Sunday, December 31, 2017

Red Cross and Vatican helped thousands of Nazis to escape

SS officers at Auschwitz in 1944. From left: Richard Baer, who became the commandant of Auschwitz in May 1944, Josef Mengele, commandant of Birkenau Josef Kramer, hidden, and the former commandant of Auschwitz Rudolf Höss, foreground; the man on the right is unidentified. Photograph: AP

Second world war

Red Cross and Vatican helped thousands of Nazis to escape

Research shows how travel documents ended up in hands of the likes of Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele and Klaus Barbie in the postwar chaos

Dalya Alberge

Wed 25 May ‘11 10.31 EDT First published on Wed 25 May ‘11 10.31 EDT

The Red Cross and the Vatican both helped thousands of Nazi war criminals and collaborators to escape after the second world war, according to a book that pulls together evidence from unpublished documents.

The Red Cross has previously acknowledged that its efforts to help refugees were used by Nazis because administrators were overwhelmed, but the research suggests the numbers were much higher than thought.

Gerald Steinacher, a research fellow at Harvard University, was given access to thousands of internal documents in the archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The documents include Red Cross travel documents issued mistakenly to Nazis in the postwar chaos.

They throw light on how and why mass murderers such as Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele and Klaus Barbie and thousands of others evaded capture by the allies.

By comparing lists of wanted war criminals to travel documents, Steinacher says Britain and Canada alone inadvertently took in around 8,000 former Waffen-SS members in 1947, many on the basis of valid documents issued mistakenly.

The documents – which are discussed in Steinacher's book Nazis on the Run: How Hitler's henchmen fled justice – offer a significant insight into Vatican thinking, particularly, because its own archives beyond 1939 are still closed. The Vatican has consistently refused to comment.

Steinacher believes the Vatican's help was based on a hoped-for revival of European Christianity and dread of the Soviet Union. But through the Vatican Refugee Commission, war criminals were knowingly provided with false identities.

The Red Cross, overwhelmed by millions of refugees, relied substantially on Vatican references and the often cursory Allied military checks in issuing travel papers, known as 10.100s.

It believed it was primarily helping innocent refugees although correspondence between Red Cross delegations in Genoa, Rome and Geneva shows it was aware Nazis were getting through.

"Although the ICRC has publicly apologised, its action went well beyond helping a few people," said Steinacher.

Steinacher says the documents indicate that the Red Cross, mostly in Rome or Genoa, issued at least 120,000 of the 10.100s, and that 90% of ex-Nazis fled via Italy, mostly to Spain, and North and South America – notably Argentina.

Former SS members often mixed with genuine refugees and presented themselves as stateless ethnic Germans to gain transit papers. Jews trying to get to Palestine via Italy were sometimes smuggled over the border with escaping Nazis.

Steinacher says that individual Red Cross delegations issued war criminals with 10.100s "out of sympathy for individuals … political attitude, or simply because they were overburdened". Stolen documents were also used to whisk Nazis to safety. He said: "They were really in a dilemma. It was difficult. It wanted to get rid of the job. Nobody wanted to do it."

The Red Cross refused to comment directly on Steinacher's findings but the organisation says on its website: "The ICRC has previously deplored the fact that Eichmann and other Nazi criminals misused its travel documents to cover their tracks."

Red Cross sets up 'women's safety area' in Berlin for NYE

By Chris Burns and Susannah Cullinane, CNN
Updated 9:05 AM ET, Sun December 31, 2017

Women's safe zones created in Berlin for NYE 01:16

Berlin (CNN)New Year's Eve celebrations in Berlin will feature a special safe area for women who feel harassed.
The Red Cross has set up a tent where women can get help if they feel unsafe on the Eberstrasse, just south of the Brandenberg Gate, the focal point of New Year's festivities in the German capital.

The Red Cross said the "resting tent" would be beside another tent offering first aid treatment.
Spokesman Ronald Riege said both tents were available to anyone -- not just women -- but that there would be a small sign saying "Women's Safety Area" at their entrance.

The tents would be staffed by trained paramedics, he told CNN.

Riege said the Red Cross had a total of six first aid tents around the fan mile but that the tents south of the Brandenburg gate was the only location designated as ''women's safety area.''
A total of 140 Red Cross personnel were being deployed for the event, including paramedics and ambulance staff, he said.
A police spokeswoman said no officers will be stationed at the Red Cross' "women's safety area" unless called on but that they would be guarding the entire event.
The chairman of the German Police Union told the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung newspaper that the women's safety area sent a "disastrous message" that suggested there were "secure and insecure zones."
"It would be the end of equality, freedom of movement and self-determination," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Extra security

New Year's Eve celebrations in the German city of Cologne in 2015 were marred by a spate of mob sex assaults that were blamed on migrants and fueled a political firestorm over immigration in Germany.
Extra security measures were put in place for Berlin's 2016 celebrations and this year an extra 1,600 police are to be deployed in the city.
Concrete barricades and fences will also be erected around the ''Fan Mile'' west of Brandenburg Gate, where hundreds of thousands of revelers are expected. No large bags or cases will be allowed inside.

Chris Burns reported from Berlin and Susannah Cullinane wrote from Auckland.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

DHS Announces Program to ILLEGALLY Scan Our Faces

DHS Announces Program to ILLEGALLY Scan Our Faces—And They’re Forcing Us to Pay For It

Both Congress and the Department of Homeland Security have never justified the biometric scanners at airports that could cost Americans $1 billion in 2018.

By Rachel Blevins - December 28, 2017

As TSA agents continue to prove their incompetence in the “War on Terror,” the Department of Homeland Security is now allocating $1 billion in taxpayer funding to create a facial recognition program that will illegally scan Americans’ faces.

A study conducted by Georgetown Law’s Center for Privacy and Technology looked at the biometric scanners that are creating an inventory of the faces of individuals leaving the country at airports across the United States. While they are only at certain major airports right now, the full implementation of these scanners could cost Americans up to $1 billion.

The study noted that while the “9/11 Response and Biometric Exit Account” created by Congress has the funds for the program, “neither Congress nor DHS has ever justified the need for the program.”

In addition to the fact that Congress has never provided a reason why the system is needed in the U.S., the study claimed that DHS has “repeatedly questioned ‘the additional value biometric air exit would provide’ compared with the status quo and the ‘overall value and cost of a biometric air exit capability,’ even as it has worked to build it.”

Not only is a government agency pouring $1 billion into a program to increase the country’s security measures even though it lacks full confidence, and has no evidence that the program it is implementing will do so, there is also the fact that the program requires Americans to give up their civil liberties, and it has never been explicitly authorized by the government. As the researchers from Georgetown Law noted:

“DHS’ biometric exit program also stands on shaky legal ground. Congress has repeatedly ordered the collection of biometrics from foreign nationals at the border, but has never clearly authorized the border collection of biometrics from American citizens using face recognition technology. Without explicit authorization, DHS should not be scanning the faces of Americans as they depart on international flights—but DHS is doing it anyway. DHS also is failing to comply with a federal law requiring it to conduct a rulemaking process to implement the airport face scanning program—a process that DHS has not even started.”

