US Defense Secretary James Mattis has defended US military support to the Saudi-led coalition that is waging war in Yemen. He argued it helps to limit the civilian death toll and bring the conflict to a “negotiated” end.
“We need to get this [war in Yemen] to a negotiated settlement, and we believe our policy right now is correct for doing this,” the Pentagon head told journalists, speaking of American assistance to the Saudi-led campaign that plunged Yemen into famine and caused thousands of civilian deaths. Mattis argued that the US efforts would eventually help to bring the conflict toward a UN-brokered resolution.
Earlier, the defense secretary also sent a letter to the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), in which he referred to the US assistance as “non-combat support” aimed primarily at helping to reduce the risk of civilian casualties. He also warned senators that ending this support would negatively affect the situation on the ground.
“New restrictions on this limited US military support could increase civilian casualties, jeopardize cooperation with our partners on counter-terrorism and reduce our influence with the Saudis – all of which would further exacerbate the situation and humanitarian crisis,” the letter, copies of which were sent to all senators, said.
Cutting off the US aid would also “embolden” Iran in assisting the Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen and put “vital shipping lanes in the Red Sea” at risk, thus eventually increasing the danger of a wider regional conflict, Mattis wrote.
Comment: Of course it’s all about Iran. There wouldn’t be any ‘risk’ in the Red Sea if it wasn’t for the US’ provocative actions and support.
The defense secretary’s words were the newest attempt by the US military to influence the fate of a resolution that would force the Senate to vote on US support for Saudi Arabia, and could potentially lead to an end of US assistance to the Saudis in the Yemeni conflict.
Introduced by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), the bipartisan motion calls for the removal of American armed forces from “hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen.” It invokes the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which gives Congress the authority to overrule the president and withdraw the military if it deems the conflict is unauthorized. If passed by the Senate, the resolution would limit US actions in the Yemeni conflict to conducting or assisting operations against Al-Qaeda and its affiliates.
The proposal was met with a swift and tough response from the Pentagon. Acting General Counsel William S. Castle already sent a letter to McConnell, opposing the resolution before it was even filed on Wednesday.
Notably, around the same time, the US military admitted that it doesn’t really know what the Saudis really do with the ammunition and fuel Washington throws at them. During a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, US Army General Joseph Votel, the head of the US Central Command, acknowledged that CENTCOM tracks neither the purpose of the Saudi missions it refuels nor the targets that the Saudis hit using the US munitions.
The Saudi-led coalition has been waging a campaign against Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015, in an attempt to propel ousted President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power. The US has been providing the coalition with intelligence, ammunition and refueling for most of that time. It has also been a major supplier of arms to Saudi Arabia and its allies in the conflict.
Riyadh has repeatedly faced criticism over its supposedly indiscriminate airstrikes targeting civilian infrastructure and the blockade of Yemen that brought the war-torn country to the brink of famine. At least 10,000 Yemeni civilians have died and the country is experiencing a devastating famine and a cholera epidemic, according to Oxfam. The UN says there are 22 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
The White House announced support Sunday for firearms training for some teachers to protect schools, and has backed off an earlier call by President Donald Trump to raise the age individuals can purchase assault-style weapons from 18 to 21.
The series of proposals generally fall in line with what the National Rifle Association supports in the wake of the massacre last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people.
On Monday morning, Trump reiterated the proposals in a series of tweets. He defended his plan to allow “highly trained expert teachers” in schools, also saying that “armed guards [are] OK,” calling them a “deterrent!”
Very strong improvement and strengthening of background checks will be fully backed by White House. Legislation moving forward. Bump Stocks will soon be out. Highly trained expert teachers will be allowed to conceal carry, subject to State Law. Armed guards OK, deterrent!…….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2018
Regarding raising the minimum gun purchase age to 21, he deferred to state lawmakers, claiming that there is “not much political support (to put it mildly).” The NRA opposes the measure.
….On 18 to 21 Age Limits, watching court cases and rulings before acting. States are making this decision. Things are moving rapidly on this, but not much political support (to put it mildly).
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2018
The nation’s largest teachers lobby, the National Education Association, is adamantly opposed to Trump and the NRA’s controversial initiative to arm teachers. An armed teacher in Georgia last month fired his handgun after he barricaded himself in a high school classroom, where he was eventually arrested by police. NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre touted arming teachers in a speech last month to the Conservative Political Action Conference. The White House plan would involve funding to provide weapons training for teachers.
