Signs of the Times
Here's the body count in the latest geopolitical earthquake afflicting the West: The Socialist Party in France is dead. The traditional Right is comatose. What used to be the Extreme Left is alive, and still kicking.
Yet what's supposed to be the shock of the new is not exactly a shock. The more things veer towards change (we can believe in), the more they stay the same. Enter the new normal: the recycled "system" - as in Emmanuel Macron — versus "the people" — as in the National Front's Marine Le Pen, battling for the French presidency on May 7.
Although that was the expected outcome, it's still significant. Le Pen, re-christened "Marine", reached the second round of voting despite a mediocre campaign.
The Syrian regime of President Bashar Al-Assad said that his country has information that Jordan is planning to send its troops into southern Syria in cooperation with the United States, Russian state-owned Sputnik reported on Friday.
"We have this information, not only from mass media, but from different sources," Al-Assad told Sputnik, who interviewed him earlier this week. "You know that we have the same tribes and same families on both sides of the borders," he told Sputnik's reporter.
He also said that Amman "had been always part of the American plan" against Syria, claiming that Jordan is not an independent state, but instead carries out the plans imposed on it by the United States.
Mass media previously reported political sources in Amman speaking about Jordanian-American-British operations to be launched against terrorist organisations operating near the northern Jordanian borders with Syria.
Israel argues that there is no Syria to 'negotiate with' — which means the occupation of the Golan is now 'legitimate'
Israel's deputy minister for diplomacy Michael Oren has announced that 'there is no Syria to negotiate with', which means that Israel's illegal occupation of the Golan should be recognized by the international community.
Capitalizing on the chaos and destruction of a six-year war to push for international recognition of occupied land? That's not very neighborly.
According to Oren, "Without Israel there [in the Golan], the region would be jeopardized. ISIS would be on the Kinneret."
Perhaps this is the reason why Israel has repeatedly targeted the Syrian Army and its allies fighting Islamic State in Syria, instead of bombing ISIS?
An Orchard Mesa woman is grieving and hoping the public will help identify a suspect after her two pit bull dogs were found decapitated near railroad tracks in the area on Wednesday.
In a disturbing scene detailed in an incident report, several passersby reported seeing two dogs decapitated on the tracks by the shooting range just before 5:45 p.m. Wednesday. A man and a woman who were walking in the area moved the dogs from the middle of the tracks because they didn't want a train to further mutilate the animals, according to a report by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.
The dogs' owner, Christin Ormond, said her dogs — B.B., a 6-month-old black and white spotted male, and Calypso, 1-and-a-half-year-old white and brindle female — had been missing since about midnight Monday. Her husband let the dogs out to go to the bathroom and they jumped the back fence, she said.
"They were the sweetest dogs. They didn't have a mean bone in their bodies," Ormond said Friday. "I'm a CNA (certified nursing assistant). I've been a CNA for 16 years and I've seen some pretty bad stuff. This is probably the worst thing I've ever seen."
French-Swiss cement maker LafargeHolcim has announced the resignation of CEO Eric Olsen following an internal investigation into the company's activity in Syria before September 2014.
"While I was absolutely not involved in, nor even aware of, any wrongdoing I believe my departure will contribute to bringing back serenity to a company that has been exposed for months on this case," Olsen said on Monday.
In June 2016, Le Monde claimed in an investigation that Lafarge, which later merged with Holcim, paid taxes to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in 2013-2014 to continue operations in northern Syria.
In March, Lafarge admitted it provided funds to "certain armed groups" and "sanctioned parties" in Syria. The company said such activities were "unacceptable."
Archaeologists from the University of Sheffield uncovered the rare find at Thornton Abbey in Lincolnshire, which was founded as a monastery in 1139 and went onto become one of the richest religious houses in England.
The priest's gravestone was discovered close to the altar of a former hospital chapel. Unusually for the period, it displayed an inscription of the deceased's name, Richard de W'Peton - abbreviated from 'Wispeton', a medieval incarnation of modern Wispington in Lincolnshire - and his date of death, 17 April 1317.
The slab also contained an extract from the Bible, specifically Philippians 2:10, which reads; "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth."
Judge Tim Nolan of California, Kentucky represents District 5 on the Campbell County School Board. He served at the chair of the 2016 Donald Trump campaign in Campbell County. And, he's just been charged with felony child trafficking.
