Israel releases Palestinian prisoners/New drone program released/mother accused of poisoning children on Christmas/Children ‘beheaded and mutilated’ in Central African Republic and more signs of JESUS’ soon return

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Harvest army

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PAUL BEGLEY

 

 

DAHBOO77·

 

 

South Sudan in crisis as fighting continues

Fukushima Meltdown/2 Sunspots/X Flare Capable

 

13 Yr Old Gives Birth To Triplets Fathered By 61 Yr Old Man

 

Arizona mother accused of poisoning children on Christmas

A 13-year-old girl is dead and her mother is behind bars, accused of stabbing her ex-husband and trying to kill her children by poisoning them. Officers in Casa Grande, Arizona, responded to a 911 call on Christmas Day. A man said that his ex-wife, 35-year-old Connie Villa, had stabbed him but that he had managed to escape and was driving himself to a hospital, police said in a statement. When officers arrived at the home, they found Villa with stab wounds, holding a knife to her chest. They managed to subdue her and conducted a sweep of the home. Police found the body of Aniarael Macias, Villa’s daughter, in the bathroom. ”Although an autopsy for Aniarael was conducted yesterday in Pima County, the results of which did not identify a cause of death, investigators feel the evidence found at the scene of the crime along with interviews and medical information of the surviving children, give our Department cause to believe Connie Villa was attempting to end the lives of all of her children and her ex-husband, Adam Villa,” the statement read. Connie Villa faces one count of first degree murder in the death of her daughter. She is also being charged with four counts of attempted murder of her ex-husband and her three surviving children, ages 3, 5 and 8.

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One-third of Americans don’t believe in evolution

Thirty-three percent of Americans believe that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time” rather than evolving gradually through a process of natural selection, as described by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago. And roughly a quarter of adults say that “a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and other life in the form it exists today.” The numbers come from a new poll by Pew Research Center released Monday, which revealed that just six in ten Americans believe “humans and other living things have evolved over time.” The share of the general public that says that humans have evolved over time is about the same as it was in 2009, when Pew Research last asked the question. The survey also revealed remarkable divisions along political and religious lines when it comes to belief in evolution. Far more Democrats believe in it than Republicans, for example, and disbelief among the GOP is rising rapidly. Roughly two-thirds of Democrats (67 percent) and independents (65 percent) say that humans have evolved over time, compared with less than half of Republicans (43 percent). And belief in the theory of evolution fell from 54 percent in 2009 to 43 percent today, the survey found. Opinion among both Democrats and independents has remained about the same.More

 

Demographics, poor planning and recession usher in global retirement crisis

A global retirement crisis is bearing down on workers of all ages. Spawned years before the Great Recession and the financial meltdown in 2008, the crisis was significantly worsened by those twin traumas. It will play out for decades, and its consequences will be far-reaching. Many people will be forced to work well past the traditional retirement age of 65 — to 70 or even longer. Living standards will fall, and poverty rates will rise for the elderly in wealthy countries that built safety nets for seniors after the Second World War. In developing countries, people’s rising expectations will be frustrated if governments can’t afford retirement systems to replace the tradition of children caring for aging parents. The problems are emerging as the generation born after The Second World War moves into retirement. “The first wave of under-prepared workers is going to try to go into retirement and will find they can’t afford to do so,” says Norman Dreger, a retirement specialist in Frankfurt, Germany, who works for Mercer, a global consulting firm. More

As China’s local government debt levels balloon to $3 trillion, one analyst told CNBC that China’s debt sentence is the biggest “known unknown” risk to global financial markets in 2014. In a long awaited report, China’s National Audit Office reported this week that local government debt had increased 67 percent from the end of 2010 to reach 17.9 trillion renminbi ($2.95 trillion) by the end of June. The report highlights concerns over the country’s spiraling credit addiction at a time when it’s struggling to sustain economic growth and avoid a financial crisis. “China’s debt is the biggest ‘known unknown’ of 2014. Because is it something that is going to balloon into an international issue and something that will affect the markets?” Richard Harris, CEO of Port Shelter Investment Management told CNBC Asia’s Squawk Box on Monday.
“When you look at what the National Audit Office is really saying, they are talking about local government debt being up 70 percent, we are not talking about 10 or 15 percent, this is 70 percent,” he added. Local governments in China borrowed heavily following the global financial crisis to help sustain the country’s impressive growth rates by funding investment projects. The entities are not permitted to borrow from banks, so instead they set up special purpose vehicles to do so. But analysts have expressed fears that many of these investments may never make enough returns to repay the interest and principal on the debt. Port Shelter Investment Management’s Harris told CNBC that China’s rising local government debt was a huge issue. “Local government debt is pretty much half of Chinese debt in total which is now over $5 trillion. This is now a big problem, we are no longer in a situation where china is a rich country we are now in a situation where china is an indebted country,” he added. More