The study also found that the biometric scanners used by DHS are not reliable, and often make mistakes. In fact, “according to DHS’ own data, DHS’ face recognition systems erroneously reject as many as 1 in 25 travelers using valid credentials.” This means that at the country’s busiest airports, more than 1,500 travelers could be wrongfully denied boarding in a single day.

As The Free Thought Project has reported, while the biometric scanners are currently located at the major airports in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, New York City and the District of Columbia, DHS has made it clear that they plan to roll this program out nationwide by January 2018.

Sens. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, criticized the privacy implications, and called for Homeland Security to halt the facial recognition scanning program in a letter to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielson:

“We request that DHS stop the expansion of this program, and provide Congress with its explicit statutory authority to use and expand a biometric exit program on U.S. citizens. If there is no specific authorization, then we request an explanation for why DHS believes it has the authority to proceed without congressional approval. Additionally, we ask that you address a number of our privacy concerns with the program.”

Markey told The Hill that DHS should never have started testing and implementing the biometric scanners without first receiving congressional approval, and the United States Congress should take the time to weigh the implications of the program before handing the department a blank check.

“When American citizens travel by air internationally, they should not have to choose between privacy and security,” Markey said. “The implementation of the Department of Homeland Security’s facial recognition scanning program for passengers leaving the country raises a number of concerns around accuracy, transparency and basic necessity.”

Italy Is A Failed State! Parliament Has Been Dissolved! More Austerity C...

Sunday shops, sport and bars … inside the battle to create our modern weekend

The Observer

Newly released confidential papers reveal divisions in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet over radical change to trading laws

Jamie Doward

Sat 30 Dec ‘17 19.05 EST

On 3 March 1986, BM Brownhill wrote to the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, expressing disquiet over government plans to allow shops to open on Sundays. “I am a Christian and believe that Sunday is a day of rest,” Brownhill explained.

Brownhill (gender unknown) was not alone in this view.

MJ Wall argued that “the lifting of restrictions on Sunday trading is a further erosion of family life since more women who are married will be tempted to work on Sunday, just the day that they are needed to be with their families.”

And MS Hursey feared that “the rhythm of life for everybody, Christian and non-Christian, will also suffer adversely and irreparably if the day of quiet and rest is lost.”

A confidential internal briefing for Thatcher, drawn up by a No 10 policy adviser, Hartley Booth, which has just been published by the National Archives, reveals that Downing Street was deluged on a daily basis with a “foot high” pile of letters opposing Sunday trading during a tumultuous debate that was to lead to a revolution in leisure habits.

Booth, who was charged with sifting through the 32,543 letters on the subject sent to Downing Street, was himself opposed to Sunday opening, fretting that the government’s “inflexible” commitment to relax the law – a manifesto pledge – was damaging Thatcher’s political reputation.

TECHTOPIA: The truth about Smart Cities, 5G and The "Earth Grid"

Is There A Sunday☀️Law In The Pipeline? Ted Wilson, GC SDA president Wilson believes... .

DIET, DISCERNMENT, & DECISION Appetite, Meds, & The Mind - Elvin Bridges

Electroquakes Confirmed, Next Solar Cycle | S0 News Dec.30.2017

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Kaine's son gets probation for role in protest of Trump rally

By Brett Samuels - 12/28/17 01:20 PM EST

© Greg Nash

Sen. Tim Kaine’s (D-Va.) youngest son was sentenced Thursday to a year of probation and ordered to pay $236 in fines for his role in a counterprotest to a pro-Trump rally earlier this year in Minnesota.

Linwood “Woody” Kaine, 25, was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but stayed 86 days. Kaine had already served the remaining four days, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

A spokeswoman for the senator’s office told the newspaper that "Woody" Kaine “behaved peacefully” at the rally, and did not face charges for disruptive activity.

Kaine and other counterprotesters showed up at a pro-Trump rally in March at the Minnesota state capitol in Saint Paul. Kaine's father was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in the 2016 election.

Counterprotesters used smoke bombs, mace and fireworks during the rally, the local attorney general said.

According to The Richmond Times-Dispatch's report, a smoke bomb was set off inside the capitol and several protesters were arrested.

Kaine was charged in May with a misdemeanor for fleeing on foot, concealing identity in a public place and obstructing the legal process. A document reviewed by CNN indicated Kaine fled from a police officer and that it took several officers to detain him.

Two of the misdemeanor charges were dismissed earlier this month, and Kaine pleaded guilty to the obstruction charge, according to The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Kingdom Of Heaven (A MUST SEE!!!)

Romanizing America through Illegal Immigration

"These . . . confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."
Hebrews 11:13

By Pastor Ralph Ovadal, April 10, 2006

A shortened, edited version of this article appeared in the British Church Newspaper, May 12, 2006.

In recent weeks, the advocates of the "rights" of illegal Mexican immigrants, accompanied by and even led by Roman Catholic priests, have staged rallies, protests, and parades all across the United States of America. For instance, on March 25, 500,000 people took to the streets of Los Angeles, flying Mexican flags and chanting slogans such as "Viva Mexico!" Another 500,000 marched in Dallas on April 9, waving Mexican flags with "Our Lady of Guadalupe" emblazoned in the center. This outburst of protest was a response to several immigration and border reform measures working their way through the U.S. Congress. Due to the efforts of the Mexican government, the criminal neglect of our U.S. government, and a porous U.S.-Mexican border, there are now somewhere between eleven million and twenty million illegal immigrants in the United States of America.

I have been talking about this situation for years on my "Heart of the Matter" program because of the social, political, and most importantly, spiritual affects that the alien invasion is having on America. It is unfortunate that very few people have been concerned with the religious aspect of this issue. Over the past few years, I have spent time pointing out that the Roman Catholic Church is aiding and abetting the criminal invasion of America from Mexico because the illegals are almost all Roman Catholics. That church/state which maintains political, diplomatic relationships with the UN, the EU, the Russian Federation, the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine, and 174 nations around the globe is working both legally and criminally on behalf of a movement, the goal of which is to bring as many Mexicans into America as possible so as to eventually take over a large chunk of our nation for Mexico. This multifaceted movement, made up of radical organizations such as La Raza (The Race), Aztlan, and MEChA, is called Reconquista (Reconquest).

The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church has a stake in Reconquista. The pope and his henchmen are looking to turn America, founded and still a Protestant country, into a Roman Catholic country. But space requires that I narrow this discourse down to providing documentation of that just-made claim, which to some people makes me not only a "Catholic basher" but also a "white supremacist." That's what Alex Koppleman, a columnist for the Drexel University magazine Dragonfire, called me in a March 30, 2006 column in which he included this statement from an article I wrote some time ago:
. . . the Roman Catholic Church has its own plan of reconquest. She is determined to reestablish the power she once exercised over the civil governments and populations of the world. The pope, along with the Reconquista cadre, views South, Central, and North Americas as being one "from Argentina to Alaska." On several occasions, Pope John Paul II has "consecrated" this "America" to "Our Lady of Guadalupe." The Mexican people streaming across America's porous southern border are Roman Catholics. It is in the interest of the Vatican to establish as many Roman Catholics as possible in the United States of America. The pope and his partners in spiritual crime care little how the job is done—whether illegally or legally—just so it is done. (1)

That is a statement I stand by and which stands on solid ground. The Roman Catholic Church is determined to turn Protestant America into a Roman Catholic country, and her best bet to do that is to bring as many Catholics into our nation as possible.

