"Things that make you weird as a kid will make you great tomorrow." -- James Victore

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By Stuttgart Daily Leader

While La Ñina is helping ease the traffic knots at the Panama Canal, repeated attacks by Houthis — some fatal — have driven shippers to find alternatives to the Suez Canal, said Ryan Loy, extension economist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

The Panama Canal is a key route for global trade, including for Arkansas commodities such as soybeans and corn. In March, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development said that traffic through the Panama Canal had dropped 49 percent since 2021 and 42 percent in the Suez Canal during the same period.

“About 26 percent of U.S. soybeans and 17 percent of U.S. corn is transported via the Panama Canal,” Loy said. “And this is important to us, especially in Arkansas, because a lot of our grain goes down the Mississippi River to the Port of New Orleans.”

Arkansas’s export soybeans and corn go through the Panama Canal to get to Asia, Loy noted

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There are unconfirmed rumours on Chinese social media that Chinese leader Xi Jinping suffered a stroke during Third Plenum meetings.

These rumors have gotten some traction so keep an eye on them. That said, these kinds of rumours always seem to perk up, including persistent rumours that Vlad Putin has died.

These reports, evidently originated from a YouTube blog from dissident Jennifer Zeng, who has previously floated rumours about a coup and Xi's arrest before. Despite that, they have been doing the rounds in Chinese and Russian social media for a few hours. I'm reluctant to even report on them but there is a chance that Chinese markets move on them. I certainly don't believe them.

Back in the world of real news, we're waiting on news from the Third Plenum and how China can dig its way out of deepening pessimism about economic prospects, especially among young people.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to leave on Monday morning for his first visit to Washington since returning to office late in 2022. He is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden, who announced on Sunday that he was withdrawing from the presidential race.

Netanyahu and Biden are scheduled to meet on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress. He will also meet with Vice President Kamala Harris and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

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Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky would likely need to hold a nationwide referendum to “legitimize” any potential peace agreement with Russia, the Mayor of Kiev Vitaly Klitschko has said. Effectively, any move Zelensky could make risks his “political suicide,” Klitschko believes.

Speaking with Italian daily Corriere della Sera on Sunday, the mayor of the Ukrainian capital predicted that the “next few months” are set to be “very difficult” for Zelensky.

“We are waiting for the US elections, but to establish peace we will need a referendum,” he said.

The nationwide vote would likely be needed to “legitimize” a potential peace deal with Moscow, given that any compromise would be very hard to explain to the Ukrainian public, Klitschko believes. Continuing the hostilities for another few years, however, is not an option either, the mayor insisted.

Webmaster addition: I think I know which way the Ukrainians will vote.

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About the Study

The study participants were part of the China Health Evaluation and Risk Reduction through Nationwide Teamwork (ChinaHEART) project, which included individuals aged 35 to 75 from various regions across China.

Participants were divided into three groups based on their risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), a heart disease caused by plaque buildup on artery walls:

  • Low-risk group: Individuals with no history of cardiovascular disease and a low estimated risk of developing it.
  • Primary prevention group: Individuals with high-risk factors for cardiovascular disease but no established disease.
  • Secondary prevention group: Individuals with a history of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers tracked data from these participants, including cholesterol levels and lifestyle choices like smoking and drinking habits. They also considered medical histories, including conditions such as diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The goal was to determine how different LDL cholesterol levels impacted their mortality risk, particularly from heart disease.

Over an average follow-up period of 4.6 years, the study recorded nearly 93,000 deaths, with over 38,000 attributed to cardiovascular issues. The results revealed a U-shaped association between LDL cholesterol levels and mortality in the low-risk and primary prevention groups, indicating that both very high and very low levels of LDL were associated with increased mortality.

In the secondary prevention group, the association was J-shaped, meaning extremely low LDL levels were linked to a higher risk of death, while moderate levels were associated with the lowest risk.

