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Moroccan asylum seeker “targeted women” in Finland knife attack

August 20, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
Jussi Rosendahl and Tuomas Forsell | Reuters
Sun, 2017-08-20 07:55
ID: 
1503193623099443400

HELSINKI/TURKU, Finland: A Moroccan man who was arrested for killing two women in a knife rampage was an asylum seeker who appeared to have targeted women in Finland’s first terrorism-related attack, police and a Red Cross official said on Saturday.
The 18-year-old suspect, arrested in the city of Turku following Friday’s attack in which eight other people — six of them women — were wounded, arrived in Finland last year, police said. Police shot the suspect in the leg before his arrest.
Police also arrested four other Moroccan men over possible links to him and issued an international arrest warrant for a sixth Moroccan, they said.
Finnish broadcaster MTV, citing an unnamed source, said the main suspect had been denied asylum in Finland, although police said only he had been “part of the asylum process.”
The manager of the Red Cross reception center in Turku, where flags flew at half-mast on Saturday, told Reuters the suspect was an asylum seeker. “I cannot comment on the application’s outcome,” Heimo Nurmi said.
He said police visited the center on Friday and had detained several people. “The arrests were non-violent,” he added.
It was not clear if the attack was in any way linked to the suspect’s asylum application.
The case marks the first suspected terror attack in Finland, where violent crime is relatively rare. Police said they were investigating possible links to Thursday’s deadly van attack in the Spanish city of Barcelona.
“The suspect’s profile is similar to that of several other recent radical Islamist terror attacks that have taken place in Europe,” Director Antti Pelttari from the Finnish Security Intelligence Service told a news conference.
Both of those killed in the Turku attack, and six of the eight who were wounded, were women, the police said. The two who died were Finns, and an Italian and two Swedish citizens were among the injured.
“It seems that the suspect chose women as his targets, because the men who were wounded were injured when they tried to help, or prevent the attacks,” said Crista Granroth from the National Bureau of Investigation.
“The act was cowardly … we have been afraid of this and we have prepared for this. We are not an island anymore, the whole of Europe is affected,” Prime Minister Juha Sipila said.

Screaming
The stabbing spree occurred on Friday afternoon in the main market place in Turku, on the southwest coast of the country, 160 kilometers from Helsinki.
“First thing we heard was a young woman, screaming like crazy. I thought it’s just kids having fun … but then people started to move around and I saw a man with a knife in his hand, stabbing a woman,” said Laura Laine, who was sitting in a cafe.
“Then a person ran toward us shouting ‘He has a knife’, and everybody from the terrace ran inside. Next, a woman came in to the cafe. She was crying hysterically, down on her knees, saying someone’s neck has been slashed open.”
Four of the wounded were still in hospital, three of them in intensive care, while the other injured persons would be sent home on Saturday, the hospital said.
Turku’s Iraqi, Syrian and Islamic community condemned the attacks and organized a rally of solidarity in the city’s main square, but decided to cancel it due to security concerns.
“Finns and immigrants, and people from different religions, have had very good relations in Turku… We are shocked, but I don’t see this changing that,” said Abdirahman Mohamed, Chairman of the Islamic community of Turku.
He said the Moroccan suspects were not familiar to him or to the Islamic community in town, which has around 2,000 members.

Tensions
An Anti-immigration mood has been on the rise in Finland since it received some 32,500 asylum seekers during the migration crisis in 2015.
Tensions simmered on Saturday Turku as the anti-immigration “Finland First” movement held a rally but it was met by counter-demonstrators brandishing signs saying “No room for racism.”
In Helsinki, about 200 people gathered in the rain to protest against the construction of a mosque and Muslim immigration to Finland in a rally planned by the Finnish far-right group the Finnish Defense League (FDL) before the attack.
Some members of the nationalist Finns party, which was kicked out of the government in June for their new hard-line anti-immigration leadership, blamed the government for what they said was too loose an immigration policy.
“The asylum system is the primary road for illegal immigration, used also by the terrorists. Harmful immigration can be controlled only by reducing Finland’s attractiveness, or by border controls,” said Finns party lawmaker Ville Tavio.
The government has already tightened immigration policies in the past few years, along with other Nordic states.

