Apple’s Latest Transparency Report Reveals a Steep Rise in Government Demands for User Data

Apple has revealed its bi-annual transparency report and it shows a sharp increase in government requests for user data.

Alongside the report, the iPhone maker unveiled a new interactive site that lets users review national security requests around the world.

The company is following in the footsteps of tech giants like Microsoft and Google, by providing more in-depth methods for its users to find out who wanted their data.

Bill Gates Backs Advanced Nuclear Power to Solve the Climate Crisis

Even that the ‘crisis’ is nothing, this is a good idea (not that your standard idjit econut will have anything to do with it).

Bill Gates has joined the growing list of Greens who think renewables alone cannot replace fossil fuels.

Anthony, myself, many others at WUWT have repeatedly said we have no problem with policies which encourage nuclear power, though we oppose carbon pricing because it imposes unnecessary hardship…………

If nuclear power is such an obviously solution, why hasn’t it happened?

The main obstacle to going full nuclear in the West is the green movement.

When leading climate scientists beg the world to consider embracing nuclear power to decarbonise the economy, greens respond by calling them names.

Greens tell us we all must have the utmost respect for the global warming concerns of their favourite climate scientists, but that respect goes out the window whenever those same climate scientists say something which contradicts green policy objectives.

 

What I learned at work this year

By Bill Gates
December 29, 2018

Global emissions of greenhouse gases went up in 2018. For me, that just reinforces the fact that the only way to prevent the worst climate-change scenarios is to get some breakthroughs in clean energy.

Some people think we have all the tools we need, and that driving down the cost of renewables like solar and wind solves the problem. I am glad to see solar and wind getting cheaper and we should be deploying them wherever it makes sense.

But solar and wind are intermittent sources of energy, and we are unlikely to have super-cheap batteries anytime soon that would allow us to store sufficient energy for when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Besides, electricity accounts for only 25% of all emissions. We need to solve the other 75% too.

This year Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the clean-energy investment fund I’m involved with, announced the first companies we’re putting money into. You can see the list at http://www.b-t.energy/ventures/our-investment-portfolio/. We are looking at all the major drivers of climate change. The companies we chose are run by brilliant people and show a lot of promise for taking innovative clean-energy ideas out of the lab and getting them to market.

Next year I will speak out more about how the U.S. needs to regain its leading role in nuclear power research. (This is unrelated to my work with the foundation.)

Nuclear is ideal for dealing with climate change, because it is the only carbon-free, scalable energy source that’s available 24 hours a day. The problems with today’s reactors, such as the risk of accidents, can be solved through innovation.

The United States is uniquely suited to create these advances with its world-class scientists, entrepreneurs, and investment capital.

Unfortunately, America is no longer the global leader on nuclear energy that it was 50 years ago. To regain this position, it will need to commit new funding, update regulations, and show investors that it’s serious.

There are several promising ideas in advanced nuclear that should be explored if we get over these obstacles. TerraPower, the company I started 10 years ago, uses an approach called a traveling wave reactor that is safe, prevents proliferation, and produces very little waste. We had hoped to build a pilot project in China, but recent policy changes here in the U.S. have made that unlikely. We may be able to build it in the United States if the funding and regulatory changes that I mentioned earlier happen.

The world needs to be working on lots of solutions to stop climate change. Advanced nuclear is one, and I hope to persuade U.S. leaders to get into the game.

 

Muslim Doctor Fired From Ohio Clinic After Threatening to Purposely Give Jewish Patients Wrong Medication

A Muslim doctor was fired from a Cleveland, Ohio clinic after it was discovered she bragged she would purposely giving all Jewish patients the wrong medication.
Lara Kollab, 27, was a supervised resident at the Cleveland Clinic — she must be one of those ‘moderates’ we keep hearing about.

“Hahha ewww… ill (sic) purposely give all the yahood the wrong meds…” Kollab posted in a January 2012 tweet.

“Yahood” is Arabic for “Jew.”

