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  1. An officer who went viral for telling a group of people he was “trigger-happy” has been fired from the Hartford Police Department in Connecticut. The video, originally posted on Facebook in early August, showed Stephen Barone speaking to a group who were hanging out on a porch. At the beginning of the video, he explains to them that he just wants to figure out what’s going on because a group of people outside of a house without the lights on can look suspicious. “No big deal,” Barone says. Then his tone shifts abruptly. He explains that they’re all being stopped for suspicion of trespassing and says, “If anybody wants to fight or run, I’m a little trigger-happy, guys, I’m not gonna lie.” He went on to say that he will be “paid a ton of money in overtime if I have to shoot somebody, so don’t do anything stupid.” The group seems bewildered by this, one of them replying, “Trigger-happy for what?” The man recording the video calls it “spooky” and another can be heard saying, “You saying ‘trigger-happy,’ that’s why people run.” Rashawn Johnson, the person who recorded the video of Barone, said to NBC Connecticut, “We were all just in shock to hear him say that and glad there were other officers there that were more professional about their job.” On Wednesday, the Hartford Police Department put out a statement that they had fired Barone after finishing an investigation into the incident in the video, as well as a traffic incident in July. Full article
  2. A tr‌a‌g‌ic story about a Chinese woman who k‌i‌ll‌e‌d herself and her two young children after believing her husband had d‌i‌‌e‌‌‌d has shocked many in China. However, it was revealed that her husband, a 34-year-old man with the surname He, fa‌k‌e‌d his own de‌‌a‌t‌h for insurance money and neglected to inform his family of his plan, Shanghaiist reports. He reportedly borrowed a car on September 19, which authorities would later discover to have crashed in the Zijiang River of Xinhua county. After searching the river and surrounding area, the police f‌a‌ile‌d to find his body. He’s 31-year-old wife, identified only by her surname Dai, was then captured on surveillance camera three weeks later walking with their four-year-old son and three-year-old daughter to a nearby pond. When they reached the pond, Dai was seen binding the children’s hands and throwing them into the water to d‌r‌ow‌n them; she drowned herself shortly after. Prior to k‌il‌‌li‌n‌g herself and her children, she had posted a s‌u‌ic‌‌id‌e note on her WeChat account. In her post, Dai revealed how He’s family had been accusing her of being a spendthrift, among other things. Her husband’s relatives have also accused her of causing her husband’s d‌e‌‌a‌t‌h. Dai said that she could no longer bear the weight of the ac‌cus‌at‌ions and had since lost the will to continue living. Dai added that she loved and missed her husband, explaining that she was ki‌ll‌i‌n‌g herself and her children so that they could all be together again in the aft‌e‌rl‌if‌e. He emerged from hiding a day after the bo‌d‌i‌e‌s of his family were found. At the local po‌‌li‌c‌e station, he confessed in tears how he faked his own death so he can solve his financial problems. He was later revealed to be over 100,000 yuan ($14,000) in debt after taking out an online loan. According to the police, He had taken out a 1 million yuan ($144,000) life insurance policy on himself about a week before faking the car crash. Before He surr‌en‌dered to the aut‌ho‌riti‌es, he recorded a video of himself apologizing to his ‌d‌e‌‌a‌d‌ children and explaining that he did not expect his wife would sacrifice herself and her kids. Full article
  3. The chairman of a private space contractor in Chengdu, China, recently revealed plans to launch an “artificial moon” satellite up to eight times as bright as the real moon and capable of replacing traditional streetlights. The ambitious project was announced at a national mass innovation and entrepreneurship event held in Chengdu, a city of 14 million people in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan. Wu Chunfeng, the chairman of the private space contractor Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co (Casc) revealed plans to launch an illumination satellite referred to as an “artificial moon” that would be eight times as bright as Earth’s natural satellite and capable of an area with a diameter of 10-80km. The innovative satellite “designed to complement the moon at night” has apparently been in the works since for years, but thanks to the rapid advancement of technology it should be ready for launch in 2020. While the exact details of the satellite have yet to be revealed, some media outlets report that it will have a coating that can reflect light from the sun with solar panel-like wings which can be adjusted to allow the light to focus on precise locations. “The satellites’ brightness and service time are both adjustable, and the accuracy of the lighting can be controlled within tens of meters,” Wu Chunfeng said. It isn’t yet known if the project has the backing of the Chinese government or even Chengdu authorities, but officials from the Chinese city declared themselves intrigued, saying that it could cut costs on streetlights and boost local tourism. While the idea of a bright artificial moon definitely sounds interesting, it also raises a lot of questions. People on Chinese social media platform Weibo have been asking how the artificial light would affect sleep patterns and animals, but Kang Weimin, a director at the School of Aerospace at the Harbin Institute of Technology, told CIFNews that the satellite would only produce a dusk-like glow that should not affect animals. Full article
