Here’s How Doctors Are Coordinating Against Trump

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, so it’s not a huge shock that he picked Rep. Dr. Tom Price( R-GA ), a former orthopedic surgeon and fervent ACA opponent, to head up the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

More surprising was the American Medical Association’s strong endorsement of Price in a statement from board of trustees chair Dr. Patrice Harris, who urged the Senate to “promptly consider and confirm Dr. Price for this important role.”

Backlash from physicians was swift. Among those who spoke out were Drs. Manik Chhabra, Navin Vij and Jane Zhu of the University of Pennsylvania, who wrote a post on Medium titled, “The AMA Does Not Speak for Us .” The trio challenged the association’s endorsement in their letter and invited fellow physicians to sign on.

As of Thursday, more than 5,000 health care providers have done so.

“The AMA represents approximately a quarter of physicians in the U.S. a loud, but minority voice, ” the doctors wrote. “It certainly does not speak for us.”

Indeed, the American Medical Association’s inclusive-sounding name doesn’t mean it represents the sentiments or will of all or even most doctors. As of 2012, the AMA represented about 26 percent of doctors, according to Modern Healthcare. Although he didn’t offer a more current percentage, a media contact for the group told HuffPost the AMA is “the nation’s largest physician organization with a one-quarter of a million members.”

Chhabra, Vij and Zhu are part of the Clinician Action Network, a nascent alternative organization that has grown in response to Trump’s election. And their letter struck a chord. Before their official publication, the initial group of CAN members included 60 health care providers. Network membership has since swelled to several hundred individuals, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, social workers and community members.

While conversation about health policy is nothing new for many health care providers, the new group underlines activism in a novel style, according to Chhabra.

“They’re not folks who have previously been in roles as public advocates, ” he said. “A lot of us became really scared[ after the election] that abruptly the progress we’ve been assuring for the quality of care that our patients are receiving was ruined for us.”

Advocating for the most vulnerable sectors patients through policy

The three doctors stressed that CAN is about promoting policies that improve patients’ lives , not becoming an limb of the Democratic or Republican parties.

“When someone becomes sick in this country, whether they’re rich or poor, we want to ensure that we have a system that’s able to take care of them in a particular route, ” Chhabra said. “We don’t is considered that that’s a partisan thing.”

Instead, the group ensures its role as a clearinghouse to connect clinicians to organizations that are already doing good work, and to coordinate support for patient-first, evidence-based health policies. They hope members will take a more public role in policy by writing op-eds for the public, policy briefs and background pieces to voice physician concerns.

“We’re going to be very responsive to legislation that is being introduced and voted on in Congress, both at the country level and the national level, ” Zhu said. “This is the time for clinicians to take part actively in a process that’s always been dominated by politicians.”

What Price’s HHS tenure might look like

The group will have its work cut off for them.

Should Price be approved, he’ll enter the Trump administration with a detailed 242 -page proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, much of it targeted at reducing costs for the young and healthy at the expense of programs intended for the sick and poor. Included in Price’s proposal: a full repeal of Medicaid expansion and less help for patients with pre-existing conditions. And, unlike the ACA, Price’s proposed plan doesn’t require employers to cover addiction treatment, family planning, maternity care or prescription drugs.

The doctors pushed back on these policy changes in their letter:

We support patient choice. But Dr. Price’s proposed policies threaten to harm our most vulnerable patients and restriction their access to healthcare. We cannot support the dismantling of Medicaid, which has helped 15 million Americans gain health coverage since 2014. We resist Dr. Price’s proposals to reduce funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a critical mechanism by which poor children access preventative care. We wish to protect essential health benefits like treatment for opioid utilize disorder, prenatal care, and access to contraception.

When asked about the criticism, the AMA pointed to a follow-up letter Harris posted Dec. 1, stating that Price’s physician background( Price is an AMA member) would offer important view within Trump’s cabinet. The organization said it has disagreed with Price on certain policy issues during his tenure in Congress, including his posture on the ACA. But the endorsement stands.

For the newly formed Clinician Action Network, that message was hard to belly.

“We should judge a physician based on his police and not give him a free pass simply because he’s a doctor, ” Zhu said. “Where he wants to take the direction of the health system is important to the people who are practicing in it and the people who get served by it.”