Main category: 
related_nodes: 
Moroccan asylum seeker “targeted women” in Finland knife attack
3 people dead, several injured after stabbings in Finland and Germany
Saudi Arabia denounces terrorist stabbing attacks in Russia and Finland

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2 dead in small plane crash near Oregon eclipse viewing site

August 20, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
The Associated Press
Sun, 2017-08-20 03:00
ID: 
1503194736399495500

MADRAS, Oregon: Authorities say two people died in a small plane crash near a central Oregon airport where people are gathering to view the solar eclipse.
The Central Oregon Emergency Information Network says the pilot and a passenger were killed in the crash about 2 p.m. Saturday about a mile south of Madras Municipal Airport. Authorities did not identify the victims.
The Federal Aviation Administration says the small plane was approaching a central Oregon airport when it crashed near where people are gathering to view the solar eclipse, the Oregonian/Oregonlive reports.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says the plane that crashed Saturday was a single-engine, homebuilt Wheeler Express.
The Oregonian/Oregonlive reports that the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.
Campers have been gathering at the airport for Monday’s eclipse.
About 200,000 people are expected in the area that’s considered a prime viewing spot as the moon completely blots out the sun.

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Spain investigates missing imam, mysterious explosion

August 20, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
AP
Sat, 2017-08-19 08:00
ID: 
1503194388629480900