Nolan is now facing charges of felony human trafficking of a minor, felony inducing a minor to engage in sex and a third count of giving alcohol to a minor.
As River City News reports: Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced that Nolan is charged with human trafficking (a class B felony), first degree unlawful transaction with a minor (a class C felony), and third degree unlawful transaction with a minor (a class A misdemeanor). Beshear's Special Prosecution Division is handling the case. The division is responsible for assisting local prosecutors in complex or sensitive cases, as well as, handle cases in which local prosecutors recuse themselves.
A Russian-Armenian captive has escaped from Colombian guerrilla fighters in a shootout worthy of an action movie. The man disarmed his guard and seriously injured five of the militants, in the process receiving a gunshot wound himself, the rebels say.
The man, identified as Arsen (Levon) Voskanyan, a dual Russian-Armenian citizen, took his rescue operation into his own hands and broke free from Colombia's second largest militia, the National Liberation Army, which is more commonly known by its Spanish acronym, ELN.
At the time of Voskanyan's heroics a convoy was actually on its way to release him at the request of the Russian embassy in Colombia.
Voskanyan seized one of the militants' guns and opened fire at the others, injuring five people. He was wounded by return fire, but managed to hide in the jungle.
48 hours of continuous eruptive activity at Poás Volcano were marked this Saturday at 10:12 p.m. with a strong explosion that was captured by the cameras of the National Seismology Network, this explosion only lasted one minute and threw rocks at high temperatures in the areas close to the crater:
For a long time, medieval medicine has been dismissed as irrelevant. This time period is popularly referred to as the "Dark Ages," which erroneously suggests that it was unenlightened by science or reason. However, some medievalists and scientists are now looking back to history for clues to inform the search for new antibiotics.
The evolution of antibiotic-resistant microbes means that it is always necessary to find new drugs to battle microbes that are no longer treatable with current antibiotics. But progress in finding new antibiotics is slow. The drug discovery pipeline is currently stalled. An estimated 700,000 people around the world die annually from drug-resistant infections. If the situation does not change, it is estimated that such infections will kill 10 million people per year by 2050. I am part of the Ancientbiotics team, a group of medievalists, microbiologists, medicinal chemists, parasitologists, pharmacists and data scientists from multiple universities and countries. We believe that answers to the antibiotic crisis could be found in medical history. With the aid of modern technologies, we hope to unravel how premodern physicians treated infection and whether their cures really worked.
To that end, we are compiling a database of medieval medical recipes. By revealing patterns in medieval medical practice, our database could inform future laboratory research into the materials used to treat infection in the past. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to create a medieval medicines database in this manner and for this purpose.
The US military conducted additional strikes in Yemen targeting members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terror group, US Department of Defense spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis said in a briefing on Monday.
Last week, US Air Force's strikes killed six al-Qaeda terrorists in Yemen.
"We conducted a strike on April 18... that was against three AQAP terrorists, and an additional strike yesterday, April 23... that strike was against eight AQAP terrorists," Davis told reporters.
"Since February 28, we conducted more than 80 precision strikes against AQAP militants, infrastructure, fighting positions and equipment in Yemen."
US President Donald Trump commemorated the anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide in a statement released by the White House on Monday.
Between 1915-1923, more than 1.5 million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire and then Turkey were killed, pressed into labor or deported on death marches.
"Today, we remember and honor the memory of those who suffered during the Meds Yeghern, one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century," Trump stated.
Trump used the term "Mads Yegern" to describe the event, an Armenian phrase also used by former President Barack Obama that translates to "great calamity."
Work is underway across the Salisbury Plain Training Area to prepare for the Service personnel returning from Germany in 2019 under the Army Basing Programme (ABP).This work has uncovered a unique network of First World War tunnels on MOD land in Larkhill, which is earmarked for over 400 new Army family homes.
The development is part of wider plans to accommodate 4,000 additional Service personnel and their families who will be based on and around the Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA) by 2019 under the ABP. In addition, the MOD is investing over £1.1bn in the area boosting the local economy and providing around 2,500 bed spaces for single soldiers, just over 1,300 new homes for Service families and the construction, conversion or refurbishment of nearly 250 other buildings.
The tunnels are part of a First World War battlefield used to train men to fight in and under the trenches of France and Belgium. The soldiers have left the mine galleries deep in the chalk but they have also left over a hundred inscriptions written by soldiers training here between 1915 and 1918. Archaeologists have been working alongside specialist engineers to investigate the underground battlefield.
