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Cuban airline jet with 113 aboard crashes; 3 survivors critical

Cuban airline jet with 113 aboard crashes; 3 survivors critical | 18 May 2018 | A Boeing 737 plane operated by state airline Cubana crashed after taking off from Jose Marti International Airport in Havana on Friday and three passengers were said to have survived in critical condition, local media reported. The surviving passengers have been brought to the hospital, according to newspaper Granma. The plane lay in a farm field and appeared heavily damaged and burnt. It crashed around noon not far from the end of the runway.

Police: Man arrested after firing shots at Trump golf club

Police: Man arrested after firing shots at Trump golf club | 18 May 2018 | A man shouting about Donald Trump entered the president's south Florida golf course early Friday, draped a flag over a lobby counter and exchanged fire with police before being arrested, police said. One officer received an unspecified injury, officials said. Police were notified of an "active shooter" in the Trump-owned club about 1:30 a.m., Doral Police Chief Hernan Organvidez told news reporters. He said officers from Doral and Miami-Dade confronted him immediately and exchanged gunfire with the man who was "neutralized" and taken into custody.

Gaza: UN to launch war crimes investigation into Israeli forces' shooting of protesters

Gaza: UN to launch war crimes investigation into Israeli forces' shooting of protesters | 18 May 2018 | The UN has voted to send an international war crimes probe to Gaza after the body's leading human rights official slammed Israel's reaction to protests along the border as "wholly disproportionate". Israeli firing into Hamas-ruled Gaza killed nearly 60 Palestinians at mass border protests on Monday. "There is little evidence of any attempt to minimise casualties on Monday," Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein told a special session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The council voted through the resolution with 29 in favour and two opposed, while 14 states abstained.

Alleged Texas shooter's Facebook now-defunct page cites connection to the U.S. Marine Corps

Alleged Texas shooter's now-defunct Facebook page cites connection to the U.S. Marine Corps --Profile shot shows him wearing baseball cap with peace symbol | 18 May 2018 | The suspect in the Santa Fe high shooting has been identified by the Galveston County Sheriff's Office as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old junior at the school who shared photographs on a now-defunct Facebook page of a T-shirt that said "born to kill" and a black military uniform adorned with German nationalist symbols. His profile shot shows him in a black baseball cap with a peace symbol. Pagourtzis played on the defensive line for the school football team during his freshman year and was lauded on a school website in 2016 for playing a "huge role" in shutting down a rival team's running game. Although his Facebook page cites a connection to the U.S. Marine Corps, a USMC spokesperson said he is not affiliated with the Marines. Law enforcement units were dispatched to a home listed for his relatives on Highway 6 in Alvin...A police official at the scene told [witnesses to searched suspect's residence] that the trailer was a "stashhouse" that contained homemade pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails, [witness to search, Joshua] Varney said.

Shooter identified in Santa Fe High School rampage that killed 10

Shooter identified in Santa Fe High School rampage that killed 10 | 18 May 2018 | The suspected shooter arrested after a rampage that killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School this morning is 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the Galveston County Sheriff's Office confirmed. A second person of interest was also detained, officials said. Pagourtzis, a junior, shared photographs on a now-defunct Facebook page of a T-shirt that said "born to kill" and clothes adorned with German nationalist iconography. He played on the defensive line for the school football team during his freshman year, and was lauded on a school website in 2016 for his "huge role" in shutting down a rival team's running game.

Student burst into Texas high school class armed with assault rifle, killing 10 and rigging campus with explosives before being arrested with 'accomplice'

