PEER Newsletter – USDA Records Missing, more

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Dear friends,

USDA Records Disappear, FBI Terrorism Taskforce Eyes Activists

Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the disappearance of USDA records of animal abuse from their previously-public online database, the FBI terrorism taskforce’s recent attempts to interview Standing Rock “water protector” activists, a court ruling which paves the way for California to require a cancer warning label on Monsanto’s RoundUp weed killer, and more.

Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on former US president Jimmy Carter’s new solar panel project providing electricity to Plains, Georgia, the protection of the 1.9 million square-mile Ross Sea from commercial exploitation, new research showing vitamin D strongly protects against cold and flu, and more. You can also skip to this section now.

Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails, see this page. The most important sentences are highlighted. And don’t miss the “What you can do” section below the summaries. By educating ourselves and spreading the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

With best wishes for a transformed world,
Mark Bailey and Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info

Special note: Learn what it’s like to live in a war zone in this video. We are so lucky! Read this detailed article to understand how journalists are controlled on the biggest issues which don’t get reported. Read an incisive essay by “deep state” author Prof. Peter Dale Scott showing how big money continues to run the Trump team, just as it has all previous government of both parties. Robert F. Kennedy reports on a new study showing a link between mercury and autism. Read about an Amish farmer who went to jail for labeling a health cure in violation of FDA rules.

Quote of the week: “Surprised by the results of the 2016 presidential race, [Professor Jonathan] Albright started looking into the ‘fake news problem’. As a part of his research, Albright scraped 306 fake news sites to determine how exactly they were all connected to each other and the mainstream news ecosystem. What he found was unprecedented – a network of 23,000 pages and 1.3 million hyperlinks.”  ~~   from the important article “The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine”

Important Update: Read this incisive interview for what may be the best analysis yet of what is going on with Trump, the intelligence services, the Middle East and more. Here’s a quote: “Understand that if Trump and Putin work together to defeat Isis, they are actually defeating a CIA/Mossad creation, and furthermore, Syria and Iran grow stronger, which the Saudis and the Israeli’s fear. Their goal was to divide Syria and ultimately destroy Iran’s regime. It is not just an oil grab, but a much bigger attempt at moving the chess pieces to allow Israel and Saudi Arabia to dominate the entire Middle East.” A longer, yet excellent essay leaves little doubt that the Trump administration is in bed with Henry Kissinger and global banking giant Goldman Sachs.


U.S. Animal Abuse Records Deleted—What We Stand to Lose
February 6, 2017, National Geographic
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/02/wildlife-watch-usda-animal-welfare…

Two weeks into the Trump Administration, thousands of documents detailing animal welfare violations nationwide have been removed from the website of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which has been posting them publicly for decades. These are the inspection records and annual reports for every commercial animal facility in the U.S. – including zoos, breeders, factory farms, and laboratories. These records have revealed many cases of abuse and mistreatment of animals, incidents that, if the reports had not been publicly posted, would likely have remained hidden. This action plunges journalists, animal welfare organizations, and the public at large into the dark about animal welfare at facilities across the country. The records document violations of the Animal Welfare Act, the federal law that regulates treatment of animals used for research and exhibition. Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, an animal advocacy nonprofit … says the documents shed light on cruelty in “substandard roadside zoos, shameful animal circuses, puppy breeding factories and more.” From now on the documents will be accessible only via official requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). FOIA requests can take months to process. That’s far too long, Roberts says. When Born Free receives welfare complaints from concerned citizens, he says the organization has always checked USDA records to see if any complaints had already been made involving the facility or animal in question.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the corporate world.


