Following the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan — which left Japanese residents contending with toxic water and radioactive wild boars, World Health Organization (WHO) officials said that particles of radioactive fallout which made its way to the Western United States and elsewhere was no biggie and didn’t pose a health risk.
California wine lovers will get to test that theory, after researchers at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) discovered cesium-137 in several golden-state vintages. The researchers tested 18 bottles of California rosé and cabernet sauvignon from 2009 onward — finding increased levels of the radioactive isotope in bottles produced after the Fukushima disaster. The cabernets had double the radiation of the other wine, according to the study.
“We can measure some radioactive level that is much higher than the usual level,” said Michael Pravikoff, a physicist at a French research center who worked on the study.
“The French research team has in recent years examined wines from around the world, trying to correlate the level of radioactive material with the date the wine grapes were picked.
“Wines made around major nuclear events, including American and Soviet nuclear tests during the Cold War and the Chernobyl accident, should show higher levels of radioactive isotopes, called cesium-137, according to the researchers. The man-made isotope cannot be found in nature and would be present only at certain levels after the nuclear events.” –NYT
While ingesting cesium-137 elevates one’s risk of cancer, the radioactive particles found in California wine “are not seen as a health hazard” according to Pravikoff, who said: “These levels are so low, way below the natural radioactivity that’s everywhere in the world.”
“The California Department of Public Health said Friday that it had not previously heard of the study, but that there were no ‘health and safety concerns to California residents.’
“’This report does not change that,’ a department spokesman, Corey Egel, said in an emailed statement.
“Mr. Pravikoff said the California bottles had radioactive levels so low that the researchers had to use a special technique to measure them: burning the wine to ashes.
“In other cases, where radiation is higher, the team’s equipment can measure the radiation through the glass of the wine bottle, so the bottle does not have to be opened.” –NYT
In 2016, AP reported that “Radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster detected on Oregon shores,” however officials claimed that the samples from Tillamook Bay and Gold Beach were “at extremely low levels not harmful to humans.”
That said, as Whitney Webb of TrueActivist noted at the time, Even if we can’t see the radiation itself, some parts of North America’s western coast have been feeling the effects for years. Not long after Fukushima, fish in Canada began bleeding from their gills, mouths, and eyeballs. This “disease” has been ignored by the government and has decimated native fish populations, including the North Pacific herring. Elsewhere in Western Canada, independent scientists have measured a 300% increase in the level of radiation. According to them, the amount of radiation in the Pacific Ocean is increasing every year. Why is this being ignored by the mainstream media? It might have something to do with the fact that the US and Canadian governments have banned their citizens from talking about Fukushima so “people don’t panic.”
Also in 2016, Japanese officials admitted there was a cover-up, and there was a concerted effort to downplay the significance of the reactor meltdowns.
Multiple reactors at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant melted down after 50-foot a tsunami wave crashed through barriers and knocked out the reactors’ backup generators. The disaster spewed radioactive fallout into the air and water – sickening the crew of the nearby USS Ronald Reagan as they provided support.
And while the sailors were undoubtedly exposed to concentrated doses of radioactive isotopes that are nowhere near the levels which have been found along the West Coast – and now in California wine, it is premature – and perhaps highly irresponsible, for officials to claim that such small doses will have no effect, as radiation exposure is cumulative and the Fukushima disaster was an unprecedented event due to its massive release of radioactivity into the Pacific Ocean.
Yeah, them pesky Chinese have been invading and destabilizing country after country. Oh the inhumanity! Here’s the list of countries China has invaded during the last 100 years: 0.
Marine Corps presence in Australia has ballooned since the first rotation of 250 troops arrived in the country in 2012. There are currently 1,500 members of the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin stationed in Australia’s Northern Territory along with an array of US weapons and aircraft. That number is to swell to 2,500 “as soon as practicable,” the Department of Defense said following a meeting between the US and Australia this week.
The ever-increasing US military footprint extends across the Pacific region, with some 22,000 Marines stationed in Okinawa, Japan, 7,000 in Guam and 28,500 in South Korea.
US forces will also integrate in Australia’s upcoming Indo-Pacific Endeavour exercise and will carry out a series of exercises in Fiji, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Vanuatu.
The US sees China’s influence in the Pacific as a grave threat to its global influence. Allies Australia and New Zealand have taken steps to counter this threat, with Australia recently funding underwater telecommunications cable from the Solomon Islands to Australia and Papua New Guinea in a bid to quash Chinese Huawei from doing so. Both China and Australia provide billions in aid to countries in the region, and Australia has plans to invest in US surveillance drones to increase its security in the South China Sea.
Speaking after a meeting with Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Defense Minister Marise Payne at Stanford University on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the two nations would “walk the walk in the Indo-Pacific,” adding it was up to Australia to decide whether it would embark on freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea.
These exercises see the US flex its military might by sending warships and aircraft through waters and airspace that China claims sovereignty over in contest with some other nations of the region. The US, which has no claims in the many territorial disputes, insists on calling those areas neutral and thus open to free navigation.
Pompeo expressed confidence that other countries would follow in Australia’s footsteps. “I think the South Pacific, like most places in the world, understands the enormity of having an American ally,” he said.
The 2,500 figure was outlined by Barack Obama as early as 2011 when the US and Australia entered an agreement as part of an “Asia rebalance.”
Graham Hancock investigates the mysterious religious texts of the Zoroastrians of ancient Persia and the ‘underground cities’ of neighbouring Turkey. Both, he argues, are far older than is presently taught and date back to cataclysmic events near the end of the last Ice Age that destroyed, and all but wiped from human memory, an advanced civilization of prehistory. Below is an excerpt form his work, which you can find HERE. ( A link to his new book, “Magicians of the Gods”)
You can also check out our extended interview with him here.
