Our Prayers to all those affected by the Tunisian Attack

Compliments of The Daily Mail

A survivor of the massacre in Tunisia has revealed local hotel staff members formed a human shield on the beach in a heroic bid to protect tourists from the rampaging gunman.

John Yeoman, 46, said Muslim staff members from the Bellevue Hotel told the gunman he would have to kill them first as they formed a human barricade between the shooter and Western tourists.

The chain of bodies can be seen in images taken of killer Seifeddine Rezgui which emerged yesterday – about a dozen men stand side-by-side as the gunman, pictured in the foreground, marches away from them carrying his Kalashnikov.

It is just one of many incredible tales of survival to emerge in the aftermath of the deadly attack in which British survivors have described playing dead as Rezgui ‘executed’ wounded tourists.

He told MailOnline staff formed a shield and started yelling at the gunman: ‘You must kill us first.’

The gunman, who openly declared he was targeting Western tourists during the killing spree, was also told: ‘You will have to get past us, but we’re Muslim.

‘Basically, the staff put themselves in the way,’ he said. ‘The staff from the Bellevue were amazing, really good.’

Mr Yeoman said he was told what happened by another survivor at Manchester Airport after the two were among those repatriated yesterday.

Meanwhile, British survivors have described how they played dead in a desperate bid to avoid being ‘finished off’ by the gunman as he indiscriminately shot down dozens of tourists.

Cheryl Mellor, 55, told of how she lay motionless on the beach just moments after seeing her husband killed and having been shot herself.

Rezgui had earlier landed on the shore on a boat dressed as a tourist, before pulling out an assault rifle hidden in a parasol.

He then stormed the beach, gunning down tourists and throwing hand grenades into the crowds. In all, 38 people were killed, with the atrocity claiming the lives of 15 Britons – although that figure may yet rise.

The mother-of-two from Bodmin, Cornwall, toldThe Sunday Mirror she and her husband Stephen initially tried to flee but instead came face-to-face with Rezgui as he aimed his gun at them.

Amidst a hail of gunfire, her hand was almost completely shot off. Bullet fragments and debris tore her arm to pieces, severing two arteries – and when she looked down, her husband lay motionless on the ground.

Although his death has yet to be confirmed, she believes he was killed.

She told the paper: ‘Someone came over and said they would move me but the gunfire started up again so I just lay there.

‘I just played dead. I was absolutely terrified. When the gunfire stopped I kept hearing foreign voices but I just played dead.’

Angela Evans, a great-grandmother from Norfolk, also revealed she pretended to be dead when Rezgui came within ‘inches’ of her as he reloaded his gun.

Describing the terrifying ordeal, the 67-year-old told The Sunday Express she and her neighbour Belda Butauskiere, 49, were relaxing on sunbeds when they heard what sounded like firecrackers.

When they looked up towards the noise, they saw Rezgui shooting down tourists – before approaching the wounded and executing them.

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One of world’s most used weedkillers ‘possibly’ causes cancer, World Health Organisation says

Compliments of The Independent 

One of the most widely used weedkillers in the world has been classed as “possibly carcinogenic” after more than 70 years on the market.

Researchers at the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) cancer division found that the results of scientific studies into 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, known as 2,4-D, were too mixed to be conclusive.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classed it as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”, which is a step below the category of “probably” causing cancer.

The herbicide has been widely used to protect agricultural crops, forestry, grass and bodies of water from weeds and invasive plant since it went on the market in the 1940s.Twenty seven activists, one for each EU member state, demonstrate outside the Commission headquarters on November 7, 2012 at the EU headquarters in Brussels as the EU Commission is considering authorising the cultivation of 26 new genetically modified crops, 19 of which are genetically modified to be tolerant to herbicides – mostly glyphosate, the active ingredient in many herbicides sold throughout the worldGreenpeace is among the groups to demonstrate for tighter restrictions on herbicides

Dow AgroSciences, which uses 2,4-D as a component in its Enlist Duo product, claims there are more than 1,500 products that have it as an active ingredient.

It claimed the IARC’s classification was flawed and was “inconsistent with government findings in nearly 100 countries” that have affirmed the safety of 2,4-D when used as labelled.

John Cuffe, from Dow AgroSciences’ regulatory division, claimed no other herbicide had been “more thoroughly studied” and listed research in the US, Canada and Europe that had recently found 2,4-D does not increase the risk of cancer.

A review by the European Food Safety Authority earlier this year found that 2,4-D, as currently manufactured, was “unlikely” to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans.

The IARC said it decided on the “possibly carcinogenic” classification because there was “inadequate evidence in humans and limited evidence in experimental animals” of ties between 2,4-D and cancer.

It said that epidemiological studies provided “strong evidence that 2,4-D induces oxidative stress … and moderate evidence that 2,4-D causes immunosuppression.”

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Giant toxic algae bloom off West Coast may be largest ever

Compliments of CTV

What may be the largest toxic algae bloom ever recorded on the West Coast is poisoning sea lions in Washington State and shutting down fisheries as far north as B.C.