Student burst into Texas high school class armed with an assault rifle, killing 10 and rigging campus with explosives before being arrested along with an 'accomplice' --Law enforcement officials say as many as 10 people are dead and 10 are injured, including a police officer --Gunman, identified by law enforcement as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagoutzis, was reportedly armed with AR-15-style rifle, shotgun and pistol --Gunman was taken into custody at around 9am local time and a second person, also a male student, was detained for questioning --Officials say suspect left explosive devices inside the school building and at another site off campus | 18 May 2018 | A heavily armed student gunman...was taken into custody after entering a classroom with the word 'Surprise!' and shooting 10 people to death inside Santa Fe High School in Texas this morning. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the 17-year-old male suspect, identified by law enforcement early Friday afternoon as Dimitrios 'Dimitri' Pagourtzis, was taken into custody and a second person of interest was detained. The majority of the deceased victims were students, according to Gonzalez. Ten others were wounded, among them a police officer who was reportedly shot in the shoulder. It was reported by Chron.com, citing law reinforcement sources, that the gunman carried out the massacre with an AR-15-style rifle, a pistol and a shotgun. [Dimitri has three hands?]

Minot Air Force Base: We're also missing a machine gun

Minot Air Force Base: We're also missing a machine gun --According to Military.com, the M240 is a general-purpose, gas-operated, open-bolt machine gun that can fire at a maximum rate of 950 rounds per minute at a maximum distance of more than two miles. | 18 May 2018 | Dangerous equipment has once again gone missing at the U.S. Air Force base in North Dakota that operates aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missiles that can deliver nuclear warheads. Days after Minot Air Force Base reported that one of its squadrons protecting intercontinental ballistic missile silos had lost a 42-pound box of explosive grenade rounds while traveling on a gravel road, the same base said a machine gun turned up missing in a routine inventory of the facility's weapons. "During a standard weapons inventory at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota on 16 May, a M-240 7.62 caliber weapon was discovered missing," the base said in a short statement on Thursday. [See: Minot Air Force Base loses explosives on North Dakota road 15 May 2018.]

Minot Air Force Base loses explosives on North Dakota road

Minot Air Force Base loses explosives on North Dakota road --The security forces of the 91st Missile Wing are responsible for protecting the intercontinental ballistic missile silos that Minot Air Force Base operates across the Great Plains. | 15 May 2018 | The Air Force is offering $5,000 for leads on the whereabouts of a box of explosive grenade rounds that its personnel accidentally dropped [!?!] on a road in North Dakota while traveling between two intercontinental ballistic missile silos -- the facilities scattered across the U.S. heartland that stand ready to launch nuclear warheads at a moment's notice. Airmen from the 91st Missile Wing Security Forces team were traveling on gravel roads May 1 in North Dakota when the back hatch of their vehicle opened and a container filled with the explosive ammunition fell out, according to a statement from Minot Air Force Base. On May 11, the Air Force sent more than 100 airmen to walk the entire six-mile route where the grenades were probably lost, according to a statement from the local Mountrail County sheriff. But two weeks after it was lost, the box of explosives still hasn't been found.

Santa Fe school shooting: School says explosives possibly found in the building and off campus

Breaking: Santa Fe school shooting: School says explosives possibly found in the building and off campus | 18 May 2018 | The Santa Fe, Texas, school district has said there were "possible explosive devices" found in the Santa Fe High school and in a building off campus. The school has been evacuated after a shooter opened fire and killed at least eight people and injured several others, police said.

Texas high school shooting leaves 8-10 dead, 1 suspect in custody, 1 detained

Breaking: Texas high school shooting leaves 8-10 dead, 1 suspect in custody, 1 detained | 18 May 2018 | A Texas high school student unleashed a hail of bullets inside one of his classes early Friday morning, gunning down eight to 10 people, police said. The suspected shooter was taken into police custody and a second suspect has been detained. The suspect in custody and the suspect detained for further questioning were both students. Police officers responded to Santa Fe High School around 8 a.m. CDT after reports that a shooter opened fire inside.

New eruption at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano sends up 30,000-foot ash plume; residents told to 'shelter in place'

New eruption at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano sends up 30,000-foot ash plume; residents told to 'shelter in place' | 17 May 2018 | An explosive eruption at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano early Thursday created an enormous ash plume that prompted the closure of schools and forced residents to remain indoors as a light ash rained over the surrounding area on the eastern edge of the island. The ash plume rose as high as 30,000 feet and drifted northeast over the Big Island of Hawaii, Hawaii County officials and the U.S. Geological Survey said. "You should shelter in place if you are in the path of the ash plume," county officials said.

