Today's Intel

May 21, 2018

REUTERS

President Donald Trump on Friday nominated Admiral Harry Harris, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, as U.S. ambassador to South Korea ahead of a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un scheduled next month but since called into question by Pyongyang.

The Syrian army has restored control over all areas surrounding the capital Damascus, for the first time since early in the seven-year war, after pushing Islamic State militants out of a south Damascus pocket.

The United States on Sunday said it hopes to use strong shared interests that have emerged with its European Union partners in recent months to move forward on addressing Iran's nuclear program, missile development and role in regional conflicts.

The Philippines expressed "serious concerns" over the presence of China's strategic bombers in the disputed South China Sea and its foreign ministry has taken "appropriate diplomatic action".

U.S. state and Canadian regulators have opened "as many as 70 investigations" into cryptocurrency scams, according to The Washington Post.

AP Top Stories

The National Rifle Association's incoming president Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North has linked school shootings and other violence to using medications such as Ritalin.

Hawaii residents dealing with Kilauea's volcanic eruption faced a potentially deadly new challenge on Sunday as lava that reached the Pacific Ocean threatened to send up laze, a hazardous mix of glass particles and noxious gas.

Ahead of a planned reform to the ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia, the country's leading women's rights activists have been detained and are being victimized by a "smear" campaign, say international human rights observers.

A cougar attacked two mountain bikers in Washington state Saturday morning, killing one and seriously injuring the other man. The biker who was killed fled into the woods to get away from the cougar after the initial attack and the animal chased him down, officials said.

More than 10,000 Moroccans chanting "Death to Israel" took to the streets of Casablanca on Sunday to protest against the U.S. decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) on Sunday pushed for arming teachers and reducing the number of entrances into school buildings after the latest mass shooting at a U.S. school afflicted his state.

Pope Francis said on Sunday he would elevate 14 churchmen from five continents to the rank of cardinal, picking candidates who work with the poor or where Catholics are in a minority and putting his stamp on the group that will elect his successor.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump held discussions on Sunday to ensure that the North Korea-U.S. summit remains on track after North Korea threatened to pull out of the high-level talks.

China's LGBT advocates cautiously organized awareness-raising events across the country to celebrate International Anti-Homophobia Day on Thursday amid concern of growing intolerance towards LGBT causes.

Investigators seized a semi-truck truck on Saturday that had $90.8 million worth of liquid methamphetamine in the driver's side fuel tank.

China's air force has landed bombers on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as part of a training exercise in the disputed region, it said in a statement.

Residents of Pakistan's largest city Karachi were urged to seek shelter as the temperature hit 111.2 F, sparking fears of widespread heatstroke during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a blow to the rights of workers on Monday by allowing companies to require them to sign away their ability to bring class-action claims against management, agreements already in place for about 25 million employees.

The social credit system in China has blocked people from taking more than 11 million flights and 4 million train trips. The social credit system is used to punish citizens for bad behavior with numerous blacklists preventing them from traveling, getting loans or jobs, or staying in hotels, and even by limiting internet access.

BBC

Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro has won re-election to another six-year term, in a vote marred by an opposition boycott and claims of vote-rigging.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the US is imposing the "strongest sanctions in history" on Iran.

India police say they have successfully extracted 106 cocaine capsules from a woman who was allegedly trying to smuggle the drugs into the country.

Around 50 competitors have remained in Australia illegally after going missing during this year's Commonwealth Games. Nearly 200 are hold bridging visas and are applying for refugee status.

Health workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have begun an immunization campaign in an attempt to halt the spread of an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.At least 26 people are believed to have died in the current outbreak.

WND

The average price of regular-grade gasoline in the U.S. jumped 10 cents a gallon over the past two weeks to $3.00.

God loves gay people and it is fine to be homosexual, Pope Francis has reportedly said.

Seventh-graders at a West Virginia public school were asked to write the Islamic declaration of faith in Arabic calligraphy in a social-studies class, drawing outrage from a Christian parent.

The Fairfax County School Board in Northern Virginia is considering teaching children there is no such thing as "biological sex" and also that "clergy" are not to be trusted if students have questions.

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