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01 NewserPosts

Taiwan Navy holds drill simulating China attack – The Japan News

from The Japan News – 
Taiwan’s Navy held a major live-fire exercise Wednesday off the island’s east coast in an area increasingly threatened by Chinese ships and planes.  The drills are part of annual Han Kuang exercises that simulate an attack by China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary. | go to source

01 Features

How the U.S.-China trade war became a conflict over the future of tech – The Washington Post

From The Washington Post – 

President Trump’s decision to confront Beijing over policies that he says discriminate against foreign companies and distort global markets has become a battle for control of advanced communications and computing technologies.
That evolution is taking the transpacific conflict into sensitive realms of national security and human rights, making a quick settlement an ever more distant outcome. It is also putting at risk a wide array of U.S.-China technology cooperation, including easy access to visas for researchers and venture capital funds for U.S. start-ups — and threatening to boomerang on U.S. companies that China might retaliate against. | go to source

01 Sources Filtered

Pakistan Finally Reveals Total Loans Accepted From China Under IMF Pressure – EurAsian Times

From Eurasian Times – 
Under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Islamabad has disclosed every type of loan that Islamabad has received from its strategic ally, China.  Foreign loan disbursements in Jul-Apr of the current financial year showed loans for the Karachi Nuclear Power Plants, known as K2 and K3, and China SAFE deposits as part of federal debt obligations.
Earlier, the $2 billion worth of China SAFE deposits, which Islamabad had received in July 2018, were shown on the books of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). SAFE is an acronym for the State Administration of Foreign Exchange managed by the Chinese central bank. | go to source

01 NewserPosts

Artificial Intelligence to Reach Human-Level Intelligence by 2040 – AiThority

From AiThority – 
NEORIS, a digital transformation service provider that accelerates the digital capabilities of global enterprises, unveiled its most recent analysis entitled Artificial Intelligence: Rethinking Humanity’s Evolution. The comprehensive assessment cites the latest trends in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and presents a compelling thesis, by 2040 the world will see an AI-triggered transcendental shift on humanity’s evolution.

Since AI’s inception in 1956, in the form of “a machine that could think,” AI continues to evolve and impact society, businesses and humanity. Its cognitive tools have systematically reshaped how people and companies interact and possesses the power to radically transform business exchanges and human capabilities.

| go to source

01 Features

Scientists Create the World’s First Organism – PhoneWorld Magazine

From PhoneWorld Magazine – 
It is for the very first time that scientists have created a life with a genetic code that was developed from scratch.
No doubt, it was a stunning scientific feat. The artificial E-coli holds 4 million base pair of DNA code. It took scientists over a year to just read the entire DNA code. So why is this such an important breakthrough?
Traditionally, E-coli is used to make compounds for drugs to treat cancer, heart attacks, and multiple sclerosis. However, as soon as natural E-coli is contaminated with bacteria, it’s useless to doctors. | go to source

01 NewserPosts

New Jersey man charged with threatening to bomb Trump Tower – Reuters

From Reuters – 
A 20-year-old New Jersey man accused of threatening on social media to “shoot everybody” at a pro-Israel march and bomb the Trump Tower skyscraper in New York City was arrested on Wednesday on a string of federal charges, prosecutors said.
Jonathan Xie, of Basking Ridge, was taken into custody on charges of attempting to provide material support to Hamas, the Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip and which the United States designates as a terrorist organization, making false statements and transmitting threats over interstate commerce, according to federal prosecutors. | go to source

02 FP Top Headlines

Obama Judges Kill Americans’ Privacy to Help Democratic House Harass Trump – Human Events

From Human Event – 
Two Obama appointees just greenlit two of the most invasive Congressional subpoenas for private financial information in American history.
The two subpoenas from the House often came without House approval, but instead with written memorandums by self-serving chairmen. They compelled invasive disclosure of intimate information from accountants and banks concerning the private records of private people from a time period Trump was neither a candidate nor the President. Their orders eviscerate and endanger privacy for all Americans……
The judges’ mutual refusal to stay their judgment pending appeal further reflects the partisan motivation behind their conduct. Anyone think they would have approved Congressional subpoenas into Obama’s still-sealed educational records? Anyone think they would have approved Senatorial subpoenas into Biden’s family finances that concern the large sums of money foreign countries and their agents paid his family during his Vice Presidency under Obama? Anyone think they would have approved wide-scale subpoenas into the activities of the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State? | go to source

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01 NewsFire

US Sends Aircraft Carrier to Deter Alleged Planned Iran Attack

ABC News – The United States is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East on short notice in response to “clear indications” Iran and Iranian proxies were planning an attack on U.S. forces in the region, a U.S. official said.