Exactly how old Zoroastrianism is has not yet been satisfactorily established by scholars, since even the lifetime of its prophet Zarathustra (better known as Zoroaster) is uncertain. Indeed, as Columbia University’s authoritative Encyclopedia Iranica admits: ‘Controversy over Zarathustra’s date has been an embarrassment of long standing to Zoroastrian studies.’[i]
The Greek historians were amongst the first to address themselves to the matter. Plutarch, for example, tells us that Zoroaster ‘lived 5,000 years before the Trojan War’[ii] (itself a matter of uncertain historicity but generally put at around 1300 BC, thus 5,000 plus 1,300 = 6300 BC). A similar chronology is given by Diogenes Laertius, who relates that Zoroaster lived ‘6,000 years before Xerxes’ Greek campaign’[iii] (i.e. around 6480 BC). More recent scholars have proposed dates as far apart as 1750 BC and ‘258 years before Alexander’[iv] (i.e. around 588 BC). Whatever the truth of the matter, it is agreed that Zoroaster himself borrowed from much earlier traditions and that Zoroastrianism, therefore, like many other religions, has roots that extend very far back into prehistory.
In the Zoroastrian scriptures known as the Zend Avesta certain verses in particular are recognized as drawing on these very ancient oral traditions.[v] The verses speak of a primordial father figure called Yima, the first man, the first king, and the founder of civilization, and appear in the opening section of the Zend Avesta, known as the Vendidad. There we read how the god Ahura Mazda created the first land, ‘Airyana Vaejo, by the good river Daitya,’[vi] as a paradise on earth and how ‘the fair Yima, the great shepherd… was the first mortal’ with whom Ahura Mazda chose to converse, instructing him to become a preacher.[vii] Yima refused, at which the god said:
Since thou wantest not to be the preacher and the bearer of my law, then make my world thrive, make my world increase; undertake thou to nourish, to rule and to watch over my world.[viii]
To this Yima agreed, at which the god presented him with a golden ring and a poniard – a long, tapered thrusting knife – inlaid with gold. Significantly, for we will see in Chapter Seventeen there are close parallels to this story as far away as the Andes mountains of South America, Yima then:
‘pressed the earth with the golden ring and bored it with the poniard.’[ix]
By this act, we learn he ‘made the earth grow larger by one third than it was before,’ a feat that over the course of thousands of years he repeated twice more – in the process eventually doubling the land area available for ‘the flocks and herds with men and dogs and birds,’ who gathered unto him ‘at his will and wish, as many as he wished.’[x]
Anatomically modern humans like ourselves have existed, so far as we know, for a little less than two hundred thousand years (the earliest anatomically modern human skeleton acknowledged by science is from Ethiopia and dates to 196,000 years ago).[xi] Within this timespan there has only been one period when those parts of the earth that are useful to humans increased dramatically in size, and that was during the last Ice Age, between 100,000 and 11,600 years ago. Indeed, previously submerged lands totalling 27 million square kilometres – equivalent to the area of Europe and China added together – were exposed by lowered sea-levels at the last glacial maximum 21,000 years ago. While it is probably far-fetched to suppose that it is this very real increase of useful land that is referred to in the Yima story, or that it has anything to do with the golden age that Yima’s benign rule supposedly achieved in Airyana Vaejo,[xii] it is interesting to note what happened next.
After another immense span of time, we read, Yima was summoned to ‘a meeting place by the good river Daitya’ where the god Ahura Mazda appeared to him bearing an ominous warning of sudden and catastrophic climate change:
O fair Yima, upon the material world the fatal winters are going to fall, that shall bring the fierce, foul frost; upon the material world the fatal winters are going to fall that shall make snowflakes fall thick, even on the highest tops of mountains…
Therefore make thee a Vara [a hypogeum, or underground enclosure] long as a riding ground on every side of the square, and thither bring the seeds of sheep and oxen, of men, of dogs, of birds, and of red blazing fires… Thither thou shalt bring the seeds of men and women of the greatest, best and finest kinds on this earth; thither shalt thou bring the seeds of every kind of cattle, of the greatest, best and finest kinds on this earth. Thither shalt thou bring the seeds of every kind of tree, of the greatest, best and finest kinds on this earth; thither shalt thou bring the seeds of every kind of fruit, the fullest of food and sweetest of odour. All those seeds shalt thou bring, two of every kind, to be kept inexhaustible there, so long as those men shall stay in the Vara. There shall be no humpbacked, none bulged forward there; no impotent, no lunatic… no leprous.[xiii]
So… you get the idea? This underground hideaway was to serve as a refuge from a terrible winter that was about to seize Airyana Vaejo – a winter not of a single season but of a millennium, at the onset of which, as the Bundahish, another Zoroastrian text, informs us:
the evil spirit… sprang like a snake out of the sky down to the earth… He rushed in at noon, and thereby the sky was as shattered and frightened by him as a sheep by a wolf. He came onto the water which was arranged below the earth, and then the middle of this earth was pierced and entered by him… He rushed out upon the whole creation and he made the world quite as injured and dark at midday as though it were dark night.[xiv]
Studying these accounts I couldn’t help but be reminded of the two millennia of gentle global warming that began about 15,000 years ago in the closing millennia of the last Ice Age – a sustained, balmy period of warm, fine weather – before the sudden lethal onset 12,800 years ago of a period of dramatic climate instability that geologists call ‘the Younger Dryas.’ This epoch has long been recognized as mysterious and tumultuous and it is only in the last decade that scientists have been able to pinpoint its cause. To cut a long story short, what the science indicates is that 12,800 years ago a comet travelling on an orbit that took it through the inner solar system broke up into multiple fragments, and that many of these fragments, some more than a mile (2.4 kilometers) in diameter, hit the earth with globally cataclysmic effects. An area of more than 50 million square kilometers, stretching from North America in the west to Syria in the east, was affected and a vast cloud of dust was thrown into the upper atmosphere that enshrouded the earth, preventing the sun’s rays from reaching the surface and thus initiating Younger Dryas.
At that point, 12,800 years ago, the earth had been emerging from the Ice Age for roughly 10,000 years, global temperatures were rising steadily, and the ice caps were melting. Then came the comet impacts, bringing a sudden catastrophic return to colder conditions – even colder than at the peak of the Ice Age 21,000 years ago. This short, sharp deep freeze lasted for 1,200 years until 11,600 years ago when the warming trend resumed, global temperatures shot up again, and the remaining ice caps melted very suddenly, dumping all the water they contained into the oceans.