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Humanity Is Killing Off Thousands of Species. But It’s Creating Them, Too

During World War II, Londoners often attempted shelter from German bombs in the citys subway passageways. There, they encountered another type of adversary: hordes of voracious mosquitoes. These werent your typical aboveground mosquitoes. They were aborigines of the metro, born in ponds of standing water that pockmarked the underground passageways. And unlike their open-air cousins, Londons subterranean skeeters seemed to love biting humans.

Fifty years after the war ended, scientists at the University of London decided to investigate the subway population. They collected eggs and larvae from metro tunnels and garden ponds and reared both populations in the lab. The passageway bugs, they confirmed, preferred feeding on mammals over birds. And when the scientists put males and females from different populations in close quarters designed to encourage mating , not a single pairing created offspring. That sealed the deal: The underground mosquitoes were a whole new species, adapted to life in the subway tunnels people had built.

Its narratives like that one that got Joseph Bull thinking. As a preservation scientist at the University of Copenhagen, he hears a lot about how humans are driving other species extinct. If the current rate stays steady, the planet is on its way to its sixth mass extinction, a severe event on par with the meteorite impact that killed the dinosaurs. But he wondered if there might be a flip side. I hadnt actually insured any kind of analysis of whether all these kinds of activities that humans get up to around the planet, whether and how they cause new species to emerge, he says. The Anthropocenewhile not quite yet an official geological epoch, still a supremely useful conceptis defined by the myriad routes in which humans affect the Earth. Civilization is destructive, but its generative too, sometimes in disturbing styles. A new world will emerge out of the Anthropocene, and it will be shaped by the species humen create and foster as well as the ones they kill off.

The most obvious route that people generate new species is through domestication. By picking out the traits in a wild population that are most beneficial to humans and breeding for them, people can force evolution in different species, Bull says. Wolves become dogs, nubby grass becomes maize, wild boars become pigs.

But humen can drive speciation in other, less purposeful routes. Its important to think about the process of developing new species as a process, Bull says. One of the most dramatic styles people put that process in motion is by moving members of an existing species from one place to another. Sometimes those individuals succumb in the new environment. Sometimes they hang on and interbreed with native species. And sometimes, they take over, like kudzu in the American South or snakes on Guam. Over day, the new surrounding exerts different pressures on the invasive population, causing it to diverge from its ancestors. The invasive species might also change the game for native species, pushing them in new genetic directions( if, of course, it doesnt just drive them extinct ).

Although hunting is one good way to drive a species extinct( just ask the passenger pigeon ), it can also spur evolution by removing certain types of individuals from a species gene poolbirds of an easy-to-see colour, say, or fish large enough to be caught in a net. No new species is known to have been created through hunting alone, Bull says, but dedicated enough time its far away from impossible.

Finally, we have the process that generated the underground mosquito: Peoples inclination to generate whole new ecosystems, including and especially cities. Populations of animals colonize these new surroundings and adapt to their demands, from mosquitoes developing a savor for mammals blood underground to city birds becoming better problem-solvers than their rural relatives.

Keeping these mechanisms in intellect, Bull tallied up humen impact on species in a paper published today by the Proceedings of the Royal Society B . During the last 12,000 years, scientists have recorded 1,359 plant and animal extinctions. Meanwhile, humans have relocated 891 plant and animal species, and domesticated 743 for a total of 1,634 species. It seems that human-driven speciation could be as much a trade mark of the Anthropocene as extinction is.

Of course, extinction, like speciation, is hard to document as its happening. Many species likely disappear before scientists even know they are there. Thats why extinction rates are usually calculated with extrapolations and models, but even they give wildlydifferent numbers. Thats all to say that many more than 1,359 lifeforms are most likely gone extinct in the past 12,000 years. Though its possible humans create species without seeing them, too. Just think of the wild world of antibiotic-resistant microbes, which evolve so fast in response to drugs that its dangerously difficult to keep up.

Number of species, however, is just one style measure the effects humen are having on natureand maybe not the best way. Drive keystone predators like wolves or sharks extinct and entire ecosystems breakdown , no matter how many new species pop up to replace them. Whats more, older species can carry millions of years of evolutionary history in their genes; if they go extinct, that diversity is lost. Anthropogenic species represent a nanosecond of the evolutionary period that many natural species have passed through, says Christopher Dick, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Michigan. In conservation, there is no comparing a 10 -million-year-old tree or turtle species with a decades-old strain of bug or plant.

