Day: April 6, 2017

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A NEW 'SUPERPOWER' How World War I changed the 'world order' forever


On July 28, 1914, after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, starting The Great War.  It would take almost three years for the United States to take up arms in the fight.

When the U.S. joined the battle, the war — and the world — changed forever.

“America’s role in what was then the world’s bloodiest and most destructive war signaled the emergence of the U.S. as the arbiter of a new world order,” wrote Arthur Herman, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute, an independent research organization based in Washington. “One that would be built around America’s economic strength, military power and moral authority as promoter and defender of democracy and freedom.”

Many historians believe that the end of World War II marked the beginning of America as the center of the world order. Herman disagrees, writing, “In fact, it was World War I — starting with the economic and financial might the U.S. acquired during the war as Wall Street replaced London as the center of world finance, and growing as U.S. economic power was deployed to feed and then rebuild a shattered post-war Europe, including Germany and even Soviet Russia.”

“The U.S. really emerged as a superpower at the end of World War I,” Herman told Fox News. “President [Woodrow] Wilson gave the U.S. a moral authority it never quite lost.” 

At the outbreak of the war, Wilson adopted a policy of neutrality, urging all Americans to remain “impartial in thought as well as in action.”

Wilson clung to the doctrine even as the conflict metastacized. Germany declared war on Russia and France. Britain and Japan declared war on Germany. Turkey would side with the Germans, causing Russia, Britain and France to declare war on Turkey. Still, Americans agreed with the President that remaining neutral was the best option for our country.

That public opinion would change after an even that claimed the lives of hundreds of Americans.

In 1915, as the United States continued to use shipping lanes into Europe, Germany had declared the waters around the British Isles to be a war zone and began ordering U-boats to sink commercial and even some passenger ships. On May 7, the Lusitania, a British ocean liner travelling from New York to England with hundreds of American passengers onboard, was sunk by Germany. Nearly 1,200 people, including 128 Americans, were killed. This caused a public outcry across the globe, but especially in the states.

Still, it would take almost two more years and the sinking of more merchant ships for Wilson to decide to end America’s policy of neutrality. 

In February 1917, Congress passed a massive, $250 million arms appropriations bill intended to make the United States ready for war.

Wilson appeared before Congress on April 2, 1917, to call for a declaration of war. The U.S. officially entered the battle just four days later.

The United States would remain in the deadly conflict for a year and a half. After the deaths of some 17 million people, at the eleventh-hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I ended. It was this timing that led to Veterans Day being observed on Nov. 11.

Herman notes that even though it was a century ago, soldiers who died there still deserve their moment of remembrance.

“In less than 2 years, over 110,000 [Americans] died in World War I,  a war in which our president said we are doing this for others and not for ourselves, to become the beacon of progress,” he said. “That is real sacrifice.”



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Meg: Boyfriend loves my bod


Megan Trainor is loving life lately.

The 23-year-old pop singer recently got candid with Cosmopolitan for their May 2017 issue about her relationship with boyfriend, 24-year-old actor Daryl Sabara.

MEGHAN TRAINOR BEEFS UP SECURITY

“I never really felt sexy with guys before,” she explained. “No one expressed how they liked my body out loud in the bedroom until I met Daryl. He is obsessed with it — every inch. And that has improved my confidence more than even ‘Bass’ did. He’s a champion, so we’re in heaven.”

Trainor previously made the relationship “Instagram official” in October 2016 after rumors swirled that she was involved with the former “Spy Kids” child star.

“We went on a double date — bowling and karaoke,” said Trainor on their first date. “He kissed me at the bowling alley. I told my security to step outside ‘cause I didn’t want to be watched… He was the best kisser ever. I know I’m really good at kissing, but I was shocked when he was.”

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Trainor is so inspired about her current relationship with Sabara that she even admitted her next album will include songs about her beau. And one of the tracks has a very direct message.

“I wrote six songs on the road about him in front of his face,” she said. “One is called ‘Marry Me.’”
 



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Philadelphia museum showing glass bongs as high art


A Philadelphia museum is putting a whole new twist on the term “high art.”

The National Liberty Museum will open on Friday a month-long art exhibit entitled “The Treachery of Images,” which will feature more than 50 hand-crafted glass water pipes (more commonly referred to as bongs in the marijuana smoking community) from 20 of the United States’ most prominent pipemakers and glass artists.

