The Manhattan tower, the home of President-Elect Trump and his family, was evacuated around 5pm on December 27

( DAILY MAIL )Terrified shoppers fled Trump Tower as building was evacuated over a suspicious package

  • NYPD has given the all clear after Trump Tower was evacuated Tuesday evening
  • Police were called to investigate after a suspicious package was left in the lobby
  • They have since found that package was a balcpack full of children’s toys  
  • Terrified people were seen running out of the building during the evacuation
  • Donald Trump was not in the Tower at the time of the security scare


READ MORE: Panic as cops evacuate Trump Tower: Shoppers flee in terror after suspicious package is found at the president elect’s home and transition team headquarters


Police crowded onto the street outside of Trump Tower, on Fifth Avenue, Manhattan


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December 28, 2016 at 02:55AM

WHY DID 14 Massive Teen Mall Brawls, Including Gunfire Break Out Across America On The Day After Christmas? [VIDEO] – FAKENEWS

Some of the fights were reportedly planned on social media, but no one seems to have an answer about why they happened across America at various malls and why they all happened on the day after Christmas…

MASSIVE PLANNED MALL FIGHTS Broke out across the US on Monday forcing many of the malls to evacuate shoppers and close their doors.

December 26 is one of the busiest shopping days of the years with after Christmas specials.

At least 14 malls were shut down in the US due to massive fights.

Beachwood Place Mall outside of Cleveland, Ohio — Officers used pepper spray to disperse a large crowd after a fight that prompted a lockdown of Beachwood Place on Monday evening, police said.

At least one juvenile is in custody in connection with the fight that broke out just after 6:30 p.m. near the mall’s food court, police said. The juvenile is accused of assaulting a police officer who arrived to break up the disturbance.

Officers were initially called to the scene for a report of shots fired, but have since confirmed there were no gunshots, police at the scene said.

New Jersey’s Jersey Garden mall also reported hearing shots being fired:
The Manchester, New Hampshire mall was shut down before 6 PM due to fighting.

A total of seven arrests were made during a huge fight that broke out at the Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester, causing the mall to shut down early Monday night.

Manchester Police said hundred of teens were involved, and that several fights broke out. The mall was shut down shortly before 6 p.m. and cleared out in response. It was supposed to remain open until 9 p.m.

According to Manchester Police Capt. Chris Davis, it’s typical to see more teens in the mall during the holidays. “Kids are out of school. A lot of them aren’t hanging out in the streets so they come here, typically, and hang out at the mall.”

The mall released the following statement Tuesday morning:

Buckland Hills has closed for the evening. The well-being of our shoppers and retailers is our number one priority, and we take matters very seriously that disrupt the peaceful, safe environment we strive to create for our community. We are working closely with law enforcement and direct all inquiries to the Manchester Police Department. The shopping center will be open Tuesday.

According to police, about 8-10 teens started fighting at around 5:30 p.m., and officers who were already at the mall broke up the fight. Then, several hundred teens at various other locations throughout the mall started fighting at the same time.

Davis said some veteran Manchester officers who were at Buckland Hills on Monday night noticed more teens than usual. “They just kind of sensed that something was amiss, previous to the fights actually starting. So it was just kind of a sixth-sense by some of our officers.” –Fox61

The Fox Mall in Aurora, Colorado was evacuated after the massive brawl on Monday.
Here’s video of the brawl in the Fox Mall.
Malls in Connecticut, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois and Colorado were shut down due to large fights.

Gateway Pundit


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December 28, 2016 at 02:45AM

Bagpipes stolen from officer's vehicle hours after vigil – FAKENEWS

CINCINNATI — An officer in the Hamilton County Honor Guard played his bagpipes at a vigil Monday evening, hours before they were stolen from his car.

Steve Watt, a Mariemont police officer, was at Playhouse in the Park in Mount Adams when his bagpipes, his Honor Guard uniform, his police bag and his bagpipe bag were stolen from his car.

“I can’t tell you how much my heart sank,” Watt said in an email. “I know that everything can be replaced and, yes, it’s only material…but those pipes were my life. I had many priceless tokens of thanks in my case…”

Watt, previously a sergeant with the Hamilton County Sheriff , has been playing bagpipes since a good friend and fellow police officer died in 1984. He often plays at police officers’ vigils and other events.

