President Donald Trump said relations with Russia have never been worse and warned Moscow to “get ready” for a U.S. missile strike on Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack.
Eurocontrol, an air traffic agency in Europe, asked airlines to apply caution on flights to the eastern Mediterranean region because of possible air strikes in Syria over the next 72 hours.
South Korea President Moon Jae-in said he expected a “big step” toward denuclearization of the peninsula during a unprecedented summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
House Speaker Paul Ryan won’t seek re-election in November, according to people familiar with his plans, dealing a blow to congressional Republicans already facing a possible Democratic takeover of the House in the November elections and setting off a GOP leadership battle.
Governor Phil Murphy’s $50 million pitch for free community college excludes most New Jersey households in favor of the poorest students, the majority of whom already receive government aid. His spending proposal offers little relief to those attending four-year schools in a state with the nation’s fourth-priciest public-university system.
A key measure of U.S. inflation accelerated to the highest in a year as a drag from mobile-phone costs faded, bearing out the Federal Reserve’s forecast for a pickup in price gains.
Trade talks between the world’s biggest economies broke down last week after the Trump administration demanded that China curtail support for high-technology industries, a person familiar with the situation said, signaling that a resolution may be some ways off.
It’s common now, in Venezuela, turning to veterinarians and pet stores because pharmacists rarely have the goods, and black-market peddlers charge exorbitant rates for items of questionable provenance. So people swallow antibiotics made for dogs and painkillers made for cats.
Bank of America Corp. plans to stop lending to companies that make assault-style guns used for non-military purposes.
Luxury homes aren’t selling as fast as they used to. And their owners are paying a price for the slowness. Last year, 72 percent of the most-expensive properties in the U.S. took longer than 180 days to sell, a sharp jump from 2015, when 59 percent of homes lingered for that long.
AP Top Stories
An Algerian military plane carrying soldiers and their families crashed soon after takeoff Wednesday into a field in northern Algeria, killing 257 people in what appeared to be the North African nations worst-ever plane crash.
The Broward County School Board on Tuesday said it wouldn’t participate in a state program that allows certain staff members to carry firearms. That district includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were shot and killed in February.
President Donald Trump said on Monday he is not ruling out missile strikes against the government of President Bashar al-Assad in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria. If he does take military action, he’ll be doing so without constitutionally required approval by Congress.
Theresa May has given her strongest signal yet that Britain would support President Donald Trump in military action against the Syrian regime as the two leaders resolved “not to allow the use of chemical weapons to continue”.
The World Health Organization said around 500 people had been treated for “signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals” after a suspected poison gas attack in a Syrian rebel enclave just before it fell.
Puerto Rico will receive $18.5 billion from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help rebuild its battered housing stock and infrastructure after September’s Hurricane Maria, the island’s governor and HUD officials said on Tuesday.
Thousands of students across Bangladesh staged protests and sit-ins Monday after clashes at the country’s top university left at least 100 people injured.
Australia and New Zealand warned China on Tuesday against building any military base in the South Pacific, following media reports that the Chinese have proposed a permanent stronghold in Vanuatu.
U.S. consumer prices rose 2.4 percent in March from a year earlier, the fastest annual pace in 12 months.
Protesters have put at least 16 corpses in front of the headquarters of the UN in the Central African Republic (CAR). They called for an end to violence, saying the corpses were of civilians killed on Tuesday in clashes between UN troops and armed groups in a neighborhood of the capital, Bangui.
More than 600,000 girls in Tanzania have started receiving vaccines to prevent cervical cancer. Girls aged between nine and 14 are being targeted to protect them from developing the illness at an early age.
Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has ordered the immediate release of all political prisoners in the country.
A court will review a Michigan health club’s policy – unwritten and largely withheld from consumers – to allow men into women’s restrooms and locker rooms under a “judgment-free zone.”