  4. A Nebraska superintendent is apologizing for "anxiety and any harm" caused after a school chef served — without disclosing — kangaroo meat to students. A head cook in the state's Potter-Dix Public School district served up the meat on Oct. 10 as part of a chili dish mixed with meat, superintendent Mike Williams wrote in a letter to parents and students. The chef, Kevin Frei, used the meat because of its "nutritional value," Williams said. He noted that while the meat was legal to sell and eat, and not "unhealthy or dangerous" — it "has to meet USDA standards in order for companies to sell it" — students should know what's in the food they're eating. "If a family wants to eat exotic foods, they can do so on their own time — not at school," he wrote. "If, we were to have food or ingredients that are out of the ordinary, they should be listed on the menu so that the students and families are aware of what they would be being served." Full article
  5. A foreign man was recently captured on video trying to break up a f‌ig‌h‌t inside a subway station in China while passersby stood and watched the men tussled. The incident happened last Wednesday, Oct. 10 on a Line 9 train at the Xujiahui Station of the Shanghai Metro, according to Shanghaiist. Two men can be seen exchanging blows to the face while inside a docked train at the subway station. One of the two brawling men was knocked out of the train as the elderly foreign man called for them to “get out of here.” However, the enraged man wasted no time in getting back on his feet and re-entering the train, eager to resume the brawl. The foreign man was then pushed aside by the two men as they continued their altercation, but this only served to further his resolve to break up the fi‌g‌ht‌. With his voice now notably raised, the foreigner can be seen shouting at both of them to “cut it out” as he attempts to grab one of the men’s shirt. “What the <deleted>’s the matter with you guys?” he then yells as the two are finally separated. It is unknown why the two men were fighting. However, Chinese netizens were quick to voice their displeasure at the apparent apathy of the Chinese passengers, many of whom can be seen taking out their phones to film the commotion rather than try to break it up. “This goes to show that the quality of our people is still too low compared with other countries,” one Weibo user wrote in the comment section, as translated by Shanghaiist. “We lost face twice in front of a foreigner: first for starting a fight and then for not being able to stop it,” another user said. Full article
  6. If you’re familiar with horse reigning, you probably know about the sliding stop, a signature move where the galloping horse lowers its hindquarters as it comes to halt. It’s definitely impressive to watch, but it’s nothing compared to the Mexican version, the Cala de Caballo. Cala de Caballo is one of several “charras” performed by charros (the Mexican equivalent of the cowboy) in charrerias, popular competitive events similar to the American rodeo. It involves a series of maneuvers, like turning the horse on its own axis both ways a minimum of six times, and walking backwards in a straight line, but the most impressive one has to be the sliding stop, where the charro makes his horse run at full speed and then stop abruptly by sliding on its rear legs, in a marked 20-meter-long rectangle. The competitor who leaves the longest slide marks in the marked area without going over the limit gets the most points. The Cala de Caballo was officially recognized as a national sport in the twentieth century, and is considered one of the most important charras, because it demonstrates the connection and communication between the rider and his/her horse. In this Mexican version of the sliding stop, judges score the speed of the horse, the posture of both the animal and the rider, and the length of the slide marks left inside a 20-meter-long rectangle filled with sand or dirt. To get the highest score possible, the horse has to begin its slide only after entering the marked area, and slide as close to the far end of the rectangle as possible. While it can slide over the limit of the marked area, only the marks inside will be measured. Full article
  7. A beautician told police that she failed a roadside breath test because her lips were too big for her to use a breathalyzer. Scarlett Harrison, 20, was found to be over the limit when she was stopped in Manchester city centre after drinking Pink Gins with a friend she fell out with. When at the police station she was asked to provide a second, more accurate sample but she said her collagen implants made it difficult to get her mouth around the tube. Harrison, who has appeared in Ex On The Beach and has just returned from a summer in Ibiza, tried to blow four times before saying ‘my lips are too big’. As a result she was charged with failing to provide a breath sample and tried to avoid conviction by saying she was unable to blow for ‘medical reasons’. Harrison, the daughter of an engineering business owner, pleaded guilty on the day her trial was due to start. The court heard that she pulled over on June 20 in her Mini One in a taxi rank outside Piccadilly train station. She has been banned from driving for 16 months and ordered to pay £310 in fines and costs. Prosecutor Neil White said: ‘When the officers went over to speak to her, they could smell alcohol on her breath and so conducted a roadside breath test. ‘She was over the limit so she was taken to the police station. At the station, they informed her about going through to the intoximeter room and proceeded to discuss the demeanour of the defendant and how she now felt. Full article