He planned to play at Hamilton County Chief Deputy Harry Bode’s vigil Tuesday. Bode helped start the bagpipe unit, Watt said.

Watt still will play, but he’ll have to borrow someone else’s bagpipes.

The Cincinnati Police Department is investigating the theft.

Daniel Hils, the president of the local Fraternal Order of Police, asked in a Facebook post for help finding the bagpipes.

“We will show our appreciation for Steve’s dedication to the Greater Cincinnati Law Enforcement community,” Hils wrote on the group’s Facebook page. “I want every officer in the Tri-state…looking for his stolen bagpipes.”

Follow Kaitlin L Lange on Twitter: @kaitlin_lange

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December 28, 2016 at 02:39AM

Obama, Japan leader honor the dead of Pearl Harbor – FAKENEWS

President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid emotional tribute Tuesday to the thousands of Americans who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor 75 years ago, and said the strong relations between their two nations in the decades since prove the power of reconciliation.

“Even the deepest wounds of war can give way to friendship and lasting peace,” Obama said after welcoming his Japanese counterpart to the site of the attack that drew the United States into the Second World War, a conflict that transformed America into a global superpower.

Describing Pearl Harbor as “a sacred place,” Obama said: “Here, in so many ways, America came of age.”

Abe, the first Japanese leader to pay a formal visit to Pearl Harbor, all but apologized for the attack of Dec. 7, 1941, offering his “sincere and everlasting condolences to the souls” of the more than 2,400 Americans who lost their lives in the surprise attack.

“We must never repeat the horrors of war,” Abe said.

The prime minister also thanked the United States for helping his nation recover — and develop a democracy — in the years after World War II, which ended with the U.S. atomic bomb attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Obama visited Hiroshima in May, a trip Abe reciprocated with the ceremony at Pearl Harbor.

Before their public remarks, Obama and Abe toured the memorial above the sunken USS Arizona. They visited the “shrine room,” placing wreaths of peace lilies in front of a wall adorned with the names of American service members killed in the attack. They later dropped purple flowers into the waters of the harbor.

The leaders also had a private meeting about U.S.-Japan relations, an alliance they praised during their public remarks.

“It has helped underwrite an international order that has prevented another World War,” Obama said, and the U.S.-Japanese alliance “has never been stronger.”

Abe said the U.S. and Japan have become the kinds of allies “rarely found anywhere in history,” a development he attributed to the “power of reconciliation.”

Changes in the alliance could be imminent as Donald Trump prepares to become U.S. president on Jan. 20. During the campaign, Trump said Japan and other countries are taking advantage of the U.S. when it comes to trade deals. He also talked about demanding that Japan and other nations pay more for U.S. defense assistance.

Publicly, Obama and Abe largely laid modern politics aside in speaking of those who made the ultimate sacrifice at Pearl Harbor.

“Here in this quiet harbor,” Obama said, ” we honor those we lost, and we give thanks for all that our two nations have won — together, as friends.”

Both Obama and Abe spoke of the sacrifices made by service members during the conflict that engulfed the world less than a century ago.

The sight of the Arizona, its gutted hull at the bottom of the harbor, is “a place that brought utter silence to me,” Abe said.

At the time of the attack and over the years, some citizens in Japan described the Pearl Harbor attack as retaliation for a U.S. oil embargo on their energy-starved country. A previous Japanese prime minister made an unannounced visit to Pearl Harbor in 1951, but Abe became the country’s first leader to participate in a ceremony at the attack site.

Obama may have made a reference to current events when he said that, even at times “when hatred burns hottest,” people “must resist the urge to demonize those who are different.”

Such are among the lessons of war, he said.

“The fruits of peace always outweigh the plunder of war,” Obama said. “This is the enduring truth of this hallowed harbor.”

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December 28, 2016 at 02:25AM

Defeated by ISIS in Syria, Erdogan calls on the US – FAKENEWS

Defeated by ISIS, frightened of Russia, Turkish President Erdogan asks the US for air support to take Al-Bab.

