Record snowfall for Vancouver, British Columbia – double previous record

Motorists sit in traffic as snow falls in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday February 23, 2018. Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for Metro Vancouver with 10 to 20 centimetres of snow expected.


Almost double the previous record, but “not one single media organization put the term ‘record’ in the title of their news,” says reader David Taylor. Didn’t mention the word “record” until 10 paragraphs down.

23 Feb 2018 – “Between eight and 10 centimetres of snow had accumulated in Vancouver by Friday afternoon, Environment Canada said, breaking the Feb. 23 snowfall record of 4.8 centimetres set back in 1940.

“As much as 11 centimetres of snow fell on parts of Richmond during the same time, and the North Shore saw as much as 13 centimetres in some areas.

“Vancouver’s director of streets, Taryn Scollard, said even the city’s own snowplows and salt trucks are getting stuck.”

Thanks to David Taylor for this link.

“Not one single media organization put the term ‘record’ in the title of their news,” says David.

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Jennifer Rubin and the Liberal Media Double Standard

Recall the outrage from Washington Post liberal columnist Jennifer Rubin when President Trump said George W. Bush was “unpatriotic”?

Or when Trump said of Democrats that they had “acted like terrorists” during the budget fight?

Or when Trump attacked Democrats for “purposely sabotaging the country’s economic recovery” and added that “These guys bet against America all the time”? Rubin was particularly incensed when the President went after pro-choice activists as “terrorist groups” and said that the words of a Democratic Senator “borders on treasonous.”

Actually, no. Rubin was not outraged. Nor were her colleagues in the liberal media. Doubtless it is because none of the above came from President Trump.  A serious hat tip here to National Review’s Dan McLaughlin, in turn, hat tipped The Federalist’s David Harsanyi, the latter of whom documented a trait that Ms. Rubin seems to have missed when she went after the President as follows in The Post. That trait, of course, would be the liberal media double standard.

Here is Rubin’s headline on Trump’s treason remarks: “Trump’s lapdogs now accept the labeling of opponents as ‘treasonous.” 

Her indignation this time at Trump (she thrives on being indignant at Trump) was written this way: 

“….Trump sneered at Democrats who did not swoon over his State of the Union address. ‘They were like death. And un-American. Un-American. Somebody said, ‘treasonous.’ I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.’” 

Well! The nerve! This was just unacceptable to Rubin, as everything-Trump is to her sensibilities.

But of course, there is something quite curious about Rubin’s oh-so-exquisite sensibilities about Trump’s challenging the patriotism of Democrats. Those examples above?  The reason Rubin wasn’t fuming about those Trump musings is because they were not said by Trump at all. As McLaughlin and Harsanyi – the latter the original documenter of these and other similar jewels – made clear, the source for these attacks were, yes, prominent liberals.

The original and accurate quotes, with the correct attribution, is as follows:

From Real Clear Politics, March 2013 in a flashback to 2008 reminding that then-Senator Obama called President Bush’s adding $4 trillion to the national debt “unpatriotic.”

From Politico, August 2011:

“Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having ‘acted like terrorists’ in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit, according to several sources in the room.”

Biden would later deny saying it, attributing the words instead to Democratic members of Congress. Ok. It was only Democrats in the House – ergo, no big deal.

From The Guardian, June 2012: 

“In recent days, Democrats have started coming out and saying publicly what many have been mumbling privately for years – Republicans are so intent on defeating President Obama for re-election that they are purposely sabotaging the country’s economic recovery. These charges are now being levied by Democrats such as Senate majority leader Harry Reid and Obama’s key political adviser, David Axelrod.”

From the vice Presidential  debate between Vice President Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan, in October, 2012. Said the Democratic Vice President of the United States about Ryan and his fellow Republicans: “These guys bet against America all the time.”

From The Daily Beast, August 2015. The headline: “Hillary Compares Republican Candidates to ‘Terrorist Groups.” 

From The Hill, July 2016. The headline: “Dems begin ‘treason’ talk against Trump.” 

The story says, in part, this of Trump joking remarks on Hillary’s e-mails in which he asked Russia if they could find them:

“He is inviting an aggressive country that we are really worried about to invade us,” Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) said on MSNBC. ‘This is — this is ridiculous, and, frankly, it borders on treasonous.’

Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.) closely echoed McCaskill’s concerns during his own interview with MSNBC on Wednesday.

“Well, that borders on treason. Never before have I heard of or seen a candidate not just for president, but for anything, invite a foreign spy agency to hack America’s computers. It’s one thing to be unfit for command, but today he’s proved he’s dangerously unfit for command.”