RIPOLL, Spain: A missing imam and a house that exploded days ago became the focus Saturday of the investigation into an extremist cell responsible for two deadly attacks in Barcelona and a nearby resort, as authorities narrowed in on who radicalized a group of young men in northeastern Spain.
Investigators searched the home of Abdelbaki Es Satty, an imam who in June abruptly quit working at a mosque in the town of Ripoll, the home of the Islamic radicals behind the attacks that killed 14 people and wounded over 120 in the last few days. Police were trying to determine whether Es Satty was killed in a botched bomb-making operation on Wednesday, the eve of the Barcelona bloodshed.
His former mosque has denounced the deadly attacks and weeping relatives marched into a Ripoll square on Saturday, tearfully denying any knowledge of the radical plans of their sons and brothers. At least one of the suspects is still on the run, and his younger brother has disappeared, as has the younger brother of one of the five attackers slain Friday by police.
Catalan police said a manhunt was centered on Younes Abouyaaquoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan suspected of driving the van that plowed into a packed Barcelona promenade Thursday, killing 13 people and injuring 120. Another attack early Friday killed one person and wounded five in the resort of Cambrils.
The Daesh group has claimed responsibility for both.
Everyone so far known in the cell grew up in Ripoll, a town in the Catalan foothills near the French border 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Barcelona. Spanish police searched nine homes in Ripoll, including Es Satty’s, and two buses, and set up a roadblock that checked each car entering the town. Across the Pyrenees, French police carried out extra border checks on people coming in from Spain.
Neighbors, family and even the mayor of Ripoll said they were shocked by news of the alleged involvement of the young men, whom all described as integrated Spanish and Catalan speakers with friends of all backgrounds.
Halima Hychami, the weeping mother of Mohamed Hychami, one of the attackers named by police, said he told her he was leaving on vacation and would return Aug. 25. His younger brother, Omar, slept late Thursday and left mid-afternoon.
Mohamed Hychami is believed among the five attackers shot to death by police in Cambrils. She hasn’t heard from Omar since he left.
“We found out by watching TV, same as all of you. They never talked about the imam. They were normal boys. They took care of me, booked my flight when I went on vacation. They all had jobs. They didn’t steal. Never had a problem with me or anybody else. I can’t understand it,” she said.
Even with Abouyaaquoub at large, Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido declared the cell “broken” Saturday. In addition to the five killed by police, four were in custody and one or two were killed in a house explosion Wednesday. He said there was no new imminent threat of attack.
Police also conducted a series of controlled explosions Saturday in the town of Alcanar, south of Barcelona, where the attacks were planned in house that was destroyed Wednesday by an explosion. Authorities had initially thought it was a gas accident, but took another look after the attacks.
Initially, only one person was believed killed in the Wednesday blast. But officials said DNA tests were underway to determine if human remains found there Friday were from a second victim. A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing searches, said investigators believed the remains may belong to Es Satty.
The official said investigators also discovered ingredients of the explosive TATP, used by the Daesh group in attacks in Paris and Brussels, as well as multiple butane tanks that the group may have wanted to combine with the homemade explosive and load into their vehicles.
Neighbors on Saturday said they had seen three vehicles coming and going from the home, including an Audi used in the Cambrils attack and the van used in the Barcelona attack.
The president of the mosque where Es Satty preached, Ali Yassine, said he hadn’t seen him since June, when he announced he was returning to Morocco for three months.
“He left the same way he came,” said a bitter Wafa Marsi, a friend to many of the attackers, who appeared Saturday alongside their families to denounce terrorism.
Members of Ripoll’s Muslim community denounced the vehicle attacks and offered their sympathy to the families of the victims.
Authorities said the two attacks were the work of a large terrorist cell that had been plotting for a long time from the house in Alcanar, 200 kilometers (125 miles) down the coast from Barcelona.
The lone named suspect still at large, Abouyaaquoub, figures on a police list of four main suspects sought in the attacks. Also on the list is 17-year-old Moussa Oukabir, whose brother Driss reported to police that his documents stolen. Ripoll’s mayor confirmed that those documents were found in a vehicle used in the attacks. Moussa was one of the five radicals killed, and Driss is in custody, police said.
Catalan regional police said they are mounting major road blocks throughout the northeastern region, warning people they may encounter traffic jams on different roads.
A French police official said authorities were also looking for a Kangoo utility vehicle that was believed to have been rented in Spain by a suspect in the Barcelona attack that might have crossed the border.
Fatima Abouyaaquoub, sister-in-law of the Hychami brothers and the cousin of Younes Abouyaaquoub, said she found it all hard to believe.
“I’m still waiting for all of it to be a lie. I don’t know if they were brainwashed or they gave them some type of medication or what. I can’t explain it,” she said.
Abouyaaquoub’s mother said his younger brother, Hussein, left home Thursday afternoon and hasn’t returned.
The sheer size of the cell and the close family relations among the attackers recalled the November 2015 attacks in Paris, in which Islamic State attackers struck the national stadium, a Paris concert hall and bars and restaurants nearly simultaneously, leaving 130 people dead. Since then, the extremist group has steadily lost ground in its self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
Islamic extremists have made a point of targeting Europe’s major tourist attractions in recent years — especially in rented or hijacked vehicles.
Yet Spain decided to keep its terrorist threat alert at level 4 — out of five — declaring Saturday that no new attacks were imminent. Zoido said the country would reinforce security for events that draw large crowds as well as at popular tourist sites.
The dead and wounded in the two attacks came from 34 countries. By late Saturday, the Catalan emergency service said 53 people remained hospitalized, 13 of them in critical condition.
The 14 people killed spanned generations — from age 3 to age 80 — and left behind devastated loved ones. They included a grandmother, 74, and her granddaughter, 20, from Portugal who were visiting Barcelona to celebrate a birthday; an Italian father who saved his children’s lives but lost his own; an American man who was celebrating his first wedding anniversary in vibrant Barcelona.
Francisco Lopez Rodriguez, a 57-year-old Spaniard, was killed with his 3-year-old grand-nephew, Javier Martinez, while walking along the Las Ramblas promenade. His widow Roser is recovering from her wounds in a hospital.
“We are a broken family,” niece Raquel Baron Lopez posted on Twitter.

