THE U.S. WILL INVADE WEST AFRICA IN 2023 AFTER AN ATTACK IN NEW YORK — ACCORDING TO PENTAGON WAR GAME

Nick Turse
The Intercept

WHEN THE PENTAGON peers into its crystal ball, the images reflected back are bleak.

On May 23, 2023, in one imagining from the U.S. military, terrorists detonate massive truck-bombs at both the New York and New Jersey ends of the Lincoln Tunnel. The twin explosions occur in the southern-most of the three underground tubes at 7:10 a.m., the beginning of rush hour when the subterranean roadway is packed with commuters making their way to work.

The attack kills 435 people and injures another 618. Eventually, we’ll come to know that it could have been much worse. The plan was to drive the trucks to “high profile targets” elsewhere in Manhattan. Somehow, though, the bombs detonated early.

This spectacular attack, which would result in the highest casualties on U.S. soil since 9/11, isn’t the hackneyed work of a Hollywood screenwriter — it is actually one of the key plot points from a recent Pentagon war game played by some of the military’s most promising strategic thinkers. This attack, and the war it sparks, provide insights into the future as envisioned by some of the U.S. military’s most important imagineers and the training of those who will be running America’s wars in the years ahead.

The “5/23” terror attack was a small but pivotal part of a simulated exercise conducted last year by students and faculty from the U.S. military’s war colleges, which are the training grounds for prospective generals and admirals. Sprawling and intricate, the 33rd annual Joint Land, Air and Sea Strategic Special Program (JLASS-SP) brought together 148 students from the U.S. Air Force’s Air War College, the Army War College, the Marine Corps War College, the Naval War College, the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, the National War College, and the National Defense University’s Information Resources Management College. They collaborated for several weeks of remote war-gaming conducted via “cyberspace tools, telephones and video teleconferencing,” according to Pentagon documents obtained by The Intercept. It culminated in a five-day on-site exercise at the Air Force Wargaming Institute at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

The materials used in JLASS-SP — obtained via the Freedom of Information Act — detail the chaotic tenure of an imaginary 46th president, Karl Maxwell McGraw, and offer a unique window into the training of the Armed Forces’ future leaders. The documents consist of hundreds of pages of summary materials, faux intelligence estimates, fictional situation reports, and updates issued while the exercise was in progress — The Intercept is publishing one of these fictional situation updates here. They are highly detailed and, at a time when the press and lawmakers are increasingly asking questions about U.S. military involvement in Africa, offer a stark assessment of the potential perils of armed action there. While it is explicitly not a national intelligence estimate, the war game, which covers the future through early 2026, is “intended to reflect a plausible depiction of major trends and influences in the world regions,” according to the files.

SH-Map-war-game-theintercept-1508513985

Attacks in the Pentagon’s JLASS-SP simulated exercise.

 

Map: The Intercept

MCGRAW, A FORMER independent Arizona senator who rode his populist “America on the Move” campaign to victory in the 2020 election, ushers in a wave of equally independent congressional candidates and the promise of “TRUE change” in Washington. His presidency is, instead, buffeted by a seemingly endless string of crises.

Just after entering office, in February 2021, a cyberattack shuts down the control system of the Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Berwick, Pennsylvania, “shaking the confidence of the American people in the government’s ability to protect critical infrastructure.” For the next two years, while dealing with the fallout from an Asian economic crisis, state-sponsored cybercrime, and the rise of new anti-globalism and right-wing extremist groups, the McGraw administration claims success in thwarting numerous overseas terror attacks, including a plot to bomb a number of U.S. embassies and consulates throughout Europe. But in West Africa, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is expanding its presence and building on long-running failures of U.S. anti-terrorism efforts in the region, including U.S. support for French and African military operations that began in 2013 and now appear more or less permanent.

By 2021, according to the war game’s scenario, AQIM boasts an estimated 38,000 members spread throughout Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, and a network of training camps in Mauritania, as well as outright bases in Western Sahara. At the same time, AQIM strengthens its ties with the terror groups al Shabaab in Somalia and Boko Haram in Central Africa’s Lake Chad Basin to create a “network of synchronization across the African continent and beyond,” including shared funding, training methods, and IED-making materials. As this pan-African Islamist terror cartel grows, so does AQIM’s global reach, eventually allowing it to carry out the devastating attack on the Lincoln Tunnel and another, that same day, on the Canadian Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania’s capital, killing 135 people including the Canadian Ambassador and his staff.