From The Hill, July 2016. The headline: 

Former CIA director questions Trump’s loyalty to the US: report

“Former CIA Director Leon Panetta on Wednesday questioned Donald Trump’s loyalty to the United States, according to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.”

And there was more, oh so much more in this vein from various and assorted liberals with names like Paul Krugman of the New York Times. As here in the New York Times in June 2009. The headline: “Betraying the Planet.” 

Writing of a climate change debate in the House Krugman wrote of House Republicans:

“And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.”

President Obama’s campaign manager put his treason charge against the GOP this way. From the Daily Caller in October, 2013:

Obama campaign manager: House Republicans ‘committing economic treason’

“President Barack Obama’s former senior White House adviser and campaign manager David Plouffe accused House Republicans of ‘committing economic treason’ during the partial government shutdown on Thursday.”

One could go on – and on and on here. But the central fact is that none of these repeated assaults on various Republicans as treasonous, unpatriotic and the rest caused a ripple of concern with Rubin or other liberals in the media. Presumably because she and they either agreed or thought the charges no big deal. 

But let Trump make a joking reference to Democrats’ treason on the economy and the outrage and indignation flows.

What does this say?

What it says is that Rubin and her fellow liberals are so deeply into defending the Left’s double standards that they will do so no matter how hypocritical they appear.

Take another Rubin jewel of a column, this one on the story of White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter. This one was headed: “The core mission of the GOP is now to defend abusers.” 

Now an obvious word here. I don’t know Mr. Porter but I certainly know that the accusations of his two ex-wives of serious physical abuse are serious. And yes, the White House did not handle this correctly. With this hanging out there on Porter’s record he simply should not have been in his White House job no matter how good he was at the job. But the outrage from Rubin and the liberal media is a mind blowing example of stupendous hypocrisy. 

Over at the American Spectator my columnist colleague George Neumayr nailed the massive liberal double standard thusly: 

“Whenever the media holds one of its marathon sessions of sanctimony, you can count on Joe Biden showing up to it. “I can’t explain it,” he gasps of the resignation of Rob Porter, the White House official accused of beating ex-wives. Sure, you can, Joe. Just ask your admitted wife-beating friend Tom Carper, the Delaware senator who has long enjoyed immunity under the Democratic Party’s one-free-slug rule. Remind us, Joe, when you called for Carper’s resignation. Remind us when you demanded the resignation of a senator who killed a woman, Ted Kennedy — or joined in calling for the removal from office of a president who raped a woman, Bill Clinton.

The media, of course, shares in the hypocritical buffoonery of Joe Biden. Lionizers of Ted Kennedy and apologists for Bill Clinton — not to mention bosom buddies to droves of journalists freshly accused of degrading women — have spent the last few days whipping themselves into a towering moral rage over the White House’s “protection” of Rob Porter. Take that world-class phony at MSNBC, John Heilemann, who holds himself out as a brilliant reporter while claiming that he never knew about his writing partner Mark Halperin’s disgusting treatment of women. If that is not a lie, Heilemann is the world’s dumbest “investigative” reporter. Yet there he sits on MSNBC’s innumerable smug panels chortling over the moral “blindness” of this White House.

Is it any blinder than the colleagues of Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, and the raft of goats over at PBS and NPR? The media’s glass house couldn’t be any larger. But its stones keep flying.” 


But the real point here when you consider Rubin’s outrage and that of various liberal media outlets over the Trump treason joke or Porter is the pattern. The pattern of the liberal media double standard. 

Liberals can spend ten full years calling George W. Bush unpatriotic, labeling Donald Trump and various other Republicans treasonous and there isn’t a blink from Rubin and her liberal pals. As Neumayr points out, the outrage over Porter vanishes when dealing with a liberal “Lion of the Senate” at whose hands a young woman was literally left to die in a terrifying drowning.

Not to mention the total absence of outrage at an adored liberal President who has been charged in the most graphic detail with rape in addition to all kinds of other allegations of sexual assault. There was not a peep from the liberal media when President Obama selected Bill Clinton to re-nominate him at the 2012 Democratic Convention. If Mr. Porter were a liberal Democrat, right about now one suspects he would be being touted in the liberal media as a future senator or president.

There is nothing new to all of this. Nothing new to Jennifer Rubin’s or the larger liberal media’s selective outrage over charges of treason or sexual abuse.