The Cleveland Clinic released a statement on Monday, via Cleveland 19 News:

“This individual was employed as a supervised resident at our hospital from July to September 2018. She is no longer working at Cleveland Clinic. In no way do these beliefs reflect those of our organization. We fully embrace diversity, inclusion and a culture of safety and respect across our entire health system.”

According to reports, Kollab’s medical license remains active; her license was issued in Cuyahoga County in July 2018, it is valid until June 2021.

ARMED MAN ARRESTED BEFORE ALLEGEDLY HEADING TO TEXAS CHURCH TO ‘FULFILL PROPHECY.’

Smart waitress.

A waitress at a Seguin, Texas, restaurant possibly averted a mass shooting at a church after she reported an armed man behaving suspiciously to police. The man later allegedly told officers he was headed to a church to “fulfill a prophecy.”……

The felony conviction and the domestic violence assault would bar Albert from legally purchasing or possessing a firearm.

His other criminal records include an arrest for allegedly resisting arrest in 2016 and 2017 and a DUI in 2009.

In a court filing, Albert stated he is associated with Messianic Judaism (a religious movement that combines Judaism and Christianity) and the First Church of Cannabis. He said the latter is a “private and secretive one” stating that the members seek to “separate ourselves from recreational cannabis users who continue to pervert the usage of our sacrament,” the San Antonio Express-News reported.

In addition to the Seguin Police Department, Texas Rangers, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are investigating the incident.

Buyers beware of counterfeit Leupold rifle scopes

ChiCom crap.

An employee at a local sporting goods store told us about a customer that recently got too good of a deal on a Leupold rifle scope at a gun show.

The scope was counterfeit. The seller was off to the next bazaar and a fresh crop of pigeons, and the buyer had no recourse. Leupold has no obligation to replace a counterfeit scope, nor does a retailer.

If you’re lucky, your ersatz Leupold is serviceable. Even fake Rolex wristwatches keep time for a while, but would you trust such a scope on a prized draw hunt that you’ve entered for two decades? I wouldn’t.

Most counterfeit Leupolds are of Chinese origin and are priced sufficiently below manufacturer’s suggested retail price on many websites to be irresistible. They’re cheap enough to draw you in, but not so cheap to scare you away. Of course, you don’t know it’s counterfeit until you’ve paid for the item and have it in hand.

On leupold.com, Leupold issues a warning against purchasing Leupold-labeled optics from wish.com, ioffer.com, aliexpress.com, alibaba.com and many others. The most commonly counterfeited products, according to Leupold, mimic Mark 4 rifle scopes, VX-III rifle scopes, Prismatic rifle scopes, CQ/T rifle scopes, LCO sights and Deltapoint Pro sights.

The products are illegally imported from the People’s Republic of China, which is a profligate violator of patent and trademark rights.

Leupold’s warning says, “These fake products bear many of the trademarks and trade dress of current Leupold & Stevens rifle scopes, and are sometimes difficult to distinguish externally from authentic Leupold products.”

Regrettably, owners learn the truth when they send faulty products to Leupold for warranty service. Leupold is famous for its “Full Lifetime Guarantee,” but it will not service counterfeit products. A counterfeit experience can sour a victimized buyer on the company, a phenomenon to which Leupold is sensitive.

All Leupold rifle scopes bear an individual serial number that’s engraved on the bottom of the turret. Counterfeit scopes often use fake serial numbers, all identical serial numbers, or incorrect numbering convention.

The date code is a quick way to assure authenticity. Since 1974, every Leupold scope includes a letter in the serial number as a date-code. Scopes with a letter at the beginning of the serial number were produced between 1974 and 1992. You are unlikely to encounter counterfeits from this era because those scopes are relatively inexpensive.

Scopes with a letter at the end of the serial number were produced after 1992.

Since 2014, the serial suffix contains two letters, always beginning with A. “AA” is 2014, “AB” is 2015, and so on.

Leupold does not use the letters I, O, and Q in its serial numbers because they are easily mistaken for 1, 0, and 0. If a scope has these letters in a serial number, it’s fake. If it does not contain a letter at the end, it’s fake.