With near-complete congressional backing and the assent of the government of Mauritania, President McGraw joins forces with Canada to launch Operation Desert Strike. A major U.S. and Canadian ground force, backed by air and sea power, lands in Mauritania on June 15, 2023 with McGraw promising the American people a “well-planned, rapid, and efficient operation that would conclude in three years.” As with so many other American wars and interventions since 1945, however, U.S. military operations do not go as planned and instead seem to follow the well-worn path of America’s many other forever wars.

“WE ARE FACING a tough and adaptive enemy,” Major General Roger Evans, the commander of Operation Desert Strike, tells the press in January 2026. “But this coalition is tougher and more adaptive.” Even in wargames, however, there’s a credibility gap between what imaginary generals say about fictitious wars and the (made up) facts on the ground. Exercise documents offer a more pessimistic assessment of the three-and-a-half-year-old war. “A steady increase in violence in northern Mauritania and Mali continues to frustrate Operation Desert Strike commanders as they struggle to counter a stubborn enemy,” reads a report. According to the fictional files, during December 2025 attacks are up a staggering 90% over November’s numbers.

Mounting terrorist strikes — like the Christmas Eve bombing outside a Canadian base in eastern Mauritania that kills eight coalition troops and wounds another 15, an assault on a U.S. military convoy that claims the lives of seven American soldiers, and an ambush that kills one Green Beret and sees another reportedly captured by al Qaeda-allied militants – are just one indicator of the rapidly deteriorating situation in the Maghreb. As the conflict enters its fourth year, weapons and militants continue to freely pour into the war zone. “We’re doing our best to work with the nations in the region to control the flow of enemy fighters and weapons into Mali, Mauritania, and Algeria, but there are not enough forces to be everywhere,” coalition spokesman Colonel Byron Scales admits.

That coalition, too, is frequently a problem in and of itself. In November 2025, the United States is slated to begin transferring responsibility for the war to the African Union and decrease its military footprint. But that deadline comes and goes as the AU demands more money and fails to adequately scale up its efforts. That, coupled with Canadian Prime Minister Richard Baker beginning to withdraw his forces on April 1, 2026 and NATO rebuffing President McGraw’s request for additional support, makes it clear that the war would become ever more American and grind on far beyond McGraw’s own withdrawal deadline of December 2026.

Despite – or perhaps, increasingly, because of – the presence of 70,000 U.S. forces and their Canadian allies, civilians in the region continue to suffer mightily. In 2025, the terror group Boko Haram, reinvigorated by the war, carries out 12 suicide bombings in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, alone. That December, the group rampages through the Nigerian town of Damaturu, killing more than 100 people in a series of coordinated bombings and gun attacks. Days later, AQIM’s Christmas Eve bombing of the Canadian military base in Mauritania claims the lives of 83 civilians shopping in the nearby marketplace.

“WE WILL CONTINUE to work with our partners to root out and destroy al Qaeda. We are making progress, but it will take time,” Major General Evans tells the public in early 2026. Just how much time and how much progress, however, is only offered in a private assessment sent to the head of U.S. Africa Command on March 8, 2026. In that communique, Evans catalogues the many setbacks plaguing Operation Desert Strike: the resilience of AQIM, the upcoming loss of Canadian forces, the weakness of Malian and Mauritanian troops, and the African Union’s reluctance to provide soldiers, among them. Even a decade into a fictional future, however, the recommendations for another failing, forever war-in-the-making sound far less like futuristic thinking and far more like the predictable solutions to America’s present-day military adventures:

I recommend that we delay our pullout from Mauritania and Mali for a minimum of 12 months. Additionally, given the loss of the Canadian forces, and the desire not to “give-back” the gains we have made in their sector, I recommend a surge of three additional Army [brigade combat teams], or [U.S. Marine Corps] Regiments, for a period of 12 months. While this is a difficult scenario given the competing global demand for forces, the mission will fail if some adjustment is not made to keep forces on the ground here in Northwestern Africa.

