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The Inquisitr offers a constantly updated mix of the latest stories to hit the web, covering news, entertainment, technology, news, sport, health and everything else.

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    A Kurdish fighter crouches during a battle against ISIS

    ISIS fighters in eastern Syria have launched a fierce attack just days after American president Donald Trump said that the militant group was defeated and announced that he was pulling out U.S. troops from the region.

    As the Telegraph reported, the fighters launched an attack with armored vehicles and a wave of suicide bombers in the town of Hajin. Kurdish fighters had driven ISIS out of the region just days ago, but a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said the militant group was emboldened by Donald Trump’s announcement that U.S. troops would be leaving.

    “They got high morale from U.S. decision to withdraw from Syria,” said Mustafa Bali, an SDF spokesman. “[ISIS] is still strong in the region.”

    Kurdish fighters said they killed dozens of ISIS militants with the help of U.S.-led airstrikes, but there is fear that ISIS could overpower the Kurdish fighters and regain control once the supporting U.S. troops leave the region.

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    Four eggs, one is cracked

    Many people who consume eggs are completely unaware of the processes that go into the egg industry. Most have likely never even hear the term “chick culling.” What chick culling is, is the process of killing newly hatched poultry for which the industry has zero use. Whether free-range, organic, or battery caged, it does not matter because this process is used all across industrialised egg production, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Being as male chicks do not lay eggs, these baby males are considered absolutely useless in the industry, and are therefore culled by being killed shortly after hatching. Many of these culling methods do not even include anesthetics. They include cervical dislocation, asphyxiation by carbon dioxide, and maceration using a high speed grinder while the chicks are still alive.

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    Needles, spoon, and heroin

    Tampa Bay Times reported earlier that an individual has been arrested for several drug trafficking charges, including selling packets of the schedule one drug heroin stamped with President Donald Trump’s face and name. The heroin was initially seized in 2017, but recently the individual responsible has been sentenced to 30 years.

    Spring Hill man, Kevin Johnson, was originally arrested in 2017. His arrest was the largest drug bust in Hernando County history, cites Tampa Bay Times. It was announced this week that Johnson is looking at 35 years in prison as of his sentencing in court on November 15.

    According to Hernando County deputies, Johnson first caught the eye of authorities in May 2016. Apparently postal inspectors in New Jersey at that time seized a heavy, 13 pound package. Inside the package were individually wrapped heroin doses.

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    U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the signing ceremony for the First Step Act a

    Donald Trump seems increasingly agitated as government shutdown negotiations continue to stagnate. While people on Twitter goad him and make jokes about when he will give up and fly to his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, he insists he is still in Washington, D.C., in the White House “working hard.”

    The Washington Examiner says that Trump raised skepticism, as he keeps tweeting about his border wall, Syria, and his disdain for the Democrats that he sees as the opposition. “I am in the White House, working hard. News reports concerning the Shutdown and Syria are mostly FAKE. We are negotiating with the Democrats on desperately needed Border Security (Gangs, Drugs, Human Trafficking & more) but it could be a long stay.”

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    A rollercoaster

    Thomas Wayne Pickard, 52 years-old, has been arrested and charged with first-offense prostitution. Currently, this volunteer fire chief from the Indian Land Fire Department is sitting in the York County Jail, reports My Fox8. Pickard was arrested Friday in a prostitution sting just outside the Carowinds area in a motel, reports from WSOC TV.

    Pickard has officially been placed on administrative leave from his second job as a full-time lieutenant with Lancaster County Fire Rescue. Pickard has been with that department since 1996 and has served as their chief for two years. His administrative leave is without pay until a personnel investigation has finished being conducted.

    An Indian Land resident, Hope Williams, gave her own remark to reporters, explaining her total shock and disbelief at the situation.

    “[I] believe whatever is going on is in his personal life.”

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    woman in sunhat seated in hot tub

    A 32 year-old woman has been captured in Ohio after escaping jail, reports NBC News. She was booked on drug possession charges just this past Tuesday. According to the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, the woman fled the scene while being booked for said drug charges.

    Several hours later, as police were looking for her, a 911 caller informed authorities that they had spotted the woman sitting in a hot tub at a senior citizen’s community center spa in Waverly, which is roughly 60 miles south of Columbus, where she escaped. While soaking it up in what is being called the hot tub crime machine by NBC News, the inmate was still wearing her yellow jail outfit.

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    A Cat in someone's arms

    ABC KSAT12 reports that a couple in Salem, Oregon is now being investigated for alleged animal abuse. According to deputies at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, 35 cats were found inside a U-Haul truck after having been kept there without food or water for three entire days. Authorities have stated that three of the cats died due to this circumstance.

    According to the investigators currently looking into what is being called a case of suspected animal abuse, the felines were zip tied inside laundry baskets, sealed completely inside. The 32 surviving cats have been taken to the Willamette Humane Society for treatment of various ailments that are stated as believed to be from neglect.

