Savvy Strategy by Pakistan Turns Back Taliban Progress

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore A battlefield visit to the Swat Valley of Pakistan’s war against the Taliban left “one indelible image” upon David Ignatius of the Washington Post — “of a teenage boy’s beaming smile of relief.” The traumatized boy was a symbol of what a successful counterinsurgency campaign is all about: He had been in training to become a suicide bomber; now he is being rehabilitated after being reunited with his family. The Swat campaign shows how the Pakistanis finally got it right after years of mishandling the Taliban’s rise here. “We told our majors and captains, ‘People should fall in love with you,’ ” explains the Pakistani commander. (Read David Ignatius Op-Ed in the Washington Post) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

British Cat Gets World’s First Bionic Paws

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA cat that had its back feet severed by a combine harvester has been given two prosthetic limbs in a pioneering operation by a UK vet. His work is explored in a BBC documentary called The Bionic Vet. The cat, named Oscar, was referred by his local vet in Jersey, following the accident last October. Oscar was struck by the combine harvester whilst dozing in the sun. The prosthetic devices were an instant success with Oscar. (WATCH the video or read the story from the BBC) Thanks to Pam Guthrie for sending the link!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Government Extends Growing Season for Thousands of Organic Farmers, Providing Local Food Throughout Winter

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore NRCS provided the assistance as part of a pilot project to determine how effective high tunnels are in conserving water, reducing pesticide use, maintaining soil nutrients, and increasing crop yields. The pilot is offered under the Know your Farmer, Know your Food initiative, a USDA effort to connect farmers and consumers, strengthen local and regional food production, increase the use of sustainable agricultural practices, and promote local, fresh food.Mr. Snell is pleased with the results. The seasonal high tunnel is saving him money on pesticides and allowing him to grow more food organically. With the help of the controlled environment of the high tunnel, he expects to harvest several types of fruits or vegetables 12 months of the year. In addition to tomatoes and squash, the Snells envision growing peas, butterbeans, corn, watermelons, cantaloupes, flowers, and herbs.Winter farmers markets are becoming more popular — representing 14 percent of the total number operating in the US. And, with the demand for local, organic food increasing, winter markets are ‘cropping’ up in cold states too, like New York, which has a whopping 153 markets happening between November and March. In 2010, the USDA National Farmers Market Directory counted a total of 6,132 operational farmers markets across the country, up 16% from the previous year. The hoop house assistance program was launched from the White House vegetable garden in December 2009, where small hoops were built over newly planted gardens for herbs and greens. See more about how farmers and consumers are benefitting from the financial in the USDA video below: AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreFarmers, like Earl and Clarisse Snell of Alabama, can still grow summer squash and tomatoes as if it were summer, thanks to their new high tunnel built with financial assistance from the US government. Also called hoop houses, seasonal high tunnels look a lot like greenhouses but require no artificial energy source—all they need is natural daylight. With their natural pest controlled environment, farmers across the country are now able to sell organic, locally grown produce throughout the year in states as cold as Minnesota, Wisconsin and even Alaska.$13 million from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has gone to more than 2,400 farmers in 43 states to help pay for the low-tech seasonal high tunnels.last_img read more

New Hope for Elephants Under Threat in Central Africa

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA groundbreaking regional plan was signed yesterday by Central African countries to strengthen law enforcement and better combat poaching of elephants and other species. The plan was adopted by the ten member states of Central African Forest Commission, known as COMIFAC, as escalating rates of wildlife crime plague the region.The countries pledged to undertake unprecedented levels of cooperation with law enforcement agencies, such as the police, customs and the judiciary, to tackle the issue. Chad, Central African Republic and Cameroon also signed a tri-partite declaration to join forces and increase transboundary collaboration to fight poaching. “This is a welcome sign and will help ensure that there will never again be a slaughter of elephants on the scale witnessed in Cameroon earlier this year,” said Lamine Sebogo, WWF’s African elephant expert.The law enforcement action plan approved includes provisions to increase anti-poaching efforts in each of the countries and to enable joint-country patrols in some transborder areas. Ivory, often bound for Asia, is frequently smuggled across inland borders before reaching overseas exit points such as ports and airports. Under the plan, customs controls are also set to be bolstered at international transit hubs. To ensure that criminals engaging in illegal wildlife trade are arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law, COMIFAC countries plan to ramp up investigations and conduct more thorough prosecutions. Cases will also be monitored for corruption.The meeting also resulted in the announcement of plans to hold a head of state conference next year to address wildlife loss and maintaining Africa’s biodiversity.WWF, together with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, has provided technical and financial assistance toward the development of the plan and is offering ongoing support for implementation.Photo courtesy of explore.org, a philanthropic media organization and multimedia arm of the Annenberg Foundation(News source: WWF)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Troubled Iraq Veteran Seeks Atonement From Family He Harmed in Baghdad