 

Children ‘beheaded and mutilated’ in Central African Republic

The UN agency for children says attacks against children have reached new levels of viciousness in the Central African Republic (CAR), where fighting between Muslim Seleka rebels and Christian militias left more than 1,000 people dead and displaced an estimated 400,000 in Bangui, the capital, this month. According to Unicef, at least at least two children have been beheaded, and one of them mutilated, in the violence that has gripped Bangui since early December. “We are witnessing unprecedented levels of violence against children. More and more children are being recruited into armed groups, and they are also being directly targeted in atrocious revenge attacks,” said Souleymane Diabate, Unicef representative in CAR. “Targeted attacks against children are a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law and must stop immediately.
Concrete action is needed now to prevent violence against children.” Unicef and its partners say they have verified the killings of at least 16 children, and injuries among 60, since the outbreak of communal violence in Bangui on 5 December. In November, the UN warned that the number of child soldiers in the former French colony had more than doubled to up to 6,000 as anti-balaka militias have sprung up to counterattacks by the Seleka. Diabate said armed groups were accountable for taking specific measures to provide protection to children. These include: clear directives by those in positions of authority within armed forces and groups to halt violations against children, meaning that children must not be recruited into the fighting, nor targeted. Unicef also called for the immediate release of children associated with armed forces and groups, and their protection from reprisals. Transit centres set up for the release and reintegration of children must also be protected from attacks. More

Is America About To Reach A Breaking Point? Anger Grows As Unemployment Benefits Get Cut

In America today, there are close to 50 million people living in poverty and there are more than 100 million people that get money from the federal government every month.  As the middle class disintegrates, poverty is climbing to unprecedented levels.  Even though the stock market has been setting record high after record high, the amount of anger and frustration boiling just under the surface in our nation grows with each passing day.

And now extended unemployment benefits have been cut off for 1.3 million unemployed Americans, and it is being projected that a total of 5 million unemployed Americans will lose their benefits by the end of 2014.  In addition, as I have written about previously, 47 million Americans recently had their food stamp benefits reduced.  The conditions for a “perfect storm” are certainly being created.  So how much longer will it be until we see all of this anger and frustration boil over in the streets of our major cities?  Is America about to reach a breaking point? More

Israel tells US it will not release Israeli-Arab prisoners

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry that Israel would not release any Israeli-Arab prisoners in the fourth and final release, Channel 2 reported on Monday night, citing an Israeli official. Israel has been reluctant to release those prisoners that, unlike the Palestinian prisoners, live within the Green Line and have an Israeli ID. Netanyahu has reportedly asked the Shin Bet and the Israeli Prisons Service to compile a list of other prisoners to replace the Israeli-Arab prisoners already on the list. The Prime Minister’s Office, however, said that Israel never committed itself at any stage to release Israeli Arabs. A decision to do so would entail another cabinet vote. The official told Channel 2 that Israel felt “deceived” by Kerry, who caved to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ demand to increase the number of prisoners released from 82 to 104, and led him to believe Israel would be willing to release prisoners with Israeli citizenship. The PMO denied that claim by the official as well, saying Kerry did not deceive Israel on the peace talks, Channel 2 reported. Netanyahu reportedly told Kerry that while Israel was not willing to release Israeli-Arab prisoners as a gesture to the Palestinians, it would be willing to release them as a gesture to the US, in return for the release of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard. More

 

US “framework” calls for 80,000 Israeli West Bank evacuations to the big settlement blocs

The State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in Washington Tuesday, Dec. 31, that Secretary John Kerry would discuss with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas a “proposed framework” to serve as “a guideline for addressing all core issues” in the decades-long dispute. “Some people say this would be an interim agreement. No, that’s not the case,” she said. The core issues she listed were “borders between Israel and a future Palestine, security arrangements, the fate of Palestinian refugees and conflicting claims to the holy city of Jerusalem.” Kerry leaves for Israel and Ramallah on New Year’s Day to continue his shuttle, after Monday night, Dec. 30, Israel released from jail 26 Palestinian terrorists serving life sentences for murder. DEBKAfile reported earlier that the US Secretary does not expect Israeli and Palestinian leaders to approve the proposed framework – only to contribute their comments. We also reported that Abbas had indicated to the Secretary that that Palestinians were preparing to reject his proposals by demanding their referral to the various pan-Arab forums. More

 

