North Korea Holds Massive Military Parade Ahead Of 2018 Winter Olympics

North Korea staged a large military parade on Thursday, just one day before the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The parade was reportedly held to commemorate the 70th anniversary of founding of the country’s armed forces, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News, but it also marks a display of power mere hours before the North is expected to march under a unified flag with the delegation from South Korea. 

The Associated Press reported that tens of thousands of people watched and participated in the parade, but Yonhap noted that the display was both smaller and shorter than past similar events. The parade was also not broadcast live, a decision that Yonhap described as “an attempt to keep it low-key.”

North Korean state television broadcast footage of the parade a few hours after it concluded. The footage appeared to have been edited, the AP noted.

Foreign media was largely absent at the event, but Michael Spavor, the head of a non-profit consulting firm that facilitates work in North Korea, tweeted several video and photos he said were taken from the sidelines of the parade:

Images taken at the parade showed a procession of trucks carrying soldiers and military personnel passing large crowds, followed by a contingent of tanks. Footage from the official broadcast also showed what looked like several intercontinental ballistic missiles, including the newly developed Hwasong-15s, which North Korea claims is capable of hitting the U.S. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also delivered a speech celebrating the country’s military prowess.

Nearly 300 North Koreans crossed the Demilitarized Zone between the two countries on Wednesday to participate in the Olympics, including 229 women that were part of a large “cheering squad,” The Washington Post reported. They will soon be joined by a high-level delegation of senior officials, including North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong. They are scheduled to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Saturday.

The Post notes that if the visit goes forward, she would be the first member of the Kim family to ever visit the South, a significant development in the fraught relationship between the two nations.

Kim is expected to arrive on Friday for the Opening Ceremony and stay for three days. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who is also attending the games this week, told reporters on Thursday that he has no plans to meet with North Korean officials.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Trump an Embarrassment to the Office He Holds

US Forces to Remain Indefinitely in Syria Illegally

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Russia intervened in Syria at the request of its government – to combat US-supported terrorists.

They continue pouring into the country cross-border, replacing others eliminated by Syrian and allied forces, greatly aided by Russian airpower, considerably reduced from its earlier strength.

Last October, Syria’s Defense Ministry reported seizure of large amounts of weapons and munitions made in America and its rogue allied countries.

They included rockets, rifles, machine-guns, surface-to-air missiles, man-portable air-defense system MANPADS, TOW anti-tank missiles, tanks and other heavy weapons.

Washington and its rogue allies continue supplying these and other weapons to ISIS and other anti-government terrorists – wanting endless war and regime change, opposing peaceful conflict resolution.

The Trump administration intends indefinite occupation of northern and southern Syrian territory it controls illegally, operating from bases it constructed.

Moscow and Damascus demand US presence in the country ends, ignored by Washington, putting the Trump administration sharply at odds with Russia.

Sophisticated drones used in the thwarted terrorist attack on its Syrian bases almost certainly were supplied by the Pentagon or CIA.

Putin slammed what happened, saying he knows when and where these UAVs were supplied to terrorists, indicating knowledge of the supplier.

Who gains by supporting ISIS and other terrorists wage war in Syria for regime change? Washington and Israel most of all. Along with their rogue allies, they’re partnered against Assad.

Separately on Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry commented on humanitarian aid needed for the Rukban refugee camp in southern Syria – largely blocked by US occupying forces, the ministry saying:

“No Syrian army units or representatives of the legitimate authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic are allowed” in a US illegally occupied 55 km zone around At Tanf near the Iraq border.

The Pentagon uses this territory to train anti-government terrorists. Around 60,000 Syrian refugees face dire conditions, prevented from receiving vital food, medical supplies and other essentials to life and well-being.

“We regard as unacceptable attempts by Washington to justify the use of military force against the sovereignty and territorial inviolability of the Syrian Arab Republic,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said, adding: 

“Assurances by the United States that its military are allegedly staying on Syrian soil for the purpose of fighting terrorists are unconvincing and open to criticism.” 