Revealed: FBI terrorism taskforce investigating Standing Rock activists
February 10, 2017, The Guardian (One of the UK’s leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/10/standing-rock-fbi-investigation…

The FBI is investigating political activists campaigning against the Dakota Access pipeline, diverting agents charged with preventing terrorist attacks to instead focus their attention on indigenous activists and environmentalists. Officers within the FBI’s joint terrorism taskforce have attempted to contact at least three people tied to the Standing Rock “water protector” movement in North Dakota. “The idea that the government would attempt to construe this indigenous-led non-violent movement into some kind of domestic terrorism investigation is unfathomable to me,” said Lauren Regan, a civil rights attorney. “It’s outrageous, it’s unwarranted … and it’s unconstitutional.” Regan … said she learned of three cases in which officers with the taskforce, known as the JTTF, tried to talk to activists in person. She described the encounters as attempted “knocks and talks”, meaning law enforcement showed up at people’s doors without a subpoena or warrant and tried to get them to voluntarily cooperate with an interview. The three individuals … asserted their fifth amendment rights and did not respond to the officers, according to Regan. All three contacts were made in recent weeks after Trump’s inauguration. Trump, a former investor in Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based firm behind the pipeline, took executive action in his first week in office to expedite the project. On Wednesday, workers began drilling to complete the pipeline.

Note: The FBI has a long history of violating activists’ rights. The 2011 National Defense Authorization Bill broadened the definition of “supporter of terrorism” to include peaceful activists, authors, academics and even journalists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


California gets closer to requiring cancer warning label on Roundup weed killer
January 27, 2017, Los Angeles Times/Associated Press
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-roundup-cancer-20170127-story.html

California can require Monsanto to label its popular weed killer Roundup as a possible cancer threat even though the chemical giant insists it poses no risk to people, a judge tentatively ruled Friday. California would be the first state to order such labeling if it carries out the proposal. Monsanto had sued the nation’s leading agricultural state, saying California officials illegally based their decision for carrying the warnings on findings by an international health organization based in France. Critics take issue with Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate. It is sold in more than 160 countries, and farmers in California use it on 250 types of crops. The chemical is not restricted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. But the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a Lyon, France-based branch of the U.N. World Health Organization, classified the chemical as a “probable human carcinogen.” Shortly afterward, the most populated U.S. state took its first step in 2015 to require the warning labels. Once a chemical is added to a list of probable carcinogens, the manufacturer has a year before it must attach the label. Dozens nationwide … are suing Monsanto, claiming the chemical gave them or a loved one cancer.

Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto’s Roundup are well known. More lawsuits are building over Monsanto’s lies to regulators and the public about the safety of glyphosate. Yet the EPA used industry studies while ignoring independent studies to declare Roundup safe. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Monsanto’s Mind-Meld; Spin Machine in High Gear
January 31, 2017, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carey-gillam/monsantos-mind-meld-spin…

Corporate spin is nothing new. Whether it’s cigarettes or sugar-laden sodas, the companies that make billions from such products employ a variety of strategies to promote the good and bury the bad. But the tactics being unveiled by Monsanto and surrogates over glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and the lynchpin for the success of genetically engineered crops, are noteworthy for the depths of their deception. The latest move, the formation of a group called “Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research”, (CAPHR) clearly promotes an agenda opposite to that which its name implies. Formed this month by the American Chemistry Council, whose membership includes Monsanto and other chemical industry titans, the group’s express purpose is to discredit the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a unit of the World Health Organization. An IARC scientific team declared in March 2015 that glyphosate was a probable human carcinogen after reviewing an extensive body of published research on the subject. Monsanto and friends have been harassing IARC ever since through a series of demands, threats and legal maneuvers, including lobbying the U.S. House of Representatives to cut funding for IARC. The new campaign takes the assault further. Embedded in the industry’s truth-twisting tactics is the characterization of anyone who gives credence to scientific research showing problems with glyphosate, or the GMOs that go with it, as “anti-science.”

Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto’s Roundup are well known. Big lawsuits are building over Monsanto’s lies to regulators and the public about the safety of glyphosate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMOs and the corruption of science.


