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27 November 2017, 16:56
It's cute, gross and effective - but others have flagged some risks to it

VIDEO. Mum trick for unblocking babys nose hailed as genius


Not only is a blocked nose very uncomfortable for your baby, but it's incredibly frustrating for both parent and tot.

A blocked or stuffy nose impacts family life as a whole.

Your baby's feeding is affected, meaning they don't sleep well - meaning you don't sleep well.

And as any parent knows, sleep is already at a premium in those first few months.

While there is apparatus which can help - such as nasal respirators, one mum has come up with a DIY technique which is being hailed as "amazing".

But not all medical professionals are convinced.

In the clip, posted on Facebook , the mum of an adorable little girl gets a syringe full of salt water.

Distracting the little one with the camera, she instructs her to keep mouth open, places the syringe under the unblocked nostril, presses down and, hey presto - a torrent of otherwise inaccessible snot shoots out.

VIDEO. Mum trick for unblocking babys nose hailed as genius

Parents and medics alike were quick to provide their varied feedback.

"As a respiratory therapist, this is the bomb!" one wrote. "Although most kids may not be so cooperative and may require some sort of containment system."

"Coming from a parent of a stuffy 5 month old this is definitely worth a try," agreed one mum.

"Mum is on point! Had a plan and executed it with purpose. She was quick yet gentle," added another.

But plenty of other viewers raised objections.

"This is not a safe practice. It can lead to choking and aspiration which could result in a pneumonia. But what do I know. I'm only a children's nurse."

"Looks good and eases child BUT errrrm Dry or secondary drowning springs to mind. I wouldn't do it too risky," agreed someone else.

"Unless the child is old enough to know how to breath out of its mouth while your doing this then I would say that child is too young to safety do it ,but frankly I'd speak to my doctor or pharmacist before doing that to my child," read another comment.

VIDEO. Mum trick for unblocking babys nose hailed as genius
Cute and gross at the same time (Image: Facebook)

If your baby or toddler is suffering from a cold or blocked nose, the NHS suggest the following.

If they have a blocked nose, you can make their breathing easier by raising the pillow end of your child's bed or cot by putting books or bricks under the legs, or placing a pillow under the mattress (although you shouldn't put anything under the mattress of a baby younger than one year old).

A warm, moist atmosphere can ease breathing if your child has a blocked nose – take your child into the bathroom and run a hot bath or shower, or use a vaporiser to humidify the air.

If you are unsure of anything, contact your GP or speak to your pharmacist.

By Zahra MulroySocial Audience Writer
19:24, 26 NOV 2017
17 November 2017, 21:31
VIDEO. Police in Vietnam are still to determine if the product which killed 14-year-old Le was a genuine Apple wire or a cheap imitation

VIDEO. A 14-yr-old schoolgirl electrocuted while using iPhone in bed
Le Thi Xoan was just 14 when she died (Image: Facebook)


A 14-year-old schoolgirl has been killed after she rolled onto her iPhone's broken charging cable while she slept.

Le Thi Xoan was electrocuted when she was exposed to the live wires of the damaged cable.

She was found unconscious by her parents and rushed to hospital, but she could not be revived.

The teenager always charged her iPhone 6 next to her bed and police in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi found the burnt white cable.

The cable was found on her bed and officers believe a slight tear in the rubber casing may have revealed the live wires inside.

VIDEO. A 14-yr-old schoolgirl electrocuted while using iPhone in bed
Friends and family gathered at the girl's funeral (Image: AsiaWire)

Medics confirmed electrocution as the cause of death.

According to investigators, the police believe the girl had plugged her Apple device into charge and laid the iPhone 6 on her bed like she did every night.

Officers believe the tragedy likely struck as she slept and rolled onto the iPhone's charging cable, which had tears in it and which electrocuted her with the current.

The charging cable is being inspected but the authorities said they are yet to determine whether it was the original Apple wire or a cheaper imitation.

VIDEO. A 14-yr-old schoolgirl electrocuted while using iPhone in bed
The wire is being investigated by police (Image: AsiaWire)

In a picture showing the burnt cable, it appears to be shorter than Apple's original 0.5-metre (20-inch) charging cable.

See-through tape had also been wrapped around the front of the cable, suggesting that the victim may have been aware of the wear and tear but decided to continue using it.

