Turkey plans to boost trade with China, reviving ancient Silk Road

Turkey plans to boost trade with China, reviving ancient Silk Road (Source rt.com)

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara hopes to expand cooperation with China in trade, energy and the fight against terrorism.

The minister, who was meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, stressed that “Turkey attaches great importance to relations with China.” Wang Yi, in turn, said Beijing is ready to promote mutually-beneficial cooperation.

On Thursday, deputy governor of Istanbul Ismail Gultekin said the two countries have developed commercial and cultural relations for many years through the historical Silk Road and established close ties.

He also pointed to the progress made in bilateral economic cooperation under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) during the past five years. That included more than $100 billion in bilateral trade, a growth of 120 percent in terms of China’s investment in Turkey, and the establishment of branches or offices in Turkey by 1,000 Chinese companies, Gultekin explained.

Ankara wants to join efforts with China in reviving the ancient Silk Road, Cavusoglu said earlier.

Turkey is seen as a gateway to Europe for the Belt and Road Initiative, or the so-called modern Silk Road. Last year, the countries opened a railway line connecting Turkey and Azerbaijan. A crucial part of BRI, the new railroad has halved the time it takes to move goods from China to Turkey.




A year after researchers at a New York university discovered microplastics present in sea salt thanks to widespread plastic pollution, researchers in South Korea set out to find out how pervasive the problem is—and found that 90 percent of salt brands commonly used in homes around the world contain the tiny pieces of plastic.

The new research, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, suggests that the average adult ingests about 2,000 microplastics per year due to the presence of plastics in the world’s oceans and lakes.

“The findings suggest that human ingestion of microplastics via marine products is strongly related to emissions in a given region.” —Seung-Kyu Kim, Incheon National University

Examining 39 brands sold in 21 countries, researchers at Incheon National University and Greenpeace East Asia found microplastics in 36 of them. The three table salts that did not contain the substance were sold in France, Taiwan, and China—but Asia overall was the site of some of the worst plastic pollution.

The study “shows us that microplastics are ubiquitous,” Sherri Mason, who conducted last year’s salt study at the State University of New York at Fredonia, told National Geographic. “It’s not a matter of if you are buying sea salt in England, you are safe.”

Greenpeace East Asia found a strong link between the level of plastic pollution in a given part of the world and the amount of microplastics people in those regions are inadvertently ingesting each year.

“The findings suggest that human ingestion of microplastics via marine products is strongly related to emissions in a given region,” Seung-Kyu Kim, a co-author of the study, told National Geographic.



Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella in Chicken Sickens 92

Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella in Chicken Sickens 92 (Source Consumer Reports)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced another widespread salmonella outbreak—this time in raw chicken products. There have been 14 multi-state salmonella outbreaks already in 2018, including ground beef, melon, eggs, Honey Smacks cereal, and kosher chicken. What’s particularly concerning about this latest food poisoning alert is that the strain of salmonella involved is resistant to multiple types of antibiotic drugs, making it more difficult to treat. So far, 92 people in 29 states have gotten sick after eating contaminated chicken, and 22 have been hospitalized. The states where illnesses have been reported are: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

The first illness was reported in January 2018, and the CDC started investigating in May. Nevertheless, there are still many unanswered questions about the source and cause of the outbreak. “This has been a difficult investigation,” says Colin Basler, D.V.M., M.P.H., a veterinary epidemiologist with the CDC who is part of the investigatory team. “We’ve isolated the bacteria to raw chicken products from 58 different slaughter facilities, but besides that we have not been able to pinpoint a brand or a purchase location, or even a particular type of product.”

Many types of raw chicken have been connected to this outbreak, including whole chicken, chicken parts, ground chicken and even some raw ground-chicken pet food that one victim fed to his dog. Another victim became sick after coming into contact with someone who raises or processes chicken for a living. Basler says the salmonella contamination in this outbreak likely happened “upstream” from the slaughtering facilities, meaning a farm or other facility where chickens are raised. As of now, no specific facility has been pinpointed—and it appears unlikely any will be found soon, he says. The last reported illness was on September 19, though the CDC anticipates logging more cases in coming weeks.