In what is being called the first exhibit of bongs in a museum setting, the artwork will not only be on display but will also be up for sale, with some valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. One pipe – entitled “Freija” — is valued at $250,000.

The museum’s directors want to make clear that this exhibit is less about getting potheads to ogle over some pricey pipes and more about allowing an underground community of artists to showcase their work to the world without fear of being stigmatized or prosecuted.

“Some of these glass pipes you can’t tell if they’re pipes or pieces of art,” Meegan Coll, the National Liberty Museum’s glass director, told Fox News. “If you take a deeper look at these pieces you’ll see that they are amazing pieces of art as well as functional smoking devices. You really have to appreciate the art and the skill it takes to execute the creation of these pieces.”

The exhibit takes its title from a 1929 painting by Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte, which features an image of a pipe above the phrase “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (or “This is not a pipe” in French).

Coll said that the title is apt for the exhibit because the museum wants attendees to look at the pipes not just as smoking devices but as unique pieces of art.

“We’re asking the viewer not to think about the fact that these are pipes, but to look more broadly at them,” she added.

As more and more states in the U.S. loosen their marijuana laws, more and more of these artists are able to come out of the shadows and acknowledge their work. Bongs and other glass pipes have been a point of contention for years within the glassblowing community and their makers have been excluded from shows – and even from being called artists – by their fellow craftsmen.

“This is a real underground movement and these artists in the past were worried that they would be arrested if they used their real names,” Coll said. “It’s a tight-knit community and they are excited to see their work on display in a setting of a museum or gallery that one wouldn’t think would show this kind of stuff.”

Gwen Borowsky, the National Liberty Museum’s CEO, told Fox News that the exhibit has generated a lot of buzz, with the museum having already oversold its opening reception and some of the pieces flaring up interest from potential buyers.

“A lot of people who buy these pieces buy them as pieces of art and not to smoke out of,” Borowsky said. “These are pieces that you wouldn’t want to put a match to.”

The show runs from April 7 to May 7 at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia’s Old City section.



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Good Samaritan injured helping victims in Michigan crash has died


One of the two Good Samaritans critically injured helping at the scene of a crash on I-96 has died.

Dr. Cynthia Ray died at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday with her family at her side from injuries sustained Sunday morning helping others involved in an accident on the freeway near the Davison.

A vehicle had flipped on its side when Ray and U of D Jesuit student Sean English stopped in different cars to help. They were both struck by 17-year-old Keith Martin.

WOMAN FALLS OFF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BRIDGE WHILE TAKING SELFIE

The six people in a vehicle that crashed on its side causing the others to stop, were not injured.

English suffered a broken pelvis and lost a foot in the accident. Martin is on life support.

Ray was a pulmonologist at Henry Ford Hospital.  A statement from the hospital  said Dr. Ray was a beloved physician, colleague, daughter, sister and friend.

WISCONSIN WORKER PRAISED FOR HELPING DRIVER PINNED UNDER LIVE WIRES

Described by Dr. Mike Eichenhorn, a mentor and close friend, as a “giving, generous spirit,” Dr. Ray was considered a consummate caregiver-capable, caring and committed.

Dr. Eichenhorn elaborated: “It would have been impossible for Cyndi to pass by the car that overturned because that’s the kind of person she was.  She was always there to help others.  At her bedside, she had visitors from all walks of life who she had helped through difficult situations. She embodied selflessness.”

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Thousands of Uber and Lyft Massachusetts drivers fail new background checks


More than 8,000 drivers for both Uber and Lyft have been barred from taking the roads in Massachusetts following a new state background check.

Out of the roughly 71,000 drivers who had been preapproved by reviews done by both Uber and Lyft, about 11,000, or 11% failed the new state background check – which violations include license suspensions, violent crimes, and sexual offenses.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, violent or sexual offenses, drunk driving, as well as reckless driving were among the reason why hundreds were disqualified.

The agency also said that 51 of those applications were rejected for sex offenses.

This isn’t the first time background checks have been an issue for Uber – Los Angeles and San Francisco District Attorneys filed a civil lawsuit in 2014 that aimed to shed light on the company’s background check process.

Uber has been plagued by controversy as of late – a video surfaced showing CEO Travis Kalanick berating an Uber driver, they’re battling a lawsuit by Waymo, Uber President Jeff Jones quit just six months into the job, and a #DeleteUber hashtag has even popped up on Twitter. 