According to the American Heart Association, “normal” LDL levels are considered less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Levels above 160 mg/dL are categorized as high, and those below 70 mg/dL are deemed very low. However, the study found that the optimal LDL levels for reducing cardiovascular mortality varied among the groups:

  • Low-risk group: 117.8 mg/dL
  • Primary prevention group: 106.0 mg/dL
  • Secondary prevention group: 55.8 mg/dL
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Joe Biden’s withdrawal from the U.S. presidential race injects greater uncertainty into the world at a time when Western leaders are grappling with wars in Ukraine and Gaza, a more assertive China in Asia and the rise of the far right in Europe.

During a five-decade career in politics, Biden developed extensive personal relationships with multiple foreign leaders that none of the potential replacements on the Democratic ticket can match. After his announcement, messages of support and gratitude for his years of service poured in from near and far.

The scope of foreign policy challenges facing the next U.S. president makes clear how consequential what happens in Washington is for the rest of the planet. Here’s a look at some of them.

Webmaster addition: Look to see a rush to get the wars going before Trump can take office!

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NATO is considering the unthinkable, potentially thinking of nationalizing Chinese infrastructure assets in the EU. This is taking the economic war to new terrible heights that will backfire. China will move money and industries out of the West back home, starving the West of capital & technology.

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Daily Wire Editor Emeritus Ben Shapiro responded with a six-minute video on Sunday to President Joe Biden announcing he would be ending his campaign while finishing his first term in office.

Shapiro said the unprecedented announcement, which Biden made less than four months before the 2024 election, opens up “massive” questions for the Democratic Party, especially Vice President Kamala Harris, whom Biden threw his support behind after dropping out. The Daily Wire host began his video by addressing how Biden made the huge announcement in a letter that was posted on the president’s X account.

“You would figure that he would do a sort of ‘farewell’ press conference,” Shapiro said.

“He is not retiring from the presidency itself. He is only saying that he is not going to run, which leaves open a massive question as to why exactly he is qualified to continue running the country right now, but he is not qualified to continue running for the nomination of the Democratic Party.”

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Former President Barack Obama did not endorse Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday to be the Democrat Party’s presidential nominee after President Joe Biden announced that he was ending his reelection campaign.

Obama praised Biden in a lengthy statement for his “remarkable career in public service,” and said that he had “every right to run for re-election and finish the job he started.”

“Joe understands better than anyone the stakes in this election — how everything he has fought for throughout his life, and everything that the Democratic Party stands for, will be at risk if we allow Donald Trump back in the White House and give Republicans control of Congress,” Obama said.

Webmaster addition: Looks like Barack wants to run Michelle for the Presidency.

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White House and campaign aides to President Joe Biden reportedly found out he was ending his re-election bid on the social media platform X.

A Democrat familiar with the situation told POLITICO, “We’re all finding out by tweet.” This person added, “None of us understand what’s happening.”

Biden, 81, had publicly insisted that he would not be dropping out even as Democrats increasingly pressed him to step aside after his fumbling debate performance late last month spurred unease about his apparent decline and electability.

Then, on Sunday, Biden announced that he would be stopping his 2024 campaign to focus on the remainder of his term and later said he was endorsing Vice President Kamala Harris to become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. Harris later said she intended to win the nomination.

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Former President Donald Trump said on Sunday that the Republican Party deserved to be “reimbursed for fraud” after the Democratic Party and media surrogates forced them to spend millions campaigning against President Joe Biden despite knowing full well that he could not make it through another four years in office.

Trump made the statement in a Truth Social post several hours after Biden announced his plan to “stand down” from the 2024 presidential election and to throw his support and endorsement behind his Vice President Kamala Harris instead.

“So, we are forced to spend time and money on fighting Crooked Joe Biden, he polls badly after having a terrible debate, and quits the race. Now we have to start all over again,” Trump said. “Shouldn’t the Republican Party be reimbursed for fraud in that everybody around Joe, including his doctors and the Fake News Media, knew he was not capable of running for, or being, President? Just askin’?”