Which is exactly the problem. And why conservative media thrives.

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Associated Press double standard in reporting Israel-Palestine conflict

Palestinian boy


Associated Press is one of those news sources we expect to be objective and reliable. But when it comes to the subject of Israel-Palestine, things are not always as they seem.

More than half the world’s population reads Associated Press content every day.

But a study of news reports so far in 2018 indicates that this trusted news source has been presenting the deaths of Israelis at the hands of Palestinians, and of Palestinians at the hands of Israelis, in two completely different ways.

This pattern may be a factor in how readers perceive the players in this decades-old issue. It is also, quite likely, a factor in how editors all over the U.S., who read AP stories daily, view the conflict.

So far in 2018, eleven Palestinians have been killed and two Israelis.

(Since December 6th, when President Trump announced that the US would recognize Jerusalem as “the capital of Israel,” overturning decades of US policy, 27 Palestinians and 2 Israelis have died.)

In AP’s 2018 news reports, Palestinian deaths have been reported in far shorter news articles than Israeli deaths, averaging 181 words in length vs. 551.

In addition to the number of words, AP’s choice of words, context, and which facts to report and which to omit appears to tell two totally different kinds of stories for Israelis and Palestinians.

Reports on Israeli deaths included statements by high officials condemning the attacks. These were often strongly worded, politically charged statements that conveyed the Israeli narrative: “[Israel will] do everything possible in order to apprehend the despicable murderer”; “There is no justification for terror…This is not the path to peace!” “Hamas praises the killers and PA laws will provide them financial rewards. Look no further to why there is no peace.”

By contrast, these AP reports rarely included statements by Palestinian officials condemning the killing of Palestinians, which would have provided another perspective for readers. For example, Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh released a statement that Israel was guilty of a long list of actions that “contravene international law.”

Another Palestinian official condemned Israel’s “extrajudicial killings” and warned of Israel’s tendency to turn the West Bank into a “scene for escalation and security tension so as to pressure our people and leaders, and divert attention from colonialist expansion in our state.”

Such Palestinian viewpoints, largely accurate and readily available, were never reported in the AP articles on deaths.

Palestinian boy


Israeli victims are human beings,

Palestinian victims are “gunmen” or anonymous

Israeli victims were also personalized in AP reports: one was characterized as “a 29-year-old father of four”; the attempted rescue of another was described: “immense efforts were made to save the man’s life, but his wounds were too severe.”

On the other hand, AP reported Palestinian victims with impersonal, often negative descriptions: “armed protester,” “instigators,” and “protesters who were hurling massive amounts of rocks.”

Nowhere did AP describe efforts to save the victims’ lives, although certainly those efforts were made. Elsewhere there were reports of noteworthy turns of events from the scene. This is unfortunately a common occurrence at the scene of Palestinian injuries and deaths: “Eyewitnesses said Israeli soldiers …. fired gas bombs at the Palestinian ambulances and medics that arrived on the scene.” In another incident, “soldiers refused to allow ambulances and firefighters to enter the area.” These descriptions would have been valuable additions to the AP reports.

Palestinian funeral Layth Abu Naeem


To its credit, AP did identify the five Palestinian teenagers killed as “teens” – in the past this has not always been the case, where the youth of Palestinian victims has often not been mentioned.

The actual killings of the Palestinians were often reported passively, e.g. “shot in the head during a stone-throwing confrontation” or “died in the violence.”

In two of the Palestinian deaths, AP reported that the Israeli military “denied using live fire.” The men were still dead, and no questions were asked.

In fact, other sources paint entirely different pictures of the killing of the Palestinians. For example, one young man named Ali was only described by AP as “shot in the head” during a violent riot.

But according to eyewitnesses, as reported elsewhere, a number of armed Israeli settlers had infiltrated a Palestinian town, and Ali was part of a group that were forcing them out of town – at which time Israeli soldiers began firing at the group. Ali was reportedly killed by an army sharp-shooter.

In another incident, Israeli soldiers were searching for the man who had killed a settler a few days earlier. The AP article explains that they found and killed a suspect and then demolished three homes belonging to his extended family.

The article does not reveal that they killed the wrong man. It also does not mention that at least 30 vehicles participated in the invasion of the wrong home, and that soldiers confiscated surveillance videos from stores in the area.

AP headlines give Israeli spin

The headlines of the news reports are tellingly different as well.

In the cases of Israeli deaths, the headlines indicate one innocent party and one guilty party: “Israeli killed in West Bank shooting attack”; “Israeli killed by Palestinian in West Bank stabbing attack.”

