An actual sinkhole has opened on the White House lawn. It’s growing

Construction on the US White House began in 1792. It has been almost continuously occupied by US presidents since 1800, barring a few years after the British set it on fire in 1814.

But that doesn’t mean that the present-day building is free of hazards—there are mice, cockroaches, and ants. And as of this past weekend, a sinkhole has been growing on the north lawn, Voice of America reporter Steve Herman observed, just near the press briefing room.

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Trump: North Korea summit preparations ongoing but may be delayed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the White House was continuing preparations for his expected meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but that he was prepared to cancel or delay it if certain conditions are not met.

Trump, speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in at the White House, reiterated his assertion that Pyongyang by denuclearize as a condition of the planned meeting next month in Singapore.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Makini Brice and Susan Heavey)

America’s long-term challenge #3: destruction of the currency

May 22, 2018
Santiago, Chile

On April 2, 1792, George Washington signed into law what’s commonly referred to as the Mint and Coinage Act.

It was one of the first major pieces of legislation in the young country’s history… and it was an important one, because it formally created the United States dollar.

Under the Act, the US dollar was defined as a particular amount of copper, silver, or gold. It wasn’t just a piece of paper.

A $10 “eagle” coin, for example, was 16.04 grams of pure gold, whereas a 1 cent coin was 17.1 grams of copper.

The ratios between gold, silver, and copper were all fixed back then.

But if we apply today’s gold price of $1292 per troy ounce, we can see that the current value of the original dollar as defined by the Mint and Coinage Act of 1792 is roughly $66.75.

Continue reading “America’s long-term challenge #3: destruction of the currency”

The Battle For The Iranian Nuclear Deal: China Vs The US

Conventional wisdom has it that China stands to benefit from the US withdrawal from the 2015 international nuclear agreement with Iran, particularly if major European companies feel that the risk of running afoul of US secondary sanctions is too high.

In doing so, China would draw on lessons learnt from its approach to the sanctions regime against Iran prior to the nuclear deal. China supported the sanctions while proving itself adept at circumventing the restrictions.

However, this time round, as China joins Russia and Europe in trying to salvage the deal, things could prove to be different in ways that may give China second thoughts.

The differences run the gamut from an America that has Donald Trump as its president to a Middle East that is much more combative and assertive and sees its multiple struggles as existential, at least in terms of regime survival.

Fault lines in the Middle East have hardened because of Israel, Saudi and United Arab Emirates assertiveness, emboldened by both a US administration that is more partisan in its Middle East policy, yet at the same time less predictable and less reliable.

Add to this Mr. Trump’s narrow and transactional focus that targets containing Iran, if not toppling its regime; countering militancy, and enhancing business opportunities for American companies and the contours of a potentially perfect storm come into view.

That is even truer if one looks beyond the Gulf and the Levant towards the greater Middle East that stretches across Pakistan into Central Asia as well as China’s overall foreign trade.

China’s trade with the United States stood last year at $636 billion, trade with Iran was in that same period at $37.8 billion or less than five percent of the US volume.

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The Baltic States Ask The US For A Bigger Military Presence On Their Soil

The foreign ministers (FMs) of the Baltic states have wound up their May 16-18 visit to Washington. They asked National Security Adviser John Bolton to reinforce the NATO battalions that have been deployed to their countries with air and naval units. They also want their air-defense capability enhanced. Lithuanian FM Linas Linkevicius emphasized that it’s not just the numbers that are important, but also training exercises, visits, the distribution of equipment, and the establishment of new military facilities. Latvian FM Edgars Rinkevics called for making the US military presence in the Baltic states and Poland permanent. It’s hardly a coincidence that the issue has been raised prior to the NATO 2018 summit that will take place on July 11-12.

The leaders of the Baltic states have always stressed that they see the current military build-up as only the starting point for a larger effort that will include modernized routes and infrastructure sites, as well equipping their national forces with more up-to-date weapons for offensive operations.