2014 Will Bring over 40,000 New Laws to be Implemented.

Not everyone subscribes to a New Year’s resolution, but Americans will be required to follow new laws in 2014. Some 40,000 measures taking effect range from sweeping, national mandates under Obamacare to marijuana legalization in Colorado, drone prohibition in Illinois and transgender protections in California. Although many new laws are controversial, they made it through legislatures, public referendum or city councils and represent the shifting composition of American beliefs. The biggest and most politically charged change comes at the federal level with the imposition of a new fee for those adults without health insurance. For 2014, the penalty is either $95 per adult or 1% of family income, whichever results in a larger fine. The Obamacare, or Affordable Care Act, mandate also requires that insurers cover immunizations and some preventive care. Additionally, millions of poor Americans will receive Medicaid benefits starting January 1. Thousands of companies will have to provide calorie counts for products sold in vending machines. More

 

HARTFORD, Conn. – The Connecticut Insurance Department has directed all insurance companies in the state to provide coverage for sex change operations, treatments and counseling, reports state. The Hartford Courant outlines that the department recently issued a bulletin to insurance companies throughout Connecticut, advising them to ensure that “individuals with gender dysphoria … are not denied access to medically necessary care because of the individual’s gender identity or gender expression.” Gender dysphoria is defined as “the condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex” and is listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The bulletin distributed to insurance companies noted the APA’s acknowledgment of the condition and its consequential eligibility for coverage. It also pointed to a 2011 state law barring discrimination based on gender identity. “Under these statutes, health insurers are required to pay ‘covered expenses’ for treatment provided to individuals with gender dysphoria where the treatment is deemed necessary under generally accepted medical standards,” it stated. More

Sun has ‘flipped upside down’ as new magnetic cycle begins

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: The sun has “flipped upside down,” with its north and south poles reversed to reach the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24, NASA has said. Now, the magnetic fields will once again started moving in opposite directions to begin the completion of the 22 year long process which will culminate in the poles switching once again. “A reversal of the sun’s magnetic field is, literally, a big event,” said NASA’s Dr. Tony Phillips. “The domain of the sun’s magnetic influence (also known as the ‘heliosphere’) extends billions of kilometers beyond Pluto. Changes to the field’s polarity ripple all the way out to the Voyager probes, on the doorstep of interstellar space.” To mark the event, NASA has released a visualization of the entire process. At the beginning, in 1997 the video shows the sun in Solar Cycle 23 with its positive polarity on the top (the green lines), and the negative polarity on the bottom (the purple lines). Each set of lines gradually move toward the opposite pole, showing a complete flip around 2002, completing the sun’s previous cycle. Both set of lines representing the opposing magnetic fields then begin to work their way back, to culminate in the latest flip. “At the height of each magnetic flip, the sun goes through periods of more solar activity, during which there are more sunspots, and more eruptive events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections,” said NASA’s Karen C. Fox. “Cosmic rays are also affected,” added Dr. Phillips. “These are high-energy particles accelerated to nearly light speed by supernova explosions and other violent events in the galaxy.” Extinction Protocol

 

Bald eagle deaths in Utah alarm and mystify scientists

UTAH – Bald eagles are dying in Utah – 20 in the past few weeks alone – and nobody can figure out why. Hundreds of the majestic birds – many with wing spans of 7 feet or more – migrate here each winter, gathering along the Great Salt Lake and feasting on carp and other fish that swim in the nearby freshwater bays. Earlier this month, however, hunters and farmers across five counties in northern and central Utah began finding the normally skittish raptors lying listless on the ground. Many suffered from seizures, head tremors and paralysis in the legs, feet and wings. Many of the eagles were brought to the mammoth Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, where Buz Marthaler – a longtime animal caretaker – and other handlers tried to save the birds. Within 48 hours most were dead. “It’s just hard to have your national bird in your arms, going through seizures in a way it can’t control – when you can see it’s pain but don’t know what’s happening to it,” said Marthaler, 56, co-founder of the facility in Ogden. “As a human being, you just have problems with that. And when you lose one, it just grabs your heart.” State wildlife specialists are also baffled. For weeks, officials have sent birds for necropsies at the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., hoping the results would offer clues.
They began to rule out obvious possibilities: The birds were not shot by hunters, and officials don’t believe the birds were poisoned. “There doesn’t seem to be anything suspicious in that regard,” said Mitch Lane, a conservation officer with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, who has responded to numerous reports of downed or sick eagles. At first, the agency’s disease scientists guessed that the illness could be encephalitis, which is caused by the West Nile virus, but later ruled out that possibility. And although many sick eagles tested positive for lead, researchers did not think that it was killing the birds. Officials suggest the eagle die-off is possibly connected to the deaths of thousands of eared grebes that began in Utah in November. Eagles are known to prey on the small shore birds. Because the grebes are thought to have died from avian cholera, many scientists theorize that the eagles became sick from feeding on infected grebes. Officials still don’t know why the shore birds became sick. “We’re getting closer to an answer,” Lane said, adding that officials would meet this week to continue investigating the mystery. Meanwhile, a new ailing bald eagle surfaces almost daily. Scott Isaacson, 59, an attorney who lives in the town of Farmington, said he was feeding his chickens one night this month when he spotted an eagle on the ground under a cottonwood tree where he was used to seeing seven or eight birds perched in the branches. “I’ve never seen one on the ground,” he said. He called wildlife officials, who told him to approach bird; if it was healthy, it would fly off. The bird skittered into a nearby pond.
“It was really sad to see this graceful creature, with its beautiful white head, its wings spread out in the water,” he said. Wildlife officials later nabbed the bird, which was hissing and clawing as it was scooped up in a net. Bald eagles were removed from the endangered species list in 2007. Utah officials say 700 to 1,200 winter here each year. Some days have been especially hard on the staff. “Every bird would come in more paralyzed than the one before it,” Marthaler said. “They couldn’t move their legs. Their wings were weak. Their heads would jerk with tremors. It was difficult to watch.” The retired Air Force member said it’s often difficult to determine the ages of adult eagles. “With their plumage, they can be 5 or 20; it’s hard to tell,” he said. Officials at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center have their own theories about the sickness. Some point to radiation from Japan after the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. “We aren’t ruling out anything,” Marthaler said. A call from Idaho shed new light: A wildlife official said bald eagles there were also getting sick, suggesting that the birds were arriving in Utah already in bad heath. Extinction Protocol