“We demand that all restrictions on access for convoys of food and medicines be lifted and that humanitarian operations in the area be more transparent.”

Demands aren’t good enough. Nor is saying Washington must “respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Syria…”

The Trump administration ignores these comments, doing what it pleases, at war with Syria. Russia’s good faith efforts aren’t enough to turn things around.

The only language Washington understands is force. Unless confronted responsibly, it’s free to pursue its imperial agenda unimpeded.

It’s hostility toward Russia and other sovereign independent countries is unrelenting – perceiving efforts by Moscow for improved relations as weakness.

Putin needs a new approach in dealing with America – its adversary, not ally or partner.

Nor will things change as long as virtually all congressional and administration officials remain hostile to Russia – the disturbing reality of dismal bilateral relations.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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More “folk medicine” holds up under scientific scrutiny: The fruit of an evergreen tree in Bangladesh found to reduce fever, pain, inflammation

Image: More “folk medicine” holds up under scientific scrutiny: The fruit of an evergreen tree in Bangladesh found to reduce fever, pain, inflammation

(Natural News)
Yellow Myrobalan (Terminalia citrina) is a type of large flowering plant widely found across India and Pakistan. Its fruits are of particular interest, as they’ve utilized in many kinds of simplistic medicinal applications. The pharmacological potential of these fruits hasn’t been fully explored until recently, when numerous Pakistani researchers from various institutions took it upon themselves to assess these fruits’ anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and antinociceptive properties.

For the purposes of their study, the researchers obtained aqueous and ethanolic extracts from ground, dried Yellow Myrobalan fruits. These extracts were measured at 200mg/kg, 400mg/kg, and 600mg/kg that were administered to albino mice.

A carrageenan-induced paw edema test was carried out to determine the anti-inflammatory qualities of the fruit extracts. The mice were divided into eight groups of five; the first group was given a normal saline solution, the second incomethacin, while the rest of the groups were given varying amounts of Yellow Myrobalan fruit extracts. All of the mice were had a carrageenan solution injected into their right hind paws an hour later. The researchers noted that the mice from the normal saline group showed signs of increased inflammation. By contrast, the mice who had received the extracts of Yellow Myrobalan exhibited reduced inflammation, with the ethanolic extract displaying the most inflammation shrinkage.

This portion of their experiment also served to highlight the possible antinociceptive quality of the extracts, or their ability to inhibit the sensation of pain. The researchers measured this by observing the writhing of the mice. Those that had received indomethacin writhed the least. However, the writhing of the mice who had been injected with either ethanolic and aqueous extracts indicated that both could be useful in subduing pain.

To test the antipyretic or fever-reducing activity of the extracts, the researchers injected brewer’s yeast into the mice. After 18 hours when the temperature of the mice had risen by a small margin (roughly 0.5 to 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit), they were given normal saline, acetaminophen, or the aqueous or ethanolic extracts. Though the acetaminophen proved to the most effective at lowering fever, both extracts were noted for improving the body temperatures of various mice. Once again, the the highest dose of ethanolic extract was found to be the most sufficient in antipyretic action.

“The results of this study indicated that Terminalia citrina fruit extracts possessed significant anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activity at 200mg/kg, 400mg/kg and 600mg/kg as compared to the negative control group,” wrote the researchers in their study, which was been published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines.

They added: “Effect of inhibition of inflammation and writhing and protection against fever was more at higher doses than at lower doses. Ethanolic extract of Terminalia citrina was more effective than the aqueous extract of the Terminalia citrina.”

Though the researchers noted that these positive have only thus far been observed in animals, they noted that the extracts could be helpful in later use. They explained that this was namely due to the side effects of medication typically used to manage pain and fevers. Among these side effects are gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea; cardiovascular issues that increase the risk of heart attacks; and the long-term likelihood of addiction. (Related: The Side-Effect Challenge: Whole Plant Medicines Vs. Drug Counterparts.)