  8. Police in California are investigating a report that a high school student mixed the cremated ashes of a grandparent into a batch of homemade cookies and shared them with her classmates. Two students are thought to have been involved in the baking of the sandy-textured biscuits, which were sampled by at least nine youngsters at the Da Vinci Charter Academy just west of Sacramento. Nobody has suffered any ill effects, and cremated human remains are not poisonous, although Davis Police lieutenant Paul Doroshov told The Sacramento Bee "there could be some emotional issues experienced". One classmate, Andy Knox, told TV station KCRA: "I didn't believe her until she pulled out the urn. She told me there's a special ingredient in the cookie. I was kind of horrified." Mr Doroshov added that the motives behind the culinary crime were unknown, but said the suspects were unlikely to be charged and that officers would leave it to the school to handle the issue. He admitted he was unaware as to whether baking human remains into food could be considered an actual crime, noting that it would "probably take some legal debate to figure out". Full article
  9. Fish are becoming increasingly HORNY because of massive quantities of unnatural chemicals in the water, according to a study. Prozac, used as an antidepressant in humans, is making fish hellbent on reproduction, researchers from Monash University found. Animals that were given the drug in a tank in a lab spent more time chasing females than those that weren't. Scientist Michael Bertram dosed male mosquitofish in an aquarium with high and low quantities of fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac. The fish given higher doses showed "more frequent copulatory behaviour" and spent more time pursuing females, he described. Mr Bertram wrote in Science Trends : "In one-on-one mating trials, males in the high-fluoxetine treatment performed more frequent copulatory behaviour towards females than did males in the unexposed treatment." The study adds: "A significant positive correlation was detected in control fish between activity levels in the maze and time spent pursuing females in the reproductive assay." Fluoxetine makes its way into the ecosystem because our water treatment systems cannot filter it out, along with many other pharmaceutical drugs making their way into the environment. Mr Bertram said: "Fluoxetine can cause a wide range of adverse effects in aquatic species, including disrupting development and reproduction and altering morphological and physiological traits." He added it can also influence behaviour in animals, just like it can when administered as an antidepressant to humans. It was previously reported how cocaine contamination in rivers was making wildlife behave in an hyperactive manner. Full article
  10. 33-year-old Cai Yanqiu has spent the last three years of his life traveling through his home country in China with the sole purpose of helping homeless people in any way he can. Cai Yanqiu’s decided to dedicate his life to helping homeless people three years ago. He had set up a small stall in Zhanjiang, China’s Guangdong, and he was waiting for customers when he saw a barefooted homeless man pass him by. That man reminded him of the devastation caused by the loss of his brother, over two decades ago. In 1994, Cai’s brother who suffered from epilepsy, disappeared from the family home, and when he was finally found, 3 days later, he was in such a bad condition that he passed away in his family’s arms. Cai remembered his mother lying in bed for days morning the loss of his brother, and after doing some crying of his own after seeing the homeless man, he decided that he couldn’t just stand by and allow other families to go through what his did. So in July of 2016, Cai bought a used van, filled it up with quilts, toiletries, a folding bike and some supplies, and left his family to seek out homeless people and attempt to reunite them with their families. He has since driven over 90,000 kilometers all over China, and managed to reunite over 50 people with their loved ones. However, getting close enough to these estranged members of society to hear their life stories isn’t as easy as some might think, and some simply don’t want to return to their families. Cai Yanqiu told Xinhua News that it sometimes takes him weeks to gain a homeless person’s trust. Having been shunned by society and often verbally or physically abused, many of these individuals are wary of strangers, even those who appear to have the best intentions. Some of them also take refuge in hard to reach places, like sewers, unfinished or abandoned building and inaccessible bridge holes. Then there are the mentally disturbed or the old people who drag their carts of garbage around and refuse to communicate with anybody. There have been times when Cai tried for almost a month to get close to such people, before finally accepting defeat and moving on. The kindhearted man says that behind every homeless person there is a grieving family, but he admits that some of the people he has met simply didn’t want to go back to their old lives. He respects their decision, and always tries to make their lives better any way he can. He has a barber’s kit, a set of pots, shoes, clothes and quilts