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Sen. Joe Manchin (I-WV) is reportedly thinking about returning to the Democrats and running for the White House now that President Joe Biden has announced he would be ending his 2024 re-election bid.

CNN’s Jake Tapper reported Sunday on X that sources close to Manchin said the senator is considering re-registering to the Democratic Party and “throwing his hat into the ring.”

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Authored by Alan Dershowitz via The Gatestone Institute,

Now that the Republican convention ended without incidents, we must get back to considering the implications of the near-assassination of former President and current presidential candidate Donald Trump two days before the convention began.

Secret Service director Kimberly Cheatle says she will not resign, despite the failure of her agents to secure the rooftop from where the shots were fired at Trump, and despite her refusal to come clean about the causes of the failure.

The Secret Service is being praised for protecting Donald Trump from an assassin. This praise is justified if one focuses on the bravery of the agents who risked their lives to shield Trump from the immediate threat posed by the shooter after he fired the initial shots, but that well-deserved praise must be accompanied by constructive criticism for the failure to prevent the shooting in the first place. The would-be assassin, Thomas Matthew Crooks, came within an inch of succeeding. An armed person should never have been allowed to be at a location from which he could take aim at a presidential candidate

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A leading lobbyist who described being made a member of House of Lords as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to advocate for Israel is claiming thousands of pounds in public funds for his parliamentary work.

Stuart Polak, who led the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) for 25 years, has claimed almost a quarter of a million pounds since he was made a peer by then-prime minister David Cameron in 2015, according to analysis of his expenses by Middle East Eye and Declassified UK.

Polak’s expenses as a member of the House of Lords are entirely legitimate. Members do not receive a salary but can claim a non-taxable daily attendance allowance of £361 (£342 prior to April 2024), although they can also choose to claim a reduced allowance or no allowance at all.

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Jul 21, 2024 - 07:25 PM

Eric Lipka, who recently worked for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), has been appointed as the Biden-Harris campaign's deputy press secretary for Pennsylvania. According to Lipka's social media profiles, he is a traveling 'drag queen' on the weekends.

In an X post on July 17, Lipka revealed, "Thrilled to share I've joined the Biden-Harris campaign as deputy press secretary for Pennsylvania!" 

He added, "Let's get to work, and finish the job!" 

For Lipka, in the key battleground state, he might want to give up weekend drag events and, instead, focus on the Biden campaign because the latest polling data from Emerson College shows Trump leads Biden by a 5-point margin (48% to 43%) in the state, following the assassination attempt last weekend

Let's not forget Jill Biden's quote, "Decency is on the ballot." 

Claire's Observations:  Perhaps Mr. Lipka has an entirely different perspective of the concept of a "swing state"!!!!! :-)

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The commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), General Michael Erik Kurilla, has urged authorities in Washington to take a more forceful approach against Yemen, saying current efforts to deter the nation’s pro-Palestine operations are “failing.”

In a private letter addressed to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Kurilla calls for a “stepped-up ‘whole of government’ effort against the Houthis, employing economic, diplomatic, and potentially military pressure to discourage attacks on ships in the Red Sea,” according to officials who spoke with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

“Many people found the tone of the memo to be a bit shocking,” a defense official told the US daily, describing Kurilla’s words as implying that “US service members will die if we continue going this way.”

These concerns are also growing in the White House over recent reports that Russia is “considering” providing Yemen with advanced antiship missiles. However, according to Middle East Eye (MEE), the Kremlin was recently dissuaded from making such a move by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS).

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In the United States we would never dream of operating on anyone without consent, let alone a malnourished and barely conscious 9-year-old girl in septic shock. Nevertheless, when we saw Juri, that’s exactly what we did.