 

Pennsylvania Citizen Sues Over ‘Voluntary’ Cheek Swabs

Following reports that police in Reading, Pennsylvania, participated in a national survey, in which random citizens were pulled over and asked for “voluntary” cheek swabs, a courageous resident filed a lawsuit against the city, its mayor and several others claiming his Fourth Amendment rights were violated. Police chief thinks violation of Fourth Amendment is a “pretty innocuous and minor issue.” Reading police chief thinks violation of Fourth Amendment is a “pretty innocuous and minor issue.” “Nothing about this incident was ‘voluntary’ in my case,” Reading resident Ricardo Nieves stated at a City Council meeting two weeks ago, prior to pursuing the federal suit. “I feel this incident is a gross abuse of power on so many levels. I’m not a legal expert, but being forced off the road and unlawfully holding me against my will for any period of time, I would consider my liberty to be compromised and falsely imprisoned.” Nieves was irked when on Friday, December 13, he drove up to a street where police lights were flashing and orange security cones lined the lane. According to the suit, Nieves was driving in the right hand lane and that the left lane “was full of traffic such that he could not pull over to change lanes.” Nieves’ lawsuit, obtained by Courthouse News, further states an officer “stepped out into plaintiff’s lane of traffic, blocked his further advance, and flagged him to pull off the public road into a parking lot on Laurel Street.” More

El Salvador volcano spews more Ash and Gases

A volcano in eastern El Salvador belched more ash and gases on Monday after a big eruption on Sunday that drove more than 1,600 people into emergency shelters. No major injuries or damage were reported.  The Chaparrastique volcano, which is about 140 km (87 miles) east of San Salvador, the capital, spewed ash over a wide area known for its coffee plantations on Sunday. ”The Chaparrastique volcano is still producing gases combined with small emissions of ash, which is normal after an eruption,” El Salvador’s environment ministry said on its Twitter page. In all, 1,635 people are in seven temporary shelters, emergency services said. Some people on the volcano’s slopes have refused to leave, emergency services said. It was not clear to what extent El Salvador’s coffee crop, already blighted by an outbreak of leaf rust, might be affected by the eruption. Coffee officials said they were meeting on Monday to evaluate the damage. El Salvador’s international airport was operating normally on Monday, although more than 36 international flights into and out of the country had been suspended on Sunday because of the eruption, the airport and airlines said. El Salvador has 23 active volcanoes. Chaparrastique is considered one of the most active, with 26 eruptions in the last 500 years, the environment ministry said. In a 1976 eruption, lava gushed from the volcano. Chaparrastique shook violently in another event in 2010. Yahoo News

Scientists create glow-in-the-dark pigs using jellyfish DNA

Scientists at the South China Agricultural University announced last week that they had successfully engineered 10 piglets that could glow green under black light. By using a technique pioneered by the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Medicine, the researchers were able to isolate a fluorescent protein in jellyfish DNA and inject it into pig embryos.  According to researchers, the technique is being developed to help create medicines and therapies for patients in a more cost-effective manner. Eventually, genetically engineered animals might be used to produce beneficial enzymes for such maladies as hemophilia. “[W]e can make those enzymes a lot cheaper in animals rather than a factory that will cost millions of dollars to build,” said Dr. Stefan Moisyadi of the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Biogenesis Research in a statement. Fortunately, the piglets involved can still expect to live full lives. This is far from the first time glow-in-the-dark animals have been created. Turkish researchers were able to raise fluorescent rabbits with the University of Hawaii’s technique earlier this year. Meanwhile, researchers at the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species (ACRES) have created glowing cloned wildcats as a means of hopefully saving the endangered species. The Verge

