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ChannelYahoo News - Latest News & Headlines    
RSS File: https://news.yahoo.com/rss/topstories
Description: The latest news and headlines from Yahoo! News. Get breaking news stories and in-depth coverage with videos and photos.
  • Trump says he is holding up coronavirus aid to block Postal Service funds for voting by mail      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 11:10:03 -0400

    Trump says he is holding up coronavirus aid to block Postal Service funds for voting by mailThe president said on Thursday that he is willing to block a relief package because it contains money for the U.S. Postal Service that would shore up election infrastructure amid the pandemic.


    Trump says he is holding up coronavirus aid to block Postal Service funds for voting by mailThe president said on Thursday that he is willing to block a relief package because it contains money for the U.S. Postal Service that would shore up election infrastructure amid the pandemic.


     

  • Oregon State Police Withdraws from Portland Courthouse after D.A. Announces He Won’t Prosecute Most Rioters      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 08:50:02 -0400

    Oregon State Police Withdraws from Portland Courthouse after D.A. Announces He Won’t Prosecute Most RiotersOregon state police are backing out of an agreement to protect the Portland federal courthouse from rioters, after the Multnomah County district attorney announced he will not prosecute most rioters who are arrested.Portland has seen riots almost every night since the May death of George Floyd, an African American man killed during his arrest by Minneapolis police officers. Rioters initially targeted the federal courthouse in the city, but after federal and state law enforcement came to an agreement to jointly protect the courthouse, rioters moved on to attack city police.Multnomah County D.A. Mike Schmidt announced on Tuesday that his office would not prosecute most rioters who have been arrested, except where charges include deliberate property damage, theft, or threat of violence. Police have arrested over 500 people since the riots began, but less than 50 have been prosecuted so far.Oregon state police told KOIN 6 on Thursday that they are ending their deployment at Portland's federal courthouse because of anger over Schmidt's decision after being called in to assist as part of the agreement reached between local authorities and the federal government.“The Oregon State Police is continually reassessing our resources and the needs of our partner agencies and at this time we are inclined to move those resources back to counties where prosecution of criminal conduct is still a priority," OSP said in a statement.Governor Kate Brown said the withdrawal was being coordinated between all relevant agencies."This transition was made in coordination with local and federal officials," Brown wrote on Twitter. "If further state support is needed in Portland, OSP troopers will be available to return to the city.""The OSP Troopers assigned to this event demonstrated the best traditions of the agency's commitment to service, however, our initial commitment to the City of Portland has concluded and it is time we integrate this valuable resource back to their respective communities," OSP said in a statement to National Review. "OSP will always be here for Portland, as we have for decades and I'll continue to assess subsequent resource demands with the Portland Police Bureau Chief, whom I have a great deal of respect for and a strong working relationship."


    Oregon State Police Withdraws from Portland Courthouse after D.A. Announces He Won’t Prosecute Most RiotersOregon state police are backing out of an agreement to protect the Portland federal courthouse from rioters, after the Multnomah County district attorney announced he will not prosecute most rioters who are arrested.Portland has seen riots almost every night since the May death of George Floyd, an African American man killed during his arrest by Minneapolis police officers. Rioters initially targeted the federal courthouse in the city, but after federal and state law enforcement came to an agreement to jointly protect the courthouse, rioters moved on to attack city police.Multnomah County D.A. Mike Schmidt announced on Tuesday that his office would not prosecute most rioters who have been arrested, except where charges include deliberate property damage, theft, or threat of violence. Police have arrested over 500 people since the riots began, but less than 50 have been prosecuted so far.Oregon state police told KOIN 6 on Thursday that they are ending their deployment at Portland's federal courthouse because of anger over Schmidt's decision after being called in to assist as part of the agreement reached between local authorities and the federal government.“The Oregon State Police is continually reassessing our resources and the needs of our partner agencies and at this time we are inclined to move those resources back to counties where prosecution of criminal conduct is still a priority," OSP said in a statement.Governor Kate Brown said the withdrawal was being coordinated between all relevant agencies."This transition was made in coordination with local and federal officials," Brown wrote on Twitter. "If further state support is needed in Portland, OSP troopers will be available to return to the city.""The OSP Troopers assigned to this event demonstrated the best traditions of the agency's commitment to service, however, our initial commitment to the City of Portland has concluded and it is time we integrate this valuable resource back to their respective communities," OSP said in a statement to National Review. "OSP will always be here for Portland, as we have for decades and I'll continue to assess subsequent resource demands with the Portland Police Bureau Chief, whom I have a great deal of respect for and a strong working relationship."


     

  • Bald eagle takes down government drone      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 19:24:00 -0400

    Bald eagle takes down government droneThe device was mapping shoreline erosion when it was attacked in the air.


    Bald eagle takes down government droneThe device was mapping shoreline erosion when it was attacked in the air.


     

  • 3 women arrested for allegedly attacking a Chili's host for enforcing social distancing      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 14:57:00 -0400

    3 women arrested for allegedly attacking a Chili's host for enforcing social distancing"I was kind of fighting for my life," restaurant hostess Kelsy Wallace, 17, said. "I was really scared, calling out for my mama."


    3 women arrested for allegedly attacking a Chili's host for enforcing social distancing"I was kind of fighting for my life," restaurant hostess Kelsy Wallace, 17, said. "I was really scared, calling out for my mama."


     

  • The Beirut blast leveled historic neighborhoods. Some fear developers may finish the job      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 07:33:40 -0400

    The Beirut blast leveled historic neighborhoods. Some fear developers may finish the jobRestoring historic districts badly damaged in the Beirut blast will be a tall order given Lebanon's weak economy and developers' eagerness to move in.


    The Beirut blast leveled historic neighborhoods. Some fear developers may finish the jobRestoring historic districts badly damaged in the Beirut blast will be a tall order given Lebanon's weak economy and developers' eagerness to move in.


     

  • Venezuela jails 15 for decades over botched invasion      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 17:51:00 -0400

    Venezuela jails 15 for decades over botched invasionVenezuela on Friday sentenced 15 people to more than two decades in prison over a failed invasion plot that President Nicolas Maduro has said was an attempt to overthrow him.


    Venezuela jails 15 for decades over botched invasionVenezuela on Friday sentenced 15 people to more than two decades in prison over a failed invasion plot that President Nicolas Maduro has said was an attempt to overthrow him.


     

  • White House report recommends Georgia issue statewide mask mandate      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 14:36:00 -0400

    White House report recommends Georgia issue statewide mask mandateGeorgia Governor Brian Kemp is trying to stop Atlanta from mandating masks.


    White House report recommends Georgia issue statewide mask mandateGeorgia Governor Brian Kemp is trying to stop Atlanta from mandating masks.


     

  • U.S. judge dismisses NRA lawsuit challenging gun shop closures in New York state      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 16:24:00 -0400

    U.S. judge dismisses NRA lawsuit challenging gun shop closures in New York stateA federal judge on Friday dismissed the National Rifle Association's lawsuit challenging New York's decision to close gun stores in the state in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. The decision came eight days after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the gun rights group, accusing senior leaders of corruption including the improper diversion of millions of dollars. U.S. District Judge Mae D'Agostino said the NRA lacked standing to challenge on behalf of its members a March 20 executive order by Governor Andrew Cuomo requiring gun stores to close in the state because they were "non-essential" businesses.