Evans’ message is the last issued for the Operation Desert Strike segment of the war game, so we don’t know the AFRICOM commander’s response or what President McGraw eventually decides when presented with the options to either double down on the war to avenge the deaths of a devastating terror attack, or to “fail.” Given the range of responses over the last decade-plus to setbacks in Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria and Somalia, Yemen and Libya, you don’t need a crystal ball, or to attend a U.S. military war college, to have a pretty good idea of President McGraw’s decision. It seems safe to assume that America’s fictitious war in West Africa will continue into the 2030s, just as its wars of the 2000s have staggered into the late 2010s. One can almost imagine the fictional military officers of President McGraw’s fantasy world conducting their own wargames, charting out their own fictitious forever wars that grind on without end into distant fictional futures.

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Pope denounces porn and corruption of kids’ minds, bodies

AP

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Friday denounced the proliferation of adult and child pornography on the internet and demanded better protections for children online — even as the Vatican confronts its own cross-border child porn investigation involving a top papal envoy.

Francis met with participants of a Catholic Church-backed international conference on fighting child pornography and protecting children in the digital age. He fully backed their proposals to toughen sanctions against those who abuse and exploit children online and improve technological filters to prevent young people from accessing porn online.

Francis said the Catholic Church knew well the “grave error” of trying to conceal the problem of sexual abuse — a reference to the church’s long history of having priests who rape and molest children and bishops who cover up for them. Several well-known cases have involved priests having child porn, or photographing their victims.

Francis said an international, cross-disciplinary approach was needed to protect children from the dark net and the “corruption of their minds and violence against their bodies.”

Using terms that are certainly new to papal lexicon, Francis denounced “extreme pornography” on the web that adults, and increasingly children consume, and the increasing use of “sexting” and “sextortion” among the estimated 800 million minors who navigate the internet.

“We would be seriously deluding ourselves were we to think that a society where an abnormal consumption of internet sex is rampant among adults could be capable of effectively protecting minors,” he said.

The conference was planned some two years ago, but it unfolded precisely at the time when the Vatican is facing back-to-back child sex scandals: One of Francis’ top advisers, Cardinal George Pell, recently took leave to face old abuse charges in his native Australia, while in August the Vatican recalled a senior diplomat from its embassy in Washington who got embroiled in a child porn investigation.

Canadian police have issued an arrest warrant for Monsignor Carlo Capella, accusing him of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography during a visit to an Ontario church over Christmas. He is now in the Vatican, where prosecutors have opened an investigation.

The Vatican in 2013 criminalized child porn possession, distribution and production, with sanctions varying from up to two years and a 10,000-euro fine ($11,170) to 12 years and a 250,000-euro fine.

Some U.S. church officials and critics balked at the recall, saying the Vatican should have waived diplomatic immunity and let Capella face charges in the U.S. or Canada. Vatican officials have defended the recall as consistent with common diplomatic practice and suggested that Capella will face a criminal trial in the Vatican if the evidence warrants it.

Participants at the congress offered sobering statistics about the problem: Last year, Interpol identified five child victims of online abuse every day, while the Internet Watch Foundation identified more than 57,000 websites containing child sexual abuse images.

The conference, which drew leading researchers in public health, Interpol, the U.N., government representatives as well as executives from Facebook and Microsoft, issued a 13-point call to action that it presented to Francis on Friday. Their declaration demands that:

—Lawmakers and governments improve laws to protect children online and punish perpetrators of child porn production

—Technology companies develop better ways to block redistribution of porn and attack the proliferation of child porn images already on the web

—Law enforcement agencies improve information sharing and ensure help for young victims of online exploitation

—Health professionals enhance training to recognize signs of abuse and increase research into the effects of viewing porn on young minds

—Faith leaders, governments and civil society to increase awareness about the problem.

Francis said he wanted each of them to remember that children look to adults, with light in their eyes and trust in their heart, to protect them.

“What are we doing to make sure they are not robbed of this light, to ensure that those eyes will not be darkened and corrupted by what they will find on the internet?”

The Pontifical Gregorian University drew plaudits for hosting the conference and bringing together a remarkable spectrum of specialists to discuss a little-reported issue. Victims’ advocates and other groups nevertheless pointed to the church’s many cases of priests convicted of having child porn, and church authorities who covered up for them.