Trump’s apparent reversal from proposing to raise the age young people can buy military assault-style weapons like the AR-15 that was used in the Parkland school shooting is a startling turnaround. It comes just weeks after he taunted legislators, saying that they were “afraid of the NRA,” while he was not. Trump specifically asked Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) if the senator had left raising the minimum age for gun purchases out of his bill strengthening background checks because senators “are afraid of the NRA.”
Last month, Trump said in a meeting with legislators: “Now, this is not a popular thing to say, in terms of the NRA. But I’m saying it anyway. You can’t buy [a handgun until] until you’re 21. But you can buy the kind of weapon used in the school shooting at 18. I think it’s something you have to think about.”
On Friday, Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott — a longtime NRA member — signed a bill into law raising the minimum age for all gun purchase from 18 to 21. But the NRA almost immediately sued to block the law and protect the “constitutional rights” of would-be gun buyers under the age of 21. The state’s controversial “guardian program” — opposed by the Florida Education Association — will allow some school employees and teachers to carry handguns with law enforcement training if a school district agrees to participate in the program.
The White House guns plan also includes support for a bill, known as the “Fix NICS” measure, designed to improve background checks for gun purchases. But it does not contain universal background checks, which would be far more effective.
“Fix NICS” is a bill sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to bolster the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by improving the flow of information into it from states and various federal agencies. But the measure is far less ambitious than universal background checks, which would include private sales, such as those that often occur at gun shows.
The White House announced that the president is establishing a federal commission on school safety, to be chaired by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, that will explore possible solutions to school shootings. It may consider the age young people can purchase guns, the Washington Post reported Sunday. But nothing in the current White House proposals address raising the minimum age for buyers.
DeVos called the proposals a “pragmatic plan” to increase school safety, the Post reported.
Several Democrats slammed the proposals. “This plan is weak on security and an insult to the victims of gun violence,” Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said in a statement. “When it comes to keeping our families safe, it’s clear that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are all talk and no action.”
This story has been updated with Trump’s tweets on Monday morning.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/white-house-announces-support-arming-015319758.html
The Smashing Pumpkins are about to embark on a new tour and they have some new music planned as well for their fans. While Billy Corgan has been busy setting up the NWA — the professional wrestling federation that he purchased in 2017 — he has also started planning the new music for his band.
On Friday, Billy Corgan took to Instagram to announce that there is not just one album coming from The Smashing Pumpkins, but two EPs instead.
In his post, Corgan said that the band will release two, four-song EPs this year and the first song will be released as a single in May. The songs that The Smashing Pumpkins plan to release on the two EPs are titled “Alienation,” “Silvery Sometimes (Ghosts),” “Knights of Malta,” “With Sympathy,” “Seek and You Shall Destroy,” “Travels,” “Marchin’ On” and “Solara.” Corgan said that all the band has left is to record background vocals and finishing touches.
Billy Corgan also said that he will have an interview with the New York Times that will be published in the near future. The Smashing Pumpkins are also about to head out on The Shiny and Oh So Bright tour starting in July.
As unpopular and questionable as President Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum were, they did have some appeal to a seemingly unlikely group: Senate Democrats (along with a few House members). With the President signing the necessary documents in front of the cameras on Thursday flanked by American steelworkers, Senators let the press know they supported the move. But if you were only watching ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News, you would think there was only opposition.
Even though they only gave one example, CBS Evening News was the lone network program to even mention the support for tariffs from some Democrats. “Some of the strongest support for the plan came from rust belt Democrats like Joe Manchin of West Virginia,” reported national correspondent Chip Reid.
“I’m encouraged. I really am. And I think it gives us a chance, basically, to reboot, get jobs back to West Virginia, back to America. I’m excited about that,” explained Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (W.V.) in the CBS clip.
In addition to Senator Manchin, a few Democrats such as Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, and Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly put out press releases with glowing support for the tariffs.
“When foreign countries cheat on trade, Pennsylvania workers lose their jobs. I commend the Administration for taking action,” Casey said. He even asked for Trump to “refine this order” by going further and ratcheting it up by “consider[ing] additional action on downstream products, like transformer cores.” The Senator also urged Trump to “go after China and other trade cheaters.”
Meanwhile, Brown sounded like he was reading from a Trump stump speech:
For far too long, Chinese cheating has shuttered steel plants across our state and put Ohioans out of work. Today’s action finally sends a clear message to our trading partners that we aren’t going to allow them to cheat Americans out of their jobs and infect global markets. By standing up for steel jobs today, we’re also protecting American jobs up the supply chain from becoming the next victims of Chinese cheating.
