Area 51: Storming of secretive Nevada base

Area 51: Storming of secretive Nevada base

Fears that thousands of people could storm Area 51 on Friday were unfounded, with just several dozen arriving at the secretive US military base.

Millions had responded to a Facebook post in June calling for people to raid the facility in Nevada on 20 September to “see them aliens”.

But nobody attempted to enter the site and only one person was arrested – for urinating near the gate.

Area 51 has long been rumoured to house secrets about extraterrestrial life.
Why are people talking about Area 51?
In June, Matty Roberts, a student from California, posted a tongue-in-cheek Facebook event inviting people to charge at the base in large enough numbers to bypass security.

Within days of its launch, the event became a viral sensation, making headlines across the world. More than three million people expressed an interest in taking part.
The US Air Force warned that Area 51 was “an open training range for the US Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces”.

What happened on Friday?
Not a lot.

Despite much anticipation surrounding the event, only around 75 people turned up at the front gate and nobody attempted to enter.

The only person to be arrested was a man caught urinating near the entrance and a woman was detained for an undisclosed reason, Associated Press reported.
The “raid” was more of a small-scale celebration, with enthusiasts dressing up and holding placards. Full Story

 

Saudi Arabia oil attacks: US to send troops to Saudi Arabia

The US has announced plans to send forces to Saudi Arabia in the wake of attacks against the country’s oil infrastructure.

Secretary of Defence Mark Esper told reporters the deployment would be “defensive in nature”. Total troop numbers have not yet been decided.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have said they were behind the attacks against two oil facilities last week. Full Story

 

Climate protests: Marches worldwide against global warming

Millions of people around the world held a global climate strike on Friday, inspired by activist Greta Thunberg.

Protesters across continents waved placards and chanted slogans in what could be the biggest ever demonstration over global warming caused by humans.

“Our house is on fire”, Ms Thunberg said at a rally. “We will not just stand aside and watch.”

The day began in the Pacific and Asia and culminated in a massive demonstration in New York. Full Story

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Politics and Technology

politics and technology

China speeds ahead of U.S. as quantum race escalates, worrying scientists

U.S. and other Western scientists voice awe, and even alarm, at China’s quickening advances and spending on quantum communications and computing, revolutionary technologies that could give a huge military and commercial advantage to the nation that conquers them. The concerns echo — although to a lesser degree — the shock in the West six decades ago when the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite, sparking a space race. In quick succession, China, in recent months, has utilized a quantum satellite to transmit ultra-secure data, inaugurated a 1,243-mile quantum link between Shanghai and Beijing, and announced a $10 billion quantum computing center. “To me, what is alarming is the level of coordination of what they’ve done,” said Christopher Monroe, a physicist and pioneer in quantum communication at the University of Maryland. Full Story

Another confirmation that China is destined to be new the powerhouse and will probably hold this title for over 100 years after it moves to the top spot. China has focussed on developing trade; their second focus has been their military as they are primarily merchants at heart. They are going to win this battle for one reason; at the end of the day, they are going to have the biggest purse. As the saying goes “money talks and BS walks.

 

Xi Tells Zuckerberg and Cook China’s Set for ‘Unprecedented’ Reform

Chinese President Xi Jinping used a meeting with Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook to announce that his nation is embarking on reform with “unprecedented determination and vigor.”

Less than a week into his second five-year term at the helm of the world’s second-largest economy, Xi’s remarks may underscore a shift toward loosening of restrictions on doing business in China. The nation is “willing to work with the U.S.,” Xi said, according to an official Xinhua report, adding that he’s looking forward to President Donald Trump’s visit next week.

Though use of Facebook’s social networking platform is blocked in China, the leadership from Xi down have increased pledges to open up to foreign companies across the economy. Xi was speaking at an event with overseas members of the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management advisory board on Monday.

“China is willing to work with the US, to take a long-term perspective, care for each other’s mutual interests, and appropriately handle disagreements and contradictions,” Xi said. “We have an optimistic attitude toward the prospects for China-U.S. relations.” Full Story

This is the trend we have been speaking off for a while and which we just addressed in the last interim update. Asia led by China will move and more towards the direction of free markets and freedom, while the US will and the West will seek to restrain the populace.