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA US soldier who was involved in a firefight in Iraq is seeking redemption and forgiveness from a family that lost three members in the chaotic battle on a Baghdad street.In the midst of a fierce gun battle, Lance Corporal Lu Lobello’s unit opened fire on three cars killing the drivers, all members of the Kachadoorian family who drove into the intersection.After the war, back in the United States, Lobello, like many of the other soldiers in his unit, was deeply troubled by the civilian deaths.Now, the Marine has become like a son to the family, visiting several times and talking often by phone.(READ more of Dexter Filkins’ story from the New Yorker)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Giggling Babies Discover the Fun in Rubber Bands

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA mother recorded a video of her twins while they were completely engrossed in pulling rubber bands that are hanging from drawer handles.Silliness ensues and the video become a contageous giggle-fest.Watch the video below, from Facebook…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img

Lego Honors Schoolboy for Charity Work With Life-size Likeness

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA boy who lost his mother to cancer has had a life-size statue built in his image out of Lego, after the toymaker hailed him as a hero for his charity work.Jack Covill-Lowndes was honored for raising thousands of pounds for the hospice that cared for mother Steph.The ten-year-old from Wainfleet, Lincolnshire gets to take home the statue – made of 35,000 bricks. (READ the story with cool photos in Metro.co.uk)Thanks to Andrew N. for submitting the link from England!Photo credit: Family photo; with unrelated lego image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr-CCAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Guinness Ad About Friendship Through Adversity Will Make Your Day

first_img(WATCH the inspiring 1:00 video)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreDedication. Loyalty. Friendship. “The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character.”An inspiring new television ad from the Guinness brewery has been viewed by more than 7 million people across YouTube and features a game of… well, you have to see it to appreciate it.last_img

Watch This Friendly Encounter Between a Polar Bear and Sled Dog

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreWhen two wildlife photographers saw a polar bear approaching a chained up sled dog, they were frozen stiff with horror – but the encounter actually turned out to be more heartwarming than anticipated.The photographers had been exploring the Churchill region of Canada’s Hudson Bay, which is known to be the polar bear capital of the world.RELATED: When Man Discovers Sea Lion Loves to Fetch, He Plays With the Critter For Two HoursPolar bears are also renowned for being aggressive predators. So when they saw one of the massive mammals meandering up to a the sled dog, they expected the worst.The bear, however, was apparently only looking for a playmate – and the dog was more than happy to oblige.(WATCH the video below)We Can’t Bear How Sweet This Is: Click To Share The Pawesome Video With Your Friends – Photo by Nat GeoAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Ovarian Cancer ‘Breakthrough’ Drug Prevents Disease Returning for Years

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThis exciting new drug treatment could help to extend the lifespans of women suffering from one of the world’s worst cancer survival rates.Ever after undergoing chemotherapy and surgery, 70% of ovarian cancer patients suffer relapses within three years of treatment – and only 35% are still alive ten years after their initial diagnosis. Once the cancer returns, it is considered terminal.According to these “unprecedented” trial results, however, a new drug called olaparib has dramatically increased the lifespan and survival rates of ovarian cancer patients. The drug was given to women who had successfully eliminated all or part of the cancer by undergoing chemotherapy. Three years after the women were started on the drug in 2013, researchers found that the drug was associated with a 70% reduction in mortality and cancer relapse, compared to only a third of patients in the placebo groups.RELATED: 13-Year-old Named America’s Top Young Scientist for Drastically Improving Pancreatic Cancer TreatmentMore importantly, since the follow-up took place only three years after the drug’s prescription, the treatment could offer protection for even longer amounts of time.“The most exciting finding is that more than half the patients on the olaparib arm have not relapsed with a minimum of three years of follow-up,” said Professor Charlie Gourley, director of ovarian cancer research at the University of Edinburgh, according to the Telegraph.MORE: A Woman Given Months to Live From Advanced Breast Cancer is ‘Cured’ in World First“This is unprecedented and raises the possibility that a number of these patients may be cured, although longer follow-up of patients is required before we can definitively draw this conclusion.”The study results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.Cure Your Friends Of Negativity By Sharing The Good News To Social Media – Photo by Nephron, CCAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more