Although levels of a harmful phytoplankton are much lower in B.C. than off the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington, they are high enough that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has shuttered shellfish harvesting for some areas of Vancouver Island.

That’s because the algae is producing domoic acid, which is neurotoxic to mammals.

Nicky Haigh, of the Harmful Algae Monitoring Program at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, B.C., said the algae can hurt humans when they eat contaminated shellfish.

The algae can also cause skin rashes, sore throats, red eyes and gastrointestinal illness in humans and pets who come in contact with it the water.

Researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz first detected the bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia in May.

Raphael Kudela, a professor of ocean sciences at UCSC, said that the bloom may be of record size due to unusually warm water.

Earlier this month, the bloom caused Washington State to shut down its crab fishery for the first time since 2003.

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Poaching at an all time high. Now ‘Imagine’ a world without it

Compliments of Take Part 

The grisly images of slaughtered African elephants in the documentary Gardeners of Eden is more than enough to awaken dormant activism in the average citizen. When music producer and engineer Jack Douglas watched the haunting movie, he was no exception.

“I thought that this problem was primarily over,” Douglas told TakePart. “I was really, really shocked by the fact that it’s a still huge problem. In fact, it’s worse than it’s ever been.”

Poaching has reached an all-time high in the past two decades. With an average of 96 elephants killed daily, they’re headed toward extinction within the next decade unless action is taken to end the lucrative trade in wildlife products.

Gardeners of Eden follows actor, philanthropist, and producer Kristin Davis as she works with Kenya’s David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to rescue and care for the hunted species. (disclosure: Gardners of Eden was Licensed by Pivot, the sister company of TakePart.com and a division of Participant Media.)

After seeing the film, Douglas wanted to help in any way he could and offered up his expertise to create the score. For the film’s ending, he thought a lyrical piece would create a memorable moment for audience members.

“When you’re leaving the theater, you should be hearing a song that really ties it up instead of just music,” Douglas explained. “It makes much more of an impression, especially if the lyrics are great.”

Douglas turned to burgeoning Los Angeles band Braves. The three men who make up Braves—Jericho, Thorald of the Wood, and Johnny What—were more than happy to oblige. In part, they jumped at the opportunity because when someone like Douglas calls—he’s worked with John Lennon, Patti Smith, and Aerosmith—you pick up the phone. But the band was equally moved by the film’s message and Davis’ passion.

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South Carolina church shooting: White suspect stayed at bible meeting for an hour

Compliments of Monitor 

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen says the suspect in a shooting that killed nine people was at a historic black church attending a meeting and stayed for almost an hour before gunfire erupted.

Mullen gave the details at a Thursday morning news conference. He didn’t elaborate. At the news conference, he also identified the victims of the Wednesday church night shooting as six females and three males. He says names won’t be released until families are notified.

The suspect is described as a white man thought to be in his early 20s. Mullen says the suspect is a “very dangerous individual.” Mullen says police don’t know if anyone was targeted besides the church itself.

Earlier, Mullen said he had no reason to think the suspect has left the Charleston area, but is distributing information about him and the vehicle around the country.

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7:05 a.m.

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen says the victims of a shooting at a historic black church were six females and three males.

At a news conference Thursday, Mullen did not give other details about the victims. He says names will not be released until families are notified.

The Wednesday night shooting is being called a hate crime. The suspect is described as a white man thought to be in his early 20s. Mullen says the suspect is a “very dangerous individual.” Mullen urged people to call police about the suspect and not pursue him or his vehicle on their own.

Earlier, Mullen said he had no reason to think the suspect has left the Charleston area, but is distributing information about the suspect and the vehicle around the country.

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6:10 a.m.

Police say they have surveillance video of a possible suspect and vehicle in the shooting deaths of nine people at a historic black church in downtown Charleston that’s being called a hate crime.

Police Chief Greg Mullen met with reporters early Thursday to distribute the video. Mullen said he couldn’t give a specific make and model of the vehicle because they could not be certain from the video.

The suspect is described as a white man thought to be in his early 20s. Mullen said he had no reason to think the suspect has left the Charleston area, but is distributing information about the suspect and the vehicle around the country.

Mullen said police consider the shooting a hate crime. The FBI and state police are helping in the search.

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MRSA superbug found in supermarket pork raises alarm over farming risks

Compliments of The Guardian 

Pork sold by several leading British supermarkets has been found to be contaminated with a strain of the superbug MRSA that is linked to the overuse of powerful antibiotics on factory farms, a Guardian investigation has revealed.
Livestock-associated MRSA CC398, which originates in animals, has been found in pork products sold in Sainsbury’s, Asda, the Co-operative and Tesco. Of the 100 packets of pork chops, bacon and gammon tested by the Guardian, nine – eight Danish and one Irish – were found to have been infected with CC398.

