Monday Top Headlines

by Media Editors: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam denies being in racist photo but recalls darkening his skin in Michael Jackson dance contest (WSLS)

Senior Democrats press Northam to resign over racist photo (Reuters)

Elizabeth dinky-Warren apologized to the Cherokee Nation for her DNA stunt (Washington Examiner)

Pentagon announces nearly 4,000 additional troops heading to U.S.-Mexico border (The Hill)

Border agents discover 60-foot tunnel to Mexico (Fox News)

Russia to pull plug on nuclear arms pact after U.S. does same (Associated Press)

Iran unveils long-range cruise missile on revolution anniversary (Reuters)

Super Bowl ratings hit 10-year low in historic NFL game and Patriots’ win (Deadline)

CBS rejects pro-flag, anti-Kaepernick “Just Stand” Super Bowl ad (Washington Examiner)

The Washington Post paid $5.2 million for a Super Bowl ad about how important journalism is (The Daily Wire)

Covington teen’s lawyer releases brutal 14-minute video showcasing lies of Nathan Phillips and media (PJ Media)

European nations recognize Guaido as Venezuelan leader (Associated Press)

Men run the news 2 to 1 despite demands for diversity, equality everywhere else (Washington Examiner)

Humor: Dumb football game keeps interrupting commercials (The Babylon Bee)

Policy: It’s time to make a trade deal with China (The Daily Signal)

Policy: The three major problems with a carbon tax (National Review)

~The Patriot Post


Oil refiners get behind UN fuel rules that analysts say will drive up prices in 2020

by John Siciliano

{} ~ Oil refiners are defending new United Nations environmental rules against private consultants’ forecasts that they will hurt consumers in the run-up to the 2020 election… rather than aiding President Trump’s energy dominance agenda. The refinery industry supports the impending new 2020 International Maritime Organization rules, which call for the use of cleaner, low-sulfur fuels in all seagoing vessels and could drive up costs by diverting millions of gallons of diesel, jet fuel, and heating oil to the maritime sector. The American Fuels and Petrochemical Manufacturers, the refining industry’s main trade group in Washington, says the environmental rules will likely be a boon for the U.S. energy industry, which has been meeting federal low-sulfur fuel standards for years. The 2020 U.N. rules require a massive cut in the amount of sulfur allowed in conventional fuels used in large commercial tankers and cargo ships. The rules go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. “We think that cost impacts, if they occur, will be short-lived and minimal,” said Derrick Morgan, the refinery group’s senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs. But there have been a number of consulting firms in Washington and elsewhere that have projected the implementation of the rules as potentially catastrophic…


Venezuela opposition leader offers China investment opportunities in appeal for support

by Joel Gehrke

{} ~ The Venezuela opposition lawmaker recognized as interim president offered China economic partnership as an appeal for its support for the ouster of strongman Nicolas Maduro… China would have “extraordinary potential” to invest in Venezuela if Maduro’s regime were to fall, Juan Guaido said Saturday. “There are plenty of opportunities for investment in Venezuela,” Guaido, whose claim to the presidency is backed by Western powers, said in a written interview with the South China Morning Post. “China has an extraordinary potential as an investor to contribute to the restoration of our country’s economy.” China has joined Russia in backing Maduro even as leaders throughout Europe and the Western Hemisphere throw their support to the opposition. China has found an investment partner in Maduro, but Guaido countered by touting the potential for Xi’s regime to continue their “Belt and Road Initiative” in the country. “This initiative gives China a natural space to foster development across the region,” Guaido said in the written interview. “We want to boost our relationship with China to stimulate our country’s economy. There is a lot of work to do in this regard.”…


Typhus Epidemic Spreads Across Los Angeles Due To Mountains Of Trash & Homeless Population


{} ~ Nothing says progressive more than a medieval infectious disease spreading through an American city… “It felt like somebody was driving railroad stakes through my eyes and out the back of my neck,” Deputy City Attorney Liz Greenwood told the I-Team. “Who gets typhus? It’s a medieval disease that’s caused by trash.”A veteran Los Angeles City Hall official is one of the latest victims of an epidemic of the infectious disease typhus that continues to worsen across LA County. For months, LA County public health officials have said typhus is mainly hitting the homeless population. But Deputy City Attorney Liz Greenwood, a veteran prosecutor, tells NBC4 she was diagnosed with typhus in November, after experiencing high fevers and excruciating headaches.Greenwood believes she contracted typhus from fleas in her office at City Hall East. Fleas often live on rats, which congregate in the many heaps of trash that are visible across the city of LA, and are a breeding ground for typhus.



