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  1. A Japanese firm has just unveiled a strange new blanket that resembles a favorite local noodle type. The Udon for Sleeping blanket, created by Kyoto-based Golden Field, aims to provide its users with a sound night’s sleep with the help of its gigantic noodle strands. As its name suggests, the tentacled sheet is inspired by the popular thick noodles from Japan. According to Soranews24, the company behind it knows a thing or two about comfortable sleeping as it also manages a massage parlor chain that specializes in sleep-inducing head massages. Setting out to create a blanket that promotes better sleeping had Golden Field considering a radical idea they came up with while the designers were out enjoying a meal. One of the designers was looking at a plate of udon noodles when the idea came to mind, that a grid of blanket “noodles” would allow better comfort and heat distribution than a solid rectangular blanket that simply locks one into a configuration. Full article
  2. A California man says he was beaten at a bar last week after a group of men confused him with a child predator sought by police. Kevin Martin, 34, told KTLA he was outside Slick's Billiards in Norco, a city roughly 50 miles east of Los Angeles, on Thursday night when two men approached him and accused Martin of being the person wanted by police for allegedly making sexual comments to an 11-year-old girl in Corona in May. A California man says he was beaten at a bar last week after a group of men confused him with a child predator sought by police. Kevin Martin, 34, told KTLA he was outside Slick's Billiards in Norco, a city roughly 50 miles east of Los Angeles, on Thursday night when two men approached him and accused Martin of being the person wanted by police for allegedly making sexual comments to an 11-year-old girl in Corona in May. The men allegedly strangled Martin and punched him at least 20 times, and Martin claims one of them told him "I kill people like this." The police department told Fox News on Monday Martin is not the man sought in the case from May. Martin even reportedly saw the similarities between his appearance and that of the suspect's — and commented on the department's social media post saying he looked similar to the man and wanted to clear his name, according to the news outlet. Full article
  3. An American beer company has earned criticism for naming a beverage after the location of a series of nuclear tests and human experiments that negatively affected the lives of many inhabitants of the Marshall Islands with claims they are “creating awareness” on the subject. The Bikini Atoll beer by the Texas-based Manhattan Project Beer Company was named after the massive coral reef in the Marshall Islands, which are located in the central Pacific Ocean. From 1946 to 1958, the United States conducted 67 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, displacing inhabitants and leaving many exposed to the resulting high levels of radiation years later. The U.S. conducted its largest-ever nuclear weapon test, code name Castle Bravo, at the Bikini Atoll in 1954. Due to an alleged error, the test resulted in an explosion that sent 15 megatons of nuclear energy into the atmosphere – more than 1,000 times as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb. While the inhabitants of the atoll were relocated before the bombs dropped in 1946, 160 Bikini islanders returned to live on the atoll in the late 1960s after they were reassured by the U.S. government that it was safe. It was not. Nearly 10 years later, scientists found an 11-fold increase in radioactive caesium-137 in the bodies of the inhabitants and determined that the island wasn’t actually safe at all. The 178 residents were evacuated in September 1978 once again. Once an area of a thriving community, the Bikini Atoll has become a dead group of islands that remain uninhabitable today. Many still alive today reportedly suffer from thyroid cancer and continue to share horrific stories of still births and deformed children born after the tests as a consequence of the radiation. Now, Marshall Islanders have called the company insensitive for naming the beer after one of the most devastating acts of environmental and cultural destruction in human history. “Nuclear testing is not something to joke about for Pacific Islanders. The United States, France, and the United Kingdom have used our islands – and our families – as test subjects,” one Pacific Islander wrote in an online petition. “Many have reached out to Manhattan Project Beer Company to express our collective disappointment. We have tried to explain how the naming of this beer after a human tragedy is insensitive at best. And we have been ignored. Our next recourse is to reach out to Manhattan Project Beer Company distributors to ask them to please stop selling Bikini Atoll beer.” In response to the growing criticism, the company published a statement on Twitter saying that its Bikini Atoll beer “was not created to mock or trivialize the nuclear testing that took place in the Marshall Islands.” “Throughout brand and naming, we are creating awareness of the wider impacts and implications of the United States’ nuclear research programs and the pivotal moment in world history that is often forgotten.” Full article
  4. Plenty of people complain about a meal going straight to their waistline, but one Florida man allegedly took things a bit too literally. Michael Owens, 61, was arrested after police say he tried to steal two packs of steaks from a Publix store in St. Augustine by shoving the meat down his pants, WFOX-TV reported. Owens was reportedly caught on surveillance footage allegedly grabbing two packs of rib-eye steaks — worth $56.36 — putting them in his pants and walking out of the store. A loss prevention officer who saw the alleged steak swipe apprehended Owens as he exited the store, according to the report. The 61-year-old told investigators he figured if he got caught, he would just be removed from the store, not arrested, officials said. The steaks were recovered but weren't allowed back on store shelves. Full article