Women who begin a chemically induced abortion but then have second thoughts now have hope of saving their unborn children thanks to a new study showing a great success rate in reversing the early effects of abortafacients through hormone treatments, a discovery that could save some 30,000 babies per year.
The Briefing — Wednesday, April 11, 2018
1) As Zuckerberg goes to Capitol Hill, Facebook faces fallout from misuse of user data
New York Times (Scott Shane) –
What Mark Zuckerberg Will Be Grilled On at the Congressional Hearings
2) Could government regulation of social media lead to a crackdown on religious speech?
Wall Street Journal (Chris Wilson) –
The GOP Needs a Free Facebook
3) Will outrage over data leaks lead to a change in users’ behavior? So far, the answer is “no”
New York Times (Andrew Ross Sorkin) –
Failed by Facebook, We’ll Return to the Scene of the Crime. We Always Do.
4) Facebook’s imperative above all other imperatives: Simply connect
Wall Street Journal (Deepa Seetharaman) –
Facebook Memo Reveals Angst Over Growth Culture’s Consequences
New York Times (Sheera Frenkel and Nellie Bowles) –
Facebook Employees in an Uproar Over Executive’s Leaked Memo
5) Washington DC vs. San Francisco: America’s new intellectual centers collide
Bloomberg (Tyler Cowen) –
Two American Power Centers Are About to Clash
On Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before a joint session of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees. When it was Sen. Ted Cruz’s turn to ask questions, the Texas Republican grilled Zuckerberg on Facebook’s bias against conservatives.
View Short Video
“Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech.” —Benjamin Franklin (1722)
Headlines – 4/11/2018
Palestinians set off bomb against IDF vehicle in Gaza; army retaliates
Amid Heightened Gaza Border Tensions, Hamas Reportedly Training Fighters to Kidnap IDF Soldiers
Reform movement head calls on Israel to prevent harm to Gaza protesters
Fatah: Hamas using Gaza protests to score political points
Traditional antisemitism is back, global study finds
Yad Vashem announces survivors to light Holocaust Remembrance Day torches
Liberal Jewish groups join opposition to Trump appointees John Bolton and Mike Pompeo
Franklin Graham, Religious Freedom Advocates Urge Senate to Confirm Pompeo as Sec. of State
Tehran, Jerusalem trade threats over attack in Syria
No more a shadow war: Confrontation between Israel and Iran intensifies
Liberman: We cannot allow an Iranian ‘chokehold’ in Syria
Israel TV: Monday’s strike on Syria targeted air base Iran was building
Israeli military on high alert amid Iran threats to avenge Syria strike
Iranian death toll in Syria strike attributed to Israel rises to 7, including top drone commander
Moscow calls for meeting with Israeli ambassador after T4 Airbase strike
Moscow censures Israel’s condemnation of ‘fake’ chemical gas attack – As bilateral tensions mount, Russian embassy slams Israel’s ‘hasty conclusion’ that Assad regime was behind deadly Douma raid
Certain UNSC members lying to create pretext for aggression on Syria: Damascus
Tucker Carlson: U.S. Bombing Syria Could Lead to Genocide of Christians – called into question whether or not Assad was responsible for the chemical attack, claiming it was not in his interest
Conflict displaces almost 700,000 Syrians in deadly first months of 2018
Syria chemical attack shows the world cannot stop another Holocaust, Yad Vashem official says
Yad Vashem: Syria shows mechanisms developed after Holocaust to prevent crimes against humanity are failing
Yad Vashem Calls for International Action in Syria After Deadly Chemical Attack
Divided UN falters in response to alleged Syria chemical attack
You’ll Never Guess Who’s Heading the UN’s Conference on Disarmament – Syria – They have experience using the chemical weapons they’ll now be in charge of banning
Saudi envoy to US: Syria chemical attack is continuation of Assad, Iran crimes
Chemical weapons watchdog to send team to Syria
Erdogan vows perpetrators of Syria massacre will pay ‘heavy price’
Will Macron enforce his ‘red line’ over Syria chemical attack?