Leupold scopes bear distinctive physical characteristics. The gold ring near the end of the objective bell is a well-known trademark. It’s an actual metal ring, not a decal. Contemporary models have black engraving within the gold ring that designates the model number, focal range and Leupold name.

Inlaid on the left side of the turret is a gold logo signet. Old models are engraved with LEUPOLD.

Additionally, a new scope will be in a cellophane-wrapped box. Inspection requires breaking the seal, which sellers usually do not permit. Authorized dealers have samples on display for inspection. From any other source you buy on faith.

If possible, write down the serial number and call 1-800-LEUPOLD. The company can usually confirm a scope’s authenticity by its serial number.

CVS Makes Plans To Ration Customers’ Health Care
A health rationing organization’s opinion about so-called quality of life value will soon determine whether CVS customers can receive new prescription drugs and treatments.

CVS Caremark customers throughout America recently received bad news as the retail pharmaceutical chain officially closed on its $69 billion acquisition of Aetna. This is bad news because CVS is now working with a nonprofit “health” advisor that may ration customers’ health care choices.

In August, CVS announced a partnership with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), a nonprofit group that bills itself as a medical review board. But its leadership team and the far-left billionaires footing its bill paint a troubling picture.

ICER was founded by Dr. Steven Pearson. Pearson previously worked with the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). A pleasant-sounding moniker, NICE is anything but.

Thanks to NICE guidelines, millions of British citizens are on waiting lists at any given time for procedures, hundreds of thousands are waiting for basic diagnostic tests, and thousands of operations are regularly cancelled. During the first quarter of 2018, “the number of British patients waiting 18 weeks or more for treatment increased by 35 percent, which was an increase of 128,575 patients from about 362,000 patients in 2017, to over 490,000 patients in 2018. Additionally, by March 2018, 2,755 patients had waited over a year to be treated, compared to 1,528 patients in 2017,” according to The Heritage Foundation.

NICE is even worse about drug approvals. NICE “has declined to fund [drugs] such as Benlysta, Novartis, Sorafenib and Avastin. The first is a treatment for lupus while the last three can extend the life of cancer patients. The Rare Cancers Forum notes that 16,000 patients annually could benefit from cancer drugs rejected by NICE,” notes the National Center for Public Policy Research’s David Hogberg.

Under ICER’s direction, CVS has set a “threshold of $100,000 per QALY, or quality-of-life years, a benchmark that measures both the quantity and quality of life generated by providing a treatment or some other health care intervention.” In practice, that means ICER’s opinion about the so-called quality of life value will determine whether CVS customers can receive new prescription drugs and treatments.

This means that even if a doctor prescribes a drug for a patient, that individual may find that CVS doesn’t carry that medication if it doesn’t fit ICER’s parameters. Think of it as socialized health care without the socialistic government regime.

CHRISTIANS, STOP SAYING JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD. IT PROVOKES MUSLIMS
Modern-day Christians’ anxiousness to avoid offending Muslims could be the death of Christianity. 

Oh, so they might get ‘triggered’? I’ve got something for them then.

Buried in the concluding paragraphs of a Christmas Eve Washington Times report about Muslims in Uganda forcing Christians to convert to Islam was the extraordinary revelation that in that country, Muslims now consider any public statement of the Christian Faith to be a calculated insult to Muslims, for which they can justifiably exact revenge. This is, or should be, sobering news for the comfortable Christians of the West who have made an idol out of “interfaith dialogue” and fastidiously avoid saying anything remotely critical about Islam, even as the Muslim persecution of Christians continues worldwide.

“In June,” the Times reported, “a group of Muslims attacked Christian preachers in eastern Uganda during a ‘crusade,’ where Christians publicly profess their faith and invite others to join. Muslims in the town accused the Christians of mocking Islam by publicly saying Jesus was the Son of God.”

In response, said Christian pastor Moses Saku, the Muslims became violent: “They became very angry and began throwing rocks at Christians, chanting ‘Allah akbar.’ Many Christians were injured during the incident.”