    U.S. judge dismisses NRA lawsuit challenging gun shop closures in New York stateA federal judge on Friday dismissed the National Rifle Association's lawsuit challenging New York's decision to close gun stores in the state in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. The decision came eight days after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the gun rights group, accusing senior leaders of corruption including the improper diversion of millions of dollars. U.S. District Judge Mae D'Agostino said the NRA lacked standing to challenge on behalf of its members a March 20 executive order by Governor Andrew Cuomo requiring gun stores to close in the state because they were "non-essential" businesses.


     

  • A beloved lesbian baker in Detroit got a homophobic cake order. Here's why she made it anyway.      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 11:01:18 -0400

    A beloved lesbian baker in Detroit got a homophobic cake order. Here's why she made it anyway.April Anderson, a Detroit pastry chef with national cred, was taken aback by a recent cake order that came into her Good Cakes and Bakes bakery.


    A beloved lesbian baker in Detroit got a homophobic cake order. Here's why she made it anyway.April Anderson, a Detroit pastry chef with national cred, was taken aback by a recent cake order that came into her Good Cakes and Bakes bakery.


     

  • What the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings reveal about Kamala Harris      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 15:49:59 -0400

    What the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings reveal about Kamala HarrisKamala Harris’s questioning of Brett Kavanaugh when he was nominated to the Supreme Court won the senator praise for her prosecutorial skill.


    What the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings reveal about Kamala HarrisKamala Harris’s questioning of Brett Kavanaugh when he was nominated to the Supreme Court won the senator praise for her prosecutorial skill.


     

  • He used social media to pimp a 14-year-old in Miami airport hotels, cops say. He’s 17      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 17:45:00 -0400

    He used social media to pimp a 14-year-old in Miami airport hotels, cops say. He’s 17A 14-year-old runaway told cops she got sold for sex at hotels across the street from Miami International Airport up to five times a day, according to a police report. The first statutory rapist called himself “Slime,” the girl said. He paid in Percocet.


    He used social media to pimp a 14-year-old in Miami airport hotels, cops say. He’s 17A 14-year-old runaway told cops she got sold for sex at hotels across the street from Miami International Airport up to five times a day, according to a police report. The first statutory rapist called himself “Slime,” the girl said. He paid in Percocet.


     

  • Scorching temperatures in Death Valley will shatter records in West, southwest      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 14:01:17 -0400

    Scorching temperatures in Death Valley will shatter records in West, southwestCities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson and Salt Lake City could experience record high temperatures in the coming days.


    Scorching temperatures in Death Valley will shatter records in West, southwestCities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson and Salt Lake City could experience record high temperatures in the coming days.


     

  • Bison violently attacks motorcyclist in South Dakota      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 14:04:51 -0400

    Bison violently attacks motorcyclist in South DakotaA motorcyclist has survived a violent attack by a bison in the Black Hills of South Dakota, sheriff’s officials said.


    Bison violently attacks motorcyclist in South DakotaA motorcyclist has survived a violent attack by a bison in the Black Hills of South Dakota, sheriff’s officials said.


     

  • State police exit Portland after 2 weeks of protest duty      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 02:54:05 -0400

    State police exit Portland after 2 weeks of protest dutyOregon State Police are leaving Portland after a two-week assignment to help protect a federal courthouse that’s been a target of protesters during months of conflict in Oregon’s largest city. The state police are “continually reassessing our resources and the needs of our partner agencies and at this time we are inclined to move those resources back to counties where prosecution of criminal conduct is still a priority,” Capt. Timothy R. Fox told television stations. “Last night was our last night in Portland.”


    State police exit Portland after 2 weeks of protest dutyOregon State Police are leaving Portland after a two-week assignment to help protect a federal courthouse that’s been a target of protesters during months of conflict in Oregon’s largest city. The state police are “continually reassessing our resources and the needs of our partner agencies and at this time we are inclined to move those resources back to counties where prosecution of criminal conduct is still a priority,” Capt. Timothy R. Fox told television stations. “Last night was our last night in Portland.”


     

  • The US said federal agents have seized millions of dollars in bitcoin from terrorist groups al-Qaeda and Hamas      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 14:38:50 -0400

    The US said federal agents have seized millions of dollars in bitcoin from terrorist groups al-Qaeda and HamasOfficials said it's the US government's "largest-ever" seizure of cryptocurrency accounts controlled by terrorist organizations.


    The US said federal agents have seized millions of dollars in bitcoin from terrorist groups al-Qaeda and HamasOfficials said it's the US government's "largest-ever" seizure of cryptocurrency accounts controlled by terrorist organizations.


     

  • A slogan whose ambiguity serves a purpose      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 06:00:04 -0400

    A slogan whose ambiguity serves a purposeThe fact that the slogan “Defund the police” needs explanation is a plus because it serves as a quick, catchy way into a larger, more complex story.


    A slogan whose ambiguity serves a purposeThe fact that the slogan “Defund the police” needs explanation is a plus because it serves as a quick, catchy way into a larger, more complex story.


     

  • Chainsaw-wielding men covered in blood arrested on Toronto beach      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 12:54:00 -0400

    Chainsaw-wielding men covered in blood arrested on Toronto beachTwo men have been arrested after appearing on a Canadian beach spattered in blood and wielding chainsaws.Witnesses alleged that they menaced and “charged” at various people gathered at Toronto‘s Cherry Beach on Sunday morning, before police quickly intervened, responding to reports of a large fight.


    Chainsaw-wielding men covered in blood arrested on Toronto beachTwo men have been arrested after appearing on a Canadian beach spattered in blood and wielding chainsaws.Witnesses alleged that they menaced and “charged” at various people gathered at Toronto‘s Cherry Beach on Sunday morning, before police quickly intervened, responding to reports of a large fight.


     

  • You Need These High-Design Lawn Games to Maximize Summer Fun      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 10:00:00 -0400
     
  • Mexican government forces out over 1,000 immigration officials accused of corruption      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 20:24:14 -0400
     
  • Ex-FBI lawyer to plead guilty to falsifying documents in Russia inquiry; first case brought in DOJ review      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 13:44:31 -0400

    Ex-FBI lawyer to plead guilty to falsifying documents in Russia inquiry; first case brought in DOJ reviewFormer FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was charged with making false statements in the Russia inquiry.


    Ex-FBI lawyer to plead guilty to falsifying documents in Russia inquiry; first case brought in DOJ reviewFormer FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was charged with making false statements in the Russia inquiry.


     

  • Mei Xiang, the National Zoo's female giant panda, is very pregnant and her cub could come as soon as this weekend      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 15:11:46 -0400

    Mei Xiang, the National Zoo's female giant panda, is very pregnant and her cub could come as soon as this weekendThe panda cub could be the first cub at The National Zoo since Bei Bei was born in 2015. He left to China last year.