Because of this, the researchers and many others have begun looking into traditional medicines to treat common ailments. In addition to having fewer side effects than a good number of modern medicines, these traditional remedies are much cheaper as well, owing to them coming from natural sources that are most often widely distributed.

Drop by for other stories and studies about natural alternatives and cures.

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SWAT Raids Wrong Home, Holds Family At Gunpoint—Owner Makes Cops Apologize on FB Live


Chicago – When a family was awoken in the middle of the night to a series of loud bangs against their front door, they automatically thought they were being robbed. However, they soon found out that the people who were breaking into their house were the same people they would have called for “help” during a robbery.

Homeowner Shanae Cross, 34, told ABC7 that it was around midnight on Thursday when she heard her mother “just started screaming and hollering and ran to the bathroom and said, ‘Somebody is kicking down the door.’”

“Next thing you know, when I’m looking there’s guns in my face. Just guns drawn out, ‘Get outta here, who’s in here with you?’ Just a bunch of questions,” Cross said, describing the scene when SWAT team members first broke into her house. “I’m like, ‘What the hell is you doing in my house? Who are you, why are you in my house?‘ Then I realize when I see the vests and all, this is the police.”

Officers began to arrest Cross’s 17-year-old brother, and she told ABC7 that she immediately demanded to see a search warrant for the residence where the officers were initiating the “no-knock” raid. When an officer told her the street address was “8203,” she informed them that they were at the wrong house.

“I’m like ‘This is 8209, you f—king idiot. You’re in the wrong house!’”

Cross claimed that the SWAT Team left after they realized they had just broken into the wrong residence—but they have made no attempt to undo their mistake. As a result of the raid, the front door is now damaged and has left the Cross family vulnerable to other intruders in their crime-ridden neighborhood in South Chicago.

“I didn’t ask for y’all to run up in my house, disrespect us, treat us like suspects,” Cross told local media, regarding the incident.

After Cross took to social media to bring awareness to the failed police raid that left her home damaged, and after media reports increased pressure on the Chicago Police department’s slow response, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Chicago Tribune that the department acknowledges that its officers “inadvertently breached the door of the incorrect residence,” and it “deeply regrets the error.”

Guglielmi also said the claims process and repairs to the family’s damaged front door “would be expedited.”

Michael Cross, Shanae’s brother, told the Tribune that he was also physically hurt during the encounter when SWAT team members immediately tried to arrest him. “They drew the guns on us like we were criminals,” he said.

The siblings’ mother, Jennell Cross, 53, also said that she was terrified by the incident. “I was scared out my mind. This is crazy as hell,” she said.

As The Free Thought Project has reported, it is not uncommon for SWAT teams to conduct “no-knock” raids on the wrong house, and even when they do damage the property or injure innocent citizens, it does not guarantee that the offending officers will ever face consequences for their actions.

In one case, a pregnant mother in Sacramento, California, was assaulted by police in front of her 18-month-old child when they attempted to serve a search warrant at her home in July. Not only did the officers have the wrong house, but their raid damaged the home—which they never offered to repair—and their assault on the pregnant mother endangered the life of her unborn child.

After the raid, Cross posted a Facebook video in which she filmed officers apologizing. According to reports, the officers were also filming on their body cameras. If this video is released, we will update this story.

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WATCH: Cop Holds Innocent Woman by the Hair, Forces His Partner To Taser Her


Fort Worth, TX — A Fort Worth police officer’s actions against an innocent woman were so disturbing that it actually prompted the department to fire him. The 22-year-veteran of the force, Sgt. Kenneth Pierce was fired this week after body camera footage showed him hold an innocent woman by the hair and arm and demand his rookie partner taser her.

On Monday, a use of force review was completed which noted that Pierce’s conduct that August night was “absolutely unacceptable.”