NATO has deployed four battalion-sized battle groups (roughly 4,500 troops) to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. The nations that comprise the backbone of this force are the US, the UK, Germany and Canada. Twelve other allies also contribute to the Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP). Eight small staffs known as NATO force integration units have also been established. Common rules of engagement (ROE) are in the process of being hammered out, taking into account regional nuances. In the event of war, the Graduated Response Plan (Eagle Defender) with its own detailed ROE will come into play.

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Pentagon Spends $1 Billion To Acquire More War Robots

According to a new report from Bloomberg, the Pentagon is spending approximately $1 billion over the next several years for a variety of robots designed to complement combat troops on the modern battlefield.

In addition to scouting and explosives disposal, these new war robots will reportedly be able to perform more complex tasks, including surveillance missions, detection of chemical or nuclear agents, and even have the ability to transport soldiers’ rucksacks.

“Within five years, I have no doubt there will be robots in every Army formation,” said Bryan McVeigh, the Army’s project manager for force protection. He applauded the efforts of the Pentagon to field more than 800 robots over the past 18 months.

“We’re going from talking about robots to actually building and fielding programs,” he said. “This is an exciting time to be working on robots with the Army,” McVeigh added.

Bloomberg says the Pentagon has classified its robot platforms into light, medium and heavy categories.

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How Russia And China Gained A Strategic Advantage In Hypersonic Technology

A hot topic in military prognostications regarding China, Russia and the United States revolves around the development and use of hypersonic technology for missiles or UAVs as an invulnerable means of attack. As we will see, not all three countries are dealing successfully with this task.

The United States, China and Russia have in recent years increased their efforts to equip their armed forces with such highly destructive missiles and vehicles seen in the previous article. Putin’s recent speech in Moscow reflects this course of direction by presenting a series of weapons with hypersonic characteristics, as seen with the Avangard and the Dagger.

As confirmed by US Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Dr. Michael Griffin:

We, today, do not have systems that can hold them [hypersonic weapons] at risk…and we do not have defenses against those [hypersonic] systems. Should they choose to deploy them we would be, today, at a disadvantage.

Further confirmation that the US is lagging in this field came from General John Hyten, Commander of US Strategic Command:

“We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us, so our response would be our deterrent force, which would be the triad and the nuclear capabilities that we have to respond to such a threat.”

The development of hypersonic weapons has been part of the military doctrine that China and Russia have been developing for quite some time, driven by various motivations. For one thing, it is a means of achieving strategic parity with the United States without having to match Washington’s unparallelled spending power. The amount of military hardware possessed by the United States cannot be matched by any other armed force, an obvious result of decades of military expenditure estimated to be in the range of five to 15 times that of its nearest competitors.

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Iran Announces Plan To Stay In Syria As Pompeo Issues Unprecedented Threats

After last Thursday’s relatively brief meeting in Sochi between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad wherein Putin stressed that it is necessary for all “foreign forces” to withdraw from Syria, there’s been much speculation over what Putin actually meant.

Many were quick to point out that Assad had agreed that “illegal foreign forces” should exit Syria — meaning those uninvited occupying forces in the north and northeast, namely, US troops, Turkish troops and their proxies, and all foreign jihadists — while most mainstream Western outlets, CNN and the Washington Post among them, hailed Putin’s request to see Iran withdraw from Syria.

Whatever non-Syrian entity Putin intended to include by his words, both Syria and Iran gave their unambiguous response on Monday: Iran announced it would stay in Syria at the request of the Assad government.

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New DARPA Program Plans To Patrol Cities With AI Drones

On May 10, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) unveiled the Urban Reconnaissance through Supervised Autonomy (URSA) program, which addresses the issues of reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition within urban environments.

The primary objective of the URSA program is to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of blending unmanned aerial systems, sensor technologies, and advanced machine learning algorithms to “enable improved techniques for rapidly discriminating hostile intent and filtering out threats in complex urban environments,” said FedBizOpps.

In other words, the Pentagon is developing a program of high-tech cameras mounted on drones and other robots that monitor cities, which enable identification and discrimination between civilians and terrorists through machine learning computers.