Google’s Sidewalk Labs Plans to Package and Sell Location Data on Millions of Cellphones

by Ava Kofman

{} ~ MOST OF THE data collected by urban planners is messy, complex, and difficult to represent… It looks nothing like the smooth graphs and clean charts of city life in urban simulator games like “SimCity.” A new initiative from Sidewalk Labs, the city-building subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has set out to change that. The program, known as Replica, offers planning agencies the ability to model an entire city’s patterns of movement. Like “SimCity,” Replica’s “user-friendly” tool deploys statistical simulations to give a comprehensive view of how, when, and where people travel in urban areas. It’s an appealing prospect for planners making critical decisions about transportation and land use. In recent months, transportation authorities in Kansas City, Portland, and the Chicago area have signed up to glean its insights. The only catch: They’re not completely sure where the data is coming from. Typical urban planners rely on processes like surveys and trip counters that are often time-consuming, labor-intensive, and outdated. Replica, instead, uses real-time mobile location data. As Nick Bowden of Sidewalk Labs has explained, “Replica provides a full set of baseline travel measures that are very difficult to gather and maintain today, including the total number of people on a highway or local street network, what mode they’re using car, transit, bike, or foot, and their trip purpose commuting to work, going shopping, heading to school.” To make these measurements, the program gathers and de-identifies the location of cellphone users, which it obtains from unspecified third-party vendors. It then models this anonymized data in simulations — creating a synthetic population that faithfully replicates a city’s real-world patterns but that “obscures the real-world travel habits of individual people,” as Bowden told The Intercept…


Attacking Christian Schools

by Brian Mark Weber: The attack on the students of Covington Catholic is just one example of the extent to which the Left is willing to go to stigmatize Christianity and force it out of our history and culture. The most innocent actions of Christians are now thrust into the spotlight and mocked by the media — and one of their favorite targets is mainstream Christian education.

For example, when Vice President Pence’s wife Karen revealed that she’s returning to the classroom to teach in a Christian school, a self-described “exvangelical” named Chris Stroop started a hashtag campaign called #exposechristianschools. Stroop calls Christian schools “bastions of bigotry.”

Not wanting to miss out on the action, New York Times reporter Dan Levin posted this on Twitter: “I’m a New York Times reporter writing about #exposechristianschools. Are you in your 20s or younger who went to a Christian school? I’d like to hear about your experience and its impact on your life.”

Disgraceful, isn’t it? It’d be hard to imagine a reporter soliciting former public-school students to share stories of sex abuse, violence, bad teachers, peer pressure, suicide, politically biased class assignments, and lack of resources. Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey wonders “why an obscure social-media hashtag would be worthy of an in-depth report by a major media outlet, regardless of the topic.”

We know why: Because there’s a widespread assault in this country on Christian values, beliefs, and practices.

Of course, we shouldn’t make broad assumptions about the experiences of students in public schools any more than we should be characterizing Christian schools as cults.

Before the Times piece was published, The Resurgent’s Erick Erickson wrote, “With Democrats in the Senate attacking the Knights of Columbus, the left in Texas attacking Christian businesses, and the left nationally trying to kill religious liberty legislation, it is entirely predictable that the Times would join the fight against Christians in America.”

On the surface, Levin’s piece in the Times seems to be an honest, open attempt to paint an unbiased portrait of the experiences of students who’ve attended Christian schools. His opening explanation merely sets up a few categorical first-hand accounts. But despite a few positive anecdotes to make it seem fair, one can’t help but reach a lukewarm conclusion about Christian schools as institutions that, at best, don’t sufficiently educate kids and, at worst, are perpetuating homophobia, sexism, narrow-minded values, and religious dogma.

It’s no wonder that Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, a professor of politics and religions at Northwestern University, said, “There’s a real profound sense among a large part of the Christian population that the rug is being ripped out from under them. They feel their moral certitudes and sense of community are being ridiculed.”

The good news is that Christian schools are becoming more popular, and they’re producing citizens who are compassionate, thoughtful, fair-minded, and principled. They’re also turning out pretty good scholars.

William McGurn writes at the Wall Street Journal, “One of the lesser known things about Catholic schools is that they boast a 99% high-school graduation rate — with 86% going to a four-year college, nearly twice the 44% rate of public schools. Particularly in the inner cities, these schools are a lifeline, not least for the tens of thousands of non-Catholic children of color who without that education might be condemned to lives lived at the margins of the American Dream.”

The appeal of a Christian education isn’t limited to Christian schools. More states are considering offering Bible classes in public schools. In Tennessee, there’s a successful Bible curriculum offered to middle- and high-school students at no cost to taxpayers. Starting in 1922, and affirmed by a church-and-state federal court challenge in 1980, the courses are currently available to 81% of public-school students in grades 6-12 — the largest program of its kind in the nation. Enrollment in the classes increased 9% last year and is projected to increase 12% this year. And based on student testing and surveys, the curriculum is very successful.

Reflecting on the trend in recent years to expand religious education in public schools, The Daily Signal’s Daniel Davis recently wrote about a range of programs designed to offer Christian and Bible history education in Kentucky’s public schools, with six other states considering the same.

Christians should continue celebrating all the good that’s taking place in Christian schools, notwithstanding mainstream media attempts to vilify those educational bastions. The American people need to know the truth, because they’re not ever going to get it from the media. What happened to the kids from Covington Catholic is just the beginning. Until Christians across the country start defending themselves, we can expect one assault after another on our beliefs and values. ~The Patriot Post


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