Days after its

humiliating defeat by ISIS

in the struggle for the strategically important Syrian town of Al-Bab, Turkey has called on the US led international anti-ISIS coalition

to provide its troops who are fighting ISIS near Al-Bab with air support


The reason for this request is – as

I discussed previously

– that Al-Bab lies beyond the range of Turkish long range artillery located inside Turkey, whilst the Syrians publicly, and the Russians almost certainly privately, have warned the Turks against sending their air force there. The result is that the Turkish troops fighting ISIS near Al-Bab are critically short of artillery and air support, which was almost certainly an important reason for their recent defeat.

Turkish President Erdogan has however staked much of his prestige on capturing Al-Bab. Beyond that, he surely feels, as must many others in Turkey, that Turkey is honor bound to avenge its recent defeat by ISIS. Indeed Erdogan almost certainly sees the need to avenge Turkey’s defeat by ISIS as a personal matter.

Against that it seems that President Erdogan is unwilling to send Turkish artillery into Syria. Not only would the Russians, the Syrians and the Kurdish militia the YPG see that as a serious escalation, but given the extent of ISIS’s and the YPG’s operations in northern Syria, any Turkish artillery deployed in Syria would almost certainly need protection from Turkish ground troops, many of whom are conscripts. That might not prove popular in Turkey, where there is already concern about the extent to which Turkey is being sucked into the Syrian war.

The imperative political need to capture Al-Bab, combined with the reluctance to challenge the Syrians and the Russians in the air, or to confront ISIS and the YPG with Turkish conscripts on the ground, explains the request to the US. Whilst Turkey may fear the consequences of sending its own air force into action over Al-Bab, it probably calculates – almost certainly rightly – that the mighty US air force can operate there, and provide the Turkish army with the necessary air support, without having to fear interference from the Russians.

Whether the US will accede to this Turkish request is another matter.

Turkey’s attempt to capture Al-Bab is strongly opposed by the Syrian government and by the Kurdish militia the YPG.

The Syrian government undoubtedly sees Turkey’s attempt to capture Al-Bab as an attempt by the Turks to enlarge and consolidate the ‘safe zone’ they have been trying to create for their Jihadi proxies in northern Syria. In addition, capturing Al-Bab further secures the supply lines between Turkey and the Jihadis in Syria, including those now concentrated in Idlib, whilst Al-Bab itself is too close to Aleppo for comfort.

As for the Kurds, Turkey’s capture of Al-Bab would have the effect of keeping the areas of Syria under YPG control divided from each other, whilst opening the way for the Turkish army to advance on the YPG controlled town of Manbij.

The US will be unconcerned about any objections from the Syrian government. The Kurds are however another matter. Various US intelligence agencies having heavily invested in the YPG, which they have been trying to build up into a ‘third force’ to pit against both the Syrian government and ISIS. Calls for the US led anti ISIS coalition to provide air support to a Turkish military operation that is at least in part ultimately targeted at the YPG are bound therefore to encounter objections.

Beyond that there are also likely to be objections not just from within the US but also from some of the US’s European allies that the anti ISIS coalition of which they are also a part should not be diverted from its task of defeating ISIS in order to facilitate specific Turkish national goals.

Against that, with Russia inviting Turkey to co-sponsor a peace conference in Astana to settle the Syrian conflict, and with relations between Russia and Turkey appearing to grow ever closer, the US must calculate that simply turning down the Turkish request will make Turkey turn even more to Russia.

Irrespective of how the US responds to Turkey’s request, this episode once again highlights the essentially manipulative nature of President Erdogan’s foreign policy with respect to Russia.

Where following Russian warnings a more prudent politician in Erdogan’s position might have have backed off trying to capture Al-Bab, Erdogan has instead doubled down, ordering his army to capture Al-Bab, regardless of any concerns the Russians might have. Moreover he is prepared to call in the US to help him do it, in open defiance of the Russians, and in a way that he must know is bound to annoy them.

This probably reflects the deep feelings of resentment which President Erdogan by now almost certainly privately feels towards the Russians.

Turkey’s difficult economic situation, the hostility to him and to Turkey of much of the West, and the defeat of Turkey’s Jihadi proxies in Aleppo, means that Erdogan probably feels that he has no real choice for the moment but to draw closer to Russia. However doing so is ultimately incompatible with his anti-Assad policy in Syria, to which he remains personally deeply committed, and which he is not prepared to sacrifice. Moreover there are signs that his large Islamist base within Turkey feels the same way.