When the Zoroastrian texts speak of a ‘fierce, foul frost’ and of ‘a fatal winter,’ is it possible that they are describing conditions during the Younger Dryas? The texts attribute the shocking change of climate to a supernatural agency – Angra Mainyu, the demon of darkness, destruction, wickedness, and chaos who stands in opposition to and seeks to undermine and undo all the works of Ahura Mazda, the God of Light. Zoroastrianism is a profoundly dualistic religion in which human beings and the choices we make for good or evil are seen as the objects of an eternal competition, or contest, between the opposed forces of darkness and light. And in this contest the darkness sometimes wins. Thus the Vendidad reminds us that although Airyana Vaejo was ‘the first of the good lands and countries’ created by Ahura Mazda, it could not resist the evil one:
Thereupon came Angra Mainyu, who is all death, and he counter-created by his witchcraft the serpent in the river, and winter, a work of the demons… [Now] there are ten winter months there, two summer months, and these are cold for the waters, cold for the earth, cold for the trees. Winter falls there, with the worst of its plagues.[xv]
In other translations the phrase ‘the serpent in the river, and winter’ is given as ‘a great serpent and Winter’ and, alternatively, as ‘a mighty serpent and snow.’[xvi]
Again… you get the idea. The metaphor that is being repeatedly driven home here is that of the mighty serpent who springs from the sky down to the earth, who penetrates the earth, and who brings a prolonged winter upon the world so severe that it is ‘dark’ (‘most turbid, opaque’ according to some translations[xvii]) at midday, and even the fleeting summer months are too cold for human life. Once again, the whole scenario seems very accurately to describe the terrible conditions that would have afflicted the world after the Younger Dryas comet spread its trail of destruction across 50 million square kilometers, brought on ‘a vehement destroying frost’ and threw such quantities of dust into the upper atmosphere, together with smoke from the continent-wide wildfires sparked off by airbursts and superheated ejecta, that a turbid, opaque darkness would indeed have filled the skies, reflecting back the sun’s rays and perpetuating something very like a nuclear winter for centuries.
The Zoroastrian texts leave us in no doubt that these conditions posed a deadly threat to the future survival of civilization. It was for this reason that Ahura Mazda came to Yima with his warning and his instruction to build an underground shelter where some remnant of humanity could take refuge, keeping safe the seeds of all animals and plants, until the thousand-year winter had passed and spring returned to the world. Moreover the account reveals very little that seems ‘mythical,’ or that obviously derives from flights religious fancy. Rather the whole thing has about it an atmosphere of hard-headed practical planning that adds a chilling note of veracity.
For example the admonition that deformed, impotent, lunatic, and leprous people should be kept out of the Vara sounds a lot like eugenics, a distasteful policy to be sure, but one that might be implemented if the survival of the human race was at stake and there was limited space available in the refuge. For the same reasons it is not surprising that only the seeds of ‘the greatest, best and finest’ kinds of trees, fruits, and vegetables, those that are ‘fullest of food and sweetest of odour,’ are to be brought to the Vara. Why waste space on anything but the best?
Also, although it is certain that a number of carefully selected people were to be admitted to the Vara, perhaps as caretakers and managers of the project, and as future breeding stock, the emphasis throughout is on seeds – which in the case of human beings would be sperm from the males and eggs from the females. So when we read that the Vara is to be constructed in three subterranean levels, each smaller than the one above, each with its own system of criss-crossing ‘streets,’ it is legitimate to wonder whether some kind of storage system, perhaps with ranks of shelves arranged in cross-crossing aisles, might not really be what is meant here:
In the largest part of the place thou shalt make nine streets, six in the middle part, three in the smallest. To the streets of the largest part thou shalt bring a thousand seeds of men and women; to the streets of the middle part, six hundred; to the streets of the smallest part, three hundred.[xviii]
If it seems fanciful to imagine that we might, in an almost high-tech sense, be looking at the specifications of a seed bank here, then how are we to assess other ‘technological’ aspects of the Vara – for example its lighting system? As well as making a door to the place, and sealing it up with the golden ring already given to him by Ahura Mazda, Yima is also to fashion ‘a window, self-shining within.’[xix] When Yima asks for clarification as to the nature of this ‘self-shining’ window Ahura Mazda tells him cryptically ‘there are uncreated lights and created lights.’ The former are the stars, the moon and the sun, which will not be seen from within the confines of the Vara during the long winter, but the latter are ‘artificial lights’ which ‘shine from below.’[xx]
Yima did as he was instructed and completed the Vara which, thereafter, ‘glowed with its own light.’[xxi] That accomplished, he then:
made waters flow in a bed a mile long; there here he settled birds, by the evergreen banks that bear never-failing food. There he established dwelling places, consisting of a house with a balcony, a courtyard and a gallery…[xxii]
There, too, we are reminded, in accord with the commands of the god,
he brought the seeds of men and women… There he brought the seeds of every kind of tree [and]… every kind of fruit… All those seeds he brought, two of every kind, to be kept inexhaustible there, so long as those men shall stay in the Vara…[xxiii]
Finally, we learn that:
every fortieth year, to every couple two are born, a male and a female. And thus it is for every sort of cattle. And the men in the Vara, which Yima made, live the happiest life.[xxiv]
Interestingly the translator explains, in a footnote drawn from various ancient learned commentaries on the text, that the human inhabitants of the Vara ‘live there for 150 years; some say they never die.’[xxv] Moreover, and particularly intriguing, the births of offspring to every couple do not result from sexual union but ‘from the seeds deposited in the Vara.’[xxvi]
Other hints of a mysterious lost technology connected to Yima include a miraculous cup in which he could see everything that was happening anywhere in the world and a jewelled glass throne (sometimes described as ‘a glass chariot’) that was capable of flight.[xxvii]
As well as a climate catastrophe in the form of an overnight reversion to peak Ice Age cold, we also know that the Younger Dryas involved extensive global flooding, as a large fraction of the North American ice cap – directly impacted by at least four of the comet fragments – melted and poured into the world ocean. It is therefore noteworthy that the Zoroastrian texts speak not only of the ‘vehement, destroying frost’ of a global winter but also of a subsequent flood accompanied by heavy precipitation, in which ‘every single drop of rain became as big as a bowl and the water stood the height of a man over the whole of this earth.’[xxviii]