Bull agrees that speciation and extinction dont cancel each other out. If we only use number of species as a way of measuring progress that someone constructs on preservation, then were missing a loading of other important considerations, he says. We cannot replace something lost with something gained when it comes to nature. Human-driven speciation may turn out to be a calling card of the Anthropocene. But no matter how many species of underground mosquitoes humanity unwittingly creates, they wont make up for what it destroys.

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Ireland general election: referendums cast as hung parliament predicted

Calls for Fine Gael and Fianna Fil to create a grand coalition and govern together for the first time amid signs of no clear winner

Voters in Ireland are going to the polls to elect a new government, amid pressure on the two biggest parties born out of the Irish civil war to bury their historic hatred and govern together for the first time.

More than 3 million people are eligible to vote in 40 constituencies, and there are 552 candidates contesting 157 seats in the Dil, the Irish parliament. Polls close at 10 pm on Friday night, and counting will start on Saturday.

Given that most opinion polls have predicted a hung parliament, which could lead to days maybe weeks of horse-trading between the main parties and a slew of unaligned independent nominees, some commentators have called on Fine Gael and Fianna Fil to create a grand coalition, on the same lines as the Christian Democrats and Social Democrat when they came together to govern Germany.

However, resulting figures in ruling party Fine Gael, including health minister Leo Varadkar, have described such a coalition as a nightmare. Fine Gael and its Labour coalition partners have instead appealed to voters to return them to power in the name of stable government.

The prime minister, Enda Kenny, returned to his native County Mayo on Friday and cast his election at a polling station in Castlebar. He would make history if he is re-elected, as since the state was created in 1921 no Fine Gael taoiseach has been returned for a second term of office.

Speaking after casting his vote, Kenny said: I only hope that everybody around the country accepts their responsibility today and that people go out and election and do their constitutional duty.

The Fianna Fil leader, Michel Martin, cast his referendum with his family in Ballinlough, Cork, refusing to talk about any potential electoral outcomes but predicting a good result for his party.

Sister Anastasia of the Franciscan order casts her referendum at Knock national school, Mayo. Photo: Brian Lawless/ PA

Fourteen years of continuous Fianna Fil rule brought to an end when the party was trounced at the 2011 election, returning to parliament with merely 20 seats its worst electoral showing in the republics history. The party took a hammering from an electorate that blamed it for the collapse of the Celtic Tiger and the loss of fiscal sovereignty to the International Monetary Fund.

This time around, all opinion polls have forecast that Fine Gael will retain its No 1 spot and that their constituencies will penalise Labour for the coalitions austerity programme, which has caused widespread anger, particularly over the imposition of water rates for the first time in the countrys history.

Sinn Fin is expected to capitalise on much of this anger, as will a number of leftist parties and an amalgam of independents. The Labour leader and deputy prime minister, Joan Burton, is in danger of losing her Dublin West seat.

Any coalition needs at least 79 seats to form a government. A Fine Gael-Fianna Fil link-up would render a huge working majority.

Although Northern Ireland has not been a major issue in this election, the spectre of the Troubles created its head again on Friday morning at a polling station in the village of Hackballscross in County Louth.

Photographers who had arrived from Dublin to take pictures of former IRA Thomas Slab Murphy after he voted were cautioned not to by a Murphy associate. Hours afterward Murphy was sentenced in Dublin to 18 months in jail over tax evasion.

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Sports nutrition adds to collegiate limbs race, but what does Missouri bring to the table? – Coeur d’Alene Press

Why cutting soot emissions is ‘fastest solution’ to slowing Arctic ice melt

Reducing wood-burning, gas-flaring and global diesel emissions would be quick win in combating irreversible climate change, scientists say

World leaders should redouble efforts to cut soot emissions because it is the cheapest and fastest style to combat climate change, climate scientists and advocates have told the Guardian.

Deposits of soot unburned carbon particles have stained parts of the Arctic black, changing the ice from a reflector of sunlight to an absorber of hot, and accelerating the melting of ice and snowfall, which itself is starting to alter global weather patterns.

Some scientists believe reducing the concentration of soot particles and other so-called short-lived climate pollutants entering the atmosphere may be easier in the short term than bringing down carbon dioxide emissions.

Such a quick win would be important to provide breathing space while world populations reduce their employ of fossil fuels, scientists say.

Paul Bledsoe, a former White House adviser who has worked on climate science issues for a decade, said: Restriction short-lived climate pollutants is the cheapest, fastest way to prevent ice melt globally, particularly in the Arctic.

Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, said: You cant solve a fast-moving problem like Arctic warming without fast-moving solutions. Cutting the short lived-climate pollutants is the fastest solution weve got.

Cutting these super climate pollutants can cut Arctic warming by two-thirds in the very near term.

The vast field of ice and snow covering the Arctic may appear startlingly white from a distance, but on closer examination the glaciers and snow covering are patched by dark streaks of inky black and dusty grey and brown. Some are small and self-contained; others are miles long. All are the mark of man.

Hailong Wang, an atmospheric scientist at the US Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, said that both observational and modelling evidence showed that soot was warming the Arctic.

Torches for casing-head gas flaring in the Orenburg region of Russia. Flare stacks are primarily used for burning off flammable gas released by pressure relief valves. Photo: Alexey Solodov

The warming impact could be through the direct heating to the air, snowfall and ocean ice by absorbing sunlight, and then accelerating the melting of snowfall and sea ice, Wang said. When the melting starts, there are positive feedback processes that can lead to even faster melting.

Work by Piers Forster, a prof of physical climate change at the University of Leeds, and Maria Sands, a researcher at Norways Cicero institute, and their colleagues, has established that reducing soot emissions could lower Arctic temperatures by 0.2 C within a few decades a valuable contribution, considering that specific commitments induced in the Paris agreement was to hold temperature rises to no more than 1.5 C or 2C.

The Arctic bears what could be considered more than its fair share of the worlds pollution. Industry and tourism in the region are tiny, though mining and oil companies continue to eye-up potential sites as the permafrost retreats. The dirt that scars the Arctic landscape is not local: rather, ocean and air currents carry substances soot, heavy metals, plastic particles, and more fromacross the globe to deposit them in this pristine environment. Chemical pollution has even been found to cause brain damage in polar bears.

Soot in the atmosphere has been calculated to be capable of causing warming of about 0.5 C in the Arctic, from heating of the ambiance and melting of snow. This amounts to about a quarter of the observed warming since pre-industrial times.

However, the picture is more complicated than these raw figures might indicate. Unburned carbon particles and gases, such as sulphur dioxide, which often accompany soot production, can have an aerosol cooling impact, because in the atmosphere they can deflect heat from the sunshine back into space. This process, sometimes called global dimming, makes it hard to estimate the final effects of the pollution.

Chemical pollution has been found to cause brain damage in polar bears. Photograph: Jonnie Hughes/ BBC/ Silverback Films

While mercury, PCBs( polychlorinated biphenyl) and other pollutants persist for decades, soot is a less permanent problem. Unlike greenhouse gases, soot particles are relatively short-lived in the ambiance. The median lifetime is around a week or two, says Wang. New snowfall[ can also] encompasses them[ the soot particles] pretty quickly.

And this, according to Zaelke, is what stimulates soot so important. Speed is the key metric here, that we havent paid enough attention to[ in discussions over climate change ], he said. We have been looking at slow-moving answers[ such as reducing greenhouse gases] and we need to catch up. We need to do something about near-term warming if we are going to stabilise the climate.

Greenhouse gases are produced by a wide range of human industries: produce electricity, driving, flying, raising cattles, making cement, agricultural fertilisers, and many more. Soot comes from a smaller subset of these activities. Coal-fired power stations are a resulting source, as are dirty vehicle engines, and industrial chimneys, but even in developing countries where people have little access to electricity and powered transport, soot is produced by indoor fires used for cook and heating.

Global warming is not the only impact. Soot is behind human health problems from Beijing to Burundi, as the particles are inhaled into lungs where they remain, causing and exacerbating respiratory diseases. Smoky gasolines kill more than 4 million people a year, according to the World Health Organisation a disproportionate number of them women and children, from dirty cooking fires.

Dealing with soot, therefore, is not only a win for the climate, but for peoples health. Forster and Sand have identified three measures as potentially the best available: reducing the domestic burning of timber in Asia, cutting the flaring of gas in Russia, and reducing emissions from diesel vehicles globally.