The New Silk Road will go through Syria

Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort of mini-gathering of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), billed as “The First Project Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction”.

And there will be serious follow-ups: a Syria Reconstruction Expo; the 59th Damascus International Fair next month, where around 30 Arab and foreign nations will be represented; and the China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui province, in September.

Amid the proverbial doom and gloom pervading all things Syria, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune sometimes yield, well, good fortune.

Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort of mini-gathering of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), billed as “The First Project Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction”.

And there will be serious follow-ups: a Syria Reconstruction Expo; the 59th Damascus International Fair next month, where around 30 Arab and foreign nations will be represented; and the China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui province, in September.

Qin Yong, deputy chairman of the China-Arab Exchange Association, announced that Beijing plans to invest $2 billion in an industrial park in Syria for 150 Chinese companies.

Nothing would make more sense. Before the tragic Syrian proxy war, Syrian merchants were already incredibly active in the small-goods Silk Road between Yiwu and the Levant. The Chinese don’t forget that Syria controlled overland access to both Europe and Africa in ancient Silk Road times when, after the desert crossing via Palmyra, goods reached the Mediterranean on their way to Rome. After the demise of Palmyra, a secondary road followed the Euphrates upstream and then through Aleppo and Antioch.

Beijing always plans years ahead. And the government in Damascus is implicated at the highest levels. So, it’s not an accident that Syrian Ambassador to China Imad Moustapha had to come up with the clincher: China, Russia and Iran will have priority over anyone else for all infrastructure investment and reconstruction projects when the war is over. Full Story

Read this story in Detail for it provides some of the reasons of why America has lost its place in the Middle East and why Syria was Russia’s red line in the sand.  Most importantly, it reveals how strong the relationship between China and Russia is and why these two nations are set to dominate the world stage for decades to come.

 

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Elizabeth Warren nabs 2020 backing of Iowa’s state treasurer

Elizabeth Warren

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has announced the endorsement of one of Iowa’s last two uncommitted Democratic elected officials, state Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald.

“She’s the one I think can address the biggest problems we have, and that is the hollowing out of the middle class,” Fitzgerald said in an interview with The Associated Press. “She’s clear, you understand her message, and I want her fighting for me and all of us.”

Fitzgerald was an early supporter of then-Sen. Barack Obama, who went on to win the presidency. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller also supported Obama but is endorsing Montana Gov. Steve Bullock for 2020. Iowa’s last remaining uncommitted statewide elected Democrat is Auditor Rob Sand.

Asked what stood out about Warren in a field of Democrats often aligned on key issues, Fitzgerald declared that Warren “is a Democrat, she is a capitalist, and she wants to make our system work.” He said he’d do whatever the Warren campaign needed to help her win the caucuses.

Warren’s organization is seen as one of the strongest in Iowa, but compared with the other top-tier contenders in the field Warren has been relatively slow to roll out endorsements in the state. After a trickle of endorsement announcements, her first major haul of supporters in Iowa came out just last week, after her strong performance in the primary debate in Houston.

Fitzgerald marks Warren’s 25th Iowa endorsement and her sixth endorsement from an Iowa elected official. Full Story

 

Jimmy Carter says he couldn’t have managed presidency at 80

ATLANTA (AP) — Weeks shy of his 95th birthday, former President Jimmy Carter said he doesn’t believe he could have managed the most powerful office in the world at 80 years old.

Carter, who earlier this year became the longest-lived chief executive in American history, didn’t tie his comments to any of his fellow Democrats running for president in 2020, but two leading candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, would turn 80 during their terms if elected. Full Story

 

Sri Lankan doctors strike over salary ‘injustice’

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Doctors at state-run hospitals across Sri Lanka began a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, demanding that the government resolve what they say is a salary “injustice.”

Two years ago, the government gave an unusually high salary increase to legal officers in the government sector, creating what Dr. Haritha Aluthge, secretary of the Government Medical Officers Association, called “a severe injustice to doctors and other professionals.” Full Story

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Trudeau news: Liberals win in Canada election, but…

Canada election: Trudeau's Liberals win but lose majority

Trudeau news: Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has retained power in a narrow Canadian election win but he will now be prime minister of a minority government.

