In 2020, we are witnessing an explosion of hunger in the United States that is unlike anything that we have seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs since the start of this pandemic, and money is running low for a whole lot of people.  In fact, I just wrote an article about a survey that found that one out of every five Americans will be out of cash by Election Day.  More Americans are slipping into poverty with each passing month, and this has created an unprecedented surge of demand at food banks across the nation.  Meanwhile, our growing economic problems are also causing donations to dry up, and so many food banks are facing a major crunch as we head into 2021.  In fact, Feeding America is warning that their network of food banks is potentially facing an “eight billion meal shortage” over the next 12 months.

Feeding America, the nation’s largest food-relief organization, is warning of a six billion to eight billion meal shortage over the next 12 months, which could leave millions of Americans hungry amid the pandemic. The dire shortage comes as tens of millions of Americans have turned to local food banks for help amid the pandemic-triggered surge in unemployment and food insecurity. To me, that is a number that is almost unimaginable. How in the world are we going to make up an 8 Billion Dollar meal shortfall?

Suspects in Michigan plot hid their cellphones in a box to be safe but failed to check one another for wires, FBI

Suspects in Michigan plot hid their cellphones in a box to be safe but failed to check one another for wires, FBI says (Source Business Insider)

Several members of an armed group who were charged with plotting to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan at her vacation home failed to thoroughly inspect one another for security breaches during a group meeting, according to an FBI special agent’s affidavit released Thursday.

Adam Fox, one of the six men who was charged in the plot, was said to have met with other accomplices at his business in Grand Rapids on June 20. As a precaution, the affidavit said, Fox conducted the meeting in a basement that was “accessed through a trap door hidden under a rug.”

Fox then collected attendees’ cellphones in a box and put it upstairs “to prevent any monitoring,” the affidavit said. One of the attendees, however, was an FBI source who was wearing a recording device. The audio revealed the group discussing plans to attack the Michigan State Capitol and use Molotov cocktails against police vehicles, the affidavit said.

Special Agent Richard J. Trask II said the affidavit relied on information from two confidential sources and two undercover employees but other sources were used during the investigation.

Six men were charged in connection with the kidnapping plot. The FBI said it became aware of the plans sometime in early 2020 through social-media channels. Seven other men were charged with terrorism-related crimes.

Russia’s Siberian Waters See Record Ship Traffic as Ice Melt Accelerates

Russia’s Siberian Waters See Record Ship Traffic as Ice Melt Accelerates (Source The Wall Street Journal) The Arctic has gone through its warmest summer on record, and with the ice melting, more ships than ever are sailing along Russia’s Siberian coast, underscoring its role as a growing energy transport corridor and potential as a new ocean trade route. The Northern Sea Route, which runs from Alaska to the Baltic Sea, counted 71 vessels and 935 sailings across the waterway from January to June this year, according to the NSR information office. That was up by double digits from the same period a year ago and a big increase from the 47 vessels and 572 voyages in the same period of 2018. The mostly frozen seaway is used in warmer seasons to move some of Russia’s energy exports to overseas markets. Container ships and general cargo vessel operators also have used the route to move goods between Asia and Europe as it cuts an average 10 days of sailing time compared with the standard route through the Suez Canal.

What’s behind the locust swarms damaging crops in southern Africa

What’s behind the locust swarms damaging crops in southern Africa(Source

Africa is currently experiencing two locust outbreaks both due to unusual climatic conditions. These two outbreaks are unrelated but are due to the unusually high rainfall and flooding in the areas where low densities of the locusts occur. The desert locust is producing a plague type outbreak in North and East Africa. This outbreak started in June 2019 and the threat is still there. Then there are localised swarms of the African migratory locust in southern Africa.

Two other locust species – the red locust and the brown locust are known to have swarmed and caused agricultural damage in southern Africa.

Locusts are grasshoppers that have the potential to form a swarm of thousands to hundreds of thousands of individuals. They undergo phase polymorphism, which means that they can change from a solitary form into a gregarious form – meaning they congregate in large numbers. These have a different colour and different behaviour. The solitary form is scattered and blends into the environment. The gregarious form arises from an increase in population density which causes the locusts to aggregate. Locusts need to multiply, concentrate and aggregate for swarms to form. The gregarious form undergo a colour change which makes them more conspicuous, and a behaviour change which makes them band together. These individuals form hopper bands in which they march together as a group, eating as they move, and adult swarms which can fly over large distances to invade new areas for food.

Chinese military spokesperson tells U.S. to halt provocative actions

Chinese military spokesperson tells U.S. to halt provocative actions (Source Reuters)

A Chinese military spokesperson said on Friday that the U.S. destroyer John McCain had entered waters around the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea claimed by China without China’s permission. “We demand the U.S. immediately stop such provocative actions, (and) strictly control and restrict military operations in the sea and air,” the spokesperson said in a post on an official WeChat account. The spokesperson also said it would take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security and to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

How Much Does the EU Rule YOUR Life?

How Much Does the EU Rule YOUR Life?

