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President Trump Talks Agriculture and Trade During Roundtable With Secretary Perdue – (W/ Media Q&A)…

Conservative Treehouse, by Sundance Posted By: earlybird- Wed, 26 00 2017 02:00:27 GMT Having spent over 30 years deep in the weeds on the actuarial side of trade and economics, I can guarantee you there’s a generational need to completely reset all frames of reference when it comes to imports, exports, and U.S. trade principles in general. It is no longer worthwhile even beginning a conversation around the arcane concept of “free trade”, especially when discussing commodities and agricultural trade. The “free market” was structurally disassembled years ago when multinational corporations began using the business end of agriculture to create investment and global profit via Wall Street. The BIG AGRICULTURE legislative lobbying groups

President Trump Talks Agriculture and Trade During Roundtable With Secretary Perdue – (W/ Media Q&A)…

Conservative Treehouse, by Sundance Posted By: earlybird- Wed, 26 00 2017 02:00:27 GMT Having spent over 30 years deep in the weeds on the actuarial side of trade and economics, I can guarantee you there’s a generational need to completely reset all frames of reference when it comes to imports, exports, and U.S. trade principles in general. It is no longer worthwhile even beginning a conversation around the arcane concept of “free trade”, especially when discussing commodities and agricultural trade. The “free market” was structurally disassembled years ago when multinational corporations began using the business end of agriculture to create investment and global profit via Wall Street. The BIG AGRICULTURE legislative lobbying groups

Chelsea Clinton receives award for volunteering with her family´s foundation after insisting she´s not running for public office

Daily Mail [UK], by Kelly Mclaughlin Posted By: Attercliffe- Wed, 26 07 2017 02:07:54 GMT Chelsea Clinton urged the importance of fighting hunger as she was honored at a New York charity gala on Tuesday night. The former First Daughter, who is a Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, was presented with the City Harvest Award for Commitment for her support of the organization through volunteering with the Clinton Foundation´s Day of Action program. She wore a colorful patterned dress, black cardigan and nude heels to the event on Tuesday, which was also attended by Chrissy Teigen, actress Bridget Moynahan, Real Housewives Of New York star Bethenny Frankel and domestic goddess Martha Stewart.

Why picking your nose and eating it may be good for you! Filthy habit could prevent cavities, stomach ulcers and even HIV

Daily Mail [UK], by Alexandra Thompson Posted By: ScarletPimpernel- Wed, 26 10 2017 02:10:04 GMT We´re taught from a young age that picking our nose is a disgusting habit. Not only do we think its unhygienic, but having a good rummage could tear our nostrils´ fragile skin, as well as increasing the risk of developing a painful sinus infection. Yet, a study has revealed people who pick their noses may actually be healthier ‘ giving good reason for children to carry on with the disgusting habit. Austrian lung specialist Professor Friedrich Bischinger, said: ´Eating the dry remains of what you pull out is a great way of strengthening the body´s immune system. Medically it makes

Le Pen Wins Day Two, and Day Three As Well

If you just came in from a foreign country and looked at the news, you might think she could beat Macron.

U.S. Moves Forward With Anti-Missile Defense System, Sparking Protests In China

SEOUL (Reuters) – The U.S. military started moving parts of an anti-missile defense system to a deployment site in South Korea on Wednesday, triggering protests from villagers and criticism from China, amid tension over North Korea’s weapons development.

The earlier-than-expected steps to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system was also denounced by the frontrunner in South Korea’s presidential election on May 9.

South Korea’s defense ministry said elements of THAAD were moved to the deployment site, on what had been a golf course, about 250 km (155 miles) south of the capital, Seoul.

South Korea and the United States have been working to secure an early operational capability of the THAAD system in response to North Korea’s advancing nuclear and missile threat,” the ministry said in a statement.

The battery was expected to be operational by the end of the year, it said.

The United States and South Korea agreed last year to deploy the THAAD to counter the threat of missile launches by North Korea. They say it is solely aimed at defending against North Korea.

But China says the system’s advanced radar can penetrate deep into its territory and undermine its security, while it will do little to deter the North, and is adamant in its opposition.