Main category: 
related_nodes: 
Spain hunts for driver in van rampage, says Islamist cell dismantled
Saudi Arabia, world stand in solidarity with Spain in confronting terrorists
Trump again cites dubious Muslim execution story after Spain attack

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Saudi Arabia denounces terrorist stabbing attacks in Russia and Finland

August 20, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
Arab News
Sun, 2017-08-20 07:36
ID: 
1503193008569404600

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Sunday strongly condemned the stabbing attacks that took place in Russia’s far northern city of Surgut and the Finnish city of Turku, killing and wounding a number of people.
A statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), quoting an official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the Kingdom offers its “condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Finland, wishing a speedy recovery to the wounded.”
The official source reaffirmed the Kingdom’s solidarity with the friendly countries against terrorism and extremism.
The Daesh international terrorist network has claimed responsibility for the attack in Russia, in which a man stabbed seven people before being shot dead by police.
“The executor of the stabbing operation in the city of Surgut in Russia is a soldier of the Islamic State,” Daesh propaganda outlet Amaq said in a statement, after the jihadists also claimed responsibility for twin attacks in Spain that left 14 dead.
In the Finland case, a Moroccan asylum-seeker was arrested after he went on a knife rampage on Friday night, killing two women and wounding six others. Police shot the suspect in the leg before his arrest.
Police said the 18-year-old suspect arrived in Finland last year.
Police also arrested four other Moroccan men over possible links to him and issued an international arrest warrant for a sixth Moroccan, they said.
The stabbing spree occurred on Friday afternoon in the main market place in Turku, on the southwest coast of the country, 160 kilometers from Helsinki.
“First thing we heard was a young woman, screaming like crazy. I thought it’s just kids having fun … but then people started to move around and I saw a man with a knife in his hand, stabbing a woman,” said Laura Laine, who was sitting in a cafe.
“Then a person ran toward us shouting ‘He has a knife’, and everybody from the terrace ran inside. Next, a woman came in to the cafe. She was crying hysterically, down on her knees, saying someone’s neck has been slashed open.”
Four of the wounded were still in hospital, three of them in intensive care, while the other injured persons would be sent home on Saturday, the hospital said.

Muslim community voice concern
Turku’s Iraqi, Syrian and Islamic community condemned the attacks and organized a rally of solidarity in the city’s main square, but decided to cancel it due to security concerns.
“Finns and immigrants, and people from different religions, have had very good relations in Turku… We are shocked, but I don’t see this changing that,” said Abdirahman Mohamed, chairman of the Islamic community of Turku.
He said the Moroccan suspects were not familiar to him or to the Islamic community in town, which has around 2,000 members.

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Australia Cracks Down On Bitcoin Exchanges; Shrugs Off Banks’ “Systemic” Money-Laundering Violations

August 20, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Australian Government Is Cracking Down On The Nonexistent Bitcoin Money-Laundering Epidemic

Australia’s largest banks can’t seem to go six months without a new scandal. In April, regulators accused Commonwealth Bank, one of the country’s largest financial institutions, of “systemic” money laundering violations, sparking an investigation into the broader banking sector, and the promise of heavy-handing civil penalties.

But instead of pursuing penalties that could lead to lasting reforms, Australia’s regulators are cracking down on bitcoin, creating a new set of guidelines that will make it more difficult for customers to trade on local cryptocurrency exchanges by mandating needless anti-money laundering controls. They’re prioritizing bitcoin over banks even though all relevant data suggest that organized criminal enterprises and terrorist groups overwhelmingly prefer to transact in cash.

According to Bitcoin.com, Australia’s Coalition Government has introduced a bill that would regulate digital currency exchanges, introducing “reforms” that will “strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act and increase the powers of the Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre (Austrac).”  

Here’s Bitcoin.com with more:

“Among other proposals, the bill will “strengthen Austrac’s investigation and enforcement powers” as well as “close a regulatory gap by bringing digital currency exchange providers under the remit of Austrac,” the announcement reads, adding that:

 

‘The bill provides a net regulatory relief to industry of $36 million annually, with the digital currency exchange sector being regulated for the first time, while deregulating low-risk industries such as cash-in-transit, which is already subject to state and territory licensing requirements.’”