    Mei Xiang, the National Zoo's female giant panda, is very pregnant and her cub could come as soon as this weekendThe panda cub could be the first cub at The National Zoo since Bei Bei was born in 2015. He left to China last year.


     

  • Close contact with a Covid-19 sufferer brings 20 per cent chance of catching virus, study finds      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 11:34:32 -0400

    Close contact with a Covid-19 sufferer brings 20 per cent chance of catching virus, study findsComing into close contact with a Covid-19 sufferer yields a 20 per cent chance of catching the disease, a new study shows. The large-scale survey, by Imperial College London, found antibodies in one in five people who said they had interacted with a positive case. Overall, some 3.4 million people are now estimated to have been infected with coronavirus – about six per cent of the population. The results come from the world's largest home testing programme looking for past evidence of the disease, using fingerprick testing kits. The study tracked the spread of infection across England after the pandemic's first peak, with volunteers testing themselves at home between June 20 and July 13. People living in London were most likely to have been infected, along with those working in care homes and health care, people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and people living in larger households. The programme suggested a total of 13 per cent of people living in London had Covid-19 antibodies, compared with less than three per cent in the south-west of England. People working in care homes (16 per cent) and healthcare (12 per cent) returned far higher results than people who were not key workers, at five per cent. The study found that 17 per cent of black volunteers had antibodies, while the categories of Asian and other ethnic minorities had 12 per cent each. The figure among white volunteers was only five per cent. People aged 18-34 showed the highest incidence of antibodies, at eight per cent, while the over-65s had the lowest rate, at just three per cent (the graphic below shows infections by age range during July and August).


    Close contact with a Covid-19 sufferer brings 20 per cent chance of catching virus, study findsComing into close contact with a Covid-19 sufferer yields a 20 per cent chance of catching the disease, a new study shows. The large-scale survey, by Imperial College London, found antibodies in one in five people who said they had interacted with a positive case. Overall, some 3.4 million people are now estimated to have been infected with coronavirus – about six per cent of the population. The results come from the world's largest home testing programme looking for past evidence of the disease, using fingerprick testing kits. The study tracked the spread of infection across England after the pandemic's first peak, with volunteers testing themselves at home between June 20 and July 13. People living in London were most likely to have been infected, along with those working in care homes and health care, people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups and people living in larger households. The programme suggested a total of 13 per cent of people living in London had Covid-19 antibodies, compared with less than three per cent in the south-west of England. People working in care homes (16 per cent) and healthcare (12 per cent) returned far higher results than people who were not key workers, at five per cent. The study found that 17 per cent of black volunteers had antibodies, while the categories of Asian and other ethnic minorities had 12 per cent each. The figure among white volunteers was only five per cent. People aged 18-34 showed the highest incidence of antibodies, at eight per cent, while the over-65s had the lowest rate, at just three per cent (the graphic below shows infections by age range during July and August).


     

  • Mozambique's leader blames 'war' in north on wealth-seekers      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 08:06:22 -0400
     
  • US seizes millions of dollars of Iranian fuel bound for Venezuela      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 16:47:12 -0400

    US seizes millions of dollars of Iranian fuel bound for VenezuelaThe US says it seized 1.1 million barrels of fuel from four tankers en route to Venezuela.


    US seizes millions of dollars of Iranian fuel bound for VenezuelaThe US says it seized 1.1 million barrels of fuel from four tankers en route to Venezuela.


     

  • Cadillac will charge a subscription fee for Super Cruise, its answer to Tesla's Autopilot, after the trial period ends      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 13:06:55 -0400

    Cadillac will charge a subscription fee for Super Cruise, its answer to Tesla's Autopilot, after the trial period endsCadillac's subscription fee for the Super Cruise technology will kick in after the first three years of use are up.


    Cadillac will charge a subscription fee for Super Cruise, its answer to Tesla's Autopilot, after the trial period endsCadillac's subscription fee for the Super Cruise technology will kick in after the first three years of use are up.


     

  • Astronomers find "Milky Way look-alike" 12 billion light years away      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 19:08:00 -0400

    Astronomers find "Milky Way look-alike" 12 billion light years awayThe galaxy appears as a near-perfect ring of light — a so-called "Einstein Ring."


    Astronomers find "Milky Way look-alike" 12 billion light years awayThe galaxy appears as a near-perfect ring of light — a so-called "Einstein Ring."


     

  • US economist proposes $12 trillion in slavery reparations to eliminate black-white wealth gap      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 10:13:52 -0400

    US economist proposes $12 trillion in slavery reparations to eliminate black-white wealth gapA renowned economist has said that $12 trillion should be afforded to black Americans in reparation for slavery to help the close wealth gap.Duke University professor, William Darity Jr, and writer, Kirsten Mullen, jointly published a report for The Roosevelt Institute, an American liberal think tank, laying out a case for slavery reparations.


    US economist proposes $12 trillion in slavery reparations to eliminate black-white wealth gapA renowned economist has said that $12 trillion should be afforded to black Americans in reparation for slavery to help the close wealth gap.Duke University professor, William Darity Jr, and writer, Kirsten Mullen, jointly published a report for The Roosevelt Institute, an American liberal think tank, laying out a case for slavery reparations.


     

  • Drug-dealing stripper wanted white supremacist gang to kill Texas roommate, feds say      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 16:29:11 -0400

    Drug-dealing stripper wanted white supremacist gang to kill Texas roommate, feds sayBesides dancing and dealing, the Dallas man had murder on his mind, according to authorities.


    Drug-dealing stripper wanted white supremacist gang to kill Texas roommate, feds sayBesides dancing and dealing, the Dallas man had murder on his mind, according to authorities.


     

  • Trump campaign, Republican groups sue Iowa election officials over absentee ballot forms      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 10:15:02 -0400

    Trump campaign, Republican groups sue Iowa election officials over absentee ballot formsThe suits seek to invalidate tens of thousands of ballot request forms already being returned, requiring voters to resubmit before an Oct. 24 deadline


    Trump campaign, Republican groups sue Iowa election officials over absentee ballot formsThe suits seek to invalidate tens of thousands of ballot request forms already being returned, requiring voters to resubmit before an Oct. 24 deadline


     

  • Protesters in Minneapolis say they won't clear barricades around the George Floyd Memorial until the city leaders meet their 24 demands      Wed, 12 Aug 2020 23:50:33 -0400

    Protesters in Minneapolis say they won't clear barricades around the George Floyd Memorial until the city leaders meet their 24 demandsSome of the demands include recalling Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman, and ending qualified immunity.


    Protesters in Minneapolis say they won't clear barricades around the George Floyd Memorial until the city leaders meet their 24 demandsSome of the demands include recalling Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman, and ending qualified immunity.


     

  • Special Tactics Airman Who Fought Off Taliban Despite Concussion Will Get Silver Star      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 15:08:13 -0400

    Special Tactics Airman Who Fought Off Taliban Despite Concussion Will Get Silver StarFor his actions on May 25, 2013, in Afghanistan's eastern Ghazni province, John Grimesey will receive the Silver Star.