The CDC was waiting to release information until it could be more specific in its advice to consumers, according to Basler. But because new cases kept coming in—and because contaminated chicken could still be on supermarket shelves now—the agency decided it needed to remind the public of safe handling and cooking practices.

So the chicken, even if it’s contaminated, can still be eaten as long as it’s handled and cooked properly.

“Raw meat products always present some degree of risk,” Basler says. “We want to make sure people are washing their hands and preparation surfaces especially carefully, and always cooking their chicken to 165 degrees.”

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), in a release, was strongly critical of the CDC and the Department of Agriculture, saying, in part: “Five years ago to the day, I wrote a letter with my former colleague, the late Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, to CDC and USDA regarding their mismanaged investigation and lack of action in response to an antibiotic-resistant strain of Salmonella that contaminated chicken products across the country.

“Now, five years later, CDC has informed the public of another outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella in chicken that has been going on since January. The federal government and the poultry industry need to take this problem seriously. Déjà vu is not an acceptable policy for dealing with food safety.”


Iran’s Navy-Killer Missiles Now Have Double the Range

Iran’s Navy-Killer Missiles Now Have Double the Range (Source The National Interest)

Iran just sent a veiled warning to the U.S. military: We see you, and now we can reach you everywhere.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard aerospace division chief Amirali Hajizadeh declared Tuesday that Iran had boosted the range of its land-to-sea ballistic missiles up to 700 km, or 435 miles, Reuters reports, capable of hitting “any vessel or ship” at that range. More importantly, the immediate danger lies in the Persian Gulf, where U.S. Navy vessels from the 5th Fleet routinely operate. The Iranian regime spent the summer threatening the United States amid the unraveling of the historic nuclear accord establishing by President Barack Obama, declaring in August that the country maintained full control of the Persian Gulf. An August 2018 Congressional Research Service report noted that vessels outfitted with interceptors under the Aegis ballistic missile defense program are explicitly postured to defend against Iranian attacks, regardless of their actual area of operations.

“Under the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) for European BMD operations, BMD capable Aegis ships are operating in European waters to defend Europe from potential ballistic missile attacks from countries such as Iran,” Still, it’s cause for some concern. Earlier this month, CNN reported that Iranian ballistic missiles fired at ISIS targets in Syria came “within three miles” of U.S. forces fighting there as part of Operation Inherent Resolve — missiles that had “death to America” emblazoned across the side. U.S. and allied interceptors may do the trick, but the added range for Iranian ballistics may be, well, a bit too close for comfort.

Russia hammering out secret plan to rid economy of US dollar

Russia hammering out secret plan to rid economy of US dollar (Source rt.com)

The Russian government is working on the details of a de-dollarization plan announced earlier in October. The program’s key point is to make it more profitable for key Russian exporters to use rubles instead of dollars. Exporters will likely get perks like taxation benefits including quicker VAT returns and other stimulus to ditch the greenback. The Russian government is specifying the details of the plan that will soon be submitted to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. “The plan hasn’t been submitted to the PM yet. We still have disagreements between technical departments, now we will polish them quickly and, I hope, the government will soon consider it,” Russia’s deputy finance minister Alexey Moiseev told Reuters.

When asked whether the plan would be published after this, Moiseev said: “No, the plan is for official use only.” The minister added that Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Development and the Central Bank of Russia are working on the details. The Russian authorities earlier said that the plan does not prohibit the circulation of the US dollar in the country, but includes a number of measures to stimulate the use of national currencies in trade instead of the dollar. The plan also does not ban loans in dollars for Russians, Moiseev said, but the central bank intends to make dollar loans unprofitable compared to borrowings in ruble.


