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Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls Trump a 'clown,' defends Iran's military Click Here to Open in a New Window

Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls Trump a 'clown,' defends Iran's militaryIran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called President Donald Trump a "clown" as he led Friday prayers in Tehran for the first time since 2012.



An ISIS preacher captured in Iraq was apparently so overweight that police had to take him away in the back of a pickup truck Click Here to Open in a New Window

An ISIS preacher captured in Iraq was apparently so overweight that police had to take him away in the back of a pickup truckShifa al-Nima was captured in the Mansour neighborhood of Mosul by the Nineveh police command, according to Iraqi police.



Off-duty Hong Kong police officer arrested for supporting protests Click Here to Open in a New Window

Off-duty Hong Kong police officer arrested for supporting protestsAn off-duty Hong Kong police officer was arrested along with seven other people on Friday as they tried to put pro-democracy posters on a footbridge, police said. It's the first known case of a police officer being apprehended for supporting the massive demonstrations that have led to more than 6,500 arrests in the past seven months. The officer, 31, and the seven other people aged 14 to 61, were arrested at 3:00 am on Friday in Tuen Mun, a district in northwest Hong Kong.



US seeks to deport Honduran mom, sick children to Guatemala Click Here to Open in a New Window

US seeks to deport Honduran mom, sick children to GuatemalaThe U.S. government says it will deport a Honduran mother and her two sick children, both of whom are currently hospitalized, to Guatemala as soon as it can get them medically cleared to travel, according to court documents and the family’s advocates. The family’s advocates accuse the U.S. of disregarding the health of the children, ages 1 and 6, to push forward a plan currently being challenged in court to send planeloads of families to different countries so that they can seek asylum elsewhere. Both children have been hospitalized in recent days in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.



Facebook says technical error caused vulgar translation of Chinese leader's name Click Here to Open in a New Window

Facebook says technical error caused vulgar translation of Chinese leader's nameFacebook Inc on Saturday blamed a technical error for Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s name appearing as “Mr Shithole” in posts on its platform when translated into English from Burmese, apologizing for any offense caused. The error came to light on the second day of a visit by the president to the Southeast Asian country, where Xi and state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi signed dozens of agreements covering massive Beijing-backed infrastructure plans. A statement about the visit published on Suu Kyi’s official Facebook page was littered with references to “Mr Shithole” when translated to English, while a headline in local news journal the Irrawaddy appeared as “Dinner honors president shithole”.



Was the Taal Volcano eruption large enough to influence the climate? Click Here to Open in a New Window