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Man's hand cut off by machete in fight, gets re-attached


A Massachusetts man who had his hand cut off by a machete during a fight has had the hand re-attached, and authorities say the suspect has been ordered held without bail.

The Sun reports that police responded to a Lowell public housing project at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Prosecutors said officers, at first, found only the hand because the victim ran away screaming.

MAN WHO HAD LEGS AMPUTATED AFTER POSSIBLE SPIDER BITE MAY LOSE ARMS

His family told authorities the hand has been re-attached at a hospital.

The suspect, 54-year-old Domingo Ayala, was ordered held without bail Thursday pending a hearing to determine whether he is dangerous. He faces charges including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Prosecutors say the victim got into an argument with the suspect’s son, and at some point Ayala retrieved the machete. It was not immediately clear if Ayala is being represented by an attorney.

 



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Man indicted in rape, murder of NYC jogger


A Queens grand jury ​Wednesday handed up an indictment against the Brooklyn man ​arrested in the rape and murder ​of jogger Karina Vetrano ​in August on ​charges including murder.

The indictment charges Chanel Lewis, 20, with four counts of first-degree murder, five counts of second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual abuse and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse in connection with the 30-year-old’s death.

Lewis faces life behind bars without the possibility of parole if convicted. He will be arraigned on the indictment at a later date.

The raven-haired stunner ​Vetrano ​was last seen before her run on August 2, 2016, when she headed out onto a park trial near her Howard Beach home alone.

Cops say Lewis attacked her as she ran through the marshy area, and then sexually abused and strangled her.

CLICK TO READ MORE FROM THE NEW YORK POST.



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Kremlin: Support for Assad not unconditional


President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said Thursday that Russia’s support for Syrian President Bashar Assad is not unconditional, but that the country demands a full investigation of the suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held province in Syria before the United Nations takes any action.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s remarks came two days after the suspected chemical attack killed at least 72 people. Moscow, Assad’s key backer, has supported the Syrian government militarily in the ongoing conflict since 2015.

Peskov told The Associated Press in an interview that “unconditional support is not possible in this current world,” but added that “it is not correct to say that Moscow can convince Mr. Assad to do whatever is wanted in Moscow. This is totally wrong.”

Moscow and Damascus “enjoy a relationship of cooperation, of exchange of views and full mutual support,” Peskov said. Assad and his army are “the only real power in Syria that can resist terrorists on the ground,” he said.

At United Nations headquarters on Thursday, key Security Council members, including the United States and Russia, met behind closed doors to try to reach agreement on a resolution that would condemn the attack and authorize an independent investigation.

Peskov said Russia expects a full international investigation into the attack before the U.N. Security Council considers any resolution condemning the chemical attack that he described as “very tragic.” Doing otherwise, he said, would be “simply unfair in terms of international law.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry said the toxic agents were released when a Syrian airstrike hit a rebel chemical weapons arsenal and munitions factory on the town’s eastern outskirts. Asked what proof Moscow has for that assessment, Peskov said that Russia is the only legitimate foreign power on the ground in Syria and therefore has “more wide information about what is going on there.”

Turkey said Thursday that autopsies of the victims from the Tuesday attack in Idlib province showed they were subjected to chemical weapons. In France, the foreign minister called for the prosecution of Assad’s government.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is traveling to Moscow early next week in what will be the first visit of a senior Trump administration official to Russia since President Donald Trump was elected.

Relations between Russia and the U.S. hit their lowest point since the end of the Cold War after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. Throughout the election campaign, the Kremlin said it hoped the new U.S. president would be open to improving ties.

Peskov said “there is a minor exchange of information going on” with Washington “but it’s far away from what is necessary.”
Moscow hopes “maybe the upcoming visit of State Secretary Tillerson in Moscow will somehow highlight the attitude of the American side toward the rising tensions in Syria,” he said.



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SEAN HANNITY: Media shamefully blind on Obama spying – Nunes steps down from Russia-Trump investigation


A scandal of historic and monumental proportions began with a tweet just over one month ago.

“Terrible,” President Trump wrote on March 4. “Just found out that Obama had (ph) ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”

That tweet sent the mainstream, alt-left, hate-Trump media into an all- out frenzy. For the next several days, instead of investigating the president’s serious claim, they mocked, ridiculed and bashed the president.