“It is astonishing that those problems were not only swept under the rug at this conference, but treated as qualifications for sponsoring the event,” said Terence McKiernan of BishopAccountability, an online resource of the abuse scandal.

The victims group SNAP concurred: “The Vatican should not be leading this summit. They should be the target of this summit.”

Washington DC’s role behind the scenes in Hollywood goes deeper than you think

Matthew Alford
The Independent

The US government and Hollywood have always been close. Washington DC has long been a source of intriguing plots for filmmakers and LA has been a generous provider of glamour and glitz to the political class.

But just how dependant are these two centres of American influence? Scrutiny of previously hidden documents reveals that the answer is: very.

We can now show that the relationship between US national security and Hollywood is much deeper and more political than anyone has ever acknowledged.

It is a matter of public record that the Pentagon has had an entertainment liaison office since 1948. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) established a similar position in 1996. Although it was known that they sometimes request script changes in exchange for advice, permission to use locations, and equipment such as aircraft carriers, each appeared to have passive, and largely apolitical roles.

Files we obtained, mainly through the US Freedom of Information Act, show that between 1911 and 2017, more than 800 feature films received support from the US Government’s Department of Defence (DoD), a significantly higher figure than previous estimates indicate. These included blockbuster franchises such as TransformersIron Man, and The Terminator.

On television, we found over 1,100 titles received Pentagon backing – 900 of them since 2005, from Flight 93 to Ice Road Truckers to Army Wives.

When we include individual episodes for long running shows like 24Homeland, and NCIS, as well as the influence of other major organisations like the FBI and White House, we can establish unequivocally for the first time that the national security state has supported thousands of hours of entertainment.

For its part, the CIA has assisted in 60 film and television shows since its formation in 1947. This is a much lower figure than the DoD’s but its role has nonetheless been significant.

The CIA put considerable effort into dissuading representations of its very existence throughout the 1940s and 1950s. This meant it was entirely absent from cinematic and televisual culture until a fleeting image of a partially obscured plaque in Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest in 1959, as historian Simon Willmetts revealed last year.

The CIA soon endured an erosion of public support, while Hollywood cast the agency as villain in paranoid pictures like Three Days of the Condor and The Parallax View in the 1970s and into the 1980s.

When the CIA established an entertainment liaison office in 1996, it made up for lost time, most emphatically on the Al Pacino film The Recruit and the Osama bin Laden assassination movie Zero Dark Thirty. Leaked private memos published by our colleague Tricia Jenkins in 2016, and other memos published in 2013 by the mainstream media, indicate that each of these productions was heavily influenced by government officials. Both heightened or inflated real-world threats and dampened down government malfeasance.

One of the most surprising alterations, though, we found in an unpublished interview regarding the comedy Meet the Parents. The CIA admitted it had asked that Robert De Niro’s character not possess an intimidating array of agency torture manuals.

Nor should we see the clandestine services as simply passive, naive or ineffectual during the counterculture years or its aftermath. They were still able to derail a Marlon Brando picture about the Iran-Contra scandal (in which the US illegally sold arms to Iran) by establishing a front company run by Colonel Oliver North to outbid Brando for the rights, journalist Nicholas Shou recently claimed.

The (CIA) director’s cut

The national security state has a profound, sometimes petty, impact on what Hollywood conveys politically. On Hulk, the DoD requested “pretty radical” script alterations, according to script notes we obtained through Freedom of Information. These included disassociating the military from the gruesome laboratories that created “a monster” and changing the codename of the operation to capture the Hulk from “ranch hand” to “angry man”. Ranch Hand had been the name of a real chemical warfare programme during the Vietnam war.

In making the alien movie Contact, the Pentagon “negotiated civilianisation of almost all military parts”, according to the database we acquired. It removed a scene in the original script where the military worries that an alien civilisation will destroy Earth with a “doomsday machine”, a view dismissed by Jodie Foster’s character as “paranoia right out of the Cold War”.

The role of the national security state in shaping screen entertainment has been underestimated and its examination long concentrated in remarkably few hands. The trickle of recent books has pushed back but only fractionally and tentatively. An earlier breakthrough occurred at the turn of the century, when historians identified successful attempts in the 1950s by a senior individual at the Paramount film studio to promote narratives favourable to a CIA contact known only as “Owen”.