    Special Tactics Airman Who Fought Off Taliban Despite Concussion Will Get Silver StarFor his actions on May 25, 2013, in Afghanistan's eastern Ghazni province, John Grimesey will receive the Silver Star.


     

  • Portland State disarms campus police after Black man's death      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 17:00:49 -0400

    Portland State disarms campus police after Black man's deathPortland State University said Thursday it will disarm its campus police force, more than two years after officers from the department shot and killed a Black man who was trying to break up a fight close to campus. Portland State President Stephen Percy said the decision to have officers patrol the campus unarmed is the first step in a broader policy to re-imagine safety at the state-funded university in the heart of the city. Activists had been calling for Portland State to disarm campus police long before Floyd's death.


    Portland State disarms campus police after Black man's deathPortland State University said Thursday it will disarm its campus police force, more than two years after officers from the department shot and killed a Black man who was trying to break up a fight close to campus. Portland State President Stephen Percy said the decision to have officers patrol the campus unarmed is the first step in a broader policy to re-imagine safety at the state-funded university in the heart of the city. Activists had been calling for Portland State to disarm campus police long before Floyd's death.


     

  • EU eyes sanctions over disputed Belarus election 'as soon as end-August'      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 07:37:16 -0400

    EU eyes sanctions over disputed Belarus election 'as soon as end-August'The European Union will likely impose new sanctions on Belarus as soon as later this month, diplomats and officials said, after President Alexander Lukashenko cracked down on protests triggered by a disputed election. Germany, Lithuania, Latvia and Sweden have spoken publicly in favour of sanctions and Austria was another hawk, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of emergency talks between EU foreign ministers on Friday. Security forces have clashed with protesters in Minsk and other Belarusian cities in recent days after Lukashenko claimed a landslide re-election victory in a vote on Sunday that his opponents say was rigged.


    EU eyes sanctions over disputed Belarus election 'as soon as end-August'The European Union will likely impose new sanctions on Belarus as soon as later this month, diplomats and officials said, after President Alexander Lukashenko cracked down on protests triggered by a disputed election. Germany, Lithuania, Latvia and Sweden have spoken publicly in favour of sanctions and Austria was another hawk, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of emergency talks between EU foreign ministers on Friday. Security forces have clashed with protesters in Minsk and other Belarusian cities in recent days after Lukashenko claimed a landslide re-election victory in a vote on Sunday that his opponents say was rigged.


     

  • Turkey's president warns attack against Turkish ships will pay 'high price'      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 17:55:59 -0400

    Turkey's president warns attack against Turkish ships will pay 'high price'President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that any attack on a Turkish ship exploring for oil and gas in disputed Mediterranean waters would incur a "high price" and suggested Turkey had already acted on that warning.


    Turkey's president warns attack against Turkish ships will pay 'high price'President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that any attack on a Turkish ship exploring for oil and gas in disputed Mediterranean waters would incur a "high price" and suggested Turkey had already acted on that warning.


     

  • How To Make Mrs. Fields Famous Cookies, Plus 28 More Copycat Dessert Recipes      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 12:23:00 -0400
     
  • US says Iran forces board ship in international waters      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 03:35:21 -0400

    US says Iran forces board ship in international watersIranian forces boarded a tanker in international waters in the Gulf of Oman, using a helicopter and two ships to take over the vessel for several hours, US officials said. "Today in international waters, Iranian forces, including two ships and an Iranian "Sea King" helicopter, overtook and boarded a ship called the 'Wila'," the US Central Command said in a tweet on Wednesday.


    US says Iran forces board ship in international watersIranian forces boarded a tanker in international waters in the Gulf of Oman, using a helicopter and two ships to take over the vessel for several hours, US officials said. "Today in international waters, Iranian forces, including two ships and an Iranian "Sea King" helicopter, overtook and boarded a ship called the 'Wila'," the US Central Command said in a tweet on Wednesday.


     

  • Cops’ helicopter got too close — so Georgia man shot it, feds say. He’s going to prison      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 18:53:37 -0400

    Cops’ helicopter got too close — so Georgia man shot it, feds say. He’s going to prisonTerry Kielisch reportedly told investigators “he didn’t like it flying near his home.”


    Cops’ helicopter got too close — so Georgia man shot it, feds say. He’s going to prisonTerry Kielisch reportedly told investigators “he didn’t like it flying near his home.”


     

  • Antifa website redirected to Biden’s campaign site causes right-wing conspiracy meltdown      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 17:23:43 -0400

    Antifa website redirected to Biden’s campaign site causes right-wing conspiracy meltdownThe website for anti-facist group Antifa redirected to Joe Biden‘s campaign website on Wednesday, which led some people to claim that the Democrats are connected to the organisation.For a few hours on Wednesday, Antifa.com redirected to JoeBiden.com, the campaign website of the presumptive Democratic candidate for president, before it returned back to the original page of the group Donald Trump has described as being run by “anarchists.”


    Antifa website redirected to Biden’s campaign site causes right-wing conspiracy meltdownThe website for anti-facist group Antifa redirected to Joe Biden‘s campaign website on Wednesday, which led some people to claim that the Democrats are connected to the organisation.For a few hours on Wednesday, Antifa.com redirected to JoeBiden.com, the campaign website of the presumptive Democratic candidate for president, before it returned back to the original page of the group Donald Trump has described as being run by “anarchists.”


     

  • Decades-old photo of Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell and a Confederate flag lives on and on      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 13:34:42 -0400

    Decades-old photo of Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell and a Confederate flag lives on and onMcConnell said he thinks the photograph was taken during his first term in the Senate at a Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting in Louisville.


    Decades-old photo of Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell and a Confederate flag lives on and onMcConnell said he thinks the photograph was taken during his first term in the Senate at a Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting in Louisville.


     

  • Nigerian police rescue Kano man locked up in his parents' garage      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 12:52:41 -0400

    Nigerian police rescue Kano man locked up in his parents' garageThe emaciated aged 30 had been left for at least three years without proper care, police say.


    Nigerian police rescue Kano man locked up in his parents' garageThe emaciated aged 30 had been left for at least three years without proper care, police say.


     

  • Hottest day of Bay Area heat wave could bring 110-degree temps       Fri, 14 Aug 2020 14:10:45 -0400

    Hottest day of Bay Area heat wave could bring 110-degree temps
      WEEKEND SCORCHER: Dangerous temperatures could get as high as 110 degrees in parts of the North Bay today.


    Hottest day of Bay Area heat wave could bring 110-degree temps
      WEEKEND SCORCHER: Dangerous temperatures could get as high as 110 degrees in parts of the North Bay today.


     

  • Feds say Yale discriminates against Asian, white applicants      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 16:04:57 -0400

    Feds say Yale discriminates against Asian, white applicantsA Justice Department investigation has found Yale University is illegally discriminating against Asian American and white applicants, in violation of federal civil rights law, officials said Thursday. Yale denied the allegation, calling it “meritless” and “hasty.” The findings detailed in a letter to the college’s attorneys Thursday mark the latest action by the Trump administration aimed at rooting out discrimination in the college application process, following complaints from students about the application process at some Ivy League colleges.