As Bitcoin.com explains, Australia’s new AML rules resemble regulations adopted by Japan and China over the past 18 months. In China, the crackdown on intraday high frequency trading triggered a decline in trading volume that caused the country to surrender its position as the bitcoin market leader.

“Earlier this year, following investigations by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), many Chinese bitcoin exchanges halted bitcoin withdrawals to extensively upgrade their systems for the purpose of AML and KYC compliance. Also the European Union has been discussing how to impose rules on bitcoin exchanges as part of its Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive.”

Meanwhile, in what looks like an effort to compensate bitcoin traders for the overly stringent new regulations, Australia ended the double taxation treatment of bitcoin in July.

To be sure, some of the country’s lawmakers have come out as vociferously pro-bitcoin. Two senators issued a proposal to make bitcoin an official currency in Australia, something they say would boost the country’s financial competitiveness. Indeed, this legal maneuver would bring Australia one step closer to recognizing bitcoin’s value as a reserve asset. Recently, a close aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin began building network of bitcoin miners with the aim of expanding the country’s hashing power to more than 30% of the network’s total. Any entity that controls more than 50% of the bitcoin network’s mining capabilities has de facto control of the network.

Here’s a quick summary of what the bill will do, courtesy of Australia’s Ministry of Justice:

Close a regulatory gap by bringing digital currency exchange providers under the remit of AUSTRAC:

Strengthen AUSTRAC’s investigation and enforcement powers.

Increase police and customs officers’ search and seizure powers at the border.

Provide regulatory relief to industry through the deregulation of low-risk industry sectors.

The crackdown comes amid another big week for bitcoin: The digital currency climbed 16.5% to new record highs at around $4400. This is the 5th weekly rise in a row (and BTC is up 86% since the fork).

The full press release is available below:

* * *
The Coalition Government has today announced the first stage of reforms to strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act and increase the powers of the Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

The reforms implement the first phase of the recommendations of the Statutory Review of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act, following extensive consultation with industry and our national security agencies.

These reforms appropriately balance the threat of organised crime and terrorism financing to the Australian community with ensuring excessive regulation doesn’t hinder our financial sectors.

The Bill provides net regulatory relief to industry of $36 million annually, with the digital currency exchange sector being regulated for the first time, while deregulating low-risk industries such as cash-in-transit, which is already subject to state and territory licensing requirements.

The threat of serious financial crime is constantly evolving, as new technologies emerge and criminals seek to nefariously exploit them. These measures ensure there is nowhere for criminals to hide.

Stopping the movement of money to criminals and terrorists is a vital part of our national security defences and we expect regulated businesses in Australia to comply with our comprehensive regime. AUSTRAC has a strong track record in ensuring our financial institutions comply with the law.

The private sector is an essential partner in ensuring Australian businesses are not exploited by criminals, and I thank industry for their constructive engagement during the development of this Bill. Engagement with industry is the bedrock of our money-laundering and terrorism-financing deterrence.

The AUSTRAC-hosted Fintel Alliance, launched by Minister Keenan in March 2017, is a world-first private-public partnership to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. Through the Fintel Alliance, industry and government agencies co-design solutions that will transform the fight against terrorism financing and organised crime.
 

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US warship Indianapolis found 18,000 feet deep in Pacific Ocean

August 20, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
Reuters
Sun, 2017-08-20 02:59
ID: 
1503192513459379300