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    Close up of an officer putting hands in handcuffs

    There could be more than one culprit involved in Colorado mom Kelsey Berreth’s disappearance, People is reporting. Berreth was last seen on Thanksgiving day this year before going missing. Her fiance, Patrick Frazee, was arrested December 21 on suspicion of first-degree murder and solicitation to commit murder. While Berreth’s body has not been discovered, authorities announced that they had reason to believe that she was indeed killed.

    “Sadly, we do not believe Kelsey is still alive,” Woodland Park, Colorado, police Chief Mies De Young said at a news conference.

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    .S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg waits to enter a dinner to honor Michelle Bachelet, Chile's first female president, May 8, 2006 in Washington, DC.

    Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s fall that resulted in three fractured ribs may have actually been a good thing in the long run, NBC News is reporting. Ginsburg was already fragile at 85-years-old, having survived both colon and pancreatic cancer, and having heart stent surgery four years ago, when she fell in her office on November 7. If that weren’t enough, she underwent a procedure on December 21 to remove two cancerous growths from her left lung.

    Lung cancer is a very serious form of cancer, but the procedure she had — a pulmonary lobectomy — has a high success rate if the cancer is caught early on. Some doctors are theorizing that Ginsburg was made aware of the cancer and was able to undergo surgery as soon as possible due to the cancer being detected when she was in the hospital for her rib-breaking fall.

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    A closeup of a Mega Millions lottery ticket

    Someone could be getting one incredible Christmas gift this year — more than a quarter of a billion dollars.

    The Mega Millions lottery jackpot will reach $321 million for the Christmas Day drawing, with a long streak of no winners tipping the jackpot back to enormous levels. As USA Today noted, the drawing on Friday night found no jackpot winners, leading to a big potential prize for Christmas Day.

    Whatever happens on Tuesday, there will be one thing for certain — 2018 was not a prolific year for Mega Millions winners. There have been only five winners this year, though that does include the record-breaking $1.537 billion jackpot that went to a lucky winner in South Carolina back in October.

    The Mega Millions lottery went from July until October without a winner, and now it has been another two months without anyone claiming the top prize. If no one claims the prize on Christmas Day, the jackpot would continue to grow.

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    Indonesian tsunami

    As if the eruption of an island volcano outside Jakarta, Indonesia, was not frightening enough, the tsunami sparked by the volcanic eruption that spurred a 65-foot-tall wall of water washing across Indonesia’s Sunda Strait sent sheer panic across the region.

    Indonesian officials first announced that it was a tidal wave that caused the tsunami, then later recounted that statement, USA Today said.

    Indonesia’s Meteorology and Geophysics Agency attributed the tsunami’s occurrence specifically to undersea landslides prompted by the eruption of Anak Krakatu, a volcanic island formed from the nearby Krakatu volcano that has been active for months. The agency also reported that tidal waves also could have been caused by the full moon, USA Today disclosed.

    Hundreds of houses and hotels were damaged, and at least 43 people were killed by the tsunami. Approximately 600 people have been reported injured, as well. Boats were destroyed and cars were tossed about. The tsunami struck at approximately 9:27 p.m., the country’s Disaster Management Agency reported.

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    U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the signing ceremony for the First Step Act

    As the government shutdown continues, Donald Trump continues to get more agitated, tweeting from the White House residence as he is supposed to be on vacation in Palm Beach, Florida with his wife and youngest son. But Trump has stayed behind in D.C. with his son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, and his oldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, engaged in a debate over how to end the government shutdown and still get the border wall that the president promised his supporters.

    But now a number of journalists, including some conservatives who cover Trump fulltime are saying that the president is growing weaker and weaker, even in the eyes of those who previously had his back. Newsweek reports that this morning on MSNBC’s Weekend Joy, host Joy Reid noted that Republicans in Congress “clearly fear the Republican base and Fox News.”

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    The streets of a village in Peru.

    It’s been over a week since 35-year-old American tourist Carla Valpeoz went missing on a trail near a small village in Peru. Valpeoz is considered legally blind and will eventually completely lose her vision, her family says. Originally from Detroit, she is an experienced traveler who can get around on her own with the help of a cane. One of the last people to see Valpeoz was a bus driver who dropped her off in Pisac near the Urubamba River on December 12. She was embarking on a hiking trail to an Inca archaeological site. She was later seen by trail employee and an archeologist who both said she was traveling alone, according to CNN.

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    "Game Changer" Episode 513 -- Pictured: (l-r) John David "JD" Madison. Austen Kroll --

    J.D. Madison looks rough in his latest mugshot from the Charleston County Detention Center where he is currently being held after his arrest on a warrant for the charge of check violation. The former friend of the Southern Charm cast is being held overnight.

    TMZ says not much is known about the current charges against the former Charleston restauranteur, who appeared on every season of the hit Bravo show, Southern Charm. Madison has struggled with legal problems over the course of 2018, ranging from eviction from his business location to foreclosure proceedings on his home.

