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  1. A family from Phoenix, Arizona came up with an original way of punishing their 14-year-old son after he was caught by police speeding in the family car: they made him give away all his possessions. 14-year-old Angel Martinez’s parents were celebrating their anniversary in Las Vegas earlier this month when they received a call from police about their teenage son. He had taken the family’s Range Rover out for a spin and had disrupted the neighbors. The couple were forced to cut their anniversary celebration short and go home, but they made sure to let Angel know just how “happy” they were about it. They pretty much emptied the boy’s room, put all his stuff in the driveway and made him give it all away personally as punishment. “I just wanted to drive but I don’t have a license so I just took it,” Angel told Fox 10. “I can wash the car, and I was like I don’t have anything to dry it, so I’m gonna take it for one spin until it dries.” Only this wasn’t the first time he got in trouble in the past few months, so his parents decided he needed to be taught a lesson. They took out everything in his room, including the furniture set, the TV and his clothes, and put it right in the driveway in front of the house. Then they made Angel sit on the bed with a sign that read “Sorry I stole my parent’s car and was speeding”. “We got back to the house. Today, his room is 100% empty, and we’re giving all his stuff away,” Angel’s father, Ramon, confirmed. “Mostly to apologize. We’re neighbors as well. He could’ve run someone over. Something really bad could’ve happened.” FULL ARTICLE
  2. THE end of the world is coming, according to apocalypse forecasters who believe we are "living on borrowed time" Several signs are merging to show that the end of the world is near, according to certain conspiracy theorists. The signs have been there since Israel was established in 1948 following the Second World War. Israel is considered to be the Holy Land, and once it was re-established following WW2 to act as a safe space for Jewish people, it was only a matter of time before the apocalypse began, according to a crackpot conspiracy theory. Website End Times Prophecy Watch said: "The first is the re-establishment of the state of Israel which occurred on May 14, 1948. Jesus singled out this event as the one that would signal His soon return. "His prophecy is contained in the fig tree parable (Matthew 24:32-35) which He presented in His Olivet Discourse. "The day before He delivered this speech, He had put a curse on a barren fig tree, causing it to wither (Matthew 21:18-19). "This was a symbolic prophecy that God would soon pour out His wrath upon the Jewish people because of their spiritual barrenness in rejecting His Son. "The next day Jesus reminded His disciples of the fig tree. He said to watch for it to bloom again. "In other words, He said watch for the rebirth of Israel. He indicated that when the fig tree blooms again, He would be at the gates of Heaven, ready to return (Matthew 24:33). "Equally significant, He added an interesting observation: 'Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place" (Matthew 24:34). What generation? The generation that sees the fig tree blossom. "We are that generation. The fig tree has blossomed. Jesus is at the gates. There is no way to escape the conclusion that we are living on borrowed time. "The signs of the times are upon us, and they are shouting for our attention." However, fear not, as any scientist would tell you the apocalypse is not around the corner, and end of the world predictions have been happening for centuries - none of which have happened. FULL ARTICLE
  3. Scientists in Paraguay have been investigating how one side of the divided Cerro Lagoon turned purple and began emitting a foul odor months ago, while the other side has remained blue. The lagoon, which flows in the city of Limpio, about 10 miles northeast of the capital Asunción, was split so an embankment and roadway carrying trucks between local factories could be built. Residents noticed that when one side changed color several months ago, the lagoon’s fish and birds began dying. They alerted local environmental authorities to investigate. “Three months ago, all the fish died in the lagoon, thousands and thousands of them,” resident Herminia Meza told the Associated Press. “The smell was unbearable, and we were overwhelmed by flies. About a month ago the herons died, and it turned a reddish color.” Experts suspect pollution from the Waltrading SA tannery on the banks of the lagoon to be the cause. Francisco Ferreira, a technician at the National University Multidisciplinary Lab who took samples, said Wednesday the color of the water is due to the presence of heavy metals like chromium, commonly used in the tanning of animal skins to produce leather. Rosa Morel, an inspector with the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, told local news outlet ABC that “it is definitely the tannery that pollutes.” During a previous visit, experts found a pipe presumably connected to the tannery dumping untreated waste into the lagoon, Morel said. She said authorities are demanding the company build a treatment plant for the waste. FULL ARTICLE
  4. A frozen formation spotted among icebergs between New Zealand and Antarctica appearing to resemble a ship has been shared on YouTube, sparking conspiracy theories from viewers. A Google Earth user who spotted a 428ft 'ice ship' trapped 100 miles off the coast of Antarctica has sparked conspiracy theories of a 'cover up'. YouTuber MrMBB333, who refers to himself as the 'Earth Watchman', posts videos on 'changes' in the universe and what he believes is causing them. One of his viewers sent in the coordinates of an area laying between Antarctica and New Zealand, where they claim to have found a huge ship frozen between icebergs. As he zooms in on the map in a 3D view, one of the areas of ice begins to resemble the shape of a ship, appearing to show a hull, main deck area and chimneys above. If it really is a ship as many others believe, it would mean it has been turned onto its side in the water surrounded by huge formations of ice - and sizing up at 428ft using the Google Earth measuring tool, it would take a monumental effort to free it. Inspecting the discovery, MrMBB333 comments: "It looks like the outline of a ship, and this one here measures over 400ft long. "Whatever that is, it looks like a ship, an ice ship, whatever you want to call it. That's what it looks like. "A 400ft yacht just sitting there off the coast of Antarctica right in this area here, just beneath New Zealand." Some viewers believe the continent holds secrets being kept from us, as one wrote: "I want to why politicians, old astronauts, and religious leaders were invited to Antarctica and the whole world still doesn't know. Makes me ANGRY!" Another accused government agencies of covering up knowledge of extra-terrestrial life, commenting: "Their arrogance will eventually be their downfall when the aliens themselves decide to reveal themselves without any approvals from world governments." FULL ARTICLE
