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The Guardian
Tuesday December 12, 2017 @ 06:59:59 AM mt

Can a GM banana solve Uganda's hunger crisis Alon Mwesigwa



A law paving the way for GM crops is aimed at tackling the acute food shortages faced by almost 11 million Ugandans, despite experts fears over the technology

After an afternoon drizzle, Ephraim Muhereza carefully scouts his three-acre banana plantation in Gayaza, Wakiso district, plucking male buds from trees. This will stop his plants from catching the notorious banana bacterial wilt, which has destroyed many farms in Uganda.

We have been told that to reduce the spread of the wilt. We have to cut them so that bees that visit them dont spread the disease, he says.

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The Guardian
Tuesday December 12, 2017 @ 05:57:41 AM mt

'Terrifying Nixonian': Comey's firing takes democracy to dark new territory



Donald Trumps surprise sacking of the FBI director drew immediate comparisons to Watergate and tinpot dictatorships

Donald Trumps decision to fire the FBI director, James Comey, who was investigating links between the presidents associates and the Russian government, has taken US democracy into dark and dangerous new territory. That was the assessment of Democratic leaders, legal observers and security experts last night, with some drawing direct comparisons to Watergate and tinpot dictatorships.

FBI directors are given 10-year terms in office, precisely to insulate them from politics. It is very rare to fire them. The last time it happened was 24 years ago, when Bill Clinton sacked William Sessions, who had clung to office despite a damning internal ethics report detailing abuse of office, including the use of an FBI plane for family trips.

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The Guardian
Tuesday December 12, 2017 @ 05:57:28 AM mt

Mueller's investigation is closing in on Trump. Congress must protect him Max Bergmann and Max Boot



The closer Mueller gets to Trump, the likelier it is that Trump will act to try to end his investigation. Thats why he must be protected now

Mueller is coming.

The investigation into Trump campaign coordination with Russia appears to be closing in on the president. The three indictments earlier this month of Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort; his deputy, Rick Gates; and foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos show that Robert Mueller is inside Trumps campaign. The indictment and plea agreement of former national security adviser Michael Flynn now puts the investigation into the White House.

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The Guardian
Tuesday December 12, 2017 @ 05:57:22 AM mt

'No shame': how the Trump administration granted big oil's wishlist



The EPA has fulfilled almost all major demands made by the American Petroleum Institute within its first year under Trump

The Trump administrations zeal for environmental rollbacks has enabled it to fulfill almost all of the top priorities in a wishlist drawn up by the American Petroleum Institute (API), the leading lobby group for US oil and gas companies.

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The Guardian
Tuesday December 12, 2017 @ 05:57:19 AM mt

Sheryl Crow criticizes country stars for not 'taking a stand' on gun control



Crow, who is releasing a song dedicated to Newtown victims, says country musicians are afraid of speaking about gun laws and losing their audience

Money and fear have kept country music artists from speaking out about gun laws, the nine-time Grammy Award-winner Sheryl Crow said, even after thousands of country fans were targeted in October in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

Related: Five years on, Sandy Hook families recall gun horror but is anyone listening in Washington?

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The Guardian
Tuesday December 12, 2017 @ 05:57:18 AM mt

The Silicon Valley paradox: one in four people are at risk of hunger



Exclusive: study suggests that 26.8% of the population qualify as food insecure based on risk factors such as missing meals or relying on food banks

Karla Peralta is surrounded by food. As a line cook in Facebooks cafeteria, she spends her days preparing free meals for the tech firms staff. Shes worked in kitchens for most of her 30 years in the US, building a life in Silicon Valley as a single mother raising two daughters.

But at home, food is a different story. The regions soaring rents and high cost-of-living means that even with a full-time job, putting food on the table hasnt been simple. Over the years she has struggled to afford groceries at one point feeding her family of three with food stamps that amounted to $75 a week, about half what the government describes as a thrifty food budget. I was thinking, when am I going to get through this? she said.

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The Guardian
Tuesday December 12, 2017 @ 05:57:16 AM mt

These poignant and fun memes show the humanity of all Dreamers



Undocumedia was set up to help undocumented people apply to Daca. Five years later, its added jokes but its message is as powerful as ever

Undocumented people, Ivn Ceja says, just dont have the time for trolls or ideologues. In their not-so-small corner of Instagram, they have each other to care about.

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The Guardian
Tuesday December 12, 2017 @ 05:57:15 AM mt

Wildcats butterflies tortoises: all are endangered by Trump's border wall



In the Rio Grande Valley, close to the border with Mexico, the presidents proposed barrier spells danger for the regions plentiful wildlife

Deep in Texass Rio Grande Valley, where half the USs species of butterflies reside in a protected swath of green, Donald Trumps wall may soon rise from an earthen levee.

The wall is designed to be a barricade to anyone who has crossed the nearby Rio Grande river from Mexico, with a concrete base topped by steel bollards rising 18 feet in the air as well as a 150ft-wide enforcement zone stripped of all vegetation.

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The Guardian
Tuesday December 12, 2017 @ 05:57:14 AM mt

New York attack: police in Bangladesh quiz Akayed Ullah's relatives



Man suspected of detonating pipe bomb on Monday was born on island of Sandwip, near Chittagong

Police on a small island off the coast of Bangladesh are questioning the relatives of a former resident who allegedly detonated a pipe bomb in a crowded New York tunnel on Monday.

Akayed Ullah was born in Musapur village on Sandwip, an island near Chittagong on the south-east coast of Bangladesh, moving later in his childhood to the capital city, Dhaka.

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The Guardian
Tuesday December 12, 2017 @ 05:52:23 AM mt

Bitcoin buyer beware: US SEC warns 'extreme caution' over cryptocurrency investments



Head of US financial regulator concerned by lack of protections saying there are substantial risks of theft or loss, including from hacking

The head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission has warned bitcoin and other cryptocurrency investors to beware of scams and criminal activity in the sector.

In the financial regulators strongest statement yet, SEC chair Jay Clayton said: If a promoter guarantees returns, if an opportunity sounds too good to be true, or if you are pressured to act quickly, please exercise extreme caution and be aware of the risk that your investment may be lost.

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