On the other hand, most of the Palestinian death headlines suggest two equal parties in conflict: “Palestinian teen killed in clashes”; “2 teens killed in clashes with Israeli army”; “Troops kill Palestinian teen in West Bank clash.”

In one case, “Palestinians say Israeli army kills 19-year-old rock thrower,” the victim was at least acknowledged as an individual, but the situation in which Ahmad’s death occurred was misrepresented. The article claims that he was “shot in the head during a stone-throwing confrontation,” but there is much more to the story.

Israeli soldiers IDF


According to IMEMC, Ahmad was killed

during a massive military invasioncarried out by twenty-two armored military vehicles, and two bulldozers…the soldiers also shot two other young Palestinian men with live rounds in their legs, and six with rubber-coated steel bullets, in addition to causing dozens to suffer the severe effects of teargas inhalation…soldiers broke into and searched many homes, and used K9 units in searching the properties, causing anxiety attacks among many Palestinians, especially children…

Some of the villagers protested this aggression, and it was in this context that an Israeli soldier shot Ahmad in the head.

In this incident, the Israeli army was searching for the killer of a settler named Rabbi Raziel Shevach, who had been killed three weeks earlier, and AP again recounted this older death. In fact, there was more about the settler’s death, which had already been reported on several times, than about the innocent man killed in the manhunt.

According to AP, “The Israeli military had no immediate comment about the casualty.”

AP stories about Shevach reported that he taught in a religious school in Yitzhar and lived in the outpost of Havat Gilad. None, however, bothered to mention that Yitzhar has long been known as “an extremist bastion” of settler violence against Palestinians, home of the notorious Yitzchak Ginsburgh, and that Havat Gilad is similarly notorious for violence against Palestinians.

The Israeli newsapaper Ha’aretz reported in 2014, for example, that close to 100 people had been been involved in “a wave of hate crimes against Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. Most of the culprits are known as far-right activists from the Yitzhar settlement and hilltop outposts north of Ramallah and the south Hebron Hills in the West Bank.” This is just one of many such incidents (see video here).

Such context likely would have been included by AP if it had been about Palestinian violence.

AP omits essential context

Palestinian women Israeli checkpoint Bethlehem


AP reports often leave out critical facts. For example, its news reports on a Palestinian girl imprisoned by Israel for slapping armed Israeli soldiers, almost always left out or minimized the fact that her anger was triggered by the fact that shortly before the incident, an Israeli soldier had shot her cousin in the face.

Perhaps more significant, essential facts about the greater issue are virtually never included.

Nowhere in these reports does AP tell readers that the U.S. gives Israel over $10 million per day. Without this information, American readers will incorrectly feel this is a foreign issue that has nothing to do with them.

Basic information that would give the reader an understanding of the context of the hostility is absent.

Nowhere in any of the articles does the word “occupation” occur, although the illegal Israeli occupation is a 50-year-old fact of life that affects every aspect of Palestinian life. Omitting the fact that Palestinians are living under Israeli military control leaves readers ignorant of one of the most significant aspects of the conflict.

Nowhere in these reports does AP note that many Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza were pushed out by Israel during the 1948 war that created the Jewish state, their properties confiscated by Israel. These refugees have not been allowed to return and reclaim their homes, a violation of international law. This, too, is essential information.

Israeli soldiers Palestinian boy Jerusalem


Nowhere does AP use the word “resistance,” the usual term for people fighting against military occupation. Instead, Palestinians are always “militants,” “gunmen,” “stone throwers,” etc. Americans fighting against the British in the 18th century, French fighting against the German occupation in the 20th century, etc. were resistance forces. So are Palestinians.

The word “settlement” is used 19 times in the AP reports. According to international law these settlements are illegal. However, only once does AP mention this fact, and even here it does so in a somewhat diluted manner: “most of the international community considers settlements illegal.”

Nowhere in these reports does AP inform readers that Israel is steadily stealing Palestinian land and imprisoning Palestinians who object to this. Nowhere do these report that Palestinians have virtually no freedom of movement, that some 70 percent of Palestinian families have had one or more family members serve time in an Israeli prison, that hundreds of Palestinian children are in prison, and that Israel is known for its physical abuse of prisoners.

Israel Ofer prison


Without these and other critical details, it is impossible for readers to have a clear picture of the basis of the conflict and the context of the deaths.

