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World News

UK: Teen Fined, Under House Arrest for Asking Trans Police Officer’s Gender

National File – A teenager with Asperger’s was handed a hefty fine and placed under house arrest for asking a trans police support officer, “is it a boy or is it a girl?”

Declan Armstrong, 19, allegedly offended the transgender support officer, Connor Freel, who was reportedly left “upset and embarrassed” by the question.

Armstrong, who denied charges of violating the Welsh Public Order Act 1986 by “using abusive or insulting words with intent to cause harassment,” had his sentenced raised from “a low level to a medium level community order because of its transphobic nature,” in keeping with the British justice system’s tough stance on transphobia, emphasizing tolerance and inclusivity.

Armstrong was fined £590–around $800 USD–at Mold Magistrates’ Court and given a strict 3-month curfew, according to Yahoo News.

The Crown Prosecution said, “Comments deliberately targeting a person in this way have no place in modern society. The CPS takes any hate crime allegation extremely seriously and we will robustly prosecute cases that meet the Code for Crown Prosecutors.”

Rhian Jackson, prosecuting, said: “Due to his transgender, when Connor heard Declan say what he said, it left him feeling upset and embarrassed.”

The question posed by Armstrong reportedly left Freel uncomfortable and “reluctant” to work alone in the future.

According the victim’s counsel, Ms Jackson went onto say, “To have something shouted at him that had such personal connotations whilst he was on his own in the middle of a public place that was rather busy due to market day footfall did leave him vulnerable, distressed, and embarrassed.”

Gunmen kill 24 near Burkina Faso church as attacks against Christians increasing ‘at alarming rate’

Fox – Human rights advocates fear attacks against Christians are increasing “at an alarming rate” in Burkina Faso following a weekend assault that left 24 dead, including a pastor.

Roughly 20 attackers separated men from women near a Protestant church in Pansi on Sunday before killing Christians and Muslims and setting the building on fire, officials in the West African country announced Monday.

“Perpetrators use victims’ links to government or their faith to justify the killings, while others appear to be reprisal killings for killings by the government security forces,” Corinne Dufka, the region’s director for Human Rights Watch, told the Associated Press.

She added analysts are worried that attacks against civilians, including against Christians, are increasing there “at an alarming rate.”

Coronavirus triggers China to destroy, quarantine cash in outbreak hotspots, reports say

Fox – A branch of China’s central bank is gathering old paper currency from areas deemed high-risk for the coronavirus and destroying the cash to prevent the contagion from spreading, reports said Sunday.

The Guangzhou branch of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) ordered the destruction of all paper banknotes from hospitals, fresh food markets and buses in areas exposed to the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure the safety of cash dealings, the South China Morning Post reported.

Potentially contaminated bills from other hotspots, including the central province of Hubei, the epicenter of the virus, will be quarantined and sterilized before recirculation, PBOC Deputy Governor Fan Yifei told reporters at a news conference, according to Bloomberg News. He said money from lower-risk areas will be quarantined for a week.

“Money from key virus-hit areas will be sanitized with ultraviolet rays or heated and locked up for at least 14 days before it is distributed again,” Fan said.

The Chinese government also has frozen the transfer and distribution of old cash across provinces and between cities hit hardest by the epidemic, he said.

The bank removed 7.8 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) from the southern province of Guangdong between Feb. 3 and Feb. 13, while adding nearly 3 billion yuan ($430,000) back into circulation, the Morning Post reported.

As billions in banknotes are being collected for disinfection or destruction, the PBOC has already distributed 600 billion yuan ($85.6 billion) in fresh currency throughout the country since Jan. 17, according to the outlet.

On Monday, a slight uptick in new COVID-19 cases was reported in China. The death toll on the mainland has increased to 1,770 from among 70,548 cases since the outbreak began two months ago, according to China’s governmental health authority.

Coronavirus panic led to Hong Kong toilet paper theft at knifepoint: police

Fox – Two masked thieves in Hong Kong were arrested Monday after holding a delivery man at knifepoint and stealing hundreds of rolls of toilet paper, as panic over a lack of supplies grows in the world financial hub currently fending off the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus on the Chinese mainland.

