BBC – August 18, 2017
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called Germany’s ruling politicians “enemies of Turkey” who deserve to be rejected by German-Turkish voters.
Germany will hold a general election on 24 September, and about one million ethnic Turks living in Germany can vote. A majority of them backed Mr Erdogan in an April referendum.
“The Christian Democrats [CDU], SPD [Social Democrats], the Green Party are all enemies of Turkey,” he said.
German ministers protested angrily.
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Mr Erdogan’s comments were an “unprecedented” act of interference in Germany’s sovereignty.
Mr Erdogan has lashed out at Germany before, yet the two countries are major trade partners and allies in Nato.
Afp – August 18, 2017
Hamas held a closing ceremony in the Gaza Strip on Friday for a batch of the 120,000 boys and girls attending the Islamist movement’s controversial summer schools.
The ceremony, for some 1,000 students who took part in camps in the southern city of Khan Yunis, was framed as part of the militant group’s plan to continue its armed conflict with Israel.
Boys between 15 and 18 years of age were put through military drills at the week-long camp, including shooting with live ammunition and training in scouting skills.
Hamas official Ashraf Abu Zayed said the training came within the framework of “preparing for the liberation of Palestine”.
Aaron Kesel – August 19, 2017
Years of research on mice proves that scientists can weaken or strengthen particular memories from the brain or outright delete inherited memories, the Guardian reported.
Scientists hope that the new discovery could potentially be used to help those with cognitive decline or post-traumatic stress disorder by removing fearful memories.
“We can use the same approach to selectively manipulate only the pathological fear memory while preserving all other adaptive fear memories which are necessary for our daily lives,” Jun-Hyeong Cho, co-author of the research from the University of California said.
The team then discovered it was possible to completely erase fearful or unwanted memories using a technique called optogenetics, while medication has been used for this purpose to remove the negative associations of some memories.
RT – August 18, 2017
The continental US will experience its first total solar eclipse in 40 years on August 21. Here’s everything you need to know about the celestial event, from how it happens to how to watch it safely.
A total or partial solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, putting us in the moon’s shadow. It happens about once every six months, but for the first time in 40 years, the path of the moon’s shadow will cross the continental US.
Though different in size, the distance of the moon and the sun from Earth, (239,000 miles and 93,000,000 miles respectively) means they can appear the same size from Earth’s point of view.
Those in the path of ‘totality’ – the 70-mile (112km) wide shadowed area outlined by NASA – will experience a brief twilight in the middle of the day, where observers can experience the cloak of darkness as it moves across them and continues its journey across the face of the Earth.
How long each person will experience the blackout depends on where they are in the shadowed path. Those at the edge might only experience the phenomenon for a few seconds, while those at the center of the path will get darkness for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
TW – August 19, 2017
More than 16 million people in Nepal, India and Bangladesh are affected by monsoon floods in one of the most serious crises the region has seen in many years, IFRC reports. So far, floods in those three countries are thought to have killed about 500 people.
“This is fast becoming one of the most serious humanitarian crises this region has seen in many years and urgent action is needed to meet the growing needs of millions of people affected by these devastating floods,” said Martin Faller, Deputy Regional Director for Asia Pacific, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), on August 18, 2017.
“Millions of people across Nepal, Bangladesh and India face severe food shortages and disease caused by polluted flood waters,” Faller said.
According to local authorities, flood levels have already reached record highs in Bangladesh and flooding in Jamuna has surpassed levels set in 1988, the deadliest floods the country has ever faced.
Stuart Leavenworth – August 17, 2017
WASHINGTON: Are tensions cooling in the Korean Peninsula? The United States and South Korea will find out Monday, when the two allies are scheduled to start joint military exercises that are known to anger North Korea, sometimes triggering a show of force.
This year’s war games come at a particularly delicate moment. There have been exchanges of war rhetoric between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has further complicated the situation, by stating in an interview there’s “no military option” in North Korea while floating a possible deal with Pyongyang that would leave Seoul hanging.
Amid all this back and forth, the U.S. and South Korean military will simulate warfare with North Korea from Aug. 21 to 31, well aware that North Korea could respond with another missile test.
DEBKAfile – August 18, 2017
Spain this week suffered the biggest Islamic State onslaught to be mounted in Europe since Nov/ 14, 2015, when the jiahdis murdered 140 people in Paris. The Spanish offensive claimed the lives of 14 civilians and 7 terrorists. More than 100 victims are in hospital, 20 with serious injuries.
The first signal came Wednesday night, Aug. 16, with two large explosions at a house in the Spanish town of Alcanar, 190km south of Barcelona. Inside, police found a dead woman, an injured man and 20 canisters of butane and propane gas. It was clearly a bomb workshop.
Thursday and Friday saw attacks in quick succession – first in Barcelona, where a van mowed down hundreds of people on the Las Ramblas Blvd, killing 13 and injuring up to a hundred; then early Friday in Cambrils, south of Barcelona, where five bomb-vested terrorists in a car managed to injure six civilians, one of whom, a woman, died later, and a police officer, before they were all killed in a shootout with the police.
By then, it was obvious that the terrorist attacks which shook Catalonia for three days were orchestrated from a single control center, with dozens of armed terrorists, supported by as many abettors, at its disposal. Many are still at large and armed, and so the wave of violence may not be over.
Bob Unruh – August 17. 2017
The Home School Legal Defense Association, the nation’s premiere advocate for homeschooling, is representing a family in its suit against a police officer’s unauthorized entry into a private home, even though the case has nothing to do with homeschooling.
It’s because the case brought by LuAnn, Joseph and Timothy Batt against police officer Joseph Buccilli, who forced his way into the family’s home without either a warrant or an emergency reason, illustrates the “battle for the front door.”
The family is appealing to the the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing the Fourth Amendment protects them from “unreasonable searches.”
The case is relevant to homeschoolers, HSDLA explains, because early homeschoolers sometimes “found an investigative social worker at their front door, often accompanied by uniformed police officers.”
Michael Edison Hayden – August 12, 2017
Officials in two Arizona counties are warning the public after fleas in the region tested positive for the plague, the infamous infectious disease that killed millions during the Middle Ages.
Navajo County Public Health officials confirmed on Friday that fleas in the area have tested positive for the rare disease. The public health warning follows a similar notice from Coconino County Public Health Services District in Arizona warning of the presence of plague in fleas found there too.
Both counties are situated in the northern part of Arizona.
“Navajo County Health Department is urging the public to take precautions to reduce their risk of exposure to this serious disease, which can be present in fleas, rodents, rabbits and predators that feed upon these animals,” the public health warning states.
Veronica Neffinger -August 16, 2017
A 100-year-old Jewish prophecy has predicted that this Monday’s total solar eclipse signals the end of North Korea’s regime.
According to Breaking Israel News, the prophecy has to do with the Hebrew month in which the eclipse takes place.
Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, explains the significance of the century-old prophecy text Yalkut Moshe (which means Collection of Moses): “The prophecy states that when a solar eclipse occurs exactly as it will next week, in the beginning of the month of Elul, kings of the East will suffer great loss.”
The current turmoil between the U.S. and North Korea, and the fact that the total solar eclipse will be focused on North America (the U.S.), suggests that the prophecy is referring to North Korea when it says the “kings of the East.”