلات للبنان الدولة ولبنان حكومة حزب الله كما يصفونها…بعد ان كانت ودائع هؤلاء تخدم ماكينة تفريخ القاعدة وأخواتها من داعش والنصرة بعد ان خسروا تلك الحرب على المقاومة من بوابات الشام وعلى تخوم بغداد واسوار صنعاء…!انه زمن الانتصارات الذي وعد به سيد المقاومة منذ ان وعد أيضاً بأن زمن الهزائم قد ولى، ونحن على أعتاب الاحتفال بوعده الصادق منذ 14 عاماً وتحقيق وعده الصادق الجديد الذي سيرى النور في أقرب الآجال.انهم يرونه بعيداً ونراه قريباً.بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

Long-Planned and Bigger Than Thought: Strike on Iran’s Nuclear ProgramSome officials say that a joint American-Israeli strategy is evolving — some might argue regressing — to a series of short-of-war clandestine strikes. NYT, By David E. Sanger, Eric Schmitt and Ronen Bergman, 12 July 20As Iran’s center for advanced nuclear centrifuges lies in charred ruins after an explosion, apparently engineered by Israel, the long-simmering conflict between the United States and Tehran appears to be escalating into a potentially dangerous phase likely to play out during the American presidential election campaign.New satellite photographs over the stricken facility at Natanz show far more extensive damage than was clear last week. Two intelligence officials, updated with the damage assessment for the Natanz site recently compiled by the United States and Israel, said it could take the Iranians up to two years to return their nuclear program to the place it was just before the explosion. An authoritative public study estimates it will be a year or more until Iran’s centrifuge production capacity recovers.Another major explosion hit the country early Friday morning, lighting up the sky in a wealthy area of Tehran. It was still unexplained — but appeared to come from the direction of a missile base. If it proves to have been another attack, it will further shake the Iranians by demonstrating, yet again, that even their best-guarded nuclear and missile facilities have been infiltrated.Although Iran has said little of substance about the explosions, Western officials anticipate some type of retaliation, perhaps against American or allied forces in Iraq, perhaps a renewal of cyberattacks. In the past, those have been directed against American financial institutions, a major Las Vegas casino and a dam in the New York suburbs or, more recently, the water supply system in Israel, which its government considers “critical infrastructure.”Officials familiar with the explosion at Natanz compared its complexity to the sophisticated Stuxnet cyberattack on Iranian nuclear facilities a decade ago, which had been planned for more than a year. In the case of last week’s episode, the primary theory is that an explosive device was planted in the heavily-guarded facility, perhaps near a gas line. But some experts have also floated the possibility that a cyberattack was used to trigger the gas supply.Some officials said that a joint American-Israeli strategy was evolving — some might argue regressing — to a series of short-of-war clandestine strikes, aimed at taking out the most prominent generals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and setting back Iran’s nuclear facilities…….. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/10/world/middleeast/iran-nuclear-trump.html

Nor was the potential for cracked or corroded canisters to leak radiation studiedproposal only addresses a new destination for the high-level nuclear waste – not the removal and transport of the fuel storage canisters from nuclear power plantsEven transport casks with canisters that are not damaged will release radiation as they are transported from nuclear power plants to the storage facility, exposing populations along the transport routes in a majority of states and tribal communities in New Mexico to repeated doses of radiation.Radioactive rail wreck, Dangerous nuclear waste casks should stay off roads and rails , rails https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2020/07/12/radioactive-rail-wreck/, Beyond Nuclear By Laura Watchempino 12 July 20,If the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) conclusion that it’s safe to move spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants across the country to a proposed storage facility in Lea County sounds vanilla-coated, it’s because the draft environmental impact statement for a Consolidated Interim Storage Facility submitted by Holtec International did not address how the casks containing the spent fuel would be transported to New Mexico.It’s likely the casks would be transported primarily by rail using aging infrastructure in need of constant repair. But our rail systems were not built to support the great weight of these transport casks containing thin-wall fuel storage canisters.Nor was the potential for cracked or corroded canisters to leak radiation studied because an earlier NRC Generic EIS for the Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel assumed damaged fuel storage canisters would be detected during an intermediary dry transfer system or a pool.But Holtec’s proposal only addresses a new destination for the high-level nuclear waste – not the removal and transport of the fuel storage canisters from nuclear power plants to New Mexico.Even transport casks with canisters that are not damaged will release radiation as they are transported from nuclear power plants to the storage facility, exposing populations along the transport routes in a majority of states and tribal communities in New Mexico to repeated doses of radiation.Other issues not considered in the draft EIS were the design life of the thin-wall canisters encasing the nuclear fuel rods and faulty installation at reactor sites like San Onofre, or the self-interest of the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance in using the land it acquired for a consolidated interim storage site.Thin-wall canisters cannot be