in his van, and he offers to shave or cut the hair of any homeless people who will let him, cooks them food, and gives them clothes and shoes to wear. Over the past three years, Cai Yanqiu has managed to reunite over 50 homeless people with their families, but claims that his mission will only be over the day he cannot find homeless people anymore. Then he’ll finally be able to return to his own family. If I can not maintain my current lifestyle, I may have to stop, but my family is very supportive so I hope to continue,” Cai said. “One day, if f I can not find another homeless person, my journey will end.” The 33-year-old sleeps in the van for weeks at a time, and sometimes ends up looking like the homeless people he tries to help. Still, things are much easier now than when he started out, thanks in no small part to the internet. A couple of years ago, a friend of Cai’s suggested that he livestream his journeys around China, and his amazing kindness has conquered the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people who now follow him on one of China’s largest livesreaming platforms. They call themselves “dream chasers” and support their hero with donations. Full article
  11. Mariam Nabatanzi, a 40-year-old woman from Uganda’s Mukono District has been dubbed the African country’s most fertile woman after it was reported that she has given birth to 44 children. In her home village of Kabimbiri, central Uganda, Mariam Nabatanzi is known as Nalongo Muzaala Bana (the twin mother that produces quadruplets) and that nickname is well-earned. In the 18 years that she spent being pregnant throughout her 40 year life, the woman has given birth to six sets of twins, four sets of triplets, three sets of quadruples, as well as a few single births. Out of the 44 children that she brought into this world, 38 are still alive today, most of them still living at the family home. Mariam is a single mother, and although providing for such a large family, she somehow manages to put enough food on the table for everyone. Mariam’s life has never been easy. At age 12, she was married off to a man 28 years her senior, after surviving an assassination attempt by her stepmother. She claims that the woman put crushed glass in the food and managed to kill her four siblings. She only survived because she was away at the time, but her parents still managed to get rid of her, by marrying her off to a much older man who physically abused her whenever she said or did something he didn’t like. “My husband was polygamous with many children from his past relationships who I had to take care of because their mothers were scattered all over,” Mariam told Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper. “He was also violent and would beat me at any opportunity he got even when I suggested an idea that he didn’t like.” Nabatanzi gave birth to her first children, a set of twins, in 1994, at the young age of 13. Two year later, she had her first set of triplets, and nearly two years after that, she birthed quadruplets. While that may seem unusual to most people, Mariam didn’t find it strange at all, because she had seen it before. Her father had 45 children with several women, and she claims that they all came in sets of quintuplets, quadruples, twins and triplets. Dr. Charles Kiggundu, a gynecologist at Mulago Hospital, in Kampala, Uganda, told the Daily Monitor that the cause of Mariam’s extreme fertility is most likely genetic: “Her case is genetic predisposition to hyper-ovulate (releasing multiple eggs in one cycle), which significantly increases the chance of having multiples; it is always genetic.” Mariam had always dreamed of having six children, but by her sixth pregnancy, she had already given birth to 18 babies, and she wanted to stop. She went to a hospital for help, but after running some tests, the gynecologist there told her that interfering with her fertility in any way would have put her life at risk. “Having these unfertilized eggs accumulate poses not only a threat to destroy the reproductive system but can also make the woman lose their lives,” Dr Ahmed Kikomeko from Kawempe General Hospital confirmed. “I was advised to keep producing since putting this on hold would mean death. I tried using the Inter Uterine Device (IUD) but I got sick and vomited a lot, to the point of near death. I went into a coma for a month ,” Mariam recalls. By age 23, Mariam already had 25 children, so she went to the hospital again, but she was told that nothing could be done, because her egg count was still very high. However, Dr. Kiggundu claims that there are procedures that can be carried out to prevent women becoming pregnant, but adds that many of them just don’t know about them. Mariam Nabatanzi’s fertility woes finally came to an end in December of 2016, after the birth of her last baby, as she claims the doctor told her that he had “cut my uterus from inside”. Dr. Kiggundu said this was most likely tubal ligation. It’s hard to imagine a mother raising 38 children by herself, but Mariam somehow managed to do just that. Her husband is hardly ever around, and whenever he does come by, he sneaks in during the night and leaves before the kids have a chance to see him. 23-year-old Charles, the woman’s eldest son, told the Daily Monitor that he had last seen his father when he was only 13, and that some of his siblings have never even seen him. “I can comfortably tell you that our siblings do not know what father looks like. I last saw him when I was 13 years old and only briefly in the night because he rushed off again,” Charles said. Full article