At the end of one AP article is this statement:

Since 2015, Palestinians have killed over 50 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British tourist in stabbings and other attacks. Over 260 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in that time. Israel says most were attackers and the others died in clashes.

To many editors and readers around the country, this means that 260 guilty Palestinians were killed. “Attackers” are guilty by default (“alleged attackers” might be innocent); people in “clashes” are reckless mobs, confronting soldiers and policemen allegedly working to keep the peace. Readers are left to glean on their own, with next to zero evidence, that these Israeli forces are one of the world’s most powerful militaries putting down protests by an occupied, unarmed population.

Astute, knowledgeable readers might wonder how many of those dead Palestinians were really attackers? How many were cases of mistaken identity? And what about those who actually were attacking heavily armed soldiers and settlers… why were they doing this? Could it be because Israel was stealing their land and had killed, injured, and/or imprisoned hundreds of Palestinian children?

And what about the unarmed protesters so often shot in the head by Israeli soldiers? Did they have families who grieve for them? Children who are now orphans? Widows who will weep and struggle? Parents who will forever miss them? We will never know.

Palestinian boy Gaza


How many of those dead Palestinians were children themselves? Answer: Since January 2015, at least 100 Palestinian children and 1 Israeli child have been killed in the hostilities. (Between 2000 and 2014, 2,079 Palestinian children and 133 Israeli children lost their lives.)

In the time it has taken to write this article, sadly another Palestinian has been killed.

The headline for this death, “Israeli troops kill Palestinian suspect in settler’s killing,” refers to Rabbi Raziel Shevach’s death in early January. Apparently this time the Israeli military finally found the person they “suspected of being behind the killing” that they had been pursuing. They stormed the house where he was staying, and shot him dead (this may be referred to as “trial by assassination” or “extrajudicial killing”).

The AP article recalls that Israeli troops had already demolished the suspect’s residence (and those of his extended family), but somehow neglects to mention that they had also killed his cousin, who had done nothing wrong, as well as another innocent man, during the course of the aggressive manhunt.

And once again, the article mostly discusses the death of the Israeli settler (as well as repeating details about the other Israeli death that occurred in 2018), and mentions nothing about the Palestinian who had just been killed. Did he have children? Parents? A wife? And if he actually was “behind the killing,” what had motivated him?

In the very last paragraph of the article, AP finally mentions that “19 Palestinians have been killed in the violence since Trump’s announcement.” In reality, it was Israelis who killed these people, and it was actually 24 Palestinians at that time, seven of them teenagers, plus a small boy who died on the day of the announcement.

The Associated Press claims on its website:

For 170 years, we have been breaking news and covering the world’s biggest stories, always committed to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.

It is possible that the time has come for AP to take a good, hard look at its objectivity and accuracy when it comes to reporting in Israel-Palestine.

AP’s system of reporting AP

Associated Press AP Bureau Chief Josef Federman C-Span


AP’s main bureau for Israel-Palestine is in Israel. Reports from Gaza and the West Bank are phoned in to this bureau, where its editors choose and write the news stories that are sent out.

Many (possibly most) of the journalists in this main bureau are Israeli citizens or have partners who are. Some (possibly most) have served in the Israeli military and/or have relatives that have done so. While this doesn’t guarantee pro-Israel bias (some Israeli journalists for Ha’aretz, for example, are excellent, accurate writers on this issue) it does suggest the possibility of partiality influencing their work, either consciously or unconsciously.

It is essential that AP be transparent about its reporting on this extremely important issue.

Whatever the cause of the distortion that continuously characterizes its reporting on this region (see this 2005 report on AP reporting on deaths), it is critical that AP remedy it. Americans, who give Israel over $10 million per day, need full, accurate, unbiased reporting.

Last-minute updates: Two more Palestinians killed

Sadly, during the final edit of this piece, two more Palestinians were killed.

IMEMC, the International Middle East Media Center, has posted the following:

Israeli soldiers killed, on Tuesday at night, a young Palestinian man, and injured 110, including 32 who were shot with live ammunition, in Nablus city, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian Health Ministry has identified the Palestinian as Khaled Waleed Tayeh, 22, from Iraq-Tayeh village, east of Nablus. Khaled succumbed to his wounds, after being shot with a live round in the chest.”

Palestinian killed Khaled Waleed Tayeh, 22


AP also reports the story: “Israeli guard kills Palestinian after West Bank stabbing” but fails to report the victim’s name, age, or anything else about him.

