In first, US establishes permanent military base in Israel

Judah Ari Gross – September 18, 2017

For the first time in history, the United States on Monday established an official, permanent military base in Israel: an air defense base in the heart of the Negev desert.

Dozens of US Air Force soldiers will call home the new base, located inside the Israeli Air Force’s Mashabim Air Base, west of the towns of Dimona and Yerucham.

Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovitch, head of the IAF’s Aerial Defense Command, announced the establishment of the installation on Monday evening.

“It’s nothing short of historic,” he said. It demonstrates the “years-old alliance between the United States and the State of Israel.”

Mexico’s Banking Authority Announces Biometric Authentication Requirement

Alex Perala – August 31, 2017

Mexico’s National Banking and Security Commission (CNBV) has issued a new regulation requiring all banks in the country to implement fingerprint scanners for clients within the next 12 months, reports Riviera Maya News.

Banks will be required to scan all of an individual’s fingerprints at the time of account creation and also for loan and credit card applications. The biometric data will then be matched against records held by the National Electoral Institute in an effort to confirm the individual’s identity.

For services transacted online, banks will be permitted to use facial and speech recognition technologies for identity verification purposes.

Irony Alert: London Tube Bomber Was Enrolled in ‘Deradicalization’ Program

Mark Tapson – September 20, 2017

he still-unnamed Iraqi refugee who tried to set off an IED on the London underground last Friday has already been arrested (as have a few other suspects), and in a grim twist of irony, now we learn that the bombing suspect was actually part of the UK’s PREVENT “deradicalization” program, according to terrorism expert Patrick Poole at PJ Media.

The BBC reported that the 18-year-old suspect is believed to have moved to the UK from Iraq at the age of 15 when his parents died, and lived in a foster home in Sunbury-on-Thames.

Apparently he had been referred to a CVE (countering violent extremism) program, likely the one known as PREVENT, before his arrest. PREVENT is managed locally by multi-agency teams of social workers, police officers and other specialists.

Poole and others have called out the PREVENT “deradicalization” program in the past for its ineffectiveness. Some in the Muslim community have attacked it too — as “Islamophobic,” of course.

Mosquitoes carrying deadly diseases could invade 75% of America, warns US government

Ian Johnston – September 21, 2017

Mosquitoes capable of spreading serious and potentially deadly diseases such as Zika, dengue and yellow fever could invade about three-quarters of mainland United States, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have warned.

The CDC, a US federal agency, has previously warned that climate change could affect human health in many ways including increasing the number of “disease carriers such as mosquitoes and ticks”.

In a paper published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, it revealed maps showing areas where the habitat was suitable for two particular species of mosquito, Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus to survive.

A study found 71 per cent of counties in the 48 contiguous states were suitable for aegypti and 75 per cent could support albopictus.

Scientists Destroy Life With New Experiment

TruNews – September 20, 2017

A team of researchers at the United Kingdom’s Francis Crick Institute have been messing with the genetics of newly developing human embryos in order to prove it can be done.

That according to the lead researcher, Kathy Niakan, who specializes in stem cell research. The goal, she said, is to eventually identify which key genes human embryos need to develop successfully into full-grown babies.

But, in the process, her team is destroying life. Niakan said, in an interview with Reuters:

“One way to find out what a gene does in the developing embryo is to see what happens when it isn’t working. Now we have demonstrated an efficient way of doing this, we hope that other scientists will use it to find out the roles of other genes.”

Using a “genome editing tool” called “CRISPR/Cas9,” her team blocked the formation of the protein that helps days-old embryos form into cell clusters known as blastocysts. They performed this technique on 41 human embryos, then “stopped embryo development” at the seventh day after conception to analyze the results of their actions.

Iran too “shoots rockets all over the place” with no US action

Debka – September 23, 2o17

The nuclear twinning of North Korea and Iran is a long established fact. Shortly after Iran’s ballistic missile test Saturday, Sept. 23, North Korea was suspected of conducting another nuclear test. A magnitude-3.4 zero-depth quake was detected in North Korea, at roughly the same site as the shallow quake on Sept. 3 that was caused by nuclear test. China’s seismic service, says the quake is likely caused by an explosion. The service later found that it was an earthquake after all.

Two dictators, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Kim Jong-il, followed by his son, Kim Jong-un, have for years used their nuclear and missile collaboration to fertilize their programs while taunting the world.

As recently as Aug. 3, a delegation from Pyongyang, led by parliament speaker Kim Yong Nam, who ranks as number 2 in the North Korean hierarchy, spent 10 days in Tehran as guests of the government. DEBKAfile reported at the time that the visitors sat down with the heads of Iran’s army, security authorities and military industry, to explore ways of expanding their military cooperation in general and their nuclear and ballistic missile programs, in particular.

Britain’s credit rating downgraded over Brexit and state of public finances

Reuters – September 22, 2017

Britain’s credit rating has been downgraded a further notch, with Moody’s saying the government’s plans to fix the public finances had been knocked off course and Brexit would weigh on the economy.

The ratings agency, which was the first major credit ratings agency to strip Britain of its top-notch AAA rating in 2016, said it had cut the rating to Aa2 from Aa1.

Britain has cut its budget deficit from about 10% of economic output in 2010 to 2.3% in the 2016/17 financial year, which ended in March, and the government hopes to bring down debt as a share of output from 2018/19.

But Moody’s said on Friday the outlook for the public finances had weakened significantly with the government’s fiscal consolidation plans increasingly in question and the debt burden expected to continue to rise.

Alarm as ‘super malaria’ spreads in South East Asia

James Gallagher – September 22, 2017

The rapid spread of “super malaria” in South East Asia is an alarming global threat, scientists are warning.

This dangerous form of the malaria parasite cannot be killed with the main anti-malaria drugs.

It emerged in Cambodia but has since spread through parts of Thailand, Laos and has arrived in southern Vietnam.

The team at the Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Bangkok said there was a real danger of malaria becoming untreatable.

Prof Arjen Dondorp, the head of the unit, told the BBC News website: “We think it is a serious threat.

“It is alarming that this strain is spreading so quickly through the whole region and we fear it can spread further [and eventually] jump to Africa.”

Strong aftershock hits Mexico, centered on Oaxaca state

DW – September 23, 2017

A strong new earthquake hit southeastern Mexico on Saturday, causing alarm as the country recovers from a more powerful quake that killed nearly 300 people.

Saturday’s quake struck at 12:53 UTC with an epicenter 19.3 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of the city of Matias Romero, in the state of Oaxaca.

The United States Geological Survey said the new quake was relatively shallow and revised its reading down to magnitude 6.1. Initial estimates had put the jolt as high as 6.4.

Milenio TV broadcast images of a bridge that partially collapsed in Oaxaca.

Bettina Cruz, a resident of Juchitan, Oaxaca, said by phone: “Homes that were still standing just fell down.”

“It’s hard. We are all in the streets,” she said.