Here are some examples of propaganda masquerading as journalism:

Our conspiracy theory president is at it again,” CNN’s Brian Stelter said the day of the tweet. “And whenever something like this happens, I wonder what are the president’s sources of information? Where is he getting these ideas?”

The next day, over at ABC, Martha Raddatz pretended to interview White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

“The president of the United States is accusing the former president of wiretapping him,” said Raddatz, who you will remember cried on election night when Hillary Clinton lost.

“I think that this is again something that if this happened, Martha — ,” Sanders began.

“ If, if, if, if!” Raddatz snapped.

It went on and on.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper threw objectivity aside and determined the president was a liar.

“We know the president of the United States has no facts, no facts to back up his startling allegation that the former president of the United States, President Obama, wiretapped him at Trump Tower during the campaign,” Cooper said on March 16.

“It’s amazing to watch the White House continue to argue that the Earth is flat,” Cooper’s colleague, Jake Tapper, said.

When the fact-challenged, destroy-Trump media finally got bored scolding President Trump over his tweet, they went right back to the same old, tired conspiracy. The one that claims Trump colluded with the Russians to win the election, a baseless assertion the mainstream media has hung onto for months  without one single shred of evidence.

“This Russian connection just keeps building, and every time it builds and expands, you have to wonder if Trump himself isn’t worried about what’s swirling around under the covers,” said MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.

Cooper and his pals agreed. The evil Russians and the evil Team Trump worked together to steal the election!

Then, on March 22, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes announced that he had credible evidence that President Trump and members of his transition team had been caught up in “incidental surveillance,” after which their names were unmasked. Nunes also revealed this intelligence had nothing to do with Russia and was shared among high-level Obama administration officials, apparently for political purposes.

The media swung into action to investigate the serious claim and accurately reported these shocking new revelations. Oh, wait! No they didn’t. They decided to destroy Nunes.

“Who decided that Devin Nunes was qualified to be the House Intel chair? Because from everybody that I’ve spoken to who have worked with him, Republicans, Democrats, they say he is not up to that task,” said MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman who now earns a bigger paycheck as a member of the alt-left media.

Nunes, who stepped aside in the committee’s investigation Thursday amid a barrage of bogus claims from the media and fellow House members, put his reputation on the line to try to get to the truth.

While the alt-left, destroy-Trump-propaganda-media was busy smearing anyone and everyone who didn’t echo their biased agenda, real journalists from Fox News, Circa News and Bloomberg were actually doing their jobs. And they reported that it was President Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, who called for the unmasking of members of the Trump transition team.

Rice didn’t even deny it. But the CNN wants us to think these developments are all just a big distraction. They’re back to the Russia conspiracy.

“You think that this is a diversion from this Russia story?” Don Lemon asked earlier this week. “Because so far, we’ve seen no evidence that she’s done anything improper, and it seems like an effort to tar and feather her to try to make a lie the truth, the original tweet by the president.”

“Listen, Susan Rice is being tarred, feathered and burned alive for doing her job in a good way,” Van Jones replied.

Unmasking Americans just because they are her political opponents was not her job. Over at MSNBC, Chris Matthews, who once gushed that Obama sent a “thrill up my leg,” accused Republicans of being racist and sexist for targeting Susan Rice.

If they don’t like the facts, they just claim racism and sexism. But President Trump is not letting the media define this narrative.

“It’s such an important story for our country and the world. It’s one of the big stories of our time,” Trump said of the Obama administration’s apparent use of national intelligence agencies for political opposition research.

ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and all of their friends in the print media – especially The New York Times and Washington Post – need to realize their partisanship and hatred for the president has clouded their judgment in what is now one of the biggest scandals in American history.

Admit your bias. Do your job. And apologize to America for taking so long.

Adapted from Sean Hannity’s monologue on “Hannity,” April 4, 2017

Sean Hannity currently serves as host of FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Hannity (weekdays 10-11PM/ET). He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York. Click here for more information on Sean Hannity. 



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Experts: US unprepared for growing terrorist drone threat


The emergence of terrorist drones flown by ISIS in Iraq has fueled interest in drone-defense technology – while raising questions about whether the U.S. is ready for potential drone terrorist attacks on the homeland.