May is in dangerous territory. This must be about Syrian lives, not Britain’s status
Theresa May to chair security meeting over Syrian gas attack
Mohammed bin Salman: Saudi Arabia could take part in military response in Syria
Trump and allies mull possible joint response in Syria
US readies response to Syria attacks after UN clash with Russia
Trump cancels South America trip in sign Syria military strike imminent
Syrian troops on alert amid fear of US strike after gas attack
French report: Syrians evacuating military bases
Netanyahu reportedly expects Trump to launch attack on Syria
Prepared for a conflict with Russia, Israel is pushing Trump to take action in Syria
Israel has misjudged Russia in Syria. The consequences could be grave
Eurocontrol cautions airlines about possible air strikes into Syria in next 72 hours
Syrian troops on alert amid fear of US strike after gas attack
Russian envoy to Lebanon: Any U.S. missiles fired at Syria will be shot down
Syria chemical attack: US and Russia fail to reach UN agreement as tensions rise
Russia vetoes US proposal for independent probe into alleged chemical attacks in Syria
How Russian Military Support Is Secretly Airlifted to Syria’s Assad
Syria ‘chemical attack’: Russia warns US against military action
As Trump considers military action on Syria, Pentagon worries it could put Russian soldiers in the crosshairs
Senior Russian lawmaker: U.S. strike on Syria could trigger direct military clash with Russia
Russia, fearing retaliation, jamming U.S. drones in Syria, officials say
China Military Tells Russia ‘We’ve Come to Support You’ Against U.S.
Facing trade war with U.S., China’s Xi renews vow to open markets, import more
Zuckerberg says he’s unaware of Facebook pushback for liberal groups after conservative targeting
Zuckerberg apologizes, promises reform as senators grill him over Facebook’s failings
Hardly ‘friends’: Zuckerberg fends off senators on privacy
Facebook introduces new ‘Data Abuse Program’ that pays to find apps misusing data
Zuckerberg: Facebook will predict hate speech content within the next decade
Zuckerberg Struggles to Answer Sasse’s Plea to Define Hate Speech; ‘This Is a Really Hard Question’
Zuckerberg deflects senators’ Facebook questions, and gets $3 billion for the effort
Dubai to launch digital vehicle number plates
6.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Ovalle, Chile
Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft
Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft
Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft
Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft
Aoba volcano on Vanuatu erupts to 16,000ft
Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 14,000ft
Agung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft
Los Angeles painting city streets white in bid to combat climate change
Dozens of dead geese plunge from the sky into an Idaho parking lot in ‘bizarre’ case
FDA warns azithromycin “Z-pack” antibiotics could lead to deadly heart rhythms for some
Weinstein sexual assault prosecution would be ‘the case of the century’ – so stakes high for DA
Megachurch pastor Bill Hybels retires, says investigation that cleared him took its toll
Pope Francis and The Anatomy of a False Gospel!
Bethel medical conference raises concerns
Unite Around Apostleships: Kris Vallotton’s Direct Revelation from God – Minimize Doctrine Maximize People and Manifestations
Justin Bieber Leads Millions of Followers in Worship With No. 1 Christian Song ‘Reckless Love’
|Saudi air defense forces intercept missile over Riyadh…
Posted: 11 Apr 2018 10:33 AM PDT
At least three loud blasts were heard and three clouds of smoke could be seen in the sky above the center of Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh on Wednesday, according to Reuters witnesses. Saudi Arabia’s air defense forces intercepted at least three ballistic missiles fired at Saudi cities by Yemen’s Houthis, who claimed to have targeted the defense ministry in Riyadh and a Saudi Aramco distribution facility in Najran on Wednesday.