    Matters got worse for Madison when, like fellow cast member Thomas Ravenel, he was accused of sexual assault this summer.

    Earlier this month in Charleston County, a judge decided against J.D. Madison, his wife, Elizabeth, and their business entity, Sermets Downtown, and ordered them to pay $176,632 to a former business partner, Cinder Creek Partners.

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    Canada geese at the shore of a pond.

    Visitors to a park in Huntington Beach, California, had been noticing strange behavior among birds in the park, including walking strangely, falling over with their legs in the air, and barely opening their eyes.

    Then someone found the pile of pills.

    As CNN reported, someone dumped hundreds of prescription pills in the small park with a playground and a small pond for fishing. Wildlife experts believe that the birds mistook the pills for grains and ate them, leaving them with strange symptoms and behaviors. The pile contained a number of different medications, including some for insomnia along with antidepressant and heart medication.

    Video shared by CBS Los Angeles showed some of the affected birds keeled over and others struggling to fly. The report noted that some neighbors found the intoxicated birds spread out through the neighborhood, leading some to worry that the birds were dying.

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    Jill Stein

    Russian internet “trolls,” actually disinformation and propaganda specialists working for the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency, helped push the 2016 candidacy of Donald Trump by staging an aggressive social media campaign to persuade potential Hillary Clinton voters to back Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Stein is a Harvard-educated doctor who has never held public office outside of Lexington, Massachusetts, and that pro-Stein campaign was far more aggressive than previously believed, according to an NBC News account of a new Senate report.

    The Internet Research Agency is funded and operated by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, who, as Inquisitr has reported, is so close to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he is known in Russia as “Putin’s Chef.”

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    Donald Trump salutes after departing Marine One

    Donald Trump declared this week that he did not know the man coordinating the nation’s fight against ISIS, which was very frightening to Senator Chris Murphy.

    Brett McGurk, who served as the Trump administration’s official ISIS envoy, abruptly resigned this week after Trump announced his decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. Both McGurk and Defense Secretary James Mattis put in their resignations after the move, which Trump reportedly ordered without consulting military leaders or national security advisers.

    The resignation led Trump to lash out at McGurk, claiming that he did not even know the man. That was a very concerning thought for Murphy, the Democratic Senator from Connecticut.

    “Uhhhh…you don’t know your own coordinator of the anti-ISIS campaign?” Murphy tweeted on Saturday. “Over the past 5 years, no one has done more to put ISIS on its heels than Brett. We all know and rely on him.”

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    U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on the possibility of a government shutdown during the signing ceremony for the First Step Act and the Juvenile Justice Reform Act in the Oval Office of the White House December 21, 2018 in Washington, DC.

    Donald Trump has himself to blame for the impasse the U.S. government finds itself currently in. This is not something which is being argued by critics of the president, but a statement opined by Trump himself.

    According to the Huffington Post, Trump told Fox News in 2013 that the responsibility for a government shutdown should fall squarely on the shoulders of the U.S. President. At the time, he blamed Obama for the government shutdown which took place because of funding conflicts. Appearing on Fox and Friends, Trump was asked who should get “fired” for the shutdown. The hosts were making a reference to the Apprentice, a reality TV show where Trump would “fire” contestants as a judge, and Trump replied that the responsibility goes to the very top.

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    An empty public bathroom

    If people who venture into one public Chinese bathroom — in the city of Jinan — have a feeling like they’re being watched, there may be a good reason for it.

    Local officials in the capital of China’s Shandong province have installed a facial recognition technology system onto the bathroom’s toilet paper dispenser, an effort to cut down on people who come into the bathroom to steal toilet paper. As Russian media outlet Sputnik reports, the dispenser is able to detect if someone is a “repeat customer” in the bathroom and can restrict toilet paper usage accordingly.

    “It works like this: the person walks up to the machine and has their face scanned, and then the dispenser gives them about 27 inches of toilet paper, NTDTV reported,” the report details. ‘To get another round of paper, users have to wait nine minutes and have another facial scan.”

    “The dispenser can reportedly tell if it is a new person using it or a returning user.”

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    People gather around fences that have been erected to protect Season's Greetings Banksy mural

    Guerilla street artist Banksy recently gifted the steel town of Port Talbot, Wales with a provocative White Christmas mural attraction. Fans of the secretive master of graffiti flocked to the Welsh town to catch a glimpse of the new Banksy piece titled “Seasons Greetings.” Apparently, if the popular British artist paints it, they will come, including one that’s been dubbed a “drunk halfwit.” The drunken man reportedly created quite a stir, per BBC News, when he tried to deface the valuable painting.

    Banksy took to Instagram three days ago to authenticate that he had created “Season’s Greetings” on a cinder-block garage wall in the town. The anonymous illustrator used the video footage on the social media site to share details of the mural with his many fans around the world. The street painting of the small boy in a knitted cap bundled up against the cold catching snowflakes with his tongue has been viewed by over two million Instagram followers so far.

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