A group of three men wearing masks approached a delivery man around 6 a.m. local time outside the Wellcome Supermarket in Hong Kong’s Mong Kok district. One man wielded a knife. They then stole more than 600 rolls of toilet paper worth about $130 from the delivery truck, police said.

Two of the men were later arrested, police said. Hong Kong authorities said they also recovered the stolen toilet paper. Police are still searching for a third man involved. The robbery took place in an area of Hong Kong known for its history of “triad” crime gangs, BBC News reported.

14 Americans With Virus From Cruise Ship Return to US, 44 Stay in Japan

Newsmax – Fourteen Americans among the more than 300 people flown back to the United States from a cruise ship docked off the coast of Japan have tested positive for novel coronavirus during the evacuation process but were permitted to continue to the U.S., according to the Departments of State and Health and Human Services.

The agencies said in a joint statement Monday that officials were notified that the 14 passengers had tested positive for the disease after they and the other Americans had left the Diamond Princess, reports CNN. They had undergone testing two or three days before the evacuation flights began.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

China’s Coronavirus Numbers Don’t Add Up, And The White House Doesn’t Believe Them

ZeroHedge – As we’ve been highlighting for weeks, China’s official coronavirus numbers aren’t adding up. The evidence is overwhelming; overloaded crematoriums in Hubei province, to the official death rate maintaining an improbable 2.1% (within + / – 0.1%) for weeks, to coronavirus deaths counted as pneumonia before they were able to test positive – and finally, all the bodies currently decomposing in apartments (government-sealed or not).

Officially, there are currently 69,289 confirmed cases, and 1,670 fatalities, with 95% of those coming from China.

To that end, Barron’s notes that China’s coronavirus numbers are “too perfect to mean much.”

A statistical analysis of China’s coronavirus casualty data shows a near-perfect prediction model that data analysts say isn’t likely to naturally occur, casting doubt over the reliability of the numbers being reported to the World Health Organization. That’s aside from news on Thursday that health officials in the epicenter of the outbreak reported a surge in new infections after changing how they diagnose the illness. –Barron’s

This week, the Trump administration said that it does “not have high confidence in the information coming out of China,” while CNBC notes that Beijing has been reluctant to accept help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and has been suppressing information about the outbreak from scientists that run counter to their prevailing narrative that everything is under control and the virus is peaking.

U.S. officials’ mistrust of China goes as far back as the 1950s, when national authorities set unrealistic production quotas that led local officials to inflate data. Mishaps with the 2003 outbreak of SARS, which sickened 8,098 people and killed about 800 over nine months, and discrepancies in reporting of economic data over the past two decades has only hardened the U.S. government’s belief that China cannot be trusted, experts say. White House advisor Peter Navarro has even called China a “disease incubator.” –CNBC

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) – which receives the second-largest financial contribution from China after the United States – has been defending Beijing and praising their response while insisting that travel restrictions are unnecessary and racist (would spread “fear and stigma”).

Bill to ban sale of assault-style weapons dies in Va. state Senate committee

The Hill – An assault weapons ban, one of several Virginia bills that prompted armed protests at the state Capitol earlier this year, died in committee Monday despite the backing of Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and the legislature’s Democratic majority.

Three Democrats, state Sens. Creigh Deeds, Chap Petersen and John Edwards, joined Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject the bill, sending it back to the state’s Crime Commission in a 10-5 vote, The Washington Post reported. Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D) audibly referred to the three as a “bunch of wimps” from the dais.

The bill would have prohibited the sale or transfer of such weapons as of July 1, a compromise from an earlier version that would also have banned possession of them, as well as possession of high-capacity magazines as of Jan. 1, 2021. Critics claimed the measure was not clear enough on how it defined assault weapons.

More than 100 municipalities in Virginia have declared themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries” amid the Democratic majority’s push for new gun control measures, with some local officials vowing not to enforce certain gun laws.

Seven other Northam-backed gun control measures have already passed Virginia’s House of Delegates, including bills requiring universal background checks for private gun sales and mandating that the owner of a stolen or lost firearm report it within 24 hours.

Other measures passed by the House include one authorizing local governments to ban weapons from public buildings and certain events, restoring a limit on handgun purchases of one per month and creating a “red flag” law allowing authorities to temporarily seize the weapons of someone assessed to be a threat to themselves or others, the Post reported.

