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News by the people, for the people. @memes

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Thanks to the efforts of Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, the previous CEO of Patagonia, and the late Doug Tompkins, the co-founder of North Face, Chile has added 11 million acres of protected national parks. The Tompkins Foundation bought one million acres to form a network of 17 national parks along Patagonia that spans most of Chile. The Chilean government agreed to pledge an additional 10 million acres. This expansion will not only create five brand new national parks, it will also add acreage to their other parks.The total 11 million acres of protected land is three times larger than Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks in the US...combined! #news #chile #conservation #nationalparks #southamerica #patagonia #northface #nature #awesome #bestof

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Paws for Life is the first program of its kind in California that involves inmates from a high-security prison who are serving life sentences. The program brings shelter dogs to live with the inmates on a full-time basis for a period of 12 weeks. During that time, trainers teach the inmates how to train the dogs so that they can achieve “Canine Good Citizen” certification. Everyone involved greatly benefits from this program: the dogs benefit because once they achieve certification, their chance of being adopted greatly increases. The inmates benefit because they get rehabilitative therapy from being in the dogs’ presence. The program has even positively affected other people throughout the prison who weren’t directly involved: “The calming effect of the staff, the interaction between the staff and inmates is amazing,” says prison warden John Soto. #news #prison #dogs #rehabilitation #california #secondchance #uplifting #goodnews #bestof

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MASS SHOOTING AT THE MANDALAY BAY:

Police identified Stephen Paddock, 64, in his high rise hotel after unleashing 100’s of rounds onto a crowd of concert attendees. He was found dead. At least 50 people are confirmed dead and over 400 injured.

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Australia is already one the most expensive countries in the world to buy cigarettes, and it's about to get even more expensive. After new legislation was cleared in the Australian parliament, a pack of cigarettes in Australia will cost $40 by the year 2020. In a move that was billed as a health measure by ministers rather than a financial one, the budget papers stated: "One of the most effective ways to discourage smoking is to increase the price of cigarettes." After previous tax increases in 2010 and 2013, the country's smoking population is currently less than 15 percent. #news #cigarettes #australia #smoking #taxes #health #bestof

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Oskar Blues Brewery has teamed up with the Ball Corporation and shipped 88,800 cans of fresh water to residents devastated by flooding in the Houston area, according to the Longmont, Colorado-based brewery. Oskar Blues employees stopped canning beer and canned water for nearly 20 hours. Last week, Oskar Blues sent 4,800 cans of water to Denham Springs, LA., in anticipation of the hurricane making landfall. #news #beer #hurricaneharvey #houston #texas #flooding #naturaldisasters #oksarbluesbrewery #gooddeeds #uplifting #awesome #bestof

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The former island paradise of Bikini Atoll is slowing coming back to life, 70 years after the United States dropped 23 nuclear bombs on it, including one in 1954 that was 1,100-times larger than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Scientists from Stanford University have discovered an abundance of marine life (schools of fish including tuna, sharks and snapper, and coconut crabs) apparently thriving in the crater of Bikini Atoll, which was declared a nuclear wasteland after the bombings, with its 167 inhabitants moved to other islands. Even though plant, animal and ocean life are showing strong signs of recovery, humans are still unable to live and work on the atoll. Said Steve Palumbi, a professor in marine sciences at Stanford University, “The fact there is life there and the life there is trying to come back from the most violent thing we’ve ever done to it is pretty hopeful.” #news #science #sea #marinelife #nuclear #stanford #pacific #island #nature #amazing #bestof

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Scotland is leading the way in the fight against “period poverty” by giving more than 1,000 women and girls on low incomes free sanitary products for six months. The pilot project will focus on seven regeneration areas in Aberdeen. The project, if taken forward, will make Scotland the first country in the world to provide free feminine sanitary products to low-income women and girls. A similar project was established in New York City, but Scotland's is the first country-level plan of its kind. Said Dave Simmers, the pilot's project leader, “The cost of sanitary products are pricey at the best of times and can be exorbitant for many women." #news #women #womenissues #scotland #lowincome #poverty #periodpoverty #femininehygiene #awesome #bestof

