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Thu, 14 Nov 2019
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Dems think Bernie better on policy issues, but will vote for Biden in hopes he dethrones Trump - Poll

Bernie Sanders - Joe Biden
© REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks as former Vice President Joe Biden listens during the fourth U.S. Democratic presidential candidates 2020 election debate in Westerville, Ohio, U.S., October 15, 2019.
Bernie Sanders's progressive agenda has struck a chord with Democrats who now think he is the best on healthcare and climate, and on par with Joe Biden on economy and immigration. However, Biden remains their preferred candidate.

While the independent Vermont senator is trailing Biden in the polls, his take on key US policies is shared by more constituents than that of the former vice president, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted between November 1-4 has revealed.

Asked about what candidate they think is the best on environment, 24 percent of prospective Democratic voters went for Sanders against 17 percent for Biden. As far as the other major issue, healthcare, is concerned, Sanders commands a 10-point lead over Biden.

While American voters in general favor Sanders over Biden on economy and jobs, as well as on the immigration policy, Democrats are divided in their opinions. Some 18 percent believe Biden and Sanders are best on immigration, while 21 percent side with either of the candidates on economy and jobs.


A 25-year-old Muslim immigrant from Iran is Boris Johnson's challenger in UK polls

Ali Milani

Ali Milani arrived in London from Tehran with his mother and sister when he was 5.
Ali Milani arrived in London from Tehran with his mother and sister when he was 5.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday launched his Conservative Party's campaign for the general election. But there's a hitch. Johnson has to win back his own seat - fending off a challenge from a young Muslim immigrant who represents the Labour Party. It looks as if it could be a tight race.

Johnson represents Uxbridge, a suburb of northwest London and no longer the safe seat for Tories it was a decade ago. In the last general election, in 2017, Johnson won his race by just 5,034 votes. If Labour can swing 5% of the electorate its way, the prime minister could be in trouble.

British lawmakers don't have to live in the districts - or constituencies - they represent, and Johnson doesn't live in Uxbridge, though he makes occasional meet-and-greet appearances.

Top Secret

Trove of explosive secret internal Facebook documents and emails were just leaked online

zuckerberg congress

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in October.
An explosive trove of nearly 4,000 pages of confidential internal Facebook documents has been made public, shedding unprecedented light on the inner workings of the Silicon Valley social-networking giant.

On Wednesday, the investigative reporter Duncan Campbell released a vast swathe of internal emails, reports, and other sensitive documents from the early 2010s that detail Facebook's internal approach to privacy and how it worked with app developers and handled their access to user data.

The documents were originally compiled as part of a lawsuit that the startup Six4Three brought against Facebook for cutting off its bikini-photo app's access to the developer platform. The documents were supposed to remain under seal — but they were leaked.


Growing trend: Migrants are illegally crossing into US via Canadian borders

US-Canada Border
Mexican citizens are increasingly being arrested for illegally entering the United States from Canada, and the majority are going through a specific part of Vermont and northeastern New York, according to federal law enforcement officials.

In the area, known as the Swanton Sector, 822 people during the 2019 fiscal year were stopped while traversing fields and forests between official crossing points, more than the total, 758, arrested for crossing in all seven other regions on the Canadian border. Mexicans and Romanians make up 565 of the 822 known illegal entrants.

Norm Lague oversees operations at Champlain Station, the busiest of Swanton Sector's eight offices. During a tour of the region this week provided to the Washington Examiner, Lague said his station's intelligence unit had concluded more than half of Mexicans and Romanians they arrested had flown into Canada by way of its Electronic Travel Authorization program. The three-year-old program allows citizens from certain countries to enter without first obtaining a visa. People from those two nations are not allowed to enter the U.S. without a visa, but they are legally entering Canada and sneaking across the border from there.

Comment: See also:

Russian Flag

Got it covered: 34-ton titanium-decorated dome placed on top of Russia's grand military cathedral

A grandiose cathedral on the outskirts of Moscow, which is set to become the main Orthodox Christian church for the Russian military, reached a milestone on Friday when builders put in place the first of its six domes.

The dome, which weighs 34 tons and measures 12 meters across, was lifted by a high-endurance crane to the height of a 20-story building and lowered onto one of the Resurrection Cathedral's four smaller towers in Kubinka. An even bigger dome will later be placed on the central tower, raising a cross to a height of 95 meters. The sixth dome will crown the bell tower.

Befitting a military church, the domes are shaped to resemble medieval helmets. They are made of stainless steel and covered with a film of titanium nitride rather than traditional gold.


Boeing whistleblower raises doubts over 787 oxygen system

© Boeing
A Boeing whistleblower has claimed that passengers on its 787 Dreamliner could be left without oxygen if the cabin were to suffer a sudden decompression.

John Barnett says tests suggest up to a quarter of the oxygen systems could be faulty and might not work when needed.

He also claimed faulty parts were deliberately fitted to planes on the production line at one Boeing factory.

