GERMAN-FOREIGN-POLICY.com – June 26, 2018
PARIS/BERLIN (Own report) – Germany is participating in a new European military formation that was launched yesterday. Originally a French proposal, the European Intervention Initiative (EII) will be open to EU and Non-EU member countries to join. Expanding the existing EU military cooperation (“PESCO”) with a new operational component, the EII should facilitate rapid decisions on joint military interventions. A first meeting of military commanders from the hitherto nine participant states is set for September. The EII includes Great Britain, which plans to continue its military cooperation with the continent, even after Brexit, as well as Denmark. Since the coordination of military interventions is now officially set outside of the EU framework, Denmark can sidestep the opt-out from EU military policy, it had once granted its population. Referred to by experts as a European “coalition of the willing,” it goes hand in hand with the EU Commission’s militarization plans worth billions and the high-cost German-French arms projects.
Sputnik News – June 29, 2018
During a summit dinner, the president of the European Council laid out his concerns that the “immense pressure” the Trump administration is exerting on the North Atlantic Alliance could lead to its collapse.
“Despite our tireless efforts to keep the unity of the West, transatlantic relations are under immense pressure due to the policies of President Trump,” he said.
According to The Times, Tusk called on EU leaders to “go beyond” discussions on US steel and aluminum tariffs and consider a potential break-up of NATO.
“Unfortunately, the divisions go beyond trade. It is my belief that while hoping for the best we must be ready to prepare our union for worst-case scenarios,” he said.
Daniel Horowitz – June 29, 2018
In case you thought that the potential to flip Justice Kennedy’s seat alone will bring us back to the constitutional promised land, think again. So long as the lower courts are not restrained, we will never return to the Constitution and the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
There is nothing more radical than a lower court granting standing to random plaintiffs to sue against non-coerced public prayer in county government meetings, prayers that have been going on since our founding. Yet a district judge in 2015 and the en banc decision of the radical Fourth Circuit in 2017 barred Rowan County, North Carolina, from opening council sessions with a prayer, similar to what our federal Congress does every day. Yesterday, the Supreme Court refused to grant certiorari to the appeal from Rowan County, despite three years of being under a tyranny that the judges know is unconstitutional.
We shouldn’t even need to get into court precedent to understand our heritage and the true meaning of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. But just four years ago, in Town of Greece v. Galloway, Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority that as long as the prayer “comports with our tradition and does not coerce participation by non-adherents,” there is no room for judicial intervention. “To hold that invocations must be non-sectarian would force the legislatures sponsoring prayers and the courts deciding these cases to act as supervisors and censors of religious speech,” Kennedy wrote in the 2014 case.
Newsmax – June 26, 2018
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a California law requiring clinics that counsel women against abortion to notify clients of the availability of abortions paid for by the state, ruling it violated the free speech rights of these Christian-based facilities.
The Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973, and while the broader issue of abortion rights was not at issue in the case, the 5-4 ruling represented a significant victory for abortion opponents who operate these kinds of clinics – called crisis pregnancy centers – around the country.
The court’s five conservative justices were in the majority in the ruling authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, with the four liberals dissenting.
Crisis pregnancy centers have said they offer legitimate health services but that it is their mission to steer women with unplanned pregnancies away from abortion.
Elizabeth Cohen and John Bonifield – June 25, 2018
(CNN)In many parts of the United States, this weekend marks the start of summer sleep-away camp season, which means swimming, arts and crafts, marshmallow roasts — and, very often, ticks.
Of the more than 1,600 overnight camps that are members of the American Camp Association, more than a third are in New England and the mid-Atlantic states, where Lyme disease is particularly prevalent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to a May CDC report, cases of vector-borne diseases — those caused by viruses and bacteria carried by ticks, mosquitoes and other bugs — tripled in the United States from 2004 to 2016.
For years, experts have voiced concern that many local public health agencies are unprepared to control such pests and limit the spread of these diseases which include Lyme disease, dengue fever and Zika.
