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California wildfire victims sue utility PG&E alleging negligence

Victims of California’s deadliest wildfire have filed a lawsuit against PG&E Corp alleging negligence and health and safety code violations by the utility company in the blaze that has killed at least 48 people.
The lawsuit seeking damages against California’s largest public utility was filed on Tuesday in San Francisco County Superior Court by three law firms, which refer to themselves as Northern California Fire Lawyers.
“It’s important to remember that the cause (of the “Camp Fire”) has yet to be determined,” PG&E said in a statement. 
“Right now, our primary focus is on the communities, supporting first responders and getting our crews positioned and ready to respond when we get access, so that we can safely restore gas and electricity to our customers.”
The Camp Fire, which began last Thursday, has all but wiped out the Sierra foothills town of Paradise in Butte County, about 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco, that was overrun by flames and largely incinerated.
But bot…
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China appears to relax North Korea sanctions: report to U.S. Congress

A U.S. congressional commission said on Wednesday that China appears to have relaxed enforcement of sanctions on North Korea and called on the Treasury Department to provide a report on Chinese compliance within 180 days.
In its annual report, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said the Treasury report should include a classified list of Chinese financial institutions, businesses, and officials involved in trading with North Korea that could be subject to future sanctions.
The bipartisan commission said China had appeared to enforce sanctions on North Korea more thoroughly than in the past in 2017 and in early 2018.
But this effort appeared to have relaxed since a thaw in relations between China and North Korea as the long-time ally of Beijing began to engage with the United States this year.
“China appears to have eased off sanctions enforcement, despite its promises to keep sanctions intact until North Korea gets rid of its nuclear weapons,” the report said.
“North Ko…

‘Unlike us, Elon Musk is using old tech’: Russia shows off reusable NUKE ENGINE for Mars mission

A leading Russian space research center has posted a video of its nuclear-powered rocket, that will be able to land on Mars after seven months, and can be re-launched into space just 48 hours after landing.
“A mission to Mars is possible in the very near future, but that’s not an aim in itself. 
Our engines can be the foundation for a whole range of space missions that currently seem like science fiction,” Vladimir Koshlakov, who heads Moscow’s Keldysh Research Center told Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
The institute, which is famous for developing the Katyusha rocket launched during World War II, has been working on what it says is a “unique” propulsion system since 2009. From past descriptions, it comprises a gas-cooled fission reactor that powers a generator, which in turn feeds a plasma thruster.
Various nuclear reactors were deployed in space by both the Soviets and NASA between the 1960s and the 1980s but, although Koshlakov has refused to name a date for when the new engines will be ready, he…

Curly headed & clean shaven: Long lost depiction of Jesus offers totally different portrayal

An incredible ancient drawing hidden inside a church for 1,800 years is shaking up our views on how Jesus really looked. 
The historical image is a far cry from the bearded character predominantly portrayed in depictions of Jesus.
So faded you could almost miss it, the lines etched on the ruins of a Byzantine church in the Negev desert show a young Jesus with a clean-shaven face, a head of curls and a large nose.
Although it was first discovered in the 1920s, the badly damaged drawing sat unnoticed for decades, covered in dirt high up inside the baptismal apse of the ruined house of worship.
“I was there at the right time, at the right place with the right angle of light and, suddenly, I saw eyes,” art historian Dr Emma Maayan-Fanar from the University of Haifa told Haaretz. “It was the face of Jesus at his baptism, looking at us.”
Archaeologists believe the image is of a young Jesus at his baptism, which would have taken place when he was an adult and not a child. The faded face is surrou…

Warning that occupation is turning Israeli Jews into Judeo-Nazis very relevant – Chomsky

Yeshayahu Leibowitz’s warning that occupation of Palestinian territories will take a toll on Israelis and may eventually turn some into ‘Judeo-Nazis’ is more relevant today than decades ago when it was made, Noam Chomsky said.
The term was coined by Jewish Israeli iconoclastic intellectual Yeshayahu Leibowitz, who was arguing against Israel holding on to territories it occupied after the 1967 war with Arab nations. 
He said continued occupation will have to involve persecuting and alienating the Palestinian population and that enforcing such written and unwritten policies would be morally corruptive for the enforcers.
Chomsky, a US political dissident and scholar, told i24NEWS that “Judeo-Nazi tendencies” in modern Israel were growing stronger.
“Leibowitz warned that if the occupation continues, Israeli Jews are going to turn into what he called, Judeo-Nazis. 
It’s a pretty strong term to use in Israel. Most people couldn’t get away with that but he did. It will happen, he argued, simply b…

Battle for Yemen's Hodeida: Why the Saudi-led 'Golden Victory' operation is taking so long

Saudi ground forces are too weak to stand up to the Houthis in Yemen, and their allies and proxies all have their own goals in mind – making the capture of the key port of Hodeida a strategic snarl, experts say.
The coalition offensive on Hodeida – a key port and a lifeline for Houthis and civilians alike – is codenamed 'Operation Golden Victory'. 
Rather telling, considering the vast amounts of money Saudi Arabia bundles into its military. 
Ironic, too: it would seem that with such massively superior military resources, the coalition should have stamped the Houthi rebels down within days.
Instead, the operation has been dragging on for months. It started in mid-June, then was paused until September for peace talks. 
Those eventually collapsed, and the fighting resumed. Now, coalition-backed ground forces are moving inside the city after a tense 11-day battle at the approaches. 
There are running battles in the streets and local hospitals are overflowing with civilians and militants…

Washington always turned a blind eye to Saudi Arabia, says ex-CIA officer on Khashoggi case

The White House is far more interested in ensuing Saudi Arabia’s stability than punishing it for the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, former CIA officer Bob Baer said.
“We’ve always turned a blind eye to what’s going on in Saudi Arabia – right from the very beginning,” Baer told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday. 
He stressed that the close ties between the nations make Washington reluctant to attack the kingdom not only with regards to the Khashoggi case but also on the issues of human rights abuses and the devastating Saudi-led war in Yemen.
Dissident journalist and The Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi disappeared in early October after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. 
Saudi Arabia claims that he was killed during a spontaneous “fistfight,” and has pledged to investigate his death. 
Turkish officials, meanwhile, insist that the Saudis dispatched a ‘death squad’ to assassinate the journalist. His body still hasn’t been located.
Khashoggi’s murder sparked in…