inspected for cracks and the fuel rods inside are not retrievable for inspection or monitoring without destroying the canister. NRC does not require continuous monitoring of the storage canisters for pressure changes or radiation leaks. The fuel rods inside the canisters could go critical, or result in an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction, if water enters the canisters through cracks, admits both Holtec and the NRC. None of us are safe if any canister goes critical.Yet a site-specific storage application like Holtec’s should have addressed NRC license requirements for leak testing and monitoring, as well as the quantity and type of material that will be stored at the site, such as low burnup nuclear fuel and high burnup fuel.Irradiated nuclear fuel is safer (but not safe) stored at the reactor site rather than transported thousands of miles to New Mexico. (Image: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission)With so many deficiencies in the draft EIS, a reasonable alternative is to leave this dangerous radioactive nuclear waste at the nuclear plants that produced it in dry cask storage rather than multiply the risk by transporting thousands of containers that could be damaged across many thousands of miles and decades to southeastern New Mexico, then again to a permanent repository.Interim storage of spent nuclear fuel at existing nuclear plant sites is already happening – there are 65 sites with operating reactors in the United States and dry cask storage is licensed at 35 of these sites in 24 states. But since the thin-wall canisters storing the fuel rods are at risk for major radioactive releases, they should be replaced with thick-walled containers that can be monitored and maintained. The storage containers should be stored away from coastal waters and flood plains in hardened buildings.Attempting to remove this stabilized nuclear waste from where it is securely stored across hundreds or thousands of miles through our homelands and backyards to a private storage facility also raises some thorny liability issues, since the United States will then be relieved of overseeing the spent nuclear fuel in perpetuity.The states and nuclear plants that want to send us their long-lived radioactive waste will also be off the hook, leaving New Mexico holding a dangerously toxic bag without any resources to address the gradual deterioration of man-made materials or worse, a catastrophic event. It’s a win/win, however, for Holtec International and the Eddy-Lea Energy Alliance.Ironically, just a few years ago, the US Environmental Protection Agency had expressed opposition to mass transportation of another kind of radioactive waste. In a classic example of environmental injustice, the EPA balked at removing uranium mine waste on the Navajo Nation, because, it said, “Off-site disposal, because of the amount of waste in and around these areas, means possibly multiple years of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of trucks going in and out of the community and driving for miles”.The agency told the affected communities, during discussion about digging up the uranium mine waste and transporting it to a licensed repository in different states outside the Navajo Nation, that this option, also the Nation’s preference, was the most expensive. But now New Mexico is the destination for precisely the reverse, with hundreds and thousands of transports from different states coming to deposit the country’s nuclear waste site radioactive debris on Native soil.Laura Watchempino is with the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment/Pueblo of Acoma. A version of this article first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal and is republished with kind permission of the author

MILWAUKEE — Immigrants rights groups held a demonstration on Saturday, July 11, encouraging people on Milwaukee’s south side to register to vote and fill out the census. Demonstrators gathered, causing a commotion in the street that drew onlookers up and down the neighborhood.”I heard the blowing and I was like, OK this is unusual. I had to see what was going on. And I’m glad I did come out,” said resident Kaotha Allen.Volunteers with the group Voces de la Frontera said that’s the point. A caravan of honking cars and bicycles came with an important message.Activists promote election, census participation on Milwaukee’s south sideActivists said many of the people living in the 53215 and 53204 zip codes don’t have access to information about how to request an absentee ballot or how to participate in the census.”It is mandated that the government take a count of everybody residing in the country every 10 years. That’s not every citizen, that’s not every voter, that’s every person living here,” said Catheryn Zamarron, a volunteer with Voces de la Frontera.Zamarron reminded community members that funding for services, like healthcare, is based on census numbers — something she said the community needs now more than ever.”(This) was one of the hot spots in the city for a while in terms of COVID cases. And it’s also a zip code that also has historically really low rates of turning in the census. So we don’t have enough services,” Zamarron said.Activists help people register to vote on Milwaukee’s south sideVolunteers also helped people register to vote and request an absentee ballot ahead of the Aug. 11 primary. Allen applauded the effort and echoes its sentiment.”We need to teach our kids how important this is,” Allen said. “They need to know they still have a voice.”Voters who are registered have until Aug. 6 to request an absentee ballot. Census information must be completed by Oct. 31.Overall, Milwaukee has a census self-response rate of 57% — nearly 5% below the national average. For more information about the 2020 U.S. Census, CLICK HERE. For City of Milwaukee voter information, CLICK HERE.