By Kelly-Ann Mills
18:23, 16 NOV 2017
21 October 2017, 1:43
VIDEO. Conjoined twins survive gruelling journey to separation

DR Congo: Conjoined twin girls Anick & Destin survived birth
After surgery, the twins were flown back to Vanga.
The family lives in a remote village in western Democratic Republic of Congo, in Africa. copyright JACKLYN REIERSON, MAF

Conjoined twins born in a remote village in the Democratic Republic of Congo have survived a 15-hour journey on the back of a motorbike to be separated.
They were then flown to the capital, Kinshasa, where they were operated on by a team of volunteer surgeons.
In total, the one-week-old girls had to endure an 870-mile (1,400km) round trip across jungle, on treacherous roads and by air.

The twins are now being monitored.

The babies - Anick and Destin - will return to their village in three weeks. They were born at 37 weeks in August, were joined at the navel, sharing some internal organs.

DR Congo: Conjoined twin girls Anick & Destin survived birth
Conjoined twin girls Anick and Destin survived their birth before being separated. copyright JACKLYN REIERSON, MAF

About one in every 200,000 live births results in conjoined twins and their survival is never certain, especially in remote areas where no medical help is available.
But to the astonishment of doctors, these twins were born naturally in the village of Muzombo, in the west of the African country.

Realising that the babies needed surgery, their parents Claudine Mukhena and Zaiko Munzadi wrapped the babies in a blanket and set off on an epic journey through jungle to their nearest hospital in Vanga.

Without the equipment or experience to carry out the complex separation surgery in the small hospital, doctors transferred them to a hospital in Kinshasa more than 300 miles away.

DR Congo: Conjoined twin girls Anick & Destin survived birth
An emergency plane flew the family to the capital city for surgery. copyright JACKLYN REIERSON, MAF

To get there, the family was flown by MAF, a humanitarian airline which operates in remote regions, rather than risk another long journey over dangerous roads.
Dr Junior Mudji, who is now caring for them at Vanga Evangelical Hospital, said he was delighted.
"At 37 weeks, conjoined twins born naturally - it's unheard of," he said.

DR Congo: Conjoined twin girls Anick & Destin survived birth

"They are doing fine, they sleep well and eat well. In general, they are doing well.
"We will keep them here for three more weeks to be sure everything is normal."
Dr Mudji believes the operation was the first to separate conjoined twins in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

DR Congo: Conjoined twin girls Anick & Destin survived birth

DR Congo: Conjoined twin girls Anick & Destin survived birth

15 October 2017
16 October 2017, 23:34
Tubal Cain: Who he was, and what that says about the nature of Freemasonry given it is the secret recognition password of a Master Mason.

Tubal Cain The Father Of Freemasonry

Adam and Eve had two sons. The elder of them was named Cain, which signifies a possession; the younger was Abel, which signifies sorrow. They had also daughters. Now the two brethren were pleased with different courses of life; for Abel, the younger, was a lover of righteousness and believing that God was present in all his actions, he excelled in virtue, and he was a shepherd.

But Cain was not only very wicked in other respects, but was wholly intent on getting rich, and he first contrived to plough the ground. He slew his brother on the occasion following their sacrifice to God. Cain brought the fruits of the earth, and of his husbandry; Abel brought animal fat and the first-fruits of his flocks; God was delighted with the oblation of Abel when he honoured with what grew naturally of its own accord, then he was with what was the invention of a covetous man, and gotten by forcing the ground; whence it was that Cain was very angry that Abel was preferred by God before him; and he slew his brother, and hid his dead body, thinking to escape discovery. But God, knowing what had been done, came to Cain, and asked him what was become of his brother, because he had not seen him for many days, whereas he used to observe them conversing together at other times. But Cain was in doubt with himself and knew not what answer to give God. At first, he said that he was himself at a loss about his brother's disappearance; but when he was provoked by God, who pressed him vehemently, as resolving to know what the matter was, he replied he was not his brother's guardian or keeper, nor was he an observer of what he did. But in return, God convicted Cain as having been the murderer of his brother; and said, "I wonder at thee, that thou knowest not what is become of a man who thou thyself has destroyed." God, therefore, did not inflict the punishment [of death] upon him, on account of his offering sacrifice, and thereby making supplication to Him not to be extreme in his wrath to him; but He made him accursed, and threatened his posterity in the seventh generation. He also cast him, together with his wife, out of that land. And when he was afraid that in wandering about he should fall among wild beasts, and by that means perish, God bid him not to entertain such a melancholy suspicion, and to go over all the earth without fear of what mischief he might suffer from wild beasts, and set a mark upon him that he might be known, he commanded him to depart.