  5. Greenland dismissed reports that U.S. President Donald Trump has thought about purchasing the world’s biggest island, saying it was “open for business, not for sale.” A report in the Wall Street Journal claimed that Trump has reportedly expressed interest in acquiring Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory, for the U.S. White House sources told the Journal that Trump asked his advisers about acquiring the island during “meetings, dinners, and passing conversations” because of Greenland's “abundant resources and geopolitical importance.” A Trump ally told the Associated Press on Thursday that Trump had discussed the purchase but was not serious about it. Greenland, however, said it’s not on the market. “We have a good cooperation with USA, and we see it as an expression of greater interest in investing in our country and the possibilities we offer,” the island’s government said on its website. “Of course, Greenland is not for sale.” The country’s foreign ministry insisted that it was “open for business, but not for sale.” “Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism,” the ministry said in a tweet Friday. “We’re open for business, not for sale.” Danish politicians on Friday poured scorn on the idea. "It has to be an April Fool's joke. Totally out of season," former prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen tweeted. Meanwhile, Soren Espersen, the foreign affairs spokesman for the Danish People's Party, told broadcaster DR: "If he is truly contemplating this, then this is final proof, that he has gone mad. The thought of Denmark selling 50,000 citizens to the United States is completely ridiculous." Former U.S. ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford, commented on Twitter, saying: "Oh dear lord. As someone who loves Greenland, has been there nine times to every corner and loves the people, this is a complete and total catastrophe." Still, it wouldn’t be the first time an American leader tried to buy the world’s largest island. In 1946, the U.S. proposed to pay Denmark $100 million to buy Greenland after flirting with the idea of swapping land in Alaska for strategic parts of the Arctic island. Full article
  6. An activist in Thailand is calling for change for an ailing 70-year-old elephant which is allegedly forced to work consecutive nights at a festival in Kandy, Sri Lanka despite her alarming condition. The female elephant named Tikiri is so frail that her handlers cover her ribs in a colorful costume before she is made to walk miles every night at a religious festival, according to Save Elephant Foundation founder Lek Chailert. “No one sees her bony body or her weakened condition, because of her costume,” noted Chailert on an Instagram post on Monday, coinciding with World Elephant Day. Chailert has claimed that Tikiri is among the 60 elephants forced to work for 10 consecutive nights at the Buddhist festival Esala Perahera, which features the decorated animals parading nightly so people can feel “blessed.” The festival, which includes performers such as dancers, jugglers, fire-breathers and musicians, is celebrated in loud noises that may be irritating and distracting for the animals. “Tikiri joins in the parade early every evening until late at night every night for ten consecutive nights, amidst the noise, the fireworks, and smoke,” Chailert wrote. “She walks many kilometers every night so that people will feel blessed during the ceremony.” Chailert revealed that the elephants are “short shackled” to force them to walk slowly through the noisy chaos of the night parade. “No one sees the tears in her eyes, injured by the bright lights that decorate her mask, no one sees her difficulty to step as her legs are short shackled while she walks. For a ceremony, all have the right to believe as long as that belief does not disturb or harm another.” Full article
  7. Proving that age is just a number, a persistent 71-year-old marathon runner broke the age-group world record in the half marathon after a brilliant performance at the recent Akron Half Marathon. Jeannie Rice, a grandmother from Mentor, Ohio, finally set a new half marathon world record on August 10 after multiple attempts in the past. Averaging 7:25-mile pace for 13.1 miles, Rice was able to secure the record by over 30 seconds on Saturday morning, in a performance currently pending ratification. Rice finished the Goodyear Half Marathon in Akron with a time of 1:37:07, beating the previous 70-plus women’s world record of 1:37:38 set by Lavinia Petrie of Australia back in 2014, reports Runner’s World. “I felt good and I just did it. It was great! I feel so excited,” Rice was quoted as saying. “I had the half marathon world record time so I could look at it every day so I could go for that, which is my goal, and now that I did that, I can put down my own record time and now I’ll go after that.” Rice, who has been running marathons for 35 years, also set the age-group world record for the full marathon with a time of 3:27:50 last year. “Last year, I broke the world record in Chicago Marathon,” she told Fox8. “My time was 3:27 plus change, I think 3:27:50 so I beat it by a little over 7 minutes.” Despite her age, Rice has never suffered any injury in any of the races she completed. She attributes her success to being lucky and blessed in avoiding injury. In preparation for the full Akron marathon in September, she is running 60 miles per week, four times her average weekly practice runs of 15 miles. A realtor by profession, Rice initially started running at the age of 35 in a bid to lose weight. With two world records under her name, she intends to keep going and try to break even more records. Rice will be making her first attempt to lower her age group world record at the Berlin Marathon on September 29. Full article