Calling in the Americans is for Erdogan and for Turkey almost certainly not just a way of solving their immediate problems in Al-Bab, but is also a way of showing to the Russians that Turkey remains independent of them, and that if the Russians push Turkey too far, it have other options.

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via Signs of the Times

December 28, 2016 at 02:22AM

Global Virome Project: A proposition to catalog more than a million viruses we know absolutely nothing about – FAKENEWS

One by one, the viruses have slipped from their hiding places in nature to threaten global populations — SARS, MERS, Zika.

In each case, scientists have scrambled to identify the viruses and to

develop vaccines

or drugs to stop their spread. After each crisis, the assessment has been the same: Countermeasures were not ready in time to help in the containment effort.

“Always too late,” said Jonna Mazet, a scientist at the University of California, Davis, who is keen to break the bugs’ winning streak. “We need to think about something different.”

Mazet is a key player in an ambitious endeavor called the

Global Virome Project

, which has proposed cataloguing nearly all of the unknown viruses lurking in nature around the world. In a nutshell, Mazet and other experts want to search out mystery threats before they find us.

The idea has been around for a while and is supported by individual scientists and organizations including the U.S. Agency for International Development, the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, HealthMap, ProMED, and the epidemic risk firm Metabiota.

The World Health Organization has launched a project called the

R&D Blueprint

, to spur development of countermeasures for the diseases the agency believes pose the most critical risk, including Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.

A group of powerful players — the World Economic Forum, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust — have rallied to form an organization called the

Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations

, with

the goal of finding ways to help fund the creation of vaccines that are badly needed but not likely to turn a profit for drug makers.

And a pilot project that has been underway for the past seven years — called


— has discovered about 1,000 new viruses.

The Global Virome Project, a nascent effort being driven by a community of interested scientists, would be an extension of this type of work. The approach, they believe, may be more critical now than ever.

A surging global population — encroaching on the natural settings where these viruses exist — is increasing the rate at which these threats emerge, said Dennis Carroll, director of the global health security and development unit at USAID.

“What we’re doing today is the same thing we were doing a decade ago, which is the same thing we were doing a decade before that. But we do it and keep expecting the result to be different,” he said.

“If we keep pursuing that approach, we will ultimately have a global catastrophe.”

Using mathematical modeling approaches, scientists have estimated there may be about 1.3 million undiscovered viruses in the world — “plus or minus,” Carroll said. Of those, about a half million may be zoonotic — viruses that can jump from an animal species to infect and spread among people, Mazet said.

Planners of the Global Virome Project have estimated it would cost about $3.4 billion to locate and gather at least preliminary information on 99 percent of those unknown viral threats. (The other 1 percent are so rare that setting out to find them too could nearly double the cost of the effort; no one seems to be pushing for that at this point.)

Carroll told STAT that the pilot study conducted for the project convinced him $3.4 billion is an overestimate, but he didn’t want to cite a new figure.

While that cost might seem steep, in some contexts it may appear less so. The Human Genome Project — the landmark project to map the human genome — is estimated to have cost $2.7 billion in 1991 dollars. Using the same gauge, the Global Virome Project would cost about $1.9 billion.

Money aside, is the project doable, or worth doing?

Mazet said that question hung in the air when groups in the effort and thought leaders in the field from around the world

gathered over the summer

at the Rockefeller Foundation’s conference center in Bellagio, Italy.

“There were … sideways glances about whether this was going to be worth it when we had our first 15-minute discussion,” she said. “By the end of the couple of days that we were there, 100 percent of the people in the room had decided to sign on and volunteer their time to help govern the effort.”

“I’m not going to say everybody said: ‘This is the most important thing we could do.’ But I’ve not heard anyone say: ‘Wow, we just don’t need that information.'”

Michael Osterholm wasn’t at the Bellagio meeting. But if the director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy had been there, he probably would have raised a skeptical hand.

“I wouldn’t sit here and say, ‘Such studies shouldn’t be done,’ but I still fail to see at this point how it’s going to better prepare the human race for the next infectious disease that jumps from animals to humans,” Osterholm said, wondering how would one hear the signal through the static so much data would create.

Others involved in the work have suggested the possibility of drawing up watch lists of viruses based on various factors. How many species can a virus infect, and is there any proof it can jump to people? How close, from an evolutionary point of view, are its natural hosts to people? How often and under what circumstances do people come into context with these animals and their viruses?

