CNN – India is set to overtake China as the world’s most populous country in less than a decade, according to a new United Nations report. China and India currently account for about 37% of the entire global population of roughly 7.7 billion, with China currently home to about 1.4 billion people and India to 1.3 billion. But by 2027, India will have more people than China, according to the UN’s 2019 World Population Prospects report released Monday, and by 2050 the gap is expected to have widened even further. | go to source
Next Big Future – Oak Ridge researchers used pressure to manipulate magnetism in thin film materials used to enhance performance in electronic devices. They used neutron scattering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source to explore the spacial density of atoms and observe how magnetism in a lanthanum-cobalt-oxide film changed with applied pressure.
“We developed a novel method to identify the critical role that strain has on the magnetism of films and their interfaces,” said ORNL’s Michael R. Fitzsimmons. “This allows us to study magnetism in thin films without having to compare a lot of differently grown samples.” | go to source
Fox News – One day after formally launching his 2020 presidential bid, President Trump told Fox News’ “Hannity” exclusively on Wednesday that investigators are working to determine whether his personal phone calls were secretly monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies during the 2016 campaign — a possibility he called “the ultimate.”
Trump also hammered House Democrats for putting his former top communication advisor Hope Hicks “through hell,” after pictures of Hicks testifying before a closed-door session on Capitol Hill earlier in the day leaked on social media. | go to source
News 24 – A rusty gun believed to have been used by the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh to kill himself was sold for $182 000 at a Paris auction on Wednesday – nearly three times the estimate. A private collector bought the gun, billed as the “the most famous weapon in the history of art”, with a telephone bid, Art Auction told AFP. | go to source
The Daily Beast – New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday warning that President Trump’s recent “treason” accusation against the paper marks an escalation in his attacks on the media and “should concern every patriotic American.” “There is no more serious charge a commander in chief can make against an independent news organization. Which presents a troubling question: What would it look like for Mr. Trump to escalate his attacks on the press further?” Sulzberger wrote. “Having already reached for the most incendiary language available, what is left but putting his threats into action?” Sulzberger argued that the administration’s attack on the free press has already started—citing an increase of leak investigations, the attempt to block the AT&T-Time Warner (owner of CNN) merger, and the use of the Espionage Act against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
“Mr. Trump’s campaign against journalists should concern every patriotic American,” he wrote. “A free, fair and independent press is essential to our country’s strength and vitality and to every freedom that makes it great.” The op-ed came in response to Trump tweeting over the weekend to claim the Timescommitted a “virtual act of Treason” by publishing a story about his administration’s cyber offensive against Russia. | go to source
The Grayzone – As the eight-year war in Syria winds down and the US regime-change operation falters, strategists in Washington are plotting new ways to terrorize Damascus into submission. An analyst at a think tank bankrolled by the US government and NATO has an idea: Use the “wheat weapon” to starve Syria’s civilian population.
“Wheat is a weapon of great power in this next phase of the Syrian conflict,” insisted Nicholas Heras, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in Washington, DC. Washington can pressure its Kurdish allies to restrict the country’s food supply, Heras argued, “to apply pressure on the Assad regime, and through the regime on Russia, to force concessions.” | go to source
One group of intrepids is wagering that the year 2040 won’t just be the year I finally get that prostate exam, it will be the year that AI will become human. I
Wire – Artificial Intelligence to Reach Human-Level Intelligence by 2040 – AiThority
From AiThority –
NEORIS, a digital transformation service provider that accelerates the digital capabilities of global enterprises, unveiled its most recent analysis entitled Artificial Intelligence: Rethinking Humanity’s Evolution. The comprehensive assessment cites the latest trends in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and presents a compelling thesis, by 2040 the world will see an AI-triggered transcendental shift on humanity’s evolution.
Since AI’s inception in 1956, in the form of “a machine that could think,” AI continues to evolve and impact society, businesses and humanity. Its cognitive tools have systematically reshaped how people and companies interact and possesses the power to radically transform business exchanges and human capabilities. | go to source
In the backdrop of the major escalation by the US against China in the trade war through the Huawai freeze-out, there’s this news of Pakistan having to come clean on the amount of loans it has received from China.
Wire – Pakistan Finally Reveals Total Loans Accepted From China Under IMF Pressure – EurAsian Times
From Eurasian Times –
Under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Islamabad has disclosed every type of loan that Islamabad has received from its strategic ally, China. Foreign loan disbursements in Jul-Apr of the current financial year showed loans for the Karachi Nuclear Power Plants, known as K2 and K3, and China SAFE deposits as part of federal debt obligations.