    Feds say Yale discriminates against Asian, white applicantsA Justice Department investigation has found Yale University is illegally discriminating against Asian American and white applicants, in violation of federal civil rights law, officials said Thursday. Yale denied the allegation, calling it “meritless” and “hasty.” The findings detailed in a letter to the college’s attorneys Thursday mark the latest action by the Trump administration aimed at rooting out discrimination in the college application process, following complaints from students about the application process at some Ivy League colleges.


     

  • Ammonium Nitrate Blew Up Beirut. It Also Fuels Africa’s Most Dangerous Illegal Mines.      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 04:43:11 -0400

    Ammonium Nitrate Blew Up Beirut. It Also Fuels Africa’s Most Dangerous Illegal Mines.ABUJA, Nigeria—The ammonium nitrate that exploded last week in Beirut—killing 154 people, injuring more than 5,000 and causing widespread destruction—was destined for Mozambique, a transit point for raw materials in the explosives trade, where shipments often end up in the hands of illegal Chinese-owned mining companies with dubious human rights records. Almost seven years ago, Fábrica de Explosivos de Moçambique (FEM), a Mozambican firm that produces explosives, ordered 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate from a Georgian company known as Savaro for the purpose of manufacturing explosives for mining companies. But the substance was transported in September 2013 on the Russian ship Rhosus, which docked in Beirut, where it tried to make more money by picking up several pieces of heavy machinery, and never made it to Mozambique, as Lebanese authorities impounded the cargo for failing to pay port fees.FEM, a company majority-owned by the Portuguese explosives company Moura Silva e Filhos, has come under intense scrutiny since the ammonium nitrate it ordered caused the blast in Beirut on Aug. 4. A spokesperson for the company admitted to CNN that FEM had ordered the substance from Georgia but was told several months later by the company that was supposed to facilitate the transfer to Mozambique that the vessel carrying ammonium nitrate had been seized in Lebanon and that the order was “not going to be delivered.” As a result, according to the spokesperson, FEM “never paid for it.” Beirut Government Was Warned Over Explosives in Port Two Weeks Before Deadly Blast: ReportBut FEM's claim that it didn't pay for the ammonium nitrate has been disputed by a number of sources. Baroudi and Partners, a Lebanese law firm representing the ship’s crew, said in a statement on Aug. 5 that the substance was purchased by the International Bank of Mozambique (IBM) for FEM. An official in Mozambique’s Justice Ministry who didn’t want to be named also told The Daily Beast that IBM “did the transaction on behalf of FEM.”Conflicting reports regarding the final destination of the ammonium nitrate have also raised questions regarding the transparency of the purchase. While the Mozambican port authorities said on Aug. 6 that the substance was meant to be transported from a port in the eastern city of Biera, where the Russian ship would have arrived from Beirut, to either Zambia or Zimbabwe, Mozambique’s largest weekly newspaper, Savana, reported that the ammonium nitrate was actually supposed to be used for the manufacturing of explosives for the Brazilian mining company, Vale, which operates the country’s largest coal mine in the western Tete province. FEM did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comments.The explosives market across Mozambique, as well as in neighboring Zambia and Zimbabwe, is huge, with dozens of mining firms depending on big companies like FEM for explosives. (Landlocked Zambia and Zimbabwe also depend on Mozambique’s seaports for imports that come across the water). But the three countries are also the preferred places for a high number of illegal miners who, despite not being licensed to operate, are still able to obtain explosives from manufacturers on the black market.A Mozambican customs official informed The Daily Beast privately that explosives are usually transported by land from FEM offices in Mozambique to Zambia where they are sold to mining companies in the country. The company itself does have an office in Zambia and there are allegations that it sells explosives to illegal miners, including unscrupulous Chinese nationals.“Explosives companies including FEM do not carry out serious background checks on some of these so-called mining companies,” the official said. “Because of that, criminal companies, especially those owned by Chinese people, are mining in Zambia simply because they have explosives.”FEM’s presence in Africa is quite significant. The company, which specializes in the manufacture and application of explosives for commercial purposes, also has subsidiary companies in Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and commercial agreements in Malawi. But it is in Mozambique, where it has its head office, that its operations are most known.FEM is said to have sold explosives to Mineradora Industrial de Cassassole, a Chinese company operating in Tete province whose illegal mining operations led to the death of one of its workers two years ago.It was revealed after the worker—29-year-old Sakson Lobiano—died in 2018 that Mineradora Industrial de Cassassole, which was only licensed by Mozambican authorities to operate an open cast gold mine in Tete’s northern Macanga district, decided to operate underground and opened an illegal shaft 90 meters deep, where Lobiano was killed. The miner died from inhaling dust and toxic particles from an explosion that was ignited by a Chinese co-worker, who had no training in underground work or license to handle explosives.“We believe the company got those explosives from FEM,” Alex Camacho, a local environmental activist in Tete, told The Daily Beast. “[FEM] is where virtually every mining company gets it explosives from.”In its website, FEM boasts that it has been the main company “responsible for manufacturing and supplying the Mozambican explosives market” since its founding in 1955. It also noted that in the last two decades it has expanded to become a reference in the whole of southern Africa. But its growth has also come with accusations of negligence.“That Mozambique has so many illegal miners who all have access to explosives should tell everyone that the manufacturers are letting their explosives get to the wrong hands,” said Camacho who is individually campaigning against illegal mining in Tete. “In Mozambique, once you think about explosives, you think about FEM.”Mozambique, the world’s seventh-poorest country, has suffered years of illegal mining as well as logging of its natural forests by Chinese companies that take advantage of widespread corruption in the impoverished country to gain access.According to the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), an international NGO with offices in London and Washington, D.C., Chinese companies in 2012 imported between 189,615 and 215,654 cubic meters of timber that had been illegally exported from Mozambique. The illegal action comprised a huge 48 percent of China’s imports from the African nation.But it is in the mining sector that exploitation by Chinese-owned companies in southeast Africa have been mostly noted.There are several Chinese mining and explosives companies operating in Zambia and many of them have been accused of human rights abuses and negligence towards safety regulations.In 2005, 52 Zambian workers were killed at a Chinese-owned explosives factory near Chambeshi, a town in Zambia’s copper belt. In 2010, Zambia charged two Chinese managers with attempted murder after they opened fire on protesting Zambian workers. Seven years later, Zambian authorities arrested 31 Chinese nationals for illegal mining in the copper belt.In Zimbabwe, Chinese-run mines have been dogged with several allegations of human rights violations of local workers.Early this year, local miners in Matabeleland South province protested their sacking by their Chinese employer, whom they also accused of constantly beating up workers. Their protest was followed by complaints in April by workers in another mining company of being underpaid and working without protective clothing as COVID-19 began to spread. Then came the shooting of two Zimbabwean mining workers in June by their Chinese boss during a row with workers over outstanding pay in central Zimbabwe.“Chinese mining companies do what they like in southeastern Africa and no one can question them,” said Camacho, the environmental activist. “It is sad that the government agencies that are supposed to regulate their activities are only concerned about the money they can generate from these companies.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