Was the Taal Volcano eruption large enough to influence the climate?The Taal volcano roared to life last weekend for the first time in more than 40 years, sending a massive plume of volcanic ash towering over the Philippines.This was the first time that Taal has erupted since 1977, an event that marked the end of an active period for the volcano that had begun in 1965. Taal did show signs of unrest periodically throughout the 1990s, but it did not erupt during that period, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.The eruption, which began on Jan. 12, 2020, has forced more than 125,000 people to evacuate the Philippine province of Batangas, where the volcano is located. A state of calamity has been declared for the zone surrounding the volcano, according to The Associated Press. People watch as Taal Volcano erupts Sunday Jan. 12, 2020, in Tagaytay, Cavite province, outside Manila, Philippines (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) During the height of the eruption, a large plume of searing hot volcanic ash blossomed approximately 50,000 feet, about 9.5 miles, into the atmosphere, with some materials making it into the stratosphere, according to observations from NASA. The eruption was accompanied by incredible displays of volcanic lightning, which made for breathtaking video footage, fountains of scalding lava and more than 400 earthquakes.The aftermath of the eruption had the country's president, Rodrigo Duterte, using no uncertain terms to describe the impact on the surrounding communities."It is now a no man's land," Duterte declared, according to Al Jazeera. "It's like heaven and earth fell on it."The fallout downwind of the eruption has blanketed areas dozens of miles away from the volcano itself, including Metro Manila, located about 101 km (63 miles) north of the eruption."Ash fallout to the ground can pose significant disruption and damage to buildings, transportation, water and wastewater, power supply, communications equipment, agriculture, and primary production leading to potentially substantial societal impacts and costs, even at thicknesses of only a few millimeters or inches," the USGS explains on its volcano hazards website. "Additionally, fine-grained ash, when ingested can cause health impacts to humans and animals. "The deteriorating air quality due to the ash has caused at least six people to be sent to a hospital in Tagaytay City in Cavite due to respiratory ailments, The Associated Press reported. One death has also been reported after a vehicle crashed on a slippery, ash-covered road.The abundance of ash in the atmosphere surrounding Taal snarled air traffic, causing more than 600 flights across the region to be canceled. If the fine volcanic ash enters the engines of an airplane, it can have disastrous results, endangering the lives of all those aboard the flight."Volcanoes do affect the weather, and some major ones affect the climate if you define climate as anything beyond a year or two," Dr. Joel Myers, Founder, President and Chairman of AccuWeather, said.In extremely powerful volcanic eruptions, the ash and aerosols released in the eruption can pass through the troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere, and penetrate into the stratosphere, the second layer of the atmosphere. If enough of the ash and other pollutants released in the eruption make it into the stratosphere, they can influence the climate around the globe. The boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere is about 6 miles (10 km) above the ground, a little higher than where commercial jets typically fly."The most significant climate impacts from volcanic injections into the stratosphere come from the conversion of sulfur dioxide to sulfuric acid, which condenses rapidly in the stratosphere to form fine sulfate aerosols," the USGS explained.These aerosols high in the atmosphere reflect light from the sun back into space, resulting in a cooling effect in Earth's lower atmosphere."There is no question that very large volcanic eruptions can inject significant amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere," scientists at the USGS say, but they also note that "the carbon dioxide released in contemporary volcanic eruptions has never caused detectable global warming of the atmosphere."Significant volcanic eruptions in the tropics can also have more of an influence on the global climate than those closer to the poles."Because of atmospheric circulation patterns, eruptions in the tropics can have an effect on the climate in both hemispheres while eruptions at mid or high latitudes only have an impact the hemisphere they are within," the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research explained. The time-series animation above shows the growth and spread of the volcanic plume from January 12-13, as observed by Japan's Himawari-8 satellite. (NOAA) The most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history directly influenced temperatures around the globe for years and was responsible for what became known as the ‘Year Without a Summer.'"One of the most dramatic examples" of this phenomenon over the last few 100 years was the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815, Myers said. That eruption "caused a few years of cold weather, some of it extraordinary," he explained. "This includes 1816, the Year Without a Summer, when frost occurred in New England in every month of the year - affecting crops and on one July day when snow flurries were reported in Long Island Sound."AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said that scientists are also unsure that the Tambora eruption was the sole factor behind the Year Without a Summer. Kottlowski, who is also AccuWeather's chief hurricane expert, said, "There are potentially other factors that couldn't be measured at the time or weren't understood at the time that could've been contributing factors to the unusual weather in the Northeast that year. "A more recent example of a volcano having a direct correlation with a decrease in the global temperature took place in the early 1990s following the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.The eruption of Mount Pinatubo was more powerful than that of Mount St. Helens, sending an enormous plume of volcanic ash and aerosols as high as 28 miles (40 km)."Nearly 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide were injected into the stratosphere in Pinatubo's 1991 eruptions, and dispersal of this gas cloud around the world caused global temperatures to drop temporarily (1991 through 1993) by about 1°F (0.5°C)," according to the USGS.Pinatubo's eruption was orders of magnitude larger than that of Taal's eruption earlier this year, so any impacts on the global climate through the balance of 2020 and into 2021 from the eruption are likely to be minimal or negligible.However, if the early January eruption of Taal is followed up by a series of larger eruptions that disperse large quantities of aerosols into the stratosphere, then the probability of the volcano influencing the global climate would increase.Taal has spewed smaller ash and steam explosions throughout the week, and as of Friday, it was still under alert for a hazardous eruption, The Associated Press reported. Officials have warned that "life-threatening" subsequent eruptions remain a real possibility.



Los Angeles teachers are suing Delta after a plane dumped jet fuel on them, allegedly leaving them dizzy and nauseous Click Here to Open in a New Window

Los Angeles teachers are suing Delta after a plane dumped jet fuel on them, allegedly leaving them dizzy and nauseousTeachers at an elementary school outside of Los Angeles, California are suing Delta after a plane dropped fuel on area schools, causing 60 injuries.



The Hole in the Impeachment Case Click Here to Open in a New Window

The Hole in the Impeachment CaseThought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging file of real-estate transfers through which Trump laundered racketeering proceeds for Putin’s favored mobsters and oligarchs; or Trump is recorded cutting a deal to drop Obama-era sanctions against Putin’s regime if Russian spies hack Democratic accounts.Thought experiment No. 2: Adam Schiff is not a demagogue. (Remember, this is fantasy.) At the very first televised hearing, when he alleged that President Trump told Ukrainian president Zelensky, “I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent . . . lots of it,” Schiff was not defrauding the public. Instead, impeachment’s Inspector Clouseau can actually prove that Trump was asking a foreign government to manufacture out of whole cloth evidence that Vice President Biden and his son were cashing in on the former’s political influence (as opposed to asking that Ukraine look into an arrangement so objectively sleazy that the Obama administration itself agitated over what to do about it).What do these two scenarios have in common, besides being fictional? Answer: If either of them were real, we’d already be talking about President Pence’s upcoming State of the Union address.This is the point that gets lost in all the endless chatter over impeachment strategy and procedure. Everything that is happening owes to the fact that we do not have an offense sufficiently grave for invocation of the Constitution’s nuclear option. If we had one, the machinations and the posturing would be unnecessary — even ridiculous.Why are we talking about how Chairman Schiff, Speaker Pelosi, and House Democrats rushed through the impeachment inquiry without making a real effort to interview key witnesses?Why was the Democrats’ impeachment gambit driven by the election calendar rather than the nature of the president’s offense? Why were the timing of hearings and the unreasonable limits imposed on Republicans’ ability to call witnesses dictated by the frantic rush to get done before Christmas recess -- to the point that Democrats cynically vacated a subpoena they’d served on a relevant administration witness, fearing a few weeks of court battles that they might lose?Why did Democrats grope from week to week in a struggle over what to call the misconduct they accused the president of committing – campaign finance, extortion, quid pro quo, bribery? How did they end up with an amorphous “abuse of power” case? How did they conclude that an administration that goes to court rather than instantly surrendering potentially privileged information commits obstruction?Why such tedious recriminations over adoption of Senate procedures that were approved by a 100–0 vote the last time there was an impeachment trial? Why all the kvetching over whether witnesses will be called when those procedures provide for the calling of witnesses in the likely event that 51 senators — after hearing nearly two weeks of presentation and argument from both sides -- want to hear from one or two of them?Why, with Election Day only ten months away, would Speaker Pelosi stoke an impeachment vote that could be perilous for many of her members, on the insistence that Trump was such a clear and present danger she could brook no delay, but then . . . sit on the impeachment articles for a month, accomplishing nothing in the interim except to undermine the presidential bids of several Senate Democrats, who will be trapped in Washington when they should be out campaigning with Iowa’s caucuses just two weeks away?None of this would have happened if there had been a truly impeachable offense.Adam Schiff is a smart guy. He did not idly dream up a “make up dirt” parody. He framed it because he knows that’s the kind of misconduct you would need to prove to warrant impeachment and removal of a president. In fact, Schiff could never prove that, but he figured parody is good enough for 2020 campaign purposes — and that’s what this exercise is all about.If collusion with Russia had been fact rather than farce, Trump would never have made it to an impeachment trial. He’d have had to resign, Prior to November 8, 2016, Republicans were not the ones in need of convincing that Russia was a dangerous geopolitical threat. If it had been real collusion that brought Democrats around to that conclusion, the votes to impeach and remove would have been overwhelming.And the timing would have been irrelevant. If Americans had been seized by a truly impeachable offense, it would not matter whether Election Day was two years, two months, or two weeks away. The public and the political class would not tolerate an agent of the Kremlin in the Oval Office.If there were such egregious misconduct that the public was convinced of the need to remove Trump, such that two-thirds of the Senate would ignore partisan ties and do just that, there would be no partisan stunts. Democratic leaders would have worked cooperatively with their GOP counterparts, as was done in prior impeachments. They would have told the president: “Sure, you can have your lawyers here, and call whatever witnesses you want.” There would be a bipartisan sense that the president had done profound wrong. There would be a sense of history, not contest. Congressional leaders would want to be remembered as statesmen, not apparatchiks.If there were a real impeachable offense, there would be no fretting about witnesses at the trial. Senate leaders would be contemplating that, after hearing the case extensively presented by both sides, there might well be enough votes to convict without witnesses. But if there were an appetite for witnesses, witnesses would be called . . . as they were in Watergate. And just as in Watergate, if the president withheld vital evidence of appalling lawlessness, the public would not be broadly indifferent to administration stonewalling.If there were an obviously impeachable offense, the garrisons of Fort Knox could not have stopped Nancy Pelosi from personally marching impeachment articles into the Senate the second the House had adopted them -- in what would have been an overwhelming bipartisan vote (of the kind that Pelosi, not long ago, said would be imperative for a legitimate impeachment effort).The Framers expected presidents to abuse their powers from time to time. And not just presidents. Our Constitution’s theory of the human condition, and thus of governance, is that power is apt to corrupt anyone. It needs to be divided, and the peer components need to be incentivized to check each other. The operating assumption is that, otherwise, one component would accumulate too much power and inevitably fall prey to the tyrannical temptation. But as Madison observed, men are not angels. Separation of powers arms us against inevitable abuse, it does not prevent abuse from happening. Abuse is a given: Congress uses lawmaking power to encroach on the other branches’ prerogatives; judges legislate from the bench, presidents leverage their awesome powers for political advantage. The expectation is not that government officials will never overreach; it is that when one branch does overreach, the others will bring it into line.That is the norm: corrective action or inaction, political pressure, naming and shaming, power of the purse, and so on. We expect to criticize, inveigh, even censure. We don’t leap from abuse to expulsion. We don’t expect routinely to expel members of Congress or impeach presidents and judges. That is reserved for historically extraordinary wrongs.On Ukraine, nothing of consequence came of President Trump’s bull-in-a-china-shop excesses. Sure, they ought to be a 2020 campaign issue. Democrats, instead, would have us exaggerate them into historically extraordinary wrongs. For that, you need gamesmanship. If there were real impeachable misconduct, there would be no time or place for games.