Sputnik News – June 27, 2018
A giant asteroid is heading toward planet Earth and it is now so close that it can be seen by the human eye.
Amazingly the giant asteroid named 4 Vesta is four times bigger than United Kingdom and it can be seen from both the Earth’s hemispheres.
In an animated video released by NASA the space rock can be seen to have many craters which may have been caused by a large crash that occurred in the past.
From Earth 4 Vesta is visible as a dim yellow dot as it has come so close to our planet in 20 years.
The space rock will be visible until July 16.
There are millions of asteroids in the solar system and most of them are usually found in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Travis Fedschun – June 17, 2018
Officials in Virginia are warning residents to be on the lookout after an invasive plant was found Tuesday in the northern part of the state that can cause third-degree burns and even permanent blindness.
The Massey Herbarium at Virginia Tech said in a Facebook post that 30 giant hogweed plants were discovered in Clarke County, located between Winchester and Leesburg.
The plant contains a very toxic sap, that when combined with sun exposure, can cause severe health hazards.
“In brief, the sap prevents your skin from protecting itself from sunlight, which leads to a very bad sunburn,” according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. “Heat and moisture (sweat or dew) can worsen the skin reaction. The phototoxic reaction can begin as soon as 15 minutes after contact, with sensitivity peak between 30 minutes and two hours after contact.”
Debkafiles – June 22, 2018
Syria’s moves in the southwest this week followed Russia’s failure to persuade Israel to stand aside and allow Assad’s army to take charge of the Quneitra and Daraa regions on the Israeli and Jordanian borders. Moscow hoped that the Syrian rebel forces defending the two areas would lay down their arms and go over to Bashar Assad’s army. DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Netanyahu government spurned Russia’s plan – not least for lack of trust, suspecting that the Syrians would cheat and let Hizballah reach its border. Last month, an attempt was made to trick Israel, after its consent to a previous Russian plan to hand the Beit Jinn enclave on Mt Hermon to Syria, by providing Hizballah troops with Syrian Army 4th Division uniforms.
The same deception is being practiced at present in the southwest regions of Daraa and Quneitra. Russian and Syrian propaganda machines claim that Hizballah and pro-Iranian Shiite militiamen are being withdrawn from the Israeli and Jordanian borderlands, when in fact they are not moving after being disguised in Syrian army uniforms. The Russians don’t mention an Iranian withdrawal because Moscow pretends they don’t exist, when in fact an Iranian command center is fully operational in that part of Syria.
WND – June 22, 2018
There’s no guarantee these days that NATO will survive, the international alliance’s chief says.
In an AP report, Jens Stoltenberg said there needs to be an immediate effort to “shore up” the group.
That’s because of the widening divisions between Europe and the United States over the Iran nuclear deal, climate change, and more.
The U.S., of course, withdrew from the Iran deal because President Trump said it was a bad deal for America, while European interests have remained dedicated to its provisions.
And Trump has literally no use for the climate change agenda of expensive green energy projects and massive restrictions that appear to land on the United States and few others.
European officials largely are fans of the global warming agenda.
Stoltenberg, secretary general of the group, cited the strain of the coalition right now.
“It is not written in stone that the trans-Atlantic bond will survive forever,” Stoltenberg while delivering an address in London.
John Myers – Jun 12, 2018
California’s 168-year run as a single entity, hugging the continent’s edge for hundreds of miles and sprawling east across mountains and desert, could come to an end next year — as a controversial plan to split the Golden State into three new jurisdictions qualified Tuesday for the Nov. 6 ballot.
If a majority of voters who cast ballots agree, a long and contentious process would begin for three separate states to take the place of California, with one primarily centered around Los Angeles and the other two divvying up the counties to the north and south. Completion of the radical plan — far from certain, given its many hurdles at judicial, state and federal levels — would make history.
It would be the first division of an existing U.S. state since the creation of West Virginia in 1863.