    Ammonium Nitrate Blew Up Beirut. It Also Fuels Africa’s Most Dangerous Illegal Mines.ABUJA, Nigeria—The ammonium nitrate that exploded last week in Beirut—killing 154 people, injuring more than 5,000 and causing widespread destruction—was destined for Mozambique, a transit point for raw materials in the explosives trade, where shipments often end up in the hands of illegal Chinese-owned mining companies with dubious human rights records. Almost seven years ago, Fábrica de Explosivos de Moçambique (FEM), a Mozambican firm that produces explosives, ordered 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate from a Georgian company known as Savaro for the purpose of manufacturing explosives for mining companies. But the substance was transported in September 2013 on the Russian ship Rhosus, which docked in Beirut, where it tried to make more money by picking up several pieces of heavy machinery, and never made it to Mozambique, as Lebanese authorities impounded the cargo for failing to pay port fees.FEM, a company majority-owned by the Portuguese explosives company Moura Silva e Filhos, has come under intense scrutiny since the ammonium nitrate it ordered caused the blast in Beirut on Aug. 4. A spokesperson for the company admitted to CNN that FEM had ordered the substance from Georgia but was told several months later by the company that was supposed to facilitate the transfer to Mozambique that the vessel carrying ammonium nitrate had been seized in Lebanon and that the order was “not going to be delivered.” As a result, according to the spokesperson, FEM “never paid for it.” Beirut Government Was Warned Over Explosives in Port Two Weeks Before Deadly Blast: ReportBut FEM's claim that it didn't pay for the ammonium nitrate has been disputed by a number of sources. Baroudi and Partners, a Lebanese law firm representing the ship’s crew, said in a statement on Aug. 5 that the substance was purchased by the International Bank of Mozambique (IBM) for FEM. An official in Mozambique’s Justice Ministry who didn’t want to be named also told The Daily Beast that IBM “did the transaction on behalf of FEM.”Conflicting reports regarding the final destination of the ammonium nitrate have also raised questions regarding the transparency of the purchase. While the Mozambican port authorities said on Aug. 6 that the substance was meant to be transported from a port in the eastern city of Biera, where the Russian ship would have arrived from Beirut, to either Zambia or Zimbabwe, Mozambique’s largest weekly newspaper, Savana, reported that the ammonium nitrate was actually supposed to be used for the manufacturing of explosives for the Brazilian mining company, Vale, which operates the country’s largest coal mine in the western Tete province. FEM did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comments.The explosives market across Mozambique, as well as in neighboring Zambia and Zimbabwe, is huge, with dozens of mining firms depending on big companies like FEM for explosives. (Landlocked Zambia and Zimbabwe also depend on Mozambique’s seaports for imports that come across the water). But the three countries are also the preferred places for a high number of illegal miners who, despite not being licensed to operate, are still able to obtain explosives from manufacturers on the black market.A Mozambican customs official informed The Daily Beast privately that explosives are usually transported by land from FEM offices in Mozambique to Zambia where they are sold to mining companies in the country. The company itself does have an office in Zambia and there are allegations that it sells explosives to illegal miners, including unscrupulous Chinese nationals.“Explosives companies including FEM do not carry out serious background checks on some of these so-called mining companies,” the official said. “Because of that, criminal companies, especially those owned by Chinese people, are mining in Zambia simply because they have explosives.”FEM’s presence in Africa is quite significant. The company, which specializes in the manufacture and application of explosives for commercial purposes, also has subsidiary companies in Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and commercial agreements in Malawi. But it is in Mozambique, where it has its head office, that its operations are most known.FEM is said to have sold explosives to Mineradora Industrial de Cassassole, a Chinese company operating in Tete province whose illegal mining operations led to the death of one of its workers two years ago.It was revealed after the worker—29-year-old Sakson Lobiano—died in 2018 that Mineradora Industrial de Cassassole, which was only licensed by Mozambican authorities to operate an open cast gold mine in Tete’s northern Macanga district, decided to operate underground and opened an illegal shaft 90 meters deep, where Lobiano was killed. The miner died from inhaling dust and toxic particles from an explosion that was ignited by a Chinese co-worker, who had no training in underground work or license to handle explosives.“We believe the company got those explosives from FEM,” Alex Camacho, a local environmental activist in Tete, told The Daily Beast. “[FEM] is where virtually every mining company gets it explosives from.”In its website, FEM boasts that it has been the main company “responsible for manufacturing and supplying the Mozambican explosives market” since its founding in 1955. It also noted that in the last two decades it has expanded to become a reference in the whole of southern Africa. But its growth has also come with accusations of negligence.“That Mozambique has so many illegal miners who all have access to explosives should tell everyone that the manufacturers are letting their explosives get to the wrong hands,” said Camacho who is individually campaigning against illegal mining in Tete. “In Mozambique, once you think about explosives, you think about FEM.”Mozambique, the world’s seventh-poorest country, has suffered years of illegal mining as well as logging of its natural forests by Chinese companies that take advantage of widespread corruption in the impoverished country to gain access.According to the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), an international NGO with offices in London and Washington, D.C., Chinese companies in 2012 imported between 189,615 and 215,654 cubic meters of timber that had been illegally exported from Mozambique. The illegal action comprised a huge 48 percent of China’s imports from the African nation.But it is in the mining sector that exploitation by Chinese-owned companies in southeast Africa have been mostly noted.There are several Chinese mining and explosives companies operating in Zambia and many of them have been accused of human rights abuses and negligence towards safety regulations.In 2005, 52 Zambian workers were killed at a Chinese-owned explosives factory near Chambeshi, a town in Zambia’s copper belt. In 2010, Zambia charged two Chinese managers with attempted murder after they opened fire on protesting Zambian workers. Seven years later, Zambian authorities arrested 31 Chinese nationals for illegal mining in the copper belt.In Zimbabwe, Chinese-run mines have been dogged with several allegations of human rights violations of local workers.Early this year, local miners in Matabeleland South province protested their sacking by their Chinese employer, whom they also accused of constantly beating up workers. Their protest was followed by complaints in April by workers in another mining company of being underpaid and working without protective clothing as COVID-19 began to spread. Then came the shooting of two Zimbabwean mining workers in June by their Chinese boss during a row with workers over outstanding pay in central Zimbabwe.“Chinese mining companies do what they like in southeastern Africa and no one can question them,” said Camacho, the environmental activist. “It is sad that the government agencies that are supposed to regulate their activities are only concerned about the money they can generate from these companies.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


     

  • Nearly half of women said they've been cheated on during the pandemic in a dating app survey      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 09:16:00 -0400

    Nearly half of women said they've been cheated on during the pandemic in a dating app surveyA survey of 2,000 users by Dating.com found 45% of women reported being cheated on since early March.


    Nearly half of women said they've been cheated on during the pandemic in a dating app surveyA survey of 2,000 users by Dating.com found 45% of women reported being cheated on since early March.