The Christians appealed to the Muslims to have respect for those of other faith; the Muslims responded with contempt. One Muslim, Abubakar Yusuf, declared: “We have now declared a jihad against them. We are not going to allow anybody to despise Islamic teachings at their church or crusade. We will seek revenge.”

How did the Christians “despise Islamic teachings”? By preaching aspects of Christianity, such as the divinity of Christ, that Islam denies. The Christians, knowing how delicate their situation was, would never have dreamed of actually saying something critical about Islam itself; but to the Muslims who heard them, just enunciating the tenets of their Christian faith was criticism enough. And they refused to stand for it.

A few years ago, when jihadis attacked AFDI’s Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas, some Christians castigated me for co-sponsoring and speaking at the event. They said that Pamela Geller and I, as co-organizers of the event, were being needlessly provocative, poking Muslims in the eye, goading them, etc.

These charitable and enlightened Christians said that Christians should instead be deferential to others’ religious sensibilities. At the time, I responded to these people by explaining that giving in to violent intimidation (our event was a response to the jihad murder of the Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoonists in Paris) would only encourage more violent intimidation, and that given the fact that Muslims frequently found even basic expressions of Christian faith to be “provocative,” they were effectively cutting the ground out from under themselves and their children, making it impossible for them to practice Christianity in the future.

These incidents in Uganda are proof that this was correct. In declaring jihad and stating that the Muslims were now on a quest for revenge, Abubakar Yusuf and the Muslims who agree with him are in effect saying that the public expression of the Christian Faith mocks Islam and despises Islamic teachings. Abubakar Yusuf’s announcement that the Muslims had “declared jihad” against the Christians and would “seek revenge” against them was tantamount to a declaration that the Christians must submit to the hegemony of the Muslims, not daring to practice their faith openly, but only in private, behind closed door, and at the sufferance of their Muslim overlords.

This is exactly the status that Islamic law prescribes for Christians in lands governed by Islamic law, and so it is clear that Abubakar Yusuf is no lone fanatic, but is enunciating what many Muslims in Uganda believe to be only right and proper.

The lesson is clear, and not just for Uganda. If the advice of the cosseted, suburban Western Christians who were excoriating me for the Garland event is to be heeded, Christians should make no public expression of their faith at all, and convert to Islam, so as to avoid mocking, provoking, and offending Muslims, and poking them in the eye.

And what it comes to it, that is most likely the exact thing that those Christians will do.

Google vs. Bing On “Black White Crime Stats”

BLUF: Google tries to cover up the information, Bing doesn’t

It’s fun to compare Alphabet’s dominant Google search engine to Microsoft’s Bing search engine for politically relevant results.

I am doing this test in incognito mode so that both search engines give me their generic results rather than ones tailored for me………

Google promotes on its first page of results three fairly neutral sources (Channel4, Wikipedia, and USNews) and two sources, SPLC and ColorLines, that are biased toward the politically correct. Bing cites one fairly neutral source (Wikipedia) and two biased toward the politically incorrect (WhitePrivilegeIsntReal and InfoWars).

It’s interesting that the excerpt chosen from the one source displayed on the first page by both Google and Bing, Wikipedia’s “Race and crime in the United States,” is ambiguous in Google and eye-opening on Bing.

Ebola BREAKOUT: 24 patients flee treatment centre sparking emergency search

This nasty viral disease has again cropped up in central Africa, where witch doctors still practice and tribal conflicts never really stop.

We had a scare 4 years ago when Ebola almost got loose here in the U.S. Except for a vaccine that actually works, but is hard to produce and almost impossible to get to all the people in the “hot zone” due to the continuing hostilities, no one seems to have done anything to increase our preparedness if we get more sick people here than we can handle.
And a doctor who’s suspected of being infected has been flown back here and is in one of the few hospitals capable of handling patients with this sort of disease.

The patients, some of whom had not yet been tested, broke out of the treatment centre in the Congolese city of Beni.

Officials have tracked three of them, but the rest remain at large, sparking a fear of the deadly disease spreading.

The attack was orchestrated by demonstrators angry at being excluded from voting in the weekend’s election.

