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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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There have been decades of failure in making an artificial blood substitute. But now, scientists from the universities of Bristol, Cambridge, and Oxford have isolated and manipulated stem cells in labs to produce red blood cells.Their goal is to make red cells for patients with complex blood types because it can be hard for them to find donors. This synthetic blood is about to go through human trials for the first time! Although there is still a long road ahead for a full-scale rollout of synthetic blood, these developments could possibly change the future of how we save lives. Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. In the U.S. alone, 41,000 donated pints are needed every day and although an estimated 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, less than 10 percent of that eligible population actually do each year.

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Pretty soon you may be able to eat your water. Whaaaat?! Skipping Rocks Lab's has one goal: to make plastic packaging disappear. Their first product, Ooho!, is a sustainable packaging alternative to plastic bottles and cups, made from a seaweed extract. It is entirely biodegradable and so natural you can actually eat it. Said the company, "Our packaging is cheaper than plastic and can encapsulate any beverage including water, soft drinks, spirits, and even cosmetics."

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Pappadvada, a restaurant in Kochi, India, has installed a working fridge outside their restaurant so patrons and hotel staff can leave leftovers for other people in need. Minu Pauline, the owner of this restaurant, said that she got the idea when she saw a woman rummaging through a trash can for food. The fridge is kept open 24/7, so anyone can use it. On a daily basis, Pauline donate 75 to 80 portions of food. She told The Huffington Post, “Money is yours, but resources belong to society. That’s the message I want to send out."

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The Catholic Church has just opened a free laundry service in Rome where the homeless can wash, dry and iron their clothes. The laundromat, which is being called “The Pope’s Laundry,” opened earlier this week and is located inside an old hospital in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood. Those in need will find six new washers and dryers donated by Whirlpool, along with ironing machines and detergent. The Community of St. Egidio, a volunteer lay community based in the city, will manage the laundry. In the next several months, the community plans to add more services for the poor ― including showers, a barber, and medical services.The laundromat was inspired by Pope Francis’ initiative to “give concrete form to charity” at the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

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In 2002, two percent of car sales in Norway were EV. By 2015, that number had risen to 22 percent and is continuing to grow. With such continued success, Norway is planning on selling purely electric vehicles by 2025. The country hopes to place a charging station every 31 miles across all major roadways, which could make driving an electric car a more viable option while also solving some of the anxiety that could be making potential customers reluctant to switch to full electric. In addition, there are very low VAT or purchase tax for EVs sold within Norway, as well as free parking in certain cities, access to bus lanes and low road and ferry tolls.

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Japan has officially recognized a same-sex couple as foster parents, marking it a first for the country and signaling a growing recognition of LGBTQ rights in Japan. Recently, the city of Osaka recognized two men, one in his 40s and one in his 30s, as foster parents. A teenage boy has been living under their care since February. "I am happy we became foster parents as a single household, not just as individuals," one of the two men told The Japan Times. The couple were certified as foster parents after the city declared that they "understood the foster care system and had the financial wherewithal to raise a child." The couple had submitted their request to be recognized as foster parents in late 2015. They had to undergo lectures, training, scrutiny and a screening by the city's social welfare panel before they were certified.
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