A few hours later Israeli guards in front of an Israeli outpost shot dead 19-year-old Hamza Yousef No’man Zama’ra, who had attacked one of the armed guards with a knife, cutting the man’s hand. AP reported the death but again failed to give Hamza’s name, age, or additional information about him.

Palestinian killed Hamza Yousef No'man Zama'ra, 19


AP also fails to mention that Israel plans to level dozens of Palestinian schools in the West Bank, that Israeli forces have just detained a 52-year-old Palestinian mother and shot a teenager in the face, and that 54 Palestinian patients in critical need of specialized medical care died in 2017 when Israel wouldn’t let them leave Gaza.

Perhaps to to AP editors, these stories are of no importance.

However, for many Americans, most of whom believe in justice, fair play, and human rights, such information might diminish the willingness to give Israel massive amounts of their tax money.

* * *

For a list of all Palestinians and Israelis who have been killed by the other side since 2000, see this timeline.

For 2-minute videos of recent Palestinian victims, go here.

Kathryn Shihadah is a staff writer for If Americans Knew, and Alison Weir is executive director.

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‘Double standards’: Kurds slam US for not fighting ‘Turkish occupation’ of Afrin (VIDEO)

'Double standards': Kurds slam US for not fighting 'Turkish occupation' of Afrin (VIDEO)

“With the coalition, especially the US forces, we saw some double standards,” a Kurdish military officer by the name of Khalil told RT’s Ruptly agency. “What we demand from the US, in particular, is to fulfil the promises to the [US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces] – that is to protect the liberated areas, including Afrin, which, as we can see, has been fighting heroically and fiercely for seven days against Turkish occupation…”

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The US did not step in when Turkey launched its ‘Operation Olive Branch’ in Afrin, which Ankara says is aimed at battling terrorists in the region. Instead, President Donald Trump “relayed concerns that escalating violence [in Afrin] risks undercutting [sic] our shared goals in Syria,” a White House spokesperson said. “He urged Turkey to exercise caution and to avoid any actions that might risk conflict between Turkish and American forces.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that Manbij will be the next target of the operation, with the leader vowing to “cleanse” the city of “terrorists.” All eyes are currently on the US to see whether troops will become involved there, despite having done nothing in Afrin.

Up to 2,000 American soldiers are stationed in Manbij, after being deployed there in March to prevent Turkish and US-backed rebels from fighting each other. They have also carried out training and advising missions in the city.

The US-led coalition worked together with Kurdish fighters to liberate Manbij from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). Because of this, Manbij Military Council Spokesperson Sharvan Darwish expressed hope and optimism that the US won’t back away from the city now.

“[The US-led coalition] have been supervising the training and development of the Manbij Military Council until now. The level of coordination is going on normally, and it is even better now, to be honest. There are continuous patrols either on the frontline or in the air. There is nothing until now that suggests they will draw back this coordination or work…” Darwish said.

Turkey launched ‘Operation Olive Branch’ on January 20. Ankara intends to make Manbij its next stop before continuing further east towards the Iraqi border.

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Shark attacks along US west coast nearly double in 2017 over previous year

shark attack


A new report says shark attacks rose last year on the West Coast.

The Shark Research Committee says there were nine unprovoked attacks in 2017 — eight in California and one in Washington. That’s up from five the year before.

Nobody died but some people were bitten.

The committee says most attacks probably involved great white sharks. In a March attack captured on video, a great white attacked a kayak in Monterey Bay, knocking the kayaker into the water.

Committee founder Ralph Collier tells the Orange County Register that kayaks topped the target list. He says the sharks may have seen them as intruders and were trying to drive them away.

Collier also says he’s surprised there weren’t more attacks because the shark population has spiked in recent years.

Source: AP

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AfD Refuses to Back Down From Double Scandals


Regional party leader Björn Höcke will be allowed to remain in the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) despite controversial statements about the Nazi era, media reported Monday.

Höcke, who leads the AfD’s regional branch in the state of Thuringia, was widely criticized last year for calling Berlin’s Holocaust memorial a “monument of shame,” and saying the country should do a “180-degree turn” on how it reflects on its history.

A regional party arbitration panel did not find Höcke’s actions to be damaging to the AfD and verbally agreed to reject a bid to have him removed, Spiegel reported, citing AfD sources. A formal written decision has not been issued, and is not expected until February.

Damn straight it’s not damaging. It’s invigorating. Telling Germans to stop feeling guilty over the Holocaust is the next best thing you can do next to telling them it was a stupid hoax invented by Jews to destroy the country – and you get arrested for doing that.