     

  • ‘The President Was Not Encouraging’: What Obama Really Thought About Biden      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 05:11:19 -0400

    ‘The President Was Not Encouraging’: What Obama Really Thought About BidenBehind the friendship was a more complicated relationship, which now drives the former vice president to prove his partner wrong.


    ‘The President Was Not Encouraging’: What Obama Really Thought About BidenBehind the friendship was a more complicated relationship, which now drives the former vice president to prove his partner wrong.


     

  • ‘Ridiculous amount’ of drugs seized in biggest-ever heroin bust in Georgia, feds say      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 14:15:10 -0400

    ‘Ridiculous amount’ of drugs seized in biggest-ever heroin bust in Georgia, feds sayAn Atlanta man has been indicted, and authorities say more arrests are likely.


    ‘Ridiculous amount’ of drugs seized in biggest-ever heroin bust in Georgia, feds sayAn Atlanta man has been indicted, and authorities say more arrests are likely.


     

  • The COVID-19 virus can spread through the air – here's what it'll take to detect the airborne particles      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 08:12:13 -0400

    The COVID-19 virus can spread through the air – here's what it'll take to detect the airborne particlesA growing body of research shows that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread from person to person through the air. Indoor spaces with poor ventilation in areas where the virus is prevalent are particularly hazardous.In the fictional world of “Star Trek,” public health officials and first responders would be able to determine instantly if a space had a dangerous concentration of airborne virus, and any other pathogen, by simply waving around a tricorder. That technology, imagined 60 years ago, is still firmly in the realm of fiction. However, devices that can rapidly detect particular airborne pathogens – including SARS-CoV-2 – are in the works in various research laboratories. The air we breatheDetection of the presence of airborne virus particles is complicated by the mixture of other particles in the air. The atmosphere includes a large number of floating particles, a significant fraction of which are biological. Typically, with each breath, you inhale about a thousand biological particles.These bioaerosols include live and dead organisms, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, pollen and plant and animal debris. Viruses are the smallest of these particles. They range in size from 10 to 300 nanometers, or millionths of a millimeter. In contrast, red blood cells average about 6 to 8 microns, or 6,000 to 8,000 nanometers, in diameter. Bacteria range from 1 to 4 microns and fungi 5 to 10 microns. Plant and animal debris is generally larger than 10 microns.Most of these biological particles are not a health concern, because most are bits of plants and animals, including humans. However, it only takes a small number of dangerous microbes to produce a pandemic. IDing bad news microbesTo understand the potential threat from bioaerosols, it’s important to identify the small fraction of problematic or pathogenic microbes from among all the bioaerosols present. Bioaerosol identification begins with capturing biological particles from the air, typically by collecting particles on a filter, in a liquid vial or on hydrogels. Often, researchers transfer the collected bioaerosols to a culture medium that is designed to support microbe growth. How the microbes respond to a specific culture medium – the size, shape, color and growth rate of the microbe colony – can indicate the microbe species. This process can take several days to weeks, and is often ineffective. It turns out the scientists can only identify about 1% of airborne microbes with this approach.Increasingly, scientists are relying on gene-based analyses to map viruses and other microorganisms collected in air samples. One popular technique for gene-based analysis is polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which uses an enzymatic reaction to make many copies of a specific gene or portion of a gene so that the genetic sequence – DNA or RNA – can be detected in a sample. A PCR test can be designed to spot gene sequences specific to a microorganism so that detecting the sequence equals identifying the microorganism. This technique is currently the gold-standard for detecting the presence of SARS-CoV-2 from nasal swab samples. PCR-based methods are very accurate in identifying pathogens.Next generation sequencing technology makes it possible to rapidly sequence organisms’ whole genomes. Using these techniques, researchers now have the ability to understand the entire population of microorganisms — their diversity and abundance — in the air. Rapid detectionDespite these advances, there is still a lot of work to be done to be able to instantaneously identify the presence of pathogens in air. Current techniques for identifying microbes are expensive, require specialized equipment and involve long processing steps. They also can’t detect a species from small amounts of genetic material.Recent advances, however, provide some promise for the development of sensors that can provide quick information about bioaerosols. One approach uses laser induced florescence. In this technique, particles are illuminated with light of a particular color or wavelength, and only biological particles respond by fluorescing, or emitting light. This technique can be used to identify and quantify the presence of biological particles in air in real-time but it doesn’t differentiate between a safe and a harmful microbe. Another advance is using mass spectrometry for bioaerosol detection. In this technique, a single bioaerosol particle is blasted apart with a laser and the molecular fragments are immediately analyzed to determine the molecular composition of the particles. Researchers are also using Raman spectroscopy-based sensors. Raman spectroscopy can identify molecular composition from light reflected off of samples without destroying the samples. Big challenge in a small packageThese techniques are advancing instant detection and identification of airborne bacteria and fungi, but they are less efficient in detecting viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. This is primarily because viruses are very small, which makes it difficult to collect them with air samplers and difficult to perform PCR analysis given the small amount of DNA/RNA. Researchers are working to address the limitations of detecting airborne viruses. In our lab at Clarkson University, we have developed a low-cost bioaerosol sensor and collector for wide-scale bioaerosol sampling. This battery-operated sampler uses a micro-sized high-voltage source to ionize airborne viruses, bacteria and fungi and collect them on a surface. Ionization gives the biological particles an electrical charge. Giving the collection surface the opposite charge causes the particles to stick to the surface.Samples from our collector can be analyzed with new portable DNA/RNA sequencers, which allows for near real-time bioaerosol detection with low-cost, hand-held equipment. Where’s my tricorder?These advances could soon make it possible to detect a known pathogen, like SARS-CoV-2, with a portable device. But they’re still far from being a tricorder. [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]For one, they require relatively high levels of a pathogen for detection. Being able to identify a virus like SARS-CoV-2 at lower levels that are nonetheless sufficient for disease transmission will require developing sensors with lower detection limits. Additionally, these sensors can only be tailored to detect specific pathogens, not scan for all possible pathogens.Though the equivalent of the tricorder in “Star Trek” isn’t around the corner, the need for such a device has never been greater. Now is an opportune time for the emergence of new sensing techniques piggy-backing on the dramatic advances being made in the fields of electronics, computing and bioinformatics. When the next new pathogen emerges, it would be nice to have a tricorder handy.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more: * Rapid home-based coronavirus tests are coming together in research labs — we’re working on analyzing spit using advanced CRISPR gene editing techniques * Aerosols are a bigger coronavirus threat than WHO guidelines suggest – here’s what you need to knowSuresh Dhaniyala is President, Potsdam Sensors, a startup that is commercializing TracB. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation.Shantanu Sur has received funding from the National Science Foundation Hema Priyamvada Ravindran does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