Three rockets were intercepted in the capital and the southern cities of Jizan and Najran, according to state media and the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The attacks mark the fourth time in five months that missiles have flown over Riyadh, as the Houthis step up efforts to demonstrate they can reach the Saudi capital, threatening to escalate a regional rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. READ MORE
|China Tears Down Crosses Again
Posted: 11 Apr 2018 05:16 AM PDT
Authorities in China’s Henan province have reportedly torn down crosses atop several churches after claims that the structures themselves were built illegally. “The parishes were illegally built without permission from the government,” an official told China’s state-run Global Times newspaper. “So we demolished their crosses.” A representative with the Ethnic and Religious Bureau of Yichuan county, a small town south of Henan’s capital, said “two or three” crosses were pulled down this year.
“Activities in the illegally-built parishes will be prohibited,” the official told the newspaper. “Other legal Christian activities here will remain open.” This latest incident comes as Chinese Christians fear a new crackdown. From 2014 to 2016, more than 1,500 crosses were torn down from churches in one Chinese province. Last week, China’s government banned online retailers from selling the Bible. READ MORE
|WAR DRUMS: Russia Warns It Will shoot Down US Missiles Fired At Syria, Attack Launchpads
Posted: 11 Apr 2018 05:05 AM PDT
In an interview, Moscow’s envoy to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin stated that any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and that the sources from which they came would be attacked. In addition, Kremlin backers such as Igor Korotchenko, a Russian military scholar and member of the Defense Ministry’s public advisory council, stated that the chain of events could lead to a crisis that is as dangerous as the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and that the subsequent events could potentially “provoke World War III.”
According to the interview (below) Zaspikin, Moscow’s envoy to Lebanon, stressed that Russian forces will confront any US aggression on Syria, by intercepting the missiles and striking their launch pads. However, Zaspykin added that a clash “should be ruled out” and that Russia was “ready to hold negotiations.” The escalation comes amidst a new round of disputes between Russia and The United States after no new resolutions could be agreed upon at a recent United Nations Security Council, which was held on Tuesday. Both the United States and Russia put forth draft resolutions and both nations vetoed each others proposal. READ MORE
|WAR DRUMS: Trump warns Russia to prepare for missile strike in Syria!
Posted: 11 Apr 2018 04:55 AM PDT
The United States will take military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad over his use of chemical weapons on civilians despite a warning from Moscow that it will repel and retaliate against the attack, President Donald Trump said on Wednesday. Writing on Twitter, Trump acknowledged the Russian threat to shoot down US missiles and to target their launching pads— likely US warships— issued by Moscow’s envoy to Lebanon earlier in the day. “Russia vows to shoot down any and all
missiles fired at Syria,” Trump said. “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’” “You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” he continued. European aviation authorities warned airlines this morning to avoid the airspace around Syria for the next 72 hours, suggesting a strike is imminent. Meanwhile, US media reported that Trump ordered another US warship to the Syrian coast in preparation for the assault. READ MORE
|WAR DRUMS: Israel warns “If Iran acts against Israel, we’ll topple Assad”
Posted: 11 Apr 2018 04:47 AM PDT
“If the Iranians act against Israel from Syrian territory, Syrian President Bashar Assad and his regime will be those that pay the price.” That is the clear message from senior officials in the Israeli defense establishment and IDF after the top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called a strike on the Syrian T-4 air base “Israel’s crime” and said the alleged act would “not remain without response.” B
“Assad’s regime and Assad himself will disappear from the map and the world if the Iranians do try to harm Israel or its interests from Syrian territory,” said senior officials in the defense establishment. “Our recommendation to Iran is that it does not try to act, because Israel is determined to continue on this issue to the very end,” the officials said. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday that Israel will take all necessary steps to prevent Iran from establishing a permanent military base in Syria. READ MORE
|WAR DRUMS: US-led coalition warplanes ‘seen flying over Iraqi border’ as nerve gas counter attack looms
Posted: 11 Apr 2018 04:38 AM PDT
A heavy flight of US-led coalition warplanes have reportedly been seen flying over the Iraqi border as a nerve gas counter attack looms. Civilian planes were said to have been ordered to clear the airspace over Syria by the US military for at least 48 hours as flight radar shows aircraft diverting. European air traffic controllers issued a “rapid alert” for airlines in the Eastern Mediterranean over the possibility of air strikes into Syria within the next 72 hours.