WASHINGTON: Researchers have found the wreckage of the US warship Indianapolis, which was sunk by a Japanese torpedo in the final days of World War Two, more than 18,000 feet (5.5 kilometers) below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, the Navy said on Saturday.
The cruiser was returning from its mission to deliver components for the atomic bomb that would soon be dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima when it was fired upon in the North Pacific Ocean by a Japanese submarine on July 30, 1945.
It sunk in 12 minutes, according to the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington. No distress signal was sent. About 800 of the 1,196 crew members aboard survived the sinking, but only 316 were rescued alive five days later, with the rest lost to exposure, dehydration, drowning and sharks.
After a Navy historian unearthed new information in 2016 about the warship’s last movements that pointed to a new search area, a team of civilian researchers led by Paul Allen, a Microsoft Corp. co-founder, spent months searching in a 600-square-mile (1,500-square-kilometer) patch of ocean.
With a vessel rigged with equipment that can reach some of the deepest ocean floors, members of Allen’s team found the wreckage somewhere in the Philippine Sea on Friday, Allen said in a statement on his website. The statement said the Navy had asked Allen to keep the precise location confidential.
Allen said that the discovery was a humbling experience and a means of honoring sailors he saw as playing a vital role in ending World War Two. “While our search for the rest of the wreckage will continue, I hope everyone connected to this historic ship will feel some measure of closure at this discovery so long in coming,” he said.
Identification was easier than in some deep-sea expeditions: some of the exposed wreck was clearly marked with Indianapolis signage, according to photographs shared by Allen and the Navy.
“It is exceedingly rare you find the name of the ship on a piece of the wreckage,” Paul Taylor, a spokesman for the Naval History and Heritage Command, said in a telephone interview. “If that’s not Indianapolis then I don’t know what is.”
The Navy said it had plans to honor the 22 survivors from the Indianapolis still alive along with the families of the ship’s crew.

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And The Best State To Grow Old In Is…

August 20, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Elder-care company Caring.com recently conducted a study to determine the best US states to grow old in. And the winner is…

Utah.

That’s right: In addition to being one of the top 5 fiscally responsible states in the Union, the home of Mormonism is also the most friendly state for elderly Americans to grow old and retire in. Earlier this year, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University compiled a comprehensive study, based on a number of objective financial metrics, ranking the 50 US states according to their overall fiscal condition. Utah came in third behind Alaska and Florida.

But Utah handily bested both those states on a ranking based on 13 categories including quality, cost, and availability of health care for seniors, as well as factors that speak to the state’s overall quality of life.

Here’s a breakdown of the data, courtesy of Bloomberg:

Best states:
Utah/$2,950
Iowa/$3,518
South Carolina/$3,000
Washington/$4,500
Nebraska/$3,510

Worst states:
Wyoming/$3,995
North Dakota/$3,340
New York/$4,136
Indiana/$3,528
West Virginia/$3,263

New York, one of the worst states for retirees, was singled out because of the extreme disparity between health-care cost and quality, as Bloomberg explains…

“New York, No. 33 in the well-being ranking, was singled out by Caring.com for its extremes. The very high cost of the state’s health care doesn’t produce results close to commensurate with that spending, according to the report. While New York ranked 46th in cost (the lower the rank, the higher the cost), its life/health care quality rank was 34 (the lower the rank, the worse the quality). Massachusetts had a similar pattern; it ranked 49th in cost and 18th in quality. That’s reflective of a larger trend in the U.S.—high spending on health care isn’t translating into longer lives, as this interactive graphic demonstrates.”

Washington State and California do a better job of translating higher costs to better-quality care…

“Higher costs show more of a payoff in Washington state and California. Washington is 38th for cost and is the top state for quality of life and health care. California has a cost ranking of 36 and quality ranking of 3 (it’s tied with Oregon for quality).”

According to Bloomberg, the lighter the color, the higher the overall ranking of the state as a place to grow old.

The study was conducted by Caring.com, which ranked states on 13 categories, including quality, cost, and availability of health care for seniors. The study’s authors used a range of data sets, including Census data and proprietary data sets from AARP.

“The ranking, which drew on data from the U.S. Census, the insurer Genworth, AARP, the Commonwealth Fund, and Gallup-Healthways, among others, also factored in 150,000 consumer reviews from Caring.com’s database of facilities and care providers for seniors. The availability, quality, and cost of care for the elderly got greater attention in the report than some of the common measures used in retirement destination rankings.”