To that end, the Justice for Immigrants campaign was founded by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Twenty other Catholic organizations have joined together with the bishops in a massive educational, media, and political campaign to block immigration reform in America. On its website, the Justice for Immigrants campaign lists the bishops' "criteria for the reform of the U.S. immigration system, including . . . abandonment of the border 'blockade' enforcement strategy." (2) Plainly speaking, the goal is to eliminate America's security along our border with Mexico! The U.S. bishops together with their Mexican counterparts, of course with papal consent and encouragement, have determined to use Catholic treasure, influence, and manpower to erase America's border! This is not surprising to the discerning Christian. Sovereign nations have always been a hindrance to the pope's effective exercise of his office as "father of kings, governor of the world and Vicar of Christ." (3)

The bishops and their comrades in crime are sparing no expense or effort to influence every strata and institution of American culture. Reading the material which the Justice for Immigrants campaign has produced for distribution to school children is reminiscent of the propaganda used by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network for the same purpose!

Mark D. Franken, executive director of Migration and Refugee Services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, recently told the Washington Times that all of America's 197 Catholic dioceses "are in some way backing the campaign, with more than 70 being particularly active." (4) As Mr. Franken points out, Catholic advocacy on behalf of the illegal alien movement is highly organized, and the troops are getting their marching orders from the top. Consider this from the Catholic Zenit News Services: "Representatives of the Holy See and of the Catholic Church in Mexico are opposing a U.S. bill on immigrants, considering it a violation of human rights. . . . On Sunday, the California Catholic Conference of Bishops appealed for full migratory reform, which will include the legalization earned by illegal workers with their effort." (5) So now criminals "earn" the right to have their criminality ignored by taking a job and getting paid for it. The lack of general outrage over such Romanist remarks cannot help but remind one of Revelation 18:23—"by thy sorceries were all nations deceived."

On January 22, 2003, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in concert with the Catholic Bishops of Mexico, issued Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope—A Pastoral Letter Concerning Migration. This lengthy, authoritative document contains statement after brazen statement endorsing and encouraging illegal immigration from Mexico. The bishops include a glossary of terms in which they differentiate between an immigrant; a legal immigrant; a refugee; and a migrant, one who freely moves back and forth across national borders. The bishops make it clear throughout the document that their concern is for "undocumented" immigrants and migrants—the illegals.

NWO and the United States: illegal aliens and the Vatican’s infiltration...

Sheila Jackson Lee’s Long History Of Being An Entitled ‘Queen’

Benny Johnson
Reporter At Large

4:42 PM 12/27/2017

Sheila Jackson Lee has been a congresswoman for over 20 years. However, she acts far more like an arrogant monarch than a humble servant of the people.

The Texas Democrat has regularly abused her power and position to demand and receive special treatment from private companies, demean and harass subordinates, and reap untold benefits of being “The Queen.

When her abusive behavior comes to light, Jackson Lee often claims her opponents are racist.

Jackson Lee’s most recent abuse of power comes at the expense of teacher Jean-Marie Simon who was allegedly bumped from her first class seat when Jackson-Lee demanded it. Simon was given a voucher for her flight by United and moved to the economy section. On her way to the back of the plane, Simon saw Jackson Lee occupying her seat.

In a Facebook post, Simon says she spoke with a congressman who said Jackson-Lee regularly poaches seats from other passengers.

“I was the last passenger on the plane. A Texas congressman, a nice guy, sat down next to me. He said was glad I had made it on the flight. I showed him my boarding pass with my seat, 1A, printed on it. He said, ‘You know what happened, right? Do you know who’s in your seat?’ I said no. He told me that it was Jackson Lee, a fellow U.S. congresswoman who regularly does this, that this was the third time he personally had watched her bump a passenger.”

In response to the accusation, Jackson-Lee called Simon racist, saying the teacher caused a stir “because I was an African American woman.”

For which of those works do ye stone me?

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.

But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

I and my Father are one.

Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods

If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God.

If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,

And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.

And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.

And many believed on him there.

John 10:22-42

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Final Movements

Pope Francis General Audience 2017-12-27

Evidence points to Bitcoin being an NSA-engineered psyop to roll out one-world digital currency

Sunday, December 10, 2017 by: Mike Adams

(Natural News) I’m going to assume the readers who make it to this article are well informed enough that I don’t have to go into the history of the global money changers and their desire for a one world currency. (If you don’t yet understand the goal of the globalist banking empire and the coming engineered collapse of the fiat currency system, you’re already about 5,000 posts behind the curve.)

With that as a starting point, it’s now becoming increasingly evident that Bitcoin may be a creation of the NSA and was rolled out as a “normalization” experiment to get the public familiar with digital currency. Once this is established, the world’s fiat currencies will be obliterated in an engineered debt collapse (see below for the sequence of events), then replaced with a government approved cryptocurrency with tracking of all transactions and digital wallets by the world’s western governments.
NSA mathematicians detailed “digital cash” two decades ago

What evidence supports this notion? First, take a look at this document entitled, “How to make a mint: The cryptography of anonymous electronic cash.” This document, released in 1997 — yes, twenty years ago — detailed the overall structure and function of Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

Who authored the document? Try not to be shocked when you learn it was authored by “mathematical cryptographers at the National Security Agency’s Office of Information Security Research and Technology.”

The NSA, in other words, detailed key elements of Bitcoin long before Bitcoin ever came into existence. Much of the Bitcoin protocol is detailed in this document, including signature authentication techniques, eliminating cryptocoin counterfeits through transaction authentication and several features that support anonymity and untraceability of transactions. The document even outlines the heightened risk of money laundering that’s easily accomplished with cryptocurrencies. It also describes “secure hashing” to be “both one-way and collision-free.”

Although Bitcoin adds mining and a shared, peer-to-peer blockchain transaction authentication system to this structure, it’s clear that the NSA was researching cryptocurrencies long before everyday users had ever heard of the term. Note, too, that the name of the person credited with founding Bitcoin is Satoshi Nakamoto, who is reputed to have reserved one million Bitcoins for himself. Millions of posts and online threads discuss the possible identity of Satishi Nakamoto, and some posts even claim the NSA has identified Satoshi. However, another likely explanation is that Satoshi Nakamoto is the NSA, which means he is either working for the NSA is is a sock puppet character created by the NSA for the purpose of this whole grand experiment.
The NSA also wrote the crypto hash used by Bitcoin to secure all transactions

On top of the fact that the NSA authored a technical paper on cryptocurrency long before the arrival of Bitcoin, the agency is also the creator of the SHA-256 hash upon which every Bitcoin transaction in the world depends. As The Hacker News explains. “The integrity of Bitcoin depends on a hash function called SHA-256, which was designed by the NSA and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).” THN also adds:

“If you assume that the NSA did something to SHA-256, which no outside researcher has detected, what you get is the ability, with credible and detectable action, they would be able to forge transactions. The really scary thing is somebody finds a way to find collisions in SHA-256 really fast without brute-forcing it or using lots of hardware and then they take control of the network.” Cryptography researcher Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins University said.

