Putin summons Assad to Sochi, takes charge of shaping post-war Syria

Debkafiles – November 21, 2017

President Vladimir Putin and Syria’s Bashar Assad agreed in Sochi on Monday, Nov. 20, to start addressing Syria’s political situation now that the “terrorists” are defeated and the war is drawing to a close.

Putin insisted that diplomacy for a Syrian post-war settlement should go forward under UN aegis. Assad replied that he hoped for “Russia’s help in ensuring that the Syrians themselves lead the process, with help from outside, but not ‘interference.’”

The Syrian ruler would accept an external UN frame, but is clearly opposed to any outside attempts by the UN or anyone else to interfere in the country’s internal political dialogue or try to impose solutions on the parties.

That much is evident from the official accounts of the Sochi meeting. Its real content may be quite different. It stands to reason that Putin leaned hard on his guest to make sure that Assad toed the Moscow line.

The Russian president then announced he would be spending the next day in telephone consultations on Syria’s future with US President Donald Trump and a number of Middle East leaders.

Word on what transpired at the Sochi interview and in those phone calls will most likely emerge in reports from Moscow and Damascus in the coming days.


Ohio Senate Makes Abortion Based on Down Syndrome Diagnosis a Felony

CBN News Staff – November 20, 2017

The Ohio Senate passed the Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act this week. It prohibits abortion based solely on a doctor’s diagnosis of Down Syndrome.

The bill would make performing abortions based solely on the basis of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, a fourth-degree felony. It also gives the power to the state medical board to revoke a doctor’s license if convicted.

The Ohio House passed a similar bill two weeks ago.

Now either the House or the Senate must approve the other chamber’s bill in order to advance it to Gov. John Kasich’s desk.

Ohio Right to Life praised the move, saying abortion based on a Down syndrome diagnosis is eugenics.


Supremes to decide if pro-lifers must promote abortion

Bob Unruh – November 12, 2017

A long list of federal judges in California, including members of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, have affirmed the state’s requirement that pro-life crisis pregnancy centers advertise for abortionists.

But that may change soon, when the U.S. Supreme Court finally gets a chance to review the FACT Act, AB 775.

The law “requires licensed medical centers that offer free, pro-life help to pregnant women to post a disclosure saying that California provides free or low-cost abortion and contraception services.”

According to the Alliance Defending Freedom, the disclosure “must also include a phone number for a county office that refers women to Planned Parenthood and other abortionists.”

But ADF said Monday the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the dispute


Venezuela just defaulted, moving deeper into crisis

Patrick Gillespie – November 14, 2017

Venezuela, a nation spiraling into a humanitarian crisis, has missed a debt payment. It could soon face grim consequences.

The South American country defaulted on its debt, according to a statement issued Monday night by S&P Global Ratings. The agency said the 30-day grace period had expired for a payment that was due in October.

A debt default risks setting off a dangerous series of events that could exacerbate Venezuela’s food and medical shortages.

If enough holders of a particular bond demand full and immediate repayment, it can prompt investors across all Venezuelan bonds to demand the same thing. Since Venezuela doesn’t have the money to pay all its bondholders right now, investors would then be entitled to seize the country’s assets — primarily barrels of oil — outside its borders.


Report: FBI May Be Investigating Planned Parenthood Over Dealings In Aborted Fetuses

Rachel Stoltzfoos – November 13, 2017

The FBI signaled this week agents may be investigating whether Planned Parenthood’s dealings in fetal tissue were legal.

Sources told The Hill the FBI has requested documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee obtained from the committee’s investigation into Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue dealings. The investigation came after the Center for Medical Progress published a series of explosive videos in 2015 revealing the abortion giant was harvesting and distributing aborted baby parts for researchers.

CMP alleges Planned Parenthood was illegally profiting from the exchange of limbs and organs, and the House and Senate launched investigations into the non-profit’s practice. Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley referred Planned Parenthood to the FBI at the conclusion of that investigation, saying his committee found evidence indicating the group was profiting.