Bloomberg Floats Trial Balloon: Hillary as His VP Pick

The New American – Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign leaked details of a strategy designed to test the market for Hillary Clinton as his running mate to Matt Drudge on Saturday. Drudge, the founder of his news aggregate website (with millions of visitors), tweeted: “Sources close to Bloomberg campaign told DRUDGE REPORT that candidate is considering Hillary as running mate, after their polling found the Bloomberg-Clinton combination would be a formidable force.”

Naturally both parties denied the rumor. Bloomberg’s campaign director, Jason Schechter, said, “We are focused on the primary and the debate, not VP speculation.” And when Clinton was asked about it on Ellen DeGeneres’ The Ellen Show, she dissembled: “Well, that’s not going to happen, but no, probably no.” However, to add clarity where none was needed, she said in the same interview, “As I say, never, never, never say never. I will certainly tell you I’m under enormous pressure from many, many people to think about it.”

Drudge added that his “source” said Bloomberg was prepared to change his residence from New York to another state to comply with the 12th Amendment, which prohibits Electoral College electors from voting for presidential and vice-presidential candidates living in the same state. Tweeted Drudge: “Bloomberg himself would go as far as to change his official residence from NY to homes he owns in CO or FL, since Electoral College makes it hard for POTUS and VPOTUS to be from the same state.”

Jury finds in favor of Missouri peach grower in lawsuit against Bayer, BASF

St. Louis Post Dispatch  – A federal jury on Friday found in favor of Bader Farms, a Campbell, Missouri-based peach grower that blamed agrochemical giants Bayer and BASF for encouraging the use of the weedkiller dicamba and causing irreparable damage to its business.

Jurors awarded Bader Farms $15 million of the $20.9 million it sought. They also found Bayer — the German company that acquired Creve Coeur-based Monsanto in 2018 — must pay punitive damages. That amount will be decided Saturday. It was unclear Friday whether BASF also is liable for punitive damages.

The verdict, which likely will be appealed, is expected to hold far-reaching implications for a wave of similar litigation that also blames dicamba for millions of acres of crop damage seen across U.S. farms in recent years, as the weedkiller has soared to prominence in commercial agriculture.

The jury ruled in Bader Farms’ favor on every count — determining that Bayer and BASF committed negligence and acted together in a conspiracy to promote dicamba product systems.

Lawyers for the companies claimed during the trial that Bader Farms’ losses stemmed from root fungus and adverse weather events, such as hail and ice storms, rather than drift from the herbicide. They pointed to tree losses and challenges the farm faced before the 2015 emergence of the new dicamba technology under fire.

But Bader Farms’ lawyers argued that rampant dicamba damage was a foreseeable consequence of the introduction of new crop varieties genetically engineered to tolerate dicamba.

In fact, they argued that the volatile chemical’s tendency to drift and move off-target was a selling point recognized by the companies: Farmers using dicamba spray and seeds that tolerate the chemical were immune from damage, while those with other crops nearby risked damage when the weedkiller didn’t stay in the intended fields.

“It was part of the plan the whole time,” said Billy Randles, the lawyer making closing arguments on behalf of Bader Farms. He pointed to internal company documents that anticipated damage from off-target dicamba drift before the new technology’s release, and “defensive planting” sales to farmers seeking to protect themselves.

“They mapped out the number of people they were going to hurt, and put it out, anyway,” Randles said.

“It was not compatible with Midwestern agriculture,” he said. “You buy it, or else.”

Bader Farms, Randles argued, is particularly vulnerable, given Southeast Missouri’s status as a national epicenter of dicamba damage complaints in recent years, and the heavy adoption of dicamba-tolerant crops in the area.

“Bader Farms is an island in a sea of dicamba,” he said.

Three girls sue state to stop boys who say they’re ‘girls’ from competing in their sport

Life Site News (February 13, 2020)  – Three Connecticut girls are suing their state’s high school sports authority — the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) — to stop boys who claim to be girls from competing in their sport.

Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, and Chelsea Mitchell, all Connecticut high school track athletes, have been denied opportunities to win races, as well to fairly compete for college scholarships and other advancements, because of the state’s policy.

