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Nearly half of people living in major US cities don't speak English at home

Sacramento city sign
© Robert Galbraith / Reuters
Chinatown in San Francisco
More than 66 million people in the US speak a 'foreign' language at home, the Center For Immigration Studies has discovered, and almost half of the residents in its five largest cities don't speak English with their families.

American heterogeneous society has failed to become more homogeneous over the last three decades, with more people opting to speak their native tongue at home. Data from 1980 shows that only 11 percent of people living in the US didn't speak English with their relatives; by 2017, that number had risen to 21.8 percent, the Washington-based immigration think tank discovered, after examining Census Bureau data for 2017. That is 66.6 million legal and illegal residents in a country with over 325 million citizens.

Play

Mosul: Between War and Peace - Year after ISIS' defeat, RT Documentary sees a city festering with hatred & revenge

Mosul
© RT
Mosul
Mosul - Iraq's second-largest city and the former Islamic State capital - is still reeling a year after the terrorists were driven out. Bad blood and a thirst for revenge still divide people there.

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) captured Mosul in June 2014 in mere days, sending soldiers and security troops on the run. Many local residents welcomed the jihadists, who promised protection from corruption, plus jobs and security. Later, the promises of prosperity proved false, with rigid rules, intimidation, rape, and public executions a daily routine.

But thousands of people in Mosul still pledged allegiance to IS - some driven by their propaganda, others by hunger or simply fear.

Comment: See also:


Pirates

Monsanto appeals to judge to toss out damning $289m cancer verdict

Dewayne Johnson Monsanto
© Reuters
Dewayne Johnson was awarded $289 million by the courts after claims Monsanto's weedkillers gave him terminal cancer.
Agrochemical giant Monsanto has appealed to a California judge to throw out a $289 million jury verdict awarded to a man who claimed that the Bayer-owned company's glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, gave him cancer.

The company filed motions in San Francisco's Superior Court of California to claim that the jury's decision was insufficiently supported by the evidence presented at trial by Dewayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper diagnosed with a terminal form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

During the 2016 case, Johnson alleged his cancer was caused by years of exposure to Roundup and Ranger Pro herbicides, which both contain glyphosate - an ingredient that the World Health Organization's cancer research agency classified as "probably carcinogenic to humans" back in 2015.

Comment: See also:


Russian Flag

Russia's new 'invisible' submarine makes maiden dive

submarine
© Irina Motina / Sputnik
A new Russian Lada-class diesel-electric attack submarine will defend naval bases and destroy other subs, while remaining 'invisible' to enemy radar, an official said.

The 'Kronshtadt' submarine successfully conducted its maiden dive in St. Petersburg on Monday. The sub is said to be 'invisible' because its advanced equipment prevents it from being spotted underwater, Viktor Chirkov, Russia's former Baltic Fleet commander and now a chief adviser at the state shipbuilding company said.

The submarine itself is designed to successfully detect even 'low-sound' targets, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. It is also designed to hit targets with high-precision cruise missile strikes.
submarine
© Irina Motina / Sputnik
The sub's tasks will be defending naval bases, conducting reconnaissance missions, as well as destroying enemy ships and other submarines.

Pirates

Anti-Russian hysteria hits high as delusional professor warns of Russian attack against Boy Scouts

boy scouts
© David Manning / Reuters
Not content with (alleged) efforts to destroy US democracy through election interference in 2016, Russia is now "likely" targeting American civic society groups like the Boy Scouts and local charities, a professor has suggested.

"It may be hard to imagine Russia going after the Boy Scouts," Susan Landau, a professor at Tufts University, wrote in an essay published by The Conversation and reprinted by Salon. Indeed it is, but Landau posits that groups like the Boy Scouts, as well as local charities, sports teams and churches, are the perfect target for Russia, because these are the things that "knit together a community and a society."

They are the groups, Landau says, that provide the connections that keep "legitimate disagreement from exploding into acrimony and sharp divisions" among Americans - and pesky Russians are trying to ruin it all.

Comment: These folks are so far gone from reality. They pile accusation upon accusation (it doesn't matter when such accusations are outed as lies), and use completely imaginary fantasy as the basis for their 'warnings'. It wouldn't be surprising to soon see another accusation come along that will use the claim of 'Russians attacking the Boy Scouts' as 'evidence' for Moscow going after elementary school PTA's.

What is dangerous about this is the people making such claims have levels of influence in their communities, which is amplified by the deranged media. Wack jobs like Landau are now calling for political discussion and debate to head 'underground'. Hysteria and paranoia have been fostered to such levels that critical thought is not only being diminished on the individual level but is being identified as a threat within the larger society.