A coal-powered plant on the outskirts of Linfen, in Chinas Shanxi province. Soot produced by chimneys has been found to cause breathing problems in humen. Photo: Peter Parks/ AFP/ Getty Images

The technology to do all of these is available. Gas flaring is not only unnecessary but inefficient, as captured trash gases can be used for gasoline. Scrubbers can also be fitted to the chimneys of fossil fuel power station. Car engines can be fitted with filters, as they are in many developed world, to remove the grime from exhausts. Cooking fires are separately harder to reach, but in many areas of the world simple solar cookers could be used that would not only reduce deaths from pollution but ease the lives of women and girls for whom the drudgery of find gasoline each day can be physically demanding, and put a brake on education and development.

History shows that while these measures can involve some upfront expenses, these are quickly repaid in quality of life. Londoners, for example, took pea-soupers as a fact of life before clean air legislation was passed following the deadly smogs of the early 1950 s. With the right regulation and political will, soot could be made a historical curiosity across the globe.

Forster said: The measures[ to reduce soot] would also help by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. They would also kick in faster within 10 years of the emissions reduction whereas CO2 emissions reductions merely slow the rate of warming. You need negative[ CO2] emissions for a CO2 cooling effect.

Mike Childs, head of policy at Friends of the Earth, said: With scientists recognising that soot ranks second only behind carbon dioxide to its implementation of global warming, its crucial that this pollution is cut to help avoid the worst the health effects of climate change. Tackling soot would be a win-win, because it will bring enormous health benefits by cutting air pollution too. Governments must act now, and act fast.

These actions will only be effective as part of a broader push to tackle carbon emissions. Although dealing with soot could be an important style of heading off one of the threats to the Arctic and the world, it cannot be a substitute for acting on warming gases more widely. Greenhouse gases are still the leading player in causing the overall melting of the Arctic, said Wang. Stopping soot pollution could devote us a crucial breathing space, but an effective end to global warming and Arctic melting will require much more.

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This Is What Can Happen To Your Eyes If You Sleep With Your Contact Lenses In

When it comes to a bedtime routine, there is a step-by-step process most of us generally abide by.

Yours might typically include brushing your teeth, rinsing your face, raining, putting on your pajamas, and, if you wear them, taking out your contact lenses before ultimately laying down to go to sleep.

Except, some people actually in their contacts, which takes the concept of laziness to a whole other level, if you ask me.

The truth is, although it may be another riling thing you have to do before you can finally relax for the night, that extra step is very much worth it.

You genuinely don’t want to sleep in your contact lenses. As you may have guessed, it isn’t good for your eye health like, at all.

Your eyeballs need to breathe, girl.

As in, they quite literally need oxygen.

And the only style in order to be allowed to get it is to be exposed tothe air. When you wear contact lenses, the oxygen supply to your eyes becomes limited but that’s not all.

When you close your eyes to sleep, the already-limited oxygen supply lessens even more in quantity.

And if your eyes can’t breathe, the consequences can be various kinds of disastrous .

The cornea of your eyes can swell up, so much so, in fact, that gaps can seem between the surface cells of the eye.

As if that in and of itself doesn’t sound scary enough, those gaps can invite bacteria into the region, which can ultimately lead to infection.

But get this: If you have bacteria in your eye wearing your contacts, the lenses can act as a lawsuit and only hold the bacteria there for as long as they want.

Yeah, your contact lenses can hold bacteria like cereal in a damn bowl.

If that is not absolutely disgusting to you, then I don’t know what is.

If you are reading this and thinking, Sh* t, I’ve definitely slept in my contact lenses once or twice, there’s no need to panic.

First of all, if you’ve done this before, it’s probably in your best interest not to make a habit out of it.

But, hey, collisions happen every now and then. If you unintentionally fall asleep with your contacts in, be sure toremove themfrom your eyesas soon as you wake up, and do not wear them for the rest of the day. Your eyes require the air they weren’table to receive throughout the night.

In the end, think about whether the risks here are really worth the hassle of taking those extra couple of minutes to remove your contacts before you go to sleep.

No amount of tirednes should stop you from taking care of the lives of your eyes. After all, they’rekind of important, don’t you think?

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25 Visualizations Spin the Same Data Into 25 Different Tales

Data rarely speaks for itself. Not cogently, anyway. That’s what tables, graph, and diagrams are for. The rightvisualization can focus a jumbled heap of facts and figures into something concise, captivating, informative, persuasive, ormisleading. The challenge is choice how best to showcasethe data you’re interested in–and your options are astonishingly numerous, as decorator Nathan Yau demonstrates in a recent series of 25 visualizations.Every graphic is based on the same data set–life expectancy figures, by country, from the World Health Organization–but each tells a slightly different story.