Iran and world powers resume expert level nuclear talks

Iran resumed technical talks with world powers in Geneva on Monday, a vital step in implementing a nuclear deal signed last month which suspends key elements of Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief. The talks between expert teams from Iran and six world powers are meant to translate the political deal into a detailed implementation plan by the end of January, Iran’s state news agency, IRNA, quoted an unnamed source as saying. A key sticking point appears to be how much advance information Western governments will get so they can verify that Iran is meeting its end of the deal before they lift any sanctions.
The third round of talks between technical experts from the permanent U.N. Security Council members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – plus Germany, are set to last a day and resume in 2014, IRNA reported, a sign of the complexities facing the negotiators in reaching agreement on practical steps. They began work on December 9 but Iran broke off the talks in protest at the U.S. blacklisting an additional 19 Iranian companies and individuals under existing sanctions. Iranian officials said the move violated the spirit of the deal but U.S. officials said it did not breach the agreement. Iran rejects Western fears that its nuclear work has any military intentions and says it needs nuclear power for electricity generation and medical research. Yahoo News

Train carrying crude oil derails near Casselton; BNSF train derailed, was hit by another train

BREAKING NEWS:  CASSELTON – At least seven oil train cars have burst into flames here after a BNSF train carrying crude oil derailed and was then hit by another train. A 106-car long BNSF train carrying crude oil was headed eastbound when it derailed just west of Casselton at about 2:10 p.m., said Amy McBeth, a BNSF spokeswoman. Then, a fire was started when another train collided with the derailed train, Cass County Sgt. Dean Haaland said. Seven cars carrying oil had exploded as of 3:30 p.m., Haaland said, and crews are now working to separate as many of the remaining oil cars as possible. McBeth said no crew members reported injuries after the accident. Thick, black smoke could be seen from around 15 miles out-side of town. The train was headed eastbound, but McBeth said she didn’t know the train’s destination or its point of origin. City Auditor Sheila Klevgard sent out an email to Casselton residents around 3 p.m., advising residents to stay in their homes as “there is a Hazmat incident west of town.” She also advised residents to not call 911 or the sheriff’s office for updates. Local and county law enforcement also blocked off all traffic within a mile of the fiery crash. Eva Fercho, a Casselton homeowner, said she noticed thick, black smoke at about 2 p.m. “The sky is totally black from smoke,” Fercho said. She said that she heard two explosions not long after she saw the smoke. “I could almost feel the house shake in that (second explosion),” Fercho said. “It was loud.” Brandy Pyle, the former city auditor who lives in a family farm west of town, was about half a mile from the accident. She said the accident occurred in an open field about a mile and half from the nearby Tharaldson Ethanol Plant, and that it didn’t seem like the plant was in danger. “All I can think is, thank God it didn’t happen in town,” Pyle said. Inforum

New Hampshire house to vote on legalizing up to 1 oz. of pot

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s House votes early next month whether to legalize up to 1 ounce of marijuana for recreational use for anyone age 21 and older. Supporters propose taxing the drug when it is sold at retail at a rate of $30 per ounce and letting people grow up to six marijuana plants in a controlled environment. State Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, a Manchester Republican supporting the bill, says the legislation is modeled after one approved by Colorado voters last year and is similar to one Washington voters passed. ”Nothing in the bill would allow anyone to drive under the influence of marijuana or any other substance. By legalizing, regulating and taxing (marijuana), society would in effect be taking the profit away from illegal operations which truly harm society,” he wrote fellow representatives in support of the bill.
Vaillancourt said taxing the drug would produce millions of dollars in tax revenue. He noted that the bill would not be effective until July 1 to provide time to implement it properly. Opponents argue marijuana is bad for people’s health and would be difficult to regulate. Criminal Justice and Public Safety Chairwoman Laura Pantelakos also noted that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. ”If New Hampshire were to legalize and regulate marijuana, it would create an unclear picture of the state versus federal law enforcement, particularly since the (Department of Justice) has stated it will rely on states that legalize to strictly enforce and regulate marijuana,” Pantelakos said in a report to the House. She said that could shift regulatory costs onto the state. Lawmakers have considered but rejected decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana for recreational use in the past, most recently last session. But decriminalization supporters were encouraged when the state — with Gov. Maggie Hassan’s backing — made it legal for the seriously ill to possess and use the drug earlier this year. Implementing the state’s medical marijuana law is expected to take a year. If the bill passes the House, it faces a doubtful future. The Senate rejected a bill to decriminalize possession of up to one-quarter ounce of the drug this year and Hassan opposes decriminalization. Yahoo News