And when Cain had travelled over many countries, he, with his wife, built a city, named Nod, which is a place so called, and there he settled his abode; where also he had children. However, he did not accept of his punishment in order to amendment, but to increase his wickedness; for he only aimed to procure everything that was for his own bodily pleasure, though it obliged him to be injurious to his neighbours. He augmented his household substance with much wealth, by rapine and violence; he excited his acquaintance to procure pleasures and spoils of robbery and became a great leader of men into wicked courses. He also introduced a change in that way of simplicity wherein men lived before, and was the author of measures and weights. And whereas they lived innocently and generously while they knew nothing of such arts, he changed the world into cunning craftiness. He first of all set boundaries about lands; he built a city and fortified it with walls, and he compelled his family to come together to it; and called that city Enoch, after the name of his eldest son Enoch. Now Jared was the son of Enoch; whose son was Malaleel; whose son was Mathusela; whose son was Lamech; who had seventy-seven children by two wives, Silla and Ada. Of those children by Ada, one was Jabal; he erected tents and loved the life of a shepherd. But Jubal, who was born of the same mother with him, exercised himself in music; and invented the psaltery and the harp. But Tubal, one of his children by the other wife, exceeded all men in strength and was very expert and famous in martial performances. He procured what tended to the pleasures of the body by that method, and first of all invented the art of making brass. Lamech was also the father of a daughter, whose name was Naamah; and because that he knew he was to be punished for Cains's murder of his brother, he made that known to his wives. Nay, even while Adam was alive, it came to pass that the posterity of Cain became exceedingly wicked, every one successively dying one after the other, more wicked than the former...

26 September 2017, 15:02
VIDEO. People are convinced Prince Harry made the sign of the devil while meeting Melania Trump
All eyes were on the Prince as he launched the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto

VIDEO. Prince Harry meeting Melania and making devil hand sign

All eyes have been on Prince Harry during the Invictus Games in Toronto, possibly hoping to see him blow a cheeky kiss to a certain Miss Markle.

No such luck yet, but that obviously hasn't stopped one utterly bonkers theory from emerging.

Also present at the games was FLOTUS Melania Trump , whom he had to sit with rather than his actor girlfriend .

If it was disappointment Harry felt at the seating plan, then he hid it well - especially given the fact Donald Trump once made some very unsavoury remarks about his sister-in-law. Awkward.

Nevertheless, both Melania and Harry seemed to enjoy a 20 minute meeting.

Enter the conspiracy theories.

In photos of that meeting it apparently looks like Harry is making a devil sign with his hands.

It's a bit harsh describing the (current) fifth-in-line to the throne as "the anti-christ", not to mention possibly treasonous.

The sign of the horns, or 'El Diablo sign' is a hand gesture which has taken on a variety of meanings and uses in various cultures throughout time.

Of course, a photo only captures a split-second image - however, as the clip below shows, he does hold the post for quite a while.

Meghan Markle DOES attend Invictus Games with Prince Harry but royal has to sit with Melania Trump instead

There could be an alternative theory though (aside from the fact it's just how he was holding his hand).

14:52, 24 SEP 2017
23 September 2017, 22:32
VIDEO. White glamour model with size 32S breasts who spent £50k on cosmetic surgery now 'identifies as a black woman'
Martina Big, 28, who used tanning injections and a 50-tube sunbed to darken her complexion, says: "I am the proud owner of black skin.

White glamour model spent £50k «identifies as a black woman»
Martina said she wanted her skin to turn darker through extreme tanning (Image: Barcroft Media)


A white glamour model who spent £50,000 on cosmetic surgery to enhance her chest says she now 'identifies as a black woman'.

Martina Big, 28, now has size UK size 32S breasts (size 70 in the US) and used tanning injections and a 50-tube sunbed to darken her complexion.

White glamour model spent £50k «identifies as a black woman»She appeared on US talk programme the Maury Show where she told the host: "I am the proud owner of black skin.

"If they start fading, I won't feel less black. I will ask them for more."

She continued: "I am black. That is my race. I can't wait to go to Africa because I hear the food is tasty.

"It's better to be black, the feeling inside is just better."

White glamour model spent £50k «identifies as a black woman»
Martina before she had the tanning injections (Image: Barcroft Media)

The former air hostess, from Germany, described herself as "80% black" and her husband Michael has also joined in, using tanning injections on himself.

When asked whether she thinks she has offended people who were born black, she said: "No, I don't want to.