“If you’re finding it in bat guano and that’s at a bat guano farm that’s going directly on crops, we’re worried,” Mazet said.

USAID funds PREDICT, the ongoing pilot project. Now being held up as a proof-of-concept study, researchers are currently working in 30 countries to try to identify new viruses. They take samples — feces, urine, saliva — from wild and domestic animals that have contact with people, and from people themselves. Mazet said so far upward of a quarter million samples have been collected from 74,000 sources.

In the Global Virome Project, the research would be conducted in cooperation with the governments in countries in which the study would be undertaken.

Work like this inevitably raises concerns about who owns what is found and who should share the benefits if a drug or vaccine is made to protect against a virus uncovered in this search — questions that have plagued the emerging infections field in the past.

About a decade ago, Indonesia refused to let outside scientists study H5N1 bird flu viruses circulating there because it learned after the fact that an Indonesian virus was being used to create an experimental human vaccine. And the decision by Dutch researchers to patent the MERS virus when they first identified it in a specimen from the first known case soured Saudi Arabia on cooperating with international researchers.

“Intellectual property, ethics, equity — all those are the most important things to get started,” Mazet said. “If we get off on the right foot, this can be done. If we get off on the wrong foot, it can’t.”

But beyond finding lots of stuff, what could the project do?

When Mazet and other experts described the idea to researchers at a conference in Boston earlier this autumn, several well-informed listeners noted knowing a threat exists isn’t enough to prepare. After all, the world first learned about Zika in 1947, but was caught completely flat-footed when the virus started spreading in Brazil, leaving tragically deformed infants in its wake.

Likewise, the first Ebola outbreak occurred in 1976. But there was still no licensed vaccine when, in 2014, the virus ignited a massive epidemic in a part of Africa where Ebola hadn’t previously been seen to spread.

Prior knowledge doesn’t ensure preparation.

“Even if you did know something and you said, ‘Well, this might be one of the top 10 to 20 viruses,’ what are you going to do?” asked Osterholm. “Are you going to make a vaccine for it? If you are, how far are you going to take it in terms of pre-licensure studies? How are you going to do surveillance in human populations to detect the virus transmission much sooner than if it just showed up as a human disease?”

Mazet said she doesn’t believe the major driver of the work ought to be trying to figure out what emergency vaccines should be in the development pipeline.

But knowing where viruses are and how we might interact with them could help us avoid the need for vaccines


For instance, knowing that the risk of contracting viruses carried in a species of bats is highest when their offspring are young might push ecotourism operators to avoid caves at those times.

And Carroll said filling in more of the picture of the viral world will simply help scientists understand its patterns and interactions better. Right now, predictions are based on the behaviors of a few hundred known viruses, he said.

The idea, Carroll suggested, is to “let data drive a much more robust line of investment against risk, not just what it is that’s kicking the door in at the moment.”

This story was produced by


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via Signs of the Times

December 28, 2016 at 02:15AM

Berlin in Lockstep With US — Planning “Center of Defense Against Disinformation” Ahead Of Elections – FAKENEWS

censorship UKBy Claire Bernish

Germany — In response to putative chaos in the U.S. election putatively caused by “fake news” and Russian hackers — for which no evidence has yet surfaced — Germany plans to create a center of defense against disinformation in advance of its elections next year.

Der Spiegel reports that the Federal Press Office in the Chancellery will take a sizable role in creating this fake news defense center, which will roll out a dystopian “intensification of political education work,” specifically targeting those the German government feels might be impressionable to ‘fake news’ — particularly “Russian-Germans” and “Turkish-speaking people.”

Fears that “false” reports could sway elections in Germany led officials to surmise arrangements for the center “should be negotiated very quickly,” and rules for the 2017 election should be decided among the various political parties.

Plans for this center to slay false information sound eerily akin to the recent passage in the U.S. of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which included blueprints for a wholly Orwellian “Global Engagement Center” — effectively writing into law an American Ministry of Truth. As text of the new law states:

The purpose of the center shall be to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.

However, trepidation about fake news and covert but direct Russian influence over an election derive from a narrative posited by American officials — who have yet to proffer a shred of evidence backing the claims.