On the other side of the world and much closer to the North American epicentre of the cataclysm, the Popol Vuh, an original document of the ancient Quiche Maya of Guatemala, based on pre-conquest sources, also speaks of a flood and associates it with ‘much hail, black rain and mist, and indescribable cold.’[xxix] It says, in a remarkable echo of the Zoroastrian tradition, that this was a period when ‘it was cloudy and twilight all over the world… The faces of the sun and the moon were covered.’[xxx] Other Maya sources confirm that these strange and terrible phenomena were experienced by mankind ‘in the time of the ancients. The earth darkened… It happened that the sun was still bright and clear. Then, at midday, it got dark…’[xxxi] Sunlight was not seen again ‘until the twenty-sixth year after the flood.’[xxxii]
Returning to the Middle East, the world famous account of the Hebrew patriarch Noah and the great Ark in which he rides out the flood, commands attention. It is obvious that there are many parallels with the story of Yima and his Vara. The Vara, after all, is a means of surviving a terrible and devastating winter which will destroy every living creature by enchaining the earth in a freezing trap of ice and snow. The Ark, likewise, is a means of surviving a terrible and devastating flood which will destroy every living creature by drowning the world in water. In both cases a deity – Ahura Mazda in the case of the Zoroastrian tradition, the God Yahweh in the case of the Hebrew tradition – intervenes to give advance warning to a good and pure man to prepare for the coming cataclysm. In each case the essence of the project is to preserve the seeds, or the breeding pairs, of all life:
And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the Ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.[xxxiii]
Easily missed, but noteworthy, is the fact that Noah’s Ark, like Yima’s Vara, is to have a ‘window,’ is to be closed with a ‘door,’ and is to consist of three levels:
A window shalt thou make to the Ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.[xxxiv]
Last but not least, there are hints of a lost lighting technology in Noah’s Ark that parallel the references to the ‘artificial lights’ in the Vara. In the legends of the Jews we read that the whole journey of the Ark, ‘during the year of the flood,’ was conducted in darkness both by day and by night:
‘All the time it lasted, the sun and the moon shed no light…’[xxxv]
However just like ‘self-shining window’ of the Vara:
‘The Ark was illuminated by a precious stone, the light of which was more brilliant by night than by day, so enabling Noah to distinguish between day and night.’[xxxvi]
Noah’s Ark, as is well known, is said to have ended its journey on the slopes of Mount Ararat, the symbolic heartland of ancient Armenia but now, as a result of wars in the early twentieth century, located within the modern state of Turkey. Turkey, in turn, shares a border with Iran – ancient Persia – from which the accounts of Yima’s Vara come down to us.
It is therefore intriguing that Turkey’s Cappadocia region has a very large number of ancient underground structures hewn out of solid rock and usually, like the Vara, consisting of multiple levels stacked one above the other. These underground ‘cities,’ as they are known, include the eerie and spectacular site of Derinkuyu, which I was able to visit in 2013. Lying beneath a modern town of the same name, eight of its levels are presently open to the public, although further levels remain closed off below and, astonishingly, a subterranean tunnel several kilometres in length connects it to another similar hypogeum at Kaymakli.
Entering Derinkuyu was like crossing some invisible barrier into an unexpected netherworld. One minute I was standing in bright sunshine; the next, after I had ducked into the cool, dank, dimly-lit system of tunnels and galleries (no self-shining windows now; only low wattage electric light), I felt I had been transported to a realm carved out by mythical dwarves at the dawn of time. In places the tunnels are low and narrow so that one must stoop and walk in single file between walls stained and blackened with ancient smoke and overgrown here and there with green mold. At regular intervals, slid back into deep recesses, I passed hulking megalithic doors, shaped like millstones, 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters) in diameter and weighing close to half a ton. These were clearly designed to be rolled out to block access. Stairways and steep ramps led down from level to level and, although all the levels were interconnected, the rolling stone doors could be used to isolate them from one another when needed.
Taking aim at one of the most exploitative components of America’s broken criminal justice system, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday introduced a bill that would end the “destructive and unjust cash bail process” that keeps hundreds of thousands of people locked up at a given moment due to their inability to pay their way out of jail.
“Poverty is not a crime,” Sanders declared in a press release unveiling his legislation, which is formally titled the No Money Bail Act. “In the year 2018, in the United States, we should not continue having a ‘debtor prison’ system.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), who has introduced a companion bill in the House, added in a statement on Wednesday that America’s “money bail system is irrational and dangerous. People who are not at high risk but are poor remain incarcerated, while people who may be dangerous are set free if they have the funds. It’s maddening to see that those with money can buy their freedom while poor defendants languish behind bars while awaiting trial.”
“It has always been clear that we have separate criminal justice systems in this country for the poor and for the rich.”
—No Money Bail Act, summary
“I’m grateful Sen. Sanders is introducing a bill that moves to end our justice system’s reliance on money bail,” Lieu added.
Citing the well-known fact that the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, a summary (pdf) of Sanders’ new legislation argued that “what’s even worse is nearly a quarter of all people incarcerated on any given day in the
U.S. are ‘unconvicted’—meaning they are sitting in jail waiting for a trial, or plea bargain, or some sort of conclusion to their case.”
“Pretrial detention is bad for society and bad for our criminal justice system,” the bill’s summary notes. “People held pretrial are missing days of work. They are missing time with their families. Often enough, they run the risk of missing a rent payment and losing their housing.”
But while the cash bail system has a devastating impact on the poor and vulnerable, it is a boon for the for-profit bail industry, which Sanders says rakes in “between $1.4 and $2.4 billion each year.”
“It has always been clear that we have separate criminal justice systems in this country for the poor and for the rich,” the bill’s synopsis notes. “A wealthy person charged with a serious crime may get an ankle monitor and told not to leave the country; a poor person charged with a misdemeanor may sit in a jail cell. And this disproportionately affects minorities—fifty percent of all pretrial detainees are Black or Latinx.”
