Dec. 4, 2017

BLOOMBERG

The U.S. and South Korea on Monday began a five-day joint air exercise on the Korean peninsula involving 230 aircraft and 12,000 American troops, in what North Korea has dubbed the largest-ever joint aerial drill.

Venezuela's currency is in free fall. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are going precisely the other direction. And there, President Nicolas Maduro sees a way out of his country's economic ills. Maduro announced the nation would create its own "petrocurrency," backed by reserves in oil, gas, gold and diamonds. It will enable Venezuela "to advance in monetary sovereignty, carry out its financial transactions to overcome the financial blockade."

In a dispute that pits free speech and religious rights against equality, the justices on Tuesday will consider the case of a Colorado baker who refuses to make cakes for same-sex weddings.

Rahul Gandhi is set to take the reins of India's opposition Congress party from his mother Sonia Gandhi, who led the organization for two decades. He's he sixth person from Nehru-Gandhi family to head the party.

Elon Musk fully intends to put a red sports car made by a company that he runs into an enormous rocket ship made by another company that he runs and fire both into Mars orbit. The car, as it hurtles into space, will be playing a song by David Bowie on repeat.

Bitcoin's extraordinary price surge means its market capitalization now exceeds the annual output of whole economies, and the estimated worth of some of the world's top billionaires.

Facebook Inc., Google's YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Twitter Inc. have added the digital signatures of 40,000 terrorist videos and images to a shared database as they seek to keep extremist content off their platforms.

AP Top Stories

Students at a Florida elementary school have sent over 600 backpacks to recently reopened schools all around Puerto Rico, each with a note to a child they have never met.

The rebel alliance controlling Yemen's capital appeared to crumble Saturday as a strongman opposed to the internationally recognized government reached out to a Saudi-led coalition fighting the insurgents.

An Anglican minister is feeling the heat after a blog post in which he urged congregants to "pray in the privacy of their hearts" for Prince George to be gay went viral.

Russia's justice ministry will start registering some foreign media as "foreign agents" this week, the RIA news agency cited a source in the Russian upper house of parliament as saying on Monday.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Pakistan Monday as Washington pressures its wayward ally to eliminate militant safe havens; days after Pakistani authorities freed an alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Israel is building a giant drone comparable to America's RQ-4 Global Hawk, according to Israeli media. The drone will be an upgrade of Israel's Eitan long-range reconnaissance UAV, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Tens of thousands of people have protested in Tel Aviv against what they say is corruption within the government and the slow pace of investigations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Pentagon is preparing to spend millions of dollars to fix up a Cold War-era air base in Iceland as Washington rushes to keep an eye on a new generation of stealthy Russian submarines slipping into the North Atlantic.

The death toll from violence in Iraq has fallen to its lowest monthly level in five years following the Islamic State group's military collapse, the United Nations said Monday.

The F-35 is almost ready to attack from aircraft carriers. Being engineered for a carrier, the F-35C's 51-foot wingspan is larger than the Air Force's F-35A and Marine Corps' F-35B short take-off-and-landing variants. The fighter is configured to carry 19,000 pounds of fuel and 18,000 pounds of weapons. It can fire two AIM-120 air-to-air missiles and two 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions. The F-35C can reach speeds up to Mach 1.6 and travel more than 1,200 nautical miles.

The commander of the Taliban's "special forces" branch, known as the "Red Unit," was killed last week in Helmand province by Afghan forces, according to Afghanistan's main intelligence agency.

BBC

Crew on board a Cathay Pacific plane flying over Japan reported a suspected sighting of last week's North Korean missile test, the airline said. The company confirmed to the BBC that crew witnessed "what is suspected to be the re-entry" of the missile into the earth's atmosphere.

Chinese authorities have shut down an institute that was teaching women to be obedient and subordinate to men. The education bureau said the institute, which claimed it taught "traditional virtues", had violated socialist core values. An online video showed lecturers speaking out against gender equality, while other advice to women included not fighting back when being beaten. China has seen a rise in similar institutes in recent years.

Police investigating a bomb found at a Christmas market in Germany on Friday say it was not terrorism but an attempt to blackmail the shipping company, DHL. The nail bomb was sent in a parcel to a pharmacy near a market in Potsdam.

WND

Walmart is selling "Antifa" clothing that "will [allow you to] express yourself inside the opposition to the ideology, organizations, governments and people from the far right (fascism)."

The Advanced Plant Technologies program aims to modify vegetation to detect electromagnetic signals, pathogens, radiation and chemicals in the environment and report the data to military intelligence.

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