CC398 in meat, which poses little risk to the British public, can be transmitted by touching infected meat products or coming into contact with contaminated livestock or people, although it can be killed through cooking.

Many people carry the bacteria without any signs of illness, but some have developed skin complaints, and the bug can cause life-threatening infections, including pneumonia and blood poisoning. Experts warn that the superbug has emerged as a result of antibiotic use in intensive farming and there is evidence that the UK could be at risk of a wider health crisis unless the issue is tackled by the authorities.

The superbug CC398 is a variant of the more commonly known MRSA found in hospitals and is endemic in pig farms in some European countries, particularly Denmark, Europe’s biggest pork producer and a key exporter to the UK. The Guardian tested 74 Danish pork products and 25 British, and one from Ireland.

CC398 is linked to intensive farms, where the density of pigs crowded together becomes a flashpoint for disease, and farmers become reliant on antibiotics to keep animals healthy and alive. This has led to the emergence of CC398, which is resistant to antibiotics.

Two thirds of Denmark’s pig farms are currently infected with CC398, where it is spreading rapidly: 648 people were infected with CC398 in 2013; in 2014, 1,271 people contracted the bug. Of those infected two people died as a result of the infection, and many suffered serious blood poisoning.

None of the British pork tested by the Guardian was infected with CC398, but a similar study carried out by the Alliance to Save Antibiotics, a campaign group which includes the Soil Association, did identify the superbug in pork from British farms. In findings due to be published on Thursday, the Alliance identified the bug in a pork sausage and in a packet of pork mince purchased in the UK. Fifty-two samples of pork from supermarkets in Bristol, Cambridge, London, Northumberland and Surrey were tested by the University of Cambridge on behalf of the Alliance. The findings confirm that CC398 has now spread from British farms into the domestic pork supply chain.

A leading microbiologist has warned Britain to see the situation in Denmark as a warning. “[It] is an epidemic [that’s] out of control in Denmark,” Professor Hans Jørn Kolmos, a microbiologist at the University of Southern Denmark told the Guardian. “[Britain] should be worried about it, you should look at our problems. We should have intervened seven years back when we saw the first cases. Don’t think that this is a problem that will solve itself just by closing your eyes,” he said.

The bug was identified in a pork sausage

 The bug has been identified in a pork sausage, confirming the spread of the infection from British farms. Photograph: Alamy

A Guardian film made during the investigation into infected pork also reveals how CC398 has already crossed the species barrier in the UK. A little-reported study by the University of Edinburgh, published in 2014, found the bug in the umbilical cords of two newborn babies in Scotland.

The Scottish study is thought to be the first confirmation in the UK that the bug has travelled from livestock to humans in Britain, though researchers were not able to explain how the superbug spread and there is nothing to suggest the babies became ill as a result of coming into contact with CC398.

Dr Melissa Ward of Edinburgh University, the study’s lead researcher, told the Guardian: “We were not able to trace the exact source of CC398 for the individual humans in our study. MRSA bacteria can live on the skin of humans and animals, often without causing any symptoms. The bacteria can spread from person to person, and between animals and humans, by close contact such as touching,” she said.

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Study links exposure to common pesticide with ADHD in boys

Compliments of Science Daily 

The study found an association between pyrethroid pesticide exposure and ADHD, particularly in terms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, rather than inattentiveness. The association was stronger in boys than in girls.

The study, led by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, is published online in the journal Environmental Health.

“Given the growing use of pyrethroid pesticides and the perception that they may represent a safe alternative, our findings may be of considerable public health importance,” says Tanya Froehlich, MD, a developmental pediatrician at Cincinnati Children’s and the study’s corresponding author.

Due to concerns about adverse health consequences, the United States Environmental Protection Agency banned the two most commonly used organophosphate (organic compounds containing phosphorus) pesticides from residential use in 2000-2001. The ban led to the increased use of pyrethroid pesticides, which are now the most commonly used pesticides for residential pest control and public health purposes. They also are used increasingly in agriculture.

Pyrethroids have often been considered a safer choice because they are not as acutely toxic as the banned organophosphates. Animal studies, on the other hand, suggested a heightened vulnerability to the effects of pyrethroid exposure on hyperactivity, impulsivity and abnormalities in the dopamine system in male mice. Dopamine is a neurochemical in the brain thought to be involved in many activities, including those that govern ADHD.

The researchers studied data on 687 children between the ages of 8 and 15. The data came from the 2000-2001 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which is a nationally representative sample of the United States population designed to collect information about health.

The 2000-2001 cycle of NHANES was the only cycle of the study that included a diagnostic interview of children’s ADHD symptoms and pyrethroid pesticide biomarkers. Pesticide exposure measurements were collected in a random sample of the urine of half the 8-11 year olds and a third of the 12-15 year olds.

ADHD was determined by meeting criteria on the Diagnosic Interview Schedule for Children, a diagnostic instrument that assesses 34 common psychiatric diagnoses of children and adolescents, or by caregiver report of a prior diagnosis. The DISC is administered by an interviewer.

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