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This past April seven wolf cubs were born at the Zoologico los Coyotes in Mexico City to a she-wolf named Pearl. The cubs are known as Mexican wolves (Canis lupus baileyi), a small, rare subspecies of the gray wolf. Originally inhabiting the southwestern US and central and northern Mexico, the wolves' numbers started to dwindle at the start of the 20th century as populations of deer and elk declined and the canines turned to cattle for food and ranchers began to kill them off. Since roughly the mid-1900s, Mexican wolves have been an endangered species in both countries. The hope is that these seven cubs — five males and two females — will be healthy enough to eventually be released into the wild to help create more wolves. Next month wildlife experts from the United States and Mexico will compare notes on the populations of these wolves in each country and decide if the seven new cubs can be released. #news #wolves #endangeredspeciies #mexico #cubs #canines #wildanimals #bestof

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The French government has announced that parents in France will be legally obliged to vaccinate their children starting in 2018. The World Health Organization has warned of major measles outbreaks spreading across Europe despite the availability of a safe, effective vaccine. French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe stated it was “unacceptable” that children are "still dying of measles.” The announcement follows a similar initiative in Italy, which recently banned non-vaccinated children from attending any state schools. #news #france #vaccinations #anti-vaxxers #europe #medicine #health #disease #children #bestof

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Retired mechanic Adi Astl took it upon himself to build a small flight of stairs after several neighbors stumbled down the steep path to a community garden in Tom Riley Park, in Etobicoke, Ontario. The project only ended up costing $550, far less than $65,000-$150,000 price tag the city had estimated for the job. “I thought they were talking about an escalator,” Astl told CTV News Channel. Astl says he hired a homeless person to help him and built the eight steps in a matter of hours. The city is now threatening to tear down the stairs because they were not built to regulation standards. City bylaw officers have taped off the stairs while officials make a decision on what to do with it. However, Astl has not been charged with any sort of violation. #news #canada #parks #stairs #localgovernment #bureaucracy #politics #awesome #bestof

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This past April seven wolf cubs were born at the Zoologico los Coyotes in Mexico City to a she-wolf named Pearl. The cubs are known as Mexican wolves (Canis lupus baileyi), a small, rare subspecies of the gray wolf. Originally inhabiting the southwestern US and central and northern Mexico, the wolves' numbers started to dwindle at the start of the 20th century as populations of deer and elk declined and the canines turned to cattle for food and ranchers began to kill them off. Since roughly the mid-1900s, Mexican wolves have been an endangered species in both countries. The hope is that these seven cubs — five males and two females — will be healthy enough to eventually be released into the wild to help create more wolves. Next month wildlife experts from the United States and Mexico will compare notes on the populations of these wolves in each country and decide if the seven new cubs can be released. #news #wolves #endangeredspeciies #mexico #cubs #canines #wildanimals #bestof

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The ensuing tax revenue from the $1.3 billion industry in Colorado is helping students pay for college. In Pueblo County, every graduating high school student will qualify for a scholarship funded by pot tax revenue that can be used at local colleges. “I don’t think without this scholarship I could continue my education without taking out loans and worrying about how to pay it back,” Colorado State University freshman Janet Calzadillas stated. Said Pueblo County commissioner Sal Pace, “A couple years ago, these are dollars that would have been going to the black market, drug cartels. Now money that’s used to fund drug cartels is now being used to fund college scholarships.” #news #colorado #marijuana #college #scholarships #taxes #bestof

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Becca Longo is believed to be the first female to receive a football scholarship to a Division II school or higher, signing to play at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. While there have been about a dozen women who have played college football, none were on an NCAA scholarship like Longo. The teen has wanted to play football since she was a little girl: She especially loved watching her older brother play in high school. Yet she only began competitively playing football during her sophomore year in high school. This past season, she succeeded on an impressive 35 out of 38 extra point attempts, said her high school coach Gerald Todd. Her mother, Andrea Longo, has always supported her daughter playing on the boys' team: "I know my daughter. She is one of the strongest women I know. She's incredible." #news #college #football #teens #yesallwomen #ncaa #collegesports #adamsstateuniversity #colorado #women #inspiring #awesome #bestof

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Under a new state law (SB 81) that passed with bipartisan support, cities and counties in Utah cannot require a license or permit for any occasional business operated by a minor. Licensing laws have stymied kid entrepreneurs all across the country. Police in Texas once stopped two sisters (aged seven and eight) from selling lemonade because the girls didn’t have the proper permits. An eleven year old in Portland, Oregon, couldn’t sell mistletoe at a holiday market without a permit, though begging for money would have been allowed. But in Utah, the ban on local licenses will shield young entrepreneurs from government crackdowns. SB 81 also provides some regulatory relief for adults. The new law bans local licenses and excessive fees for home-based businesses that are operated occasionally in Utah. #news #kids #lemonade #lemonadestands #utah #smallbusiness #law #entrepreneurs #bestof