Yau says most of his designs begin with questions. Answering them leads to a tighter focus on a dedicated data set. This leads to more questions, usually, and different chart types are better at answering some questions than others, he says. Asking the WHO data set a question like whats the median might lead to a bar chart comparing countries with the highest and lowest life expectancy. At a glance, you can see just how sizablea different there is between a country like Japan, which has the highest life expectancy, and Sierra Leone, which has the lowest.

A more refinedquestion, like which countries experience the most fluctuations, gives rise to a very different visualization. Take the chart below. For this graphic, Yau traced the life expectancy tendency for each country with a line and overlaid them atop one another. The result is a jumbled mess, save for one conspicuous outlier: Haiti’s trend line plummets in 2010, a reaction to that year’s devastating earthquake. It’s a very concrete visualization–one that would be silly to use in reference to any other country.

Nathan Yau

Information decorators have a saying:” Let the data speak for itself .” But Yau says presenting data is more complicated than that.” It’s a nice idea in theory–you want to visualize the data, and not get in the way, he says. But without a point of view, data tends to jog. A designer’s responsibility is to impose that point of view. Dedicating datum shape has a powerful influence on the way viewers process it–designers must decide what they want that shape to say.

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The gardener sticks forks into the soil. The reason why is amazing!

Spring is here and you want to grab the shovel and start working your garden! First its is high time to prep.

There are excellent styles on how you can properly prep your garden so that you can be sure to have best savouring harvests and highest output possible. Gardens are work so you definitely want to ensure you do things right so that your work pays off!

First off is seeding your new plants. Save money by utilizing egg cartons or even toilet paper rolls.

You can use emptied lemon rinds for rendering your little newborn plants with nutrients from the lemon.

Ice cream cones work well too! Dont over-water as the cone will dissolve! But the cones are another 100% biodegradable option.

If you need to warm things up on a cold Spring day, take an empty plastic bottle and use it as a mini-greenhouse. Take the bottle and cut in half. The bottom component is used for soil while the top is placed over your plants on the cold days. Cutting bottles over your plants while planted outside as frost protection is another option.

A muffin cooking tray can be used to mark a pattern in clay. Planting your seedlings with perfect distance between them can be accomplished this way.

Fencing and wrapped layers of cling film that form a hurdle can be used to protect against strong winds and cold temps.

Mark your garden with mini-signs utilizing old spoons or anything else you think would work well. You can stamp them with letters or simply paint them to identify.

Drawing on stones use a paint pen and putting in your garden bed is another option.

How to give your garden water if you are going to be gone for a few days: Fill up empty bottles with water. Set them upside down in the soil. Water will gradually empty out and thus nourish your plants.

Soda cans for herb growing? Utterly! These run really well and you can paint them with bright colours as well as label them accordingly.

Protect your garden from drying out by employing mulch. Spread some old newspapers around before covering with mulch and this route the weeds wont invade!

Stick plastic forks next to seedlings so they will grow big by keeping larger animals like rabbits away from them.

For unwelcome pests, specifically aphids, wrap up your hands in masking videotape. Then, with the sticky proportion facing out, collect up all the aphids. Likely have to do it a few times, but its an all natural way and alternative from nasty pesticides.

Glowing pebbles are great to illuminate your garden path. Painting stones with glow-in-the-dark paint works well.

Collect old bottles and press them into clay to also mark your path.

You can even regrow veggies from themselves. Take the end of a celery husk, plant, and watch as another one will grow from it!

Works for onions too( as well as many other plants )!

Gardening tricks are a must to utilize as they attain the task of growing food a lot more fun, while avoiding all the common pitfalls of pests, watering, plant identifying and much more!

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Trump delays decision on lifting sanctions against Sudan

US president says more time needed to review easing of trade embargo, amid lack of key personnels to assess policy and calls for new engagement plan

President Donald Trump has extended the deadline on whether to lift US sanctions against Sudan, amid divisions in his administration and a lack of key personnels to assess the decision.

Facing off strong opposition to take immediate action, Trump said more time was needed to review the easing of trade sanctions in January by Barack Obama, who put Khartoum on a six-month review period.

The indecision points in part to an absence of pivotal Africa appointments in US government departments, including the national security council. Trump is yet to designate a special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan.

