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Russian President Vladimir Putin danced arm-in-arm with Austria's Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl at her wedding on Saturday, after receiving an invitation that opposition critics said undermined the West's stance against Moscow. Photographs showed Kneissl, 53, smiling in a long white and cream "dirndl" dress and talking to Putin as they danced in a vineyard in southern Styria province, the venue of her wedding to entrepreneur Wolfgang Meilinger. Putin - who made a toast in German at the wedding, according to the Kremlin - was pictured listening to her intently.
The Pentagon is preparing to dispatch a hospital ship to Colombia and possibly other parts of South America to help relieve strain on health care systems overloaded by an influx of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans. An estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled the crisis-torn country as of June, mainly to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.
The unidentified victim was discovered when firefighters extinguished the blaze near the Fantasia Gardens miniature golf course. Homicide detectives have joined the investigation, according to a statement from Orange County Sheriff's Office. Deputies were called to the scene at 1209 Epcot Resorts Boulevard to assist the Reedy Creek Fire Department at 4.11am on Saturday morning.
Before a joint session of Congress and Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Tsai said, "At a time of great political pressure against Taiwan's international space, you have spoken for the rights and obligations of Taiwan as a member of the international community." Belize is one of 18 countries that still recognize Taiwan. Belize receives financial aid from Taiwan for scholarships, agriculture and healthcare.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday presented four options aimed at boosting the protection of Palestinians in Israeli-occupied territories, from sending UN rights monitors and unarmed observers to deploying a military or police force under UN mandate. The proposals were contained in a report requested by the General Assembly in response to a surge of violence in Gaza, where 171 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since late March. The UN chief stressed that for each of the options, cooperation by Israel and the Palestinians would be necessary.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania bishop named in a grand jury report on rampant sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy said Friday he has "profound remorse" and offers his "heartfelt apology" to the victims.
President Trump on Friday suggested that he is close to revoking the security clearance of a current Justice Department employee who had been in contact with author of the controversial dossier alleging ties between Trump and Russia.
The 3M Co. has agreed to pay $9.1 million to settle allegations it knowingly sold defective combat ear plugs to the U.S. military without disclosing defects that limited the effectiveness of the hearing protection devices, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday. A settlement frees 3M from the inconvenience of a long investigation and litigation, it said. The 3M payment settles allegations that 3M and its predecessor, Aearo Technologies Inc., knew the ear plugs it sold the military were too short for proper insertion into the users' ears and could loosen and not perform effectively in some people, the Justice Department said.
It may seem like an alarmist local news story to declare your breakfast could kill you, but a new independent study claims that some of your favorite cereals could contain unsafe levels of a chemical used in a popular weed killer. The report, from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), was published online Wednesday and outlines the levels of the chemical glyphosate they found in various breakfast cereals and snacks. Glyphosate is the major ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp and one at the center of an ongoing tug-of-war. The World Health Organization (WHO) has ruled the chemical is "probably carcinogenic to humans," and the state of California has categorized it as a chemical linked to cancer. Meanwhile, in late 2017, the EPA concluded an assessment that declared "glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans. And its with that intersection in mind that one has to look upon the new EWG report — which wasn't peer reviewed by independent scientists — with quite a bit of scrutiny. EWG versus the EPA For the study, the EWG tested dozens of samples, looking for levels of glyphosate that were above 160 pars per billion (ppb)/0.16 mg, which the organization considers the upper range of safe levels of the chemical for children to be exposed to. You can see their full results here but a few items stand out: Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal had readings of 620 ppb/0.62 mg and 780 ppb/0.78 mg. Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal had readings of 470 ppb/0.47 mg, 490 ppb/0.49 mg, and 530 ppb/0.53 mg. Quaker Old Fashioned Oats had readings of 390 ppb/0.39 mg, 1100 ppb/1.1 mg, and 1300 ppb/1.3 mg. Those numbers seem not so great — if you use the EWG's threshold. But the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets a much higher bar for how much glyphosate is safe for a person. According to a 1993 EPA report, the safe exposure level could be as high as 2 mg a day, well above any of the rates that the EWG uncovered in their studies. For what it's worth, The Guardian recently published a report showing that the FDA has been investigating the use of glyphosate for years but has yet to issue any public findings. The ongoing research into glyphosate is important because It's a hugely popular pesticide, with hundreds of millions of gallons being used on U.S. crops each year. And, per The Guardian's report, "the FDA has had trouble finding any food that does not carry traces of the pesticide." Not that eating pesticides is a great thing, but the large discrepancies between the EPA numbers and the EWG numbers can be confusing for consumers trying to determine how much, exactly, is still safe. "Finding glyphosate in food is residue," Kaitlin Stack Whitney, an environmental studies scholar, said in an interview. "Residue limits are a subset of exposure limits as eating pesticides residue is one route of potential exposure." "So finding non-zero amounts isn't unexpected; it's's planned for and limited under current law," Stack Whitney, who also worked as a staff biologist for the EPA, added. There's also the issue of "spray drift," as Stack Whitney notes, pointing to EWG finding traces of the chemical on products labeled organic likely due to some of the pesticide drifting to those organic crops on the wind. "The current pesticide review process struggles to account for this because agencies can't know what anyone and everyone's neighbors may grow and which chemicals they may apply," she said. "So whether residues are from direct application or drift is critical to understanding how to address if you think the amount is unsafe." A question of methodology For Lori Hoepner, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, it's about methodology. She notes that "it's hard enough to have consensus among scientists when you're talking about using the same methods." "So to go from something that would determine the limit of exposure, and try to extend that information to telling consumers about what it means to find glyphosate in their food, I think it can be perceived as something of a stretch," Hoepner said. Noting that she's familiar with the EWG's work and has vouched for them as a good resource for consumers, Hoepner still expressed some reservations about they way they presented their work for this study. "It always concerns me when science is presented in a way that is not peer-reviewed, doesn't have the oversight of additional researchers who can validate or question the method." Stack Whitney echoed Hoepner's sentiment: "[The EWG] study is like a white paper or other reports from think tanks, well researched and written but not peer reviewed. It would be useful to review their actual data and methods but those aren't available." Hoepner also wanted to see more about how they took their samples. "What was their method? Was it randomized? Was it all from one box? How many different boxes were used? Where did they buy them?" Hoepner said. Noting the wide ranges in some of the results, Hoepner says, "that definitely creates a question mark in my mind for validity." The corporations defend their products As for the companies identified in the study, they're standing by the quality of their products. A statement sent via email from the Quaker brand maintained the brand's stance they're products are perfectly safe and included a passage that denied the use of glyphosate in the making of their products. A spokesperson for General Mills, producers of Cheerios, echoed this sentiment in a statement. Corporate behemoth Monsanto, which produces RoundUp, has been under fire lately for the chemical, including a recent California verdict that ordered the company to pay $289 million to a school groundskeeper who claimed his constant and prolonged exposure to the chemical was to blame for him developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In the wake of the EWG's report, Monsanto posted a rebuttal on their website accusing the EWG of "publicizing misleading information." Additionally, in an email exchange, a spokesperson for Monsanto highlighted this portion: Additionally, Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge told the New York Times in response to EWG study, “[The EWG] have an agenda. They are fear mongering. They distort science.” For consumers, there's no right or wrong answer at the moment. While buying different brands may seem like an option, the prevalence of the pesticides used makes it nearly impossible to completely avoid. The opposing sets of data can only sow more confusion and consumers are left to decide who they trust more: groups like the EWG, government agencies like the EPA, or corporations. WATCH: Here's how long fruits and vegetables are stored before you buy them at the store
Ralph Tyrone Cooper was charged with murder in the death of Mary Ann Burton, his common-law wife who was just 21 years old when she her body was found in a vacant field in Houston on July 20, 1969, police said.
A young Yazidi woman who fled to Germany but returned home to northern Iraq says she cannot escape her Islamic State group captor who held her as a sex slave for three months. Ashwaq Haji, 19, says she ran into the man in a German supermarket in February. Traumatised by the encounter, she returned to Iraq the following month.
Manila's defence chief renewed calls Friday for the return of church bells seized by the US military more than a century ago, urging Washington to relinquish what he called "trophies for atrocities". The US embassy in Manila announced earlier this month it would send them back but gave no timetable for their return, following a public campaign by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte has demanded Washington give back the Balangiga bells during public tirades against Washington as he builds closer ties with China and Russia.