EPA scientists held back from conference: Cost-cutting or something more?
February 11, 2017, Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2017/0211/EPA-scientists-held-back-from…

At this week’s Alaska Forum on the Environment, 17 EPA employees were no-shows – and not by choice. The agency had planned to send 34 staff members to the week-long conference. But after the White House transition team demanded cutbacks, the Environmental Protection Agency only allowed half to attend. The EPA’s announcement comes after months of criticism by President Trump and his advisors, and a paring-down of climate science on government websites. Regardless of the motives behind this particular action, it continues a years-long trend of cuts to government agencies’ travel funds. Scientific research, which involves a regular exchange of ideas and findings, has been hit especially hard. The federal government faced major pressure to curb travel spending in 2012, when an Inspector General’s report revealed that the General Services Administration had spent more than $820,000 on a lavish conference in Las Vegas. The Office of Management and Budget promptly issued a memo directing each federal agency to spend 30 percent less on travel than it had in 2010. This week’s Alaska Forum on the Environment wasn’t exclusively for scientists. In addition to federal agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it featured military personnel and representatives from Alaska’s state, local, and tribal governments. Its panels addressed topics such as climate change, oil spills, and hazardous waste, which have both science and public policy aspects.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and climate change.


Long-lasting flow battery could run for more than a decade with minimum upkeep
June 20, 2016, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
https://www.seas.harvard.edu/news/2017/02/long-lasting-flow-battery-could-run-for…

Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) havedeveloped a new flow battery that stores energy in organic molecules dissolved in neutral pH water. This new chemistry allows for a non-toxic, non-corrosive battery with an exceptionally long lifetime and offers the potential to significantly decrease the costs of production. Flow batteries store energy in liquid solutions in external tanks – the bigger the tanks, the more energy they store. Flow batteries are a promising storage solution for renewable, intermittent energy like wind and solar but today’s flow batteries often suffer degraded energy storage capacity after many charge-discharge cycles. The Harvard team was able to engineer a battery that loses only one percent of its capacity per 1000 cycles. “Lithium ion batteries don’t even survive 1000 complete charge/discharge cycles,” said [researcher Michael] Aziz. “Because we were able to dissolve the electrolytes in neutral water, this is a long-lasting battery that you could put in your basement,” said [researcher Roy] Gordon. “If it spilled on the floor, it wouldn’t eat the concrete and since the medium is noncorrosive, you can use cheaper materials to build the components of the batteries, like the tanks and pumps.” The Department of Energy (DOE) has set a goal of building a battery that can store energy for less than $100 per kilowatt-hour. “If you can get anywhere near this cost target then you change the world,” said Aziz.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing energy innovation news articles from reliable major media sources.


A rape survivor and the man who raped her teamed up to write a book and tell their story
February 10, 2017, Houston Chronicle
http://www.chron.com/life/health/article/A-rape-survivor-and-the-man-who-raped…

The healing process from sexual assault is deeply personal and varies by individual, but a rape survivor and the man who raped her have teamed up to share their story in order to bring light to the social issue. Thordis Elva was raped in 1996 at 16 years old by Tom Stranger, her boyfriend at the time. After over 20 years, the pair has teamed together to talk candidly about their individual experiences of the rape during a TED Talk in San Francisco in October. The two of them are also co-authors of a book being released in March titled “South of Forgiveness,” which tells the tale of what they both call “the darkest moment of their lives.” Before they begin their story, they are careful to say their journey of reconciliation and forgiveness is not meant to be set as an example for others to follow, but to demonstrate that healing and forgiveness are possible. It’s jarring … to see a self-professed rapist take the mic, and the audience questioned Elva on why she decided to give Stranger a voice in the matter. She responded, “I understand those who are inclined to criticize me as someone who enabled a perpetrator to have a voice in this discussion,” Elva says during a Q&A follow-up. “But I believe that a lot can be learned by listening to those who have been a part of the problem – if they’re willing to become part of the solution – about what ideas and attitudes drove their violent actions, so we can work on uprooting them effectively. Just imagine all the suffering we could alleviate if we dare to face this issue together.”

Note: The TED video available at the link above is quite moving.


British charity preventing paedophiles from abusing faces closure after ‘funding crisis’
February 15, 2017, Sunday Express (One of the UK’s most popular newspapers)
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/767881/UK-charity-StopSO-preventing-paedophiles…

A British charity offering treatment to paedophiles before they become child molesters could be forced to close next month after being hit by a “funding crisis”. The Specialist Treatment Organisation for the Prevention of Sexual Offending, known as StopSO, is the country’s only nationwide agency offering the treatment option to non-offending paedophiles. StopSO founder Juliet Grayson says her organisation is about child protection – ensuring “the attraction never becomes an action”. She says working with perpetrators to reduce the amount of sexual abuse against children is more effective than “trying to constantly pick up the pieces after the abuse has happened”. Ms Grayson … said research shows most paedophiles know they are attracted to children by the time they are 20, but don’t act on their urges until they are 30. “That means there is a 10-year window for society to make it safe enough for people to come forward and say, ‘I know I need some help to never act on my desires and I’m asking for that help.’” Between June 2013 and October 2016, StopSO treated 425 offenders and demand is said to be increasing for their services. “If you think about the number of people who haven’t been sexually abused because of that 425 people [who came forward]. It’s possible that today someone isn’t sexually abused because of what StopSO therapists have done,” said Ms Grayson. The organisation could be forced to close its doors in early march if its appeals for donations is unsuccessful.

Note: This organization is an important way to keep people from becoming pedophiles. To learn about and support this worthy cause, see this webpage.


Civil liberties group ACLU seeks help using anti-Trump donations
February 1, 2017, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38822229

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is turning to Silicon Valley after receiving a surge in funds from opponents of US President Donald Trump. The non-profit organisation received $24m (£19m) last weekend after a controversial immigration order was issued on Friday. ACLU is teaming up with Y Combinator – which usually works with start-ups – over how to best utilise the donations. The donations made online at the weekend were six times the yearly average the organisation receives. How could Y Combinator help ACLU? The California-based firm … helps its clients – usually start-ups – with funding as well as mentorship and networking. It typically deals with young companies looking to grow, but has dealt with mature organisations in the past. Y Combinator said it was contributing an undisclosed sum of money and would send some of its staff to the ACLU’s New York offices. Y Combinator’s founder Sam Altman, an outspoken critic of Mr Trump’s, said: “We’ve been talking to them (ACLU) for some time. We were generally planning to get started more slowly, but things are so urgent now.” Mr Trump’s executive order bans immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the country for 90 days. The US refugee program has also been suspended for 120 days. The ACLU, which has been around for about a century, was among the first to react to the order. It filed a lawsuit which led a federal judge to halt deportations of people detained in US airports.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.


CBS Affiliate Reignites Debunked Pizzagate Conspiracy Theory
January 20, 2017, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cbs-pizzagate-conspiracy_us…

Pizzagate was the false claim that the Comet Ping Pong pizza place in Washington D.C. was at the center of a pedophilia ring linked to the Hillary Clinton campaign. But on Tuesday night, Meredith-owned CBS46 ran a report full of recycled Internet rumors about the restaurant. Reporter Ben Swann cited the WikiLeaks release of hacked emails from Clinton campaign chief John Podesta heavily throughout his segment. “In all, WikiLeaks dumped around 50,000 email messages, and it was from those emails that the claims that John Podesta may be part of a child sex-trafficking ring come from,” Swann said. However, moments later he added: “To be clear, not one single email in the Podesta emails discusses child sex trafficking or pedophilia.” Swann claimed “strangely worded emails” could be “code language used by pedophiles,” and repeated much of the conspiracy theories featured by conservative radio host Alex Jones and various online forums. “For all that is here, there has not been one single public investigation of any of this,” Swann said. “Not from local police, not from the FBI, no one. And that has to be the big question.” Swann’s boss defended his latest report. “I know he was meticulous with his search for facts,” CBS46 news director Frank Volpicella told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Note: Ben Swann was removed from the show shortly after this report, and his social media accounts went strangely silent. Watch his controversial Pizzagate report on this webpage. The media has slammed Pizzagate as fake news, yet if you look without bias, there is tremendous solid evidence suggesting something very fishy is going on. See this webpage for lots more.


Key Articles From Years Past


Canada’s biggest child porn case ends with conviction on 15 charges
May 12, 2015, The Star (The leading newspaper of Toronto, Canada)
https://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2015/05/12/canadas-biggest-child-porn-case-ends…

Brian Way officially became Canada’s most prolific and infamous child pornographer on Tuesday. The 43-year-old Torontonian, who has been behind bars for four years on charges of possessing, publishing and selling videos of naked, pre-pubescent and pubescent boys, received a clear verdict from Ontario Superior Court Judge Julie Thorburn: “guilty.” From a nondescript warehouse on the Queensway, Way sold thousands of videos and images to customers around the world. When Toronto Police raided his offices in 2011 and gathered 187,000 images and more than 8,000 videos, it triggered the largest child pornography bust in Canadian history and one of the largest anywhere, involving police in 90 countries. Before the so-called Project Spade bust was over, police arrested and charged hundreds of Way’s customers internationally – including doctors, lawyers, coaches, teachers and priests. The global tentacles of Way’s child pornography business are striking. More than a hundred arrests were made in Canada, plus 76 in the U.S. and 350 in other countries. The resulting police investigations led to the rescue of more than 400 children at risk who were featured in the images and videos, police say. The scandal also triggered a political upheaval and changes to child pornography laws in Germany, after a high-profile politician was publicly identified as a customer of Azovfilms.com.

Note: Watch an excellent segment by Australia’s “60-Minutes” team “Spies, Lords and Predators” on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads 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 deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Examining Who Runs the United States
September 15, 2015, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/15/us/examining-who-runs-the-united-states…

A former C.I.A. officer with experience in Turkey wrote a provocative essay this summer about the “deep state.” The phrase refers to a parallel “secret government” embedded in the military and intelligence services, whose purpose is to provide a check on electoral democracy. The essay, written by Philip Giraldi … called the American deep state of today an “unelected, unappointed, and unaccountable presence within the system that actually manages what is taking place behind the scenes.” The American deep state of his description consists of … Capitol Hill aides and legislators who cash in as lobbyists; former politicians who earn millions speaking to banks … technocrats who ricochet between Goldman Sachs and the Treasury Department; billionaire kingmakers dangling political donations; thinkers whose tanks are financed by corporations with a financial stake in their research. The “deep state” metaphor seems to be ascendant as a way to explain present American realities. The writer Peter Dale Scott … last year published a similarly minded book called “The American Deep State,” which emphasized the role of security contractors, oil companies and financial firms. Meanwhile, Mike Lofgren, a Republican who spent 28 years as a congressional aide before quitting in 2011, has used “deep state” to describe a subterranean cross-party consensus on issues like “financialization, outsourcing, privatization” … from which the public is distracted by above-ground debates over “diversionary social issues.”

Note: Read an incisive essay by “deep state” author Prof. Peter Dale Scott showing how big money continues to run the Trump team, just as it has all previous government of both parties. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on secrecy and lies in government and industry.


Inspiring Articles


Jimmy Carter Makes a Stand for Solar
February 11, 2017, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/11/us/jimmy-carter-solar-energy-plains-ga…

The solar panels – 3,852 of them – shimmered above 10 acres of Jimmy Carter’s soil where peanuts and soybeans used to grow. 38 years after Mr. Carter installed solar panels at the White House, only to see them removed during Ronald Reagan’s administration, the former president is leasing part of his family’s farmland for [the] project. It is, Mr. Carter and energy experts said, a small-scale effort that could hold lessons for other pockets of pastoral America in an age of climate change and political rancor. “I hope that we’ll see a realization on the part of the new administration that one of the best ways to provide new jobs – good-paying and productive and innovative jobs – is through the search for renewable sources of energy,” Mr. Carter, 92, said in an interview. Although Mr. Carter, now decades removed from the night in February 1977 when he donned a cardigan sweater and spoke of the country’s “energy problem,” remains a keen student of energy policy, the solar project is also an extension of his legacy. The project on Mr. Carter’s land, which feeds into Georgia Power’s grid and earns the former first family less than $7,000 annually, did not need to be large to serve much of Plains, population 683 or so. It began when a solar firm, SolAmerica, approached Mr. Carter’s grandson Jason Carter about the possibility of installing panels here. The former president, who was 11 when his boyhood home got running water after his father installed a windmill, did not need convincing and became deeply involved with the project, writing notes in the margins of the lease agreement and visiting the site regularly.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


World’s Largest Marine Reserve Created Off Antarctica
October 22, 2016, National Geographic
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/10/ross-sea-marine-protected-area-antarctica/