As Tim Sullivan, vice president at Caring.com, explains, the author’s decision to name the study “The Best States To Grow Old In” instead of “The Best States To Retire In” was meant to highlight an important distinction…

“One reason we call this report the best states to grow old, versus best states to retire, is because it’s really important for people to plan out their 60s, 70s, and 80s with as much care as they plan their retirement in their 30s, 40s, and 50s,” said Tim Sullivan, vice president at Caring.com. “Your needs change as you age, and they are not always going to be driven by the sort of leisure or amenities or weather considerations that are what a lot of people think about retirement.”

The report’s greatest utility, according to Bloomberg, is helping to spark a discussion about where millennials should plan on settling down for the long haul. Unfortunately, Utah is largely devoid of the amenities – like comprehensive public transportation and quality night life – that millennials covet. But affordable health care, low taxes and the state’s overall low cost of living make a compelling case for going without.

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NASA Unveils Plan To Stop Yellowstone “Supervolcano” Eruption, There’s Just One Catch

August 20, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

A NASA plan to stop the Yellowstone supervolcano from erupting, could actually cause it to blow… triggering a nuclear winter that would wipe out humanity.

As we have detailed recently, government officials have been closely monitoring the activity in the Yellowstone caldera.

However, as SHTFplan.com’s Mac Slavo details, scientists at NASA have now come up with an incredibly risky plan to save the United States from the super volcano.

A NASA scientist has spoken out about the true threat of super volcanoes and the risky methods that could be used to prevent a devastating eruption. Lying beneath the tranquil and beautiful settings of Yellowstone National Park in the US lies an enormous magma chamber, called a caldera. It’s responsible for the geysers and hot springs that define the area, but for scientists at NASA, it’s also one of the greatest natural threats to human civilization as we know it.

Brian Wilcox, a former member of the NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense, shared a report on the natural hazard that hadn’t been seen outside of the agency until now. Following an article published by BBC about super volcanoes last month, a group of NASA researchers got in touch with the media to share a report previously unseen outside the space agency about the threat Yellowstone poses, and what they hypothesize could possibly be done about it.

“I was a member of the NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense which studied ways for NASA to defend the planet from asteroids and comets,” explains Brian Wilcox of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology.  

 

“I came to the conclusion during that study that the supervolcano threat is substantially greater than the asteroid or comet threat.”

Yellowstone currently leaks about 60 to 70 percent of its heat into the atmosphere through stream water which seeps into the magma chamber through cracks, while the rest of the heat builds up as magma and dissolves into volatile gasses. The heat and pressure will reach the threshold, meaning an explosion is inevitable. When NASA scientists considered the fact that a super volcano’s eruption would plunge the earth into a volcanic winter, destroying most sources of food, starvation would then become a real possibility.  Food reserves would only last about 74 days, according to the UN, after an eruption of a super volcano, like that under Yellowstone.  And they have devised a risky plan that could end up blowing up in their faces.  Literally.

Wilcox hypothesized that if enough heat was removed, and the temperature of the super volcano dropped, it would never erupt. But he wants to see a 35% decrease in temperature, and how to achieve that, is incredibly risky. One possibility is to simply increase the amount of water in the supervolcano. As it turns to steam. the water would release the heat into the atmosphere, making global warming alarmists tremble.

“Building a big aqueduct uphill into a mountainous region would be both costly and difficult, and people don’t want their water spent that way,” Wilcox says. “People are desperate for water all over the world and so a major infrastructure project, where the only way the water is used is to cool down a supervolcano, would be very controversial.”

So, NASA came up with an alternative plan. They believe the most viable solution could be to drill up to 10km down into the super volcano and pump down water at high pressure. The circulating water would return at a temperature of around 350C (662F), thus slowly day by day extracting heat from the volcano. And while such a project would come at an estimated cost of around $3.46 billion, it comes with an enticing catch which could convince politicians (taxpayers) to make the investment.