Donnelly stated that he was “pleased that President Trump is taking action,” and planned to “carefully review the details of his proclamations.” He wanted the tariffs because, “trade is critical for Indiana’s economy—from our manufacturers to our farmers—but it must be fair. For too long Hoosier workers have fought unfair competition from countries like China.”
Where these Democrats were on board with the President, ABC and NBC focused almost solely on those who disagreed. “The President calls the tariffs a matter of national security, but sources familiar with the deliberations tell ABC News that national security adviser, H.R. McMaster and defense secretary James Mattis are both opposed,” ABC’s Jon Karl said. “In Congress, Republicans overwhelmingly oppose the tariffs.”
While the full ramifications of the tariffs were yet to be determined, the liberal media were more in favor of just piling on Trump by just showing the opposition.
CBS Evening News
March 8, 2018
6:36:04 PM Eastern [15 seconds]
CHIP REID: Some of the strongest support for the plan came from rust belt Democrats like Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
JOE MANCHIN: I’m encouraged. I really am. And I think it gives us a chance, basically, to reboot, get jobs back to West Virginia, back to America. I’m excited about that.
Australian producer, DJ and vocalist Alison Wonderland is returning to the U.S. for another adventure through the looking glass.
On Monday, Wonderland announced a new batch of U.S. tour dates in support of her upcoming sophomore album Awake. Following a series of Spring and Summer festival dates, Wonderland’s headlining tour kicks off on August 3 with a performance at Denver’s Ogden Theatre. Other dates include a stop at Seattle’s WaMu Theatre on Aug. 10 and a show at LA’s Shrine Expo Hall on Aug. 17. Check out her full tour dates below.
Presale tickets will be available starting tomorrow by signing up for her newsletter. The general on sale begins this Friday, March 9; get tickets to select shows right here on AXS.com.
Although Awake is still without an official release date, Wonderland has already shared a pair of new songs from the upcoming album. Last month, she dropped the video for the self-love anthem “Church” while her single “Happy Place” was released in November.
Wonderland recently spoke with Billboard about her highly personal new album, which she worked on with Joe Little (Lorde, Khalid) and Illangelo. Still, the majority of the album was made in her own home studio where she was free to write openly and honestly.
“This album … is about discovering self value again,” she told Billboard. “Being around things that were very toxic for me really brought me down for a long time, and I realized that I finally had the strength and the choice to get out of those environments. I really hope, when anyone hears this album, they take something from that, and they hear that you’re not alone, and you can bring the strength to bring yourself out of something. Everyone has self-value and self-worth.”
Watch her inspiring new video for “Church” above and browse her solo tour dates below.
Aug. 3 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre (Click here for tickets)
Aug. 10 – Seattle, WA – WaMu Theatre (Click here for tickets)
Aug. 11 – Dallas, TX – South Side Ballroom
Aug. 17 – Los Angeles, CA – Shrine Expo Hall (Click here for tickets)
Aug. 25 – San Francisco, CA – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Aug. 31 – Washington D.C. – Echostage
Your respiratory system is constantly working. All day, every day, it is the vehicle for oxygen to enter your body. Unfortunately, it can also be an entry point for pollutants, irritants, dust, mould, fungus, harmful organisms, and other toxins. Unless you’re living in a bubble, the constant assault from impurities can take its toll.
Fortunately, whether you’re experiencing the negative effects of inhaling toxins, or simply want to ensure your lungs are always at peak performance, nature has provided a number of herbs and botanicals that provide deep nutrition for the respiratory system.
How are herbs beneficial for the respiratory system?
Herbs that support lung health typically do so by offering one or more of the following benefits:
- Acting an expectorant — which helps break up and expel chest congestion.
- Soothing irritated nasal passages and airways.
- Relaxing the muscles near the upper respiratory system to quell a cough.
- Calming the release of histamines.
- Fighting the harmful organisms that can produce upper respiratory problems.
- As a source of antioxidants, reducing oxidative damage and redness.
Let’s take a look at the nine best herbs for respiratory health!
1. Osha Root
Osha is an herb native to the Rocky Mountain area and has historically been used by the Native Americans for respiratory support. The roots of the plant contain camphor and other compounds which make it one of the best lung-support herbs in America. One of the main benefits of osha root is that it helps increase circulation to the lungs, which makes it easier to take deep breaths. Also… when seasonal sensitivities flare up your sinuses, osha root, which is not an actual antihistamine, does produce a similar effect and may be help calm respiratory irritation!