Soule is the same high school girl who, last year, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). That complaint is still ongoing, as the OCR has not yet handed down its guidance ruling.

Starting in 2017, two gender-confused boys were permitted to run in girls’ track in Connecticut. The results have been predictable: in the last three years alone, the two boys have won 15 state championships between them and have deprived girls of 85 opportunities for high-level competition, according to the nonprofit legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom.

Represented by the ADF, the three girls and their mothers filed their federal lawsuit on Wednesday with the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

The complaint alleges that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s policy discriminates against girls and violates their Title IX rights.

DOE Launches Investigations Into Harvard and Yale

Clarion Project – The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) announced yesterday that it would be launching investigations into the foreign gift reporting from Harvard and Yale universities.

U.S. universities that receive foreign gifts valued at $250,000 or more are required by law to file a disclosure report with the DOE twice a year.

Both Harvard and Yale are said to have failed in their reporting of hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign gifts and contracts. The DOE discovered Yale may have failed to report at least $375 million in foreign gifts and contracts.

This information comes after the news of the recent arrest of a leading Harvard University scientist who concealed over $2 million in funds from Chinese sources.

According to prosecutors, nanotechnology pioneer Charles Lieber lied to U.S. government investigators about receiving Chinese talent-plan funding. Lieber is alleged to have signed a contract with Chinese counterparts to establish a research lab at the Wuhan University of Technology.

Mike Bloomberg belittles farming, factory jobs as having less ‘gray matter’ in video

The Washington Times – Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg once said that farming and factory jobs don’t require much gray matter, as opposed to information-era jobs.

In a 2016 talk at Oxford University in England, a clip of which went viral over the weekend, the 2020 Democratic presidential contender belittled both agricultural and industrial jobs as simple and simplistic.

“I could teach anybody, even the people in this room” to be a farmer, he said, calling agriculture “a process.”

“You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn,” he said.

He spoke similarly of factory jobs as mechanical repetition requiring no brain power.

You put the piece of metal in the lathe, you turn the crank in the direction of the arrow, and you can have a job,” he continued.

Mr. Bloomberg then said working in the information economy is “fundamentally different, because it’s built around replacing people with technology and the skill sets that you have to learn are how to think and analyze. And that is a whole degree level different. You have to have a different skill set, you have to have a lot more gray matter,” he said.

Atheist Dawkins Says ‘Eugenics Would Work’

Infowars – In a set of rather bizarre tweets on Sunday, notorious atheist Richard Dawkins argued that eugenics, the practice of selective breeding supported by the Nazis, would work perfectly well if applied to humans, because it works on animals.

“It’s one thing to deplore eugenics on ideological, political, moral grounds. It’s quite another to conclude that it wouldn’t work in practice,” Dawkins wrote.

“Of course it would. It works for cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses. Why on earth wouldn’t it work for humans? Facts ignore ideology,” he added.

Okaaaay, Mein Führer.

Sensing that his comments would generate immediate backlash and Hitler comparisons, Dawkins clarified that he wasn’t advocating for eugenics, merely acknowledging that it would be a very effective practice.

“For those determined to miss the point, I deplore the idea of a eugenic policy,” he said.

“I simply said deploring it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work. Just as we breed cows to yield more milk, we could breed humans to run faster or jump higher. But heaven forbid that we should do it.” Dawkins explained.

Dawkins has previously made his thoughts on eugenics clear, writing that he suspects “that the idea is too dangerous for comfortable discussion, and my conjecture is that Adolf Hitler is responsible for the change.”

“Nobody wants to be caught agreeing with that monster, even in a single particular.” Dawkins continued, adding “The spectre of Hitler has led some scientists to stray from “ought” to “is” and deny that breeding for human qualities is even possible.”

“But if you can breed cattle for milk yield, horses for running speed, and dogs for herding skill, why on Earth should it be impossible to breed humans for mathematical, musical or athletic ability? Objections such as ‘these are not one-dimensional abilities’ apply equally to cows, horses and dogs and never stopped anybody in practice.” Dawkins urged.

“In the 1920s and 1930s, scientists from both the political left and right would not have found the idea of designer babies particularly dangerous – though of course they would not have used that phrase.” Dawkins further asserted.