Late Sunday night, the White House made a surprise announcement that the USS Abraham Lincoln and a bomber task force were being deployed in response to unspecified “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.” | go to source

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01 PGN Posts

North Korea’s Food Supply at Critically Low Levels

Reuters (via War News Updates) – 10 million North Koreans face food shortage after worst harvest, says United Nations  * The UN found North Korean protein intake to be very low, with some families consuming protein only a few times a year

North Korea has cut food rations to 300 grammes a day – less than 11 ounces – the lowest ever for this time of year, and further cuts are likely after the worst harvest in a decade, the United Nations said on Friday. | go to source

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01 PGN Posts

New 2500 BCE Burial Site Discovered in Egypt, Near Tombs

NDTV – Egypt’s antiquities ministry on Saturday unveiled a 4,500-year-old burial ground near the Giza pyramids containing colourful wooden coffins and limestone statues dating back to the Old Kingdom.

The site on the southeastern side of Giza plateau contains tombs and burial shafts from various periods, but the oldest is a limestone family tomb from the fifth dynasty (around 2500 BC), the ministry said. | go to source

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01 PGN Posts

Vampire Facials Spa Clients Contract Aids

Boston 25 News – According to the New Mexico Department of Health, both clients “received injection-related procedures” at the now-shuttered VIP Spa in Albuquerque between May and September of last year. 

Tests found that the clients recently were infected with the same strain of the virus, “increasing the likelihood that the two HIV infections may have resulted from a procedure at the VIP Spa,” the news release said. | go to source

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01 PGN Posts

Russian Pussy Riot Activist Allies Granted Swedish Asylum

CTV News – Swedish broadcaster SVT says two activists linked to the Russian protest group Pussy Riot have successfully appealed their rejected asylum application and received shelter in Sweden.

Broadcaster SVT says Lusine Dzhanyan and Alexei Knedlyakovsky, who have two children, on Tuesday won their appeal of a 2018 ruling, where Swedish authorities said their situation didn’t justify asylum. | go to source

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01 NewsFire

US-China Trade War Negotiations Heat Up, and That’s a Good Thing

ABC News – American and Chinese trade negotiators met Wednesday for talks on their bruising tariff war after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. side might be moving toward a decision on whether to make a deal with Beijing.

Wednesday’s atmosphere appeared amicable. Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, along with China’s economic czar, Vice Premier Liu He, smiled for photos and shook hands after their one-day meeting. | go to source

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01 PGN Posts

Convicted of Raping Teen, Bus Driver Gets 10 Years Probation

NDTV – Last Thursday, Shane Piche, a former bus driver for the school district in Watertown, N.Y., received his sentence. Two months earlier, the 26-year-old had pleaded guilty to third-degree rape. According to the Watertown Daily Times, Piche had raped a 14-year-old girl who was on his bus route.  But rather than hand Piche a prison sentence, Jefferson County Judge James McClusky gave the defendant 10 years probation, and assigned him the lowest level status on New York’s sex offender registry. The judge’s ruling goes against prosecutors’ hopes – and against the wishes of the victim’s family. | go to source

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01 PGN Posts

Over 3,000 Political Prisoners in Turkey Are Engaging in a Massive Hunger Struke

Times of India – A Turkish human rights group says close to 3,000 prisoners have joined a hunger strike to press authorities to end the alleged isolation in jail of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan. Human Rights Association head Ozturk Turkdogan said Tuesday that 2,983 people in 90 prisons are refusing food in protest of the jail conditions for Ocalan, whose family members and lawyers reportedly have been denied visits. | go to source

01 Features

Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Defects to US

It appears the Iranians lost a big fish and the US gained a big fish in the war over “my gang is more loyal than your gang.” In this case, the US gang wins, as one of the top generals, apparently, in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has decided to come on over to the eagle, the bald eagle, that is.

Washington Free Beacon – A senior Iranian military officer affiliated with the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, has fled the Islamic Republic with a cache of secret documents said to contain information on Tehran’s military plans, according to reports.

Ali Nasiri, a former IRGC brigadier general who once headed Iran’s counterintelligence operations, is reported to have fled Iran and requested political asylum at a U.S. embassy in an unnamed Gulf country, according to a report carried in Iran Commentary, an online news portal that publishes information about Iran’s human rights abuses and illicit activity. | go to source

01 Features

US v China Arms Race Driving Military Spending to Record Levels

In 1984, Sting asked the question, do the Russians love their children too?  That question was asked because of the insane hype around the greatest arms race of ever, between America and the Soviet Union.
Why, oh why do I need to explain this to you given the headline you’ve already seen?  Well, it seems that arms race of all time is gonna have to take a step back to a new show, a new game, with America once again representing one side but CHINA stepping in to replace the Soviet Union.  