Beni and its surrounding area has had voting cancelled by the government due to the ebola outbreak and militia violence.

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s health ministry spokeswoman Jessica Ilunga said 17 patients had already tested negative for Ebola, while seven had not yet been tested.

Combating Racism by Slaughtering Sheep

Great news. The scourge of racism has been cured in the best way possible: through the exuberant application of indigenous culture.

Pandemonium broke out on Clifton’s Fourth Beach on Friday when demonstrators arrived with a sheep which they slaughtered to exorcise the “demon of racism”.

Clifton is an upscale suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. It offers the most expensive real estate in the country, and no doubt is chock-full of well-to-do liberals who helped bring down Apartheid.

Uh oh. We have an intersectionality problem. Sheep are oppressed too:

Animal rights activists protested as the sheep arrived, one of them holding a sign saying: “End racism but don’t kill the sheep.”

Chumani Maxwele, formerly of Rhodes Must Fall, directed the ritual.

“We are going to untie the sheep and walk it to the ocean to waken Nxele’s spirit. Nxele’s spirit is along this ocean. Down with white racists, down,” he shouted.

The reference is to a savage who instigated an attack on a British garrison 200 years ago.

Maxwele then cut the sheep’s throat as other protesters burnt incense. He declared: “Today, the dignity of the black people has been restored. This is an offering to our ancestors.”

There followed a melee, as the black supremacists and animal rights advocates hurled obscenities and footwear at each other.

Yet again, we see that leftism can only be used to destroy. You may be able to wreck the established order with a temporary alliance of leftist groups, but you cannot establish a functional new one, because they will soon be at each other’s throats.

John Taffin’s books back in print on Amazon.

Single Action Sixguns

170 Years of the Guns that Tamed the West and Made All Men Equal!

The Peacemaker. The Ol’ Thumb-Buster. The Hawg Laig.

No firearm in the world is more immediately recognizable than the 1873 Colt Single Action Army Revolver. Yet Colt’s famed six-shooter was only one of hundreds of models of single action revolvers that fought wars, tamed a wild continent and bought the long arm of the law to a new world. Single Action Six Guns is packed with fascinating facts about all makes and models: Colt, Smith & Wesson, Remington, Ruger, Freedom Arms, John Linebaugh, United States Fire Arms, and many more…


Big Bore Handguns

From his beloved Colt Single Action to Freedom Arms and Taurus pistols, acclaimed expert John Taffin is armed with the facts about all the biggest six-guns around.

In this must-have guide, he discusses the ins and outs of shooting, hunting and competing with high caliber handguns. An Idaho resident, Taffin is one of the nation’s premiere authorities on powerful firearms.

Featuring hundreds of photos and honest reviews of handguns from makers including Colt, Smith & Wesson, Dan Wesson, Ruger, Freedom Arms and Taurus, Big Bore Handguns also covers customizing, accessories, reloading, hunting and cowboy activities. Guns included in this book are single-shot pistols, revolvers and semi-automatics.


Big Bore Sixguns

Follow the development of the big bores from model to model in this fascinating study. More than 300 photos provide fine details about the pioneering sixguns, as recognized firearms authority John Taffin relates the influence these guns have had on each other and the field of competitive shooting.

Social Media’s Year of Falling From Grace

Silicon Valley has enjoyed years of popularity and growing markets.

But 2018 has been rocky for the industry.

Data breaches, controversies over offensive speech and misinformation — as well as reports of foreign operatives’ use of their services — have left many people skeptical about the benefits of social media, experts say.

Worries about social media in Congress meant tech executives had to testify before committees several times this year.

“2018 has been a challenging year for tech companies and consumers alike,” said Pantas Sutardja, chief executive of LatticeWork Inc., a data storage firm. “Company CEOs being called to Congress for hearings and promising profusely to fix the problems of data breach but still cannot do it.”

Facebook drew the most scrutiny. The social networking giant endured criticism after revelations that its lax oversight allowed a political consulting firm to exploit millions of its users’ data.