"I know some feel attacked but it's not my intention.

"I do it for myself and only talk to people who want to talk with me about this."

Martina had her first surgery in 2012 and said she initially wanted to look like a Barbie, but with more curves.

The tanning addict revealed her skin had turned 'dark crispy brown' after three injections in March (Image: Barcroft Media)

White glamour model spent £50k «identifies as a black woman»
Martina Big has returned to Hollywood with her darkened skin colour (Image: Barcroft /CEN)

She said: "I wanted to look like a Barbie with long blonde hair and long legs but much bigger breasts.

"I look at Pamela Anderson and I want to look like her. I like her curves. I am making myself a real life Barbie."

Martina, who shares her time between Los Angeles and the German Eifel region, says she wants to become the official Guinness World Record holder for having the largest breasts.

And according to her, her breasts measure 49.6 ins, while her underbust measurement is 26.8ins.

White glamour model spent £50k «identifies as a black woman»
The German glamour model before her plastic surgery (Image: Barcroft Media)

Martina said: "When the difference between above and below gets 2 inches bigger, I will have the biggest breasts in the world and will be in the Guinness Book."

A few months ago she released a video about wanting to have black skin, which divided opinion.

One person commented: "I'm not pleased or supporting this mess. I'm a black woman as you can see and I don't think this is cool. It's sad. It's pitiful. I think she may have mental issues."

Another added: "Martina you are beautiful in our colour. I don't mind what people do with their lives or body as long as they are happy.

"At least you show these Africans who bleach to turn white that black is beautiful."

BYRHIAN LUBIN 08:28, 22 SEP 2017
18 May 2017, 11:14
Gastric balloon you can SWALLOW can help slimmers shed third of their weight in just four months with no surgery.
The new high-tech elipse gastric balloon, which suppresses appetite, deflates after four months and then passes out of the body

Scientists have developed a swallowable balloon for slimmers
Dieters who tried the balloon lost on average 15kg in just four months (Photo: Digital Vision)

Scientists have developed a swallowable balloon that could help millions of Brits lose weight.

The hi-tech gastric balloon - which you swallow as a simple pill before it is inflated - fills up your stomach to make you feel full and then deflates itself after four months. Details of what is being hailed as the magic bullet for slimmers will be presented today at the world’s biggest obesity conference in Porto, Portugal. Incredible trial results found the 15-minute balloon operation was “safe and effective” and triggered “substantial weight loss” in obese patients.

On average, those who use the treatment shed a third of their excess body weight. Patients aged between 27 and 67 each lost an average of 15.2kg (2st 4lbs).

Scientists have developed a swallowable balloon for slimmers
A traditional gastric band requires surgery, unlike the new gastric balloon (Photo: Getty)

It has already been approved for use in the UK and could help those who find it impossible to shed the pounds through normal diets. Experts said that millions of Brits could eventually benefit from the simple pill. Unlike existing gastric products, no surgery is required to insert or remove it.

Dr Roberta Ienca, of Sapienza University of Rome, who led the study, said:

“Because the Elipse Balloon does not require endoscopy, surgery or anaesthesia, this may make it suitable for a larger population of obese patients not responding to diet or lifestyle treatment.”

Dr Ienca told the Daily Mirror that all the patients also enjoyed “improvements in overall metabolic health including blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar control”.

She described the reaction of patients to the device as “incredible”.

She said: “They are very happy about the results they were able to achieve.

"During my daily phone contacts with my patients, they shared with me their pictures and the amount of weight they lost.

“They are very satisfied with the results achieved day after day.”

Speaking at the the European Congress on Obesity in Porto, Portugal, Dr Ienca added that it could also be fitted in patients “by a variety of clinicians - nutritionists, dietitians, and internists - who currently do not have access to or are qualified to fit endoscopic or surgical weight loss devices.”

Scientists have developed a swallowable balloon for slimmers
The Elipse gastric balloon has been dubbed a 'safe and effective way' to shed weight - and it costs half the cost of gastric band surgery (Photo: PR Handout)

The patient swallows a tiny pill containing the deflated Elipse balloon, which is made from a delicate polymer film. A catheter is attached and once the pill has reached the stomach, a doctor fills the balloon with 550ml of water through the catheter, then tugs on the tube to detach it.

The filled balloon takes up a large part of the stomach, reducing appetite and improving the patient’s odds of shedding weight. And after 16 weeks, a valve in the polymer film opens and the balloon collapses. It passes out normally through the digestive system.