Moreover, the AfD has not fired the guy who called Boris Becker’s half-nigger son a half-ni**er.

He said “hab-neger,” which was translated as “half-ni**er” by some papers but is being translated in others as “half-negro” – there are language issues here, as in most languages, “negro” is not an offensive term for black people as it sort of maybe is in English (no one really knows). I think he maybe effectively called him “half-black” or “half-African.” Still pretty hardcore though. Imagine if Steve King called Tiger Woods “a little half-black.”

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party on Monday formally cautioned one of its lawmakers over a tweet calling former tennis star Boris Becker’s son a “little half-negro”.

A tweet from the account of Jens Maier, a former judge, had attacked Noah Becker for reportedly complaining about being seen as the “eternal son” of his famous father.

“It seems the little half-negro simply got too little attention,” read the tweet posted from the account of Maier, one of more than 90 AfD members elected to parliament last September.

Scandal 2

The guy who pushed for the implementation of Twitter censorship (goy frontman for Jews like Anetta Kahane), Heiko Maas, has had one of his tweets deleted. This comes after a satire outlet has its account shut down.

Germany is now saying that one week in, they are going to have to reevaluate the law.

Germany signalled Monday it was open to amending a controversial law combatting online hate speech as the justice minister fell victim to the rules he himself championed.

The move came after Twitter deleted a post by Heiko Maas dating back to 2010 before he was appointed justice minister, in which he called a fellow politician “an idiot.”

The post was deleted after Twitter received several complaints, fueling a simmering row over the new regulation which critics say stifle freedom of speech.

Germany adopted the law, one of the toughest in the world, after a surge in racist and incendiary speech online, particularly after the arrival of more than one million asylum-seekers since 2015.

The legislation, which came into force on Jan. 1, requires social media giants to remove hate speech and other illegal content, or risk fines of up to €50 million ($57 million).

Companies such as Twitter and Facebook have 24 hours to remove posts that openly violate German law after they are flagged by users.

But critics said the law pushes social media companies into taking a pro-active stance in deleting potentially offensive posts, effectively handing them the power of censorship.


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Double World Chess Champion Won’t Defend Titles In Saudi Arabia Due To Misogyny

By  Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has amended certain laws and traditions (if only slightly) to accommodate progressive attitudes. In 2015, for instance, King Abdullah “let” women vote in the 2015 local elections — a first in the country.

And, during the 2017 World Chess Championship, the world chess organizing body FIDE said there would be “no need to wear a hijab or abaya.” Instead, women would be required to wear high-necked white blouses with either black or blue plants.

While some might have thought the move was progressive, it didn’t sit well with double world chess champion Anna Muzychuk. The Ukrainian chess grandmaster recently announced that because of the prevalent misogyny in the Middle Eastern nation, she would be boycotting the tournament. As a result, she would also give up her two world titles.

“In a few days I am going to lose two World Champion titles – one by one,” Muzychuk wrote on Facebook. “Just because I decided not to go to Saudi Arabia. Not to play by someone’s rules, not to wear abaya, not to be accompanied getting outside, and altogether not to feel myself a secondary creature. Exactly one year ago I won these two titles and was about the happiest person in the chess world, but this time I feel really bad. I am ready to stand for my principles and skip the event, where in five days I was expected to earn more than I do in a dozen of events combined.”

Muzychuk’s sister, Mariya, is also a grandmaster, and will be skipping the tournament, as well.

This isn’t the first time the chess player has spoken out about oppression against women. She wrote in a a November post: “First Iran, then Saudi Arabia.. wondering where the next Women’s World Championships will be organized. Everything has its limits and headscarves in Iran was more than enough.”

Saudi Arabia agreed to host the World Chess Championships to promote the leadership of crown prince Mohammad bin Salman. However, the PR move has backfired. Since Muzychuk publicly announced her boycotting, the country’s many restrictions have been highlighted.

As Quartz reports, the Saudis paid a huge amount of money — $1.5 million — to host the tournament. The winner of the Open is $250,000. While it is open to both genders, men dominate the tournament. The winner of the women’s competition will take home $80,000.

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Read more: Homeless Ex-Soldier Dies Hours After Being Evicted From City Center

Image credit: Anna Muzychuk

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Israel: ‘No Wrongdoing’ in IDF murder of Double Amputee Palestinian man in Gaza

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Double the benefit: Exercise outside to get the combined benefits of vitamin D and fitness – research shows they work better together

Image: Double the benefit: Exercise outside to get the combined benefits of vitamin D and fitness – research shows they work better together

(Natural News)
A new study that was published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism focused on the effects that both exercise and adequate vitamin D intake – when present in a person’s life at the same time – have on heart health.