Brexit: UK Parliament to vote on final deal

DW – November 13, 2017

Brexit minister David Davis has said UK lawmakers will have the chance to vote on Britain’s final exit deal from the EU. Despite the concession, Davis stressed that the UK will leave the EU “whatever the outcome.”

Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Davis confirmed on Monday that parliament will be allowed to “debate, scrutinize and vote” on any final agreement on the country’s departure from the European Union.

“I can now confirm that once we’ve reached an agreement we will bring forward a specific piece of primary legislation to implement that (Brexit) agreement,” Davis told parliament. Primary legislation refers to making law by acts of parliament or statute.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has long been under pressure to offer a “meaningful vote” on whatever deal the UK reaches with EU negotiators, as lawmakers within her own Conservative party, as well as in the opposition Labor party, threaten to stymie any future agreement.


Groundbreaking ‘quarksplosion’ discovery can make ten times as much energy as nuclear fusion

Cheyenne Macdonald  – November 7, 2017

In recent years, scientists have made great strides toward harnessing nuclear fusion, in hopes to one day create reactors that produce near-limitless clean energy.

But now, a pair of researchers has discovered a new subatomic event that releases energy in amounts beyond all expectations.

Scientists found that certain types of elementary particles known as quarks can achieve fusion in a powerful ‘quarksplosion,’ resulting in eight times more energy than that released in the individual processes at the heart of hydrogen bombs.


Congress Amps Up Pressure on Moving U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

– November 7, 2017

Congress is increasing pressure on the Trump administration to follow through with a now-stalled promise to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, according to lawmakers and multiple sources who told the Washington Free Beacon that move is long overdue and would help strengthen the U.S.-Israel alliance after years of tension under the former Obama administration.

While President Donald Trump promised on the campaign trail that one of his first acts in office would be to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city, he officially delayed the process in June, issuing a waiver to prevent the embassy from being relocated.

The move sparked anger in the pro-Israel community, segments of which touted Trump as a positive force for U.S.-Israel relations. Now it’s back on the congressional docket ahead of a Dec. 1 deadline for Trump to either begin moving the embassy or delay it for another six months.


EU to Intensify Pro-EU Propaganda at School Level

Vijeta Uniyal – November 8, 2017

Rattled by last year’s Brexit vote, and the rise of patriotic and nationalist sentiment across Europe, the EU is rolling out a comprehensive plan to indoctrinate European children from a young age. Under the plan, a “European studies curriculum” will be introduced for children of all ages from primary level upwards.

The details of the plan were uncovered by the British newspaper Daily Express. “Children as young as four years old could be taught to support the EU as the bloc looks to the young to keep the European project alive,” the newspaper reported.

This not the first time Brussels has tried to expose impressionable young minds to pro-EU propaganda in a bid to catch them young. In the run-up to the Brexit referendum, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) had accused the EU of ‘brainwashing’ school children. According to media reports, EU has been spending billions of euros each year to promote itself. In 2014 that figure was £2.4bn, beating even Coca Cola’s advertising budget.


Growing homeless camps contrast with West Coast tech wealth

Gillian Flaccus and Geoff Mulvihill – November 6, 2017

SEATTLE (AP) — Housing prices are soaring here thanks to the tech industry, but the boom comes with a consequence: A surge in homelessness marked by 400 unauthorized tent camps in parks, under bridges, on freeway medians and along busy sidewalks. The liberal city is trying to figure out what to do.

“I’ve got economically zero unemployment in my city, and I’ve got thousands of homeless people that actually are working and just can’t afford housing,” said Seattle City Councilman Mike O’Brien. “There’s nowhere for these folks to move to.”

That struggle is not Seattle’s alone. A homeless crisis is rocking the entire West Coast, pushing abject poverty into the open like never before.

Public health is at risk, several cities have declared states of emergency, and cities and counties are spending millions — in some cases billions — in a search for solutions.

San Diego now scrubs its sidewalks with bleach to counter a deadly hepatitis A outbreak. In Anaheim, 400 people sleep along a bike path in the shadow of Angel Stadium. Organizers in Portland lit incense at an outdoor food festival to cover up the stench of urine in a parking lot where vendors set up shop.