 

PLAYING WITH FIRE – Kerry ‘Deceived Israel’ on Terrorist Release, Says Official

A senior Israeli official said on Monday that United States Secretary of State John Kerry had “deceived” Israel with regards to the release of terrorists as a “gesture” to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The unnamed official, who spoke to Channel 2 News, said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has made it clear to Kerry that the next batch of 26 terrorists that Israel is to release will not include any Israeli Arabs, contrary to the PA’s demand. The official said that during the initial talks between Netanyahu and Kerry, before the peace talks restarted, Netanyahu agreed to release 82 terrorists in several batches, none of them Israeli Arabs. Subsequently, the same official told Channel 2, Kerry and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas held talks of their own during which Abbas demanded the release of 104 terrorists, including Israeli Arabs. Kerry’s deception was that, instead of telling Abbas that Israel only agreed to release 82 terrorists, he then went back to Netanyahu and tried to convince him to change his position.
The Channel 2 report added that Netanyahu told Kerry that in any case Israel would not release Israeli Arab terrorists as a gesture to Abbas, but it may consider releasing Israeli Arabs in exchange for the release of Jonathan Pollard. Kerry promised to consider the issue, but not beyond that and, has yet to give Netanyahu an answer on the matter. Netanyahu has also instructed the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the Israel Prison Service to make up a list of 26 terrorists for the next release, all of whom are residents of the PA-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria and not one of whom is an Israeli Arab. The report aired hours before Israel was to release a third batch of 26 terrorists. On Monday evening, as it usually does, the High Court rejected a last minute petition against the release of the terrorists filed by activists and families whose loved ones were killed in the terror attacks perpetrated by the prisoners set to be released. Monday’s report on Kerry’s deception also comes ahead of another visit by Kerry to Israel. The Secretary of State will return to the region on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing peace talks with Israeli and PA officials. Arutz Sheva 7

Drones are coming to America – the Federal Aviation Administration announced on Monday the six states chosen to develop test sites for unmanned aerial vehicles. Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia were chosen by the FAA as the agency moves towards integrating commercial drones into American skies. The goal is to have drones operated by businesses, farmers and government agencies sharing the same space as commercial airplanes by the year 2015, though it’s possible it may take longer to draft the proper rules and regulations. “These test sites will give us valuable information about how best to ensure the safe introduction of this advanced technology into our nation’s skies,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told the Associated Press. The test sites, scheduled to be operational through 2017, will be developed at the following locations:

– University of Alaska: Will help develop standards for state monitoring and navigation, as well as safety.

– State of Nevada: Will study standards and requirements for operators. It will also research exactly how air traffic control procedures will change with the introduction of drones into the sky.

– New York’s Griffiss International Airport: Will focus its research on how drones and commercial airplanes will sense and avoid colliding with each other in congested airspace.

– North Dakota Department of Commerce: Will develop “airworthiness” data as well as reliable links that share information between drones and other aircraft.

– Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi: Will develop safety system requirements.

– Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: Will test failure mode procedure and other risks should a drone malfunction while in the air.

Although the FAA does not sanction the commercial use of drones just yet, it estimates that close to 8,000 unmanned vehicles could be in the sky within five years of being granted access to American airspace. “Safety continues to be our first priority as we move forward with integrating unmanned systems into US airspace,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement. “We have successfully brought new technology into the nation’s aviation system for more than 50 years, and I have no doubt we will do the same with unmanned aircraft.” Studies have estimated that between 70,000 – 100,000 American jobs could be created by a widespread drone industry that generates more than $80 billion in economic activity. Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos has already declared his interest in using drones to deliver packages. Others, however, are less excited about the prospect of drones taking over US skies. The American Civil Liberties Union has spoken out against giving these vehicles greater access to American airspace in the past, saying it would move the country towards “a surveillance society in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded and scrutinized by the authorities.” RT