The European Aviation Security Agency’s (EASA) warning of possible launches of air-to-ground strikes or cruise missiles comes as the US, Britain, France and allies weigh up retaliatory measures to a suspected chemical weapon attack in Syria. Nafiseh Kohnavard, a reporter for the BBC, tweeted: “Airlines that are still using Syria’s airspace have received a request to change their corridors for the next 48 hours. READ MORE
|WAR DRUMS: Syria Missile Strike ‘within hours’: Eastern Mediterranean on Alert for ‘possible launch’
Posted: 10 Apr 2018 03:33 PM PDT
British and French forces could launch an imminent missile strike on Syria within a matter of hours, aviation monitors have revealed. A coalition force could fire “air-to-ground or cruise missiles” in the wake of a horrifying chemical attack on innocent civilians in Syria last week. Aviation experts AirLive have reported this evening a “rapid alert notification” warning aircraft in the eastern Mediterranean to
be wary of a sudden missile strike. AirLive said the alert was issued by Eurocontrol this evening for a “possible launch … within the next 72 hours”. AirLive said: “According to reports, British forces are mobilizing at their bases in Cyprus and Rafale fighter jets could takeoff from St Dizier airbase in France for possible strikes against Syria.” READ MORE
|DEVELOPING: Mystery ‘trumpet sounds from sky’ in Hawaii baffle residents
Posted: 10 Apr 2018 01:24 PM PDT
Snippins News has posted online a video that contains sounds that are described as possibly being from “tidal waves, methane explosions, underground earthquakes, or shifting sand dunes.” Or not. “Although it’s probable that these ‘weird apocalyptic’ booming sounds seemingly coming from the skies have an earthly origin,
USGS scientist David Hill says that it’s also possible some of these noises originate from above,” the report explains. PJ Media describes it as a “video recording of eerie trumpet sounds from Hawaii.”Some, the posting explains, are speculating “that the end times and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ are imminent.” “Jesus Christ is coming soon. I say it is a trumpet,” said “Believer John Seventeen” on YouTube. READ MORE
|Will ‘Christian Speech’ Be Allowed in the New Facebook World?
Posted: 10 Apr 2018 01:10 PM PDT
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is on Capitol Hill Tuesday responding to questions about the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the data of 87 million users was gathered to build a psychological profile for political gain. Over the next two days, a group of broadcasters wants Congress to ask the billionaire about allegations Facebook routinely blocks images and content with a conservative message. Zuckerberg has long prided himself on building a global online community. In a 2017 message, the tech
genius told users he was committed to building a platform that will “bring humanity together” to reframe the world into a better place. “In times like these, the most important thing we at Facebook can do is develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us,” Zuckerberg said. But some want to ask Mr. Zuckerberg if his new global community includes them. READ MORE
|WAR DRUMS: Russia jams U.S. drones in Syria
Posted: 10 Apr 2018 01:05 PM PDT
The Russian military has been jamming some U.S. military drones operating in the skies over Syria, seriously affecting American military operations, according to four U.S. officials. The Russians began jamming some smaller U.S. drones several weeks ago, the officials said, after a series of suspected chemical weapons attacks on civilians in rebel-held eastern Ghouta. The Russian military was concerned the U.S. military would retaliate for the attacks and began jamming the GPS systems of drones operating
in the area, the officials explained. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., reacted to the news of Russian scrambling Tuesday by saying “Russia wants to undermine our interests at every turn.” “It is insane to think that Russia is anything but an adversary,” said Sasse. Jamming, which means blocking or scrambling a drone’s reception of a signal from a GPS satellite, can be uncomplicated, according to Dr. Todd Humphreys, READ MORE
|Zuckerberg Hearings Could Lead To Government Regulation Of The Internet
Posted: 10 Apr 2018 12:53 PM PDT
Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado fears congressional hearings with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg could lead to further government regulation of the internet. Gardner thinks politicians will take advantage of the Facebook situation and use it as a way of increasing their power over a free and open internet.
