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"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." -- Greek proverb
Toilet paper worldwide contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and may be a major source of water pollution, a new study by researchers at the University of Florida suggests.
According to the study, published by the Environmental Science & Technology Letters journal, the team tested rolls from 21 major toilet paper brands sold in the Americas, Africa and Europe, as well as sewage samples from eight wastewater treatment plants in Florida. Both toilet paper and sewage sludge turned out to contain PFAS, with so-called diPAPs, specifically, 6:2 fluorotelomer phosphate diester (6:2 diPAP), found to be the most abundant compound.
Based on the findings, available data on PFAS levels in sewage and per capita toilet paper usage in other countries, the researchers estimated that toilet paper can contribute to 89% of the 6:2 diPAP in wastewater in France, as well as to 35% in Sweden. At the same time, the hygienic implement is responsible for only about 4% of the compound in wastewaters in Canada and the US, according to the study.
Silicon Valley Bank’s crisis and subsequent closure has rocked financial markets since late last week. In a bid to protect depositors and investors, federal regulators announced Sunday that they would “address any liquidity pressures that may arise.”
Many people have described the emergency measures as a bailout and say that they mark a major shift in how the federal government deals with banking crises. Until now, only deposits up to $250,000 were insured under federal law. But the Sunday decision by regulators will protect all deposits made at SVB and crypto-heavy Signature Bank, which regulators wound down on Sunday, to avoid “system risk.”
“We’ve changed the system,” economist Mohamed El-Erian, president of Queens’ College at the University of Cambridge, told CNBC’s Squawk Box on Monday. He also echoed Roger Altman, founder of investment bank advisory firm Evercore, that “we are now in a different world.”
Norway's sovereign wealth fund had investments in SVB Financial Group and Signature Bank that were valued last week at a combined 2.8 billion Norwegian kroner ($263.3 million), it said Monday.
Silicon Valley Bank collapsed Friday after a run on deposits doomed the tech-focused lender's plans to raise fresh capital, while Signature Bank suffered a similar fate over the weekend as investors became concerned about its high share of uninsured deposits.
Both banks are now under the control of U.S. authorities.
The fall of Silicon Valley Bank leaves a major financing gap for companies developing climate solutions like solar farms and carbon-removal technology. That could make it harder for startups to get funding and scale their operations.
SVB's website says the bank worked with more than 1,550 clients in the climate-tech and sustainability sector, particularly community solar. The bank also says it led or participated in 62% of community-solar financing deals, worth about $3.2 billion in total. And according to ImpactAlpha, SVB was a leading provider of venture debt to climate startups.
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani on 13 March committed $500,000 to the families of the victims of the recent rampage in the town of Huwara in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus carried out by extremist Israeli settlers.
On the night of 26 February, Israeli settlers stormed the town of Huwara and proceeded to burn 75 homes, injuring nearly 400 Palestinians and killing one.
According to eyewitness reports, the Israeli military witnessed the violence but took no action to stop it. The Israeli military estimated that between 300 and 400 people participated in the pogrom.
The Huwara Municipality expressed its gratitude to the Secretary-General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee and the Qatari Emir for facilitating the transfer of aid to the victims of the violent rampage.
The Israeli-run Jerusalem municipality handed out a demolition notice on Monday to 74-year-old Fatemeh Salem, a Palestine refugee and a long-time resident of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem.
"We were surprised to see municipal clerks and Israeli forces this morning. They gave us a demolition notice," Ibrahim Salem, Fatemeh's son, told a group of EU diplomats visiting Sheikh Jarrah residents facing demolition or eviction orders.
According to the Salem family, the demolition notice does not cover the entire home but only a part.
France24 TV suspended renowned Palestinian journalist Laila Odeh on Saturday, after opening an investigation into her use of “pro-Palestine” terminology on her personal social media accounts, the Middle East Monitor reported.
The television network accused Odeh of “incitement” and “anti-Semitism” for using the term “martyr” in reference to Palestinians killed by Israel and “1948 lands” when referring to the land of Palestine under the British Mandate before Israel’s establishment.