Dollar

IMF warns trade war with US-China could have 'significant economic costs' to global economy

pipes
© China Daily CDIC / Reuters
The International Monetary Fund has warned about the casualties of the trade war between the world's largest economies, the US and China, AFP reports.

The global lender is still assessing the impact of China-US duties, but the economic costs "will quickly add up," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters on Thursday.

Rice said that "depending on specifics and how they play out, the imposition of tariffs could come at a significant economic cost."

China added $60 billion of US products to its import tariff list on Tuesday as retaliation to US duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods, which go into effect on September 24. The measure comes into effect next week.

Arrow Down

OECD warns that global economic expansion is slowing down due to trade tensions

chinese shipping container
© Sean Gallup / Getty Images
Expansion in the global economy is slowing down as uncertainties intensify, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has warned.

Its latest economic outlook for both 2018 and 2019 was less positive than it had predicted in May. Escalating trade tensions, tightening financial conditions in emerging markets and political risks could further undermine strong and sustainable medium-term growth worldwide, the thinktank said.

"The expansion may now have peaked," it said, adding: "Global growth is projected to settle at 3.7 percent in 2018 and 2019, marginally below pre-crisis norms, with downside risks intensifying."

The OECD has also noted rising differences across countries, in contrast to the broad-based expansion seen in the latter part of 2017 and earlier this year.

Heart - Black

Saudi Arabia bans 300,000 Palestinians from Makkah

saudi pilgrim
© Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency
A prospective pilgrim woman prays as she waits to cross Rafah border crossing before moving forward to the Muslims' Holiest city of Mecca of Saudi Arabia for making a pilgrimage, in Rafah, Gaza on 14 August, 2017
Saudi Arabia issued new directives banning up to 300,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon from performing pilgrimage, Alarab.qa reported yesterday.

Reporting the Palestinian Institution for Human Rights (Shahed), the Qatari news website said that Saudi Arabia stopped issuing visas for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon who do not hold a Palestinian Authority (PA) passport.

Shahed reported travel agents were informed by the Saudi embassy in Lebanon not to accept applications from Palestinians who do not have PA passports.

The rights group said it was worried about the "sudden" Saudi decision, calling on Kingdom to identify its reasons which have "dangerous consequences" on the Palestinian refugees and their future.

Target

Small potatoes: Session's DOJ fines housekeeping company for importing foreign workers rather than hiring Americans

Company fined H-b2 visa program
© SPENCER PLATT VIA GETTY IMAGES
the DOJ is requiring Palmetto to pay $42,000 in civil penalties, as well as setting aside $35,000 in lost wages for the American workers who were passed over in favor of imported foreign workers.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Department of Justice (DOJ) has fined a housekeeping company after revealing that they gamed the H-2B visa program to import foreign workers instead of hiring qualified Americans.

The DOJ settlement with Palmetto Beach Hospitality LLC is the fourth settlement by Sessions' Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative where companies across the United States have been fined and penalized for importing foreign workers when there were qualified, ready to work Americans for the job.

In the latest case of anti-American discrimination investigated by the Justice Department, Palmetto illegally ignored the applications of American workers who had applied for housekeeping positions.

Instead, Palmetto imported foreign workers to take the housekeeping jobs through the H-2B visa program, which allows businesses to import foreigners to take blue-collar jobs. Palmetto, according to the investigation, claimed that it could not find Americans to do the jobs, even though Americans had applied for the available positions.

Comment: Going after the little guys to give the appearance of actually stopping the abuse of visa programs? When will the DOJ attempt to end the gaming of the system by corporate giants?


Magnify

EU regulators open anti-trust investigation into Amazon business practices

Margrethe Vestager Amazon anti-trust
© Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg
Margrethe Vestager, competition commissioner of the European Commission, in Paris on Nov. 21. (Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg)
Europe's antitrust regulators have opened a preliminary probe of Amazon.com to see whether the e-commerce giant has stifled smaller competitors who sell clothing, toys and other goods through its website, marking the region's latest inquiry into the business practices of a U.S. tech giant.

The concern at hand is whether Amazon's use of sales data from third-party merchants gives it a leg up in selling its own products, said Margrethe Vestager, the European Union's competition chief, on Wednesday. More than half of Amazon's sales now come from third-party merchants that do business on the company's site, as the retailer aggressively recruits small and medium-size sellers to join its marketplace. (Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post.)

"The question here is about the data," Vestager said at a news conference. "If you as Amazon get the data from the smaller merchants that you host ... do you then also use this data to do your own calculations on what is the new big thing? What is it that people want? What kind of offers do they like to receive? What makes them buy things?"

Amazon declined to comment.

Comment: Amazon's relationship with its third-party sellers has been described as 'predatory'. It tracks their transactions and will begin selling many of their most popular items itself. Amazon also uses the transaction information to extract an ever larger cut of their sellers revenue. See: