News StoriesExcerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
Supermarket tomatoes may look delicious — smooth, red and unblemished — but for the most part, they taste like nothing at all. [Barry] Estabrook is the author of a new book, Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit. It lays out why supermarket tomatoes tend to taste so bad - and how they got that way. The tomatoes you see in those supermarkets have been bred for high yields and durability, not flavor. There's an even darker side to the modern commercial tomato, too. Up until recently, workers on many of Florida's vast industrial tomato farms were basically slaves. "People being bought and sold like animals," Estabrook says. "People being shackled in chains. People being beaten for either not working hard enough, fast enough, or being too weak or sick to work. People actually being shot and killed for trying to escape. That sounds like 1850's slavery to me." The situation is beginning to improve, he adds. It began with a group of tomato pickers called the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. The group had been lobbying since the early 1990s for a plan that included a pay raise and some basic workers' rights. "What they started concentrating on was the end-customers," Estabrook says. "They started, actually, with the Taco Bell restaurant chain." After four years of protests and boycotts, Taco Bell agreed to sign on and support the group's plan. Other chains soon followed, and even the powerful Florida tomato growers' committee came on board.
Note: In 2015, Wal-Mart became the most influential corporation to join the initiative promoted by Coalition of Immokalee Workers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
From his self-proclaimed Aryan Nations church, a retired engineer named Richard Butler preached hate to his followers. [The Idaho town of] Coeur d’Alene became code for white supremacists. But what happened here offers an antidote of hope. The community came together, rejecting the vision of Mr. Butler’s small band, and organizing a tenacious effort to drive them out. [Norman] Gissel and others involved in that campaign ... embraced some old-fashioned phrases – freedom, equality, and justice – and decided on a way to challenge the Aryan Nations. When the Aryan Nations marched, the group sponsored counter protests as far away as Spokane to draw the crowds down. For one event, [organizer Tony] Stewart enlisted local businesses and individuals to pledge money to human rights groups for every minute of a planned Aryan Nations march, and then publicly urged Butler to march slowly to raise more money for his opponents. “They marched for 27 minutes and we got $34,000,” Stewart chuckled. It was the group’s violence that finally brought it down ... in 1998. The compound’s guards ... terrorized [an American Indian woman and her son] at gunpoint. The Southern Poverty Law Center pounced on the incident, bringing lawsuits on behalf of the victims. They won a $6.3 million judgment in 2000 against Butler, and two of his bodyguards served prison time for assault. Butler’s compound was seized in the judgment, used as a training exercise by the fire department and burned to the ground.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
In the middle of a braided river tucked in a remote northeastern region of India, one man planted a forest that has now outgrown the size of New York City’s Central Park. As a teenager in the 1970s, Jadav Payeng noticed a rush of snakes washing ashore, dead. Erosion had scrubbed away vegetation from Majuli island sandbars, stripping away grassy cover and ultimately forcing many native species to flee. Floodwaters transformed some parts into barren landscapes. Its shorelines receded with every monsoon rain. The island, Payeng’s birthplace, was rapidly shrinking. Rather than sitting idly by, waiting for strong river waters to destroy his home and push his family inland, Payeng planted trees. He started in 1979, scattering seeds and stabbing the bare earth repeatedly with a stick to forge holes deep enough for the delicate roots of young saplings. The goal was to grow a forest to stave off erosion in the area. But as his trees grew bigger, Payeng says it dawned on him they were going to be increasingly difficult to protect. “The biggest threat was from men. They would have destroyed the forest for economic gain and the animals would be vulnerable again," he said in a documentary about his forest. He quietly continued planting trees on Majuli for 30 years. Today, Payeng’s forest measures 1,400 acres, a remarkable accomplishment that dwarfs Central Park’s 843 acres. Rhinoceroses, deer, tigers, and as many as 115 elephants have moved in to the dense forest.
Note: Watch the award-winning 16-minute documentary about this amazing man at the link above. If one man can do this, imagine what might be achieved if the government put some money and labor into this kind of project.
Nelson Mandela’s adage, “I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends,” captures the profoundly inclusive nature of restorative justice (RJ). The hallmark of RJ is intentionally bringing together people ... who have harmed with people who have been harmed in a carefully prepared face-to-face encounter where everyone listens and speaks with respect and from the heart. The school-to-prison pipeline refers to the alarming national trend of punishing and criminalizing our youth instead of educating and nurturing them. Exclusionary discipline policies such as suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests are increasingly being used to address even the most minor infractions. Use of suspensions has almost doubled since the 1970’s. A UC Berkeley Law study found [Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth]’s 2007 middle school pilot eliminated violence and expulsions, while reducing school suspension rates by 87 percent. In 2010, the Oakland, Calif. school board passed a resolution adopting RJ as a system-wide alternative to zero-tolerance discipline and as a way of creating stronger and healthier school communities. Young high school students in Oakland with failing grades and multiple incarcerations who were not expected to graduate not only graduate but achieve 3.0-plus GPAs. Today hundreds of Oakland students are ... empowered to engage in restorative processes ... in a safe and respectful space, promoting dialogue, accountability, a deeper sense of community, and healing.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Air pollution levels have plunged in cities across Bolivia as the country marked a nationwide car-free day in which all non-emergency vehicles were banned from city streets. As Bolivia’s middle-class population has increased over the past 10 years so has the number of cars clogging city streets. The car-free event started 18 years ago in Cochabamba, one of Latin America’s five most polluted cities, and has gradually taken root across the country. By 2011, it had become so popular that Bolivia’s legislature declared a yearly “Day of the Pedestrian and Cyclist in Defence of Mother Earth”. Families love it. Jesus Romero, who lives on the northern edge of Cochabamba, said: “We really enjoy that it is so quiet and peaceful without any cars around, and that’s there’s space in the streets for the kids to play.” Deyanira López, 14, highlighted another benefit. “Our city is very beautiful but you just don’t see it because of all the cars,” she said. Andres Clares, 16, agreed, saying: “I really like walking at least one day without cars. It’s quieter and the air is so much fresher.” In a typically noisy city, the sudden silence is striking. This year the event’s catchphrase is “leave your green footprint in Cochabamba”. Six eco-stations are focused on different themes in coordination with local businesses and charities. “These educate about the air, animals, water, recycling, protected areas and trees,” said Gaviota Borda, head of the municipal department of environmental protection.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
On the evening of October 30, 1938, a seventy-six-year-old millworker in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey, named Bill Dock heard something terrifying. Aliens had landed just down the road, a newscaster announced. Dock ... prepared to face down the invaders. But ... he’d been duped by Orson Welles’s radio adaptation of “The War of the Worlds.” The next day, newspapers were full of stories like Dock’s. This early fake-news panic lives on in legend, but [historian A. Brad] Schwartz is the latest of a number of researchers to argue that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. There was no mass hysteria, only small pockets of concern that quickly burned out. Newspapers exaggerated the panic to better control the upstart medium of radio, which was becoming the dominant source of breaking news in the thirties. Newspapers wanted to show that radio was irresponsible and needed guidance from its older, more respectable siblings in the print media, such “guidance” mostly taking the form of lucrative licensing deals and increased ownership of local radio stations. To some, the lesson of the panic was that the F.C.C. needed to take an even more active role to protect people from malicious tricksters like Welles. Yet Schwartz says that the people calling for a government crackdown were far outnumbered by those who warned against one. Today, Facebook and Google have taken the place of the F.C.C. in the conservative imagination. With a powerful, well-funded propaganda machine ... conservatives aren’t the ones who have the most to fear.
Note: Historian A. Brad Schwartz is the author of a bestselling book titled, "Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the manipulation of mass media.
In the most detailed study ever of fatalities and litigation involving police use of stun guns, Reuters finds more than 150 autopsy reports citing Tasers as a cause or contributor to deaths. Many who die are among society’s vulnerable – unarmed, in psychological distress and seeking help. As her husband stalked around the back yard, upending chairs and screaming about demons, Nancy Schrock ... dialed the police. “He needs to be in the hospital,” she told a 911 dispatcher. Tom Schrock had struggled with depression ... throughout their 35-year marriage. Police had visited the family’s [house] more than a dozen times. Typically, Tom was taken to the hospital, medicated and sent home after 72 hours. Not this time. Three officers answered the call, categorized by the dispatcher as a disturbance involving an unarmed man with mental health issues. Nancy took them through the house to the back; Santiago Mota, a veteran cop, drew his Taser. As officers came out the back door, Tom strode toward them. Mota fired the Taser. Tom buckled, then retreated. Mota followed, pressed the electric stun gun to Tom’s chest and fired again. The 57-year-old collapsed [and] never regained consciousness. “I called for help,” Nancy said. “I didn’t call for them to come and kill him.” Reuters documented 1,005 incidents in the United States in which people died after police stunned them with Tasers. In nine of every 10 incidents, the deceased was unarmed. More than 100 of the fatal encounters began with a 911 call for help during a medical emergency.
As soon as Theo Wilson started making YouTube videos about culture and race, trolls using racial slurs started flocking to his page. After engaging in endless sparring matches in the comments section, Wilson began to notice something curious: His trolls seemed to speak a language unto themselves, one replete with the same twisted facts and false history. Curious about where his trolls were getting their revisionist history lessons, Wilson ... decided to go undercover in their world. In 2015, he started by creating a ghost profile named “Lucious25,” a digital white supremacist. Within a few weeks Wilson's alternate identity was questioning President Barack Obama's birthplace [and] railing against Black Lives Matter. After several months, he was a disaffected fixture on alt-right websites that draw white supremacists. During his eight months as a racist troll, Wilson never revealed his true identity. When it was all over, Wilson said, he came to appreciate the way in which the far-right media bubble disables its participants - offering an endless stream of scapegoats for their problems but no credible solutions. "There are still people who think black people are not fully human and that we are lagging in terms of evolution," [said Wilson]. "My compassion comes from knowing these people are still so vulnerable to social programming. But the social forces that make racism commonplace aren't necessarily going away. Look at what happened in Charlottesville, for example. How did a brand-new generation of white guys get that hateful?"
Note: Theo Wilson describes his experience as an undercover racist in this Tedx video. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.
Who’s a bigger terror threat to the United States right now: Islamic extremists or white nationalists? That’s been a big question on Americans’ minds. Democrats are more worried about white nationalists, while Republicans are more likely to identify Islamic extremists as the greater terror threat. But here’s what neither side will tell you: In both cases, the threat is negligible. Americans radically exaggerate the danger of radical terrorism. And that speaks to the real problem here, which doesn’t have to do with terrorism at all. It’s the hyper-polarization of our politics, which leads us to demonize the other team. Most Muslims are not Islamic extremists, any more than most supporters of President Trump are white nationalists. But the bogeyman of terrorism blinds us to these distinctions, transforming our political opponents into existential enemies. But guess what? In the grand scheme, all of these threats are infinitesimal. Since 2001, your chance of being crushed to death by an unstable television or piece of furniture has been greater than your chance of dying at the hands of a terrorist. There are plenty of bigots in the United States, of every creed and color. And yes, we have to be vigilant about identifying and neutralizing the real terrorists among them, whether Muslim or white supremacist. But imagining everyone in the other camp as a potential terrorist - or as an apologist for the same - is the ultimate red herring. It’s bipartisan, infecting liberals and conservatives alike. And it’s time for it to stop.
In May 2003, Thomas O’Brien, then bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, admitted to sheltering at least 50 priests accused of sexual abuse, often shuffling them around to parishes across the state. O'Brien's admission ... acknowledged he "allowed Roman Catholic priests under my supervision to work with minors after becoming aware of allegations of sexual misconduct." Thirteen years later, in a lawsuit filed last September, O'Brien - now bishop emeritus - was accused of sexually abusing a grade-school boy. In recent months, [reporters] have uncovered scores of allegations involving 14 Catholic priests on Guam, where a former altar boy's accusation last summer that Archbishop Anthony Apuron sexually abused him in the 1970s has prompted other revelations. Abuse cases also have roiled Catholic parishes elsewhere in the nation, sometimes decades after evidence of the crimes first emerged. In the O'Brien case, an Arizona man sued, claiming repressed memories resurfaced two years ago. The lawsuit accuses O'Brien, now 81, of sexual abuse from 1977 through 1982. The suit names 60 other Roman Catholic priests or church employees, dating back to the 1950s and alleges a cover-up. The diocese itself eventually exposed some priests as part of an agreement with Arizona prosecutors in the early 2000s. At least two of the priests fled the U.S. and remain at large, and a substantial number are now dead.
Note: The above article outlines lawsuits in seven US states involving hundreds of victims of alleged abuse by clergy. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of sexual abuse scandal news articles.
Tokyo Electric Power Co Holdings said on Thursday it has been hit with another lawsuit filed in a U.S. court seeking $5 billion for compensation over the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the second filed against the utility in a U.S. court. The suit filed by 157 individuals is seeking that amount to set up a compensation fund for the costs of medical tests and treatment they say they need after efforts to support the recovery from the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. The utility, known as Tepco, is being sued regarding improper design, construction and maintenance. Tepco has been hit with more lawsuits than in any previous Japanese contamination suit over the meltdowns of three reactors at its Fukushima Daiichi plant north of Tokyo [in] 2011. Radiation forced 160,000 people from their homes, many never to return, and destroyed businesses, fisheries and agriculture. In June, a federal appeals court cleared the way for a group of U.S. military personnel to file a suit against Tepco over radiation exposure that they say occurred during recovery efforts on board the USS Ronald Reagan. Shareholders of Tepco are suing the utility's executives for a record 5.5 trillion yen ($67.4 billion) in compensation. The company's former chairman and other executives of the company appeared in court in June to answer charges of professional negligence, in the first criminal case after the meltdowns. The criminal and civil legal cases do not threaten financial ruin for Tepco, which is backstopped by Japanese taxpayers.
Note: Following the Fukushima disaster, at least three Tepco officials were indicted for knowingly operating an unsafe nuclear power plant. And though the plant is extremely toxic now years after the disaster, top officials still claim nuclear power is extremely safe. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the Fukushima Nuclear Plant meltdown.
Gulping down an artificially sweetened beverage not only may be associated with health risks for your body, but also possibly your brain, a new study suggests. Artificially sweetened drinks, such as diet sodas, were tied to a higher risk of stroke and dementia in the study, which was published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke. The researchers analyzed how many sugary beverages and artificially sweetened soft drinks each person in the two different age groups drank, at different time points, between 1991 and 2001. Then, they compared that with how many people suffered stroke or dementia over the next 10 years. Compared to never drinking artificially sweetened soft drinks, those who drank one a day were almost three times as likely to have an ischemic stroke, caused by blocked blood vessels, the researchers found. They also found that those who drank one a day were nearly three times as likely to be diagnosed with dementia. Separate previous studies have shown an association between the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and adverse health effects, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and possibly even heart failure.
Note: Explore lots more about the risks and dangers of aspartame in this excellent article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
Local police departments will soon have access to grenade launchers, high-caliber weapons and other surplus U.S. military gear after President Donald Trump signed an order Monday reviving a Pentagon program that civil rights groups say inflames tensions between officers and their communities. President Barack Obama had sharply curtailed the program in 2015. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky called the plan a dangerous expansion of government power that would "subsidize militarization." Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina said the program "incentivizes the militarization of local police departments, as they are encouraged to grab more equipment than they need." Congress authorized the program in 1990, allowing police to receive surplus equipment to help fight drugs, which then gave way to the fight against terrorism. Agencies requested and received everything from camouflage uniforms and bullet-proof vests to firearms, bayonets and drones. More than $5 billion in surplus equipment has been given to agencies. The new order largely lets local agencies set their own controls and rules governing use of the equipment. The plan to restore access to military equipment comes after [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions has said he intends to pull back on court-enforceable plans to resolve allegations of pervasive civil rights violations. Sessions ... has also revived a widely criticized form of asset forfeiture that lets local police seize cash and property with federal help.
Note: The Pentagon's 1033 program now being revived led to what the ACLU called an "excessive militarization of American policing". The civil asset forfeiture program now being revived was widely criticized because it made it easy for corrupt police to steal money and property from poor people and seize private assets based on departmental "wish lists".
How much proper brainwork – not zoning out in meetings, or reorganising the stationery cupboard, but work that involves really thinking – should you aim to get done in one day? The answer isn’t some sophisticated version of: “It depends.” The answer is four hours. That, anyway, is the persuasive conclusion reached by Alex Pang in his book Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less. This column has evangelised before about the truth of that subtitle, what with the nine-to-five being a relic of the industrial revolution with no relevance to modern “knowledge work” – but what’s so striking about Pang’s argument is its specificity. Ranging across history and creative fields, he keeps encountering the same thing. Charles Darwin worked for two 90-minute periods in the morning, then an hour later on; the mathematician Henri Poincaré from 10am till noon then 5pm till 7pm; the same approximate stretch features in the daily routines of Thomas Jefferson, Alice Munro, John le Carré and many more. And maybe it’s not just creative work. Half a century ago, the anthropologist Marshall Sahlins caused a stir by suggesting that people in hunter-gatherer societies aren’t ceaselessly struggling for survival; on the contrary, they’d built “the original affluent society”, by keeping their needs low, then meeting them. Crunching numbers from Africa and Australia, he calculated the average number of hours hunter-gatherers must work per day, to keep everyone fed. That’s right: it was “three to five hours”. Don’t you think it’s time we took the hint?
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
For Jon Lubecky, the scars on his wrists are a reminder of the years he spent in mental purgatory. He returned from an Army deployment in Iraq a broken man. He got every treatment offered by Veterans Affairs for post-traumatic stress disorder. But they didn’t stop him from trying to kill himself - five times. Finally, he signed up for an experimental therapy and was given a little green capsule. The anguish stopped. Inside that pill was the compound MDMA, better known ... as ecstasy. That street drug is emerging as the most promising tool in years for the military’s escalating PTSD epidemic. The MDMA program was created by a small group of psychedelic researchers who had toiled for years in the face of ridicule, funding shortages and skepticism. But the results have been so positive that this month the Food and Drug Administration deemed it a “breakthrough therapy” - setting it on a fast track for review and potential approval. Only two drugs are approved for treating PTSD: Zoloft and Paxil. Both have proved largely ineffective. By giving doses of MDMA at the beginning of three, eight-hour therapy sessions, researchers say they have helped chronic PTSD patients process and move past their traumas. In clinical trials with 107 patients closely monitored by the FDA, 61 percent reported major reductions in symptoms - to the point where they no longer fit the criteria for PTSD. Follow-up studies a year later found 67 percent no longer had PTSD.
Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.
In April 1955 more than 200,000 children in five Western and mid-Western USA states received a polio vaccine in which the process of inactivating the live virus proved to be defective. Within days there were reports of paralysis and within a month the first mass vaccination programme against polio had to be abandoned. The vaccine, manufactured by the California-based family firm of Cutter Laboratories, had caused 40,000 cases of polio, leaving 200 children with varying degrees of paralysis and killing 10. Paul Offit ... sets the 'Cutter incident' in the context of the struggle of medical science against polio. He profiles leading figures, notably Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin. Reviewing failures in the manufacturing and inspection processes, he exonerates Salk from blame and concludes that `the federal government, through its vaccine regulatory agency... was in the best position to avoid the Cutter tragedy'. As Offit observes, 'ironically, the Cutter incident - by creating the perception among scientists and the public that Salk's vaccine was dangerous - led in part to the development of a polio vaccine that was more dangerous'. [A] court ruling that Cutter was liable to pay compensation to those damaged by its polio vaccine ... opened the floodgates to a wave of litigation. As a result, 'vaccines were among the first medical products almost eliminated by lawsuits'. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was introduced in 1986 to protect vaccine manufacturers from litigation.
Note: Explore an eye-opening article titled "15 Things You Don’t Know About Polio" which shows how the public has been greatly deceived. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.
Scientists in the U.S. and India have found an inexpensive treatment that could possibly save hundreds of thousands of newborns each year. And it turns out, the secret weapon was sitting in Asian kitchens all along: probiotic bacteria that are common in kimchi, pickles and other fermented vegetables. Feeding babies the microbes dramatically reduces the risk newborns will develop sepsis, scientists report ... in the journal Nature. Sepsis is a top killer of newborns worldwide. Each year more than 600,000 babies die of the blood infections. "All the sudden the baby stops being active. It stops crying and breastfeeding," says Dr. Pinaki Panigrahi, a pediatrician ... who led the study. For the past 20 years, Panigrahi has been working on a way to prevent sepsis. The tricky part, Panigrahi says, was figuring out the best strain of bacteria to protect against sepsis. "We screened more than 280 strains," Panigrahi says. "So it was a very methodical process." In the end, the one that seemed the most promising was a strain of lactobacillus plantarum. So Panigrahi and his team decided to move forward with a large-scale study. They were shocked by how well the bacteria worked. Babies who ate the microbes for a week ... had a dramatic reduction in their risk of death and sepsis. They dropped by 40 percent, from 9 percent to 5.4 percent. But that's not all. The probiotic also warded off several other types of infections, including those in the lungs. Respiratory infections dropped by about 30 percent. A course of the probiotic costs about $1 per baby.
Pressure to feel upbeat can make you feel downbeat, while embracing your darker moods can actually make you feel better in the long run, according to new UC Berkeley research. "We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health," said study senior author Iris Mauss. "Maybe if you have an accepting attitude toward negative emotions, you're not giving them as much attention," Mauss said. "And perhaps, if you're constantly judging your emotions, the negativity can pile up." The study ... tested the link between emotional acceptance and psychological health in more than 1,300 adults. People who commonly resist acknowledging their darkest emotions, or judge them harshly, can end up feeling more psychologically stressed. By contrast, those who generally allow such bleak feelings as sadness, disappointment and resentment to run their course reported fewer mood disorder symptoms than those who critique them or push them away, even after six months. "It turns out that how we approach our own negative emotional reactions is really important for our overall well-being," said study lead author Brett Ford. "People who accept these emotions without judging or trying to change them are able to cope with their stress more successfully."
Two Australian mathematicians assert that an ancient clay tablet was a tool for working out trigonometry problems, possibly adding to the many techniques that Babylonian mathematicians had mastered. “It’s a trigonometric table, which is 3,000 years ahead of its time,” said Daniel F. Mansfield of the University of New South Wales. Dr. Mansfield and his colleague Norman J. Wildberger reported their findings last week in the journal Historia Mathematica. The tablet, known as Plimpton 322, was discovered in the early 1900s in southern Iraq and ... contains 60 numbers organized into 15 rows and four columns. With all the publicity, the tablet has been put on display at [Columbia] University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Plimpton 322 has been dated to between 1822 and 1762 B.C. One of the columns on Plimpton 322 is just a numbering of the rows from 1 to 15. The other three columns are ... Pythagorean triples - sets of integers, or whole numbers, that satisfy the equation a2 + b2 = c2. That by itself was remarkable given that the Greek mathematician Pythagoras, for whom the triples were named, would not be born for another thousand years. “You don’t make a trigonometric table by accident,” Dr. Mansfield said. “Just having a list of Pythagorean triples doesn’t help you much. That’s just a list of numbers. But when you arrange it in such a way so that you can use any known ratio of a triangle to find the other sides of a triangle, then it becomes trigonometry. That’s what we can use this fragment for.”
Kenyans producing, selling or even using plastic bags will risk imprisonment of up to four years or fines of $40,000 (Ł31,000) from Monday, as the world’s toughest law aimed at reducing plastic pollution came into effect. The east African nation joins more than 40 other countries that have banned, partly banned or taxed single use plastic bags, including China, France, Rwanda, and Italy. Many bags drift into the ocean, strangling turtles, suffocating seabirds and filling the stomachs of dolphins and whales with waste until they die of starvation. “If we continue like this, by 2050, we will have more plastic in the ocean than fish,” said Habib El-Habr, an expert on marine litter working with the UN environment programme in Kenya. Plastic bags, which El-Habr says take between 500 to 1,000 years to break down, also enter the human food chain through fish and other animals. In Nairobi’s slaughterhouses, some cows destined for human consumption had 20 bags removed from their stomachs. “This is something we didn’t get 10 years ago but now it’s almost on a daily basis,” said county vet Mbuthi Kinyanjui as he watched men in bloodied white uniforms scoop sodden plastic bags from the stomachs of cow carcasses. Kenya’s law allows police to go after anyone even carrying a plastic bag. But Judy Wakhungu, Kenya’s environment minister, said enforcement would initially be directed at manufacturers and suppliers. It took Kenya three attempts over 10 years to finally pass the ban.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.