According to Sanders’ office, the Vermont senator’s new legislation would
formally end the use of secured bonds in federal criminal proceedings, provide grants to states that wish to implement alternate pretrial systems to reduce their pretrial detention population and withholds grant funding from states that continue to use money bail systems. It would also require a study three years after implementation to ensure the new alternate systems are also not leading to disparate detention rates.
Sanders’ legislation has been endorsed by Color of Change and the ACLU. Both groups have been at the forefront of a nationwide grassroots initiative aimed at “bolstering the movement to end money bail and eliminate wealth-based pretrial detention.”
“It’s time to end our nation’s current system of cash bail that lets the size of your wallet determine whether you are granted freedom or stay locked up,” Udi Ofer, director of the ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice, declared in a statement launching the effort last year.
If you’re feeling stressed out, welcome to the club. Statistics show that stress in general, as well as extreme levels of stress, are both on the rise in the United States — and many people feel they’re simply not doing enough to manage that stress.
There are plenty of tried-and-true methods that can help people de-stress – such as exercise, socializing, and participating in hobbies – but there is one very powerful stress management technique that has slipped under the radar: adding prebiotics to the diet.
While probiotics have been getting a lot of much-deserved attention lately for their significant health benefits, prebiotics have been largely glossed over for some reason. Probiotics are the good bacteria that are found in fermented foods, whereas prebiotics serve as the food for this “good” gut bacteria. Prebiotics might be lesser known than probiotics, but they are no less powerful.
According to persuasive research from the University of Colorado Boulder, prebiotics can help manage stress by altering the structure of the brain in constructive ways.
The researchers divided three-week-old male rats into groups and gave some standard chow, while others got chow with prebiotics in it. They then measured how their diets impacted their behavior using tests such as open field tests, which assess anxiety levels by measuring how much time the animals are willing to spend in open areas. They also used EEG brain activity testing to monitor the animals’ sleep/wake cycles, as well as their gut bacteria and body temperature.
They found that not only where the supplemented animals less anxious, but they also slept better than the control group. The mice who took prebiotics spent more time in the restful and restorative non-REM sleep then those that did not take prebiotics. The researchers also say that the dietary prebiotics can improve sleep in the REM and non-REM stages after stressful events.
Adding even more significance to the findings was the fact that the regions in the brain associated with brain plasticity actually increased in size in those rats that were fed prebiotics. Even though this particular trial specifically examined brain development in young animals, the researchers say that they believe prebiotic ingredients can protect people of any age from stress.
Some good natural sources of prebiotic include artichokes, leeks, onions, raw garlic, and chicory. When gut bacteria digest the prebiotic fibers found in these food, it causes them to multiply, which has the effect of improving get health overall. It also releases byproducts that can impact brain function.
Fortunately, prebiotics are heat-resistant, which means cooking foods that contain them won’t destroy them and they will reach your intestine without being affected by the digestion process.
The prospect of getting rid of stress is probably more than enough to send you the grocery store in search of food that contains prebiotics. However, you might also like to know that they have plenty of other beneficial effects for your body. For example, because they improve the gut microbiome, they can help combat constipation and diarrhea, prevent inflammatory bowel disease, help with intestinal cell detoxification, and increase nutrient absorption.
One particular type of prebiotic called resistant starch has been shown to help stabilize blood glucose levels, reduce appetite, encourage weight loss, and increase sensitivity to insulin. However, it’s important to keep in mind at this only applies to natural resistant starches and not those made with chemical processes. Resistant starch can be found in unripe bananas and plantains; potatoes and legumes that have been cooked and then cooled; potato starch; and cassava powder.
Adopting a healthy habit to help manage stress is a win-win situation for your mind and your body.
Sources for this article include:
Former US President Jimmy Carter says America has lost its position as the so-called global leader for human rights under President Donald Trump.
“We should be the champion of human rights. We’re a superpower, not based solely on military power; part of that definition should be a commitment to human rights,” Carter said Tuesday at an event at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
“We have lost the long-term commitment to human rights,” he said.
“We should be a superpower because we espouse things that are important to everyone on earth and I think human rights are one of them,” he added.
Carter, 93, served as the 39th US president from 1977 to 1981.
The former Democratic president has been particularly critical of the nation’s direction under Trump’s leadership.
Tuesday’s event, part of an annual forum discussing human rights, brought together more than 60 “activists, peacemakers and community leaders,” according to a news release.
Carter specifically addressed immigration law, and said immigrants should have a “clear picture” of what happens after crossing into the United States.
“We need a comprehensive bill that has bipartisan support. Immigrants need to have a clear picture of what will happen to them when they come here. Clarification of US law is most important,” he said.
Notably, observers say the US has never been a leader of human rights, criticizing its domestic, social and economic issues, such as poverty, crime, racism and gun violence, as well as America’s support for regimes like Saudi Arabia and Israel, which are among the biggest violators of human rights.
The comments from Carter come as Trump and his administration continue to face widespread criticism for separating thousands of undocumented families illegally crossing the US-Mexico border.
In February, human rights advocacy organization Amnesty International accused Trump of violating human rights by adopting “hateful” politics.
“President Trump takes actions that violate human rights at home and abroad,” the UK-based group said in its annual report titled The State of the World’s Human Rights.
Experts from the United Nations have also warned that African Americans in the US face a “human rights crisis” and they should receive reparations for slavery.
Critics say the United States turns a blind eye to its own terrible human rights situation and say Washington uses the human rights issue as “a political instrument to defame other nations’ image and seek its own strategic interests.”
Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that affects many warm-blooded animals, but cats are its only known definitive host, in which it can reproduce. The parasite is peculiar because it is known to suppress fear and encourage risk-taking in some animals like rats, who thus become more vulnerable to a preying cat.
The new research, published in the journal Proceeding of the Royal B, points to a similar effect Toxoplasma has on humans. The researchers found people with toxoplasmosis are more likely to have started their own business than non-infected people.