Putin Hails Sunset of U.S. Global Domination Due To Mounting ‘Mistakes’

Putin Hails Sunset of U.S. Global Domination Due To Mounting ‘Mistakes’ (Source Huffington Post)

Russian President Vladimir Putin gloated about what he sees as the end of the United States’ world dominance due to growing “mistakes.”  Putin also claimed America holds “some responsibility” for the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi because the Saudi journalist was living in the U.S., he said his in annual foreign policy speech, according to the Financial Times. He did not elaborate. Khashoggi has not been seen since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkish officials say he was murdered and dismembered by orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“In this regard, the U.S. has a certain responsibility. If someone knows what happens and there was a murder, I hope some evidence is provided. And dependent on that, we will make some decisions,” Putin added in his remarks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. He said there was currently no reason to “harm our relations with Saudi Arabia.”

As for the U.S., he said that “empires often think they can make some little mistakes … because they’re so powerful. But when the number of these mistakes keeps growing, it reaches a level they cannot sustain.”

He added: “A country can get the sense from impunity that you can do anything. This is the result of the monopoly from a unipolar world … . Luckily this monopoly is disappearing. It’s almost done.” Putin also boasted that Russia’s “hypersonic” weapon system will be the best in the world within months. Such a system would allow missile speeds of at least five times the speed of sound, or about one mile per second, CNBC reported. The U.S. is currently incapable of defending itself against such a system, CNBC said.

Putin said Russia’s nuclear weapons would be used only to retaliate against an enemy strike. “We have no concept of a preemptive strike,” Putin said in response to a question, Agence France-Presse reported. “The aggressor will have to understand that retaliation is inevitable, that it will be destroyed and that we, as victims of aggression, as martyrs, will go to heaven.”

Putin shrugged off deteriorating relationships with the West, saying Russia is forging stronger friendships with Asia and the Mideast. Yet he also said President Donald Trump is continuing to work to improve ties with Russia.

“It’s better to talk, to have a conversation, than to be like cats and dogs that keep fighting each other,” Putin said, according to the Financial Times.

Roundup weed killer may play role in widespread bee deaths, study finds

Roundup weed killer may play role in widespread bee deaths, study finds (Source cbsnews.com)

For the past decade, bee colonies have been dying off in high numbers. A new study suggests the widely used herbicide Roundup may be playing a role.

The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds that honeybees exposed to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Monsanto weed killer, lose some of the beneficial bacteria in their guts, thereby becoming more susceptible to infection and death from harmful bacteria.

The researchers from the University of Texas at Austin say that the findings suggest that glyphosate may be contributing to what’s been dubbed “colony collapse disorder.” The name refers to the mysterious disappearance over the past decade of bees in the United States.

Experts have offered several theories for the phenomenon, including exposure to pesticides or antibiotics, habitat loss and bacterial infections. This latest research adds herbicides as a possible contributing factor.

“We need better guidelines for glyphosate use, especially regarding bee exposure, because right now the guidelines assume bees are not harmed by the herbicide,” Erick Motta, a graduate student who led the research at from the University of Texas at Austin, said in a statement. “Our study shows that’s not true.”

It has been long assumed that glyphosate is not toxic to animals, including people and bees, because it interferes with an important enzyme found in plants and microorganisms, but not in animals.

The researchers decided to test if glyphosate could be harmful to bees in other ways.

For the study, they exposed honeybees to glyphosate at levels known to occur in crop fields, yards and roadsides. The bees’ backs were painted with colored dots so they could be tracked and later recaptured. After three days, the researchers found that the herbicide significantly reduced healthy gut microbiota in the exposed bees.

Specifically, of eight dominant species of healthy bacteria, four were found to be less abundant. The hardest-hit bacteria species, called Snodgrassella alvi, is a critical microbe that helps bees digest food and defend against pathogens.

The bees with the affected gut microbes were also far more likely to die when exposed to infectious pathogens compared to their healthy counterparts.