The channel considered that Odeh had contradicted the channel’s media policy in dealing with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Odeh, who speaks Arabic, English, Hebrew, and Russian began her career in 1993. She joined the French channel in 2007.
Military helicopter pilots are reportedly angry at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who allegedly kept them in the dark on Thursday about the fact that they were not about to fly the premier to the airport, and that they were instead taking part in a diversion tactic.
The protest movement against the Netanyahu government’s plan to radically overhaul the judiciary held a “national day of resistance” on Thursday, holding rallies and marches nationwide, blocking highways and briefly blocking the entrance road to Ben Gurion Airport ahead of Netanyahu’s trip to Italy.
Rather than get caught up in the traffic mayhem prepared by the demonstrators, the media published ahead of time that the premier would take a helicopter to the airport.
The UAE has temporarily suspended the purchase of Israeli defense systems due to the chaotic actions of Jewish supremacist officials belonging to the far-right coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Israel’s Channel 12.
“Until we can ascertain that Prime Minister Netanyahu has a government he can control, we can’t work together,” UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) reportedly told Israeli officials.
Channel 12 noted, however, that intelligence and security cooperation between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi is continuing.
Netanyahu’s office vehemently denied the report, calling it “baseless” and saying that Israel and the UAE are constantly holding “fruitful diplomatic contact … including today.”
Britain's Royal Navy said on Monday that it was escorting a Russian frigate and tanker in waters close to the UK having shadowed the vessels through the Channel on Sunday morning.
"The Royal Navy routinely responds to escort warships in our territorial waters and the adjacent sea areas to ensure compliance with maritime law and to deter malign activity," the Royal Navy said in a statement.
"Escorting the Russian task group alongside allied partners demonstrates the commitment of the Royal Navy and the NATO alliance to maintaining maritime security which is crucial to our national interests."
Credit card companies funneled more than $600,000 during the last election cycle to House Republicans now fighting to preserve the companies’ ability to charge excessive late fees.
Among the 17 Republicans who sent a letter to federal regulators this month opposing a Biden administration effort to rein in the fees, at least 15 received contributions from the credit card industry in the 2022 election cycle. Three of the lawmakers are among the top five House recipients of campaign cash from the industry.
In February, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a rule that would limit most credit card late fees to $8, down from the $41 companies are currently permitted to charge. Such late fees are a major profit center for credit card companies, and cost card-holders $12 billion in 2020, according to the consumer watchdog agency.
The "Commission for the Return and Communications with Former Afghan Officials and Political Figures” said that talented and honest former officials and political figures who return to Afghanistan will be provided with jobs.
According to the commission, more than 500 people including ministers, governors and political figures have returned to the country.
“The government is committed to considering capacity, talent and honesty of Afghan figures. They may join certain areas of the government because hundreds of thousands of former government officials are currently included in the government,” said Ahmadullah Wassiq, a spokesman for the commission.
“Until now, 513 Afghan figures including ministers, governors and deputy governors, have returned to their country via the “Commission for the Return and Communications with Former Afghan Officials and Political Figures," Wassiq said.
US President Joe Biden announced the killing of al-Qaeda's leader in a White House live announcement.
“On Saturday, at my direction. The United States successfully concluded an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan and killed the Amir of al-Qaeda Ayman al-Zawahiri,” Biden said.
“Now justice has been delivered, and this terrorist leader is no more. No matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out,” he said.
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the “by hosting and sheltering the leader of al Qaida in Kabul, the Taliban grossly violated the Doha Agreement and repeated assurances to the world that they would not allow Afghan territory to be used by terrorists to threaten the security of other countries.”
Iam a former naval officer and I have always believed that the United States should never hesitate to flex its military muscle around the globe in pursuit of our national interests. I was, in fact, a war hawk.
The disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan made me question my reflexive hawkishness. The United States’ support of Ukraine in its struggle with Russia further drove me to question our nation’s foreign policy. Why, for example, are we spending billions of dollars to help Ukraine defend its borders when we do not protect our own?