Although the Washington Post published an article declaring, in essence, every independent news outlet that discussed the content of WikiLeaks documents detailing corruption within the Democratic establishment had been a willing or witless employee of the Russian government — by publishing “fake news” and thus influencing the election — the once-famed media organization subsequently partly retracted its report, in part, due to lack of evidence.

But the Post — incidentally revealed in emails leaked to WikiLeaks to have colluded with Hillary Clinton’s campaign — didn’t stop there, and proceeded to publish an article asserting unnamed officials in the CIA had performed a secretive assessment which concluded The Russians had somehow hacked the U.S. election.

Again, however, the Post failed to provide even a thin shred of evidence to back the information it published, and — although the article claimed a consensus in the Intelligence Community — the FBI and others argued officials did not agree on the direct Russian interference account.

Despite a public statement dismissing the idea “fake news” could have influenced the outcome of the election, threadbare claims saturating American corporate media forced Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to initiate a plan to combat disinformation circulating on the platform.

In the near future, Facebook users will be encouraged to flag news items they feel aren’t valid, and a team of putative fact-checkers — including only decidedly left-leaning organizations like Politifact and Snopes — will then decide if the information should be branded “disputed” and suppressed in news feeds.

Germany quickly heightened the “fake news” hysteria, threatening the social media behemoth with fines of €500,000 (roughly $525,000) for each fake news item not removed within 24 hours.

Worse, as Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas alarmingly noted in an interview with Reuters, offenders could face up to five years behind bars if guilty of disseminating “malicious gossip” or “defamation,” saying,

Justice authorities must prosecute that, even on the internet. Anyone who tries to manipulate the political discussion with lies needs to be aware (of the consequences).

Now, Germany appears to be in lockstep with the U.S. with the establishment of an actual center focused solely on combating fake news — a topic that never was a problem to begin with, because, as Maas explained,

The acceptance of a post-truth age would be equivalent to political capitulation.

This McCarthyite fake news frenzy — in both the U.S. and Germany — can be facilely attributed to the political establishment’s fear of losing its long-held influential clutches. Without any evidence ostensibly fake news persuaded so much as a single American to cast their vote in favor of Donald Trump when they had considered voting Hillary Clinton, the war against disinformation seems far more akin to plan to make censorship palatable to a feckless populace.

As Jordan Shapiro penned in a Forbes editorial,

While well-meaning people run around trying to protect children (and gullible adults) from so-called ‘fake news,’ anyone in the United States who actually leans totalitarian must be ecstatic.

And proffering this false war on fake news is “an ideal first step toward squashing the First Amendment. Once the citizenry accepts the conceit that some news is ‘real’ (and, therefore, good) while other news is ‘fake’ (and, therefore, bad) they’ll voluntarily submit to censorship. Freedom of the press can easily be replaced by sanctioned propaganda.”

With what essentially constitutes a 1984-envisioned Ministry of Truth to be established in both the United States and Germany, it would appear State-sanctioned propaganda will — as in 1950s America — once again replace any semblance of an open and free press.

Claire Bernish writes for, where this article first appeared.

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via Activist Post

December 28, 2016 at 02:09AM

University Drops American History Requirement For Stunning Reason That Has Conservatives FUMING – FAKENEWS

They get an A in irony, anyway.

At a time when Americans are preparing for the end of one presidential administration and looking forward to another,  news is making the rounds that one of the country’s flagship universities – named after its first president – is dropping one requirement aimed at making sure its graduating history majors know at least something about the history of the country they live in.

And conservatives are already lashing out.

George Washington University, the school that takes its very name from the man known as the “Father of His County” has decided that its history majors don’t need a university-level grounding in the country’s storied past.

According to the school’s student newspaper, The Hatchet, the change was necessary to make the department more attractive to “take courses focused on other regions allows the program to approach history from a global perspective.”

The school will still require an introductory history course, with one option being American history, but students who score well on Advanced Placement history tests will be able to place out of that entirely, according to The College Fix. 

“I think an important change in the history major has been to make our major actually reflect the field of history the way that historians study it now,” Denver Brunsman, an associate professor of history, told The Hatchet.

“In the past – and I think our old standards reflected this – it was very common to have students take a class in American history, in European history and maybe, just maybe, something else, another part of the world.”

But some conservatives are seeing something more sinister afoot.

On “Fox & Friends” on Monday, conservative talk show host Larry Elder called GWU’s move the latest in a long line coming from liberals in academia who’ve lost sight of the real goals of a first-class education.