  8. The governor of Tanzania's largest city wants to create a database that tracks married men in the East African region in order to crack down on infidelity and "humiliating" women, he said this week. Women have been complaining that men are deceiving them by making false promises of marriage, Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Paul Makonda said at a news conference on Monday. "Our main aim is to relieve pain from these women who are suffering from these cheaters -- As a governor, I am not happy to lead women who are sad and heartbroken," Makonda said, according to The Daily Telegraph. "If possible, we will set up a database in the regional commissioner's office in each region that every man who promises a woman marriage, this should be registered in the database which will allow women to check to see whether the person asking is married," he explained. The government-run public database would include all married men's' names and photos, but other details of such a database -- including its legality -- remain unclear. "I have received a lot of complaints from young women. Many women from Dar es Salaam region have been deceived many times, and they have had enough," Makonda said, according to The Independent. "These charming men have been promising to marry them, then ditch the women after using them. This is something that is humiliating." "These cunning men have left many women nursing heartbreaks and emotional bruises," Makonda added. "You'll find a young man successfully wooing a woman, making her leave every other thing that she does and follows you, hoping that the man will marry her only to realize he is just using her." This would not be the first time Makonda has made a controversial suggestion. Last year he called for citizens to start reporting gay people in Tanzania, where same-sex relationships are illegal. Full article
  9. Researchers at a cybersecurity firm said fingerprint and facial recognition data was exposed at a major biometric company, saying the potential for “fraud is massive.” “This is a huge leak that endangers both the businesses and organizations involved, as well as their employees,” cybersecurity firm vpnMentor said in a blog post about the breach on BioStar 2, a biometric security platform built by Suprema, one of the world’s top security device and security system providers. Biometrics uses human features such as fingerprints and facial recognition for authenticating a person’s ID. “Facial recognition and fingerprint information cannot be changed. Once they are stolen, it can’t be undone,” vpnMentor said. Suprema’s BioStar 2 biometric technology is used widely. For example, it’s integrated into the AEOS access control system, used by more than 5,700 organizations in 83 countries, including some of the biggest multinational businesses, vpnMentor said in the post. The platform overall has over 1.5 million worldwide installations and all could be vulnerable to the leak, according to vpnMentor. And the total number affected “could be in the tens of millions,” the cybersecurity firm said. “Facial recognition and fingerprint information cannot be changed. Once they are stolen, it can’t be undone,” vpnMentor said. Full article
  10. Some passengers on a recent China Eastern Airlines flight witnessed a shocking scene midflight when they noticed that the metal covering of the plane’s wing had fallen off. Originally headed to Shanghai from New York City, the unfortunate travelers were forced to return to JFK International Airport on Monday due to the anomaly, Shanghaiist reports. The flight, which took off from JFK at 4:25 p.m., flew in circles to get rid of fuel before landing back in NYC at 7:25 p.m. It was made known later that several passengers who saw the damaged wing immediately informed the flight crew. At least one passenger was able to snap an image of the damaged wing and upload it onto social media. The exposed internals of the plane’s left wing can be clearly seen in the widely shared photograph. Flightradar24.com’s flight map shows the plane’s dizzying movement during the three-hour ordeal: Full article
  11. Commonly known as tear gas, the lachrymatory agent is a type of chemical weapon prohibited by various international treaties for use in warfare due to its harmful effects, such as severe eye and respiratory pain, skin irritation, bleeding and even blindness. Despite its damaging effects, however, tear gas somehow became an accepted tool against the civilian population for “riot control.” As the term “riot” can be loosely interpreted by any establishment to mean any form of civilian assembly, tear gas has been actively used to quell civilian protests and demonstrations worldwide. This could not be more evident in Hong Kong, where local authorities have fired around 1,000 rounds of tear gas against its own citizens over the course of nine weeks (from June 9 to August 4). On August 5, when protesters launched a strike that paralyzed the city’s main transport hubs, the police countered with an unforgiving 800 tear gas canisters in just one day, covering nearly every district in Hong Kong. Many of the protesters have learned to adapt and eventually been able to put out tear gas canisters by dousing the projectiles with water and covering them with objects such as traffic cones, metal dinner plates and wok lids. However, it is the ordinary residents (the children, elderly as well as pets) caught between activists and riot police, who are left helpless in dealing with the effects of the dangerous substance, according to Quartz. Oftentimes, residents in the areas where many of the protests take place are often caught