Once upon a time people were free to assume risks if they wanted to, and they had no recourse if things didn’t work out. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:When one joins a gym one generally signs a waiver of responsibility document that says you agree it’s not the gym’s fault if you have a heart attack while working out – and so on.Basically, you agree to assume the risk of working out there in exchange for being able to work out there.If you do have a heart attack, it’s a tragedy. But the gym doesn’t get the bill – and none of the other members are required to submit to a cardiovascular exam before being allowed to hit the weights. Everyone isn’t presumed to be a heart-attack-in-the-making. Everyone is presumed to be healthy – and treated accordingly.Another example that was once common was the sign at a pool that read: No Lifeguard on Duty – Swim at Your Own Risk.And people did.Why can’t they again – so to speak?At gyms – at bars and restaurants. Everywhere.Worried you might get sick? Then don’t go inside. Worried someone else might get sick? That’s their business.Mind your own.No one’s forcing you to work out or eat or shop among the unDiapered. And the Undiapered aren’t forcing you to take off your Diaper, either.Those who go inside agree – on the record – that they’re not worried about getting sick and that they’re willing to assume the risk of working out or eating or having a cup of coffee with friends, unDiapered.Continue reading→

The carnage in the oil and gas patch has been gruesome. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:The bankruptcy epicenter is in Texas.The Great American Oil Bust started in mid-2014, when the price of crude-oil benchmark WTI began its long decline from over $100 a barrel to, briefly, minus -$37 a barrel in April 2020. Bankruptcies of US companies in the oil and gas sector started piling up in 2015. In 2016, the total amount of debt listed in these filings hit $82 billion. Bankruptcy filings continued, with smaller dollar amounts of debt involved. In 2019, the shakeout got rougher.And this year promises to be a banner year, as larger oil-and-gas companies with billions of dollars in debt collapsed, after having wobbled through the prior years of the oil bust.The 44 bankruptcy filings in the first half of 2020 among US exploration and production companies (E&P), oilfield services companies (OFS), and “midstream” companies (gather, transport, process, and store oil and natural gas) involved $55 billion in debts, according to data compiled by law firm Haynes and Boone. This first-half total beat all prior full-year totals of the Great American Oil Bust except the full-year total of 2016:The cumulative amount of secured and unsecured debts that the 446 US oil and gas companies disclosed in their bankruptcy filings from January 2015 through June 2020 jumped to $262 billion:The three biggies: In the first half of 2020, nine of the 44 US oil and gas companies that filed for bankruptcy listed over $1 billion in debts, including the three biggies with debts ranging from $9 billion to nearly $12 billion, according to data by Haynes and Boone.These three companies – oil-field services companies Diamond Offshore and McDermott and natural-gas fracking pioneer Chesapeake – are the biggest in terms of debts that have toppled in the Great American Oil Bust so far. Those three companies combined listed $31 billion in debts, accounting for 56% of the $55 billion in total debts listed by all 44 companies to file so far this year:Bankruptcy epicenter is in Texas.Since 2015, there have been 239 bankruptcy filings by oil-and-gas companies in Texas – the largest oil producing state in the US – of the 446 total US filings. So far this year, Texas accounts for 39 filings of the 44 total filings in the US.Of note, Chesapeake is headquartered in Oklahoma, but it filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas and counts as a Texas bankruptcy.Delaware’s major industry is not oil and gas, but coddling corporations, and many oil-and-gas companies are incorporated in Delaware and they’re filing for bankruptcy in Delaware – hence the state’s second place among states with the most oil-and-gas bankruptcy filings since 2015:The price-collapse of crude oil and natural gas.The Great American Fracking Bust took on absurd proportions when the price of WTI in the futures market plunged to minus -$36.98 on April 20, 2020, in an epic WTF moment for the entire oil industry. Since then, the price has bounced off and currently trades just over $40 a barrel, where the US fracking industry is still burning large amounts of cash:Fracking has turned the US into the world’s largest producer of natural gas. The flow of cash into this sector has been epic. Chesapeake was on the forefront here, both in terms of boosting natural gas production and in terms of bamboozling investors into handing over billions of dollars that it then efficiently burned year after year.The ensuing natural-gas glut has crushed the price of natural gas – despite enormous efforts and investments to export natural gas via pipelines to Mexico and via LNG export terminals to the rest of the world. But whenever there was new demand, it was out-powered by higher production as the cash kept pouring in, and the price continued to fall, currently at $1.83 per million Btu:There have been side effects too. The crushed price of natural gas – plus the arrival in the 1990s of a technical innovation, the highly efficient combined-cycle gas turbine for power plants (GE’s explanation) – began a process whereby coal could no longer compete on price with natural gas for power generation.New natural-gas-fired power plants were built, coal-fired power plants were retired. Demand for thermal coal collapsed, as did the price. Eventually all major coal mining companies filed for bankruptcy, a bunch of them twice. That was collateral damage of these billions of dollars of investor cash that kept flowing into fracking.Surviving in this pricing environment for overleveraged permanently cash-flow negative companies in the fracking business has proven to be tough – and for investors, who kept buying their hype over the years, it has turned into a massacre.Investors have not only poured billions of dollars into supplying these companies with debt capital – including the $262 billion listed in bankruptcy filings since 2015 – but also into supplying them with equity capital as these companies sold new shares to raise money, and these billions in equity capital have now disappeared without trace. Those billions from those share sales don’t even get mentioned in bankruptcy filings.

