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Israel finds last tunnel, ending mission on Lebanese border

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Israel finds last tunnel ending mission on Lebanese border

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli troops discovered the sixth and final tunnel dug by Hezbollah militants for cross-border attacks, the military announced Sunday, saying it was wrapping up its operation along the Lebanese border.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the final tunnel was the largest one discovered so far, running hundreds of meters (yards) from under a Lebanese home and deep into Israeli territory. Israel launched the “Operation Northern Shield” early last month to detect and destroy what it called a vast network of Hezbollah tunnels aimed for militants to sneak across the border and carry out attacks.

Conricus said the latest tunnel originated from the Lebanese border town of Ramyeh. He said it was 55 meters deep and ran 800 meters inside Lebanese territory and also “dozens” of meters into Israel. It included stairs, a rail system and a wide a passageway that allowed for the movement of equipment and a large number of forces.

The tunnel would be destroyed in the coming days, Conricus said, adding that while more tunnels still existed on the Lebanese side of the border, this effectively marked the end of the ambitious military operation.

“We have achieved the goal that we set out to achieve a month and a half ago,” he said. “According to our intelligence, there are no longer any cross-border attack tunnels into Israel.”

Israel and the United Nations say the tunnels violate a cease-fire resolution that ended a devastating war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006. Conricus says the U.N. peacekeeping mission, known as UNIFIL, had been updated on the latest development.

In the wake of its discoveries, Israel has asked the international community to impose tough sanctions on Hezbollah and begin to act against its state-within-a-state operation in Lebanon.

The military said its forces would stay deployed along the border area to monitor for any other possible underground activity, and said it holds the Lebanese government responsible for everything happening in its territory.

The powerful Shiite militant Hezbollah, which acts independently in Lebanon, has yet to comment on the Israeli discoveries.

Israel has long called for a crackdown on the Iran-backed Hezbollah, a heavily armed mini-army that is believed to possess an arsenal of some 150,000 rockets that can reach nearly all of Israel. In recent years, Hezbollah has been bogged down in fighting in Syria on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government. But with that civil war winding down, Israeli security officials fear Hezbollah is refocusing its attention on Israel.

News of the operation’s conclusion comes in the final week of Israel’s outgoing military chief Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot’s four-year tenure. The latest discovery, coupled with a weekend strike against suspected Iranian and Hezbollah sites near the Damascus International Airport that is attributed to Israel, was perceived in Israeli media as Eisenkot’s “parting shot” as he leaved office.

He gave a series on interviews over the weekend summarizing his term and focusing on shifting the Israeli military’s attention toward Iran directly instead of just engaging its lesser proxies, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. In a New York Times interview published on Friday Eisenkot said that Israel “has struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit” as part of a shadow showdown with Qassim Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

Eisenkot also revealed that the government approved his shift in strategy in January 2017, stepping up air strikes in Syria. In 2018 alone, he said Israel’s air force dropped 2,000 bombs in Syria.

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Democrats

Kamala Harris makes 2020 run official

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Kamala Harris makes 2020 run official

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has announced she will be running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. She joines a slew of Democrats who have already announced with plenty more expected to join the race soon.

She joins Julian Castro, John Delaney, Richard Ojeda, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Elizabeth Warren as major candidates who have declared or stated their intention of declaring soon. Then, there are 142 other people who have filed with the FEC to run for the Democratic nomination.

Add another 20 or so who have expressed interest publicly to run and they’re going to have to trade in the clown car for a clown bus.

My Take

Nobody is surprised by this. The Senator used the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings as a platform to promote herself and her future campaign, which she almost certainly intended at that point. Now, it’s official.

She has a good chance despite national polls showing her lower than Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and a handful of other better-known Democrats. California has an early primary next year, meaning she has a chance of getting a huge boost in delegates from her home state if she can remain viable at that point.

Another thing to watch is President Obama. He’s spoken more kindly of Harris than just about any other potential candidate other than Biden. If Joe doesn’t run, the former President might throw his clout in her direction.

Here’s how it’s playing out on her Twitter Moment:


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Guns and Crime

Illegal alien Wilbur Ernesto Martinez-Guzman expected to be charged in 4 murders

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Illegal alien Wilbur Ernesto Martinez-Guzman expected to be charged in 4 murders

A man believed by authorities to have committed four murders in Northern Nevada was taken into custody on January 19, possibly bringing to an end a killing streak that has worried residents for the last two weeks.

19-year-old Wilbur Ernesto Martinez-Guzman was arrested by Washoe County Sheriff’s department on charges of burglary, possession of stolen property, and immigration law violations. Martinez-Guzman is an illegal alien with a federal hold. The District Attorney’s office plans to file murder charges against him as well, claiming they have sufficient evidence to convict him.

Murder charges expected against suspect in killings

https://www.kolotv.com/content/news/Murder-charges-expected-against-suspect-in-Northern-NV-murders-504626241.htmlThe first killing took place January 9 or 10, 2019. 56-year-old Connie Koontz was found shot to death at her home in the Gardnerville Ranchos. She was found dead by her mother, who also lives in the home and is hard of hearing and disabled.

January 13, 74-year-old Sophia Renken was found dead in her home about a mile away, also shot to death.

January 16, the bodies of 81-year-old Gerald David, a former Reno Rodeo President, and his wife, 80-year-old Sharon David, were found dead in their home on La Guardia Lane in south Reno, near Zolezzi. They also had been shot to death.

My Take

If he is proven guilty, this will be another example of American citizens dying at the hands of an illegal immigrant. How many people have to die before Democrats take the border crisis seriously enough to do something about it?


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Conspiracy Theory

China says doctor behind gene-edited babies acted on his own

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China says doctor behind gene-edited babies acted on his own

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese investigators have determined that the doctor behind the reported birth of two babies whose genes had been edited in hopes of making them resistant to the AIDS virus acted on his own and will be punished for any violations of the law, a state media report said Monday.

Investigators in the southern province of Guangdong determined Dr. He Jiankui organized and handled funding for the experiment without outside assistance in violation of national guidelines, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Along with the birth of the twins, Lulu and Nana, another embryo yet to be born reportedly resulted from He’s experiment, while five others did not result in fertilization. All three will remain under medical observation with regular visits supervised by government health departments, Xinhua said.

It didn’t say which laws He might have violated but said he had fabricated an ethical review by others.

“This behavior seriously violates ethics and the integrity of scientific research, is in serious violation of relevant national regulations and creates a pernicious influence at home and abroad,” the report said.

Then little-known, He attended an elite meeting in Berkeley, California, in 2017 where scientists and ethicists were discussing a technology that had shaken the field to its core — an emerging tool for “editing” genes, the strings of DNA that form the blueprint of life.

He embraced the tool, called CRISPR, and last year rocked an international conference with the claim that he had helped make the world’s first gene-edited babies , despite a clear scientific consensus that making genetic changes that could be passed to future generations should not be attempted at this point.

China called an immediate halt to He’s experiments following his announcement.

Gene editing for reproductive purposes is effectively banned in the U.S. and most of Europe. In China, ministerial guidelines prohibit embryo research that “violates ethical or moral principles.”

The chief of the World Health Organization said last year his agency is assembling experts to consider the health impact of gene editing.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said gene editing “cannot be just done without clear guidelines” and experts should “start from a clean sheet and check everything.”

“We have a big part of our population who say, ‘Don’t touch,’” Tedros told reporters. “We have to be very, very careful, and the working group will do that.”

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