The Liberals are projected to win 157 seats, 13 short of a majority, and will find it harder to pass legislation in Mr Trudeau’s second term.

The opposition Conservatives are expected to win the popular vote but have not translated that into seats.

They are projected to take 121, up from the 95 they held before.
Although Monday night’s results saw a sharp decline in seats for the country’s left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP), its leader, Jagmeet Singh, could become the kingmaker.

The NDP is projected to take 24 seats in the 338-seat parliament.

Quebec’s separatist party, the Bloc Québécois, which competes only in that province, fared much better. It is expected to take 32 seats, compared to the 10 it won in 2015.

Turnout is currently listed at 66%.

The federal election was seen as a referendum on Mr Trudeau, who had a bumpy first term, tainted by scandal.

Mr Trudeau told cheering supporters in Montreal that voters had “rejected division and negativity… and they rejected cuts and austerity and voted in favour of a progressive agenda and strong action on climate change”.

He said: “Thank you for having faith in us to move our country in the right direction.”

And to those who did not back him, he promised his party would govern for everyone. Full Story

 

The Kenyan ghost writers doing ‘lazy’ Western students’ work

University students in Europe and the US are paying Kenyans to do their academic work for them.

The global market for academic writing is estimated to be worth $1bn (£770m) annually.

For some, ghost-writing university essays for students who don’t have the time or desire to do them can be lucrative, especially in countries with high unemployment among young graduates. Full Story

 

The race to build a flying electric taxi

For any commuter the prospect of being whisked to and from work in a fraction of the time it usually takes is pretty irresistible.

No traffic jams, no train delays and no cold platforms – what’s not to love?

This is the promise of more than a hundred companies developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Full Story

 

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Boris Johnson: says he’ll pull Brexit bill if lawmakers force delay

Boris Johnson: says he’ll pull Brexit bill if lawmakers force delay

Boris Johnson: LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was headed for a showdown Tuesday with lawmakers who want to put the brakes on his drive to push his European Union divorce bill through the House of Commons in just three days and take Britain out of the European Union by Oct. 31.

Johnson said that if Parliament imposes a longer timetable and “decides to delay everything until January or possibly longer,” he will withdraw the bill and call a vote on holding a snap general election.

“I will in no way allow months more of this,” said Johnson, who took power in July vowing that the U.K. will leave the EU on Oct. 31, come what may. His only hope of doing that is to pass the Brexit-implementing bill through Britain’s fractious Parliament before then.

Johnson’s announcement piles pressure on lawmakers as they consider whether to approve the government’s legislation, which would finally take Britain out of the EU — more than three years after voters opted to leave the bloc.

The bill faces two votes Tuesday, with lawmakers first being asked to approve it in principle, followed by a vote on the government’s schedule for debate and possible amendments.

Johnson said backing the bill would allow lawmakers to “turn the page and allow this Parliament and this country to begin to heal and unite.” Full Story

 

Iraq: American troops leaving Syria cannot stay in Iraq

BAGHDAD (AP) — U.S. troops leaving Syria and heading to neighboring Iraq do not have permission to stay in the country, Iraq’s military said Tuesday as American forces continued to pull out of northern Syria after Turkey’s invasion of the border region. Full Story

 

Russia, Turkey leaders hold talks on fate of Syria border

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The presidents of Turkey and Russia met in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi on Tuesday, hours before a five-day cease-fire between Turkish troops and Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria was set to expire. Full Story

 

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Tax Returns Donald Trump

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Tax Returns Donald Trump: A judge has ordered US President Donald Trump to hand over eight years of his tax returns to a New York state criminal investigation.

The judge rejected arguments by the president’s lawyers that total immunity protects him while in office.

Mr Trump is the only presidential candidate since the 1960s apart from Gerald Ford not to release tax returns.

The ruling helps an investigation into hush money paid to two women who claim they had affairs with Mr Trump.

In his 75-page decision on Monday, Judge Victor Marrero said he could not allow a “categorical and limitless assertion of presidential immunity from judicial process”.

“The only thing truly absolute about presidential immunity from criminal process is the Constitution’s silence about the existence and contours of such an exemption,” he wrote.

