Ebola’s still getting worse, and I’m getting worried

The most recent Ebola outbreak, about which we’ve written before in these pages, is steadily getting worse. The Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo is now the second biggest in history, with 426 confirmed and probable cases, the health ministry said late on Thursday. The epidemic in a volatile part of Democratic Republic of Congo is now only surpassed by the 2013-2016 outbreak in West Africa, where more than 28,000 cases where confirmed, and is bigger than an outbreak in 2000 in Uganda involving 425 cases. Ebola is believed to have killed 245 people in North Kivu and Ituri provinces where attacks by armed groups and

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Boys and their highly explosive toys

The Aviationist brings us this video of weapons tests at China Lake. Located in California’s Mojave Desert, China Lake is home to NAVAIR’s Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD). NAWCWD is responsible for supporting NAVAIR programs by: Among the services NAWCWD provides, there is also Missiles and Free-Fall Weapons Research and Development. This means that China Lake develops explosives and propellants, and conducts basic and applied research in science and technology of weaponry. Weapon systems regularly developed at China Lake include Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), High-Speed Antiradiation Missile (HARM), Hellfire, Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), Penguin, Phoenix, Sidewinder, Sea Sparrow, Standoff Land Attack

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It seems civil law trumps church secrets – and it’s about time

For many centuries, the Catholic Church maintained that its clergy and religious (i.e. monks, nuns, brothers and sisters in religious orders) could not be tried in civil or criminal courts, but had to be dealt with by the Church itself.  That continued until the Reformation, and even after it in some countries.  The Church considered herself to be above most aspects of criminal and civil law.  In some ways, it appears to still hold that belief – witness, for example, the refusal by many bishops to refer clergy child sex abuse cases to the civil authorities for prosecution. Part of that

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Stupidity. Detroit. But I repeat myself . . .

Not content with running their city into the ground, then complaining when others had to take over its administration, the Detroit city council have done it again. The Detroit City Council approved a “Bullet Bill” gun control resolution Wednesday with a unanimous vote. The resolution limits ammunition amounts that can be bought while requiring a mental health background check on buyers of ammo in Wayne County. . . . Detroit City Council member Andre Spivey … sponsored the ordinance that would require mental health background checks on those looking to buy ammunition and it would also impose additional county taxes on ammo. There’s more

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I think the President has a point about General Motors

Angry over General Motors’ decision to shutter several US and Canadian auto manufacturing plants, President Trump recently tweeted: A lot of left-wing and progressive sources are claiming that this is inaccurate, and that GM has repaid all the loans given to it as part of the auto industry bailout.  However, that ignores the reality that the US taxpayer lost almost $11.4 billion on the overall GM bailout package, as Pro Publica confirms.  Click the image to be taken to a full-size view at the organization’s Web site. There are those who claim that the GM bankruptcy deal cost the US taxpayer a lot more than

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Some crime certainly seems to pay

It seems that the Vancouver housing market has been floating on top of a huge pool of drug money. The stately $17-million mansion owned by a suspected fentanyl importer is at the end of a gated driveway on one of the priciest streets in Shaughnessy, Vancouver’s most exclusive neighbourhood. A block away is a $22-million gabled manor that police have linked to a high-stakes gambler and property developer with suspected ties to the Chinese police services. Both mansions appear on a list of more than $1-billion worth of Vancouver-area property transactions in 2016 that a confidential police intelligence study has linked

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Not Freddie Mercury

Reader J. M. sent me a link – well, two of them, actually – that had me laughing out loud. The late Freddie Mercury led the crowds at the 1985 Live Aid concert in a sort of wordless chant, getting the audience to follow his musical lead. It seems someone with a sense of humor “married” that Freddie Mercury chant to images of a rodent.  The results are hilarious. Musical mice?  What next – rapping rats? Peter

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A new potential war trigger in the Middle East?

I haven’t seen this reported anywhere else, but Strategy Page claims: Syria is apparently granting citizenship (and Syrian passports) to thousands of Iranian mercenaries like Hezbollah from Lebanon, some Iranians and Shia from other countries Iran recruited to fight in Syria. These newly created Syrians will be wearing Syrian Army uniforms as they take up position near the Israeli border. Israel suspected that Iran was planning this and now has to respond before these Iranian forces can carry out any attacks (as Iran has vowed to do) on Israel itself. Iran is desperate for a win because their recent efforts to

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Big Brother is watching – and it’s not doing a damned bit of good

As part of its overall anti-terrorism strategy, the British government introduced a program called Prevent.  It appears to have become more an instrument for Big Brother-style thought control, rather than an effective tool against terrorists.  Reason reports: Part of a larger anti-terrorism strategy, Prevent was designed to prevent radicalization and seeks to monitor supposedly vulnerable people for evidence of extremism in the materials they peruse and the ideology they express. The idea is that, once identified, these individuals can be steered by authorities away from negative outcomes. “Interventions can include mentoring, counselling, theological support, encouraging civic engagement, developing support networks (family and

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