According to police, the incident began when Pierce and the rookie officer were called to an apartment complex for assistance regarding a domestic disturbance. The subsequent interaction was captured on body camera footage and was discovered during a mandatory “use of force” review, according to the department.

Fort Worth Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald told reporters that Sgt. Pierce “impatient, initiated an unnecessary physical confrontation, and then ordered a rookie police officer to ‘Tase’ the woman.”

As the body camera footage shows, the rookie and Pierce confront the couple at a residence and demand that they turn around and face the wall. The woman in the video is entirely compliant and tells the officers that her baby is inside the home.

The officers then tell the woman to show them the 5-year-old girl who was inside the apartment.

The woman admits that she called police because she wanted her boyfriend to leave. However, instead of protecting the woman and asking the man to leave her home, they treated her like a criminal—even though she admitted to calling them.

The police officers did not know the law and when the woman refused to show them her ID, they reacted with force.

To be clear, there is no requirement under Texas law to carry ID nor does a person have to identify themselves to an officer unless they’ve been lawfully arrested. This was hardly a lawful arrest.

The woman did take her ID out, but she refused to hand it over to the officers once they turned from protectors to a threat. This refusal infuriated the officers. Ignoring the law, the officer demanded once again that the woman show her ID.

“If I knew police were going to be like this, I wouldn’t have called y’all,” the unnamed woman said.

After she refused to hand over her ID once more, police moved in to place her under arrest, again, unlawfully. Remember, she was the victim here.

“Let my hand go, let my hand go!” the woman—who is now being kidnapped—yells over and over again.

Pierce then grabs the woman by her right arm and by the back of the head and holds her in position as he demands his partner “Tase her.”

The woman collapses to the ground and is handcuffed. She begs police to allow her to call her brother to pick up her daughter but they refuse.

“You’re getting CPS,” one officer can be hear saying, noting that Child Protective Services will be called in to take her daughter away.

As the video continues to roll, the female rookie cop articulates numerous threats, noting that she has no problem tasering the handcuffed woman again.

“This taser is still on. I will tase you again,” says the rookie, before exclaiming, “I don’t give a fuck right now.”

“I’m confident that everyone who sees this video, including members of this department, will agree this supervisor’s response and subsequent behaviors are absolutely unacceptable,” Fitzgerald said.


“We are built on a foundation of being problem-solvers,” Fitzgerald added. “Pierce responded in an opposite manner, and he escalated the situation endangering everyone involved, including his fellow officers.”

Naturally, the police union has come out in full support of the fired cop and Terry Daffron, attorney for the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas, tells the Star-Telegram that he doesn’t agree with Fitzgerald’s assessment of the video. Daffron will be representing Pierce in his appeal.

“They are making claims that Pierce escalated the situation, and I don’t see it that way,” Daffron told the Star-Telegram. “I see that she was completely noncompliant with everything she was asked to do. He came in and was trying to help the rookie officer gain control to try to get her to comply.”

Make no mistake, the woman in the video below will most assuredly think twice before the next time she calls police for help.

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Court Holds NYPD In Contempt For Refusing To Hand Over Documents Related To Black Live Matter Surveillance

The NYPD continues to extend a middle finger to every entity that isn’t the NYPD. The department’s long history of doing everything it can to thwart public records requesters has been discussed here several times. It’s not on much better terms with its oversight, which it routinely ignores when directed to do something about its officers’ routine rights violations and deployment of excessive force.

If it’s not going to be accountable to the public — either via FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) compliance or respecting the decisions of its oversight — it’s certainly not going to let the judicial branch push it around.
The NYPD has 30 days to turn over surveillance videos of Black Lives Matter protesters after a Manhattan judge ruled Wednesday that the department flouted his previous order to disclose the records.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez, who issued the contempt of court ruling, stopped short of immediately imposing sanctions on the police. Instead, he said the NYPD could “purge” the contempt ruling by turning over more material related to the monitoring of protesters at Grand Central Terminal in November 2014 and January 2015 within a month.