In other words, if the SHA-256 hash, which was created by the NSA, actually has a backdoor method for cracking the encryption, it would mean the NSA could steal everybody’s Bitcoins whenever it wants. (Call it “Zero Day.”) That same article, written by Mohit Kumar, mysteriously concludes, “Even today it’s too early to come to conclusions about Bitcoin. Possibly it was designed from day one as a tool to help maintain control of the money supplies of the world.”

And with that statement, Kumar has indeed stumbled upon the bigger goal in all this: To seize control over the world money supply as the fiat currency system crumbles and is replaced with a one-world digital currency controlled by globalists.
Think cryptography is bulletproof? Think again…

Lest you think that the cryptography of cryptocurrency is secure and bulletproof, consider this article from The Hacker News: Researchers Crack 1024-bit RSA Encryption in GnuPG Crypto Library, which states, “The attack allows an attacker to extract the secret crypto key from a system by analyzing the pattern of memory utilization or the electromagnetic outputs of the device that are emitted during the decryption process.”

Note, importantly, that this is a 1024-bit encryption system. The same technique is also said to be able to crack 2048-bit encryption. In fact, encryption layers are cracked on a daily basis by clever hackers. Some of those encryption layers are powering various cryptocurrencies right now. Unless you are an extremely high-level mathematician, there’s no way you can know for sure whether any crypto currency is truly non-hackable.

In fact, every cryptocurrency becomes obsolete with the invention of large-scale quantum computing. Once China manages to build a working 256-bit quantum computer, it can effectively steal all the Bitcoins in the world (plus steal most national secrets and commit other global mayhem at will).



A draft of the World Health Organization's (WHO) 2018 International Classification of Diseases includes “gaming disorder.” The new disorder, however, doesn't mean playing video games is terrible for you or qualifies as a mental illness on its own. Some research indicates positive benefits of playing video games.

The gaming disorder is included in a section on “disorders due to addictive behaviors.” To warrant a diagnosis of the new disorder, excessive behavior should be evident for a period of at least a year. But playing lots of video games doesn't necessarily mean a person has the disorder—the behavior has to significantly impair personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other aspects of your life.

Children’s learning, health and social skills could be positively impacted by playing video games, according to a review of research published by the American Psychological Association. Even video games that have violence may have some benefits. People who play “action” video games, many of which are deemed violent, could improve cognitive skills such as spatial navigation, reasoning, memory and perception. One study found that “shooter” video games improved spatial skills just as well as academic courses specifically designed to enhance those same skills.

A teenager plays a video game at a trade-show booth during the "Intel Friday Night Game" organized by the Electronic Sports League at Tonhalle on November 13, 2009, in Munich.GETTY

Those findings should not replace other studies delivering a more wary message about video games. “Important research has already been conducted for decades on the negative effects of gaming, including addiction, depression and aggression, and we are certainly not suggesting that this should be ignored,” said lead author Isabela Granic, developmental psychopathology professor at the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, in a 2013 statementwhen the review was released. “However, to understand the impact of video games on children’s and adolescents’ development, a more balanced perspective is needed.”

Another study published in 2013 in the Journal of Adolescent Research found that playing video games can enhance motivation, cognitive effort, and increased efforts over long periods of time, as many games require players to reach multiple levels for an ultimate long-term goal. These benefits are similar to what children gain from sports, arts, clubs and hobbies, reported Forbes. University of California, Irvine, researchers found in 2015 that playing 3-D video games can boost memory formation—adding to the literature that shows those types of games can improve hand-eye coordination and reaction time.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Poland Bans Sunday Trading: Law and Justice Remembers the Sabbath

By Natalie Dabkowski | December 26, 2017

With the American market in the midst of the consumerist joys of the holiday season, other countries have paused for a moment of reflection on domestic consumer spending habits. In Poland, the conservative Law and Justice government has taken a decidedly regulatory approach.

On Sunday, November 24, the government approved a law to ban Sunday trading—the sale of merchandise on Sundays—within the next three years. If the law passes parliament, trading will be banned on two Sundays per month in 2018, increasing to three in 2019, and phased out altogether by 2020. The ban, however, does accommodate several exceptions. It does not pertain to gas stations, train stations, seaports, pharmacies, flower shops, and souvenir shops, and allowances will be made for the holidays. There will be seven trade Sundays permitted during the year, including two leading up to Christmas and one preceding Easter.

While this ban may sound strange to American ears, Poland would actually join eight other EU countries with regulatory legislation pertaining to Sunday shopping habits. Recently, increased demographic and work-related pressures have led many Europeans, and Poles specifically, to welcome Sunday trade bans as a way to improve quality of life.

For the Ban

In Poland, the trading ban has been a long time coming. It was preceded by a holiday trade ban in 2007, then formally proposed by Solidarnosc Trade Union in 2016, finally circulating across parliament and coming to fruition in a gradual plan with the potential to positively impact various aspects of Polish life.

For one, the government argues the Sunday ban will generate more free time for families, which in conjunction with the 500 zloty stipend for mothers—around $140—may contribute to a greater emphasis on family and the much needed population growth that comes with it. With a fertility rate of 1.32, anticipated labor shortages, and potential economic stagnation,Poland is in significant need of an increased birth rate, and it is through initiatives like the trading ban that the government hopes to cultivate Polish society.

Fertility aside, the ban is aligned with Polish values. For one, it appeals to the Christian understanding of Sunday as a day of rest, and in a country where 96% of people identify as Catholic and over 57% actively engage with the religion, this falls in line with traditional concepts of work-life balance. Furthermore, pursuant to values like equality and respect, the ban may serve to lift stigma towards low-income workers by allowing laborers and retail workers greater individual freedom and a reprieve from an overwhelming work week.

An Economic Question

These societal benefits aside, the ban’s economic impact is its primary point of contention. Opponents of the ban claim that it will have detrimental impacts on businesses; however,, it is expected that the ban will have little net economic benefit, while substantially improving quality of life for Polish citizens.

First, the ban provides openings for smaller businesses and local enterprises by removing much of the large retail competition on Sundays, consistent with a broader Polish economic strategy of revitalizing domestic businesses. Furthermore, with greater leisure time available, restaurants, bakeries and entertainment venues may see a spike in clientele and an increase in profits—Sunday losses experienced by other types of businesses are expected to be covered by increased purchasing during weekdays. The ban is also predicted to have no significant negative impact on the labor market.

Expectations of a net neutral effect are supported by historic implementation of the ban in other countries. In Hungary, for example, a Sunday trade ban implemented in 2015 left the economy largely undisturbed. Popular spending habits shifted to other days of the week, retail sales did not waver, and there were no major layoffs. Despite the absence of detrimental economic impact, the ban was lifted this year in conjunction with a decline in popular support. Hungary aside, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and several other European countries implement Sunday trade bans to varying degrees, compensating for any side effects of regulation with other incentives and extended weekday business hours.