The new FOI documents give a much better sense of the sheer scale of state activities in the entertainment industry, which we present alongside dozens of fresh cases studies. But we still do not know the specific impact of the government on a substantial portion of films and shows. The American Navy’s Marine Corps alone admitted to us that there are 90 boxes of relevant material in its archive. The government has seemed especially careful to avoid writing down details of actual changes made to scripts in the 21st century.

State officials have described Washington DC and Hollywood as being “sprung from the same DNA” and the capital as being “Hollywood for ugly people”. That ugly DNA has embedded far and wide. It seems the two cities on opposite sides of the United States are closer than we ever thought.

Netflix’s ‘Wormwood’ Spotlights CIA’s Secret LSD Mind Control Experiments

Victoria Kim
The Fix

The upcoming Netflix docudrama dives deep into the conspiracy theory about the CIA’s attempt to develop tools for mind control.

The CIA’s mind control experiments from the 1950s and 1960s—known as MK-ULTRA—are the subject of a new Netflix series that revisits the epic conspiracy theory.

Wormwood is part documentary, part drama. Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris weaves in dramatic reenactments with real-life interviews. One person of particular interest is Eric Olson, the son of Dr. Frank Olson, known as the CIA biochemist who died after falling 10 stories from a New York City hotel room in 1953. Though his death was ruled a suicide, his family and others believe that he was assassinated by the CIA. 

It’s no longer a secret that the agency oversaw hundreds of mind control experiments during the height of the Cold War—fueled by fears that Soviet, Chinese and North Korean agents were brainwashing American prisoners of war.

Continue reading

G7 leaders reach impasse on climate, urge cyber crackdown

Andreas Rinke and Steve Holland
Reuters

Leaders from the world’s major industrialised nations failed to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump to back a landmark climate deal at a G7 summit in Sicily on Friday after hours of talks that were described by Germany‘s leader as “controversial”.

Meeting days after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a concert in northern England, the leaders did issue a joint statement on fighting terrorism, admonishing internet service providers and social media companies to “substantially increase” their efforts to rein in extremist content.

Host Paolo Gentiloni, the prime minister of Italy, said the group was also inching closer to finding common language on trade, a contentious issue between Trump – elected on an “America First” platform – and the six other leaders.

But on the issue of climate, there was no breakthrough.

“There is one open question, which is the U.S. position on the Paris climate accords,” Gentiloni told reporters, referring to a 2015 deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “All others have confirmed their total agreement on the accord.”

U.S. officials had signalled beforehand that Trump, who dismissed climate change as a “hoax” during his campaign, would not take a decision on the climate deal in Taormina, the cliff-top town overlooking the Mediterranean where G7 leaders met.

But other leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new French President Emmanuel Macron, had hoped to sway the president at his first major international summit since entering the White House four months ago.

Merkel described the climate debate as “controversial”. There was a “very intensive” exchange of views, she said.

Trump’s economic adviser Gary Cohn said Trump’s views on climate were “evolving” and that he would ultimately do what was best for the United States.

The summit, held at a luxury hotel that was once a Dominican monastery and base for the Nazi air force during World War Two, took place a day after Trump blasted NATO allies for spending too little on defence and described Germany’s trade surplus as “very bad” in a meeting with EU officials.

His NATO speech shocked allies, who had been expecting him to reaffirm Washington’s commitment to Article 5, the part of the military alliance’s founding treaty which describes an attack on one member as an attack on all.

They were also disappointed that he did not touch on Russia, which was expelled from what was then called the G8 in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Accusations from U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia intervened in the U.S. election to help Trump, and investigations into his campaign’s contacts with Russian officials, have dogged his presidency and prevented him from delivering on a campaign promise to get close to Moscow.

WAR SHIPS

The summit kicked off with a ceremony at an ancient Greek theatre overlooking the sea, where war ships patrolled the sparkling blue waters.

Nine fighter jets soared into the sky above Taormina, leaving a trail of smoke in the red-white-green colours of the Italian flag.

Italy chose to stage the summit in Sicily to draw attention to Africa, which is 140 miles (225 km) from the island at its closest point across the Mediterranean.