unaware by the authorities’ use of tear gas. It’s also worth pointing out that since tear gas guns do not have a manual setting to adjust the range of fire, there is a large risk for non-targets as an incorrect aim usually sends the capsules away from the actual targets and into the surrounding area. In late July, riot police fired large amounts of tear gas at a protest staged in the suburban town of Yuen Long, an area with numerous elderly homes. Despite photo and video evidence indicating that some elderly people were affected by the tear gas attack, the police have claimed that none of them were harmed. Researchers from the University of Hong Kong have released a report on a police dispersal operation on July 28 that found that almost all journalists covering the area ended up suffering health implications such as residual respiratory symptoms, skin reactions, eye symptoms and gastrointestinal problems. Full article
  12. Ohio State University is seeking to trademark the word "The" when used in association with retail merchandise. The school submitted an application last week to the federal Patent and Trademark Office to trademark perhaps the most common word in the English language. The request was for "The Ohio State University" and would cover items such as T-shirts, baseball caps and hats, according to the application. Ohio State already has trademarked "Ohio." “Like other institutions, Ohio State works to vigorously protect the university’s brand and trademarks,” Chris Davey, a spokesman for the university, said in a statement to Fox News. "These assets hold significant value, which benefits our students and faculty and the broader community by supporting our core academic mission of teaching and research." The school has secured trademarks of football coaches in the past, including coaches Woody Hayes and Urban Meyer. Last fall, a university spokesperson said the school had 150 trademarks in 17 countries. In 2017, the school applied to trademark "OSU" on apparel, according to its application. Full article
  13. An 18-year-old Ohio man, who posted online about his support for mass shootings and desire to attack abortion clinics, was charged on Monday by federal prosecutors for also making a number of threats to kill law enforcement. According to the filed affidavit, investigators had been watching Justin Olsen’s activity on meme-sharing website iFunny since February, where he posted far-right content under the username ArmyOfChrist. The posts, which are still publicly available, reportedly rant against the LGBTQ community, immigrants, socialists, Planned Parenthood. They also call for the establishment of an “ethnostate.” Over the course of the following six months, the teen also expressed his admiration for “armed resistance” and domestic terrorists. On one occasion he praised the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, where 168 people died. Fascinated by cult leader David Koresh and the famous 1993 siege on his Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, Olsen said of the incident: “shoot every federal agent on sight.” The Ohio resident also wrote that he “could not wait to start stockpiling weapons” and, as his iFunny account grew more popular, encouraged his 5,000 subscribers to join his private Discord server. It was there that he made the remarks for which he was charged. Full article
  14. An Australian tourist was arrested in Bali, Indonesia after committing a slew of random, violent acts on the streets over the weekend. Nicholas Carr, 26, an apprentice builder from Adelaide, fly-kicked a motorcyclist before throwing himself at a moving car along Sunset Road in Kuta on Saturday morning. In a now-viral video, Carr can be seen fly-kicking the motorcyclist, who lands hard on the concrete road. He then throws himself at a moving car as locals continue to chase him. Albert Daniel Voggy Rifaldo Subratha, who filmed the video, told Detik that it took 10 people to subdue Carr with a hose. He was then taken to Kuta police for questioning, and later, the hospital for treatment. Carr sustained bruises and cuts and required stitches on his right arm. Meanwhile, the motorcyclist, identified as I Wayan Wirawan, suffered abrasions, bruises, and cuts, according to Brisbane Times. Speaking to 9News, Carr claimed that he had drunk too much prior to his rampage and apologized for causing trouble in Bali. “I was very drunk. I apologise, I don’t remember anything at all. I just want to apologise to everyone, to the victims, to the Bali people, to anyone affected by this at all.” Full article
  15. This is not the surprise guest you want on your special day. Authorities in Texas are asking the public for help identifying a woman who has been involved in a series of thefts at wedding venues over the past several months. The Comal County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook that the woman, dubbed "The Wedding Crasher," has been frequenting wedding events in Comal County and the surrounding area while "preying on unsuspecting families and friends." "The suspect arrives uninvited to weddings, poses as a guest and then steals the gifts," police said. Dani Schick, who got married on Aug. 3 at a venue near Spring Branch, Texas, told WOAI/KABB-TV that sometime during the ceremony a woman dropped by posing as a guest before leaving with a few gift cards meant for the bride and groom. ‘We were a little upset at first,” he told the television station. “I guess more so just surprised." Authorities have been investigating incidents involving the suspect since December, and said the woman usually takes off with gift cards, cash, and checks. Detective Scott Frakes with the Comal County Sheriff's Office told WOAI/KABB-TV that after a wedding in December was targeted, another incident was reported in January. Full article
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