In the spring, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, went on what was dubbed “an apology tour” to tell users that the company would do a better job of protecting their data.

The California firm faced other problems when data breaches at the site compromised user information. Other sharp criticism hit Facebook when false reports on its site sparked violence in places like Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

Indonesia’s Volatile Child of Krakatau Collapsed, but Now It’s More Explosive

ANYER, Indonesia—The volcano that unleashed a tsunami and killed more than 400 people has collapsed to about a third of its previous height and is ejecting superheated magma into the sea, magnifying the power of the eruptions and sending ash more than a mile into the air.

The volcano, called Anak Krakatau, partially collapsed in a violent spasm on Dec. 22, causing a massive landslide that sent high waves barreling toward both shores of the Sunda Strait, the narrow passage between the islands of Java and Sumatra. The volcano’s cone is now about 360 feet above sea level, Indonesian officials said Saturday, reduced from more than 1,000 feet before the collapse.

Jerry Brown: Climate change challenges as serious as those faced in World War II

He’s not called “moonbeam” for nothing.

California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown warned that America and the rest of the world are falling behind in the fight against climate change and likened the challenge to fighting the Nazis in World War II.

In an interview for Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” the outgoing governor called on President Donald Trump to take the lead in addressing the issue. “Instead of worrying about tariffs, I’d like to see the president and the Congress invest tens of billions in renewable energy, in more-efficient batteries, to get us off fossil fuel as quickly as we can,” Brown said.

“I would point to the fact that it took Roosevelt many, many years to get America willing to go into World War II and fight the Nazis. Well, we have an enemy, though different, but perhaps, very much devastating in a similar way. And we’ve got to fight climate change. And the president’s got to lead on that.”

 

Husband shoots at men attempting to rob his wife in west Harris County

KATY, Texas — One person was taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds after a man shot at three possible robbery suspects in Katy.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office says deputies responded to a weapons disturbance at 3099 Fry Road on Saturday afternoon.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said two or three men tried to rob a woman when her husband was able to retrieve a pistol and shoot at them. One of the men was hit and taken to a hospital, where he is being treated, according to Gonzalez.

The shooter remained at the scene and is cooperating with investigators, Gonzalez said.

Deputies suspect this is a “jugging” case. They believe the crooks followed the couple from a bank to the Randall’s grocery parking lot, where the crime happened.


80-year-old homeowner shoots intoxicated intruder

GLYNDON, Md. —
An 80-year-old man shot an intoxicated woman who forced her way into his house Friday night, Baltimore County police said.

County police said officers were called around 6:40 p.m. to a house in the 4300 block of Butler Road in the Glyndon area. Police said a 31-year-old intoxicated woman who lives nearby walked onto the front porch of the house and the man who owns the house tried to get her to leave.

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“She was extremely intoxicated. She came to the porch,” Baltimore County police Cpl. Shawn Vinson said.

Police said the woman pushed the man and forced her way into the house, where he shot her.

“He was able to retrieve a weapon and did shoot the woman one time in the lower body,” Vinson said.

The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment. She is expected to survive, police said.

“We are doing a continuing investigation at this point. The main thing is that the suspect continues to receive medical treatment. Once that treatment’s completed, we will consider filing burglary charges at that point for third-degree burglary. We will review the case with the state’s attorney’s office just to make sure the actions of the homeowner were legal and justified,” Vinson said.

Brazil’s president-elect plans decree allowing wider gun ownership

Just my personal experience; leave the Taurus guns alone, buy something else.

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday he plans to issue a decree allowing all Brazilians without criminal records to own firearms, welcome news to many core supporters who want him to loosen Brazil’s strict gun laws.

Throughout his campaign, Bolsonaro had pledged to dismantle Brazil’s current gun legislation, which presents various bureaucratic and legal obstacles for people seeking to purchase firearms. That message appealed to many Brazilians who want to use guns for self-defense amid sky-high levels of violent crime.

