‘Syrian media reported that Israeli aircraft targeted Assad regime forces positions near Damascus, including a convoy bearing weapons for Hezbollah group, early Wednesday morning.
The strike was said to have occurred at approximately 3:30 a.m., in the Qalamoun Mountains, northeast of Damascus, close to the Lebanese border.
According to Arab media, outposts of the Syrian Army’s 3rd Division were targeted in the strikes.
The Syrian Shaam news service quoted a spokesperson for the nearby city of Yarboud who said the Israeli jets fired six missiles at the various targets.
Some were directed toward military positions, while others targeted weapons caches near Ba’albak, in the eastern Qalamoun range, and set alight a Hezbollah convoy, according to the spokesperson, Abu al-Jude al-Qalamouni.’
‘Five European parliamentarians said Wednesday that Israeli authorities had prevented them from entering the Gaza Strip.
“The refusal of access to Gaza by the Israeli authorities to the European Parliament on arbitrary grounds is unacceptable,” Cypriot MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis said in a statement.
Similar delegations of European lawmakers have been barred from entering the Palestinian coastal enclave since 2011, the statement added, though a team led by the head of the European Parliament’s budget committee was allowed to visit once.
“What is there to hide from us?” it said, condemning what it called “systematic” entry bans.’
‘Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attacked the United Nations for “one-sided resolutions” against Israel’s push to build settlements on occupied land as he welcomed Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday on his first official visit to the country.
Ahead of the four-day visit, Turnbull wrote a newspaper editorial slamming the United Nations Security Council for a resolution adopted in December that called for an end to Israeli settlement building on occupied Palestinian territory.
“My government will not support one-sided resolutions criticizing Israel of the kind recently adopted by the U.N Security Council and we deplore the boycott campaigns designed to de-legitimise the Jewish state,” Turnbull wrote in The Australian newspaper.’
‘Hundreds of police in riot gear and carrying night sticks arrested several of the final Dakota Access Pipeline protesters remaining on federal land in violation of orders to vacate by the governor. Protesters consider the land to be indigenous property, Standing Rock, under treaty.
Enforcements included units from the Wisconsin State Troopers and Morton County officers, according to Unicorn Riot, an independent media collective. The collective also reported seeing a National Lawyers Guild observer being arrested.
Police regrouped following several arrests, returning to formation opposite protesters on the road. Remaining protesters anticipated them rushing at any moment.’
‘The Trump administration on Wednesday revoked federal guidelines specifying that transgender students have the right to use public school restrooms that match their gender identity, taking a stand on a contentious issue that has become the central battle over LGBT rights.
Officials with the federal Education and Justice departments notified the U.S. Supreme Court late Wednesday that the administration is ordering the nation’s schools to disregard memos the Obama administration issued during the past two years regarding transgender student rights. Those memos said that prohibiting transgender students from using facilities that align with their gender identity violates federal anti-discrimination laws.’
‘MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski boldly declared that it’s the media’s job to “control exactly what people think” during an on-air discussion about President Donald Trump.
Brzezinski made the flippant remark while responding to a comment from her co-host Joe Scarborough during a panel discussion on ‘Morning Joe’ about Trump’s efforts to “undermine the media.”
The TV host who is the daughter of Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter and counselor to President Lyndon B. Johnson, voiced her concerns that the president was “trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts.”
“And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job,” she continued.’
‘Astronomers have detected a record seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a single star.
The researchers say that all seven could potentially support liquid water on the surface, depending on the other properties of those planets. But only three are within the conventional “habitable” zone where life is considered a possibility.
The compact system of exoplanets orbits Trappist-1, a low-mass, cool star located 40 light-years away from Earth.’
‘Children reporting violent sexual crimes are not being taken seriously by the police, Britain’s victims’ commissioner, Baroness Newlove, has warned.
Newlove said the authorities are failing young people that come forward with stories of abuse, making them feel like criminals themselves.
In some cases, children said they were simply not believed or told that they were wasting the police’s time.
“They didn’t care because we were three teenage girls,” a young woman said in describing how the police reacted to her call about an assault.
“It’s like we were wasting their time. They couldn’t be bothered with us.”‘
‘The Arab League has condemned a lenient jail term given to an Israeli soldier, who was caught on camera shooting dead an already-wounded Palestinian, saying the sentence shows the depth of “racism” in the Tel Aviv regime.
“The Israeli military court ruling exposes the level of Israeli disregard for Palestinian blood… and the extent of racism in the occupation’s institutions,” the 22-member bloc said in a Wednesday statement.
On Tuesday, the military court in Tel Aviv sentenced Israeli soldier Elor Azaria to 18 months in prison for shooting dead severely-wounded Palestinian, Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif, following an alleged stabbing attack in the West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) last year.
However, the Palestinian Authority denounced the short prison sentence, saying it gives the regime forces the “green light” to commit more crimes against Palestinians.’