Previously, most existing gastric balloons rely on a surgeon putting the device in the stomach using an internal probe while the patient is sedated or under anaesthetic.

It also has to be removed during surgery the same way. Two in three Brits are overweight or obese.

It is not yet available on the NHS but is available through some private weight loss clinics in the UK.
The NHS is already trialling similar balloon pills to the one in the study presented in Porto.

The cost for the full treatment varies between £2,200 and £3,400 - less than half the cost of gastric band surgery.

The balloon pill has the potential to provide “significant cost savings”

for the NHS and save billions of pounds a year.

Obesity now costs the NHS £16billion a year - which includes treating obesity-linked medical conditions like Type 2 diabetes.

Scientists have developed a swallowable balloon for slimmers

The study presented in Porto found that the swallowable gastric balloon “is a safe and effective way to induce substantial weight loss”.

The research examined the impact of the balloon on 50 obese patients who had failed to lose weight by diet alone and who had refused other gastric treatment, because of the need of an endoscopy or anaesthesia.

Each patient had the balloon in their stomach for 16 weeks after which it spontaneously opened, emptied, and was excreted.

They were checked every two weeks.

In the last four weeks of the treatment, a very low calorie diet of 700 kcal/day was introduced to enhance weight loss and maximise the results to increase patient satisfaction. Once the balloon was excreted, patients were transitioned to a Mediterranean diet for weight maintenance.

Gran lost 18 STONE after a man told her she was so big she blocked his view
After 16 weeks, the average weight loss was 15.2kg. The average percentage weight loss was a drastic 31%.

There were no serious adverse events recorded. All other adverse events including nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain were either self-limiting or resolved with medication.Dr Ienca concluded: “The Elipse Balloon appears to be a safe and effective weight loss method. Furthermore, the absence of endoscopy and anaesthesia for placement and removal can lead to significant cost savings.”

Prof Jason Halford, treasurer of the European Association for the Study of Obesity, which is hosting the world’s biggest obesity conference, said:

“With bariatric surgery, there are potential complications, it’s a very permanent change in your life and it’s not easily reversible.

“People are looking for alternatives. “I think this is for people before they would get to the point where they need bariatric surgery. Potentially millions could benefit.

“I think if studies are there and it’s cost-effective... I think it should be considered on the NHS.”

Dr Simon Cork, Research Fellow at the Department of Investigative Medicine,

Imperial College London, added: “Currently, gastric balloons have to be inserted under general anaesthetic or sedation.

“This not only limits the number of patients who can have them implanted,

but also increases surgery time and has significant costs associated with it.”

He added: “The introduction of a device which doesn’t require surgery to implant is a positive step forward.”

14 May 2017, 4:43
VIDEO. Gigantic sea creature washes up on remote Indonesian beach - and no-one knows what it is.
The slimy, 15-metre long carcass is thought to have been dead for at least three days.

Mysterious sea creature washes up on remote Indonesian beach

A mysterious creature has washed up on the shore of a remote Indonesian beach.

Locals believe it has been dead for at least three days, but so far no-one has been able to identify it.

The creature was initially mistaken for a BOAT because of its gigantic size. It is thought to measure 15 metres in length.

According to the Jakarta Globe , the carcass was found by 37-year-old local resident Asrul Tuanakota. He discovered it on the northern shore of Seram Island in Maluku province, Indonesia.

Drones film mythical 'unicorns of the sea' as footage sheds light on mysterious life of elusive narwhal whales

Mysterious sea creature washes up on remote Indonesian beach

Although no-one has been able to identify the creature, some are speculating it is the remains of a whale or even a mythical giant squid. The locals have called on marine experts to help them identify the creature. It is decaying by the day and turning the water around it red.

Villagers have also requested the government come and remove it as the stench is worsening.

Earlier this year a woman in Chile came across a sea creature that eats dead bodies from the inside out.

Mysterious sea creature washes up on remote Indonesian beach

Lissete Hermosilla was walking along a beach in Tirúa, Chile when she came across the monstrous animal slithering across the rocks.

She uploaded footage of it onto her Twitter account in a bid to get some answers - and was shocked when she found out what it was.

Marine biologist Cristian Ibañez from the Universidad Andrés Bello, said the creature feeds on dead animals after entering their bodies and eating them from the inside.

He told Bio Bio : "It uses its glands to secrete mucus to allow it to enter the corpses and devour them from within. "

Mysterious sea creature washes up on remote Indonesian beach

The animal is called the Eptatretus Decatrema, colloquially known as Anguilla Babosa, and belongs to a group of primitive fish.