“By decree, we plan to guarantee the ownership of firearms by citizens without criminal records,” Bolsonaro, who takes office on Jan. 1, wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

He did not provide additional details and it was not immediately clear what mechanisms Bolsonaro would have at his disposal to carry out such a decree, or what specific measures the decree would contain. Brazil’s Congress is already discussing measures to loosen gun control laws.

Gun manufacturers are among those that stand to benefit from such moves. Shares in Brazilian gun maker Taurus Armas SA have climbed some 88 percent year-to-date amid expectations that Bolsonaro would win the election and follow through on promises to liberalize gun laws.

Police struggle to stop flood of firearms into UK.

 “So the only people you’ve stopped from having guns are the ones who don’t commit crimes. Keep thinking. You’re ALMOST to a conclusion.”

Police and border officials are struggling to stop a rising supply of illegal firearms being smuggled into Britain, a senior police chief has warned.

Chief constable Andy Cooke, the national police lead for serious and organised crime, said law enforcement had seen an increased supply of guns over the past year, and feared that it would continue in 2019.

The Guardian has learned that the situation is so serious that the National Crime Agency has taken the rare step of using its legal powers to direct every single police force to step up the fight against illegal guns.

The NCA has used tasking powers to direct greater intelligence about firearms to be gathered by all 43 forces in England and Wales.

Another senior law enforcement official said that “new and clean” weapons were now being used in the majority of shootings, as opposed to guns once being so difficult to obtain that they would be “rented out” to be used in multiple crimes.

Cooke, the Merseyside chief constable, told the Guardian: “We in law enforcement expect the rise in new firearms to continue. We are doing all we can. We are not in a position to stop it anytime soon.

“Law enforcement is more joined up now than before, but the scale of the problem is such that despite a number of excellent firearms seizures, I expect the rise in supply to be a continuing issue.”

The increasing supply of guns belies problems with UK border security and innovations by organised crime gangs. Smugglers have increasingly found new ways and innovative routes to get guns past border defences.

Cooke said more are coming in from eastern Europe and the western Balkans and also component pieces are being smuggled in via the fast parcel system, hidden among a growth in packages because of the explosion of internet shopping.

Guns are being bought on the dark web and the UK is also seeing weapons designed for sports shooting being smuggled in, as well as blank firing weapons bought for just £100 being converted in the UK. Criminals have also obtained high end automatic weapons such as an AK47.

Cooke said that the dynamics of the streets of British cities had changed and that criminals were more willing to use guns: “If they bring them in people will buy them. It’s a kudos thing for organised criminals.”

He said said one factor was a reduction in police proactive work because of government budget cuts leading to big falls in officer numbers: “The ability of law enforcement to respond to this rise in the criminal use of firearms has been hampered by the large reduction in police officers and the resultant diminishing of proactive capability to keep these criminals on the back foot.”

Simon Brough, head of firearms at the NCA, said: “The majority of guns being used are new, clean firearms … which indicates a relatively fluid supply.”

He said shotguns were 40% of the total, with an increase in burglaries to try and steal them. Handguns are the next biggest category, most often smuggled in from overseas, with ferry ports such as Dover being a popular entry point into the UK for organised crime groups: “We’re doing a lot to fight back against it,” Brough said, adding that compared to other European countries, the availability in the UK was relatively lower.

Gun crime has been rising and the last set of official figures about recorded firearms offences, showing a 5% fall to 6,362 in the year ending June 2018, is seen as a blip against a trend of rising gun offences. Statistics released earlier in 2018 had shown gun crime up 11% in 2017/18, and in the same period, the Metropolitan police said discharges of lethal barrelled firearms rose by 23%. Compared to 2015/16, there has been a 67% increase in the capital alone.

CGF (CalGuns) Seeks U.S. Supreme Court Review in Constitutional Challenge to California’s Handgun Roster, Microstamping Laws

Today, attorneys Alan Gura and Donald Kilmer filed a petition for Supreme Court review in a federal Second and Fourteenth Amendment lawsuit challenging the State of California’s handgun roster and “microstamping” laws. The Calguns Foundation, an institutional plaintiff in the case, is joined by Second Amendment Foundation and four individuals.