Ukraine has been invaded and occupied since antiquity. Its borders have continuously changed and its occupiers have influenced its culture for thousands of years. In fact, the shared heritage between Russia and Ukraine “goes back more than a thousand years to a time with Kyiv, now Ukraine’s capital, was at the center of the first Slavic state, Kyivan Rus, the birthplace of both Ukraine and Russia,” per National Geographic.
Upon Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Joe Biden announced, “President Putin has chosen a premeditated war . . . Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.”
But the world is not holding Russia accountable; that burden has fallen primarily on the United States. As recently as September 2022, the European Union was “still the biggest market for Russian crude,” according to the International Energy Agency.
We truly are living in an alternative universe the founders of this republic would not recognize. It’s bad enough that the America-hating Left seeks to undermine the First Amendment as a means to crush dissent; in conservative circles that is now taken for granted. What is worse is the shameful abandonment of the freedom of the press . . . by the supposed press.
And yet again, America’s corporate media refuses to defend what was once considered a nonpolitical, nonnegotiable right when it comes to ideological differences with the Left.
Consider Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News for putting several individuals on air who claimed that rigged voting machines swayed the outcome of the 2020 election.
Here’s the problem: the individuals in question were the president’s lawyers. These lawyers repeatedly stated they had proof that Dominion’s voting machines were rigged to flip votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network simply aired the news that the president’s lawyers were making these claims. In some instances, the Fox host allowed the president’s lawyers to make the claims with little push back. In other instances, Fox hosts did push back and demanded evidence, and even suggested they stop making the claims without it. In fact, Fox News invited Dominion representatives to appear on air to give their side of the story, but the company declined all but one invitation. Instead of entering the public debate, Dominion began preparing litigation soon after the election.
The nation’s capital has joined jurisdictions in at least five states across the country in allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections.
The District of Columbia’s law takes effect Tuesday amid bipartisan opposition in Congress.
As noted in my 2022 book “The Myth of Voter Suppression,” Democrats long have sought to change election laws to gain a political advantage. These noncitizen voting laws mimic a tactic used by Tammany Hall and other political machines that controlled big city politics.
Rewriting election laws has been part of a national trend among left-leaning jurisdictions.
“The left is attacking what citizenship means,” J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, an election integrity watchdog group, told The Daily Signal in a written statement.
The “rich people” with money in Silicon Valley Bank are the real winners in President Joe Biden’s handling of the California-based bank’s collapse, economist Peter St Onge says.
After the fall of Silicon Valley Bank over the weekend, the Biden administration announced that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will cover all depositors’ money there.
Normally, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is responsible for covering deposits up to $250,000, ensuring that most small businesses and individuals are financially protected from a collapse. But in this case, the FDIC is going far beyond that $250,000 cap to cover every deposit in Silicon Valley Bank, regardless of the amount.
“If the administration gets away with this, then we are going to start moving into a world where bankers, where Wall Street, feels like they can take any risk they like, because this is all going to get bailed out because you’ve got these human shields,” St Onge, a research fellow in economics at The Heritage Foundation, says. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)
Ultimately, the federal government’s actions to protect Silicon Valley depositors probably will result in higher inflation, St Onge says. “I think we’re very likely to see a lot more inflation,” he says.
The Right must fight back in the information war waged by left-wing media, the editor-in-chief of The Federalist says, adding that conservatives should take their cues from how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis treats “false reporting.”
“Because they’re combining with Big Tech to suppress conservative publications and outlets, we need to treat it like the information war it is, fund the information war properly, and invest in those people that are pushing against the fake news [and] who care about actually reporting real news,” Mollie Hemingway told The Daily Signal.
There’s nothing “mainstream” about corporate media, she said, adding that what she calls “propaganda media” works against average Americans by pushing radical ideology, suppressing information about elections, and more.
“They do not represent the views of average Americans by any stretch of the imagination,” she said. “They support really radical ideas, whether they’re economic or cultural that the vast majority of Americans, and even—in some cases—the vast majority of Democrats, don’t share.”
President Joe Biden on Monday vowed to enact rules to prevent banks from collapsing after inflation, fueled by the Biden administration’s energy policies, caused increased interest rates meant to tamp down Biden’s soaring price hikes.