  12. An office worker from China recently purchased a small pet dog to keep him company at home. The unnamed pet owner was reportedly very happy with his purchase as he bought the black “puppy” at a fairly cheap price from a dealer. However, it did not take long for him to notice some traits and behaviors of the animal that made him doubt if it was actually a dog. According to Btime (via Shanghaiist), the man initially found his chubby little pet quite adorable but started to notice some odd things about it as the days went by. When the animal grew bigger, he noticed that some of its features did not seem like any dog breed he had seen before. He decided to consult the internet last month by posting images of his pet online and asking Chinese netizens to help him identify what kind of dog it was. As it turned out, his little black “puppy” was not even a dog at all, but a type of rodent called a bamboo rat. Such rodents, which feed primarily on bamboo, are mostly found in southern China and are reportedly eaten as a delicacy in some parts of Guangdong province. Full article
  13. The Thai LGBTQ community has finally earned a long-sought victory as the country is working on a bill that would recognize same-sex civil unions by the end of the year. Earlier this year, the Justice Minister started drafting the Civil Partnership Bill after 60,000 people signed a petition that aimed to restart discussions on a 2013 bill supporting LGBTQ rights. “Ever since the Justice Ministry began pushing the bill, the feedback from the LGBT community has been good,” Pitikan Sithidej, director-general of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department, told the Bangkok Post. “More than 60,000 signatures were collected to show support for the bill. It is believed there are still many more quiet supporters since many in the LGBT community have yet to show their support.” Parliament will vote on the the bill before it becomes the Civil Partnership Act. According to Nikkei Asian Review, the military government aims to pass it ahead of the next general election, which takes place in early February. Thailand’s current laws only recognize heterosexual marriage. An individual in a same-sex relationship cannot receive the remains of a dead partner or hold the same rights that heterosexual partners have over matters of inheritance. If the bill passes, same-sex partners will reportedly be granted rights on hospital visitation, inheritance, taxation and welfare. Unfortunately, it will still restrict certain rights to heterosexual couples, such as the adoption of children. Full article
  14. The world's first humanoid robot with real artificial intelligence has given a TV presenter permission to kiss during a bizarre exchange on a live show in Ukraine. Sophia, a social robot developed by Hanson Robotics, was appearing on the Ukrainian morning show 'Breakfast with 1+1'. The talking robot whose appreance is based on Audrey Hepburn was accompanied by Ukrainian-American billionaire investor Mark Ginsburg. In the footage, Ukrainian TV presenter Ruslan Senichkin took the opportunity to hit on the lifelike robot and ask her for a kiss. Sophia took a few seconds to consider the proposal, before finally saying "yes" in English. Senichkin double checks that he can lean in for a kiss and Mark Ginsburg jokes: "She used to be such a decent girl, this is the first time I've seen her do something like this!" After kissing the robot, Senichkin said: "She is warm! Well, I think so!" He added: "I felt strange, but she seemed pleased." The TV host then mocked American actor Will Smith, who tried to kiss Sophia some time ago but she told him that she preferred to "stay friends". Full article
  15. Two Chinese American organizations protesting against Harvard University’s affirmative action policies ahead of its trial reportedly ended up in a physical altercation when one group allegedly prohibited the other to bring materials that support Donald Trump. The event, organized by the Chinese American Alliance (CAA), saw more than 300 Asian Americans call for an end on the university’s consideration of race in admissions, which allegedly favor Black and Hispanic over Asian applicants to maintain campus diversity. Chinese Americans for Trump (CAFT), a group of conservative volunteers, were permitted to join the event but only if participants left Trump-related paraphernalia at home, members told NextShark. Political commentator and CAFT member Kathy Zhu claimed the ban upset CAFT founder David Wang, who then ordered large banners to “protest within a protest.” “CAA said that CAFT could come, but they didn’t allow us to bring Trump-related hats and banners,” Zhu told NextShark. “David got upset that they did not allow our freedom of speech, so he ordered two 10×40 banners. We were all there for the same cause, but CAFT just supported the president within the cause.” According to CNN, the Trump administration has been separately criticizing Harvard’s affirmative action policies based on complaints of more than 60 Asian American groups. In late August, it backed the Students for Fair Admissions (SFA), the group conservative activist Edward Blum founded when he filed the case against Harvard in November 2014. “The record evidence demonstrates that Harvard’s race-based admissions process significantly disadvantages Asian-American applicants compared to applicants of other racial groups — including both white applicants and applicants from other racial minority groups,” the Department of Justice said in court papers. Full article