“According to a lot of professors, the founding fathers are a bunch of old rich white guys who owned slaves,” syndicated radio host Larry Elder said Monday on “Fox & Friends.” “As a result, they’re no longer relevant.”

“I call this the excess of indoctrination. Schools have long since passed the line from education to indoctrination, and this is one more step toward that.”

Check out Elder’s interview here.

Elder wasn’t alone. The news caused an uproar a stir on social media, too.

According to The Hatchet, the history department is under pressure to increase its enrollment because of a new funding formula the university adopted for the 2016 fiscal years.

Well, with all due respect for a school operating under budgetary constraints – and meaning no slight to other parts of the world – cutting an American history requirement for history students at an American university doesn’t seem the way to go.

Considering that the United States is currently, and despite the Obama administration’s best efforts, the most powerful country in the world, understanding how that country got to be there seems like a fair expectation for any historian. (Actually, it’s a fair expectation for any American citizen, but that’s a longer story.)

Rice farmers in the Mekong Delta, goatherds in Nepal, and llama breeders in the Andes no doubt have their own stories, and their own immortal souls, but from a practical perspective, studying the great events of the past by studying the great countries that either performed them or brought them about, seems to be a no-brainer.

And in 2016, that means America.

Every educated American should have been taught the lessons of American history long before reaching the level of what is laughably called “higher education” these days. But as the recent flare-up over the Electoral College shows, American ignorance of its most important principles is utterly abysmal.

And now a school in the nation’s capital, named (like the capital itself) after the country’s first president, is dropping its requirement that students majoring in history actual take an American history class as part of the university’s curriculum.

They get an A in irony, anyway.

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via The Point

December 28, 2016 at 02:06AM

No USSR replay: 'Russia will focus on affordable asymmetric measures' if NATO wants arms race – FAKENEWS

© Sputnik/ Alexandr Kryazhev

In his year-end press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin specifically underscored Moscow’s drive to avoid the possibility of a new nuclear arms race.

Speaking at last Friday’s year-end news conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin touched upon a number of pressing issues, including the possibility of a new arms race.

Putin said that Russia was forced to improve its nuclear weapons after the US pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in 2002.

“In Turkey, in Britain, in the Netherlands, a replacement of American tactical nuclear weapons is underway. So if anyone is instigating this arms race, it is not us,” Putin said.

He also emphasized “we will never be dragged into an arms race to spend more than we can afford.”

In an interview with Sputnik Germany, Austrian political analyst Gerhard Mangott described the active modernization of Russia’s nuclear weapons as a response to Washington’s plans to create a comprehensive missile defense system and “a military unwinding spiral.”

“During his press conference last Friday, President Putin addressed the issue of tactical nuclear weapons when speaking of the US’s unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty,” Mangott said.

Although the US deployed its tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, namely, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany, Russia has for a long time had a significant advantage in this field, according to Mangott.

“Russia justifies its large number of tactical nuclear weapons by noting the fact that NATO countries have a considerable superiority in conventional forces.”

In this regard, the question is whether Moscow and Washington will manage to reach a consensus on nuclear arms-related issues under US President Donald Trump.

Mangott said that one should tread carefully on the issue, given that Trump recently signaled his readiness to strengthen the US nuclear arsenal.

“In response to Trump claiming that the US will win a possible new arms race, Putin made it plain that Russia will not be dragged in this race,” Magnott added.

According to him, Moscow’s approach is absolutely realistic because “Russia does not have economic power in order to defeat the United States when it comes to an arms race.”

“Russia will focus on affordable asymmetric measures to maintain its defense capacity. The risk of lagging behind the US and demonstrating a clear gap in the nuclear weapons sphere is very small for Russia,” he concluded.

Commenting on his recent words on nuclear weapons, US President-elect Donald Trump said last week that the United States may enter an arms race.

“Let it be an arms race, we will outmatch them at every pass. And outlast them all,” Trump said, commenting on his Twitter post, as quoted by the MSNBC broadcaster.

Earlier, Trump said on his Twitter account that Washington should look into expanding its nuclear potential. “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” he tweeted.

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via Signs of the Times

December 28, 2016 at 02:01AM

Europe Proposes Confiscating Gold, Cash, Bitcoin, And Prepaid Cards To Fight “Terrorist Financing” – FAKENEWS

gold-confiscatedBy Claire Bernish

Following exceedingly unpopular moves by China and India, the European Commission has now proposed to tighten controls on cash and precious metals — going so far as to allow confiscations of gold and assets — of anyone even believed to be associated with terrorism or terrorists.

These confiscations and strictures around personal wealth would be part of the European Union’s “action plan against terrorist financing,” proposed following the terrorist attacks on Paris in November 2015 — except the impetus to apply the measures came when a truck plowed through a bustling Christmas market in Berlin on December 19, killing 12 people and injuring scores more.

It appears the Commission surreptitiously proposed tighter controls on cash and precious metals after the market attack but in just before the holidays — possibly to avoid an acrimonious backlash.

Reuters reports:

Under the new proposals, customs officials in European Union states can step up checks on cash and prepaid payment cards sent by post or in freight shipments.

But travelers to Europe won’t avoid the clamp down, as the report continues:

Authorities will also be able to seize cash or precious metals carried by suspect individuals entering the EU.

People carrying more than 10,000 euros [slightly over $10,450] in cash already have to declare this at customs when entering the EU. The new rules would allow authorities to seize money below that threshold ‘where there are suspicions of criminal activity,’ the EU executive commission said in a note.

(emphasis added)

Officials from the European Union claimed terrorists executed recent attacks with small budgets sometimes financed by ‘criminal organizations’ located elsewhere — thus the perfect justification to restrict cash and precious metals presented itself with the attack in Berlin.

According to Reuters, the European Commission is debating whether to implement an EU-specific “terrorist finance tracking programme” to mirror one already in place between the EU and the United States, which, Reuters notes, “has long been opposed by EU lawmakers and privacy campaigners because it allows widespread checks on consumers’ bank transfers.”

Interesting, the U.S. Department of Treasury — upon implementation of the American terrorist financial tracking plan — wrote what seems, in retrospect, as if it were trying to convince itself of the plan’s merit, stating:

This is exactly the kind of program that Americans want and expect from their government to prevent further terrorist attacks.

But the Commission didn’t stop there.

Also proposed are common rules among the 28 member nations to freeze “terrorists’ financial resources” — and confiscating the financial assets of anyone even thought to be associated with criminals.

But the European Commission’s plans get even darker from there, because — despite the ostensible targeting of terrorists and criminals — its proposals leave innocent citizens at risk of being unjustly accused and losing significant personal wealth.

To wit, anyone who wishes to make a payment of €150.00 [$156.85] or more using a prepaid card will be forced to show identification in order to complete the transaction.

Reuters explains the plans complement previous proposals following the Paris attacks seeking “to tighten controls on virtual currencies such as bitcoin, and prepaid cards, which French authorities said were used to fund the bombings.”

Another proposal proffered in this putative fight against terrorism criminalizes money laundering for the first time — particularly in regard to virtual currency — and the EU will study whether bitcoin should be more strictly regulated.

Note the undertones in these proposals say nothing of first identifying individual criminals or terrorist cells, and proceeding to address only their finances — rather, the proposals cover everyone, all citizens — intimating the true targets are the assets of ordinary Europeans, whether intentionally or as a casualty of the repressive measures.

“There are clear signs that in a very convoluted way, possession of gold for investment purposes will be made illegal,” Zero Hedge warned. “Expect capital controls to follow.”

While any one of this group of proposals would make advocates of personal liberty cringe, every one of the 28 member nations has backed the plan — it now awaits approval from the European Parliament.

“In the future, all EU member states will recognize the seizure of terrorists’ assets or the freezing of accounts in every EU country,” asserted EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova, according to Deutsche-Welle.

Accounts will be frozen within 48 hours of notice being given, Jourova explained, adding, “Loopholes must be closed.”

Overbearing and unusually restrictive, it hasn’t been made clear by any officials whether the proposed measures would be effective at shutting down terrorist networks — or even preventing a single attack.

Yet gold, precious metals, cash, bitcoin, prepaid cards over basically $150, and bank accounts, particularly if you are unusually wealthy, could now be seized by the State at a moment’s notice and without warning — if the government has so much as an inkling you’re up to no good.

Claire Bernish writes for, where this article first appeared.

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via Activist Post

December 28, 2016 at 01:54AM