We have no idea how Juri ended up in the Gaza European Hospital preoperative area. All we could see was that she had an external fixator — a scaffold of metal pins and rods — on her left leg and necrotic skin on her face and arms from the explosion that tore her little body to shreds. Just touching her blankets elicited shrieks of pain and terror. She was slowly dying, so we decided to take the risk of anesthetizing her without knowing exactly what we would find.

In the operating room, we examined Juri from head to toe. This beautiful, meek little girl was missing two inches of her left femur along with most of the muscle and skin on the back of her thigh. Both of her buttocks were flayed open, cutting so deeply through flesh that the lowest bones in her pelvis were exposed. As we swept our hands through this topography of cruelty, maggots fell in clumps onto the operating room table.

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Israeli settlers on Sunday attacked a group of foreign volunteers helping Palestinian farmers in the occupied West Bank, injuring some who needed hospital treatment, the activists and Israeli army said.

Eight mainly American volunteers were working with the farmers in an olive grove near the Palestinian village of Qusra when settlers came after them, said David Hummel, an American-German in the group.

"We were standing there peacefully, not a threat to anyone, when they started coming towards us and pushing us down the path," Hummel told AFP.

"They started attacking and beating us all with sticks and metal pipes and they were throwing rocks as well at us," he said.

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The opinion issued Friday by the International Court of Justice in The Hague, which stated that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank violate international law and that Israel must end its occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as soon as possible, revealed nothing to Israelis that they did not already know.

The opinion shatters the lie that the occupation is only temporary and intended only for security purposes. This is the lie that Israelis told themselves during decades of occupation while they seized more and more Palestinian land, dispossessed Palestinians of their land and built settlements on it, all under the patronage of successive Israeli governments, through the agency of the settlers and with the backing of the Israel Defense Forces and the judiciary. The opinion bursts this bubble of lies and views various acts of the Israeli government as annexation of the territory.

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There needs to be an investigation into a possible conspiracy among American political circles and the media to manipulate the public’s perceptions regarding President Joe Biden’s health, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

Biden announced on X (formerly Twitter) that he would not seek re-election in November, less than a month before the Democratic National Convention was scheduled to start in Chicago.

Commenting on his announcement in an interview with Russian media, Zakharova noted that it was highly unusual to have just a screenshot of a letter posted on social media rather than a video or audio statement. 

“In the modern world, filled with post-truth and deep fakes, it’s very important to leave no room for speculation,” Zakharova said.

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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has mocked George Soros and his son for quickly endorsing Vice President Kamala Harris as the “most qualified candidate we have” to replace Joe Biden. The US president announced on Sunday that he has quit the race to become Democractic party candidate for the November 5 elections and that he would back Harris instead.

Following Biden's announcement, Alex Soros, the son of billionaire financier George Soros and heir to his father’s philanthropic empire, also promptly endorsed Harris, describing her as the Democrats’ “best” shot to defeat Donald Trump.

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On July 21, Russian MiG-29 and MiG-31 fighters intercepted B-52H bombers of the US Air Force approaching the state border of the Russian Federation over the Barents Sea.

The incident was reported by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. According to the official claim, Russian means of airpace control detected a group air target approaching the state border. In order to identify the air target and prevent violations of the airspace of the Russian Federation, MiG-29 and MiG-31 fighters from the air defense forces on duty were lifted into the air.

A pair of American B-52H strategic bombers were moving towards the Russian border. After Russian fighters approached the American bombers, ”they performed a U-turn from the Russian border.”

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The Houthis (Ansar Allah) in Yemen will continue to attack Israel and will not abide by any rules of engagement, the group’s spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam told Qatar’s Al Jazeera TV on July 21, a day after Israel attacked the Houthi-held al-Hodeida port in western Yemen.

Abdulsalam said there will be “no red lines” in the Houthis’ upcoming response to Israel. “All sensitive institutions with all its levels will be a target for us,” he says.

The Israeli attack on al-Hodeida port was carried out in response to the July 20 Tel Aviv drone strike, which was claimed by the Houthis. The strike killed a man and wounded at least eight others.