“China strongly urges the United States and South Korea to stop actions that worsen regional tensions and harm China’s strategic security interests and cancel the deployment of the THAAD system and withdraw the equipment,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a briefing.

“China will resolutely take necessary steps to defend its interests,” Geng said, without elaborating.

China is North Korea’s sole major ally and is seen as crucial to U.S.-led efforts to rein in its bellicose, isolated neighbor.

The United States began moving the first elements of the system to South Korea in March after the North tested four ballistic missiles.

South Korea has accused China of discriminating against some South Korean companies operating in China because of the deployment.

The liberal politician expected to win South Korea’s election, Moon Jae-in, has called for a delay in the deployment, saying the new administration should make a decision after gathering public opinion and more talks with Washington.

A spokesman for Moon said moving the parts to the site “ignored public opinion and due process” and demanded it be suspended.

Television footage showed military trailers carrying equipment, including what appeared to be launch canisters, to the battery site.

Protesters shouted and hurled water bottles at the vehicles over lines of police holding them back.

The Pentagon said the system was critical to defend South Korea and its allies against North Korean missiles and deployment would be completed “as soon as feasible”.

‘WE WILL FIGHT’

More than 10 protesters were injured, some of them with fractures, in clashes with police, Kim Jong-kyung, a leader of villagers opposing the deployment, told Reuters.

Kim said about 200 protesters rallied overnight and they would keep up their opposition.

“There’s still time for THAAD to be actually up and running so we will fight until equipment is withdrawn from the site and ask South Korea’s new government to reconsider,” Kim told Reuters by telephone.

A police official in the nearby town of Seongju said police had withdrawn from the area and were not aware of any injuries.

The United States and North Korea have been stepping up warnings to each other in recent weeks over North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and missiles in defiance of U.N. resolutions.

North Korea’s nuclear and missile threat is perhaps the most serious security challenge confronting U.S. President Donald Trump. He has vowed to prevent North Korea from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile.

North Korea says it needs the weapons to defend itself and has vowed to strike the United States and its Asian allies at the first sign of any attack on it.

The United States is sending the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group to waters off the Korean peninsula, where it will join the USS Michigan, a nuclear submarine that docked in South Koreaon Tuesday. South Korea’s navy has said it will hold drills with the U.S. strike group.

North Korea’s foreign ministry denounced a scheduled U.N. Security Council meeting on Friday, chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, saying the United States was “not morally entitled” to force members states to impose sanctions on it.

“It is a wild dream for the U.S. to think of depriving the DPRK of its nuclear deterrent through military threat and sanctions. It is just like sweeping the sea with a broom,” the North’s KCNA cited a foreign ministry spokesman as saying.

DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.

China’s envoy on North Korea, Wu Dawei, met his Japanese counterpart, Kenji Kanasugi, for talks in Tokyo and they agreed that they would “respond firmly” to any further North Korean provocation, Japan’s foreign ministry said.

“We are against anything that might lead to war or chaos,” Wu said.

KCNA said earlier leader Kim Jong Un had supervised the country’s “largest-ever” live-fire drill to mark Tuesday’s 85th founding anniversary of its military, with more than 300 large-caliber, self-propelled artillery pieces on its east coast.

“The brave artillerymen mercilessly and satisfactorily hit the targets and the gunshots were very correct, he said, adding that they showed well the volley of gunfire of our a-match-for-a-hundred artillery force giving merciless punishment to the hostile forces,” KCNA cited Kim as saying.

There had been fears North Korea would mark the anniversary with its sixth nuclear test or a long-range missile launch.

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Melissa Etheridge Driven To Write Music About These ‘Very Inspiring Times’

Melissa Etheridge has never been one to shy away from writing socially-conscious songs or getting downright personal in her music. She penned the Oscar-winning “I Need to Wake Up” for Al Gore’s 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and she sang about non-monogamous relationships in “I’m the Only One.”  

For the Grammy winner, there’s no time like the present to write music with impact and meaning. After all, so far in 2017, we’ve seen a new president in the White House, the Women’s March rally in D.C., and plenty of pending changes on the horizon.