“I think it treads on some very tenuous ground,” Gardner said on “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday. “There may be some people who wish to look at the opportunity to have regulation of the internet. Regulation over speech. Regulation over content. I’m very concerned about that and I think that’s the alarming part about the direction that questions could take this afternoon.” READ MORE
|Justin Bieber Leads 98 Million Instagram Followers in Worship
Posted: 10 Apr 2018 12:48 PM PDT
Singer/songwriter Justin Bieber sang a heartfelt rendition of the worship song “Reckless Love” on his Instagram story Monday night. “Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God. Oh, it chases me down, fights till I’m found, leaves the 99 … There’s no shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up, running after me,” Bieber sang. The song was originally written by Corey Asbury, a worship pastor for Bethel Music.
Yet, its message of God’s deep love for his creation was enough to make Bieber ditch his usual pop tunes for a moment of worship. This is the latest example of how the singer has turned his large social media platform into a pulpit. A source close to him says his next album, which is expected to be released late this year or in early 2019, is going to focus on his faith. READ MORE
|Atheists Outraged Over Bible Included in POW/MIA Display
Posted: 10 Apr 2018 12:28 PM PDT
Navy officials are investigating complaints about the placement of a Bible in a public display about POW/MIAs at the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, the service’s largest overseas medical facility. The investigation, opened Friday (April 6), follows the filing of a complaint by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit established to promote religious freedom in the U.S. military.
The complaint was brought on behalf of 26 military families on the Japanese island of Okinawa, the majority of them Christian, according to the foundation. They hold that the religiosity of the display violates the Constitution, in particular the First Amendment clause that prohibits government establishment of religion. READ MORE
|WAR DRUMS: U.S. Navy Destroyer Armed With Tomahawks Arrives Off Syrian Coast, “Harassed” By Russian Warplanes
Posted: 10 Apr 2018 11:13 AM PDT
As the situation in Syria continues to escalate, guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook has weighed anchor off Syrian territorial waters, and is reportedly being “harassed” by low-flying Russian warplanes, which have buzzed the “Arleigh Burke” class warship at least four times according to CNN Turk. It is claimed that the US Donald Cook-named destroyer left Cyprus ‘s Larnaca port and landed near Syrian territorial waters. It was claimed that the missile destroyer named “Arleigh Burke” class Donald Cook
(DDG-75) reached Tallus 100 kilometers and had 60 Tomahawk fuses on board. -CNN Turk (translated) . A Navy source confirmed the deployment with the Washington Examiner, who said that the guided-missile-destroyer had just completed a port call in Cyprus, while the Pentagon reportedly draws up plans for how to deal with the situation. U.S. military planners have drawn up more than one option for possible military action against Syria, including a strike similar to last year’s attack in which 59 sea-launched cruise missiles inflicted heavy damage on a Syrian Air Force airfield in Homs. READ MORE
|Trump Presidency Under Seige
Posted: 10 Apr 2018 11:03 AM PDT
Donald Trump lashed out at hs own Justice Department on Tuesday morning, following FBI raids on his longtime personal lawyer’s offices, home and hotel. ‘Attorney–client privilege is dead!’ Trump tweeted. ‘A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!’ The White House has yet to formulate a strategy for dealing with the fallout of an apparent criminal investigation of Michael Cohen by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Trump, according to one White House official who spoke with DailyMail.com on Monday
night, is most angry about what he thought was an impenetrable barrier: the decades-old secrecy between Cohen and himself. His morning television habits typically revolve around the ‘Fox & Friends’ broadcast, and Tuesday morning the program replayed portions of a Monday night interview with famed Harvard lawyer Alan Dershowitz – a Democratic lion and Hillary Clinton voter who has rushed to Trump’s side on technical questions of law. READ MORE
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