The research was based on analysis of a group of some infected 1,500 students in the US and their preferred fields of study. They were 1.4 times more likely to major in business and 1.7 times more likely to have an emphasis in ‘management and entrepreneurship’ over other business-related endeavors, compared to the general population, the study found.
However, Stefanie Johnson of the University of Colorado and her colleagues warned against taking Toxoplasma gondii to be the secret weapon of tycoons. Those infected with Toxoplasmosis are also more at risk of “car accidents, mental illness, neuroticism, drug abuse and suicide,” they wrote.
Toxoplasmosis is one of the most common parasitic infections in humans, with more than 30 million affected in the US alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most carriers never develop symptoms indicating that they have the disease.
The parasite can be caught through poorly-cooked food, while handling animals, especially cat excrement, or from mother to unborn baby. The latter case poses a serious risk to the child, since it can cause miscarriage or stillbirth.
Embedded in the US public discourse is the arrogant assumption that Washington has the right to pursue regime change against any nation it chooses. For the American ruling class and its media echo chambers, it is tantamount to a “divine right” – an unquestionable mission with which Americans are “blessed.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this week talked about how America was doing “God’s work” in reaching out to Iranian people to encourage the overthrow their “mafia regime.”
“To our Iranian American and Iranian friends, tonight I tell you that the Trump administration dreams the same dreams for the people of Iran as you do,” said Pompeo. “And through our labors and God’s providence, that day will come true.”
Ironically, Pompeo referred to Iranian rulers as “hypocritical holy men.” What does that make the Americans who, it’s well documented, have overthrown as many governments around the world as the number of years that have passed since World War II?
The level arrogance and ignorance amongst Americans about their own government’s malfeasance reminds us of the quote from historian William Blum: “Americans are like the children of a mafia boss who do not know how their father makes his living, but then they are shocked when someone throws a firebomb through their living-room window.”
Trump had angrily tweeted to the Iranian leaders, warning them to “never ever threaten” the US, or they would face consequences “few in history have suffered.” Coming from the only nation to have ever used atomic bombs in battle, that is truly odious rhetoric.
Trump’s outburst echoed previous warnings of “fire and fury” aimed at North Korea before he arrived at detente with Kim Jong-un. So, it could be that Trump is playing hardball in negotiations with Iran. Regardless, it’s unacceptable that the US evidently sees itself as possessing an ordained right to openly consider regime change against any nation.
This American contempt for international law is at the root of global tensions and instability. Iran may be in the cross-hairs right now but the same pernicious principle applies to all nations, as deemed by American rulers. Today Iran, yesterday Syria, tomorrow Venezuela, and so on.
Some 65 years ago, in 1953, it was also Iran, when the CIA and Britain’s MI6 overthrew the elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh, in a bloody coup that ushered in 24 years of brutal dictatorship under the Western-backed Shah. The current Iranian leadership seized power in 1979 in reaction to US interference in Iran’s politics.
The US corporate news media provide a service to the nation’s government by concealing its crimes or making its crimes unnoticeable. The corollary of that is the fact the same media provide a disservice to the American public by not informing them why certain foreign countries find Washington so abominable, expressing the exasperated sentiment with rhetoric like “Death to America!”
For example, following Trump’s threat to Iran of destruction that “few have suffered in history,” CNN’s celebrity journalist Christiane Amanpour this week discussed with a guest on her program the pros and cons of regime change.
At one point, Amanpour asked without a hint of qualm what a “military intervention” by the US in Iran would look like?
Her guest averred that the Trump administration would likely not go for a large-scale military invasion of Iran like the one the George W. Bush administration carried out against Iraq. Instead, it would more likely carry out “limited air strikes on nuclear facilities.”
At no point in the CNN discussion was the legal or moral right for the US to militarily attack Iran even questioned. The discussion was confined to narrow considerations about the efficacy of Trump’s policy in achieving regime change in Tehran.
Just for the record, a policy of regime change is a gross violation of international law and the sovereignty of nations enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
The same sanguine attitude is prevalent among all US corporate news media. There is simply no scruples or discussion about the American “right to regime change.”
The New York Times and Washington Post, like CNN and others, ran articles this week casting doubt on Trump’s “Iran policy.” But the concern was not about the fundamental violation of international law and the potential horrific human consequences. Again, criticism of Trump’s renewed belligerence towards Iran was more concerned about the efficacy of such a policy, not the policy itself.
Another disservice to public information by the US corporate media is the lack of perspective.
Trump’s hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton has reportedly ramped up the belligerence toward Iran. That was, apparently, after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Washington not to “play with the lion’s tail.”
But what the US media have not done is to sufficiently put in context why the Iranians issued such a warning. It follows a massive effort by the Trump administration to choke off Iran’s economic lifeline of oil exports to the rest of the world.
It also follows US top diplomat Pompeo launching a new American-government media campaign to target the Iranian population with agitation against the Iranian authorities. Reuters reported that the new US media campaign, including Farsi language broadcasts 24/7, is to “erode support for Iran’s leaders.”
This is an influence campaign at the highest level, openly touted by Washington, without a hint of embarrassment over its hypocritical allegations leveled against Moscow for “meddling” in US internal politics.
Washington claims that its “right” to confront Iran is due to Tehran’s “sponsorship of international terrorism.” This is simply American and Israeli bombast, never substantiated beyond caricature or wild assertion. Such allegations by Washington are in reality more befitting of its own criminal conduct in the Middle East where it has created whole armies of terrorist proxies, along with its NATO partners and client regimes in Saudi Arabia and Israel.
The arrogance of America’s political class and its servile news media is staggering.
For the past year and more, Washington has been convulsed by self-righteous claims of “Russia interfering” in its internal affairs. No evidence has ever been produced to lend those claims any credence. But from the way the US political class has reacted hysterically to the mere claims, one would think that Russia committed the worst transgression in modern history.
Meanwhile, with casual, rampant hubris, the American political class openly ponders the pros and cons of pursuing regime change in Iran.
Iran has warned that it will not tolerate American aggression, that it will block all global oil transport through the Persian Gulf. If that happens the repercussions for America’s cheap-oil-addicted economy will be severe. But the misinformed American public will cry foul, claiming that some crazy “regime” just tossed a brick through their living-room window.