“Yellowstone currently leaks around 6GW in heat,” Wilcox says. “Through drilling in this way, it could be used to create a geothermal plant, which generates electric power at extremely competitive prices of around $0.10/kWh. You would have to give the geothermal companies incentives to drill somewhat deeper and use hotter water than they usually would, but you would pay back your initial investment, and get electricity which can power the surrounding area for a period of potentially tens of thousands of years. And the long-term benefit is that you prevent a future supervolcano eruption which would devastate humanity.”

Of course, drilling into a super volcano comes with its own risks, like the eruption that scientists are desperate to prevent. Triggering an eruption by drilling would be disastrous.

“The most important thing with this is to do no harm,” Wilcox says.

 

“If you drill into the top of the magma chamber and try and cool it from there, this would be very risky. This could make the cap over the magma chamber more brittle and prone to fracture. And you might trigger the release of harmful volatile gases in the magma at the top of the chamber which would otherwise not be released.”

The cooling of Yellowstone in this manner would also take tens of thousands of years, but it is a plan that scientists at NASA are considering for every super volcano on earth.

“When people first considered the idea of defending the Earth from an asteroid impact, they reacted in a similar way to the supervolcano threat,” Wilcox says.

 

“People thought, ‘As puny as we are, how can humans possibly prevent an asteroid from hitting the Earth.’ Well, it turns out if you engineer something which pushes very slightly for a very long time, you can make the asteroid miss the Earth. So the problem turns out to be easier than people think. In both cases it requires the scientific community to invest brain power and you have to start early. But Yellowstone explodes roughly every 600,000 years, and it is about 600,000 years since it last exploded, which should cause us to sit up and take notice.

So what would happen?

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Ann Coulter Rips into Trump For Bannon Firing, Favoring ‘Fake News Media’ Over Conservative

August 19, 2017 The_Real_Fly 0

Content originally published at iBankCoin.com

Ann Coulter, the conservative firebrand who predicted Trump would win, much to the cackling laughter of the Bill Maher audience and panel, railed against Trump in an interview with Mark Simone.

Sounding despondent and admittedly ‘depressed’ over the recent firing of Steve Bannon, Coulter lashed out at the President, saying ‘it’s not a good idea to let the media know to manipulate him as President.’ Coulter was referencing Trump’s defensive posture and annoyance that Bannon had been credited with Trump’s election win. Over the past half year, the media, including comedy outlets, had lampooned Trump and Bannon — painting Bannon as the true, yet sinister, mastermind behind Trump’s success.

Coulter almost pined for the campaign era days of Trump, reflectively saying ‘finally, after 30 years, we’re gonna get a President not controlled by Goldman Sachs,’ making reference to the Goldman alumni stacking Trump’s cabinet.

Coulter threw down the gauntlet to Trump, saying,  “if you really want to prove to us that Bannon had nothing to do with winning the nomination and then winning the Presidency, what you really want to do now is pedal to the metal on raising taxes on Wall Street (carried interest loophole), start deporting illegals, end NAFTA, bring the jobs back and build the wall.”

Ann furthered, “and if he does all those things, okay, I’ll say ‘My gosh Mr. President you’re right. Steve Bannon had nothing to do with your success.'”

The reason why she’s depressed over Bannon’s departure likely stems from the fact that all loyalists from inside the campaign, save Conway and Miller, have been purged from the White House.

“People like us should be a little depressed today because there’s no one on the President’s side in the White House anymore. “

She summed up Trump’s isolation succinctly, ‘it’s just you in the White House surrounded by the people you hired from Goldman Sachs. Don’t you want to have one guy in the White House on your side?’

Ann then ripped Trump to shreds for calling out ‘fake news media’ and then giving them exclusive access to him, saying ‘he’s calling Maggie Haberman (NY Times) everyday.’

“Why isn’t he giving all his interviews to Breitbart, Daily Caller? Why isn’t he directing his communications director, or press secretary, to call on the conservative media. No, the conservative media is totally dissed in the press briefing room.”

In short…

“He’s surrounded himself with the ruling class.” — Ann Coulter

If it acts like a duck, and quacks like a duck…

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