Regulation is almost always counterproductive, whether it’s global or not. From Doug Casey at caseyresearch.com:Rachel’s note: Regular readers know Doug Casey believes you can always bet on the government to do the wrong thing. Whether it’s the dangerous response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or overregulation abroad, government intervention often creates more problems than it solves.And today, Doug discusses the dangers surrounding globalism… and explains why we actually live in a fascist system…Daily Dispatch: Doug, we’d like to get your take on the question of “Globalist vs. Globalism.” Not so long ago, the right was in favor of embracing a global economy, in order to access cheaper labor and other benefits of outsourcing. Whereas the left was against that whole idea, as they wanted to be more protectionist in their local economy.But now, to the average man at least, that seems to have flipped. Now the right seems to be more protectionist, and the left wants to be more global. Is that an overly simplistic take on things? What’s your view?Doug Casey: Well, to start with, these are just labels that don’t really mean anything – other than deciding what variety of statism you want.The truth is that individuals and companies should be able to trade with each other with absolutely no restrictions, interference, or comment of any type from governments. No quotas, no duties, no incentives… nothing.Governments bring absolutely nothing to the party. It’s a sham, a myth, and a delusion that government acts in the interest of the country it controls. Government (and the people who control it) act in their own interests and those of their cronies. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, and runs counter to what we were taught in grade school civics, or what sanctimonious Deep Staters like to repeat. But it’s the case with late-stage U.S. “capitalism.”“Globalists,” “Globalism,” there’s barely any difference. It’s just busybodies deciding what products the real producers may or may not create, and what entrepreneurs can or can’t do. Saying one is good and the other is bad is the wrong way to look at it. It politicizes the question.Daily Dispatch: Okay. What about all the noise about NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement], USMCA [United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement], and the trade deals the U.K. wants to do now that it has left the European Union?Doug Casey: It’s really quite simple. To repeat, governments shouldn’t decide anything. There shouldn’t be an American trade policy, a French trade policy, an Australian trade policy, or any other trade policy. These things shouldn’t exist. People in whatever country should simply produce, buy, and sell. Whether that’s from their own country or from other countries. Forget about “national policy” with its ridiculous distinctions and labels.Daily Dispatch: While you mention it, one of the things that has been quite amusing about Brexit are the “Remainers” (those who wanted to stay in the EU), who seem to think that if the U.K. doesn’t have a trade deal with the European Union, then suddenly all trade will stop.They don’t seem to understand that you don’t need to have a deal between countries in order to trade. Businesses and individuals can just buy things. I can buy something from you. You can buy something from me. As long as we’re a willing buyer and seller, that’s all you need to trade.Doug Casey: That’s absolutely correct, whether we’re talking about the European Union or NAFTA trade deals between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. It’s unnecessary and unproductive trying to regulate trade with documents the size of an old New York telephone book.Few people are aware that there are 50,000 employees of the European Union in and around Brussels – not counting lawyers, lobbyists, and hangers-on. Not one of these people serves a useful purpose. But they get fat salaries, expense accounts, and bribes. As Tacitus said 2,000 years ago, “The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the society.”The European Union started out as a free trade organization after World War II – its purpose was to facilitate trade. But it’s grown into a giant dysfunctional bureaucracy. If the EU simply eliminated trade barriers, duties, and regulations, you wouldn’t need any of these people. They’re basically “useless mouths.” But that’s just the opposite of what they do. The European Parliament constantly passes more laws, which reduce personal freedoms. And those laws have to be enforced, which constantly increases taxes.I’m all for Brexit. The British hopefully will no longer be constrained by the ridiculous regulations that come out of Brussels telling them how to make beer, cheese, or whether shops are allowed to sell eggs by the dozen.Switzerland isn’t an EU member, and it does just fine.Daily Dispatch: Related to this issue is the idea that Western governments seem to be pursuing the idea of a global tax or global wealth taxes. You could say that the West is bullying developing nations in the area of “tax competitiveness,” in the same way they’re bullying them with trade in general.For instance, the West doesn’t want developing countries to have, say, a coal industry. It wants the developing countries to be more considerate of environmental issues. That just doesn’t seem fair. These countries are trying to drag themselves out of poverty while the West is forcing on them rules that will keep them in poverty. Then, in order to satisfy their guilt, they say, “Well, let’s give them billions of dollars in aid instead.” Which we know just goes to the corrupt leaders anyway. Right?Doug Casey: Yes, of course. There’s this ridiculous concept of harmonizing tax policies, which devastates poor countries. The only reason that you would want to invest in a poor backward country is because costs may be lower, and the government might leave you alone. They can only attract investment if low taxes and regulation make it worthwhile.Meanwhile, the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development], and similar clubs the governments of advanced countries belong to, are trying to get backward countries to impose the same level of taxes and regulations that they do. Which will keep these countries as serfdoms and colonies. And it gets worse, because the foreign aid that they give to these countries just acts to cement them to the bottom of the economic ladder.Foreign aid only further enriches the rich people in those countries, who are rich mostly because they’re politically well-connected. In fact, foreign aid is nothing but a “transfer of wealth” scam from poor people in rich countries, to rich people in poor countries.The fact that the talking heads on television, magazine writers, and politicians all take this seriously, like it’s the way the world should work, is highly destructive. The average guy gives these authority figures