America’s divine right to regime change is predicated on a divine right to stupidity, thanks to its effete politicians and media.
Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.
It’s late July, 2018. In the Middle East, 800 men and their families are heading for Western Europe, Canada and the US, to be resettled as refugees. The true story behind their evacuation by Israel and their proposed “resettlement” as heroes is one of the most devious and frightening tales of our time.
Sources also tell us that among the 800 are top ISIS commanders who will soon be living in Germany, Britain, Canada and the United States, doing what terrorist commanders do, organizing cells and murdering innocent civilians, just like they did in Syria and Iraq and just like the White Helmets had done all along.
The White Helmets are an enigmatic group, lauded as volunteers and life savers, servant of mankind, they were organized by Britain’s MI6 as a black propaganda and anti-Assad organization funded by the governments of Britain, the US, Germany and others. They are not an NGO. There is nothing “non-governmental” about them.
Essentially, they are terrorist mercenaries.
With up to 30,000 opposition fighters inside Syria giving up arms and either rejoining Syrian society under the Damascus government in the last 12 months, or for some being resettled and perhaps continuing the fight, the 800-man force known as the White Helmets is unique.
Perhaps this is why they had to be “disemboweled” from Syria though an illegal military incursion that to the trained observer also demonstrates the curious close relationships between ISIS, al Qaeda and the Israeli Defense Forces, almost as if they were one in the same and the White Helmets were simply just another ISIS or al Qaeda organization.
It was the White Helmet’s fabricated stories of gas attacks and “barrel bombings” that drove Donald Trump to calling the elected Syrian leader “animal Assad” and launching multiple strikes on Syrian territory without UN authorization or NATO consensus.
It was the same Trump advisors and the same Donald Trump who now says he believes President Putin that, not so long ago, took the word of perhaps the sleaziest of all CIA terror operations, the White Helmets, a CIA he now says has always misled him, has always been useless, as justification for attacking Syria.
Why then did Trump attack Syria when the information he based his decision on was, by his own admission, “fake news” from his political enemies. Taking it one step further, not just fake but crazy as well, with Syria triumphant on the battle field. Syria had warned the world that the White Helmets were preparing a provocation in order to justify an American defense of ISIS against a Syria more united than ever under President Assad.
That news was everywhere, certainly across the international and alternative media that Trump is known to monitor nearly 20 hours a day on his smart phone. How did he miss it?
Trump and Putin
One thing the world now knows beyond a doubt is that Donald Trump believes Vladimir Putin. But if this is true, which we know it to be, then Trump’s actions regarding the White Helmets are bizarre and even criminal. Let us take a closer look.
On July 18, 2018, President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
They asked that Israel send IDF units well into ISIS and al Qaeda held territory, into Syria, in violation of the 1974 cease fire agreement.
There, the IDF was to, in less than 4 hours, screen 800 adult males claiming to be “White Helmets,” along with their families, load same onto busses and drive them to CIA controlled training camps in Jordan about 50 miles south of the recently liberated Syria city of Daraa.
The planning and execution of this effort, in less than 24 hours, was both incredible and heroic. Israeli forces met absolutely no resistance from ISIS or al Qaeda but were, rather, greeted with full cooperation and open arms.
Let us remember that, only a week ago, American President Donald Trump met with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Trump was effusive in his praise of Vladimir Putin, particularly in his trust of Putin and Trump’s belief that Vladimir Putin is an honest man.
This being the case, one can’t help but wonder why President Trump would ask Israel to rescue the White Helmets from the Syrian Arab Army. Moscow has stated for many months that the White Helmets are, in fact, a terrorist organization and has offered proof at both the United Nations and at The Hague backing its assertions.
In fact, the White Helmets, supposedly a civil defense NGO made up of Syrian volunteers, has long been exposed by journalists like Vanessa Beeley, Nahed al Husaini and Carla Ortiz as guilty of the murder of thousands of Syrian civilians through staged gas attacks and bombings.
The White Helmets, lauded by American leftist and Hollywood actor, George Clooney, have been cited in the media, particularly in Russia, Iran and Syria, but other nations as well, as among the most dangerous terrorists in the world.
Why then, as Trump has stated he values Putin’s opinion so much, and this is a case where Putin’s opinion is backed up by significant and irrefutable evidence, has Trump done something so stupid?
You see, it isn’t just that Trump and Trudeau asked Israel to send troops into Syria in violation of UN agreements and Syria’s sovereignty, a war crime in itself, but Trump and to a lesser extent for Trudeau, knowingly asked Israel to aid terrorists who are guilty of crimes against humanity.
It gets worse.
According to the German newspaper, Bild, the White Helmets, 800 so far, will be sent to Germany, Britain, Canada and the US. There is considerable evidence that this is an army of “800 little bin Ladens,” with many trained bomb makers, nearly all jihadists and most minimally need to be adjudicated as to their crimes against the Syrian people.
Additionally, one might well note that no screening process was employed whatsoever. We are certain that Israel simply loaded anyone who showed up onto a bus.
Let’s take a second and picture this. We have 800 families who traveled to an embarkation point deep inside the ISIS enclave in Southern Syria, an enclave shrinking by the minute.
ISIS fighters are all around, flags and guns, many carrying their head chopping swords, others with cameras and phones, recording and uploading events to their YouTube channels and Facebook accounts that are never cancelled no matter what kind of material they post.
Along side them are IDF units, in uniform, armed, standing side by side with ISIS fighters while dozens of busses are driven in from Jordan.
Does anyone find anything wrong about this picture? Do I have something wrong here?
How was this going to be sold to the public when these ISIS terrorists show up at the Toronto or Indianapolis airports and are rushed through customs and into their new lives, paid housing, free medical care for life, government checks in the mail, their children not seized, no danger of deportation and detention.
Does anyone find anything wrong with this picture as well?
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
Hundreds of members of the so-called Syrian Civil Defense, the White Helmets, have been evacuated from southwestern Syria to Jordan, via the occupied Golan Heights by the Israelis. Sputnik discussed this operation with military experts Amin Hteit and Vladimir Fitin.