Body of woman who was missing for almost 6 years found in car submerged in NJ river Click Here to Open in a New Window

Body of woman who was missing for almost 6 years found in car submerged in NJ riverVanessa Smallwood of Maple Shade, N.J., was 46 at the time of her disappearance. She was identified in a statement from New Jersey State Police.



The TSA apologized after an agent pulled a Native American passenger's braid and said "giddyup!" during a pat down Click Here to Open in a New Window

The TSA apologized after an agent pulled a Native American passenger's braid and said "giddyup!" during a pat downTara Houska was going through security at the Minneapolis airport on Monday when she said an agent humiliated her by whipping her braids.



Groom accused of sexually assaulting teenage waitress at wedding spared jail Click Here to Open in a New Window

Groom accused of sexually assaulting teenage waitress at wedding spared jailA man accused of sexually assaulting a woman at his own wedding reception pleaded guilty to misdemeanours after more serious charges against the New Jersey groom were dropped, keeping him out of prison.In a Pennsylvania court on Thursday, 32-year-old newlywed Matthew Aimers received six years of probation as part of a plea agreement on misdemeanour charges of simple assault, indecent exposure and disorderly conduct during his November 2018 reception. Charges of indecent assault, imprisonment of a minor and harassment were dropped.



Another top North-Korean-U.S. negotiator dumped by Kim Click Here to Open in a New Window

PYONGYANG, North Korea - North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho has reportedly been replaced.

The NK News portal br


SA boxing legend Peter 'Terror' Mathebula dies Click Here to Open in a New Window

Cape Town - The family of Peter "Terror" Mathebula has confirmed that the South African boxing legend passed away on Saturday following an illness.

He was 68.

In 1980,


Heavy Snow Hampers Search for Missing S. Korean, Nepal Trekkers Click Here to Open in a New Window

KATHMANDU - Heavy snow and poor visibility hampered the search Sunday for four South Koreans and three Nepalis caught in an avalanche in the popular Annapurna region of the Himalayas, officials sai


Park holds third-round lead in Tournament of Champions Click Here to Open in a New Window
Inbee Park shot a 4-under 67 on Saturday and holds a two-shot lead over fellow South Korean Sei Young Kim after three rounds of the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions at Lake Buena
N. Korean Foreign Minister Replaced Click Here to Open in a New Window

SEOUL - North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho has been replaced, Seoul-based NK News reported on Saturday.

Ri's replacement has not been identified but Pyongyang is set to reveal his succe


Over 200 rescued from avalanche-hit areas in Nepal Click Here to Open in a New Window
Kathmandu [Nepal], Jan 18 (ANI): Over 200 people have been rescued from Mount Everest and Annapurna in Nepal on Saturday, a day after an avalanche hit a section on Annapurna circuit trekking route, De
Rescue ops on for missing trekkers at Nepal's Annapurna Circuit Click Here to Open in a New Window
Kathmandu [Nepal], Jan 18 (ANI): A search and rescue team has been deployed to find the trekkers from South Korea and China who went missing after an avalanche hit a section of the Annapurna circuit r
'US-S Korea not talking on troop deployment to Strait of Hormuz' Click Here to Open in a New Window
Seoul (South Korea) [India], Jan 18 (ANI): South Korea and the United States are not discussing the possible deployment of South Korean troops to the Middle East in connection with their defense cost-
An Oscar for Parasite? The global rise of South Korean film Click Here to Open in a New Window

The international success of Parasite, the black comedy thriller by Bong Joon-ho, has been rather spectacular. It started with a slew of early season awards, including the prestigious

Trekkers go missing after avalanche hit Annapurna circuit in Nepal Click Here to Open in a New Window
Kathmandu [Nepal], Jan 17 (ANI): Several trekkers from South Korea and China went missing in Nepal after an avalanche hit a section of the Annapurna circuit trekking route on Friday afternoon, police
Deadline What Deadline North Korea, US Try New 'Strategic Patience' Click Here to Open in a New Window

SEOUL - In April, just weeks after his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump collapsed in Hanoi, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un decided to ramp up the pressure on Washington.

"We will wait


US Intelligence Chiefs Could Scrap Annual Public Hearing Click Here to Open in a New Window

There is a chance that for the first time in years, the U.S. public may not hear directly from top intelligence officials about the biggest and most pressing threats facing the nation.

U.S. i







North Korea at Wikipedia Click Here to Open in a New Window
North Korea at CIA FactBook Click Here to Open in a New Window


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