Poisoning fears as Japan plans to use radioactive Fukushima soil to build roads

Poisoning fears as Japan plans to use RADIOACTIVE Fukushima soil to build roads | 29 April 2018 | There are fears people could be poisoned amid plans to use radioactive soil from Fukushima to build roads. The country’s Environment Ministry wants to use the radiation-tainted material to rebuild a number of roads in the region that was devastated by a tsunami in 2011. But the proposal has sparked fury among residents over fears they could be poisoned by the soil. A briefing about the plans on Thursday saw angry scenes erupt, with locals in the city of Nihonmatsu yelling about how the roads will be "contaminated". Fears have even been raised about radiation from Fukushima entering the food chain and poisoning people. In the last two years, highly-toxic Cesium-134 -- the "fingerprint" of Fukushima -- has been found in certain locations along the US west coast.

McCarthy: There will be a vote on Goodlatte immigration bill

McCarthy: There will be a vote on Goodlatte immigration bill | 17 May 2018 | House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Thursday said there will be a vote on hard-line immigration legislation that conservatives have been pushing for. McCarthy, who controls the floor schedule, said he's already assured members of the House Freedom Caucus that the legislation from Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) will reach the House floor. "I've already told them we're going to give them a vote on Goodlatte, so I don't understand the difficulty," McCarthy said.

Trump: Report that Obama FBI spied on campaign could be 'bigger than Watergate'

Trump: Report that Obama FBI spied on campaign could be 'bigger than Watergate' | 17 May 2018 | President Trump on Thursday touted a report saying the FBI under former President Obama spied on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential race, saying that the revelation could be "bigger than Watergate." "Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI 'SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN IMBEDDED INFORMANT,'" the president tweeted in reference to a National Review report published last week. "Andrew McCarthy says, 'There's probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.' If so, this is bigger than Watergate!"

Senate confirms Haspel to head CIA

Senate confirms Haspel to head CIA | 17 May 2018 | The Senate on Thursday confirmed Gina Haspel to lead the CIA despite engrained opposition over her involvement in the George W. Bush-era torture program. Senators voted 54-45 to confirm Haspel, making her the first female director of the spy agency. GOP Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) sided with most Democrats in voting against Haspel. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and red- and purple-state Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Bill Nelson (Fla.) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) supported the nominee.

Deafening Silence: Western Media Silent on Ukraine's Russian News Agency Raid

Deafening Silence: Western Media Silent on Ukraine's Russian News Agency Raid | 16 May 2018 | Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) raided the RIA Novosti news agency's Kiev offices on Tuesday and detained the outlet's local bureau chief, Kirill Vyshinsky, for acts of "treason." The homes of RIA Novosti's employees were also searched by security forces on May 15, according to reports. Russia's Foreign Ministry quickly condemned the raids on RIA Novosti's facilities in Ukraine, and the detention of Mr. Vyshinsky, with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin telling reporters today that Moscow has sent "two notes of protest" to Kiev over the matter.

Giuliani: Mueller's team told Trump's lawyers they can't indict a president

Giuliani: Mueller's team told Trump's lawyers they can't indict a president | 16 May 2018 | Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has informed President Donald Trump's attorneys that they have concluded that they cannot indict a sitting president, according to the President's lawyer. "All they get to do is write a report," Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani told CNN. "They can't indict. At least they acknowledged that to us after some battling, they acknowledged that to us." That conclusion is likely based on longstanding Justice Department guidelines. It is not about any assessment of the evidence Mueller's team has compiled.

Senate votes to save net neutrality rules

Senate votes to save net neutrality rules | 16 May 2018 | The Senate on Wednesday voted to reinstate the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) net neutrality rules, passing a bill that has little chance of advancing in the House but offers net neutrality supporters and Democrats a political rallying point for the midterm elections. Democrats were able to force Wednesday's vote using an obscure legislative tool known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA). CRA bills allow Congress, with a majority vote in each chamber and the president's signature, to overturn recent agency moves. Three Republicans -- Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and John Kennedy (La.) -- joined the 49 Senate Democrats to pass the bill 52-47.