Judge Marrero concluded that the president’s argument, at its core, was “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values”.

Mr Trump’s lawyers immediately filed an emergency appeal with a higher court.

The president tweeted about the ruling on Monday, claiming that Democrats were “pushing local New York City and State Democrat prosecutors to go get President Trump”.

What’s the background?
The investigation concerns hush money payments made by Mr Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen to two women – adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who allege affairs with Mr Trump, which he denies. Full Story

 

Turkey-Syria border: Kurds bitter as US troops withdraw

US troops have begun withdrawing from positions in northern Syria, paving the way for a Turkish operation against Kurdish fighters in the border area.

Kurdish-led forces have until now been a key US ally in Syria, where they helped defeat the Islamic State group, but Turkey regards them as terrorists.

The main Kurdish-led group called the surprise US move a “stab in the back”. Full Story

 

Allyson Felix: World Athletics Championships record-breaker on life-changing year

Becoming the most successful athlete in World Championships history – as she did in Doha – would once have been all-consuming for Allyson Felix. The past 12 months have changed her beyond measure.

Having a baby has also given birth to the activist hidden inside her. Felix is no longer a willing participant in the “culture of silence” around maternity rights in elite athletics. She has found her voice. Full Story

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Tulsi Gabbard 2020 presidential Campaign

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Tulsi Gabbard 2020 presidential Campaign: Release documents related to Saudis and 9/11

NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard says federal authorities must release the findings of their investigation into the Saudi government’s role in the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Hawaii congresswoman said Tuesday in New York City that families who lost loved ones in the attacks “want the truth, and they deserve the truth.”

Gabbard was joined by victims’ relatives who have filed a federal lawsuit seeking the release of documents that they believe link the attackers to Saudi government officials.

She told family members gathered at a museum near the World Trade Center that it’s time to hold U.S. leaders accountable “for withholding the truth from the American people.”

Messages seeking comment were left with the U.S. Department of Justice and with an attorney for the Saudi government. Full Story

Hillary Clinton’s attacks on Tulsi Gabbard are embarrassing

Hillary Clinton has kept a relatively low profile since her embarrassing 2016 election defeat, popping up only occasionally to make out-of-touch elitist comments that confirm why she lost. So it was somewhat surprising to hear her weigh in on the 2020 Democratic primary with a truly bizarre comment about (of all people) Tulsi Gabbard.

Clinton accused the Hawaii congresswoman of being groomed by outside forces, saying: “I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate … She’s the favorite of the Russians.” There is some dispute about whether Clinton meant it was the Russians or Republicans who were pushing a third-party Gabbard candidacy, but a Clinton spokesman asked about the comments replied “if the nesting doll fits”, clearly implying it was dastardly Russians.
Gabbard immediately hit back hard, calling Clinton (accurately) “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic party for so long”. While hosts of The View backed up Clinton, calling Gabbard a “useful idiot”, others such as the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and South Bend’s mayor, Pete Buttigieg, suggested that Clinton ought to have had some evidence before implying something so outrageous about a Democratic elected official.

But it was typical Clinton. Paranoia about Russian influence has been ubiquitous among the Clinton set since 2016, in part because it helps to explain how the loss to Donald Trump wasn’t really Clinton’s fault. Full Story

 

Who is Tulsi Gabbard? The progressive 2020 hopeful praised by Bannon and the right

Gabbard’s unorthodox positions and conflicts with fellow Democrats could emerge as stumbling blocks in her campaignTom McCarthy in New YorkPresidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard addresses an audience during a meet and greet, 17 February 2019, in North Hampton, New Hampshire.
Presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard addresses an audience during a meet and greet, on 17 February 2019, in North Hampton, New Hampshire. Photograph: Steven Senne/AP
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is not afraid to take a stand.

For a promising young Democrat in 2015, one of the seemingly worst places to be was on the wrong side of Hillary Clinton, who – barring some bizarre twist – was on her way to becoming America’s next president.

Yet Gabbard, then a 34-year-old second-term congresswoman from Hawaii with both combat experience and a radiant smile, had the temerity to cross Clinton by calling for additional debates between Clinton and her opponent in the Democratic primary race, Bernie Sanders. Full Story

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