From Business Standard – Global military expenditure reached its highest level last year since the end of the Cold War, fueled by increased spending in the United States and China, the world’s two biggest economies, a leading defence think-tank said on Monday.  In its annual report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said overall global military spending in 2018 hit $1.82 trillion, up 2.6 percent on the previous year.  That is the highest figure since 1988, when such data first became available as the Cold War began winding down. | go to source

01 Features

The World’s Largest Graveyard Might Be Facebook, and Soon, the Dead Will Outnumber the Living

Without appearing to assume what any rational person would presume should assume I could potentially presume I could resume regarding the potential continuation of Facebook, let’s go along with the scenario in the story I found from The Mirror UK.  In that scenario, we have to assume we have some presumption to assume that Facebook will be around until 2070.  The story is so lulzy that I am going to NEED YOU to go along with me on this one and run with this scenario.  Presumptions notwithstanding, we need to assume Facebook will certainly be here in 2070 for this lulz to even work.

You see, folks, in this scenario, a little thing is happening on Facebook that many of us know about, that many of us have sometimes wondered if it would one day be our fate as well, to become, a dead profile, not like a figurative dead profile, a profile of a dead person.  Here’s the Mirror UK’s deets on this thing:
“A new report by academics from the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) – part of the University of Oxford – sets up two potential extreme scenarios.  The first assumes that no new users join as of 2018; the second assumes that Facebook continues to grow by its current rate of 13% globally, every year, until each market reaches saturation.”

Now I grant you that the ‘study’ (Is that what the kids call it these days) really has to make a LOT of far fetched assumptions, I mean, it presumes a lot, dontcha think?  BUT…..even if the story itself is a bit overly cooked, so to speak, it does lead us, or, rather, me, to this opportunity to highlight the increasing fact that a SIGNIFICANT portion of Facebook is, in fact, a digital graveyard, and parts of me love this, and parts of me don’t know if I should delete my Facebook account. | go to source

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01 NewsFire

Not Since the US First Landed on the Moon Have Jobless Claims Reached Such Lows

CNBC -The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a 49-1/2-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that could temper expectations of a sharp slowdown in economic growth.  Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 196,000 for the week ended April 6, the lowest level since early October 1969. Claims have now declined for four straight weeks. Data for the prior week was revised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported. | go to source

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01 NewsFire

1 Dead, 3 Injured In California Synagogue Terror Attack

Fox News – A 19-year-old man armed with an assault-type rifle opened fire inside a Southern California synagogue on Saturday as worshipers prepared to celebrate the last day of Passover, killing a woman and injuring three others, authorities said.  An unidentified off-duty border patrol agent who was inside Chabad of Poway synagogue fired at the shooter – identified later as John Earnest – missing him, but striking his getaway vehicle, authorities said. | go to source

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01 PGN Posts

Mobile App Thief, AKA Hamburgler, Pilfers $2K Worth of Mickey Dees…..Again

CBC News – The mysterious Quebec hamburglar has struck again, racking up more than $2,000 worth of meals at different McDonald’s in Montreal. This time, an unsuspecting Toronto tech writer got stuck with the bill.   “I was just panicked because that’s a lot of money,” said Patrick O’Rourke, managing editor of the tech news site, MobileSyrup. The fraudster pulled off the fast-food scam by infiltrating O’Rourke’s McDonald’s mobile app account, which was linked to his debit card. The scammer then used the app to order more than 100 meals for pick-up between April 12 and 18. The smorgasbord included McFlurries, Big Macs, Chicken McNuggets and poutine. | go to source

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01 PGN Posts

Did Wikileaks Drive Satoshi Underground?

Crypto News – In response to an article that was published on news portal PC World Mag on Wikileaks open to accepting donations in bitcoin, Nakamoto as the inventor obviously had an opinion on that. In 2010, when the article was first published he had said, “It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet’s nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.”  Providing context to the cryptic quote a Redditor mindless_snail said on Thursday, when the thread was brought up again, “You completely left out the actual context, which is that Wikileaks announced that they were accepting Bitcoin donations because they were kicked off of every other major payment platform. Wikileaks was all over the news for publishing confidential military documents and the first time many people ever heard of Bitcoin was when it was mentioned in association with Wikileaks.” | go to source