One day after taking credit for inventing a new mechanism intended to provide liquidity “to help assure banks have the ability to meet the needs of all their depositors,” Biden promised new rules to prevent the bank failures.
“I will ask Congress and banking regulators to strengthen the rules for banks to make it less likely that this kind of bank failure happens again,” Biden’s Twitter account posted. “We must protect American jobs and small businesses.”
As usual, with such articles, as you work your way through journalistic throwaways, the equivalent of almost palatable slices of pizza, the good stuff is always at the bottom. It’s kinda fun.
In this case, the takeaway is that the US is not ready for war with China and/or Russia — and never will be. Also that the US military is not set up for war with anyone really— just to make a lot of money for a few big corporations.
Proof? At the time of writing, Biden has just done proposing the biggest military budget in history—to counter China— which really poses no threat to the US.
The biggest threat to the US is the US itself.
Republicans on the House Oversight Committee have been working with four witnesses with close ties to the Bidens, who have provided documents and other evidence tying the Bidens to the Chinese Communist Party.
"It’s as bad as we thought… Since we’ve last spoken we have bank records in hand. We have individuals who are working with our committee," Committee chair James Comer (R-KY) told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo on "Sunday Morning Futures."
"In the last two weeks we’ve met with either these individuals personally or with their attorneys. And that would be four individuals who had ties in with the Biden family in their various schemes around the world. So now we have in hand documents We have in hand documents in hand that show just how the Biden family was getting money from the Chinese Communist Party."
During the recent “Twitter Files” House hearings, Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz used her six minutes not to explore the matter at hand, but rather to accuse journalist Matt Taibbi of hypocrisy, behaving unethically, and doing it all for personal enrichment. That’s right, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who had to resign in disgrace in 2016 from her position as head of the DNC after rigging the primary for Hillary Clinton, is accusing others of lacking ethics.
An Israeli medical delegation recently traveled to Germany to train staff at a major Berlin hospital on how to continue working in times of war, especially during missile attacks.
The training has been requested by the German government amid growing fears that the war in Ukraine will spill over into other parts of Europe. Berlin turned for help to Israel’s leading Sheba Medical Center.
The author of the popular horror book series “Goosebumps” has recently admitted to being ignorant about some versions of his books being edited by the publisher.
American novelist R.L. Stine is the creator of the Goosebumps series of books, which is considered the second-highest selling in the world, trailing only Harry Potter. Goosebumps is estimated to have sold over 300 million copies worldwide. During a 2018 ebook re-release, publisher Scholastic edited the books to align with progressive ideologies that reflect a leftist version of social justice, diversity, and gender equality. There were rumors that Stine made the edits, but the author has refuted it.
“The stories aren’t true. I’ve never changed a word in Goosebumps. Any changes were never shown to me,” Stine said in a March 7 tweet. He was replying to another Twitter user’s post, which said, “The fact he supports censorship and the alteration of works of art is quite disturbing. How shameful.”
Rogers Roots, an attorney representing Dominic Pezzola, a Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol breach defendant, alleged on Sunday that the FBI had committed crimes by altering evidence and requested that the court appoint a special master to review the evidence.
Roots’s move came days after the testimony of FBI Special Agent Nicole Miller, who was involved in the agency’s investigations of the Jan. 6 defendants. When cross-examining Miller, Nick Smith, an attorney representing Proud Boys member Ethan Nordean (listed as co-defendant on Pezzola’s case), revealed classified FBI emails that were hidden in a tab in an Excel spreadsheet, which included a directive to Miller to “destroy” 338 pieces of evidence and “edit out” an FBI agent from an informant report.
“Destroying evidence is a federal crime. It actually falls under a federal crime under more than one statute. The same goes with altering documents, altering records, that is a federal crime,” the John Pierce Law attorney told The Epoch Times in an interview on Sunday.
In a filing on Sunday, Roots requested that Timothy J. Kelly, a Trump appointee presiding over the case, either dismiss the case in its entirety or appoint a special master to independently review the FBI messages that were revealed in court.