U.S. population growth has Slowed

An aging Baby Boomer population and slower immigration combined for nearly stagnant U.S. population growth in 2013 as the total number of residents inched up even more slowly than the previous year. Figures released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau show that growth for the 12 months ending July 1 was 0.71%, or just under 2.3 million people. That’s the slowest since 1937, according to Brookings Institution demographer William Frey, who called this year’s growth “underwhelming.” In 2011-2012, the U.S. population grew at a slightly higher 0.75% rate. The Census Bureau projects the nation’s population on New Year’s Day will be 317,297,938, an increase of 2,218,622, or 0.7%, from New Year’s Day 2013.
Frey was expecting three states to show a burst of growth as the USA economy slowly improves, but Florida, Arizona and Nevada each averaged only about 1.2% to 1.3% growth. Kenneth Johnson, a University of New Hampshire demographer, noted that Florida’s population gain of 232,000 people is about even with that of the past two years but “still smaller than that during the 2000s, when Florida gained an average of 282,000 annually.” Migration is key to maintaining Florida’s population growth, he said, because the difference each year between births and deaths there is small. The new figures aren’t exactly surprising, analysts said. ”This isn’t the end of civilization as it might be characterized, but the Northeast and Midwest have essentially stalled out completely,” said Robert Lang of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. More

 

Train carrying crude oil derails near Casselton; BNSF train derailed, was hit by another train

BREAKING NEWS:  CASSELTON – At least seven oil train cars have burst into flames here after a BNSF train carrying crude oil derailed and was then hit by another train. A 106-car long BNSF train carrying crude oil was headed eastbound when it derailed just west of Casselton at about 2:10 p.m., said Amy McBeth, a BNSF spokeswoman. Then, a fire was started when another train collided with the derailed train, Cass County Sgt. Dean Haaland said. Seven cars carrying oil had exploded as of 3:30 p.m., Haaland said, and crews are now working to separate as many of the remaining oil cars as possible. McBeth said no crew members reported injuries after the accident. Thick, black smoke could be seen from around 15 miles out-side of town. The train was headed eastbound, but McBeth said she didn’t know the train’s destination or its point of origin. City Auditor Sheila Klevgard sent out an email to Casselton residents around 3 p.m., advising residents to stay in their homes as “there is a Hazmat incident west of town.” She also advised residents to not call 911 or the sheriff’s office for updates. Local and county law enforcement also blocked off all traffic within a mile of the fiery crash. Eva Fercho, a Casselton homeowner, said she noticed thick, black smoke at about 2 p.m. “The sky is totally black from smoke,” Fercho said. She said that she heard two explosions not long after she saw the smoke. “I could almost feel the house shake in that (second explosion),” Fercho said. “It was loud.” Brandy Pyle, the former city auditor who lives in a family farm west of town, was about half a mile from the accident. She said the accident occurred in an open field about a mile and half from the nearby Tharaldson Ethanol Plant, and that it didn’t seem like the plant was in danger. “All I can think is, thank God it didn’t happen in town,” Pyle said. Inforum

New Hampshire house to vote on legalizing up to 1 oz. of pot

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s House votes early next month whether to legalize up to 1 ounce of marijuana for recreational use for anyone age 21 and older. Supporters propose taxing the drug when it is sold at retail at a rate of $30 per ounce and letting people grow up to six marijuana plants in a controlled environment. State Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, a Manchester Republican supporting the bill, says the legislation is modeled after one approved by Colorado voters last year and is similar to one Washington voters passed. ”Nothing in the bill would allow anyone to drive under the influence of marijuana or any other substance. By legalizing, regulating and taxing (marijuana), society would in effect be taking the profit away from illegal operations which truly harm society,” he wrote fellow representatives in support of the bill.
Vaillancourt said taxing the drug would produce millions of dollars in tax revenue. He noted that the bill would not be effective until July 1 to provide time to implement it properly. Opponents argue marijuana is bad for people’s health and would be difficult to regulate. Criminal Justice and Public Safety Chairwoman Laura Pantelakos also noted that marijuana remains illegal under federal law. ”If New Hampshire were to legalize and regulate marijuana, it would create an unclear picture of the state versus federal law enforcement, particularly since the (Department of Justice) has stated it will rely on states that legalize to strictly enforce and regulate marijuana,” Pantelakos said in a report to the House. She said that could shift regulatory costs onto the state. Lawmakers have considered but rejected decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana for recreational use in the past, most recently last session. But decriminalization supporters were encouraged when the state — with Gov. Maggie Hassan’s backing — made it legal for the seriously ill to possess and use the drug earlier this year. Implementing the state’s medical marijuana law is expected to take a year. If the bill passes the House, it faces a doubtful future. The Senate rejected a bill to decriminalize possession of up to one-quarter ounce of the drug this year and Hassan opposes decriminalization. Yahoo News