DARPA provides a simple scenario of what a URSA engagement would look like: 

“A static sensor located near an overseas military installation detects an individual moving across an urban intersection and towards the installation outside of normal pedestrian pathways. An unmanned aerial system (UAS) equipped with a loudspeaker delivers a warning message. The person is then observed running into a neighboring building. Later, URSA detects an individual emerging from a different door at the opposite end of the building, but confirms it is the same person and sends a different UAS to investigate.

This second UAS determines that the individual has resumed movement toward a restricted area. It releases a nonlethal flash-bang device at a safe distance to ensure the individual attends to the second message and delivers a sterner warning. This second UAS takes video of the subject and determines that the person’s gait and direction are unchanged even when a third UAS flies directly in front of the person and illuminates him with an eye-safe laser dot. URSA then alerts the human supervisor and provides a summary of these observations, warning actions, and the person’s responses and current location.”

The URSA program is a two-phase, 36-month development effort. The first phase of concept/development will begin in the first quarter of FY19 and continue into the second half of FY20. Phase two will start in 3Q20 and continue through 2Q22.

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China launches satellite to explore dark side of moon: Xinhua

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China launched a relay satellite early on Monday designed to establish a communication link between earth and a planned lunar probe that will explore the dark side of the moon, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Citing the China National Space Administration, Xinhua said the satellite was launched at 5:28 a.m. (2128 GMT Sunday) on a Long March-4C rocket from the Xichang launch center in the southwest of the country.

“The launch is a key step for China to realize its goal of being the first country to send a probe to soft-land on and rove the far side of the moon,” Xinhua quoted Zhang Lihua, manager of the relay satellite project, as saying.
It said the satellite, known as Queqiao, or Magpie Bridge, will settle in an orbit about 455,000 km (282,555 miles) from earth and will be the world’s first communication satellite operating there.

 

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Sweden distributes ‘be prepared for war’ leaflet to all 4.8m homes

The Swedish government has begun sending all 4.8m of the country’s households a public information leaflet telling the population, for the first time in more than half a century, what to do in the event of a war.

Om krisen eller kriget kommer (If crisis or war comes) explains how people can secure basic needs such as food, water and heat, what warning signals mean, where to find bomb shelters and how to contribute to Sweden’s “total defence”.

The 20-page pamphlet, illustrated with pictures of sirens, warplanes and families fleeing their homes, also prepares the population for dangers such as cyber and terror attacks and climate change, and includes a page on identifying fake news.

“Although Sweden is safer than many other countries, there are still threats to our security and independence,” the brochure says. “If you are prepared, you are contributing to improving the ability of the country to cope with a major strain.”

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Robots can now grow human organs

Is there anything robots can’t do? They can perform our jobs, get periods and now . . . grow human organs.

Scientists at the University of Washington School of Medicine have developed an automated system that uses robots to produce human mini-organs from stem cells. According to Science Daily, the ability to mass produce “organoids” promises to expand the use of mini-organs in basic research and drug discovery.

“This is a new ‘secret weapon’ in our fight against disease,” the university’s Benjamin Freedman tells Science Daily.

Before, scientists would grow cells for biomedical research by culturing them into flat sheets. But these were too simplistic to truly mimic the ways true cells behaved. More recently, researchers have had some success growing these cells into more complex, and three-dimensional, structures called mini-organs.

This new development, however, allows them to produce these organoids at a rapid pace. It’s the first time researchers have been able to mass-produce these mini-organs from stem cells.

“Ordinarily, just setting up an experiment of this magnitude would take a researcher all day, while the robot can do it in 20 minutes,” Freedman tells Science Daily. “On top of that, the robot doesn’t get tired and make mistakes. . . . There’s no question — for repetitive, tedious tasks like this, robots do a better job than humans.”\

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FBI Informant Stefan Halper Paid Over $1 Million By Obama Admin; Spied On Trump Aide After Election

Image result for barack obama

Less than a week after Stefan Halper was outed as the FBI informant who infiltrated the Trump campaign, public records reveal that the 73-year-old Oxford University professor and former U.S. government official was paid handsomely by the Obama administration starting in 2012 for various research projects.