A remote and largely pristine stretch of ocean off Antarctica received international protection on Friday, becoming the world’s largest marine reserve as a broad coalition of countries came together to protect 598,000 square miles of water. The new marine protected area in the Ross Sea was created by a unanimous decision of the international body that oversees the waters around Antarctica – the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources – and was announced at the commission’s annual meeting in Tasmania. The commission comprises 24 countries, including the United States, and the European Union. South of New Zealand and deep in the Southern (or Antarctic) Ocean, the 1.9 million square-mile Ross Sea is sometimes called the “Last Ocean” because it is largely untouched by humans. Its nutrient-rich waters are the most productive in the Antarctic, leading to huge plankton and krill blooms that support vast numbers of fish, seals, penguins, and whales.Some 16,000 species are thought to call the Ross Sea home, many of them uniquely adapted to the cold environment. A 2011 study in the journal Biological Conservation called the Ross Sea “the least altered marine ecosystem on Earth,” citing intact communities of emperor and Adelie penguins, crabeater seals, orcas, and minke whales. Environmental groups and several countries had pushed for protections for the Ross Sea for decades.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Vitamin D pills ‘could stop colds or flu’
February 16, 2017, BBC News
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38988982

Vitamin D supplements could spare more than three million people from colds or flu in the UK each year, researchers claim. The sunshine vitamin is vital for healthy bones, but also has a role in the immune system. The analysis, published in the British Medical Journal, argues food should be fortified with the vitamin. The immune system uses vitamin D to make antimicrobial weapons that puncture holes in bacteria and viruses. But as vitamin D is made in the skin while out in the sun, many people have low levels during winter. The researchers pooled data on 11,321 people from 25 separate trials to try to get a definitive answer. The team at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) looked at respiratory tract infections – which covers a wide range of illnesses from a sniffle to flu to pneumonia. Overall, the study said one person would be spared infection for every 33 taking vitamin D supplements. That is more effective than flu vaccination, which needs to treat 40 to prevent one case. There were greater benefits for those taking pills daily or weekly – rather than in monthly super-doses – and in people who were deficient in the first place. One of the researchers, Prof Adrian Martineau, said: “Assuming a UK population of 65 million, and that 70% have at least one acute respiratory infection each year, then daily or weekly vitamin D supplements will mean 3.25 million fewer people would get at least one acute respiratory infection a year.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Hero rats sniff (and snuff) out landmines and TB
September 26, 2014, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/26/world/africa/hero-rats-sniff-out-landmines-and-tb/

Traditionally, you wouldn’t gift someone a rat. Tanzania-based NGO Apopo, however, thinks rats make excellent gifts. So much so that they’ve launched an adopt-a-rat program, which allows participants to sponsor the animal. Despite the creatures’ reputation for thieving and spreading disease, [Apopo’s founder Bart] Weetjens has proven that rats can … save lives. Apopo’s rats have actually saved thousands. They are highly trained to sniff out land mines and detect tuberculosis – two scourges that have had a tremendously negative impact across the African continent. And his rats are fast. A single rat can clear 200 square feet in an hour (done manually, the same area would take 50 hours to clear). A TB-detection rat can evaluate 50 samples in eight minutes (almost a day’s work for a lab technician). In 2006, Weetjens started testing his “hero rats,” as he dubs them, on the mine fields in Mozambique, a country that at that time was one of the worst affected by landmines, thanks mainly to a civil war that ended in 1992. Since then, Apopo has cleared the country of 6,693 landmines, 29,934 small arms and ammunition, and 1,087 bombs. Mozambique is on track to be free of landmines by the year’s end. In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a TB crisis in Africa. It’s a problem Weetjens realized he could address with his sniffer rats. So far, they’ve analyzed over 260,000 samples from health clinics in Dar es Salaam. They are cheap to train, cheaper to procure, and plentiful.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


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Please note that most of the summarizing of the revealing news articles in the above summary was done by Mark Bailey of WantToKnow.info. Many thanks to Mark for all the time and skill he puts into this. The section below provides several ideas on what you can do to spread the news.

What you can do:

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