01 Features

The On-Again, Off-Again Coup of Venezuela- The Latest

In preparation for this show, I waited as long as I could to sit down to write about the current state of affairs with the is it or is ain’t a coup thing in Venezuela.  Here are the latest headlines I’ve culled in preparation for this story:

The latest from around the news web on the Venezuela Coup attempt

Activists Protect DC Venezuelan Embassy from US-supported Coup – CounterPunch
Venezuelan Opposition Reps Throw Temper Tantrums When Confronted About Lack of Legitimacy, Interventionist Plans at OAS – Mintpress News
Activists Have Been Living In The Venezuelan Embassy For Two Weeks – DCist
Cuban Government Rejects Coup Movement in Venezuela – Prensa Latina
Venezuela says it is confronting small group of traitors attempting coup – Reuters
Pro-Guaido bloc celebrates, encourages Venezuela coup attempt – RT
The Latest: Venezuelan govt says it is putting down coup bid – Herald-Whig
Venezuela Coup! Will Neocons (Finally) Get Their War? – Antiwar.com

Basically, the situation is fluid, with the American guy claiming he’s winning and the Russia/China guy claiming these wanna-be coup guys ain’t crap, and they’re pretty much already done.

Perhaps tomorrow we will have a more conclusive conclusion, or another day of nah I got this, no, no, I GOT THIS! | go to source

01 Features

Nearly 2K Men Trapped Underground in South African Coal Mine Incident

Over 1800 people are trapped in underground mines in South Africa.  The process of rescuing them is slow and, so far, they don”t appear to be in immediate danger. 

Seattle Times – South Africa’s department of mineral resources says plans are underway to free a large number of miners caught underground by hoisting them up an adjoining shaft.

The department says it has an inspector monitoring the situation at the Thembelani shaft in Rustenberg run by mining company Sibanye-Stillwater. | 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

3 Percent GDP Growth Rate Mark Broken for First Time Since 2015

Beating all expectations, it looks like the US economy has crossed the coveted 3% GDP growth rate this past quarter of 2019.  The degree to which this growth is being felt in main street, so to speak remains to be seen, but the news is good for the US economy overall, and also good for the Trump Administration as they continue to ‘negotiate’ with China over trade (as there still remains an ongoing trade war between the two nations).  Here’s how CNBC reported it – 

US economy grows by 3.2% in the first quarter, topping expectations    –  The U.S. economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the first quarter and posted its best growth to start a year in four years.  First-quarter gross domestic product expanded by 3.2%, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Friday in its initial read of the economy for that period. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected growth of 2.5%. It was the first time since 2015 that first-quarter GDP topped 3%.
| go to source

01 Features

Knife Violence is Worst in UK Ever, But Violent Crime Is Unchanged

On one hand, violent crime overall is about the same.  On the other hand, knife crimes are crushing it, and not in a good way.  This is merry old England we are talking about were, apparently, violent goons and thugs and whatnot have gone from guns to knives, and, well, apparently they are JUST as efficient at the killings with the knives as they are with the guns.  
Not that any of that is cool, I’m just saying.  Here’s some more actual details about this from the BBC, which, I should point out, like I do with others, is a state sponsored outlet.

BBC – Police recorded 40,829 offences involving knives or sharp instruments in 2018, up 6% on the year before.  The Office for National Statistics said cases of murder and manslaughter, excluding terror attacks, increased by 12%. There were 732 killings, up from 655 in 2017 – the highest since 2007.  But the separate Crime Survey, based on people’s experiences, points to no significant change in overall crime. | go to source

01 Features

Is SCOTUS About to Allow Citizenship Question on Census? Signs Point to Yes…..

This is one of those stories that, if what is reported actually happens, this could be a significant game changer in the reality of power as far as the power political parties have to assure that government programs benefit their particular allies. 
To do this, number fudging is the name of the game.  The use of ‘illegal’ or ‘undocumented’ people (people who are not recognized as citizens by the US government) to elevate numbers that determine the allotment of government grants and contract awards has long been a suspect tactic of the democrats.
If this ruling happens, and IF the rumors of the Dems’ uses of non-citizen number for political gains is true, then the Democrats are about to face some serious cash reductions.
Of course, as usual, that IF that floats out there is often hard to pin down, so we’ll see where this goes but I think it warrants your consideration.
More from Legal Insurrection – The consensus among mainstream media commentators was that the administration is going to win.  Adam Liptak at The NY Times wrote, On Census Citizenship Question, Supreme Court’s Conservatives Appear United:  The Supreme Court’s conservative majority seemed ready on Tuesday to allow the Trump administration to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 census, which critics say would undermine its accuracy by discouraging both legal and unauthorized immigrants from filling out the forms…. | go to source

01 Features

China Has a Swine Flu Problem at the Trade Negotiating Table, And It’s Getting Worse

A recent outbreak of Swine Flu in China has grown to epic proportions just as US-China trade talks have hit a crucial state.  The hit to the Chinese economy, a land where 1 in every 2 pigs in the world lives and dies, and, most likely gets eaten, could affect their negotiating power with the US at the trade talks table.

From CNBC – “China’s worsening African swine flu crisis could give the U.S. an edge over China as the two countries try to hammer out a trade agreement, an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said Tuesday.  China, which is home to about half of the world’s pig population and the biggest pork consumer, has been ravaged by an outbreak of African swine flu recently, a virus for which there is no cure or vaccine.”

It remains to be seen how long it will take for the flu to run its course and what the total damage will be. | go to source

01 Features

SCOTUS Takes on 3 Cases That Could Settle LGBTQ Employment Discrimination Law Disputes

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear three cases that all address issues of discrimination in the workplace versus freedom of association, 
From Think Progress….three cases the Supreme Court agreed to hear on Monday.  Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda and Bostock v. Clayton County both ask whether existing federal law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC asks the same question about anti-trans discrimination.  –  Think Progress | go to source

01 Features

Multiple Churches Bombed In Sri Lankan Terror Attack That Leaves Over 200 Dead

From CNBC: Bombs kill at least 207 in Easter attacks on churches, hotels in Sri Lanka. Key Points:  The eight explosions, some of which officials said were suicide bomb attacks, led to an immediate clampdown with the government declaring a curfew and blocking access to major social media and messaging sites.  Seven people were arrested and three police officers were killed during a raid on a house in Colombo on Sunday.  Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe acknowledged that the government had some “prior information of the attack,” though ministers were not told | go to source

01 NewsFire

Mueller Report to Drop Thursday

Robert Mueller’s End-of-Investigation report is expected to be released this Thursday morning, according to Attorney General William Barr.  The report is not expected to reveal collusion between the Trump team and Russia. | go to source