During the Syrian conflict, the activists of the White Helmets have been involved in “the most odious provocations” and their evacuation reveals their true nature and hypocrisy, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.
A military expert, former Lebanese Army general Amin Hteit in an interview with Sputnik confirmed the Russian foreign ministry’s statements, saying that, “the evacuation of this group clearly shows that this is a Western product in the full sense of the word.”
According to Hteit, the White Helmets carried out the task of creating a given information background to justify any “aggression” by the United States, France and Britain against Syria. “What we are seeing now is how the creator has rescued its creation,” Hteit said.
“I say so, because there is some evidence for this. First of all, the group was created by the United Kingdom with US support; secondly, their training took place in the military camps of Israel, and then they were sent into Syria; thirdly, their alleged documentary reports were filmed at the behest of British and American intelligence. They were supporting the ongoing operations against Syria via their information campaign,” the retired general told Sputnik.
In an interview with Sputnik, an expert from the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Vladimir Fitin, said that the videos made by the White Helmets were created on the orders and with the money of the British and US intelligence services.
“Now they are being urgently taken out of Syria so that they do not fall into the hands of the rapidly advancing Syrian army,” Fitin said.He went on by saying that while only a part of the members of the White Helmets were removed, the rest continue to work in the terrorist-controlled territories.
“It is quite possible that they will release some provocative new video,” the expert said.
Earlier it was reported that the Israeli forces have evacuated several hundred White Helmets and their family members from southern Syria to Jordan at the request of several Western countries. The transfer has been labeled a “criminal operation” by Damascus, which believes the NGO’s members have cooperated with terrorists and plotted several false flag attacks.
Tel Aviv commented on the information regarding the militants’ extraction from Syria and their alleged work with Israeli intelligence agencies, saying that it is a humanitarian operation.
The White Helmets claim to be acting as a volunteer rescue group, but has been repeatedly accused of working with jihadists, such as al-Nusra Front* and staging fake videos that they later use to accuse Damascus of being responsible for attacks against civilians.
The group was founded in Turkey by former MI5 officer James Le Mesurier and funded by several western countries. Despite their claims of helping citizens, the Russian Defense Ministry has uncovered evidence and found witnesses suggesting that one of their latest reports of an alleged chemical attack in Douma was a fake.
The views and opinions of the military experts are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
July 26, 2018
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the US will never recognize Crimea as part of Russia.
According to Pompeo, in annexing the peninsula, Russia “acted in a manner unworthy of a great nation and has chosen to isolate itself from the international community.”
“Russia, through its 2014 invasion of Ukraine and its attempted annexation of Crimea, sought to undermine a bedrock international principle shared by democratic states: that no country can change the borders of another by force,” the 54-year-old said in a statement ahead of testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “In concert with allies, partners, and the international community, the United States rejects Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea and pledges to maintain this policy until Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored.”
“The United States calls on Russia to respect the principles to which it has long claimed to adhere and to end its occupation of Crimea,” he added.
During his subsequent testimony to the committee, Pompeo said he was committed to working with Congress on new sanctions and that “there will be no relief of sanctions until Russia returns control of the peninsula to Ukraine.” However, he did also indicate that the Trump administration wishes to restore relations with Russia, as a fellow nuclear super power.
Pompeo reiterated that Trump’s administration has been tough on Russia, recalling that it had approved $200 million for Ukraine in security cooperation funds. According to an earlier news release from the US Department of Defense, the funding will be for “additional training, equipment and advisory efforts to build the defensive capacity” of the country. Since 2014, the Pentagon has given Ukraine more than $1 billion.
A spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry responded to Pompeo’s remarks shortly after they were made, saying “we know the worth of such momentous declarations.” The Trump administration has made several noteworthy withdrawals from international agreements and declarations, among them existing agreements like the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal and planned treaties like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Russia accepted Crimea into the Russian Federation in 2014 after Crimeans voted in favor of joining following the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, which created a wave of fear in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population. Since then, critics have claimed that the referendum was fraudulent and have refused to recognize the results.
July 26, 2018
It has a been a summer of extremes.
Much of the northern hemisphere continues to swelter under unusually hot temperatures, even by the standards of mid-July.
Japan, which has been struggling with a deadly heat wave for more than two weeks, hit a new all-time record of 41.1 C earlier this week — about 12 degrees above the normal July high.
In the U.S. southwest, where a “heat dome” has dropped over several states, the National Weather service also recorded a new maximum temperature yesterday when the mercury touched 52.7 C in Death Valley, Calif., shattering a record that had stood for 102 years.
This follows a high of 51.3 C in Ouargla, Algeria, earlier this month, claimed to be the highest temperature ever recorded in Africa.
Records have also been set in the northernmost reaches of Scandinavia this month, with temperatures regularly surpassing 30 C. It’s been the hottest July in 260 years in Sweden, and Finland’s highs this month have been 12 degrees above the norm, contributing to forest-fire problems in both countries.
The United Kingdom is also sweating through an unusually hot summer, with a forecast high of 34 C tomorrow, and predictions that Friday might break the all-time record of 38.5 C. It explains why the waters of Bracklesham Bay in West Sussex are now warmer than those at Zuma Beach in Malibu, Calif.
According to global data compiled by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the last 30 days have seen 3,173 new daily maximums worldwide, 159 new hottest months and 53 all-time highs.
All of which follows on the heels of 2015, 2016 and 2017 being the three hottest years on record, according to the United Nations World Meteorological Organisation. Last year also had the dubious distinction of being the most costly year on record for severe weather and climate events, as the world suffered through droughts, wildfires, floods and hurricanes.
A new study, released this week, finds that human-related global warming is now accelerating the changes in our weather, causing summer temperatures to spike more quickly than in the past. Climate change is also causing arctic spiders to grow larger, while other researchers are pointing to a link between higher temperatures and increased suicide rates in the U.S. and Mexico.
Meanwhile, wheat and cotton prices are surging, as extended droughts in Russia and Texas threaten those respective crops.
And there are still nine more weeks of summer.