It ranges form 20cm to 90cm.

It is only found in Chile, between Caldera, Atacama and Puerto Montt in Los Lagos.

BYJEFF PARSONS 13:13, 12 MAY 2017
13 May 2017, 10:54
Bob Dole, Trump campaign aide to lobby for Congolese government. Troubled Democratic Republic of Congo launching influence blitz in Washington.

Trump campaign aide to lobby for Congolese governmentPresident Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr. (left), watches Republican National Convention proceedings with former Sen. Bob Dole (center) on July 18, 2017, in Cleveland. Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX via AP

The troubled government of the Democratic Republic of Congo is pouring millions of dollars into a new Washington lobbying campaign featuring prominent Republicans.

Among those working on the Congolese effort: former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole and Adnan Jalil, who worked for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign helping it communicate with Congress.

Also involved is Jason Epstein, a longtime lobbyist who has represented the Turkish embassy and other foreign clients. Epstein is former director of legislative affairs at B’nai B’rith International, according to his online biography.

In an unusual arrangement, the lobbying campaign on behalf of the Congolese government is being coordinated by an Israeli security company, Mer Security and Communications, whose chief executive says it was chosen for its “personal relationship” with the country’s current leadership.

The African nation is paying Mer Security roughly $5.6 million this year in connection with the lobbying effort, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of disclosures filed with the Department of Justice. Already, the Congolese government has paid $4.5 million of that sum, a chunk of which Mer Security is using to hire Washington, D.C.-based lobbyists for the effort.

“That’s a lot of money,” said Joe Sandler, a lawyer and an expert in foreign lobbying.

Lobbying firms routinely receive seven-figure sums when advocating for foreign governments, particularly ones with bad reputations.

A prime example: South Sudan, which spent $2.1 million on K Street public relations and lobbying firms during 2014 and 2015, including the outfit led Democratic super-fundraiser Tony Podesta.

But rarely do foreign lobbying contracts command more than $5 million.

Trump campaign aide to lobby for Congolese government
The bodies of people killed during election protests lie in the street, as Congolese troops stand near by in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, on Sept. 19, 2016. Witnesses say at least four people died. The protests were organized by activists who are opposed to longtime President Joseph Kabila. John Bompengo/AP

The Democratic Republic of Congo is experiencing political upheaval and civil unrest. The current leader, Joseph Kabila, has promised to hold elections before the end of the year, though opponents have questioned whether he’ll uphold the agreement.

The embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo did not respond to requests for comment from the Center for Public Integrity.

Lobbying firm Alston & Bird, which employs Dole, received $500,000 from Mer Security on April 27.

Mer Security’s filings with the Justice Department describe the money as a “payment to engage in political activities.”

Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Alston & Bird is required to publicly disclose it is representing a foreign government within 10 days of agreeing to represent a foreign government.

It did not.

After several inquiries from the Center for Public Integrity, Alston & Bird filed its disclosure report, which included a signed April 19 engagement letter with Mer Security, on May 10.

The firm’s letter of engagement said Dole would be lead attorney on the matter.

The $500,000 covers three months of Alston & Bird’s work.

Alston & Bird, Mer Security’s subcontractor, said its engagement terms said the firm would be offering advice on “strategic communications, policy issues and compliance with” lobbying disclosure laws.

The agreement terms “do not include or anticipate our representation of, or advocacy for, the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo before the United States government.”

Dennis Garris, the managing partner of Alston & Bird’s Washington office, did not respond to requests for comment. Nor did Dole, whose role only became public once the firm filed its disclosure.

Dole, the only former Republican presidential nominee who endorsed Trump before the GOP convention last summer, is a savvy Washington insider who most recently attracted notice for his lobbying on behalf of Taiwan. Dole’s efforts led to a stunning call between Trump and Taiwan’s president, angering China.

Dole’s retainer for the Taiwan work, which includes direct lobbying, is $25,000 a month, per federal disclosures.

Both Epstein and Jalil said in emails that the point of their work is to promote an “open, productive” discussion with a goal of improving the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Epstein’s disclosures show he is receiving $138,000 for three months of work.

“The Congolese people, their safety and human rights can only improve if the United States takes an active and engaging role in the largest country in Africa,” said Jalil, who has so far received $45,000, according to filings.