More than half a million migrants, most from sub-Saharan Africa, have reached Italy by boat since 2014, taking advantage of the chaos in Libya to launch their perilous crossings.

The deadly attack in Manchester was carried out by a suspected Islamist militant of Libyan descent who grew up in Britain.

“Today G7 leaders have joined Britain in condemning this barbaric act of violence,” said British Prime Minister Theresa May, who left the summit a day early to deal with the aftermath of the attack.

Speaking about internet companies, she added: “In particular, I want to see them report this vile content to the authorities and block the users who spread it.”

The leaders are expected to issue a final communique on Saturday. Italian officials have suggested it will be shorter than 10 pages, compared to 32 pages at the last G7 summit in Japan.

As the leaders attended a concert and gala dinner, aides continued to work on the final wording.

“On the major theme of global trade, we are still working on the shape of the final communique, but it seems to me the direct discussions today have produced common positions that we can work on,” said Gentiloni.

Villains in Upcoming Video Game are White Christian Right-wing Extremists from Montana

Adan Salazar

A graphic for the latest installment of the video game series Far Cry indicates white Christian Americans from Montana will be the antagonists.

Far Cry 5 will tell the story of a militant Christian cult, if a piece of artwork released today by publisher Ubisoft is any indication,” reports gamer site Polygon.

A shocking promotional illustration features a group of flannel-wearing bearded rednecks sat around a table in poses similar to that of “Jesus’ Last Supper.”  Continue reading

MTV Movie Awards shatters gender barriers one trophy at a time

AP

LOS ANGELES — Film hit “Beauty and the Beast” and Netflix newcomer “Stranger Things” were the night’s big winners with two trophies apiece as MTV partied with its Movie & TV Awards show.

For this, the 26th edition of what was formerly known as the MTV Movie Awards, TV was added to the mix. “Stranger Things” was decreed the Show of the Year, and its cast member, Millie Bobby Brown, was named Best Actor in a Show.

“Beauty and the Beast” was the Movie of the Year, with its star, Emma Watson, the Best Actor in a Movie.

But the awards had another trick up its sleeve, introducing a policy of breaking down gender barriers, as men and women competed jointly in the acting categories. Continue reading

Pope Francis appears in ‘climate change’ movie featuring Obama, Clinton, Leonardo DiCaprio

Pete Baklinski
LifesiteNews

ROME, April 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis made a climactic appearance in a National Geographic film about “global warming” that was narrated by Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio and released on DVD this week.

The film, titled Before The Flood, contained a line-up of left-leaning activists renowned for pushing the theory of man-made global warming. The list included Ban Ki-moon, Bill Clinton, Oprah, Elon Musk, John Kerry, and Barack Obama.

The film’s climactic ending shows DiCaprio, the United Nation’s Messenger of Peace, being received at the Vatican by Pope Francis. According to the film, they spoke about the necessity of the “world community” accepting the “science” behind so-called climate change. The meeting took place in January 2016.

“One of the most important spiritual leaders on the planet…has now called upon the world community to accept the modern science of climate change. A pope has never done anything like this in history,” related DiCaprio in the film.

“He feels we all need to be speaking out about this issue as loud as we can, that we must immediately take action,” he said.

DiCaprio described Francis’ leadership on climate change as “inspirational and essential” in the inscription of a book that he gave to the pope during their visit.

Francis’ 2015 encyclical Laudato si’ called for a “broad cultural revolution” to reverse the effects of human activity on the planet. He has called upon Catholics to have an “ecological conversion,” telling them to confess sins against creation, such as using “plastic and paper,” not “separating refuse,” and not “turning off unnecessary lights.”

Under Francis’ watch, the Vatican has hosted numerous conferences on topics such as the environment, sustainability, and population, involving some of the Church’s most vocal opponents to Catholic teaching on life, marriage, and family. Some of these speakers include Bernie Sanders, Ban Ki-Moon, Jeffrey Sachs, Paul Ehrlich, and John Bongaarts.

The Vatican’s most recent conference, titled Biological Extinction, featured the pro-abortion population controller Dr. Paul Ehrlich. He told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview just days before the March conference that he was “thrilled” with the direction Francis is taking the Church.