Of course, the Sunday trade ban is not without its flaws. It will likely disadvantage Polish businesses operating on the Polish-German border, generate a dent in tourism revenues which largely occur during the weekend, punish larger companies, lead to some layoffs, and paint a less favorable picture for foreign investment. Regulating Sunday trade will thus be a challenge, requiring careful mediation and gradual implementation on the part of the government. However, this ban holds both a cultural mandate and broad societal impact, giving it great potential to improve the Polish quality of life and rejuvenate family life.

Image Credit: Radosław Czarnecki/Wikimedia Commons

Respecting Sunday rest, large UK toy retailer was closed on Christmas Eve

Catholic World News

December 26, 2017

» Continue to this story on Daily Mail

CWN Editor's Note: “I have given the concept of one day in seven as a day of rest a lot of thought and I am not making an exception just because it is Christmas Eve,” said Gary Grant, founder of the Entertainer toy store chain. “Keeping the Sabbath holy is one of the Ten Commandments, so I feel I shouldn’t be opening the doors.”

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.

This Georgetown freshman is 63, and attending the school that enslaved her ancestors

By Kate Sullivan, CNN

Updated 8:15 AM EST, Mon December 25, 2017

(CNN)Mélisande Short-Colomb sits cross-legged on the purple comforter draped over her twin bed. She lives in the dorms here at Georgetown University, where she just wrapped up her first semester as a freshman.

Short-Colomb is 63. But that's not all that makes her different from her student peers.

Last year, she learned about her ancestors' ties to the university when she was contacted by a genealogist tracing the descendants of slaves that Jesuits at Georgetown owned almost two centuries ago. She had been working in New Orleans as a chef, but when Georgetown offered her and all of the descendants of the slaves a special legacy admission status, she decided to become a student again.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Cashless Businesses Becoming More Common

Ursula Anderman teaches New York pedestrians how to use Apple Pay, as part of a Visa/Chase promotion, Oct. 20, 2014 in New York. (Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)

By Cathy Burke | Monday, 25 Dec 2017 09:08 PM

The almighty dollar might be losing its muscle.

Cashless businesses are no longer an isolated phenomenon at a slew of small businesses and eateries in neighborhoods across New York City, The New York Times reported.

And in Chicago, the Salvation Army is considering accepting credit or debit cards next year, as it continues to look for ways to keep up with cashless trends, an NBC News affiliate reported.

"As we move to a cashless society, that gets harder; and we need an innovative way to make it just as seamless," John List, chairman of the economics department at the University of Chicago, who has studied charitable giving, told NBC Chicago.

Credit card companies that make a commission on every transaction applaud the trend — with Visa recently offering merchants a $10,000 reward for restricting customers to credit cards, the Times reported.

At Dos Toros, a Mexican chain in the process of going cashless at its 13 New York City locations, the co-chief executive Leo Kremer told the Times cash took up precious time of the general manager of the location, who spent a couple of hours a day counting cash drawers, taking them away from other restaurant work.

"There's something fundamentally demoralizing when you have the leader of the restaurant back in the office, counting, instead of out on the floor," he told the Times.

The Federal Reserve's website says there is no federal law compelling a business "to accept currency or coins as payment for goods or services," the Times reported.

Pope laments 'winds of war' blowing around the world

Associated Press •  December 25, 2017

Pope Francis, flanked by Master of Ceremonies Bishop Guido Marini, waves to faithful during the Urbi et Orbi (Latin for ' to the city and to the world' ) Christmas' day blessing from the main balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Lamenting "the winds of war" blowing around the world, Pope Francis in his traditional Christmas message on Monday called for a two-state solution to find peace in the Middle East and prayed that confrontation can be overcome on the Korean Peninsula.

The pope took particular aim at areas of global tension where President Donald Trump is playing a critical role. Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital has ignited new violence in the Middle East, while confrontation with North Korea over its nuclear tests has escalated tensions in Asia.

"The winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline," the pope said in his traditional "Urbi et Orbi" ("to the city and to the world") Christmas message and blessing from the central balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square. About 50,000 faithful packed the square.

As Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, the pope depicted suffering reflected "in the faces of little children," citing war and other tensions in the Middle East and Africa.

He asked for peace for Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and prayed "that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two states within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders."

Francis also prayed for an end to confrontation on the Korean Peninsula and that "mutual trust may increase."

The Christmas message has become an occasion for popes to survey suffering in the world and press for solutions. Francis urged that "our hearts not be closed" as the inns of Bethlehem were to Mary and Joseph before Jesus' birth.

The pontiff lamented that Syria remains "marked by war," that Iraq has been "wounded and torn" by fighting over the last 15 years and that ongoing conflict in Yemen "has been largely forgotten."

Recalling his recent trip to Bangladesh and Myanmar, the pope urged the international community to work "to ensure that the dignity of the minority groups present in the region is adequately protected."

The pontiff also recalled children who risk their lives at the hands of human traffickers to migrate to safer lands, who suffer because their parents don't have work or who are forced into labor themselves or to fight as child soldiers.

Babylon is fallen: SDA worldliness and apostasy (2)

United Airlines took my seat and gave it to a politician: woman

By Tamar Lapin

December 24, 2017 | 12:14pm

Jean-Marie Simon (left) and U.S. Rep Sheila Jackson LeeGetty Images

A teacher from Washington, D.C., accused United Airlines of booting her from her first class seat in order to give it to a congresswoman, she wrote in an account that the politician has since contested.

Jean-Marie Simon was at Bush International in Houston on her way home from a trip to Guatemala last week, when she witnessed U.S. Rep Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) get ushered onto the plane before everyone else lined up, she wrote on Facebook.

When it came time for her to board the Dec. 18 flight, Simon said the gate attendant told her that her ticket was not in the system.

“A second United agent confirmed that I had no seat, not just the first class seat I had purchased, but no seat, period. I didn’t even have a reservation anymore,” she wrote.

When she was asked if she’d canceled her reservation, she said she hadn’t, she just wanted to get home.

“I said I wanted my seat, that I had paid a lot of miles for that seat, and that it was United’s responsibility to undo the seat assignment and return it to me, the person who had paid for it,” she wrote.

The United attendant told her that had changed her reservation about an hour earlier and that another passenger had been upgraded to her seat.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Pope says saga of Holy Family echoes in today’s migrants, refugees

Dec 24, 2017 EDITOR

Pope Francis kisses a statue of Baby Jesus as he celebrates the Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017. (Credit: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino.)

ROME - According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are today 65.6 million people who’ve been forcibly driven from their homes, including 22.5 million refugees and 10 million stateless persons. According to the same data, 20 people somewhere in the world are forcibly displaced every minute of every day.

One could say that Pope Francis had all those people in mind on Christmas Eve, as he preached a homily extolling the Holy Family as an exemplar for today’s burgeoning numbers of people who find themselves unwillingly on the move.

“We see the tracks of entire families forced to set out in our own day,” Francis said, describing the Gospel story of Jesus and Mary being forced to set out for Bethlehem, where Mary would eventually give birth to the baby Jesus.

“We see the tracks of millions of persons who do not choose to go away, but driven from their land, leave behind their dear ones,” the pope said. “In many cases this departure is filled with hope, hope for the future; yet for many others this departure can only have one name: survival. Surviving the Herods of today, who, to impose their power and increase their wealth, see no problem in shedding innocent blood.”