The temporary relief of sanctions was to become permanent on Wednesday unless the administration acted to stop it. An executive order issued last night extended the deadline by three months.

The Obama administration justified lifting the sanctions by quoting , among other things, improved counter-terrorism endeavours. But it induced their permanent removal dependent on Khartoums progress in five key areas of concern, which included cooperation on counter-terrorism, objective support to South Sudanese armed opponent performers, and providing humanitarian access to populations in need.

The order from Trump read: I have decided more period is needed for this review to establish that the government of Sudan has demonstrated sufficient positive action across all of those areas.

However, in a signal to reassure the country that the US was still looking to mend relations, the order acknowledged that the government had made some progress.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert credited Sudan with improving humanitarian access, cooperating with the US on counter-terrorism and preserving a ceasefire in conflict areas. She said the US remained deeply committed to engaging with the Sudanese government and working towards further progress.

Rights proponents, including a policy group affiliated with performer George Clooney, have warned that lifting sanctions would strengthen the resolve of the president, Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the international criminal tribunal for genocide charges linked to the Darfur conflict.

Gillian Lusk, associate editor at Africa Confidential, said: Human rights and peace NGOs, along with the Sudanese opposition political parties but also the advocacy community will welcome the extension of todays deadline, although a longer lag would have been preferable.

Politically, it is a major blow for a regime which is under growing pressure domestically from both an angry populace and an economy which has virtually collapsed , not because of the sanctions, but because of government mismanagement and corruption.

Lusk added: The countrys money has gone to a ruling Islamist party, into private pockets and into the military-security nexus which keeps a hated regime in power.

The US has worked to isolate Sudan since the military coup that brought Bashir to power in 1989. Even if Trump lets the sanctions expire in October, other sanctions targeting the president and some of his inner circle will remain in place.

Sudan was first branded a country sponsor of terrorism in 1993 a label it still shares with Iran and Syria. At the time, it hosted al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Khartoum. In 1997, a complex situate of sanctions was imposed on the country for its alleged backing of Islamist activists.

But those critical of lifting sanctions say the US should be looking at pursuing a new track of participation, which is currently absent one that focuses on advancing peace and human rights in Sudan.

The Enough Project, whose investigative arm The Sentry is co-founded by Clooney, welcomed the delay on a decision but urged the Trump administration to update the engagement scheme put to Khartoum to address the core issues that keep the country in perpetual crisis.

John Prendergast, the groups founding director, said: This new track should be tied to a define of smart, modernised sanctions that spare the Sudanese public and target those who are most responsible for grand corrupt practices and inhumanities including air strikes on villages, assaults on churches, obstruction of humanitarian aid, the torment of opponent figures and undermining peace efforts.

Omer Ismail, the projects senior consultant, added that the US needs to weigh the costs of constructing deals and giving up critical leverage with despots such as Bashir. He said: Washington and Europe have powerful leverage they can exert to change the calculations of Sudans corrupted and brutal rulers, by implementing a modernised programme of network sanctions and financial pressures.

In a controversial move, the UN said this week that it backed an end to the sanctions and hoped the US would make a positive decision allowing for more humanitarian aid access across war zone.

Former conditions laid out by the Obama administration included improved access of providing assistance groups, but activists and health workers on the ground in some of Sudans most fragile regions say conditions are worse than ever.

At least 300,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced since opposing erupted in the western area in 2003, according to the UN. The conflict broke out when ethnic African rebels took up limbs against Khartoums Arab-dominated government, accusing it of marginalising Darfur.

Thousands have been killed in similar conflicts in the southern countries of Blue Nile and South Kordofan since 2011. Although Bashir has declared a unilateral ceasefire in conflict zones, Khartoum and rebel groups have yet to sign a peace deal.

This month, a bipartisan letter from 53 each member of Congress advised Trump to reimpose sanctions, saying the administration was unable to assess whether conditions had been met because key officials responsible for African policy is still not in place.

This week, Sudans foreign minister, Ibrahim Ghandour, said any decision other than the permanent lifting of sanctions would be illogical and unacceptable, insisting that Sudan has met all commitments of the five-track participation plan.

Yasir Arman, secretary general of the rebel Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement-North, led by Malik Agar, welcomed the extension, proclaiming it a victory for justice and the innocent people of Sudan.

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Weston Program to address health health and hunting Oct. 8 – The Exponent Telegram( press release)( registration)

The Exponent Telegram( press release)( registration)