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Sales of soda drinks have decreased about 1.2 percent in the United States in 2016, falling for the 12th year in a row. This drop is due in part to consumers choosing healthier options as well as a bevy of sugar taxes aimed at stemming obesity and diabetes. The per capita consumption of soda drinks, including energy drinks, fell to about 642 8-ounce servings last year, the lowest level since 1985. The World Health Organization, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Heart Association have all recommended reducing consumption of soda as a way to cut down on added sugars. #news #soda #pop #softdrinks #energydrinks #sugar #diabetes #obesity #health #bestof

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The Vermont Teddy Bear Company has recently added a brand new line of bears — ones that are missing all or part of their limbs. “How do we represent a bear with limb loss?” Vermont Teddy Bear Company product designer Cassandra Clayton said. Clayton came up with an answer by helping design the Limb Loss & Limb Difference Bears, the newest addition to the Bears that Care Program. Each bear is custom made, with adjustments above or below the elbows and knees. “So you can actually build your bear to have whatever limb loss you have or a loved one has,” Clayton said. 20 percent of the profits will go to the Amputee Coalition, a national nonprofit that supports those living with limb loss. “Especially for children living with limb loss for the first time it can be a jarring experience. And they feel this is a great way to spread awareness and support,” Clayton said. The bears cost about $60 and went on sale last week. #news #vertmontteddybears #teddybears #stuffedanimals #amputees #children #heartwarming #awesome #bestof

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Thanks to IKEA, cats at the Etobicoke Humane Society in Toronto, Canada, will now have a comfy spot to sleep. The furniture company donated 10 doll beds to the shelter. IKEA also donated $300, as staff at the Etobicoke store had already been participating in a fundraising campaign and the Etobicoke Humane Society was the selected charity for the furniture store. Some of the shelter's cats took to the doll beds quickly, while at least one cat decided to hide underneath one of the tiny beds. Said Rebecca Gordon, social media manager at the Etobicoke Humane Society, "We are 100 percent donation based, and a lot of the staff treat this like a second full-time job. We can always use more volunteers.”

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Wildflowers are exploding across California's harsh deserts after several years of the worst drought on record. Heavy rains in early 2017 have brought a super bloom (when wildflowers bloom suddenly in the millions) in central and northern California, attracting a horde of tourists wanting to catch a glimpse. Last year, wildflowers overtook Death Valley for the first time in 10 years.

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President Trump, who made his first visit to Wisconsin since elected, spoke this week in the city of Kenosha, which was packed with anti-Trump activists and steadfast supporters. A man suddenly collapsed and was lying on the street when at least three health care professionals rushed over to provide care. Retired nurse Pat Ventura was one of them. “Somebody said, ‘Hey, Pat. Somebody’s on the ground over there.’ I took off running,” said Ventura, who taught nursing for a decade. “His phone was broken, because when he fell that fell out of his pocket, and he told us (his wife’s) name. We found his wife’s name and we called her.” Ventura briefed the man’s wife on his condition and waited with him until emergency crews arrived to transport him to a local hospital, then rejoined a group of anti-Trump protestors. Ana Draa, a former CPR instructor from Libertyville, Ill., also assisted the man. Draa said she spent the morning talking with the man and respected him. “We’re on polar opposite sides of the political fence. I go to Planned Parenthood luncheons and his sign was all about defunding Planned Parenthood,” Draa said. “At the end of the day, he’s God’s child. He’s somebody’s daddy, somebody’s husband, somebody’s father.”

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Leo Kellner from Hastings, Nebraska, lost his wife in 2012 due to complications related to dementia. They had been together for 72 years. “I didn’t know what to do with myself,” Kellner said. “I was moaning and moping, and I said, 'I’ve got to have something to do.'" So Kellner decided to take up baking as a way to give back to the community and honor the legacy of both his mother, from whom he learned how to bake, and his wife. That first year, Kellner made 144 pies for people in need. He has since reached out to local funeral homes and community organizations to let them know he’d like to connect with families having a hard time. Kellner then started reaching out directly to those families, getting to know them, and baking up some treats for those troubled people in their time of need.
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