The pontiff’s reference was to King Herod, who, according to the New Testament narrative, saw the Christ child as a threat to his power and ordered every first-born child slain.

“Mary and Joseph, for whom there was no room, are the first to embrace the One who comes to give all of us our document of citizenship,” the pope said, using language that has particular political resonance in Italy at the moment.

Just days ago, the Italian senate failed to adopt a measure that would have granted the children of immigrants and refugees citizenship by birth, rather than compelling them to apply at the age of 18 through a complicated and expensive bureaucratic procedure.

Francis and the Italian Catholic church backed the ius soli measure, and Italians no doubt will hear his use of the phrase “document of citizenship” as an echo of that debate.

Christmas Eve often finds Francis in a somber mood, reflecting on what he regards as the injustices and shadows of the contemporary world. That seemed the case again Sunday, as he used plaintive language to make the connection between the Gospel story of Christ’s birth and the realities of the day.

“The faith we proclaim tonight makes us see God present in all those situations where we think he is absent,” the pope said. “He is present in the unwelcomed visitor, often unrecognizable, who walks through our cities and our neighborhoods, who travels on our buses and knocks on our doors.”

In the teeth of those realities, Francis called for a “new social imagination,” one that welcomes newcomers rather than ostracizing them.

“This same faith impels us to make space for a new social imagination, and not to be afraid of experiencing new forms of relationship, in which none have to feel that there is no room for them on this earth,” Francis said.

“Christmas is a time for turning the power of fear into the power of charity, into power for a new imagination of charity. The charity that does not grow accustomed to injustice, as if it were something natural, but that has the courage, amid tensions and conflicts, to make itself a ‘house of bread,’ a land of hospitality,” he said.

Francis then quoted St. Pope John Paul II’s famous maxim, “Be not afraid!”

The pope argued that Christians are obliged by their origins to show hospitality for today’s displaced persons, including immigrants and refugees.

“In this Child, God invites us to be messengers of hope,” he said. “He invites us to become sentinels for all those bowed down by the despair born of encountering so many closed doors. In this child, God makes us agents of his hospitality.”

Francis closed by praying that the story of Christ’s birth will galvanize Christians to action.

“We ask that your crying may shake us from our indifference and open our eyes to those who are suffering,” he said. “May your tenderness awaken our sensitivity and recognize our call to see you in all those who arrive in our cities, in our histories, in our lives.”

Tomorrow, Francis will offer the traditional Christmas Day Urbi et Orbi benediction, meaning “to the city and the world,” at noon Rome time. Christmas is one of two regular occasions during the year when popes offer an Urbi et Orbi address, the other being Easter.

On Tuesday, Dec. 26, Francis will deliver a noontime Angelus address marking the feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, often referred to as the “proto-martyr.” The next day, the pontiff will hold his usual Wednesday General Audience, his reflections for which in this period are being dedicated to the elements of the Mass.

On New Year’s Eve, Francis will offer another noontime Angelus address, and late that afternoon will preside over the traditional vespers service in thanksgiving for the year closing that night. On New Year’s Day, Francis will celebrate a Mass honoring Mary as the Mother of God, followed by yet another Angelus.

Traditionally, the Vatican’s holiday season is said to wrap up on Jan. 6 with the feast of the Epiphany, when Francis will once again lead a Mass in the morning followed by an Angelus. Informally, however, it’s usually considered to extend through the pope’s annual speech to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Vatican, in which the pontiff lays out his foreign policy priorities for the year to come.

This year, that speech to diplomats will be held on Monday, Jan. 8.

Long-Term Health Comes Down To Two Main Habits, Says Researcher

Dec 23, 2017 @ 10:26 AM 19,760 The Little Black Book of Billionaire Secrets

Alice G. Walton , Contributor I cover health, medicine, psychology and neuroscience. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

In the ongoing search for health and longevity, researchers have looked to parts of the world where people live the longest—the “blue zones,” which include Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Icaria, Greece; Loma Linda, California; and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. In these places people tend to live into their 90s or 100s pretty regularly. So researchers have studied their habits, and have taken away what seem to be the most effective lifestyle factors. And, as they should, they match up extremely well with what other types of scientific study have found about cellular health and longevity.


Paraphrasing Dan Buettner's book The Blue Zones, Rafael Puyol, Director of the Observatory of Demography and Generational Diversity at IE Business School in Italy, points out that there are nine habits that researchers have found people of the "blue zones" habitually engage in. And you can actually whittle these down even further.

First, here are the big nine:

  • Engaging in regular exercise. These sub-populations are all extremely active
  • Eating a plant-based diet. E.g., the Mediterranean diet or traditional Asian diet
  • Drinking alcohol moderately. This matches what researchers have discovered about the effects of light-moderate alcohol intake and disease risk
  • “Hara hachi bu,” a Confucian concept, which suggests we should eat only until we hit 80% of our fullness capacity
  • Punctuating our days with a stress-reducing activity. Across the blue zones, this means different things: “taking a nap in Mediterranean societies, praying in the case of Adventists, the tea ceremony of women in Okinawa,” writes Puyol
  • Having a reason larger than oneself to get up in the morning -- the Japanese word that conveys this idea is “Ikigai”
  • Being a part of social groups that contribute to one’s healthy habits
  • Engaging in religious communities with common religious practices
  • Maintaining strong relationships with family members

You can probably see the punchline coming. These nine habits can actually be boiled down to just two: Keep a healthy body and keep a healthy mental life—in other words, a good lifestyle and “good practices,” as Puyol says. He writes that the lifestyle portion includes the first few points above, and “implies regular intensity exercise, including routines to ‘break’ from daily stress, and including mainly plant-based products in our diets, eating without filling up and not drinking excessively.”

The other, more cerebral tenet is all about devoting time to your mental, social, spiritual, and communal health. “[F]amily, religious communities, social groups, and so on – all of which must have their own 'ikigai,' that is, their own 'reason to live.' There is a personal 'ikigai,' but there is also a collective 'ikigai' that sets the goals for each community as well as the challenges to overcome in order to achieve them.”

The pursuit of health may not always be straightforward, but it’s a lot simpler than we sometimes think, given the bombardment of “new” health tips and tricks we get. It really just boils down to some simple habits, a surprising number of which are behavioral/psychological. You don’t have to be perfect, but doing what you can, whenever you can, may make a difference in the long-run.


Painting of crucified Santa heading to St. Pat’s Cathedral

By Ian Mohr

December 23, 2017 | 4:11pm

Artist Robert Cenedella is taking his controversial Christmas painting, “The Presence of Man” — which shows Santa Claus on a crucifix — to St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Christmas Eve to display it after it caused protests at a local gallery and was pulled.

The image shows old St. Nick on a cross above a wasteland of gifts and other seasonal accoutrements. It was hanging in the window of Central Park Fine Arts this week but had to be yanked by gallery owners after less than 48 hours following complaints, sources close to the artist said.

Ironically, the work’s now being defended by Catholic League President Bill Donohue — who condemned the painting when he first saw it displayed two decades ago.