A longtime CIA and FBI asset who once reportedly ran a spy-operation on the Jimmy Carter administration, Halper was enlisted by the FBI to spy on several Trump campaign aides during the 2016 U.S. election. Meanwhile, a search of public records reveals that between 2012 and 2018, Halper received a total of $1,058,161 from the Department of Defense.

POMPEO: “US Will Crush Iranian Military Proxies Around The World” —– More War???

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a policy speech on Iran at the Heritage Foundation Monday morning, following US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The speech was a real humdinger; a heavy-duty “line in the sand” for most things Middle East.  It began with Pompeo asserting for the first time, “The United States will crush Iranian military proxies around the world.”   It went downhill from there . . .

http://halturnerradioshow.com/index.php/news/world-news/2554-pompeo-us-will-crush-iranian-military-proxies-around-the-world-more-war

 

When 43% of Americans Can’t Pay for Food and Rent, We Can Safely Say the Economic Collapse Is HERE

by Daisy Luther

You know all those reports about how lots of Americans can’t afford a $1000 surprise expense like a medical bill or a car repair? Well, forget additional expenses. It turns out that nearly half of the families in America are struggling to pay for food and rent. And that means that the economic collapse isn’t just “coming.” It’s HERE.

United Way has done a study on a group of Americans they call ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The study found that this group does not make the money needed “to survive in the modern economy.”

ALICE is your child care worker, your parent on Social Security, the cashier at your supermarket, the gas attendant, the salesperson at your big box store, your waitress, a home health aide, an office clerk. ALICE cannot always pay the bills, has little or nothing in savings, and is forced to make tough choices such as deciding between quality child care or paying the rent. One unexpected car repair or medical bill can push these financially strapped families over the edge.

ALICE is a hardworking member of the community who is employed yet does not earn enough to afford the basic necessities of life.

ALICE earns above the federal poverty level but does not earn enough to afford a bare-bones household budget of housing, child care, food, transportation, and healthcare. (source)

Between families living below the poverty line due to unemployment or disability and ALICEs, the study discovered that 43% of Americans were struggling to cover basic necessities like rent and food.

Where are families struggling the most?

Some states have more families living in ALICE levels than others. The 3 states with the most families barely surviving paycheck to paycheck are California, New Mexico, and Hawaii. Each of these states saw 49% of families struggling. North Dakota had the lowest ALICE percentage with 32%. You can check how your state fares right here. Despite the lowest unemployment rate since 2000, families all over the country are barely getting by.

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Russia’s Nuclear Underwater Drone Could Trigger 300-Foot Tsunamis, Headed For Battlefield By 2027(Remember Fukishima? that was 2011)

 

While TASS does not define who exactly the “enemy” is, we must add, it is the United States. War is knocking on Washington’s door, will the Trump administration entertain its new guest?

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Russia’s Navy Establishes Permanent Presence In Mediterranean Sea

Image result for russian navy

Russian President Vladimir Putin said a naval standing force, including warships with Kalibr long-range land attack cruise missiles, will be permanently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea. The statement was made at a meeting with top military officials and defense industry leaders that took place in Sochi on May 16. One of the missions is delivering strikes against terrorist targets in Syria.

102 expeditions of ships and submarines are planned in 2018. The force will go through intensive training.

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Contaminated Fukushima Water Storage Tanks “Close To Capacity”, TEPCO Admits

Image result for radiation

The Tokyo Electric Power Company is running out of container space to store water contaminated by tritium outside the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and it’s also running out of room for building more tanks, according to Yomiuri Shimbum, a Japanese newspaper, which is creating an intractable problem for the utility, which has been tasked with supervising the cleanup of Fukushima.