Earlier, the $2 billion worth of China SAFE deposits, which Islamabad had received in July 2018, were shown on the books of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). SAFE is an acronym for the State Administration of Foreign Exchange managed by the Chinese central bank. | go to source
Depending on the media outlet, the headline will refer to the accused wanna-be Orange bomber as a New Jersey man or a Muslim extremist, or, if you’re really pushing it, just Muslim. Here’s how Reuters chose to go with this
Wire – New Jersey man charged with threatening to bomb Trump Tower
From Reuters –
A 20-year-old New Jersey man accused of threatening on social media to “shoot everybody” at a pro-Israel march and bomb the Trump Tower skyscraper in New York City was arrested on Wednesday on a string of federal charges, prosecutors said.
Jonathan Xie, of Basking Ridge, was taken into custody on charges of attempting to provide material support to Hamas, the Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip and which the United States designates as a terrorist organization, making false statements and transmitting threats over interstate commerce, according to federal prosecutors. | go to source
Sometimes, you have to say to yourself, friend, friend of me that is me, why, why have I never considered the full scientific and physical and lulz-like qualities of dropping a 1000 pound fatty orange boy from umpty ducking feet high and measuring the full effects of the wonder of that thing? Well, some dream this dream, a dream more common than the one where you wake up naked in front of class, the impossible dream for the perfect smashing pumpkin zen that can right the world, and yes, right the world they did, because this dream became our Lulz of the Day.
From Vice –
What would happen if you dropped a 1,300-pound pumpkin onto a car? Like, a for-real car that somebody once drove around and wrote “PLAN // AHEA // D” on before it ended up in the junk yard.
I don’t know why the folks at Ed Dunneback & Girls Fruit Farm in Massachusetts decided to do just that, but I’m glad that they did. Forget face masks and scented candles; sometimes you need self-care that feels as angry as you are, something destructive rather than constructive, something big but abstract, visceral but consequence-less.
| go to source
There;s a lot of fire in this rightzilla of the day, with the recent decision by “Obama Judges” to rule in favor of the US House’s efforts to get Donny boy’s tax records. It’s always good if you can work the word kill into a zilla.
From Human Event –
Two Obama appointees just greenlit two of the most invasive Congressional subpoenas for private financial information in American history.
The two subpoenas from the House often came without House approval, but instead with written memorandums by self-serving chairmen. They compelled invasive disclosure of intimate information from accountants and banks concerning the private records of private people from a time period Trump was neither a candidate nor the President. Their orders eviscerate and endanger privacy for all Americans……
The judges’ mutual refusal to stay their judgment pending appeal further reflects the partisan motivation behind their conduct. Anyone think they would have approved Congressional subpoenas into Obama’s still-sealed educational records? Anyone think they would have approved Senatorial subpoenas into Biden’s family finances that concern the large sums of money foreign countries and their agents paid his family during his Vice Presidency under Obama? Anyone think they would have approved wide-scale subpoenas into the activities of the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State? | go to source
A headline that hits Trump’s base right in the proverbial win the Leftzilla of the Day. Mother Jones succeeds in sounding like a rightzilla going after a leftzilla President, but it works!
From Mother Jones –
Two years ago in Mosul, Iraq, a group of Navy SEALs were administering medical aid to a young injured ISIS fighter. He was so young, they later said he was likely a teenager. Then Edward Gallagher, the senior member of SEAL Team 7 and a distinguished veteran of several combat deployments, approached them without warning and stabbed the injured fighter repeatedly in the neck and side. Gallagher’s crimes reportedly did not stop there. According to a confidential Navy report obtained by the New York Times, in the weeks before and after this incident, he also indiscriminately killed civilians, including an adolescent girl “in a flower-print hijab,” and pressured members of his unit to not rat him out. Gallagher was finally taken into custody last year in advance of his court martial—scheduled to begin on May 28—where he stands accused of a laundry list of war crimes.
Now, thanks to President Donald Trump, he may emerge from the process with a presidential pardon, exonerated of his misdeeds and free of any consequences.
| go to source
Greece is experiencing an ongoing shutdown of multiple mass public transportation services after transportation worker unions called for strikes beginning on May Day.
Times of India – Greece has been left without national rail, island ferry and other transport services for a day as unions hold strikes and rallies to celebrate May Day.
Hundreds of people gathered in central Athens on Wednesday for three separate rallies and marches to parliament organised by rival unions and left-wing groups. | go to source
The IMF seems to believe a deal is in the works that could see an end to the ongoing US-China trade war.
Trend News Agency – International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Monday she expects the United States and China to reach a deal to end their trade dispute, which has unnerved financial markets and cast a shadow over the global economy, Trend reported citing Reuters. “I would say ‘Yes,’” Lagarde said at the Milken Institute Global Conference when asked whether talks between the world’s two largest economies would end in a deal. | go to source
The Express UK wrote a very nicely sanitized piece called “Shock new warning could stop you streaming illegally FOR GOOD.” I know, the title tells you otherwise, but, essentially the article is hinting that people that buy these hacked streaming boxesjs might have some nasty digital fingerprints in it that will lead the coppers to your door, and you will LITERALLY go to jail for 10 years if you’re illegally streaming Game of Thrones (that’s what the video on the article page told me).