    The COVID-19 virus can spread through the air – here's what it'll take to detect the airborne particlesA growing body of research shows that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread from person to person through the air. Indoor spaces with poor ventilation in areas where the virus is prevalent are particularly hazardous.In the fictional world of “Star Trek,” public health officials and first responders would be able to determine instantly if a space had a dangerous concentration of airborne virus, and any other pathogen, by simply waving around a tricorder. That technology, imagined 60 years ago, is still firmly in the realm of fiction. However, devices that can rapidly detect particular airborne pathogens – including SARS-CoV-2 – are in the works in various research laboratories. The air we breatheDetection of the presence of airborne virus particles is complicated by the mixture of other particles in the air. The atmosphere includes a large number of floating particles, a significant fraction of which are biological. Typically, with each breath, you inhale about a thousand biological particles.These bioaerosols include live and dead organisms, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, pollen and plant and animal debris. Viruses are the smallest of these particles. They range in size from 10 to 300 nanometers, or millionths of a millimeter. In contrast, red blood cells average about 6 to 8 microns, or 6,000 to 8,000 nanometers, in diameter. Bacteria range from 1 to 4 microns and fungi 5 to 10 microns. Plant and animal debris is generally larger than 10 microns.Most of these biological particles are not a health concern, because most are bits of plants and animals, including humans. However, it only takes a small number of dangerous microbes to produce a pandemic. IDing bad news microbesTo understand the potential threat from bioaerosols, it’s important to identify the small fraction of problematic or pathogenic microbes from among all the bioaerosols present. Bioaerosol identification begins with capturing biological particles from the air, typically by collecting particles on a filter, in a liquid vial or on hydrogels. Often, researchers transfer the collected bioaerosols to a culture medium that is designed to support microbe growth. How the microbes respond to a specific culture medium – the size, shape, color and growth rate of the microbe colony – can indicate the microbe species. This process can take several days to weeks, and is often ineffective. It turns out the scientists can only identify about 1% of airborne microbes with this approach.Increasingly, scientists are relying on gene-based analyses to map viruses and other microorganisms collected in air samples. One popular technique for gene-based analysis is polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which uses an enzymatic reaction to make many copies of a specific gene or portion of a gene so that the genetic sequence – DNA or RNA – can be detected in a sample. A PCR test can be designed to spot gene sequences specific to a microorganism so that detecting the sequence equals identifying the microorganism. This technique is currently the gold-standard for detecting the presence of SARS-CoV-2 from nasal swab samples. PCR-based methods are very accurate in identifying pathogens.Next generation sequencing technology makes it possible to rapidly sequence organisms’ whole genomes. Using these techniques, researchers now have the ability to understand the entire population of microorganisms — their diversity and abundance — in the air. Rapid detectionDespite these advances, there is still a lot of work to be done to be able to instantaneously identify the presence of pathogens in air. Current techniques for identifying microbes are expensive, require specialized equipment and involve long processing steps. They also can’t detect a species from small amounts of genetic material.Recent advances, however, provide some promise for the development of sensors that can provide quick information about bioaerosols. One approach uses laser induced florescence. In this technique, particles are illuminated with light of a particular color or wavelength, and only biological particles respond by fluorescing, or emitting light. This technique can be used to identify and quantify the presence of biological particles in air in real-time but it doesn’t differentiate between a safe and a harmful microbe. Another advance is using mass spectrometry for bioaerosol detection. In this technique, a single bioaerosol particle is blasted apart with a laser and the molecular fragments are immediately analyzed to determine the molecular composition of the particles. Researchers are also using Raman spectroscopy-based sensors. Raman spectroscopy can identify molecular composition from light reflected off of samples without destroying the samples. Big challenge in a small packageThese techniques are advancing instant detection and identification of airborne bacteria and fungi, but they are less efficient in detecting viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. This is primarily because viruses are very small, which makes it difficult to collect them with air samplers and difficult to perform PCR analysis given the small amount of DNA/RNA. Researchers are working to address the limitations of detecting airborne viruses. In our lab at Clarkson University, we have developed a low-cost bioaerosol sensor and collector for wide-scale bioaerosol sampling. This battery-operated sampler uses a micro-sized high-voltage source to ionize airborne viruses, bacteria and fungi and collect them on a surface. Ionization gives the biological particles an electrical charge. Giving the collection surface the opposite charge causes the particles to stick to the surface.Samples from our collector can be analyzed with new portable DNA/RNA sequencers, which allows for near real-time bioaerosol detection with low-cost, hand-held equipment. Where’s my tricorder?These advances could soon make it possible to detect a known pathogen, like SARS-CoV-2, with a portable device. But they’re still far from being a tricorder. [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]For one, they require relatively high levels of a pathogen for detection. Being able to identify a virus like SARS-CoV-2 at lower levels that are nonetheless sufficient for disease transmission will require developing sensors with lower detection limits. Additionally, these sensors can only be tailored to detect specific pathogens, not scan for all possible pathogens.Though the equivalent of the tricorder in “Star Trek” isn’t around the corner, the need for such a device has never been greater. Now is an opportune time for the emergence of new sensing techniques piggy-backing on the dramatic advances being made in the fields of electronics, computing and bioinformatics. When the next new pathogen emerges, it would be nice to have a tricorder handy.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more: * Rapid home-based coronavirus tests are coming together in research labs — we’re working on analyzing spit using advanced CRISPR gene editing techniques * Aerosols are a bigger coronavirus threat than WHO guidelines suggest – here’s what you need to knowSuresh Dhaniyala is President, Potsdam Sensors, a startup that is commercializing TracB. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation.Shantanu Sur has received funding from the National Science Foundation Hema Priyamvada Ravindran does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


     

  • 34 Camping Essentials for Your RV, Trailer, or Badass Camper Van      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 17:11:00 -0400
     
  • AOC responds to apparent Democratic party convention speech snub: 'Eternity is in it'      Thu, 13 Aug 2020 08:03:33 -0400

    AOC responds to apparent Democratic party convention speech snub: 'Eternity is in it'Firebrand lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has hit back at an alleged snub by the Democratic party after being given just 60 seconds to deliver a speech a next week’s convention.AOC responded on Twitter by posting the poem ‘I have only just a minute’, written by the late Dr Benjamin E. Mays, an American Baptist minister and civil rights leader.


    AOC responds to apparent Democratic party convention speech snub: 'Eternity is in it'Firebrand lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has hit back at an alleged snub by the Democratic party after being given just 60 seconds to deliver a speech a next week’s convention.AOC responded on Twitter by posting the poem ‘I have only just a minute’, written by the late Dr Benjamin E. Mays, an American Baptist minister and civil rights leader.


     

  • Iowans grapple with aftermath of Monday's deadly derecho, 'a disaster that we have never seen'      Fri, 14 Aug 2020 15:00:33 -0400

    Iowans grapple with aftermath of Monday's deadly derecho, 'a disaster that we have never seen'The National Guard arrived in Cedar Rapids on Friday to assist residents there after Monday's deadly derecho storm that was like a hurricane


    Iowans grapple with aftermath of Monday's deadly derecho, 'a disaster that we have never seen'The National Guard arrived in Cedar Rapids on Friday to assist residents there after Monday's deadly derecho storm that was like a hurricane


     



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