Driverless cars are about to get a huge financial boost in the UK, as a group of technology companies, researchers and authorities such as Transport for London (TFL) have landed millions in funding from the government to get self-driving vehicles on Britain's roads.
Oxbotica, a UK tech company which spun off the Oxford Robotics Institute, will lead an ambitious 30-month program to get fully autonomous vehicles traveling between London and Oxford.
The UK public got their first extended trial of the driverless shuttlebus in March. As part of "Project Gateway", around 100 people traveled in a prototype shuttle on a route in Greenwich, London.
UKIP announced plans for a policy of mandatory annual medical checks for schoolgirls in "at-risk minority" groups for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and prosecutions for parents of anyone who has undergone the procedure.
As part of its "integration agenda," UKIP announced mandatory annual FGM checks for girls in schools. It wants to "implement school-based medical checks on girls at high risk of suffering FGM. These should take place annually and whenever they return from trips overseas."
The party is also calling for parents of girls who are subjected to FGM, which is illegal in Britain, to face prosecution.
It pledges to "make failure to report instances of FGM by someone who has knowledge that it has taken place a criminal offence itself" and for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to "operate under a presumption of prosecution any parents whose daughter has undergone FGM."
An investigation by Washington into steel price dumping by China and other exporters to the United States could trigger retaliatory measures against American finance and high-tech, reports the China Daily.
"By proposing an unjustified investigation into steel imports in the guise of safeguarding national security, the US seems to be resorting to unilateralism to solve bilateral and multilateral problems," wrote the state-affiliated daily.
Scientists have extracted DNA from the skeletal remains of several 19th-century sailors who died during the ill-fated Franklin Expedition, whose goal was to navigate the fabled Northwest Passage.
With a new genetic database of 24 expedition members, researchers hope they'll be able to identify some of the bodies scattered in the Canadian Arctic, 170 years after one of the worst disasters in the history of polar exploration.
The results were published April 20 in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.
While US military spending grew for the first time in six years, Russia became the third-largest spender in 2016 due to Saudi Arabia's drastic fall, according to new figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The US remains the world's biggest military spender, with its military expenditure growing by 1.7 per cent between 2015 and 2016 to $611 billion, according to a new SIPRI study.
While America saw its first annual spending increase in six years, 2016 still fell short of its all-time peak in 2010. Consecutive spending shrinkage, according to the study, was caused by the economic crisis and partial US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"Despite continuing legal restraints on the overall US budget, increases in military spending were agreed upon by Congress," the Director of the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure (AMEX) program Dr. Aude Fleurant said. "Future spending patterns remain uncertain due to the changing political situation in the USA."
The UK has one of the highest rates of anti-Semitic offenses in the world, a new report by an Israel - based watchdog has revealed.
Although the overall number of offenses decreased by 12 percent worldwide, the Annual Report on Antisemitism by the Kantor Center, found that the rate of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK stood at 557 in the first half of 2016, an 11 percent increase on the same period in 2015.
Offenses falling under the Abusive Behavior category accounted for 431 of the total. These include one-off hate mails, anti-Semitic verbal abuse and anti-Semitic graffiti on non-Jewish properties.
The report does not specify what triggered such a spike in anti-Semitic incidents, but it does say that it took place during the months of April, May and June, which saw anti-Semitism, racism and extremism being extensively covered in the media.
Mike Whine of charity the Community Security Trust, who wrote up the UK section of the study, said the increase may be down to anti-Semitism being "a major matter of public discussion in the UK during 2016, fuelled by several public inquiries and the publication of their reports."
Last year, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for party member Shami Chakrabarti to chair an inquiry into allegations of anti-Semitism in the organization.
In yet another Wall Street giveaway, President Donald Trump on Friday afternoon took executive action to chip away at Dodd-Frank financial regulations and roll back rules aimed at reducing corporate tax avoidance.
Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for watchdog group Public Citizen, described the orders signed Friday at the Treasury Department as "nothing more than special favors for the same Wall Street banks that crashed our economy in 2008 and put millions of Americans out of work."
According to ABC News, Trump signed "two presidential memoranda on the Dodd - Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which former President [Barack] Obama signed in response to the 2007-2008 financial crisis." They order two six-month reviews of what the Los Angeles Times called "pillars" of Dodd-Frank: the Orderly Liquidation Authority and the Financial Stability Oversight Council.