“These are very inspiring times and I feel very moved to be writing right now, and I’ll probably be writing all year long,” Etheridge told HuffPost, referencing the political and social climate under the Donald Trump presidency. “It’s funny because I find myself wanting to write about what’s happening at the moment and understanding that what I write now might not be heard for another year, and God, hopefully things will be different in another year. So it’s kind of funny to write about something that’s happening now when you hope it will be completely different in the future.”

That said, Etheridge is trying to find a comfortable middle ground, and while doing so, she recognizes that for some it might be easy to feel a little dismayed.

“It can be discouraging as an LGBT — well, as a human being — this last year, it’s been difficult … I didn’t know that so many people felt so darkly and so fearful,” said Etheridge, who came out in 1993.

Still, Etheridge says she feels “eternally hopeful.” It’s a feeling that came to her after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004.

“After going through cancer 12 years ago, that hope is always there and that’s what life is about and that’s the motor of life — the hope and looking forward and creating and not letting fear hold you down, and I’m finding that some of my older songs are ringing more true today than ever, like ‘I Need to Wake Up’ … a lot of these songs have more meaning now than then,” Etheridge said.

In between writing songs, Etheridge has plotted out a batch of tour dates for 2017, including her first-ever concert in Cuba in June. She’s teaming with Ben Folds for a four-day trip, which they’re describing as a fan-camp experience, complete with workshops, music and more. They’re encouraging fans to come along to experience the art and culture of Havana. Etheridge will also take time out to raise awareness for the LGBTQ community. 

“I find that what I can do best is to tell my story and hopefully give inspiration through that,” she said. “I grew up in Kansas in a really conservative place and how just being yourself and just walking your path in your truth is revolutionary and can absolutely change the world. Just to inspire people to feel that — to move forward in their truth is what I hope I can do.”

Moving forward in her truth is something Etheridge has tried to do since her start in music. Next year will mark three decades since she released her self-titled debut album. The “Come to My Window” singer says she can hardly believe that all that time has passed. Yet, at 55 years old, she feels more rooted in her truth than ever before. 

“When you’re just around long enough you start to say, ‘Oh, I’m going to start not sweating the small stuff.’ And you really understand that things come and go because you see it come and go enough. You’re not quite afraid of stuff, because you know things shift and change. I think my 60s are going to rock that much more.”

Welcome to Battleground, where art and activism meet.

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Trump Keeping Promise to Ensure America’s Energy Independence in First 100 Days

In his Contract with the American Voter pledge, President Donald J. Trump, then the Republican nominee, promised to move America in the direction of becoming energy independent through a series of executive orders, actions, agency directives, and guid…

Elisabeth Moss Absolutely Knows ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is A Feminist Story

Ahead of the premiere of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu’s 2017 adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s beloved dystopian novel, actor Elisabeth Moss would like to make one point clear: The show is “obviously” feminist.

She intimated otherwise during a packed panel discussion that took place at the Tribeca Film Festival. “It’s not a feminist story, it’s a human story, because women’s rights are human rights,” she told audiences in New York City. Some fans were less than pleased with what seemed like an effort to distance the show from its, to use her word, “obviously” feminist underpinnings. 

Women’s rights are human rights, but, according to many readers and preemptive fans of the show, there is no need to explicitly state that a TV series centered on the life of Offred ― a woman stripped of her societal power, forced into gruesome sexual servitude, and still willing to fight like hell for her freedom ― isn’t feminist. 

“I’m not sure that that was exactly what I was trying to say, or what we were trying to say,” Moss told HuffPost on Tuesday, hours before Hulu released the first three episodes to stream. “I wanted to say ― and I’ll just say it right here, right now ― OBVIOUSLY, all caps, it is a feminist work. It is a feminist show.”

Moss identifies as “a card-carrying feminist,” who herself doesn’t believe there’s such a thing as being too vocal about your feminist views. In past interviews about her “Mad Men” character Peggy, she’s said she’s “super-proud to have been part of a moment that people can gain any inspiration from or connect with women’s rights.”