“I wonder whether, some 60 years after Hitler’s death, we might at least venture to ask what the moral difference is between breeding for musical ability and forcing a child to take music lessons. Or why it is acceptable to train fast runners and high jumpers but not to breed them. I can think of some answers, and they are good ones, which would probably end up persuading me. But hasn’t the time come when we should stop being frightened even to put the question?” the evolutionary biologist stated.

Dawkins’ latest considerations on eugenics quickly opened up a torrent of disbelief.

Economy & Business

California shocked to find bill decriminalizing retail theft resulted in… more retail theft

Hot Air (September 2019 )- A few years ago, California passed one in a series of bills aimed at emptying the jails and prisons. Proposition 47 carried the disingenuous name of “the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act and its stated purpose was to keep non-violent offenders out of jail. To achieve this goal, the state decriminalized a number of lesser offenses, including retail theft. The law raised the value of the amount of merchandise someone could steal while still only being charged with a misdemeanor to nearly one thousand dollars.

To the great surprise of the government, people noticed this change and began taking advantage of it. They have now recorded multiple years of steadily increasing, organized robbery. These plots are known as “mass grab and dash” thefts and they generally involve large numbers of young people all entering a store at the same time, grabbing armfuls of merchandise and dashing back out to their vehicles and hitting the highway. Not only are robberies on the rise, but arrests and prosecutions are down. Who could possibly have predicted this?

Nobody is seriously contesting the numbers. The local and state police organizations blame prop 47. FBI crime data supports the contention. Retail sales organizations have tracked this trend and agree.

This is a trend that’s been building in a number of blue states and now it seems that the petty crime chickens are coming home to roost. The fact is that there are always going to be a certain number of people who will be willing to break the law if they don’t feel the risk of significant punishment is too high. An understanding of this fundamental principle is why the “broken windows” policies enacted in New York City and other municipalities in the 90s were so effective. If you crack down on even smaller crimes, you lower crime rates overall.

Sadly, liberal elected officials paint a picture of racism and inequity behind effective law enforcement initiatives. The people committing these thefts frequently end up being young black and Hispanic robbers because they are more likely to come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. This leads to laws like prop 47 hoping to keep more of them out of the “school to prison pipeline.”

But when you make it easier and less risky to steal larger amounts of goods, people will steal more merchandise. Did it really take a rocket scientist to figure this out? California basically incentivized crime and potential criminals answered the call. And since many of them were only getting the equivalent of a parking ticket for stealing 900 dollars worth of goods, police frequently didn’t expend much energy trying to catch them.

Starbucks UK partners with LGBTQ charity that helps trans kids find hormone treatments

Coffee company plans to sell ‘mermaid tail cookies’ to benefit charity

Starbucks U.K. is launching a partnership with a charity that advises transgender children on gender dysphoria, including, but not limited to, locating access to hormone treatments.

The charity also connects children and their parents with resources to help determine what resources they may need should they decide to transition.

In a set of rather bizarre tweets on Sunday, notorious atheist Richard Dawkins argued that eugenics, the practice of selective breeding supported by the Nazis, would work perfectly well if applied to humans, because it works on animals.

“It’s one thing to deplore eugenics on ideological, political, moral grounds. It’s quite another to conclude that it wouldn’t work in practice,” Dawkins wrote.

“Of course it would. It works for cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses. Why on earth wouldn’t it work for humans? Facts ignore ideology,” he added.

Energy & Environment

Near-record flooding expected in Mississippi

The Hill – Near-record flooding is expected in Mississippi in the coming days, officials warned.

The National Weather Service in Jackson, Miss., tweeted Sunday that the Pear River in Jackson is at 36.42 feet and rising.

The river has not been this high since 1983, the National Weather Service added.

Canadian energy giant ‘funding’ Oregon sheriff’s unit to Protect Private Pipeline

The Liberty Beacon – Canadian energy giant ‘funding’ Oregon sheriff’s unit to thwart protests against one of its own pipeline project

A Canadian fossil fuel company “bought” a sheriff’s unit in Oregon with the aim of controlling and monitoring the behavior and activities of anti-gas pipeline activists and environmentalists, the Intercept has revealed.