Boeing denies his accusations and says all its aircraft are built to the highest levels of safety and quality.

People 2

Indians angry with Google over '2020 Sikh Referendum' app, accuse Pakistan of supporting secessionist movement

Radical Sikh activists
© Global Look Press / Hindustan Times
Radical Sikh activists
Google has come under fire from Indians who have noticed an application on its Play store that promotes a Sikh secessionist movement. Indian users sunk the app with bad reviews and reports, and have accused Pakistan of backing it.

The application, named '2020 Sikh Referendum,' caught the eyes of Indian users on Wednesday. The app - which has been available from Google Play since February - seems to have had modest reach, as it's listed to have merely 1,000+ downloads.

The app promotes an online secessionist campaign, launched by US-based group 'Sikhs for Justice,' that is calling for the creation of an independent Sikh state - so-called Khalistan. The separatist group was banned by India's Union Cabinet this July over its alleged anti-national activities.

Comment: Looks like Google is working in hand with a group likely created to foment unrest in India. We know who the usual players are in that scenario - CIA/Deep State.

Indian users claimed the app has been spreading "false propaganda" against India, and called on Google to take it down. Some urged a boycott the tech giant altogether.


'Greta shaming' trend in Israel discourages plastic utensils with 'dystopian' cut-outs of teen climate activist

© Reuters / Carlo Allegri; Reuters / Gleb Garanich
Photos of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg are popping up in cafeterias across Israel in a "green" trend designed to shame diners out of using plastic cutlery. Many online saw shades of Orwell in the new fad.

Dubbed "Greta shaming," the trend has swept workplace lunchrooms in Tel Aviv, with eco-minded workers placing photos of a disapproving Thunberg alongside disposable forks and plates, casting judgement on anyone who dares to ignore their environmental footprint.

The teenage activist has trotted the globe doling out doses of climate shame and "How dare you"-s to world leaders over their alleged inaction on the environment, but it appears her message is catching on in Israel, where the city of Tel Aviv recently passed a ban on single-use plastics in some childcare facilities.

Comment: The use of a child to guilt-trip people into altering their behavior is utterly shameless.


Pedophiles 'born not made' claim could see child molestation as a 'sexual orientation'

children shoes stuffed animal toy
© Getty Images / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Omar Marques
The brains of pedophiles are hardwired from the womb and nothing can change them, according to a study by a prominent doctor. Will this research serve to give child sex predators more rights than their victims?

Comment: As usual on controversial issues, both sides are wrong - or at least not entirely right. Whether or not pedophiles are hardwired makes no difference - if they commit a crime and get caught, they will go to jail. Psychopathy, for example, is widely accepted to be "hardwired", but so far there is no movement toward giving psychopathic offenders more rights than their victims. The majority of violent incarcerated criminals are psychopaths, and the fact that they are hardwired means they are less likely to get parole because of their higher chances of recidivism. There's no reason to think it will be any different with pedophilia if the issue is just one of nature vs. nurture.

Dr. James Cantor, a neuroscientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), has triggered controversy with a recent interview in which he argues, based on MRI brain scans of convicted child molesters, that "pedophilia begins in the womb." Strangely, however, no brains of infants or children were examined in the study.

Comment: Not a lot is known about the causes of sexual orientation and paraphilias. There's no "gay gene", for instance. As far as we know, it is probably some combination of genetics and early imprinting. But that's just a guess at this point. So Cantor's statement should be regarded as no more than a guess - as with everyone else claiming to know the source of human sexuality.

At one point in the interview, it seemed that Cantor was being too kind to "positive pedophiles," as he politely refers to those individuals who refrain from acting upon their unspeakable impulses. Cantor argues there is a difference between a so-called 'positive pedophile' who has committed no crime, and a sexual predator who has violated a child.

Comment: Technically he is right. The question is one of statistics - which we don't have. How many non-offending pedophiles are there? What percentage of total pedophiles? How likely is a "positive pedophile" to become a "negative pedophile" and offend? In the face of uncertainty, it's prudent to take steps to keep such individuals away from children.

"There's nothing about a pedophile who has never touched anybody, never watched child porn, has a sexual interest pattern he didn't ask for and can't get rid of. What did he do wrong," Cantor asked. "What am I blaming him for?"


15 'illegal immigrants' discovered in back of lorry near Chippenham, Irishman, 50s arrested

UK illegal migrants truck

Police at the scene on the A350 where 15 illegal migrants were discovered in a lorry near Chippenham
Fifteen migrants who were found in the back of a lorry in Chippenham last night have been arrested on suspicion of entering the UK illegally.

Police were called at 8.30pm to check out an HGV which was involved in 'suspicious activity' on the A350 near the town. Officers checked the lorry and discovered the 15 people in the back, one of which was treated in Swindon Great Western Hospital.

The driver of the vehicle, an Irishman in his 50s, was arrested on suspicion of assisting illegal entry into the country. He also remains in custody for further questioning.

Police have confirmed all of the suspected illegal migrants are men over the age of 16.