Putin: Russian cruise missile-armed ships to remain in Syrian waters to prevent terrorist comeback

Putin: Russian cruise missile-armed ships to remain in Syrian waters to prevent terrorist comeback | 16 May 2018 | Russia will keep its warships - armed with Kalibr cruise missiles - in the Mediterranean to thwart the possible re-emergence of terrorist groups in Syria, President Vladimir Putin said, hailing the navy's operations overseas. Russia's standing naval task force, which includes warships equipped with Kalibr-class cruise missiles, will remain off Syrian shores on permanent deployment "given the persistent threat of terrorist incursions" in the country, Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. Russia's naval presence in the Mediterranean has become a game-changer in combatting terrorism in Syria, Putin said, adding that "missile strikes as well as efficient action by our naval aircraft inflicted serious damage to terrorists."

N Korea: No interest in summit based on 'one-sided' demands

N Korea: No interest in summit based on 'one-sided' demands | 16 May 2018 | North Korea has said it has no interest in meeting the US if their summit is based on "one-sided" demands to give up nuclear weapons. First vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan said that if the US "corners us and unilaterally demands we give up nuclear weapons we will no longer have an interest in talks and will have to reconsider whether we will accept the upcoming DPRK-US summit". The US-North Korea summit, a historic meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un, is scheduled for 12 June in Singapore. But it now looks to be under threat, with North Korea apparently losing its patience. On Tuesday night, the North announced it was scrapping high-level talks with South Korea, blaming the South's military drills with the US, which began a few days ago.

N. Korea may reconsider Trump-Kim summit if US seeks surrender instead of talks

N. Korea may reconsider Trump-Kim summit if US seeks surrender instead of talks | 16 May 2018 | Pyongyang is not interested in any negotiations that envisage only unilateral denuclearization without guarantees North Korea won't be left totally defenseless like Libya in case of aggression, deputy foreign minister has said. Criticizing Washington's demands for unilateral concessions and unconditional "nuclear abandonment," North Korea's first vice minister of foreign affairs Kim Kye-gwan recalled the eventual fate of Libya and said such negotiations style is unacceptable for Pyongyang. Deputy FM's remarks came a day after Pyongyang's decision to cancel negotiations triggered by Max Thunder 2018 military exercises between the South and the US, which are viewed by the North as a rehearsal for the invasion of the DPRK and a provocation amid warming inter-Korean ties. "This training is aimed at...and is a deliberate challenge to the Panmunjom declaration and is a deliberate military provocation," KCNA wrote on Wednesday.

Authorities say 'intentional detonation' triggered explosion at California medical building

Authorities say 'intentional detonation' triggered explosion at California medical building | 15 May 2018 | An explosion at a medical building in Orange County, Calif., on Tuesday was caused by an "intentional detonation," federal investigators told NBC Los Angeles. One person died and at least three were injured after the explosion at the Aliso Viejo medical building. The explosion led children at a nearby daycare to flee and a bomb squad was at the scene, authorities told NBC. Bomb squad investigators and FBI agents are looking into what caused the blast but authorities said there was no lingering threat, according to NBC.

Role players hired for Massachusetts-New England homeland response force National Guard training exercise

Role players hired for Massachusetts-New England homeland response force National Guard training exercise | 14 May 2018 | A company named Human Domain Solutions (HDS), LLC, has hired a troupe of role players to participate in this weeks National Guard training exercise which simulates a response to a disaster which could occur at a future time and date in the New England area this Tuesday and Wednesday (May 15-16). The rather unusual casting call for "role players" was posted on Work4hands.com, where details of the exercise and employment requirements were explained...According to the literature: "Victims will be rescued, decontaminated (simulated), and medically treated (simulated), 8 times per day."

Satellite images show North Korea has begun to dismantle its nuclear test site just weeks before historic Trump-Kim summit in Singapore

Satellite images show North Korea has begun to dismantle its nuclear test site just weeks before historic Trump-Kim summit in Singapore | 14 May 2018 | North Korea has reportedly begun to dismantle a key nuclear test site just weeks before ruler Kim Jong-un is due to meet President Donald Trump for a historic summit. Satellite images examined by American researchers appear to show building demolitions, removal of railways, and overturned mining carts at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea. The researchers are relying on commercial satellite imagery from May 7, according to the 38 North web site. The site analyzed images which show significant changes that have been made at the location which are consistent with decommissioning.

DPRK Proposes Holding High-Level Talks on May 16 to South Korea

DPRK Proposes Holding High-Level Talks on May 16 to South Korea | 15 May 2018 | North Korea has proposed South Korean government holding a high-level meeting on May 16 at Panmunjom, local media reported. A South Korean Unification Ministry official reported that North Korea had proposed holding a high-level meeting on May 16, adding that South Korea was in talks on final details of the meeting, according to Reuters. North Korea has promised to send a 29-member delegation headed by the chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, Yonhap reported.

Mueller may have a conflict - and it leads directly to a Russian oligarch

Mueller may have a conflict - and it leads directly to a Russian oligarch | 14 May 2018 | Special counsel Robert Mueller has withstood relentless political attacks, many distorting his record of distinguished government service. But there's one episode even Mueller's former law enforcement comrades -- and independent ethicists -- acknowledge raises legitimate legal issues and a possible conflict of interest in his overseeing the Russia election probe. In 2009, when Mueller ran the FBI, the bureau asked Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska to spend millions of his own dollars funding an FBI-supervised operation to rescue a retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, captured in Iran while working for the CIA in 2007. Yes, that's the same Deripaska who has surfaced in Mueller's current investigation and who was recently sanctioned by the Trump administration...One agent who helped court Deripaska was Andrew McCabe, the recently fired FBI deputy director who played a seminal role starting the Trump-Russia case, multiple sources confirmed.

Melania Trump undergoes kidney surgery at Walter Reed medical center

Melania Trump undergoes kidney surgery at Walter Reed medical center | 14 May 2018 | First lady Melania Trump underwent kidney surgery Monday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington, DC, according to a statement from her office. Trump had been experiencing an issue with her kidney that her office described as benign but requiring medical attention. "This morning, first lady Melania Trump underwent an embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition. The procedure was successful, and there were no complications," the first lady's communications director, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement.

Experimental vaccine approved for use 'against' Ebola virus in Congo

Experimental vaccine approved for use 'against' Ebola virus in Congo | 14 May 2018 | At least 19 deaths have been tied to the current outbreak of Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province. There were 39 confirmed and suspected cases identified between April 4 and May 13, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO has received approval to use an experimental Ebola vaccine, using a "ring vaccination" approach, around the epicenter of the oubreak in the Congo. The idea is to vaccinate people who know someone who has been infected and the people who know those people, in an expanding "ring" around the infections.

Lethal pig virus similar to Sars could jump to humans

Lethal pig virus similar to Sars could jump to humans | 15 May 2018 | A lethal pig virus that shows similarities to Sars could jump to humans. Porcine deltacoronavirus causes acute diarrhoea and vomiting in infected pigs and can be fatal. New research suggests the pathogen readily jumps between the cells of different species, including humans. First detected in China in 2012, it shares characteristics with Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and Mers (Middle East respiratory syndrome).

Drones rain tear gas down on protesters as 35,000 Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces on the Gaza border

Drones rain tear gas down on protesters as 35,000 Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces on the Gaza border --Israeli snipers have killed scores of protesters near the Gaza border in Jabalia --Drones rained down the irritant leaving 1,200 injured from non-ballistic weapons, including tear gas | 14 May 2018 | Israeli drones rained tear gas on Palestinian protesters today, sending groups running for safety in a day that saw dozens killed and at least 2,400 injured. Early this morning Israeli military dropped leaflets and fired tear gas into Gaza - warning Palestinians to stay away from the border. However protesters were undeterred and gathered for the penultimate day of the six-week-long demonstration...At the same time more than 35,000 protesters rallied by the Gaza border as tear gas and sniper fire rained down.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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