This ruling arrives eight months after the NYPD made a mockery of an earlier court order on records disclosure, turning over nothing more than a few pieces of paper and short, blurry cell phone recording of Black Lives Matter protesters. According to Judge Mendez, the NYPD’s efforts to comply with the FOIL request at the heart of the lawsuit have been “disingenuous” at best.

Undoubtedly, the NYPD has a large number of records related to its surveillance of protesters. It just doesn’t want to release them. The NYPD has repeatedly engaged in surveillance of First Amendment activity. That’s the sort of thing one should expect from a law enforcement agency that views protests and terrorism as two sides of the same coin. When that’s your viewpoint, you get you a special operations unit that can do both: the Strategic Response Group, which, according to the Mayor, is capable of handling both protests or “attacks like those in Mumbai.”

Mendez may have issued a ruling of contempt, but city lawyers aren’t exactly springing into action to comply with the judge’s February order. According to the city, it’s still “weighing its options” and angsting away uselessly.
The city’s Law Department immediately cried foul, saying it is reviewing its legal options and is “deeply concerned with this ruling and the dilemma in which it places the city.”

“On the one hand, we are constrained by genuine security concerns from explaining publicly how disclosure could endanger the lives and safety of undercover officers,” a Law Department spokesman said. “On the other hand, we were not afforded an opportunity to explain those concerns to the court in a non-public setting.”

Well, I call bullshit. There’s not a court in the land that won’t allow in camera hearings or ex parte submissions where the government can attempt to explain its refusal to hand over evidence or documents. I’m sure Judge Mendez would have allowed it if he thought this sort of hearing was appropriate. Chances are he would have been much more amenable to the city’s request for a private explanation if it had engaged in a little more good faith effort during its search for relevant documents.

If the city returns to court with nothing more than its unearned dismay, the judge will probably start issuing sanctions. As it stands now, the NYPD has the choice of producing more responsive documents or submit sworn affidavits explaining why it can’t — or won’t — turn over more documents related to its surveillance of Black Lives Matter protesters.

It’s hard to imagine what sanctions will have a lasting deterrent effect on the NYPD. Everything else that’s been tried hasn’t produced a more accountable entity. Short of jailing some top brass, any punishment the court hands out will likely be suffered by the public, especially if it’s nothing more than fines the NYPD can pay with other people’s money.


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US holds massive military drills aimed at North Korea despite warnings from Moscow

Four Japanese F-15 fighters on Tuesday held drills with American B1-B bombers, F-35 stealth fighters and F-18 combat jets above the East China Sea, south of the Korean peninsula, Japan’s Air Self Defence Force (ASDF) confirmed.

Described as among the largest joint exercises of its kind to date, the drill included American aircraft stationed in Guam and Japan.

“The drill was meant to bolster joint operations and raise combat skills,” the ASDF said in a statement, as cited by Reuters.

On Monday, Russian military chief General Valery Gerasimov warned Japan that participating in military exercises with the United States around the Korean Peninsula could escalate regional tensions with North Korea.

During his visit to Tokyo, Gerasimov told Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera that military drills aimed at pressuring Pyongyang to abandon missile testing could “increase tension and bring instability.” “We believe that the issue should be resolved only through political and diplomatic means,” said Gerasimov, as quoted by Russian media.

Washington, Seoul and Tokyo began joint “missile tracking” drills on Monday. The new round of military exercises comes just days after the US and its allies concluded massive air maneuvers over the Korean Peninsula.

Moscow and Beijing have advocated for a “double freeze” agreement, in which North Korea would halt missile testing in exchange for the US curtailing military drills in the region.