Carleton University professor Michael Hart argued in his 2016 book Hubris that the climate change advocacy is based on “poor science.”

“I learned that both domestic and international actors had succeeded in using the poorly understood science of climate change to advance an ambitious environmental agenda focused on increasing centralized control over people’s daily lives,” he told LifeSiteNews in an August 2016 interview.

Hart made the case that “climate change” has become the Left’s new Trojan horse for ramming through its social agenda on an unsuspecting population.

“Left-wing politicians discovered in climate change renewed ways to press their agenda of social and economic justice through coercive government programs. As John Sununu, the former governor of New Hampshire, sees it, ‘The alarmists have learned well from the past. They saw what motivates policy makers is not necessarily just hard science, but a well-orchestrated symphony of effort … announce a disaster; cherry pick some results; back it up with computer modeling; proclaim a consensus; stifle the opposition; take over the process and control the funding; and roll the policy makers,’” he said.

Hart quoted philosopher of science Jeffrey Foss whom, he says, sees how environmental science has become the new religion with its own god, its own unique sins, and its own ultimate solution.

Environmental science […] prophesies an environmental apocalypse. It tells us that the reason we confront apocalypse is our own environmental sinfulness. Our sin is one of impurity. We have fouled a pure, ‘pristine’ nature with our dirty household and industrial wastes. The apocalypse will take the form of an environmental backlash, a payback for our sins. … environmental scientists tell people what they must do to be blameless before nature.”

Aaron Hernandez Dies by Apparent Suicide in Prison

NBC New York

Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez, an explosive tight end who had been convicted of murder and last week cleared in two other killings, was discovered dead in his prison cell by a corrections officer early Wednesday morning.

Hernandez, 27, hanged himself with a bed sheet attached to his cell window at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, at approximately 3:05 a.m., and was pronounced dead about an hour later at UMass-Memorial Health Alliance Hospital in Leominster, according to a statement from the Massachusetts Department of Correction. He had attempted to block the door from the inside by jamming it with various items, prison officials said. He was in a single cell in a general population unit in the maximum-security state prison. Continue reading

NCAA returns to North Carolina after transgender bathroom law repeal

Reuters

The National Collegiate Athletic Association on Tuesday formally reversed course and scheduled championship games in North Carolina, returning to the state after previously stripping it of events to protest a law on transgender use of public bathrooms.

Transgender advocates immediately criticized the decision, saying although the bathroom law was repealed last month, North Carolina still discriminated against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and did not deserve to be rewarded.

The controversy started with the March 2016 approval of House Bill 2, which required transgender people to use bathrooms matching the sex on their birth certificate rather than their gender identity. In response, the NCAA disqualified North Carolina from hosting neutral-site championship events for the 2016-17 academic year.

Similar boycotts by other sports organizations, companies and entertainers cost North Carolina hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business. In a basketball-crazed state, losing events such as the NBA all-star game and big NCAA tournament games was also a blow to residents’ pride.

Seeking to win back business, state lawmakers repealed the law on March 30, but they also approved a new measure banning cities from passing their own anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people until 2020, drawing outrage from civil rights advocates.

Still, the repeal of the bathroom law was enough to win over the NCAA, which announced on April 4 its board of governors would consider returning to the state. At the time the NCAA said its board would have preferred an unconditional repeal of House Bill 2 and that a majority of the board “reluctantly” decided to return to North Carolina.

On Tuesday, the NCAA selected more than 600 host sites for events to be held from the 2017-18 through 2021-22 seasons, including placing events such as men’s basketball games in North Carolina.

For example, the first- and second-round men’s basketball games in 2020 will be held in Greensboro.

Greensboro will also host regional women’s basketball games in the championship tournament in 2019.

Rights groups criticized the NCAA for returning to North Carolina while its cities were still banned from passing anti-discrimination laws.

“By rewarding North Carolina with championship games, the NCAA has undermined its credibility and is sending a dangerous message to lawmakers across the country who are targeting LGBTQ people with discriminatory state legislation,” JoDee Winterhof, a senior official with the Human Rights campaign, said in a statement.

The American Civil Liberties Union called the decision a “shame” and the anti-discrimination group Athlete Ally said it was “deeply concerning.”