completely undeserved credence. People ought to point out that the king has no clothes, and his minions are idiots.Daily Dispatch: Kenya’s clothing industry is a good example of this. It was quite substantial up until the 1980s. There are several reasons for its decline, but one of the major factors was the Western charities that convinced Westerners to donate clothing, which was then shipped to Africa and effectively dumped into the local economy.Ever since then, whenever you see footage of third-world countries, you notice that the kids and adults are wearing European soccer shirts or NBA basketball shirts. You know they haven’t paid the $100 or $200 that these things cost. They’ve been donated from the West. It’s an example of how these kinds of practices can destroy local industries.Doug Casey: That’s exactly right. Locally produced items, no matter what their price or quality, can’t compete with free goods. And it’s worse than that, actually, because the same thing happens with food. Western farmers lobby their governments to buy surplus cheese, wheat, sugar, and whatever else, and then give these things to third-world countries. They say it’s charity. But it actually destroys the local farmers in these countries.And then when the aid stops or diminishes, there are no farmers left – they’ve all had to move to the city. Now the country has a real problem on its hands. Here’s the takeaway: All foreign aid to backward countries should be abolished. It’s counterproductive, at best. It impoverishes Western taxpayers and destroys the productive capacity of the recipients.But look, this is all a question of government intervention. It’s not capitalism, in fact, technically, it’s fascism. People don’t understand that we don’t have capitalist systems anywhere today. Capitalism is a system where there is no taxation and no regulation – it’s a total free market.Instead, today we have fascism – a term that was coined by Mussolini, who was philosophically a socialist who realized direct state ownership didn’t work as well as corporate ownership. Fascism has little to do with jackboots and parades – those are just convenient decorations. Fascism basically promotes a “partnership” between the state and corporations.You have to remember that the U.S. government is an entity with a life of its own – as are General Motors, Google, General Electric, or whatever. They work together for their mutual benefit. The general welfare of the citizens is secondary.Daily Dispatch: And yet people still blame capitalism.Doug Casey: Yes, because the population in general, the media, and the politicians are too stupid to understand the real definition of capitalism. Everybody repeats the same myths to each other – they did it in the Soviet Union until it collapsed.You see this all the time, where some mainstream fool will say that capitalism is broken and we need to fix it. But capitalism isn’t broken at all, because the current economies aren’t capitalist. If they were truly capitalist, then the system wouldn’t be broken.The system they criticize is actually the same system they helped to perpetuate. It’s, as I say, a fascist system whereby governments and big corporations work together at the expense of the individual. Look how degraded the U.S. has become. Nearly half the country was quite ready to vote for Bernie Sanders, because he said he’d give them free stuff.It’s perverse. The Greater Depression is going to be nasty indeed…Daily Dispatch: Thanks for speaking with us today, Doug.Doug Casey: You’re welcome.

They’re pulling out all the stops to see that President Trump is not reelected. From James Grundvig at wnd.com:The planners quickly deployed the “insurance policy” after Donald J. Trump won the presidential election in 2016. Like an annuity, the payments to the policyholders would be small and steady at first, then lead, they hoped, to a much bigger payoff: the removal of President Trump from office.At least that was the plan. Three and a half years later, the big day never arrived.From the unsubstantiated Steele dossier, the discredited Russiagate investigation, to the FISA court abuses, the potholed-strewn road to impeachment circled back to the Mueller Report, which was supposed to clinch the deal. Without a smoking gun on the president, the Mueller team reached and then overreached, picking off a few Trump confidants, in an attempt to tighten the noose. The results were half-baked. That’s usually what the FBI perjury trap produces. Plea deals; no evidence of collusion.Sure, Robert Mueller collected a few big scalps in Gen. Michael Flynn and Roger Stone. But now that Flynn’s indictment unraveled, the insurance claim has turned into a liability for the policyholders. Trump is still president. And now the investigation into collusion has moved in the other direction focusing on the planners of the insurance policy.Continue reading→

Comunicado/Marca Registrada NoticiasEn seguimiento al panorama del coronavirus (COVID-19), la Secretaría de Salud (SS) informa que, al corte de las 19:00 horas, en la entidad han sido estudiados 24 mil 211 casos, de éstos, 7 mil 490 resultaron negativos.La cifra de positivos acumulados es 13 mil 606 (+ 315 nuevos) en 179 municipios, de los cuales mil 415 son activos.A la fecha, 8 mil 961 personas se han recuperado, siendo atendidas en SS, IMSS, ISSSTE, PEMEX, SEDENA y SEMAR; de ellas, 2 mil 665 están bajo vigilancia.Hay reporte de mil 980 (+ 17 nuevos) fallecimientos en 128 demarcaciones.Tres mil 115 sospechosos de 142 municipios continúan en investigación.Estrategia de Vigilancia SanitariaAnte la emergencia sanitaria por la que atraviesa el país, y considerando que Veracruz está situado en el color rojo del semáforo de riesgo epidemiológico, debemos tomar medidas que contribuyan a la protección de la salud.De igual manera, sumarnos a la “Campaña de supervisión por la salud de todas y todos”, de la que derivan los operativos de vigilancia a empresas y centros laborales con la participación de la Dirección de Protección Contra Riesgos Sanitarios de la Secretaría de Salud (SS), junto con Protección Civil (PC), Trabajo, Previsión Social y Productividad (STPSP), ayuntamientos y la Mesa de Coordinación para la Construcción de la Paz.Por tal motivo, los encargados de establecimientos no deben bajar las cortinas o cerrar las puertas de éstos, sino apoyar al personal a verificar el cumplimiento de las normas sanitarias y proporcionar la información necesaria.A las y los propietarios de comercios se les reitera la invitación para autoevaluarse a través de la página https://www.ssaver.gob.mx/riesgos-sanitarios/lineamientos/, con el fin de brindar certeza al consumidor de que es atendido en un ambiente saludable.Mantente informado visitando la página coronavirus.veracruz.gob.mx o llama al 800 012 3456, donde especialistas te orientarán con respecto a síntomas y acciones pertinentes, además de ofrecerte asistencia psicológica.¡Está funcionando, no aflojemos!