Native to Australia, eucalyptus isn’t just for Koala bears! Aborigines, Germans, and Americans have all used the refreshing aroma of eucalyptus to promote respiratory health and soothe throat irritation. Eucalyptus is a common ingredient in cough lozenges and syrups and its effectiveness is due to a compound called cineole. Cineole has numerous benefits — it’s an expectorant, can ease a cough, fights congestion, and soothes irritated sinus passages. As an added bonus, because eucalyptus contains antioxidants, it supports the immune system during a cold or other illness.
Lungwort is a tree-growing lichen that actually resembles lung tissue in appearance. However, this natural remedy doesn’t just look the part. As early as the 1600”²s, lungwort has been used to promote lung and respiratory health and clear congestion. Lungwort also contains compounds that are powerfully effective against harmful organisms that affect respiratory health.
Although oregano contains the vitamins and nutrients required by the immune system, its primary benefits are owed to its carvacrol and rosmarinic acid content. Both compounds are natural decongestants and histamine reducers that have direct, positive benefits on the respiratory tract and nasal passage airflow. Oregano has so many health benefits that a bottle of organic oregano oil should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet.
5. Plantain Leaf
Plantain leaf has been used for hundreds of years to ease cough and soothe irritated mucous membranes. Clinical trials have found it favorable against cough, cold, and lung irritation. With anti-inflammatory and immune benefits, Plantain leaf has an added bonus in that it may help relieve a dry cough by spawning mucus production in the lungs. Good stuff!
The Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and even Indian Ayurvedic medicine have cited elecampane for respiratory support and, since the 1800’s, lozenges and cough drops have been produced from elecampane root. The reason? Elecampane has a relaxing effect on smooth tracheal muscles. There are two active compounds in elecampane root that provide the beneficial effect — inulin, which soothes bronchial passage, and alantolactone, an expectorant with antitussive action.
Did you know that horses given lobelia are able to breath more deeply? Its benefits are not limited to equestrians. Lobelia, by some accounts, is thought to be one of the most valuable herbal remedies in existence. Lobelia contains an alkaloid known as lobeline, which thins mucus, breaks up congestion. Additionally, lobelia stimulates the adrenal glands to release epinephrine, in effect, this relaxes the airways and allows for easier breathing. Also, because lobelia helps to relax smooth muscles, it is included in many cough and cold remedies. Lobelia should be part of everyone’s respiratory support protocol!
Chaparral, a plant native to the southwest, has been appreciated by the Native Americans for lung detoxification and respiratory support. Chaparral contains powerful antioxidants that resist irritation and NDGA which is known to fight histamine response. Chaparral is also an herb that fights harmful organisms. The benefits of chaparral are most available in a tincture extraction but chaparral tea may support respiratory problems by encouraging an expectorant action to clear airways of mucus.
Peppermint, and peppermint oil, contains menthol — a soothing ingredient known to relax the smooth muscles of the respiratory tract and promote free breathing. Paired with the antihistamine effect of peppermint, menthol is a fantastic decongestant. Many people use therapeutic chest balms and other inhalants that contain menthol to help break up congestion. Additionally, peppermint is an antioxidant and fights harmful organisms.
Supplementing with lung support herbs
All of the above herbs are available, in various forms, as nutritional supplements and in tea blends. Additionally, many people grow herbs in their garden and simply consume them as food. That’s not a bad idea! If you grow them yourself, you can rest easy knowing the source is organic, contains no pesticides, is ethically harvested, given clean water, etc. Of course, you’ll need to do your homework to determine the appropriate dosage for you and your individual health circumstances. These are not factors for which you can assume the best — ask questions and verify that you’re getting the best product possible at the correct dose. To make it easy, at Global Healing Centre we’ve made our own blend Allertrex, which contains all the herbs listed above — organic and wildcrafted — as well as orange peel, menthol crystals, and nascent iodine.
Have you used any of these natural remedies to support your respiratory health? What benefits did you notice? Please leave a comment below and share your experience with us!
– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- Ben-Arye E, Dudai N, Eini A, Torem M, Schiff E, Rakover Y. Treatment of upper respiratory tract infections in primary care: a randomized study using aromatic herbs. PubMed PMID: 21052500.