The Japanese government has been desperately trying to accelerate the cleanup ahead of the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo – and it’s a miracle it hasn’t run into this issue sooner. TEPCO is still struggling with how to dispose of the tritium-tainted water. Options discussed have included dumping it into the ocean, but that proposal has angered local fishing communities.

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Letter From Iran: Dear Mr. Trump, You’ve Been Served

In a letter addressed to President Donald Trump, with copies to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN Security Council, four top former officials at the highest level of the US government have given him legal notice about his duty to advise the US Congress, the ICC and the UNSC, among others, about Israel’s actions coinciding with the “70th anniversary of the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes.”

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Google Removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Clause From Its Code of Conduct

Google’s unofficial motto has long been the simple phrase “don’t be evil.” But that’s over, according to the code of conduct that Google distributes to its employees. The phrase was removed sometime in late April or early May, archives hosted by the Wayback Machine show.

“Don’t be evil” has been part of the company’s corporate code of conductsince 2000. When Google was reorganized under a new parent company, Alphabet, in 2015, Alphabet assumed a slightly adjusted version of the motto, “do the right thing.” However, Google retained its original “don’t be evil” language until the past several weeks. The phrase has been deeply incorporated into Google’s company culture—so much so that a version of the phrase has served as the wifi password on the shuttles that Google uses to ferry its employees to its Mountain View headquarters, sources told Gizmodo.

Here’s the relevant section of the old code of conduct, as archived by the Wayback Machine on April 21, 2018:

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Average price of US gas jumps 10 cents, to $3 a gallon

From Washington State – I took this image 4 days ago

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average price of regular-grade gasoline in the U.S. jumped 10 cents a gallon over the past two weeks to $3.00.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that the price has spiked 41 cents over the past three months.

Lundberg says the increase is largely driven by higher crude oil costs and the phasing-in of summer-grade gasoline, which is used to prevent smog.

The highest average price in the contiguous 48 states was $3.79 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The lowest was $2.54 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The average price for diesel fuel rose 9 cents, to $3.23.

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Washington’s Glacier Peak volcano is among the most dangerous but remains the least-monitored and the least-studied in the Cascade range

Washington’s hidden Glacier Peak volcano is among the most dangerous. The volcanic peak is ranked by volcanologists among the country’s highest-threat volcanoes and has unleased eruptions five times bigger than Mount St. Helens’ stupendous blast 38 years ago this month. But the volcano in Snohomish County remains the least-monitored and the least-studied in the Cascade range.

As Kilauea continues its rampage on Hawaii’s Big Island, the 38th anniversary this month of Mount St. Helens’ cataclysmic eruption is an uneasy reminder that the snow-capped volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest can awaken at any time. Yet one of Washington’s most dangerous volcanoes remains the least-monitored and the least-studied in the Cascade range.

Tucked deep inside its namesake 566,000-acre wilderness a scant 70 miles northeast of Seattle, Glacier Peak is the state’s hidden volcano. At a modest 10,541 feet, its summit doesn’t tower over the landscape like Rainier, Baker or Adams. Settlers didn’t even realize it was a volcano until the 1850s, when Native Americans told the naturalist and ethnologist George Gibbs about a small mountain north of Rainier that once smoked.

Geologists have since discovered that Glacier Peak is one of the state’s most active and explosive volcanoes, said Seth Moran, scientist-in-charge at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Cascades Volcano Observatory. Its most recent eruption, about 300 years ago, was a small one.

But since the end of the last ice age, the volcano has erupted repeatedly in at least six episodes — including two outbursts five times bigger than the blast that blew Mount St. Helens apart on May 18, 1980.

An eruption of that scale today would bury nearby communities like Darrington and Rockport under slurries of mud and debris called lahars. Roiling columns of ash more than 100,000 feet high would disrupt air traffic across the region, while sediment-laden floods could reach the Puget Sound lowlands and possibly even threaten Interstate 5.

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Man has his leg shattered by spitting lava in first serious injury caused by the erupting Kilauea volcano

{Recommend you go to the site and look at some of the amazing images of what is going on in HI}

A man had his leg injured by spitting lava in what was the first known serious injury that was reported from fresh explosive eruptions from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii.