Donohue wrote recently on his site of the nearly 30-year-old work, “It caught my eye when it debuted some 20 years ago. At that time, I said, ‘We took no objection to art that protested the commercialization of Christmas, but we also maintained that it was not obvious that the painting conveyed that message.” He added, “In 1998, I said, ‘Our point was that the artist could have made the same point by putting Santa in a noose, thus avoiding a conflict with Christians.’ ” 

Artist Robert CenedellaGetty Images

Interestingly enough, Cenedella has said that his intention was not to be iconoclastic, but to inspire viewers to go back to the holiday’s Christian roots rather than celebrate its modern commercialism. Said a pal of the artist, “He always wanted to show it on Christmas Eve at St. Patrick’s to get people’s attention back on Christ on the cross instead of the commercialization of Christmas, which this painting is about.”

Either way, we hear Cenedella, whose painting has been included in a past Smithsonian Libraries exhibition, has been cleared by lawyers to bring the painting to St. Pat’s, where it will be displayed outside at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Says a source, “He wants it displayed there right before Mass.”

And perhaps, like many of the greatest contemporary religious fine art “controversies,” some of the flames seem to be fanned by the artist himself. In this case, just in time for art shopping?

North Korea says that the UN's latest sanctions are an "act of war".

Kim Jong-un's government reminded the US that it claims to be able to drop a nuclear weapon on the mainland

North Korea says that the UN's latest sanctions are an "act of war".

The international community has agreed not to allow North Korea to import huge amounts of oil and other goods, in the hope of calming the nuclear situation. But North Korea's foreign ministry only called the new rules an act of war and promised that it would punish those who had agreed to it.

The UN security council unanimously agreed on the new sanctions in a vote on Friday. They were introduced because of a recent intercontinental ballistic missile test, and it was hoped that by launching an economic punishment the government would slow down its attempts to develop nuclear weapons.

But the country hit back angrily, saying that the sanctions had strengthened its resolve and that it would look to strike against the US and the other countries who had supported the vote.

The UN resolution seeks to ban nearly 90 percent of refined petroleum exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year and, in a last-minute change, demands the repatriation of North Koreans working abroad within 24 months, instead of 12 months as first proposed.

North Korea says it 'will take revenge' for US claim of bio weapons

The US-drafted resolution also caps crude oil supplies to North Korea at 4 million barrels a year and commits the Council to further reductions if it were to conduct another nuclear test or launch another ICBM.

In a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency, North Korea's foreign ministry said the United States was terrified by its nuclear force and was getting "more and more frenzied in the moves to impose the harshest-ever sanctions and pressure on our country".

The new resolution is tantamount to a complete economic blockade of North Korea, the ministry said.

"We define this 'sanctions resolution' rigged up by the US and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our Republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and the region and categorically reject the 'resolution'."

North Korea on Nov. 29 said it successfully tested a new ICBM that put the U.S. mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.

North Korea's nuclear weapons are a self-defensive deterrence not in contradiction of international law, its foreign ministry added.

"We will further consolidate our self-defensive nuclear deterrence aimed at fundamentally eradicating the U.S. nuclear threats, blackmail and hostile moves by establishing the practical balance of force with the US," the ministry said.

"The US should not forget even a second the entity of the DPRK which rapidly emerged as a strategic state capable of posing a substantial nuclear threat to the US mainland," it added, using the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

North Korea said those who voted for the sanctions would face Pyongyang's wrath.

"Those countries that raised their hands in favour of this 'sanctions resolution' shall be held completely responsible for all the consequences to be caused by the 'resolution' and we will make sure for ever and ever that they pay heavy price for what they have done."

Tension has been rising over North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, which it pursues in defiance of years of UN Security Council resolutions, with bellicose rhetoric coming from both Pyongyang and the White House.

In November, North Korea demanded a halt to what it called "brutal sanctions", saying a round imposed after its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3 constituted genocide.

US diplomats have made clear they are seeking a diplomatic solution but proposed the new, tougher sanctions resolution to ratchet up pressure on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

China, with which North Korea does some 90 percent of its trade, has repeatedly called for calm and restraint from all sides.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Saturday said that the new resolution also reiterated the need for a peaceful resolution via talks and that all sides needed to take steps to reduce tensions.

Widely read Chinese state-run tabloid the Global Times said on Saturday that the tougher resolution was aimed at preventing war, and noted the US had compromised with no indication the United Nations could grant the United States permission for military action.

"The difference between the new resolution and the original US proposal reflects the will of China and Russia to prevent war and chaos on the Korean Peninsula. If the US proposals were accepted, only war is foreseeable," it said in an editorial.

Additional reporting by Reuters

'There's a war coming,' Marine Corps general warns US troops

Gen. Robert Neller, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, testifies on Capitol Hill, March 14, 2017. (Reuters)

A Marine Corps commandant on Thursday warned U.S. troops stationed in Norway to be prepared for a coming war.

“I hope I’m wrong, but there’s a war coming,” Gen. Robert Neller told them. “You’re in a fight here, an informational fight, a political fight, by your presence.”

"I hope I'm wrong, but there's a war coming. You're in a fight here, an informational fight, a political fight, by your presence." - Gen. Robert Neller, U.S. Marine Corps commandant

Neller pointed to the near future possibility of Russia and the Pacific theater being the next major areas of conflict.

Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green sounded a similar tone.

"Just remember why you're here," Green said. "They're watching. Just like you watch them, they watch you. We've got 300 Marines up here; we could go from 300 to 3,000 overnight. We could raise the bar."

The warnings came a day before Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told troops at Fort Bragg, N.C., that "storm clouds are gathering" over the Korean Peninsula.

Whether the comments were more than motivational rhetoric remained unclear.

Neller and Green's arrival in Norway coincided with heightened tensions between the U.S. and its NATO allies and Russia. According to, Russia warned Norway that its decision to host a new unit of U.S. troops through the end of 2018 would negatively affect relations.

"Just remember why you're here. They're watching. Just like you watch them, they watch you. We've got 300 Marines up here; we could go from 300 to 3,000 overnight. We could raise the bar." - Sgt. Maj. Ronald Green

Norway has insisted having U.S. troops stationed there is merely part of an effort to enhance ties with NATO allies and conduct cold-weather combat operations.

At a Q&A session with the troops in the Norwegian Home Guard base near Trondheim, Neller said that the U.S. could shift its focus from the Middle East to Eastern Europe, citing Russia’s conflicts with Ukraine and Georgia as justification. He told the Marines that they should be prepared for a “big-ass fight” on the horizon.

Russia has reportedly been uneasy about the presence of American troops close to its borders. The 300 U.S. Marines deployed to Norway in June 2016 were the first foreign troops allowed to operate in the country since World War II.

In September of this year, Russia conducted a joint-military exercise with neighboring Belarus that involved 12,700 troops.

A new National Security Strategy unveiled by the Trump administration on Monday singled out Russia and China as two world powers challenging “American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity.”