- Lindemann J, Tsakiropoulou E, Scheithauer MO, Konstantinidis I, Wiesmiller KM. Impact of menthol inhalation on nasal mucosal temperature and nasal patency. PubMed PMID: 18702906.
- Sadlon AE, Lamson DW. Immune-modifying and antimicrobial effects of Eucalyptus oil and simple inhalation devices. Altern Med Rev. 2010 Apr;15(1):33-47. Review.
- Elaissi A, Rouis Z, Salem NA, Mabrouk S, ben Salem Y, Salah KB, Aouni M, Farhat F, Chemli R, Harzallah-Skhiri F, Khouja ML. Chemical composition of 8 eucalyptus species’ essential oils and the evaluation of their antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activities. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 Jun 28;12:81. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-81.
- Sà¼leyman H, Odabasoglu F, Aslan A, Cakir A, Karagoz Y, Gocer F, Halici M, Bayir Y. Anti-inflammatory and antiulcerogenic effects of the aqueous extract of Lobaria pulmonaria (L.) Hoffm.
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- Å krovà¡nkovà¡ S, MiÅ¡urcovà¡ L, MachÅ¯ L. Antioxidant activity and protecting health effects of common medicinal plants. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2012;67:75-139. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394598-3.00003-4. Review.
- Margaret L. Ahlborn. History of plantain.
- Mark Blument, . Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. 1998. Book. isbn:096555550X.
- Wegener T, Kraft K. [Plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.): anti-inflammatory action in upper respiratory tract infections]. Wien Med Wochenschr. 1999;149(8-10):211-6. Review. German.
- Chiang LC, Chiang W, Chang MY, Lin CC. In vitro cytotoxic, antiviral and immunomodulatory effects of Plantago major and Plantago asiatica. Am J Chin Med. 2003;31(2):225-34.
- Reiter M, Brandt W. Relaxant effects on tracheal and ileal smooth muscles of the guinea pig. Arzneimittelforschung. 1985;35(1A):408-14.
- Marlin DJ, Roberts CA, Schroter RC, Lekeux P. Respiratory responses of mature horses to intravenous lobeline bolus. Equine Vet J. 2000 May;32(3):200-7.
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- Quiroga EN, Sampietro AR, Vattuone MA. fungitoxic activity of Larrea divaricata cav. extracts. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2004;39(1):7-12.
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About the author: Mike Adams (aka the “Health Ranger“) is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com called “Food Forensics“), an environmental scientist, a patent holder for a cesium radioactive isotope elimination invention, a multiple award winner for outstanding journalism, a science news publisher and influential commentator on topics ranging from science and medicine to culture and politics. Follow his videos, podcasts, websites and science projects at the links below.
Mike Adams serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation. He has also achieved numerous laboratory breakthroughs in the programming of automated liquid handling robots for sample preparation and external standards prep.
The U.S. patent office has awarded Mike Adams patent NO. US 9526751 B2 for the invention of “Cesium Eliminator,” a lifesaving invention that removes up to 95% of radioactive cesium from the human digestive tract. Adams has pledged to donate full patent licensing rights to any state or national government that needs to manufacture the product to save human lives in the aftermath of a nuclear accident, disaster, act of war or act of terrorism. He has also stockpiled 10,000 kg of raw material to manufacture Cesium Eliminator in a Texas warehouse, and plans to donate the finished product to help save lives in Texas when the next nuclear event occurs. No independent scientist in the world has done more research on the removal of radioactive elements from the human digestive tract.
Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and American Indians. He is of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his “Health Ranger” passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.
Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world’s first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.
In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.
In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.
Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed “strange fibers” found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health “gurus,” dangerous “detox” products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.
Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.
In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over fifteen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.
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Source Article from http://www.naturalnews.com/2018-03-04-massive-outpouring-of-support-for-the-health-ranger-after-outrageous-youtube-censorship-of-entire-channel-wiping-1700-videos-spanning-10-years.html
Boris Johnson is among those keen to praise bin Salman ahead of his visit to the UK. In a piece for the Times, the foreign secretary hailed the royal for “reforms” in his kingdom.
“The worst response would be for Britain to criticise from the sidelines or shun the kingdom altogether; instead our role must be to encourage [the crown prince] along this path,” Johnson wrote in the Times. “Be in no doubt: the future of Saudi Arabia – and indeed the region and the wider Muslim world – depends on his success.