The attack targeted fuel depots, energy facilities and other infrastructure at the port. The IDF released new footage from the attack on July 21. Medical sources in Yemen told Reuters one the same day that the attack killed six people and left at least 80 others wounded.

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The state of Israel and it's nearby allies,, fearing an retaliatory attack from Yemen, have engaged heavy GPS Jamming in and around Israel.

Earlier today, the Israeli Air Force launched heavy sir strikes against Yemen (Story Here).

Rhetoric out of Yemen clearly indicates they are NOT deterred, and "will retaliate swiftly" against Israel.

Apparently, there are signs, detected perhaps by Intelligence satellites or communications, which give credence to the notion of a retaliatory attack, as GPS Jamming is now invoked in and around Israel.

For the record, today alone, Israel attacked: Gaza, Yemen, and Lebanon.

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The new “satellite jammers” the US intends to deploy in space to target Russian and Chinese satellites are meant to deprive Moscow and Beijing of “command, control, communication and intelligence systems during times of conflict,” said Bruce Gagnon, coordinator at Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

According to him, these US jammers are “intended as offensive weapons” and got “nothing to do with defense whatsoever.”

The United States development of this jammer tech, however, “is forcing Russia and China to develop similar technologies,” Gagnon added.

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More than 15 million visitors are expected this summer in the French capital for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It’s expected to be the sporting event of the year — but with conflicts raging around the world, the issue of security will be crucial in a country with its own history of devastating terror attacks.

“We have not had so many geopolitical questions in the Games since the Cold War. This time around, security might be the biggest issue,” said Jean-Baptiste Guégan, a specialist in sports geopolitics. “All current tensions, such as the [ongoing] Israeli-Hamas conflict, will be projected onto the Olympics. Thinking that sport is apolitical is a myth.”

Political motivations were in the spotlight on Wednesday when International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach confirmed Israel faces no threat to its Olympic status ahead of the Paris Games despite the conflict in Gaza. Some of the scattered calls Israel has faced for sporting sanctions since October have come from Russia, which is isolated in world sports because of its invasion of Ukraine.

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A year ago, the head of the Paris Olympics boldly declared that France’s capital would be ” the safest place in the world ” when the Games open this Friday. Tony Estanguet’s confident forecast looks less far-fetched now with squadrons of police patrolling Paris’ streets, fighter jets and soldiers primed to scramble, and imposing metal-fence security barriers erected like an iron curtain on both sides of the River Seine that will star in the opening show.

France’s vast police and military operation is in large part because the July 26-Aug. 11 Games face unprecedented security challenges. The city has repeatedly suffered deadly extremist attacks and international tensions are high because of the wars in Ukraine and Gaza.

Rather than build an Olympic park with venues grouped together outside of the city center, like Rio de Janeiro in 2016 or London in 2012, Paris has chosen to host many of the events in the heart of the bustling capital of 2 million inhabitants, with others dotted around suburbs that house millions more. Putting temporary sports arenas in public spaces and the unprecedented choice to stage a river-borne opening ceremony stretching for kilometers (miles) along the Seine, makes safeguarding them more complex.

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Authored by John Cody via ReMix News

In a strategy seen in many Western countries, Ireland’s government is looking to move more and more migrants into the countryside, with one of the latest schemes focusing on shifting 280 asylum seekers to Dundrum, a village in Tipperary County with a population of only 165.

The move has sparked outrage from the local community, which is embroiled in controversy over the new refugee center. If all migrants are relocated as planned, their population would be 70 percent higher than the local population.The government plans to convert the Dundrum House hotel into an accommodation complex that will house 280 migrants, with similar plans sparking widespread protests and riots in the Dublin suburb of Coolock just yesterday, with locals there setting fire to construction equipment and battling with police.

Claire's Observations:  No referendum with the local people, no nothing but a very incendiary plan that the people do not want at all.  This does not bode well for peace and harmony in the Emerald Isle.

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