Friday, November 9, 2018



There's been a Friday afternoon stabbing attack in the city center of Melbourne, Australia with one dead and two injured.   Police are now saying the attacker was known to police and Australia's intelligence service.

The "Melbourne Age" newspaper reported a body under a sheet at the scene.

The stabber was shot by police and died in hospital.  Police were called to the scene initially because of a car fire.

The man shot by police had set his car on fire before stabbing the three people.

Melbourne's anti-terror warning sirens and loudspeakers were activated because of the attack that occurred at 1220 am Eastern time in the US, 420 pm local time.

The Victoria state police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton now says the attack was "terror-related"

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says:

"Australians will never be intimidated by these appalling attacks"

The man who killed 12 people at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California late Wednesday night has been identified as Ian David Long.   Long, 28, served in the US Marine Corps and was in Afghanistan.

It appears that Long took his own life when he was confronted by police inside the bar.

Police investigated Long earlier this year for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  They were called to his home when he was acting irate and erratic.

There were memorials and vigils last night in the area of the Borderline Bar and Grill.

There has been a new rule announced giving President Trump authority to declare migrants entering the US illegally not eligible for asylum.

The new rule announced by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Homeland Security Secretary Kristen Nielsen gives the President authority to deny asylum if it is in the "national interest".

Pro mass-immigration groups have denounced the rule as "illegal".

Election 2018 will continue with the recounts of the US Senate and Governor's races in Florida.

In the US Senate race Republican Governor Rick Scott says he's defeated incumbent Democrat US Senator Bill Nelson and that:

"I am the next US Senator from Florida"

Scott also told reporters summoned to his residence Thursday evening that:

"....left-wing activists have been coming up with more and more ballots out of nowhere...."

Scott is suing Democrat controlled Broward and Palm Beach counties which were involved in controversy during the 2000 presidential vote recount involving George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Broward County has failed to report its final vote tally to the state and Governor Scott directed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate.

There's an even wider margin in the contest for Governor with Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis ahead of Democrat Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

But Florida law automatically triggers recounts in races where there is a less than .5 percent margin between the candidates.

In Georgia, Republican Brian Kemp proclaiming victory in the race for Governor while Democrat Stacey Abrams refuses to concede the race.  Kemp is stepping down as Secretary of State, the official in charge of elections, in order to give public confidence in the certification process of the election.

Visitors at the White House yesterday.

First Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, meeting with President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Graham has ruled himself out as a replacement for Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, but Graham and Kushner have common concerns about Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria, not to mention Israel.  Those topics likely on their agenda.

Also at the White House yesterday former New Jersey Governor and federal prosecutor Chris Christie.  Christie could be a potential replacement for Sessions, but he has been dealing with other issues on President Trump's agenda.

One big item is prison reform.  President Trump has said too many people are in prison.

CBS News reports there is a list of potential nominees for AG that includes Christie and Rudy Giuliani, former George W, Bush Administration AG William Barr and outgoing Attorney General of Florida, Pam Bondi.

A federal district judge in Montana has ruled against the Trump Administration's authorization of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, saying more review of its impact must be done.

The administration can appeal the ruling but for now environmentalists opposed to the pipeline are celebrating.

Police in Israel are charging six men including David Shimron,  lawyer and confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for being involved in a bribery scheme.  Also among those charged are former high-ranking Navy officers in Israel.

The alleged scheme is tied to 2 billion dollars in submarine and warship sales to Israel by Germany's ThyssenKrupp shipbuilder.

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is hospitalized for observation and treatment after she fell in her office Wednesday.   She went to the hospital yesterday and it was discovered that she fractured three ribs.

In Portland, Oregon  city council heard testimony over a proposed ordinance that would give Mayor Ted Wheeler, in his capacity as police commissioner, new powers to regulate public protests.

Mayor Wheeler and his police chief, Danielle Outlaw, expressed their concerns about some protests turning violent threatening police and participants safety.

The mayor also spoke of his increasing dismay at  rising levels of violence at protests in downtown Portland.

The mayor said the protests hurt Portland's brand, affecting business and tourism.

Dozens testified against the ordinance, with the American Civil Liberties Union saying it was vague, does too much to limit the First Amendment right of free speech and gives the mayor too much power.

Testifying in favor of the mayor's plan to limit protests was Andrew Hoan, president of the Portland Chamber of Commerce.

Two council members oppose the ordinance, one supports it and the fourth member is undecided.

No vote was taken after yesterday's hearing.

Austria says its investigating a suspected Russian spy.   Chancellor Sebastian Kurz says a recently retired colonel is suspected of conducting espionage for Russia. dating back to the 1990's.  Kurz is urging Russia to provide information about the matter.

Austria's Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl has cancelled a planned trip to Russia.   Russian President Vladimir Putin was a guest at her wedding earlier this year.

And the British medical journal "Lancet" has published a study saying the worldwide fertility rate is  2.4 children per woman as of 2017 with nearly half of the world's countries having fertility rates below the 2.1 children considered the rate of replacement.

No nations were in that position in 1950.

The study attributes the decline in fertility to  fewer deaths in childhood meaning women having fewer babies, greater access to contraception and more women in education and work.

But it appears the researchers are  having trouble considering a practical "common sense" reason this is happening.

My way of describing the phenomenon is this.

Men or women or whatever gender identity one chooses to call themselves cannot make babies using their hands.

And that's the rest of the story.

And the way it really is this Friday morning November 9th, 2018. 

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