“These exercises fuel the flames of an already existing conflict where we are having hundreds of military planes fly along the border with North Korea, this is particularly dangerous. It is really necessary to look seriously at the offer of freezing these military exercises, freezing this nuclear program and engaging in dialogue, something that we have not just seen the North Koreans and Washington getting together on,” author and human rights attorney Eric Sirotkin told RT on Monday.

Washington has not changed its hardline stance on North Korea’s nuclear program and missile testing. The US military is reportedly in talks with South Korea on the timing of large-scale annual military exercises that would likely coincide with next year’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. However, in an uncharacteristic move towards de-escalation, Washington and Seoul are considering delaying the joint military drills until after the winter games in February in a bid to reduce tensions with North Korea, according to separate reports by Bloomberg and the Financial Times.

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Couple Nearly Gives Birth in Car As Cop Holds Them on Roadside, Tickets Them for Rushing to Hospital


When a couple was pulled over for speeding in Lakewood, New Jersey, they explained to the officer that the wife was in labor, and they were on their way to the hospital—a logical emergency that would justify exceeding the speed limit. However, the officer responded by delaying the couple’s arrival and issuing the husband a citation for speeding.

The couple, who has remained anonymous, told The Lakewood Scoop that when they were pulled over, the husband explained to the officer that he started out driving at the regular speed limit, but only increased his speed when his wife’s symptoms became urgent.

“My pregnant wife had been to the doctor that day, and was told that as soon as labor begins she should rush to the hospital, since the baby will be born very quickly. That night labor began, so we immediately set out to Monmouth Medical Center driving at regular speed. While driving on Squankum Road. my wife told me she is starting to feel it is getting closer to birth. I became quite frantic, so I automatically picked up speed, without realizing I was going way over the speed limit.”

A report from the Jersey Journal claimed that when the officer clocked the speed of the car, the husband was driving 78 mph in a 50-mph zone. The husband told TLS that he immediately pulled over, and explained to the officer that they were in an emergency situation, and had been instructed by a doctor to come to the hospital as soon as possible.

“I respectfully explained that my wife is in advanced labor and I am headed to the hospital. I tried explaining the severity of the situation, but he cut me off without inquiring in what condition my wife is, and just asked for license and registration. We pleaded with him to please make it fast as we are in an emergency, but he answered curtly, sit tight.”

The husband then claimed that the officer took his license and registration, and proceeded to hold the couple hostage for over 15 minutes, even though he was made aware of the wife’s critical condition. When the officer finally let the couple go to the hospital, the husband asked if he would escort them there, and the officer replied, “we don’t do these things.”

While stranded, my wife reached a critical point. I immediately started calling out, ‘officer, officer,’ and motioned with my hands, but he completely ignored me. He left me stranded close to 15 minutes while my wife was moaning away. Afterwards he gave me a speeding ticket. I then told him that my wife has reached a critical point, and asked if he could escort us to the hospital. He answered ‘we don’t do these things, but I can call an ambulance,’ which I declined saying I can do the same.”

The couple concluded by writing that their baby was born almost immediately after they arrived at the hospital, “20 min. after the officer let us go.”

In a statement provided to the Jersey Journal, the Howell Police Department was quick to defend the officer’s actions, and claimed that the “video evidence” of the encounter shows he acted appropriately.

“We certainly understand how stressful the moments leading up to birth can be, especially on a woman, and we commend them for their respectful demeanor under the circumstances. However, the officer acted appropriately and any suggestion that the officer’s conduct was improper, unprofessional or inhumane simply contradicts the video evidence.”

While the department did not specify as to whether the “video evidence” they referenced will be made public, the idea that a police officer would encounter a couple in labor and rushing to the hospital, insist that they delay their trip by nearly half an hour, and then refuse to escort them to the hospital in an emergency, shows that the officer in question was doing the opposite of “serving and protecting” the public, and he should be held accountable for his actions.

Here is the Facebook page of the Howell Township Police department, if you’d like to peacefully express your thoughts on this matter to them.

Image via The Lakewood Scoop


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