Jalil, who’s only current lobbying client is Mer Security, said he joined Trump’s campaign as a liaison to the House of Representatives in early spring of 2016 “and was part of a very small, loyal, and dedicated team in Washington.” Trump has been critical of Washington’s lobbying and influence industry, and in January, he issued an executive order banning administration officials from ever lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.

Nonetheless, some Trump alumni have pursued lobbying work — former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, most notably.

Seeking access to U.S. politicians

Mer Security said in its disclosure filings that it had agreed to advise Congolese officials on U.S. policy and political concerns regarding African security issues.

It will also advise the country’s government on the appointment of a special envoy to the United States and “strategic planning to the envoy’s engagement in bilateral diplomacy with the United States.”

A special Democratic Republic of Congo envoy is expected to visit Washington in June, according to the filings.

In describing its work on behalf of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mer Security’s tells the Department of Justice that it has “agreed to generate interest in and participation at meetings of senior U.S. administration officials and key policy makers in various congressional committees.”

The Democratic Republic of Congo has experienced significant political turmoil in recent months.

Trump campaign aide to lobby for Congolese government
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila, center, waves as he visits the city of Kindu on June 30, 2016. John Bompengo/AP

The current leader, Joseph Kabila, was supposed to step down late last year. But he negotiated a deal to stay in power in exchange for a promise to hold elections by the end of 2017.

This week, Kabila named a new transitional government, something opponents said is a violation of the agreement allowing him to stay in power. Kabila has said election delays are due to logistical and budgetary challenges, which could prompt questions about his government’s decision to spend millions of dollars on a Washington lobbying campaign.

The U.S. State Department has warned Americans to avoid unnecessary travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo, citing security concerns.

The Obama administration sanctioned high officials in Kabila’s government. And earlier this month, Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, described the government as “corrupt” and said it “preys on its citizens.”

An unusual middleman

A review of federal disclosures shows no previous instance of Mer Security lobbying in the United States.

In public filings, the company said its main business activities are “manufacturing, supplying and installing telecommunications and electricity systems, developing command and control software, constructing command and control centers and integrating and implementing physical security systems.”

Omer Laviv, Mer Security’s CEO, said in an e-mail to the Center for Public Integrity that the company was hired “to explore opportunities through which the U.S. government can support the DRC government in its efforts to bring peace, stability and prosperity to the Congolese people.”

The company has “extensive experience” in advising and consulting with governments on national security, he said, and has operated for many years in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Trump campaign aide to lobby for Congolese government

“Personal relationship[s] that are characterized by a high level of trust have been established between MER and the leadership of the country,” Laviv wrote.

“This level of trust led the Congolese government to appoint MER to this assignment.”

The Democratic Republic of Congo had previously been represented in Washington by BGR Government Affairs, a prominent Republican firm.

Disclosures show BGR Government Affairs’ representation ended Jan. 31.

By Carrie Levineemail 6:16 pm, May 11, 2017
This article was co-published by TIME.
15 January 2015, 5:28
Posted: January 14, 2015

UFO hunter Toby Lundh is causing a stir among alien UFO believers with the claim that on Jan. 6, 2015, NASA cut abruptly its live stream after a massive UFO appeared on the live feed.

Lundh, who contacted, provided a still photo of the alleged UFO to support his claim that NASA attempted to cover up “evidence” of a massive UFO presence near the International Space Station (ISS) by shutting the live video feed after the UFO appeared on it.

According to Lundh, NASA has removed the recording from its archives as part of the agency’s effort to conceal what alien UFO believers have long held are clandestine interactions between ISS astronauts and technologically advanced aliens.

Lundh’s claim has caught the attention of the online alien UFO enthusiasts community. A sampling of the reactions of members of this thriving community shows there is widespread distrust of NASA and other government agencies among them. Reacting to Lundh’s allegation on BeforeItsNews, a user observed that the incident illustrates why many in the “Truth movement” do not trust NASA.

“Many in the Truth movement no longer trust anything NASA says or does and here’s another example of why. As their live feed was showing the ISS, a huge UFO appeared and NASA cut the feed.”

Several other users expressed distrust of the agency.

“Did anyone actually believe anything NASA said from the start? Not me… They cut the feed because right there in-front of your eyes is a UFO and rather than open that can of worms they would prefer to label you insane.”

“Never believe anything the official people have to say. Just like Pharmacy. You want me to believe all these medicines and shots help keep me healthy, when you get paid to cure sick people? It defeats your job to do so, so why should I believe such BS? Anyone who believes that in this society should be declared insane.”