The man was on a third-floor balcony when he was hit by lava spatter that shattered his leg from his shin to his foot, said Janet Snyder, a spokesperson for the Office of the Mayor, County of Hawaii.

Snyder revealed that lava spatters ‘can weigh as much as a refrigerator and even small pieces of spatter can kill’. No other information was immediately available.

As magma destroyed four more homes, molten rock from two huge cracks merged into a single stream, threatening to block other escape routes and touching off brush fires.

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HAWAII VOLCANO: No end in sight as fresh magma mixes with old

PAHOA, Hawaii — Lava oozing out of cracks for two weeks in rural Hawaii neighbourhoods took on new characteristics as fresher magma mixed with decades-old magma, sending a flow toward the ocean Saturday.

Since a first fissure opened in a community on May 3, lava was mostly spattering up and collecting at the edges of the cracks in the ground. Two neighbourhoods with nearly 2,000 people were forced to evacuate as lava claimed 40 structures.

On Friday afternoon, the lava changed dramatically with one fissure ramping up and sending a flow across a road, destroying four more homes and isolating residents, some of whom had to be air-lifted to safety.

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Two huge vaccine scandals the press is ignoring

Some lies are so big, many people can’t accept the fact that they’re lies. Their minds are boggled. “No,” they say, “that couldn’t be.” But yes, that could be, and is.

Two giant vaccine scandals are in progress at the moment.

The mainstream press is mentioning them, here and there, but without any intent to raise alarms, dig in, investigate, and get down to the core of the problem.

So I’ll get to the core.

The first scandal revolves around the flu vaccine for the current year. The CDC and other “experts” have admitted the vaccine has a very low effectiveness rate.

Why is it a dud?

Because the vaccine is produced using chicken eggs, and in that medium, the flu virus—which is intentionally placed in the eggs—mutates. Therefore, it isn’t the same virus which is causing flu this year. Therefore, no protection against the flu.

FiercePharma reports: “Based on data from Australia, which already had its flu season, scientists warn that this season’s flu shot might be only 10% effective. And the reason for such a low level of protection might lie in the method by which the majority of flu vaccines are made: in eggs.”

Ten percent effectiveness. Now that’s ridiculous. And it’s assuming you accept the whole model of how vaccines work—that they actually do protect (safely) against disease, rather than, at best, repressing the visible symptoms of the disease.

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Gay Man Says Pope Told Him ‘God Made You Like This and Loves You Like This’

A recent statement by Pope Francis contradicts Catholic Church views on gay people.

Pope Francis expressed his love and support to a gay man who was sexually abused as a child by Chilean priest.

According to a report by The Guardian, Pope Francis told Juan Carlos Cruz, who spoke with the pope privately that, “That you are gay does not matter. God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The pope loves you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.”

Many have noted that the pope’s statements are a very progressive step toward accepting LGBT people who are often accused of choosing their sexual orientation or that the god of the Catholic Church hates them.

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Has Netanyahu Set the Stage for the Two Witnesses?

shocking evidence that Netanyahu and others in his Likud government have set the stage for the Two Witnesses. We have truly entered into the final days and what you will hear tonight could change your life. Continue reading “Has Netanyahu Set the Stage for the Two Witnesses?”

Hawaii Residents Trapped As Volcanic Eruption Intensifies, First Major Injury Reported After “Lava Bomb”

More residents of Hawaii’s Big Island have been told to evacuate as fast moving lava threatens homes and businesses after a new, explosive eruption took place at Kilauea’s summit crater Saturday as well as the emergence of fresh, faster flowing lava throughout the region. Some 22 fissures have opened up in the lower Puna district since the eruptions began over two weeks ago, claiming at least 44 structures in the affluent Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivisions.

Residents across the Ka’u region have been advised to prepare for “rapid changes in air quality” due to the potential for ashfall or increased levels of sulfur dioxide.

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