The owner of the Arizona Cardinals, Michael Bidwill, has been hospitalized with COVID-19, the Arizona Republic reported Friday, and the team confirmed afterward.Bidwill, 55, is in Rhode Island. He has been on the East Coast for a few weeks and wasn’t feeling well earlier this week, suffering a headache and fever.He went for a test that came back positive. Bidwill’s doctor recommended he admit himself to the hospital. His symptoms have subsided and Bidwill is expected to be released sometime this weekend.Click here to read more.SOURCE: USA Today, Barry Werner

From An Easy Way to Become a Saint by Father Paul O’Sullivan, 1950’sAnother easy and effective way of arriving at an eminent degree of holiness is spiritual reading. We have pointed out that the reason for so little sanctity in many souls is not weakness or malice, but ignorance.Spiritual reading dispels this ignorance and helps us to feel all the charm and consolation of God’s blessed love.Every Catholic should without fail make spiritual reading daily for ten or fifteen minutes. The neglect of this duty is disastrous.To derive benefit from our reading, we must observe the following rules, which will not only secure satisfactory results but will make our reading attractive and a real pleasure. Read books that appeal to you. It is of elementary prudence to choose proper books, for not every good and excellent book suits all readers.It must be our aim to find a book or books that make an appeal to us personally, that will grip our attention and act as a driving force, a stimulant to our energies.Pray before reading. Next, it is well to say a short prayer, one Hail Mary, before commencing our reading, asking Our Blessed Lady to help us to understand what we are reading and to put it into practice.St. Thomas Aquinas told his fellow Dominican, Father Reginald, that he got his great treasures of knowledge more by prayer than by study.Read your book not once but many times. It is a fatal mistake to read a book quickly or to read it only once. That produces very little good. We must not read a spiritual book as we read a romance.However well-written a book may be, the truths it presents are so great that our poor weak minds only succeed in grasping them little by little.It may treat of the first of all truths, viz., the love of God. Nothing seems easier to understand than that, yet daily experience shows how very vaguely and insufficiently this wonderful doctrine is grasped and, as a consequence, how very little God is loved.One book read slowly does us more good than a hundred read hurriedly. One fact, one conversation, one little story has often changed the whole tenor of a man’s life.The following incidents related to the writer by a dear old priest show that even what appears at first sight trivial may exercise a lasting impression on one’s conduct.“When a student in college,” he told me, “my confessor kindly gave me some advice one day in recreation. It seemed simplicity itself, yet that advice has given me the most profound consolation all the long years of my life and has moreover enabled me to give similar consolation to the souls of many who have consulted me.“A second incident was my hearing a short story about the Mass some months after my ordination. This left a vivid and indelible impression on me so that I have never celebrated the Holy Sacrifice without thinking of it, and as a result I enjoy deep devotion in saying every Mass.”A third fact which this good priest mentioned is no less surprising. “A lady friend of mine once said to me, ‘I confess that I feel no special sympathy for your young curate. One thing, however, that he does impresses me very much. When he passes in front of the Altar of the Blessed Sacrament, he genuflects so reverently and looks with such devotion at the Tabernacle that it would seem as if he saw God.’This remark was made to me thirty years ago, and never once since then have I myself passed in front of the Blessed Sacrament without imitating the example of my curate. This has given me a no-table increase of faith in the Real Presence.”If then a short conversation, a little story, a few words of advice can make such a deep impression on one’s mind, a book is likely to make much more, for it may contain scores of such facts.When St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus had become quite ill, she dragged herself with great effort to Church to receive Jesus. One morning, after Holy Communion, she was in her cell, exhausted. One of the sisters remarked that she should not exert herself so much. The Saint replied, “Oh, what are these sufferings to me in comparison with one daily Holy Communion!”— Something not permitted everywhere in her times. She ardently pleaded with Jesus: “Remain within me, as You do in the tabernacle. Do not ever withdraw Your presence from Your little host.” -Jesus Our Eucharistic Love https://amzn.to/2YKBYPX (afflink) , Painting from https://www.facebook.com/sanctuairetheresedelisieux/Do you need some good reading suggestions? Visit My Book List.This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Sudanese novelist Tayib Salih (1929-2009) would have been 91 today. He was born in a village in north Sudan and originally intended to work in agriculture:With translator Denys Johnson-Davies. Photo credit: Paola CrocianHe started publishing stories in the 1953, and it was 1960 when his celebrated “Doum Palm of Wad Hamid” was published in Aswaat magazine. A collection of his short stories was published a year later, in 1961. His most well-known work, Season of Migration to the North, was published early in his literary career, in 1967, and published in translation by Salih’s friend and supporter Denys Johnson-Davies just two years later.This novel largely overshadowed his later works, which included The Wedding of Zein (1969), Bandarshah (1971), and The Cypriot Man (1978), as well as a number of short stories, several of which were collected into The Doum Tree of Wad Hamid.The fictional village of Wad Hamid is indeed a place to which Salih returns and returns, the place where we can most easily see the passage of time and the shifts in his narrative.But the most recent of his works to appear in translation is a very different work, as it is a nonfictional one.Mansi: A Rare Man in His Own Way, translated by Adil