NASA has not responded to Lundh’s allegation, but some UFO skeptics on Reddit have dismissed his claims and questioned his credibility.


UFO Hunter Toby Lundh Claims This UFO Appeared Near ISS

A Redditor, “ObjectReport,” advised people to ignore Lundh.

“Please, please, please stop paying attention to the thirdphaseofmoon youtube channel. Please.”

Another Reddit UFO skeptic, “Deathtostupidpeople,” said that Lundh was a “hoaxer.”

But this is not the first time that alien UFO believers have accused NASA of deliberately shutting down its live video feed to cover up evidence of UFOs visiting the ISS. Lundh said UFOs were always showing up close to the ISS on the NASA live feed and that NASA always cuts the feed when this happens.

There was uproar in the alien UFO believers community last year when NASA announced it was shutting down its live feed due to budgetary constraints. But UFO believers accused NASA of trying to shut down the live stream because of UFO sightings being reported regularly by UFO hunters.

Reacting to the plan to shut down the live feed, the website UFO Sightings Daily accused NASA of trying to stop people from knowing the truth about frequent UFO rendezvous with the ISS in orbit.

“NASA says they will shut down the live public cams due to budget cuts, even thought the Canada company selling the photos will pay NASA a crap load of cash yearly. So the ‘budget cuts’ excuse is a lie. The truth is they want to stop the viewers from seeing the UFOs at the ISS and posting them to YouTube.”

Perhaps NASA has genuine reasons to be concerned about the deluge of alien and UFO conspiracy theories arising from public access to its live stream. NASA’s ISS live stream and Curiosity rover photos have become exceedingly rich sources of “evidence” fueling the thriving online alien and UFO conspiracy theory community. UFO and alien conspiracy theorists have been successful recruiting new believers with a bewildering array of alien and UFO conspiracy theories.

Curiosity rover photos, in particular, have provided a constant stream of photographic “archaeological” evidence supporting claims than an ancient Mars civilization was wiped out by a nuclear holocaust. Some of the theories being propounded in the emerging field of “exopolitics” claim that a “Pleiadian nuke destroyed Mars ecology” millions of years ago.

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“Exopolitical” speculations provide the theoretical background for the bewildering array of claims of artifact remains in Curiosity rover photos—such as ancient temples, statues and castles—uncovered regularly by the UFOvni2012 YouTube account.
15 January 2015, 5:14
Posted: January 14, 2015
Kylie Jenner and Tyga

Kylie Jenner is reportedly pregnant, with sources close to the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star saying she is expecting a child with her rapper boyfriend.

A new report from In Touch Weekly claims that Kylie and boyfriend Tyga have been getting very serious, and that sources claim the 17-year-old may be pregnant.

Kylie is eight years younger than Tyga, who is 25. This has many fingers pointing to mom Kris Jenner, who is famously involved in her daughters’ reality television careers.

Celeb Dirty Laundry noted:

“Of course, blaming the lack of parental supervision is normal when 17-year-olds get pregnant, but in this case, it’s completely justified. Not only has Kris Jenner actively encouraged Kylie to date Tyga and other famous musicians and celebrities, but she’s been completely AWOL when Kylie has been jet-setting around the world with her 8-years-older boyfriend. What mother would let their still-teenage daughter go around with her 25-year-old boyfriend without any form of adult supervision?”
Kylie Jenner and Tyga

This is not the first time the rumors have circulated that Kylie Jenner is pregnant. A similar report emerged last month, prompting Kylie to take to social media to dispel the rumors.

“I’m not trying to become a rapper, I’m not getting married, & I’m not pregnant…” she tweeted.

That speculation was prompted when Kylie was photographed visiting her family’s gynecologist.

While Kris Jenner may not have commented on the rumors that Kylie Jenner is pregnant, she is reportedly trying to take some action.

“Kris is furious about the baby news,” a source told In Touch. “She was screaming, telling Kylie she was going to kill her and that she should have never let this happen.”

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“Kris tried to ban her [in December] from dating Tyga,” the insider claimed. “Kylie told her to mind her own business, and Kylie has barely spoken to her since. She pretty much ran away from home. Although she says she lives with Khloe now, she really spends most every night at Tyga’s house.”

Radar Online reported that Kylie’s family has also tried to have her end things with Tyga, and even Kylie’s famous older sisters have joined the cause. Said a source, “Kourtney and Khloe are doing everything they can to keep her from him.”

Kylie Jenner herself has not commented on the reports that she is pregnant.

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