(Source Europe has a population of 445 million relatively rich consumers and is one of the biggest, most lucrative markets in the world. It also has some of the world’s toughest regulations. Big businesses follow the EU’s rules so they can sell to EU customers, and they then sell the same goods and services to those in other nations. Big businesses who want access to the European market have to spend millions of extra dollars on lawyers, equipment, fees, taxes and other costs to come into compliance with EU regulations. But these businesses actually love it. Why? Because it is easier to face one tough set of regulations than dozens of differing sets in dozens of European countries. It also means that smaller businesses can’t compete. Once big businesses commit to applying EU regulations, they become, in effect, agents of the EU. A big business’s smaller, domestic competitor in a non-EU country does not have to follow these same rules and is therefore smaller, nimbler and able to peel away some of their market share. So big businesses are motivated to pressure national governments around the world to adopt the

EU’s rules, which helps them squash their competition. The result is some bizarre alliances. You may have thought big corporations and environmentalist charities would be bitter enemies. But the two worked together to pressure the EU to adopt one set of standards for reporting companies’ environmental records. Then they worked together to persuade the International Organization for Standardization to apply the same rules worldwide. Greenpeace and Copa-Cocega—a body representing Europe’s farmers—worked together to push for tough European rules limiting genetically modified crops.

Not that EU bureaucrats need the help. They are quite aggressive themselves in forcing EU rules on other countries around the world. Bradford claims this push began around 2007. That’s when the European Commission saw what it called “a window of opportunity to push global solutions forward. The EU is in a good position to take a lead ….” The same year, another EU paper said that the EU’s efforts to create a single set of internal rules should be “the launch pad of an ambitious global agenda.”

That has now become a worldwide reality.



(Source U.S. president Donald Trump tested positive for the novel-coronavirus on Friday morning. Shortly before the news broke, the U.S. Navy’s doomsday planes launched on both American coasts. The E-6B Mercury is one of the Pentagon’s airborne nuclear command posts. The four-engine planes—derivatives of the Boeing 707 airliner—carry special communication systems and crews for commanding the Navy’s Ohio-class nuclear ballistic-missile submarines. In an atomic war, the E-6s would relay directions to the Ohio boomers, helping the boats’ crews to target enemy cities and military bases with nuclear-tipped Trident submarine-launched ballistic missiles, or SLBMs. Hogan tracked the E-6s on public software that registers airplanes’ radio transponders. Military planes often switch off their transponders in order to avoid being tracked. If a military jet’s transponders are on, it’s because their crews want to be seen. In the case of the E-6s, “it’s a message to the small group of adversaries with SLBMs and ICBMs,” Hogan noted. The Pentagon apparently wants atomic-armed rivals of the United States—Russia, China and North Korea—to know that America’s nuclear command system is intact, even if the commander-in-chief might be sick.

Princess Cruises welcomes its new 3,660-passenger ship, Enchanted Princess

Princess Cruises welcomes its new 3,660-passenger ship, Enchanted Princess (Source

Although sailing for most major cruise lines has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Princess Cruises has welcomed a new ship to its global fleet. The Enchanted Princess is a 3,660-guest vessel that was scheduled to make its debut in June 2020. It was officially handed over to Princess Cruises at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, according to a press release. Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri constructed the 145,000-ton ship, which was originally announced to the on Aug. 20, 2018. A virtual handover ceremony was livestreamed to commemorate the exchange. “We officially welcome Enchanted Princess into the Princess global fleet and recognize the strong bond between Carnival Corporation, Princess Cruises and Fincantieri, our long-standing shipbuilder partner,” said Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz, in a statement. “Fincantieri shares the Princess spirit of delivering the highest level of excellence, and we know they will also share in our enthusiasm with pride when the ship welcomes its first guests.” The Enchanted Princess has 1,834 cabins and 18 decks. It reportedly cost its parent company Carnival Corporation & PLC $760 million to build, according to Cruise Mapper.

Charleston County’s staff attorney picked to become federal judge by Donald Trump

Charleston County’s staff attorney picked to become federal judge by Donald Trump

(Source President Donald Trump has picked Charleston County’s senior government attorney, Joe Dawson III, to be a federal judge. If confirmed by the Senate, Dawson would be the only Black male currently serving on the state’s U.S. district court level, alongside two Black females. Dawson was nominated by U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who worked with Dawson previously when Scott was a member of Charleston County Council. The vacancy is for a seat in Greenville, Scott’s office said, adding the senator is not issuing a statement on the selection at this time because he opts to wait until after screening hearings to comment. The spot is the only open court seat among the state’s 10 federal district judgeships. Five of the state’s current district judges were nominated by Democrats and four by Republicans.

White House Blocked C.D.C. Order to Keep Cruise Ships Docked

White House Blocked C.D.C. Order to Keep Cruise Ships Docked (Source

The White House has blocked a new order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep cruise ships docked until mid-February, a step that would have displeased the politically powerful tourism industry in the crucial swing state of Florida. The current “no sail” policy, which was originally put in place in April and later extended, is set to expire on Wednesday. Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the C.D.C., had recommended the extension, worried that cruise ships could become viral hot spots, as they did at the beginning of the pandemic. But at a meeting of the coronavirus task force on Tuesday, Dr. Redfield’s plan was overruled, according to a senior federal health official who was not authorized to comment and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The administration will instead allow the ships to sail after Oct. 31, the date the industry had already agreed to in its own, voluntary plan, the agency announced late Wednesday night.