The study showed that the two factors working together contributes to heart health a lot more than if either factor was alone.

“In our study, both failure to meet the recommended physical activity levels and having vitamin D deficiency were very common. The bottomline is we need to encourage people to move more in the name of heart health,” said Dr. Ellen Michos, associate director of medicine at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Johns Hopkins researchers utilized previously gathered information from the federally-funded Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study that started in 1987. The data came from 10,342 study participants who initially didn’t have any type of heart or vascular disease. These people’s information were updated until the year 2013.

The study participants had an average age of 54 at the start of the study. Women comprised 57 percent of the participants, while 21 percent of them were African-Americans, and the rest identified as white. They came from different parts of the country such as Minneapolis, Minnesota; Forsyth County, North Carolina; Jackson, Mississippi; and Washington County, Maryland.

Between the years 1987 and 1989, study participants self-reported their exercise levels, which were matched against the American Heart Association (AHA) recommendations of over 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes per week of strenuous intensity.

Each participant’s exercise level was classified as adequate, intermediate, or poor; people with adequate exercise levels met AHA standards, those with intermediate levels exercised intensely for up to 74 minutes per week or exercised moderately for less than 149 minutes a week, and those who were tagged as having poor exercise levels didn’t exercise at all.

The researchers found that around 60 percent of the participants belonged in the poor or intermediate categories.

The researchers then converted the exercise to metabolic equivalent tasks (METs), an exercise intensity scale that is used by cardiologists to gauge fitness. They then measured for physical activity levels by multiplying METs by minutes per week of exercise.

When the study participants were observed for the second time between the years 1990 and 1992, the researchers measured vitamin D levels in the blood by identifying the amount of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Levels above 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) of 25-hyrdroxyvitamin D were considered adequate vitamin D levels. Thirty percent of the participants had proper vitamin D levels.

The Johns Hopkins researchers showed that exercise levels are positively connected to vitamin D levels in a direct relationship – meaning, the more one exercised, the higher the vitamin D levels became. For instance, individuals with adequate exercise had an average 25-hydroxyvitamin D level of 26.6 ng/ml, those with intermediate exercise had 24.4 ng/ml, and those with poor exercise had 22.7 ng/ml.

The researchers also found out that the people who met the recommended levels of exercise had a 31 percent lower risk of being vitamin D deficient. However, the researchers said that the positive relationship between exercise and vitamin D was only evident in whites, and not in African-Americans.

Within the 19 years that spanned the study, the researchers reported 1,800 occurrences of cardiac events, including heart attack, stroke, or death due to heart disease or stroke. After adjusting for factors such as sex, education, age, alcohol use, blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol levels, diabetes, high blood pressure medication, race, smoking, and statin use, the researchers discovered that people who met the recommended exercise levels and had adequate vitamin D levels had a 23 percent less chance of having an adverse cardiovascular event as compared with people with poor fitness regimens and inadequate levels of vitamin D.

However, people who had adequate exercise but were vitamin D-deficient, and vice versa, didn’t reduce their risk of suffering from a cardiovascular event.

Exercise makes for healthier fat

According to a new study, just a single session of exercise may alter the molecular workings of fat tissue that has the potential to boost metabolic health. (Related: MAKE TIME to exercise and commit to be fit, especially if you’re a prepper.)

Fat tissues are responsible for securely storing fat. Recent research postulated that if a person’s fat tissue is somewhat leaky, thereby enabling fatty acids to seep into the bloodstream, the fat blobs can accumulate in other tissues, particularly the muscles and the liver. They then up the risk of developing insulin resistance, which often leads to diabetes.

And diabetes, as we all know, is not good for cardiovascular health.

In a new study that was published in November in the Journal of Applied Physiology, scientists surmised that exercise affects the amount of fat we store, since muscles use fatty acids as fuel. They observed 20 men and women who were overweight but did not have insulin resistance – some of them exercised regularly, some did not engage in any fitness regimen.

The researchers found that in almost all of the volunteers, the fat tissue even after just a single session of exercise showed more amounts of a protein that contributes to the development of more blood vessels.

More blood vessels in tissue means greater blood flow. There is no doubt that the best thing for metabolic health is to lose weight,” said Jeffrey Horowitz, a professor of movement science at the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology.

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