“I think what happened was that I left out a very, very important four-letter word, which is ‘also,’” she said of her “Handmaid’s Tale” comments. “It’s also a humanist tale. That’s all. Women’s rights are human rights. For me, they’re one and the same. And I welcome the conversations. Anything that brings feminism into the spotlight, anything that brings reproductive rights into the spotlight, is a great thing. Whatever that is. We should be talking about it.”

Moss plays Offred, the narrator of “Handmaid’s Tale,” whose “reproductive rights and human rights have been stripped,” who has been “enslaved because she is fertile” and consequently “sexually assaulted every month.” In the Hulu show, these rape scenes are carefully wrought, giving viewers a sobering glimpse into one aspect of the seemingly hopeless lives of the many lower-class women subjugated by Gilead’s theocratic regime. 

“It was super important to us that it was very clearly a sexual assault and not something enjoyable by any of the parties,” Moss, who’s also a producer on the show, emphasized. “That it was clinical, that it was brutal, that it was emotionless.”

“For me, what I was trying to do as an actor,” she added, “was to try to imagine ― where do you go? For me, I felt like it would be so horrible that you would have to sort of not be there and that was the only way you could get through such a thing. We do two or three of them ― the ceremonies ― throughout the series, and each time it was really important for us to show that this is not something is remotely sexy. This is sexual assault.”

The show, created by Bruce Miller and executive produced by Warren Littlefield, is fierce in its dedication to realism. Moss was encouraged to not wear makeup in the show, not only to hew closely to the show’s source material ― the detail is outlined in Atwood’s book, in which handmaids are legally prohibited from wearing makeup ― but to allow the near-constant close-up shots of Offred to sink in. 

“It does feel like you can see so much more of the character and so much more acting that way,” Moss said. “For me, I don’t want to get dressed up and pretty when I’m acting. I like to play challenging characters ― characters who are going through the challenges of life. It actually makes my life so much easier if I can use that hair and makeup process to the advantage of telling the story and seeing where the character is at.”

Moss’ character ― separated from the husband and daughter she knew before the rise of Gilead, back when familiar companies like Uber and Tinder had more pull over contemporary society ― certainly faces challenges rarely seen on TV before. In one particularly haunting scene, Offred and a group of handmaids are commanded to collectively attack a convicted rapist ― a directive some of the characters almost eagerly obey. 

“It raises interesting questions, doesn’t it? Interesting questions about a prison system.” Moss notes of the scene, which occurs in the opening episode. “If you imprison these people and take away all of their rights and sexually assault them and treat them with violence, what happens to these people? How do they change? How do they adapt to the prison? These women are angry, and they are hurt, and they’ve had everything taken away from them including their children. When presented with the male figure, who they are led to believe has done something horrible similar to what has been done to themselves and what is done to them every month, it’s a representation of might happen. What they might do. All that anger, all of that pain, all of that frustration comes out.”

“There’s also the point that can’t be overlooked or missed is that they have to,” she added. “That if they don’t participate in what’s called a particicution, that they will be killed or maimed or physically abused. They have no choice.”

Choice is a word that seems to once again summon the feminist allegory built right into “Handmaid’s Tale.” In the 1980s, Atwood herself was somewhat hesitant about aligning with the feminism of the time ― second-wave. “I didn’t want to become a megaphone for any one particular set of beliefs,” she said. Thirty years later, she still holds measured reservations.

But to Moss’ Tribeca comments, she’s clear: “They needed an ‘only,’ an ‘also,’ and a human rights definition of the F word, imho,” she tweeted

“[’Handmaid’s Tale’] is first and foremost feminist,” Moss concluded on Tuesday. “And it’s also about many other different problems we are facing ― infringements on a lot of different human rights. I got the privilege of spending so much time with Margaret recently, and hearing her talk about this stuff. I know what this book is and I know what she’s talking about.” 

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Schengen Danger: ‘Thousands’ of Former Taliban Fighters May Have Entered Germany

Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has confessed it is dealing with a “four-digit number” of migrants with declared links to the Taliban, potentially endangering neighbouring countries such as France.