In November 2018, Coos County Sheriff’s Office – which has closely monitored local opposition to the Jordan Cove Energy Project – hosted a two-day training event for officers, instructing them on how to deal with battles against protesters.

Yet, the event costs of $26,250 were paid by Pembina Pipeline Corp. – the Canadian energy company that owns the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas project, which the Trump administration has named as one of its high-priority infrastructure projects.

Not only did it cover the costs of the police training event, Pembina for four years was the “sole funding source” of a unit within the sheriff’s office dedicated to handling security concerns around the pipeline development, according to a new investigation by the Intercept.

Despite the fact that the energy project still needs to be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, between 2016 and 2020 the sheriff’s department reportedly spent $2 million of Pembina’s cash, using the money to purchase riot gear, monitor activists and coordinate intelligence-gathering operations with “private security companies” that worked with the Canadian energy giant. A decision by the FERC was expected on February 13, but was delayed by another week.

The financial arrangement was put on hold in April 2019, but Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni said the partnership is likely to be renewed, the report said.

At the same time, on behalf of Pembina, communications and intelligence operations on Jordan Cove were led by global consulting firm Teneo, which was founded by former aides to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

It was also uncovered that one of the workshops given at the 2018 Coos County training event was led by employees of a Washington DC-based company called Delve, which is affiliated with the Republican Party and worked with police during massive protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in 2016. Another workshop was led by the TigerSwan defense firm which had been criticized for its aggressive and militaristic handling of the Dakota Access pipeline protests.

Minnesota Will Pay Homeowners to Replace Lawns with Bee-Friendly Wildflowers, Clover and Native Grasses

The Hearty Soul – Bees are the most important pollinators in agriculture and are also extremely important in natural areas as well. They are responsible for pollinating 70 of the roughly 100 crops that feed 90% of our world’s population, which equates to $30 billion each year in crops. Despite their importance, the planet’s bee populations are struggling. Many species are at risk of becoming extinct. If we lost bees, we would not only lose those crops but the animals who rely on those crops as food, essentially the food chain would begin to collapse.

Thankfully, there are organizations and people who recognize this problem and are taking actions to improve the situation. One of those groups in the state of Minnesota.

Minnesota has set aside almost $1 million to boost the suffering bee population in their state. There plan, set to roll out in spring 2020, is to encourage homeowners to stop caring for their lawns in the traditional sense, instead to grow lawns filled with wildflowers, clover, and native grasses.

The bees used to rely on the flowers and grasses in the wild-open fields of the state, but as Minnesota becomes increasingly urban, they are now forced to rely on suburban and city lawn flowers.

he state is providing homeowners with grants to stop spraying herbicides, cut their lawns less, and allow their lawns to return to a more natural state. People are encouraged to plant the types of wildflowers that the bees like, such as:

  • Dutch white clover
  • Creeping thyme
  • Self-heal
  • Ground plum
  • Dandelion

All of these flowers are inexpensive and require little to no intervention to maintain. Dutch white clover, for example, is the primary source of pollen for 55 of Minnesota’s 350 bee species, and grows short enough so that people don’t have to change the settings on their lawnmowers.

The ‘Tesla of eco-villages’ is developing off-grid villages that grow their own food and generate their own power (Sep 2016)

Business Insider – If you move into a new neighborhood being constructed outside of Amsterdam, your salad greens might come from the greenhouse attached to your home. Your eggs could be gathered from the village chicken coop, and your food waste would all get harvested for compost.

ReGen Villages is a startup real estate development company aiming to build small, self-sustaining residential communities around the world. The first one is expected to be completed in Almere, Netherlands in 2018. Unlike traditional subdivisions, ReGen villages would be “regenerative” (hence the name), since they’d use resources in a closed loop.

“Regenerative means systems where the output of one system can actually be the input of another,” ReGen’s founder, James Ehrlich tells Business Insider.

In ReGen villages, household food waste is composted and fed to flies, which in turn feeds fish, which then fertilizes aquaponic gardens (multi-layered systems that combine fish farming and hydroponic agriculture, with plant roots submerged in nutrient-rich solution rather than soil). Those aquaponic farms grow produce for residents to eat, as do seasonal gardens, which are be fertilized by waste from livestock raised to feed residents. Rainwater is harvested and filtered for use in the farms and gardens, and on-site solar panels power the homes.