The petition argues that, with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in the case, “the legality of handgun possession in the Nation’s most populous state is a matter of legislative grace.”

“Absent this Court’s intervention, the Second Amendment will remain illusory for most Americans,” it says.

“This case presents an ideal vehicle for the Supreme Court to correct recalcitrant lower courts and reaffirm that the Second Amendment is not a second-class right,” said CGF Chairman Gene Hoffman.
“California insists that it could ban every handgun make and model but one, but that cannot be constitutional.
Bans on handguns in common use for lawful purposes are categorically unconstitutional under the Court’s Heller and McDonald decisions.”

“If the California handgun Roster laws and the Ninth Circuit’s decision below are allowed to stand, then incoming Governor Gavin Newsom will undoubtedly take the State’s gun control laws to entirely new and dangerous levels. Thus, we are hopeful that the Supreme Court will use this case to restore Second Amendment rights to tens of millions of law-abiding people in California and cabin the ambitions of gun-control proponents before the end of next year’s legislative session,” Hoffman concluded.

More information about the Handgun Roster can be found at www.calgunsfoundation.org/roster. CGF noted that researchers will complete another audit of the Roster and its apparent contraction in January 2019, after Roster “renewals” are processed by the California Department of Justice.

 

Trump’s Trade War Comes With an Unexpected Bonus: More Trade.

A few days before Christmas, the container ship “SM Shanghai” was steaming toward California’s Port of Long Beach. Just ahead and coming to the end of an 11-day journey from China, the “Ever Lucent” was headed for the nearby Port of Los Angeles, where the “Thomas Jefferson” was preparing to sail in the opposite direction for Xiamen.

The global economy, in other words, was chugging along nicely on one of the world’s busiest sea lanes. Trade wars be damned.

In fact, President Donald Trump’s assault on globalization has had a paradoxical effect on world trade flows. A rush to get ahead of new and higher tariffs, particularly on U.S. imports from China, has motivated retailers and other American companies to increase orders, which has helped boost volumes at the country’s ports.

“The warehouse and distribution centers are full in southern California,” said Phillip Sanfield, a Port of Los Angeles spokesman. “We’re experiencing some logistical issues at the San Pedro ports just because there’s so much cargo in play here.”

Busy December

After an active 2017 when the Port of Los Angeles moved the equivalent of 9.3 million shipping containers — an all-time high for the facility — a busy December has put it on track to report another record year in 2018, according to Sanfield. Traffic at the Port of Long Beach increased more than 7.3 percent through November, on pace to surpass the record 7.5 million containers it handled last year.

There are many other signs that international commerce did just fine in 2018, thanks in no small part to a busy trade year in America, the world’s biggest buyer of goods.

Despite Trump’s efforts to reduce his country’s appetite for foreign-made products, the U.S. imported more goods and services in value terms than ever in October, the latest Commerce Department data show. U.S. exports were near the all-time monthly record set in May.

Nancy Pelosi Announces Plans For A House ‘Climate Crisis’ Committee After Flying Thousands Of Miles To A Hawaiian Resort.

  • California Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi announced the creation of a House “climate crisis” committee.
  • Already far-left Democrats are expressing their discontent with Pelosi’s plan.
  • Pelosi announced the “climate crisis” committee after flying thousands of miles to Hawaii.

 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that Democrats would create a Select Committee on the Climate Crisis in 2019, which will be headed by Florida Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor.

However, Pelosi’s announcement isn’t placating progressives in her party, such as New York Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who support “Green New Deal” legislation.

“This committee, if it turns out that the rumors about it are true, sound about as useful as a screen door on a submarine,” Ocasio-Cortez spokesman Corbin Trent, told The Hill.

“As it’s portrayed it’s going to be completely incapable of solving the greatest threat to human kind,” Trent said.

Pelosi, who’s expected to be elected House speaker in 2019, said there’s “tremendous pressure” for Democrats to make fighting global warming a central part of their agenda in the new year.

Pelosi made her announcement amid a government shutdown after she flew thousands of miles to a luxurious Hawaiian hotel where she was spotted Thursday, according to reports