Babikir, appeared in 2020 from Banipal Books.From the publisher’s description:With humour, wit and erudite poetic insights, Salih shows another side in this affectionate memoir of his exuberant and irrepressible friend Mansi Yousif Bastawrous, sometimes known as Michael Joseph and sometimes as Ahmed Mansi Yousif. Playing Hardy to Salih’s Laurel Mansi takes centre stage among memorable 20th-century arts and political figures, including Samuel Beckett, Margot Fonteyn, Omar Sharif, Arnold Toynbee, Richard Crossman and even the Queen, but always with Salih’s poet “Master” al-Mutanabbi ready with an adroit comment.You can read a sample at Amazon or have a short excerpt sent to your table.Season of Migration to the North, trans. Denys Johnson-DaviesThis is Salih’s most well-known work. You can read an excerpt on NPR that opens:It was, gentlemen, after a long absence — seven years to be exact, during which time I was studying in Europe — that I returned to my people.Also:Raja Shehadeh discusses the reception of Season in Palestine“Burst,” a Play Loosely Based on the novelThe Wedding of Zein, trans. Denys Johnson-DaviesThe novella Wedding of Zein takes place in the same village on the upper Nile where Season of Migration to the North is set. From the book:Were you to come to our village as a tourist, it is likely, my son, that you would not stay long. If it were in winter time, when the palm trees are pollinated, you would find that a dark cloud had descended over the village. This, my son, would not be dust, nor yet that mist which rises up after rainfall. It would be a swarm of those sand-flies which obstruct all paths to those who wish to enter our villae. Maybe you have seen this pest before, but I swear that you have never seen this particular species.Also:An excerpt on AmazonLeila Aboulela on Why She Loves Tayeb Salih’s Wedding of ZeinBandarshah, trans. Denys Johnson-DaviesFrom the novel:I reckoned that Tureifi must have been thirty-six or thirty-seven, for he was around twelve in the year of the wedding of Zein. At that time Mahjoub was forty-five — I know that for a fact — while Ahmed, who today has become the father of many daughters and whose daughters are of marriageable age, was about twenty in that year. I scrutinized his face as he sat in front of me on the verandah of the diwan, cross-legged, holding a cup of coffee, in the forenoon. There was nothing remarkable about the face apart from the narrow, intelligent eyes and that ironic smile at the left-hand corner of the mouth that speaks of a contradiction between what he says and what he means.Also:“Bandarshah: The Poetics of Amnesia,” from Tayeb Salih: Ideology and the Craft of Fiction“The Cypriot Man,” trans. Denys Johnson-Davies, from Arabic Short Stories, edited by Denys Johnson-Davies, Roger M. A. AllenFrom the story:“I’m Palestinian — my daughter has died.”I stood for a while looking at her, not knowing what to say; however, she entered, sat down and said:“Will you let me rest and feed my child?”While she was telling me her story the doorbell rang. I took a telegram and opened it, with the Palestinian woman telling me her formidable misfortune, while I was engrossed in my own.The Process of Transformation in al-Tayib Salih’s ‘The Cypriot Man’“A Handful of Dates,” trans. Denys Johnson-Davies:I must have been very young at the time. While I don’t remember exactly how old I was, I do remember that when people saw me with my grandfather they would pat me on the head and give my cheek a pinch – things they didn’t do to my grandfather. The strange thing was that I never used to go out with my father, rather it was my grandfather who would take me with him wherever he went, except for the mornings, when I would go to the mosque to learn the Koran. The mosque, the river, and the fields – these were the landmarks in our life.Read the complete storyMore:WYNC’s “Underappreciated” series looks at SalihTayib Salih in BanipalA timeline of Salih’s lifeDenys Johnson-Davies on How Tayeb Salih Got His StartTayeb Salih’s ‘Season of Migration to the North’: Acclaimed for the Wrong Reason

These glorious “heroes” of the youthful Marxist “revolution” have done a miraculous job for us. They have “removed” well over 30,000 boomers, elderly, blacks and other largely Republican-leaning voters from the voting rolls and now they will forever be “voting” for Democrats from their graves.New York State’s very own Governor Cuomo is being lauded by his comrades for giving wonderful speeches to cover up the fact that he never intended to use the DoD-built Red Hook facility in Brooklyn to treat COVID patients, instead, he sent over 4,500 COVID patients into New York State nursing homes, thereby killing thousands of elderly and non-progressive voters.In New Jersey, Phil Murphy holds the record for killing the elderly in New Jersey State nursing homes with thousands killed at his hands. They won’t be voting for Trump now, but be added as death democratic voters next elections.Finally, there is the team of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and his Health Secretary, Rachel Levine, a “rainbow trans-man” now woman. Rachel Levine took care to remove her own mother from the Pennsylvania nursing home where she resided PRIOR to sending COVID patients there. They can pretend to not know what would happen because Rachel Levine has outstanding “Social Justice” credentials being a trans-woman. Anything anyone says against her or her actions is a hate crime.The grand prize for creating/exacerbating a crisis and then getting out in front of it and positioning oneself as some sort of wise leader must go to Governor Andrew Cuomo for claiming the “Covid virus came from Europe” while surreptitiously killing thousands and thousands of old Republican-leaning voters in nursing homes.They are all getting away with it too! Outstanding!As New York sinks further into the cesspool of their own creation,Seattle rushes to become the country’s first truly police-free nation,and Chicago’s black genocide program continues unabatedBarack Obama the “Magnificent” explained to Jane Strum why “ObamaCare” was necessary for the elderly.If Obama had a son, he would look like his Father for whom “Black Lives Don’t Matter”…“Nursing Homes”? “A certain joy of living”? “Painkiller”? Why, just one hearty blow with lopata, and it’s done.Senior living facilities: All the vote fraud we cannot see