Though this kind of regenerative, self-sufficient neighborhood might sound like a pipe dream, ReGen has already determined its first two sites. Ehrlich says he expects to sign a memo of understanding for a plot of land in Lund, Sweden in the coming weeks — the agreement will outline the intent to purchase the land and set forth initial terms. And ReGen’s first site in the Netherlands is currently undergoing archaeological testing to make sure the village won’t be built on top of any historic ruins.

Ehrlich expects to break ground there in the first quarter of 2017, begin construction by the end of the summer, and have the first 25 homes built by the end of the year.

In Great Barrier Reef, Amazing Photos Captured of World’s ONLY Known Pink Manta Ray

The Mind Unleashed – An underwater photographer has captured rare images of the world’s only known pink manta ray, dazzling online observers and marine biologists.

The rose-tinted manta ray is named Inspector Clouseau—in homage to the detective from the Pink Panther films—and is known to dwell near Lady Elliot Island in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

Finnish photographer Kristian Laine was fortunate enough to get within touching distance of the rare creature, which was first spotted in 2015 by diving instructor Ryan Jeffery, reports Australian Geographic.

Laine took the brilliant photos some time last year.

While scientists had initially believed that the manta ray’s pink belly was perhaps a result of a skin infection, the University of Queensland’s Project Manta believes that “the coloration is just an unusual and unique expression of the skin’s melanin.” However, other theories have been floated about why the ray has its unusual pink color.

Science & Technology

Scientists Successfully Grow a Full-Sized Beating Heart Using Stem Cells

The Hearty Soul (February 2017) – Right now, 4,186 people are waiting for a heart transplant in the U.S., but with a huge donor shortage not all of these patients are likely to survive. Growing transplantable hearts in a laboratory has been a long-standing dream of the medical community, and a study in the journal Circulation Research has moved it one step closer to reality: A team of researchers has successfully grown a beating human heart in the laboratory using stem cells.

Previous research has shown how 3D printers can be used to manufacture 3D heart segments using the biological material. Although vacant of any actual heart cells, these structures provided the “scaffold” on which heart tissue could be grown.

Now, a team from both Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School has taken this scaffolding concept and combined it with stem cells for some truly spectacular results.

SPACED OUT – Mysterious object 500million light years away baffles scientists after transmitting signals that hit Earth every 16 days

The Sun – A MYSTERIOUS object 500million light years away has baffled scientists after transmitting signals that hit Earth every 16 days.

Scientists do not know what is causing the phenomenon, but it is being recognised as the first reliable pattern of fast radio bursts in deep space.

These newly discovered radio bursts repeat their activity every 16 days – suggesting something is controlling them.

Researchers have so far found over 100 types of fast radio bursts, but only 10 of those have been seen to repeat – and none have shown any consistent tempo.

Astrophysicists discovered the pattern in data from the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or CHIME, radio telescope in British Columbia.

In this particular instance, around one to two radio bursts will blast out per hour for four days before going silent for 12 days.

The cycle then repeats itself.

These bursts were recently traced to a spiral galaxy nearly 500 million light-years away from Earth.

Duncan Lorimer, an astrophysicist at West Virginia University in Morgantown told Science News: “This is very significant.

“It’s potentially going to take us in an interesting direction to get to the bottom of these repeaters.”

It has been suggested that this particular fast radio burst could be orbiting something else, such as a star or a black hole.

Health

Iodine Is a Strong Weapon Against Viral Infections

Mercola – Iodine is an effective antiviral and antibacterial agent with a long history as a wound cleaner and a broad-spectrum disinfectant.

Some have found povidone iodine may speed the healing of chronic wounds and reduce the need for antibiotics.

Iodine is a key component for thyroid function and heart health. Too much or too little may introduce problems.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, dry skin, muscle aches, joint pain and thinning hair.

Consider using products with povidone iodine to clean door handles and wash your hands during cold and flu season; iodine throat gargle solution may reduce bacterial and viral infections

>> Power Mall Product of Interest: Detoxadine – 1 fl oz – Detoxadine is Global Healing Center’s brand of standardized nano-colloidal nascent iodine. It is produced with a transformative bio-elemental matrix and, with a glycerin base, is designed to be more gentle on your digestive system than iodine supplements that contain alcohol.