The Italian government has issued an ultimatum to the company in charge of the motorway bridge that collapsed with the loss of nearly 40 lives, giving it 15 days to demonstrate that it maintained the structure properly. The transport ministry demanded that Autostrade per l’Italia show that it had previously met all its contractual obligations to ensure the proper functioning of the Morandi bridge. Should the company’s response prove inadequate, the government will judge it to be in breach of the terms of its concession to run the toll-road. The lucrative concession would then be withdrawn from Autostrade, part of the holding company Atlantia, which is controlled by the Benetton fashion empire. The coalition government has adopted an aggressive stance towards the company, blaming it for the collapse of the bridge, which has so far claimed the lives of 38 people and injured 15 others, nine of them critically. The bridge gave way during an intense thunderstorm on Tuesday, plunging around 50 vehicles to the ground, where they were crushed by giant slabs of concrete and steel girders. Between 10 and 20 people are still missing. The transport ministry is demanding that the company commit to rebuilding the bridge at its own expense and within a set period of time. It also called on the company to pay to rebuild apartment blocks that will have to be demolished and to repair damaged buildings beneath the 51-year-old bridge. Matteo Salvini, the interior minister, said he expects Atlantia to donate up to €500 million to help families and local government Credit: PIERO CRUCIATTI/AFP Matteo Salvini, the interior minister, said he expects Atlantia to donate up to €500 million to help families and local government deal with the aftermath of the disaster. “I will listen to the directors of Autostrade per l’Italia but I expect to see concrete gestures (from the company) immediately,” Mr Salvini said. “Genoa cannot wait and the injured cannot wait. While the lawyers and the investigators do their job, we are doing all we can to obtain from Autostrade all that is possible for the relatives of victims, the injured, the people made homeless and the city of Genoa. “As for concessions and penalties, we can talk about those from next week onwards.” Luigi Di Maio, the head of the Five Star Movement and Mr Salvini’s partner in the populist coalition, said he was determined that the company’s right to manage the toll road would be revoked. “Not only will we use the law to revoke the concession, but we’ll also apply a fine of €150 million. If they want to fight it, we’ll see them in court,” he said. The Italian state might have to step in and run the motorway, along with others managed by Autostrade per l’Italia, he said.
China has sacked a senior provincial official and is probing a former top drug regulator after a safety scandal at vaccine maker Changsheng Biotechnology Co Ltd, which again warned it could be delisted over the scandal. The company was accused in July of falsifying data for a rabies vaccine and manufacturing an ineffective vaccine for babies, sparking widespread consumer anger. While there were no known reports of people being harmed by the vaccines, regulators ordered Changsheng to halt their production and recall the rabies vaccine.
A US police chief has defended the use of a Taser on an 87-year-old grandmother cutting dandelions near her home in the southern state of Georgia. The incident occurred last Friday when a youth club worker called 911 after spotting Martha Al-Bishara, who does not speak English, using a knife to cut dandelions in the club's grounds near her home. Responding to the scene, police in Chatsworth, around 85 miles (135 kilometers) north of Atlanta, stunned her with a Taser and handcuffed her after she failed to follow instructions to drop the knife.
A Chinese passenger jet slid off the runway as it landed at Manila airport in torrential rain forcing dozens of flight cancellations on Friday, as engineers struggled to remove the stricken aircraft. The Xiamen Airlines plane, carrying 157 passengers and eight crew, landed on its second attempt before skidding onto the grass and ripping off its left engine late Thursday evening, airport general manager Ed Monreal said. All on board were safely evacuated from the aircraft with no serious injuries.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court on Thursday made it easier for some immigrant children who are abused or abandoned by a parent to seek a U.S. visa to avoid deportation in a ruling that advocates said would help thousands of children.
By Felipe Iturrieta and Aislinn Laing SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Four planes were forced to make emergency landings in Chile and Peru on Thursday due to bomb threats issued to the Chilean Civil Aviation Authority, it said in a statement. Two of the planes were operated by LATAM Airlines and two by Sky, a low-cost Chilean airline, the aviation authority said. The planes were undergoing checks of passengers, baggage, and their cabins and holds by police and airport security, it said. (Reporting by Aislinn Laing and Felipe Iturrieta, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)
New York University said Thursday it would offer all its current and future medical school students free tuition in an effort to tackle soaring debt levels and encourage more applicants. It does not cover living and administrative costs averaging $27,000 a year. "A population as diverse as ours is best served by doctors from all walks of life, we believe, and aspiring physicians and surgeons should not be prevented from pursuing a career in medicine because of the prospect of overwhelming financial debt," said Dr. Robert Grossman, dean of the NYU School of Medicine.