‘Dutch MPs were today set to railroad through a controversial EU agreement despite the fact that it was rejected by an overwhelming majority of voters in a referendum.
Parliamentarians in The Hague were poised to approve the highly contentious pact between Brussels and Kiev which will grant 40 million Ukrainians visa-free access to Europe.
Their decision comes despite the fact that two-thirds of Dutch voters rejected the agreement in a referendum last spring, a result which establishment politicians immediately insisted they would ignore.
And this week they are set to come good on their word with the majority of MPs in the lower house of the Dutch parliament expected to row in behind Brussels and approve the pact.’
‘The working day should include an hour break in which people can go home and have sex, a Swedish city councilor has suggested.
Per Erik Muskos, a member of the Swedish Social Democrat party, made the proposal during a council meeting in the northern city of Overtornea.
Muskos is backing the measure because he believes midweek sex breaks will improve wellness and boost childbirth in the northern region he represents.
Many companies in Sweden already offer staff gym subsidies or allow them to take a fitness hour known as ‘Friskvårdstimme’.’
‘A new survey has revealed a major disconnect between Canadians’ views of Israel and the policies of their government.
Large numbers of Canadians see Israel’s government negatively, and Canadians reject almost unanimously the view that criticizing Israel is anti-Semitic.
The poll conducted by EKOS Research Associates from 25 January to 2 February was commissioned by Independent Jewish Voices, Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East and journalists Dimitri Lascaris and Murray Dobbin.
According to the report accompanying the results, “no published survey has previously examined whether Canadians consider criticism of the Israeli government to be anti-Semitic.”’
‘Students at Michigan State University soon will not be permitted to hang whiteboards on the outside of their dorm room doors.
The new policy, effective Fall 2017, was created in an attempt to eliminate opportunities for students to write mean words and racial slurs, according to a campus official.
“Their utility as a communication tool no longer outweighed the attractive nuisance that they are,” Kat Cooper, director of university residential services communications, told The College Fix via email.
In a statement to The Detroit News, Cooper added: “In any given month, there are several incidents like this [hurtful words]. There was no one incident that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Sometimes these things are racial, sometimes they’re sexual in nature. There are all sorts of things that happen.”’
‘In this video, Vin Armani discusses who is behind the recent Airbnb bans in several cities and states. Forcing heavy regulations, including high minimum wage laws, onto hotels has made them too expensive for the average person. Airbnb has created opportunities for both entrepreneurs and middle-class vacationers, but the cities are siding with the hotel lobby to violate fundamental property rights.’
‘Sullivan approached the nurses and requested the product information sheets related to the various vaccines. He read the potential side effects to his students. In rare cases, these effects include, vasculitis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, encephalopathy and, in the case of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, death.
In his letter, Sullivan said his students were not aware of these risks. He asked the nurses administering the vaccines if they were informing the students about them. Sullivan says he was told no.
“Two days later, I was asked to meet with the school principal and was informed I was being written up for harassment of the health unit nurses,” Sullivan says in his letter. “The accusation requires that I show up in front of the Ontario College of Teachers Feb. 21 and Feb. 22 for a disciplinary hearing.”’
‘You probably saw the article last week about the massive recall of Sargento products. As it turns out, the Sargento products are only a drop in the bucket – there are 130 more products out there and the FDA is under a gag order not to name them.
I couldn’t make this up.
Today, Sargento added more products to the list. (You can find them below.) I think that they should be applauded for being the most open about the potential listeria contamination in their products.
Unfortunately, there are many more products out there that have been recalled for potential contamination, but we have no idea what they are. That’s because there is a clause in the federal code that prohibits the FDA from telling us which companies purchased cheese to be branded under their labels from the plant that has been affected with listeria. According to this clause, the names of those companies would be considered “confidential corporate information.”’
‘A German supermarket commericial has managed to divide a nation with supporters calling it an inspiring act of marketing genius, while opponents brand it an offensive fat-shaming ploy which could spark eating disorders in children.
The story of ‘Eatkarus’ is a controversial new advertisement by the supermarket Edeka. It encourages healthy eating by retelling the tale of Icarus (the mythical Greek boy who flew too close to the sun, plummeting to his death) through the eyes of an overweight boy.’
‘”If you want to figure out what democracy is, if you want to figure out what America, it’s this in a room like this,” documentary filmmaker Josh Fox explained from the Delaware River Basin Commission Public Hearing in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. “Two hundred and fifty people at a hearing in the middle of the day, took off from work, and they decided that [they’re] going to stand up and fight against the oil industry.”
Governors from four states, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, head the Delaware River Basin Commission. Over 15 million people depend on the agency’s regulation of their water supply. The meeting was held in response to President Trump’s gutting of environmental regulations that would expose regions such as northeastern Pennsylvania to drilling and fracking.’