The 7 Best Vitamins for Healthy & Glowing Skin

Dr. Group – If you want healthy skin — and who doesn’t — you want to ensure you get the right combination of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. With so many out there, how do you know what specific vitamins promote skin health?

Whether you have adult acne, wrinkles, dry skin, slow-healing wounds, or other skin concerns, nature makes it easy for you. Hundreds of plants contain vitamins that boost skin health, keeping your skin moisturized, elastic, and having a smooth complexion.

Vitamins are vital for healthy skin and its function. With the right ones, we can stave off nearly every aspect of unhealthy skin getting in our way.

Best Vitamins for Skin

The combination of stress and lower vitamin levels increases oxidative stress, leading to skin damage. Many vitamins and minerals have antioxidant properties that protect the skin from free radical damage (which leads to premature aging). Ensuring you get adequate levels of these vitamins can make a big difference.

We’ve compiled a list of the best vitamins for your skin. Whether they improve collagen elasticity, reduce the appearance of acne, or give you glowing skin, these are the best of the best.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is actually a group of eight fat-soluble compounds — four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. Most dietary supplements only contain alpha-tocopherol. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant, which means it counteracts damage caused by free radicals inside the body and on your skin.

If you stay out in the sun too long, this vitamin can help counteract its effects, like dried-out skin and blemishes.  Vitamin E also has anti-inflammatory properties.  Interestingly, people who have acne tend to be low in it.

Vitamin C

Sun exposure generates free radicals on the skin, which contribute to premature aging. If you want to slow down the signs of aging, vitamin C helps with its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It works best when taken with vitamin E.

Vitamin C boosts collagen production in the skin, the protein that helps your skin stay tight, which keeps it looking young.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

If you’ve spent too much time in the sun, omega-3s can help. While not a vitamin per se, omega-3s are important nutrients that protect against photo-aging and sunburn effects on the skin.That means less dry or damaged skin. Omega-3s can also help eye health, boosting tear production and keeping eyes moisturized.

Vitamin D

Also called “the sunshine vitamin” because your skin produces it when exposed to the sun, vitamin D supports healthy, glowing skin. Interestingly, similar to vitamin C and E, when you’re low in vitamin D, you may be more likely to get pimples.[8] Some people use vitamin D serum on their skin for this reason.

Vitamin D supports wound healing, and also protects against the sun’s damage.[9] Healthy levels of vitamin D delays aging, promoting normal hair growth and excellent skin health.[9]

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a skin-healing powerhouse. The delicate area under your eyes is prone to dehydration, which can bring dark circles, wrinkles, and fine lines. Applying vitamin K on the skin may help with these issues.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Vitamin B3 or niacin (which converts into niacinamide) can even out your skin tone and help you avoid excessive wrinkles and fine lines that come with age.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

If you lack enough vitamin B7 (biotin), you can end up with rashes and irritated skin, brittle nails, and hair loss.

Pet News

(WARNING GRAPHIC) Dead family pet dogs & puppies killed by the city of Denver, CO because of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) discrimination

Flickr – These pictures have made it onto the Westword Blog the Denver news blog.

When people go to visit their dogs in the Denver shelter, and have to leave their dogs there–actually walk away–as the dogs are screaming to go with them, it is almost too much to take. And the dogs have no idea how they got from their comfy sofas to that concrete hellhole. Many that have experienced this have said they have never heard their dog make that panicky sound before.

About the photos…

These are pictures of just one load of dogs that Denver has rounded up and killed as part of their breed ban. “Well,” you might say, “dogs are killed every day in shelters across the land.” Yes, they are and it is all awful. But these were dogs who had homes. These were owned dogs that got picked up and killed for what they look like, not for anything they did. Underneath this pile of dead dogs, but not shown, were something like twelve puppies that were not even weaned yet. The photographer wanted to show them, but didn’t have the heart to move the bodies of the adults around to show the puppies. Either way, this is how a breed ban manifests itself–in the rounding up and killing family dogs.

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