A senior Israeli official said on Monday that United States Secretary of State John Kerry had “deceived” Israel with regards to the release of terrorists as a “gesture” to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The unnamed official, who spoke to Channel 2 News, said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has made it clear to Kerry that the next batch of 26 terrorists that Israel is to release will not include any Israeli Arabs, contrary to the PA’s demand. The official said that during the initial talks between Netanyahu and Kerry, before the peace talks restarted, Netanyahu agreed to release 82 terrorists in several batches, none of them Israeli Arabs. Subsequently, the same official told Channel 2, Kerry and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas held talks of their own during which Abbas demanded the release of 104 terrorists, including Israeli Arabs. Kerry’s deception was that, instead of telling Abbas that Israel only agreed to release 82 terrorists, he then went back to Netanyahu and tried to convince him to change his position.
The Channel 2 report added that Netanyahu told Kerry that in any case Israel would not release Israeli Arab terrorists as a gesture to Abbas, but it may consider releasing Israeli Arabs in exchange for the release of Jonathan Pollard. Kerry promised to consider the issue, but not beyond that and, has yet to give Netanyahu an answer on the matter. Netanyahu has also instructed the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the Israel Prison Service to make up a list of 26 terrorists for the next release, all of whom are residents of the PA-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria and not one of whom is an Israeli Arab. The report aired hours before Israel was to release a third batch of 26 terrorists. On Monday evening, as it usually does, the High Court rejected a last minute petition against the release of the terrorists filed by activists and families whose loved ones were killed in the terror attacks perpetrated by the prisoners set to be released. Monday’s report on Kerry’s deception also comes ahead of another visit by Kerry to Israel. The Secretary of State will return to the region on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing peace talks with Israeli and PA officials. Arutz Sheva 7

 

FAA announces locations for future drone testing sites

Drones are coming to America – the Federal Aviation Administration announced on Monday the six states chosen to develop test sites for unmanned aerial vehicles. Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia were chosen by the FAA as the agency moves towards integrating commercial drones into American skies. The goal is to have drones operated by businesses, farmers and government agencies sharing the same space as commercial airplanes by the year 2015, though it’s possible it may take longer to draft the proper rules and regulations. “These test sites will give us valuable information about how best to ensure the safe introduction of this advanced technology into our nation’s skies,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told the Associated Press. The test sites, scheduled to be operational through 2017, will be developed at the following locations:

– University of Alaska: Will help develop standards for state monitoring and navigation, as well as safety.

– State of Nevada: Will study standards and requirements for operators. It will also research exactly how air traffic control procedures will change with the introduction of drones into the sky.

– New York’s Griffiss International Airport: Will focus its research on how drones and commercial airplanes will sense and avoid colliding with each other in congested airspace.

– North Dakota Department of Commerce: Will develop “airworthiness” data as well as reliable links that share information between drones and other aircraft.

– Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi: Will develop safety system requirements.

– Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: Will test failure mode procedure and other risks should a drone malfunction while in the air.

Although the FAA does not sanction the commercial use of drones just yet, it estimates that close to 8,000 unmanned vehicles could be in the sky within five years of being granted access to American airspace. “Safety continues to be our first priority as we move forward with integrating unmanned systems into US airspace,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement. “We have successfully brought new technology into the nation’s aviation system for more than 50 years, and I have no doubt we will do the same with unmanned aircraft.” Studies have estimated that between 70,000 – 100,000 American jobs could be created by a widespread drone industry that generates more than $80 billion in economic activity. Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos has already declared his interest in using drones to deliver packages. Others, however, are less excited about the prospect of drones taking over US skies. The American Civil Liberties Union has spoken out against giving these vehicles greater access to American airspace in the past, saying it would move the country towards “a surveillance society in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded and scrutinized by the authorities.” RT

 

U.S. population growth has Slowed

An aging Baby Boomer population and slower immigration combined for nearly stagnant U.S. population growth in 2013 as the total number of residents inched up even more slowly than the previous year. Figures released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau show that growth for the 12 months ending July 1 was 0.71%, or just under 2.3 million people. That’s the slowest since 1937, according to Brookings Institution demographer William Frey, who called this year’s growth “underwhelming.” In 2011-2012, the U.S. population grew at a slightly higher 0.75% rate. The Census Bureau projects the nation’s population on New Year’s Day will be 317,297,938, an increase of 2,218,622, or 0.7%, from New Year’s Day 2013.
Frey was expecting three states to show a burst of growth as the USA economy slowly improves, but Florida, Arizona and Nevada each averaged only about 1.2% to 1.3% growth. Kenneth Johnson, a University of New Hampshire demographer, noted that Florida’s population gain of 232,000 people is about even with that of the past two years but “still smaller than that during the 2000s, when Florida gained an average of 282,000 annually.” Migration is key to maintaining Florida’s population growth, he said, because the difference each year between births and deaths there is small. The new figures aren’t exactly surprising, analysts said. ”This isn’t the end of civilization as it might be characterized, but the Northeast and Midwest have essentially stalled out completely,” said Robert Lang of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. More

 

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