Over the last six months, ISIS has increased its use of weaponized and surveillance drones against Iraqi and U.S. forces. U.S. Central Command told Fox News coalition troops have as many as 30 encounters a week with unmanned aerial vehicles. These drones are inexpensive ones modified to drop grenades or to surveil troop movements.

Underscoring the accessibility and affordability of these drones: During the last two months, the U.S. military has destroyed at least five ISIS drone facilities, including one factory and four storage facilities.

TRUMP GIVES CIA POWER TO LAUNCH DRONE STRIKES

ISIS has posted online propaganda videos touting its drones along with detailed tutorials explaining how to arm them. The emerging drone threat has led some experts to question whether the U.S. is properly prepared to defend itself against possible drone terrorist attacks.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re ready right now,” said Michael Waltz, a former U.S. Army Special Forces commander. “We don’t have the technology – both the detection technology and the counter-measure technology – in place yet.”

As drones become more prevalent, Waltz believes it is imperative that the U.S. government begins to secure its critical infrastructure, like power plants, military bases, and nuclear facilities, from possible weaponized drones.

“I do think it’s just a matter of when,” Waltz said of the possibility of being attacked. “A nightmare scenario could be 20 to 25 of these drones that you could buy over the counter that have been weaponized with explosives that you can put on a timer with GPS coordinates to a military base or a nuclear facility or Capitol building that could attack in a swarm-like fashion.”

HOW ISIS IS TURNING COMMERCIAL DRONES INTO WEAPONS IN THE BATTLE FOR MOSUL

This threat has fueled the counter-drone industry, made up of dozens of drone defense startups, which have experienced a substantial uptick in inquiries from prospective buyers during the last six months – coinciding with ISIS’s growing use of the unmanned gadgets. According to the CEO of Droneshield, a company started three years ago, prisons, stadiums, local law enforcement and foreign governments have all expressed renewed interest in this technology that detects and mitigates unwanted drones.

“We have sold our countermeasure product to a Middle Eastern ministry of defense, which is close to the U.S., and we have sold our detection product to the office of the prime minister of Turkey,” Droneshield CEO Oleg Vornik said. “Today, we are in 35 countries around the world.”

Droneshield offers various counter-drone technology options like a Dronegun. The Dronegun is a jammer that looks like a heavy gun. Operators simply aim at a drone and the Dronegun sends signals that allow users to take control of the drone to land it safely on the ground. The operator can also send an unwanted drone back to the location from where it took off.

WOMAN BRANDISHES GUN, SCARES OFF DRONE

The company also offers acoustic technology that detects drones too small to be picked up by radar, by listening for its unique sound signature.

Another company, Department 13, offers its MESMER software that integrates into security systems. The software detects drones through a process called protocol manipulation – the software identifies a drone’s unique signal signature and allows operators to then hijack and take control of it.

While law enforcement agencies and operators of amusement parks and prisons have expressed interest in the technology – engaging with a drone can be tricky, if not illegal, because current U.S. regulations make it all but impossible to shoot down or take control of a drone. Only the federal government can take down drones because current laws consider them an aircraft.

HUGE DRONE CAN LIFT 500 POUNDS

Counter-drone companies want to see these regulations changed.

“We can offer detection, but unfortunately for me to engage a drone, I’m breaking three or four laws,” Department 13 CEO Johnathan Hunter told Fox News.

The biggest customer for companies like Droneshield and Department 13 is the Department of Defense. The U.S. military is actively trying to develop capabilities to stop drones on the battlefield, awarding $80 million in drone-defense contracts in February alone.

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The military’s leading research and development branch, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has called on startups to look for inventive ways to detect and destroy drones – particularly a drone swarm, possible attacks by hundreds of drones. In fact, the office of the secretary of defense reportedly said counter-drone budgets will see “significant” increases in 2018.

Still, while the U.S. military looks for solutions, the concern is whether soft targets will be exploited by ISIS or its followers in the U.S.

“The DOD is really moving full-steam ahead,” Waltz said. “But the department of Homeland Security and the FBI are lagging and need to get much smarter and focus on this threat before there’s a major incident we all fear.”

Bryan Llenas currently serves as a New York-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC) and a reporter for Fox News Latino (FNL). Click here for more information on Bryan Llenas. Follow him on Twitter @BryanLlenas.

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