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Moringa oleifera (Article and videos on Moringa oleifera down below.) * * * Twenty-eighth donation in 2016. Infinite Unknown reader R.D. donated $25 Thank you for your continuing support! Very much needed and appreciated. * * * Donations in May: $85, £25, $10 (AUD) Donations in April: $75, £25 $50,00 (CAD), $10 (AUD) Donations in […]
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Former Miss Turkey Guilty Of Insulting President

Former Miss Turkey Guilty Of Insulting President

Free speech advocates in Turkey raise alarm over what they say is an erosion of people's rights to speak out.
Source: Former Miss Turkey Guilty Of Insulting President
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Panic as 3 earthquakes hit Umbria, Italy

Panic as 3 earthquakes hit Umbria, Italy

An earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale struck the central Italian region of Umbria on Monday night, and was followed by two smaller quakes this morning, creating panic among residents and closing schools in the hilltop town of Orvieto.

The first quake, which was also felt in Tuscany and Lazio, was registered by the National Institute of Geophysics just before 10.30pm.

The epicentre was in the town of Castel Giorgio at a depth of 14.8km.

Nobody was injured and there were no reports of damage to property.

But strong tremors could be felt in Perugia, Trasimeno and Orvieto, as well as the Tuscan provinces of Arezzo and Grosseto.
Source: Panic as 3 earthquakes hit Umbria, Italy
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Comets & Asteroids - Summary for May 2016

Comets & Asteroids - Summary for May 2016

During the month of May 2016, 2 new comets were discovered and cometary activity was detected for 1 previously discovered object (earlier designated as an asteroid).

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope imaged comet 252P/LINEAR just after it swept by Earth on March 21, 2016 while the Subaru Telescope serendipitously captured high-resolution images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Moreover a non-gravitational acceleration has been detected influencing the motion of minor planet (85990) (see below for more about these news). "Current comet magnitudes" & "Daily updated asteroid flybys" pages are available at the top of this blog (or just click on the underline text here).

The dates below refer to the date of issuance of CBET (Central Bureau Electronic Telegram) which reported the official news & designations.

Comet Discoveries

May 09 Discovery of P/2016 J1 (PANSTARRS)*
May 09 Discovery of C/2016 J2 (DENNEAU)
 * According to the discovery CBET, follow-up images obtained at the 3.6-m Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope atop Mauna Kea on May 6.43 showed a second comet in the field. "The two components are moving at nearly identical rates in nearly identical directions (both about 0".6/minute in p.a. about 314 deg).

The brighter component (designated component A) displays a clear and quite thin tail about 10" long in p.a. 250 deg in the May 6.43 images. The fainter object (designated component B) also displays a clear but broader tail of similar length, oriented toward p.a. about 210 deg". The available astrometry for both components and ephemerides appear on MPEC 2016-J90
Source: Comets & Asteroids - Summary for May 2016
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Monsanto loses major PCBs poisoning lawsuit - forced to pay $46 million to victims

Monsanto loses major PCBs poisoning lawsuit - forced to pay $46 million to victims

Three plaintiffs have been awarded $17.5 million in damages caused by Monsanto and three other companies for negligence in the production of PCBs.

A jury voting 10-2 in St. Louis found Monsanto, Pfizer, Solutia, and Pharmacia must pay the plaintiffs and assessed an additional $29 million in punitive damages against Monsanto for its continued selling of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, after the compound had been banned, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Plaintiffs in this case — three of nearly 100 involved in litigation, some of whom died — said they developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma from exposure to PCBs.

"All of us could pretty much agree that Monsanto was negligent," said juror Nathan Nevius in the Post-Dispatch.
Source: Monsanto loses major PCBs poisoning lawsuit - forced to pay $46 million to victims
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The Frankenstein merger: Bayer's bid for Monsanto could create a monster

The Frankenstein merger: Bayer's bid for Monsanto could create a monster

When he was appointed chief executive of the drugs and chemicals giant Bayer last month, after 28 years with the company, Werner Baumann told investors he saw "no need for a fundamental change in strategy". They expected him to continue the work of his predecessor, Marijn Dekkers.

In Teutonic style, he had cautiously repositioned one of Germany's industrial stalwarts in readiness for the next agricultural revolution. Gradually, Leverkusen-based Bayer had built up its crop science unit, developing pesticides and fertilisers, and engineering new seeds in the hope of capitalising on growing populations and a more unpredictable climate.
Source: The Frankenstein merger: Bayer's bid for Monsanto could create a monster
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Be afraid! US govt warns citizens not to travel to Europe this summer

Be afraid! US govt warns citizens not to travel to Europe this summer

Europe is not the place to be for American tourists this summer, according to the State Department. A travel advisory warns US citizens there is a risk of terrorist attacks on tourist sites and major events in the Old World until the end of August.

Though no specific threat was named, many European countries have already suffered attacks connected to the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). In Belgium, 32 people were killed and 340 injured in the March 22 bombings at the airport in Zaventem and a downtown Brussels metro station.

France is still under the state of emergency declared last November, when terrorists killed 130 and injured 368 in a series of attacks in Paris.
Source: Be afraid! US govt warns citizens not to travel to Europe this summer
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Clueless German politician says crisis in Russian-German relations 'unexpected'

Clueless German politician says crisis in Russian-German relations 'unexpected'

Former Minister President of Brandenburg Matthias Platzeck said that the crisis in relations between Russia and Germany was "unexpected" as both countries seemed to have a strong foundation for friendship and mutually beneficial relations.

The crisis in relations between Russia and Germany, which has lasted now for two years, was a complete surprise, prominent German politician and chairman of the board of the German-Russian Forum Matthias Platzeck said.

"Relations between our two countries are in a deep crisis, which several years ago couldn't be predicted [...] at all," Platzeck said while opening the conference "Potsdam Meetings" in Berlin.
Source: Clueless German politician says crisis in Russian-German relations 'unexpected'
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US Issues Euro 2016 Terror Attack Warning

US Issues Euro 2016 Terror Attack Warning

Americans planning to travel to Europe for events this summer are being told to "exercise vigilance" in public places.
Source: US Issues Euro 2016 Terror Attack Warning
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Katie Couric Regrets 'Misleading' Gun Film Edit

Katie Couric Regrets 'Misleading' Gun Film Edit

The TV host says an edit to a question about background checks made gun rights' activists "appear to be speechless".
Source: Katie Couric Regrets 'Misleading' Gun Film Edit
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HIA inquiry hears MI5 'blackmailed pedophile politicians' over Belfast boys' home abuse

HIA inquiry hears MI5 'blackmailed pedophile politicians' over Belfast boys' home abuse

An inquiry into allegations of mistreatment  -  including sexual abuse  -  at a Belfast boys' home has restarted amid claims MI5 agents knew about the alleged abuses but chose to use them to blackmail pedophile public figures.

The Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry reconvened on Tuesday to examine allegations dating as far back as the 1970s. It is alleged boys at the Kincora care home in Belfast were subject to vicious abuse.

The inquiry will hear from claimants who allege a VIP pedophile ring preyed on those who lived there.
Source: HIA inquiry hears MI5 'blackmailed pedophile politicians' over Belfast boys' home abuse
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