“Studies in humans, bees and other animals have shown that the gut microbiome is a stable community that resists infection by opportunistic invaders,” said Nancy Moran, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin who led the research alongside Motta. “So if you disrupt the normal, stable community, you are more susceptible to this invasion of pathogens.”


Stock market drop spreads, Wall Street set to fall again

Stock market drop spreads, Wall Street set to fall again (Source Associated Press) World stock markets sank Thursday, extending losses from Wall Street, as investors worried that higher interest rates will dent company earnings and a trade war will crimp global business. European shares sank after Asia closed sharply lower, auguring another drop in the U.S., which saw its major indexes tumble on Wednesday. Investors will be looking ahead to U.S. inflation data later in the day. A high reading could fuel expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep raising its interest rates at a steady pace, reining in the easy money policy that had fueled stock markets in recent years.

“Equity markets were pulverized today,” with investors in “full out retreat,” analyst Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a commentary. The “latest sneeze” from Wall Street “could morph into a global markets pandemic,” he added.

“Equity investors are surprised by the pace at which rates have risen,” Marcella Chow, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said in a report.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said the Federal Reserve “is making a mistake” with its campaign of rate increases. “I think the Fed has gone crazy,” he charged.

Sentiment also has been dampened by the spreading U.S.-Chinese tariff fight over Beijing’s technology policy. The International Monetary Fund cut its outlook for global growth this week, citing interest rates and trade tensions.


Putin tests NUCLEAR WEAPONS in major show of force amidst rising Russia tensions with West

Putin tests NUCLEAR WEAPONS in major show of force amidst rising Russia tensions with West (Sourceexpress.co.uk)

RUSSIA conducted a massive nuclear weapons test yesterday, involving both naval and air forces at both ends of the country in a dramatic warning to potential rivals, as tensions with the West remain high.

The tests were conducted by ships from Russia’s North and Pacific fleets, as well as the long-range bombers from the Russian Air Force. Four different targets were hit in Russia and neighbouring Kazakhstan, where the Russian military maintains a major presence.

Ballistic missiles were fired from nuclear submarines in both the Barents Sea, to the north of Russia, and the Sea of Okhotsk in the Pacific. Cruise missiles were also tested by long-range strategic bombers.

The aircraft deployed included Tu-95MS, Tu-22M3 and Tu-160 bombers, all of which came into service during the Soviet era. The missiles were tracked by Russian early warning systems. According to Russia’s Defence Ministry, the exercise allowed them to test their nuclear chain of command, from the main command room to each frontline unit. Videos released by the Ministry show missiles being launched by submarines and long-range bombers taking off from an airport. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia has significantly modernised its nuclear arsenal in recent years.

He used his annual state-of-the-nation address back in March to announce that Russia has developed several new types of nuclear weapon. That included the Avanguard intercontinental missile, which is capable of travelling at 20 times the speed of sound. According to the Russian government the Avanguard is “absolutely invulnerable for any missile defence system”.

Working Out With CBD: How CBD Supports Muscle Gain & Boosts Stamina

Working Out With CBD: How CBD Supports Muscle Gain & Boosts Stamina (Source ministryofhemp.com)

CBD is quickly becoming a vital part of many workout routines. In capsule or oil form, CBD is an important part of any holistic health and wellness routine. Whether you’re a professional athlete, amateur jogger or busy mom, this beneficial supplement made from hemp can help. Whatever style of fitness regimen you prefer, muscle development and muscle recovery play key roles in overall health and wellbeing. Since the World Anti-Doping Agency lifted its ban on CBD, many fitness professionals and athletes use CBD as the staple for their high-performance fitness regimens to build muscle and boost stamina. CBD can do a lot of ‘good’ for the human body. That being said, it’s important to use the highest quality CBD from natural hemp oil, from a CBD supplier you can trust. Bargain priced “CBD” products frequently contain very little CBD content by volume. If you’re going to buy CBD oil, be sure it is 100% premium and pure from hemp with less than 0.3% THC content – which will ensure it is legal in all 50 states.