Saturday, December 23, 2017

SpaceX Falcon 9 Iridium 4 Launch 12/22/2017

Origin and Symbolism of the (so-called) christian holidays

One by One Kings of Europe Returning to Harlot: Hungary, Poland, Moving on Pope’s Demand, Uniting Church & State, Making EU Great

One by One Kings of Europe Returning to Harlot: Hungary, Poland, Moving on Pope’s Demand, Uniting Church & State, Making EU Great

December 17, 2017

Andrew & Hilari Henriques

“Make America Great Again,” Donald Trump’s oft-repeated campaign slogan that still can be seen with emblazoned white words on t-shirts, hats, bumper stickers and signs that reflect the sentiments of many Americans. For different people, that vague four-word phrase has taken on different meanings; however, all who have repeated and believe in this concept believe America to have lost something that formerly made it great. For some, this idea reflects a longing to return to the “glory” of the Reagan era, while others are nostalgic to return to the Jim Crow era, while others still, which make up a large percentage, it means making America “moral,” devout, even dogmatic, wherein the church dictates to the state to enforce its decrees, a time period in which Sunday laws were in effect. Individuals longing for restoration of morality and peace in America recoil in horror at the prevailing depravity, the existent vileness and increasing crime, citing them as reasons for churches to become active in politics, thus removing the separation of church and state. President Donald Trump is just the man to remove that separation just as he promised during his campaign; and he is swiftly moving toward it. Politicians from countries around the world are taking note of this, and are also desirous for their respective nations to return to what they consider their former greatness, which involves a return of “Christian” values to government. Hungary and Poland are such countries; in fact, the entire European Union is calling for a return to its “Christian roots.”

A Brietbart headline reads as follows: “Hungary: Governments should be dedicated to ‘Christian Values’ that made Europe Great.”1 In other words, Hungary wants to return to the “greatness” that Europe formerly possessed because of its union of church and state. This was during the time that Roman Catholicism was in the ascendancy and not only ruled the church but also the state. Let us not infer, but allow the Hungarian Prime Minister to speak. “Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that after decades of being under the control of ‘anti-Christian, internationalist powers’ the country needs a government ‘based on the teachings of Christ’ which ‘made Europe and the Hungarians great.’ Speaking at a celebratory event marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the conservative Fidesz party leader said that it was a duty of his government to protect ‘the ways of life that have their roots in Christianity’, including human dignity, the family, the nation, and faith communities, adding that Christian Europe needs a spiritual and intellectual renewal.”2 Make no mistake about it, Europe will have a spiritual renewal, a return to its “Christian,” Roman Catholic roots, following in America’s footsteps; but it will be anything but great. It will involve the restriction of civil and religious liberty and the enactment of Papal decrees, specifically, a Sunday Law. “The decree enforcing the worship of this day [Sunday] is to go forth to all the world. As America, the land of religious liberty, shall unite with the papacy in forcing the conscience and compelling men to honor the false sabbath, the people of every country on the globe will be led to follow her example.”3

In the Brietbart article, Poland is mentioned among the European nations calling for the restoration of religion into politics; and it is mentioned in conjunction with a Roman Catholic Feast, so we know exactly whose “Christian” values these politicians are desiring to implement in their governments. “Last month, fellow former Soviet satellite state Poland celebrated another important date in Christian history, with the Catholic Feast of the Holy Rosary that marked the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto where ‘the Christian fleet overcame the Muslim armada, saving Europe from Islamisation.’”4

Just a few days ago (December 14), Poland’s Prime Minister essentially repeated the words of Hungarian Prime Minister as the headline conveys, “New Polish PM sees return to Christian roots as only way to stop Europe’s decline.” In the article can be read the following: “Mateusz Morawiecki, the new Prime Minister of Poland, spoke about re-Christianizing Europe during the first interview after his nomination… Speaking about Polish mining and the problematic EU climate policy, he said, ‘we want to transform Europe.’ He digressed that his dream is to ‘re-Christianize Europe.’ Morawiecki specified that, ‘unfortunately, in many places, not only are Christmas Carols not sung, but churches are empty, and some are even turned into museums.’ Morawiecki welcomed the interviewer, Redemptorist Brother Piotr Dettlaff, with the greeting “Szczęść Boże...” It is still used today when addressing priests and members of religious orders.”5

However, it is not only the political leaders of Hungary and Poland that are calling for a return to “Christian” roots in Europe, a re-union of church and state, but also religious leaders across Europe. In fact, they are the ones inspiring the political leaders. Note the following news headlines: “Europe will be 'adrift' if it loses Christian roots, faith leaders warn;”6 Pope Francis sees hope for European Union, urges leaders to return to roots;”7 “Pope Francis reminds EU heads of their Christian roots;”8 and “Pope Francis Reminds Emmanuel Macron of France’s ‘Christian Tradition.’”9

Just as Hungary, Poland and the European Union is following America’s lead in making their countries “great again,” it should be understood what it was that did make America Great at its establishment, the principles of Republicanism and Protestantism. “Republicanism and Protestantism became the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity. The oppressed and downtrodden throughout Christendom have turned to this land with interest and hope. Millions have sought its shores, and the United States has risen to a place among the most powerful nations of the earth.”10 Once these principles are completely done away, neither America nor any other country that rejects these principles will be great; and national apostasy will be followed by national ruin.

The Real Story of Christmas - History Channel

Don't take freedom of religion for granted: Prince Charles

Published: 21 December 2017

Prince Charles meets with the Melkites in London, Tuesday (CNS/TobyMelville)

Prince Charles says Christians should not take their freedom of worship and expression for granted, the Catholic Herald reports.

In a speech to members of the Melkite Greek Catholic community, the Prince of Wales said he was “profoundly shocked” to hear the persecution they had endured in Syria.

“As someone who, throughout my life, has tried, in whatever small way I can, to foster understanding between people of faith, and to build bridges between the great religions of the world, it is heartbreaking beyond words to see just how much pain and suffering is being endured by Christians, in this day and age, simply because of their faith.”

“As Christians we remember, of course, how Our Lord called upon us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute,” he added. “But for those confronted with such hatred and oppression, I can only begin to imagine how incredibly hard it must be to follow Christ’s example.”

It is therefore “vitally important” that Christians in Britain and elsewhere “who enjoy the rights of freedom of worship and freedom of expression, do not take those rights for granted.”

The prince was speaking at St Barnabas Anglican Church in Pimlico, central London, which has hosted Melkite Greek Catholics fleeing persecution in the Middle East, and allows them to celebrate Divine Liturgy every Sunday.

His speech came a year after he told BBC Radio 4 that anti-Christian persecution was being overlooked. He recalled meeting a Jesuit priest from Syria who gave him “a graphic account of what life is like for those Christians he was forced to leave behind”.

“Clearly for such people religious freedom is a daily stark choice between life and death. The scale of religious persecution around the world is not widely appreciated, nor is it limited to Christians in the troubled regions of the Middle East.

“A recent report suggests that attacks are increasing on Yazidis, Jews, Ahmadis, Baha’is and many other minority faiths, and in some countries even more insidious forms of religious extremism have recently surfaced which aim to eliminate all types of religious diversity.”


Prince Charles: Christians shouldn’t take religious freedom for granted (Catholic Herald)


Prince of Wales describes 'profound shock' at sufferings of Christians in Syria (The Tablet)