We need to call on God to help our nation. (Unsplash/Nikolas Noonan)I heard about an art gallery owner who was representing a certain painter. One day he called the artist and said, “I have some good news and some bad news.”“What’s the good news?” the artist asked.“The good news is that some guy just walked in here and asked if your art would be worth more if you were dead. So I told him yes, and he bought every one of your paintings.”“That’s fantastic!” said the artist. “So what’s the bad news?”“Well,” said the gallery owner, “the bad news is he was your doctor.”We’ve all heard good news–bad news jokes, and maybe some of them make us groan. But I think we need to lighten up a little and find humor when we can. We can all use some good news, because we’re living in a bad world.The Old Testament talks about a very dark time in Israel’s history. They were experiencing a severe famine—so severe, in fact, that the people actually were eating donkeys’ heads with dove droppings. Talk about a lousy meal. Even worse, the people had begun turning to cannibalism. That’s how desperate the people were.The irony was this famine had come as a result of their own disobedience. Israel had again been turning to other gods.God will not share His glory with anyone or anything else. He wants the No. 1 position in our lives. God said, “I am the Lord, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to graven images” (Isa. 42:8).Despite the fact that God had blessed Israel, they turned again and again to idols.The first two commandments had specifically warned about this kind of activity. In Exodus 20, God said, “You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods” (vs. 3–5a, NLT).Maybe you’re thinking, Is God a little insecure? Why is He so jealous?But let’s bring this into your world for a moment. Husbands, let’s say your wife were flirting with some other guy. How would you feel? Would you be all right with that?I don’t think so.Wives, what if your husband said, “You know, I’m going on a date with a different woman every night this week.” Would you be comfortable with that?Of course not.So how do you think God feels when we turn away from Him and follow false gods? It might be the god of our career or the god of money or the god of pleasure or something else. But God is saying, “What are you doing? You’re abandoning Me, the true and living God, for this kind of stuff.”As for Israel, God let the people reap the repercussions of their sin, which in this case was a famine. The king, hearing about the people’s cannibalism, decided he wanted to kill God’s representative.What kind of reaction is that? He should have said, “Lord, this is crazy. We’re calling out to you. We’ve finally had enough.”But instead the king said, “May God strike me and even kill me if I don’t separate Elisha’s head from his shoulders this very day” (2 Kings 6:31). Yet Elisha had nothing to do with this whatsoever.We see the same thing happening today as people reap the consequences of their sin and sink deeper into it. Instead of finally repenting and coming to their senses, they strike out at God and at His representatives.Click here to read more.SOURCE: Charisma News

(Facebook/Morris Cerullo)Worldwide evangelist and spiritual warrior Morris Cerullo died July 11 of natural causes after hospitalization due to pneumonia, according to a ministry spokesperson. He was 88.On Saturday morning, the official Morris Cerullo Facebook cover photo was changed to a graphic reading “Morris Cerullo 1931-2020,” featuring a quote from the evangelist: “The cry of my heart and the driving force of my life and ministry has been: God give me the ability to take the anointing You have placed on my life and transfer it to others.” Two independent sources confirmed Cerullo’s death to Charisma News.In an official statement, Morris Cerullo World Evangelism wrote Saturday afternoon, “Few people have put as much effort, over such a long period of time, into helping those in need, as Dr. Cerullo. The fruit of his efforts has circulated the globe and will forever be cherished by the millions of lives he has touched. Morris was a compassionate, loving, caring man of God. … He is survived by his precious wife, Theresa, of 69 years, his son and daughter-in-law, David and Barbara Cerullo, daughter Susan Peterson, seven grandchildren, Benjamin and Jessica Cerullo, Rebecca and Chip Henderson, Michael Cerullo, Marissa and Jay Deiboldt, Teresa and Mike Mellusi, Joe Cerullo and Roseanne and Mike Hoerter, as well as nine great-grandchildren. Only Heaven will be able to measure the impact of the life of Morris Cerullo in the lives of untold millions around the world.”On Thursday, Cerullo’s ministry posted to Facebook that he was being treated for pneumonia in the hospital. Greg Mauro, vice president of Morris Cerullo Ministries, and Marc Mason, vice president of international ministries, also led a live prayer session Friday for Cerullo from the International Legacy Center.Cerullo ministered in 150 nations in over 400 cities on six continents, where he has personally trained 5 million Christian leaders and ministered to millions more, according to his ministry website. He dedicated his life to helping hurting people and traveled more than 250,000 miles every year to minister healing and salvation to the world, even into his old age.Cerullo accepted Christ when he was 14. By age 20, he pastored a small church. At 23, he began to preach the gospel around the world, starting in Greece.Cerullo founded Morris Cerullo World Evangelism in 1961, which has since led to hundreds of Spirit-filled revivals from the depths of South America to the jungles of Africa.Cerullo told Charisma that in 1962, God gave him a specific call in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He was commanded to train up international ministers who could reach their communities for Christ. Cerullo realized the key to building a lasting legacy was not bolstering his own resume; building a legacy meant training people who would carry on his mission long after his own death.“The key is not you sacrificing your life, going from nation to nation, and having these big crusades,” Cerullo said. “The key to a closing world is when you’re gone, what is there?”Click here to read more.SOURCE: Charisma News