Anyhooooooo….here’s their nice polite way of saying what I just did, just so you see….
Express UK – A new report from the Digital Citizens Alliance is warning of the dangers that many users face by streaming content illegally. The comprehensive investigation found that so-called Kodi boxes and jailbroken Amazon Fire TV Sticks could leave owners at risk from cyber crime and malware that can end up accessing personal data. These streaming devices can be purchased online for under £100 and often come pre-installed with adapted Kodi software that allows users to access content, such as premier sports and movies, for free. | go to source
At first, I thought this headline, the headline from futurity, “Ice Cream” Method could create lifetime flue vaccine” as Ice Cream could create….yeah…Ice Cream Vaccine. But, alas, it is this, using the model of the cone that hold that different flavors of ice cream as a way to build a ‘root’ of vaccine protections that can be supplemented every year with different ‘ice cream flavors’ or, different particular variations of the strains that the cone fundamentally has covered, so to speak.
Here’s Futurity- – The new method teaches the body to recognize the “cone” portion of the virus—the part that stays the same year-to-year. Researchers working on the technique say it works in lab animals, but warn they still need to make the vaccine more specific and show it works in much larger studies before testing it in people. “We think it could be very generalizable,” says Peter Kim, professor of biochemistry at Stanford University and the lead investigator of the infectious disease initiative at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub. “It could be important for coming up with a universal flu vaccine that would protect against pandemic flu, as well as for HIV.” | go to source
If you’re a bank doing business in Louisiana, you better make sure you’re not targeting gun businesses for banking discrimination, says a new bill that just passed the house and appears headed to passing the Senate as well, though the Democratic governor might just veto it.
kpel965.com – The Louisiana House passes a bill that says banks with gun control policies cannot refuse to do business with companies involved in the manufacturing and selling of guns and ammunition. Erath Representative Blake Miguez says his legislation protects against a discriminatory action.
“Myself along with many other individuals that value the Second Amendment or deal in the gun industry support this legislation and want me to move it forward,” said Miguez. | go to source
Mozambique continues to get hit with the effects of Cyclone Kenneth, with the death toll now nearing 40 and expected to rise.
BBC – Mozambique requires urgent life-saving relief to deal with the destructive aftermath of Cyclone Kenneth, an aid organisation has said. Save the Children says the humanitarian situation is significant and life-threatening and more funds are needed. The UN gave Mozambique and Comoros Island $13m (£10m) for food, water and repair of infrastructure. The death toll in cyclone-hit northern Mozambique is 38, but is expected to rise, officials say. | go to source
The situation in Sudan appears to be headed towards more stability and normality after the military and a council representing the people protesting the military’s two-year transition to civilian government have reached an agreement to form a council for the path to civilian rule to be expedited.
Al Jazeera – There has been a breakthrough in Sudan after weeks of a standoff between protesters and the military over how the country should be governed in the coming months. Protest leaders and the army have reached a deal to form a joint civilian-military council to discuss a peaceful transition to civilian rule. | go to source
Thanks to flatworms, scientists might be able to crack the code of regeneration. If they can crack the code, the question is this, when will we be able to edit our humans to regenerate their lost participles, so to speak?
Science Daily – Biologists have developed a computational model of flatworm regeneration to answer an important question in regeneration research – what are the signals that determine the rebuilding of specific anatomical structures? The model confirms experiments showing how numerous factors determine body pattern formation, and the critical role nerve fibers play in determining polarity in regeneration. The model could help understand regeneration in mammals, birth defects, and bioengineering of organoids. | go to source
NATO is sending a message to Russia I am sure Putin will not appreciate. The message comes in the form of a military exercise in Estonia, the little Baltic state that was once a Soviet satellite.
Defense Blog – The Spring Storm is a large-scale live exercise of the Estonian Defence Forces, with participation from NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence and other Allied forces. This year’s training involved approximately 10 thousand soldiers and hundreds of combat vehicles and aircraft. “The Spring Storm exercise this year will be held in northeastern Estonia.Nearly 10,000 troops will take part in them, including the military contingents of Great Britain and Belgium from the NATO international battalion stationed in Estonia and the soldiers of the Estonian Defense Forces, ” the press service of the Estonian Armed Forces said. | go to source
A woman grieving the loss of her mother was not only a victim of the synagogue shooting in California on Saturday, April 27th, around 11:30AM local time, she was also a hero. More from CNN – “When a gunman opened fire in a synagogue in California, killing one and injuring three others, Lori Kaye jumped between the shooter and the rabbi. Kaye, 60, was shot at the synagogue and died at a nearby hospital. In addition to Kaye, at least three others were wounded in the shooting Saturday at Congregation Chabad in Poway, north of San Diego. By late Sunday morning, all three injured victims had been discharged from a hospital…..Kaye had attended services Saturday to say a Kaddish prayer for her mother, who died in November, (a friend and fellow congregation member) said.” | go to source