“Hence the importance of the crown prince’s visit to London. This will be a chance to strengthen our relationship with Saudi Arabia… I will not minimise Britain’s differences with the kingdom. I want Saudi Arabia to do more to protect human rights. But we cannot deliver these messages or resolve our disagreements unless we meet the kingdom’s leaders.
“You might reply that far more needs to be done to reach a peaceful settlement in Yemen and ensure that aid gets through to everyone in need. I agree. That is exactly why we need to discuss these vital matters with the crown prince during his visit to the UK.”
Britain’s top diplomat highlighted recent reforms in the Saudi kingdom in the last eight months since Mohammed bin Salman became crown prince. “The ban on women driving has been overturned,” he said. “Gender segregation has been relaxed. The kingdom has adopted an official target for women to account for 30% of the workforce: in February women were allowed to register their own businesses. Women now attend sporting events and from next month cinemas will open their doors to everyone.”
Despite being hailed by Johnson for domestic reforms, bin Salman has faced censure from a variety of human rights groups over the Saudis’ bombing of Yemen, among other issues. Activists are planning a demonstration upon the crown prince’s arrival.
Downing Street has officially confirmed that bin Salman will visit the UK from March 7 to 10, ignoring calls from a coalition of activism groups demanding that Prime Minister Theresa May denounce the Saudi prince. Yemeni activists in Britain have filed applications to UK Attorney General Jeremy Wright to prosecute the prince and the Saudi-led coalition for its alleged war crimes.
Director of Human Rights for Yemen Kim Sharif said that Saudi forces are committing war crimes and violating the Geneva Conventions and their protocols with impunity. “There is jurisdiction in the UK to try war criminals and there is no immunity for such crimes, irrespective of where they have been committed. Salman is ultimately responsible for these crimes and he must be arrested for war crimes during his anticipated visit to the UK soon,” Sharif said.
More than 20 million people have been left aid-dependent due to the conflict, according to UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) figures. Some 11.3 million people are in “acute need” and urgently require assistance to survive.
The Saudi-led coalition imposed a complete blockade on the port of Hodeidah in November after Houthi rebels, who control areas across northern Yemen, fired ballistic missiles against targets in Saudi Arabia.
The port closure meant that whole communities were at risk of death by starvation, as critical food and medical aid were prevented from entering Yemen. Saudi forces began to ease the port blockades at the end of December, but humanitarian sources report that it is still difficult to get food, medicine, fuel and other critical supplies into Yemen.
The conflict has created the largest food security emergency in the world, and led to a cholera outbreak that has affected nearly 1 million people since April. Other data shows that every day, 130 children die of malnutrition and disease because of the blockade.
The UK government has come under attack for its significant arms deals to the Saudis. Under UK law, weapons should not be exported “if there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international law.” Government data shows that the UK has licensed £4.6 billion (US$6.3 billion) worth of arms to the Saudis since they began bombing Yemen in March 2015.
Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) said that the crown prince should never have been invited to Downing Street. “He leads a regime with an appalling human rights record and has overseen the destruction of Yemen,” Smith said.
“The UK has armed and supported the terrible war since day one, and there is no doubt that arms sales will be top of the agenda next week. Theresa May is putting the interests of arms dealers above the rights of Yemeni people.”
Speaking ahead of the visit, Prime Minister May ignored the UK-Saudi arms deals and calls to arrest the prince on arrival. She instead hailed the “partnership between the UK and Saudi Arabia” that “helps make both of our countries safer through intelligence-sharing.”
Despite Johnson’s claims, activists have warned against interpreting the recent reforms as signaling an age of new freedoms for the Saudi people. Reprieve, a UK-based rights group that campaigns against the death penalty, said that “torture” and “an unprecedented number of executions” have occurred since bin Salman’s appointment to crown prince. They also said that May’s push for closer ties with the Saudi kingdom has already spelled more trouble for Saudi civilians.
“Since his appointment as crown prince, the final death sentences of protesters, including a number who were children at the time, have been confirmed amid serious allegations of torture and an unprecedented number of executions,” Reprieve said. “The close relationship Theresa May trumpets has led to British police officers training Saudi agents in the kind of cyber-monitoring techniques which have been used to justify death sentences.”
By Thursday, more than 11,300 people had signed an online petition calling on the PM to cancel bin Salman’s UK visit. A coalition of human rights activists, including CAAT and Human Rights for Yemen, will host a protest outside Downing Street at 5pm on March 7.
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