  5. A Lebanese couple was in the middle of a wedding celebration when the massive explosion rocked Beirut, Lebanon on Tuesday. Thankful to be alive: Israa Seblani, a 29-year-old newlywed, was posing for her wedding photos when a video of the shoot captured the deafening roar from the explosion. The footage meant to celebrate Seblani’s marriage to 34-year-old businessman Ahmad Subeih, also captured the shocking moment of the blast. Seblani, who works as a doctor in the United States, arrived in the city a few weeks ago for her wedding, responded to the explosion by helping to check on the injured in her area. Mahmoud Nakib, the cameraman for the wedding, captured the scenes as the couple rushed into a side street. Soon after the blast, the couple tried to carry on with their celebrations. “My husband told me to continue, we can’t stop. I was like okay, why not, we continue. I was not living the moment actually, I was, like walking, my face was smiling, my lips were smiling, that’s it, not more. Then we went to have dinner.” In an interview with Reuters, the couple narrated how the incident affected them the next day. “I have been preparing for my big day for two weeks and I was so happy like all other girls, ‘I am getting married’. My parents are going to be happy seeing me in a white dress, I will be looking like a princess,” Seblani was quoted as saying. The experience was terrifying for both who thought the explosion might kill them at the time. “I was shocked, I was wondering what happened, am I going to die? How am I going to die?” she added. Subeih, who is now waiting for his visa so he can live with his new wife in the U.S., says he was reminded of the confusion surrounding the blast. “We started to walk around and it was extremely sad, it was not describable by the devastation and the sound of the explosion,” he said.“We are still in shock … I have never heard anything similar to the sound of this explosion.” “There is a lot of damage, many people were killed and wounded. But also if I want to look at us, myself, my husband, the photographer – how we escaped unharmed, I thank God for protecting us,” she said. “This alone makes me feel optimistic and to keep the joy of the occasion that I came here to celebrate.” Terrible tragedy: The explosion, which reportedly originated at a warehouse in a port in Beirut, has a current death toll of more than 130 and the number of injuries at 5,000. According to Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab, the blast was caused by 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate that have been kept unsecured in a warehouse for about six years. FULL ARTICLE
  6. The Facebook chief executive and co-founder joins the "Centibillionaire Club", which already includes Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. Mark Zuckerberg has seen his personal wealth hit $100bn (£76bn), 16 years after he co-founded Facebook from his university dorm room. He joins Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Microsoft's Bill Gates in the "Centibillionaire Club". The latest boost to Zuckerberg's wealth came after Facebook launched a new short-form video feature on Wednesday. Instagram Reels is a rival to Chinese app TikTok and it prompted Facebook shares to jump more than 6% on Thursday, having risen by almost 30% this year. Mr Zuckerberg owns 13% of Facebook and the social media platform owns Instagram. The 36-year-old's personal wealth has gained about $22bn (£16.8bn) this year, while Mr Bezos's has grown by more than $75bn (£57bn), according to Bloomberg. FULL ARTICLE
  7. Is this Texas’ Dad of the Year? A League City father helped his children and a babysitter escape unharmed after being confronted in their backyard by a nearly 12-foot- long alligator weighing about 600 pounds. “It was a beast,” Andrew Grande told the Houston Chronicle. “I had a gut feeling it wanted my daughter as a snack.” Grande says he was inside his home on July 24 when first he spotted the massive reptile rising out of a canal behind the property. When the alligator came within three feet of his children and the babysitter – who were playing in the backyard – he rushed them behind a gate for protection, the Houston Chronicle reported Grande then said he made several phone calls for help before an alligator hunter showed up at the scene. “As he was getting the noose ready for the alligator, it came towards him,” Grande told the newspaper. “The gator took a chomp at the noose and was caught. Then, the battle began.” After a half-hour of trying to contain the reptile, that hunter called in Texas game wardens for help. Several people living in the neighborhood also reportedly joined in on the effort. Eventually, it took seven people, two poles, rope and several pieces of plywood to capture and remove the alligator from the canal, the Chronicle reported. “It was three hours to get the gator out of the water because it was so big and powerful,” Grande told the newspaper. “It kept flipping and flopping and turning.” The alligator has now been given a new home at an alligator theme park in Beaumont. “They were happy to have the alligator because they lost all of theirs during Hurricane Harvey," Grande said. "I was happy to have it out of my backyard." FULL ARTICLE
  8. A baby stunned doctors when it was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck six times- but was given a clean bill of health. The medical marvel saw the infant born naturally but with the cord wrapped tightly around it's neck like a snake. It's not unusual for the umbilical cord to be wrapped round a newborn tot, but six times - without consequences - is unheard of. One doctor said they had never seen anything like it in 23 years. Neither the mum nor her newborn suffered any medical consequences after medics managed to cut the umbilical cord free. The wonder took place at the Yichang Central Hospital in the city of Yichang, in western China’s Hubei province, and was only revealed to the world after it was confirmed that the miracle tot was given a full clean bill of health. Li Haur, director of obstetrics, told reporters: "I have been working for 23 years, and this is the first time I have seen an umbilical cord wrapped around a baby’s neck like this." The doctor remarked how the umbilical cord round the baby's neck resembled a piece of ethnic neck jewellery. She said the baby suffered no serious consequences after it was removed from their neck. She said: "To find the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck is not uncommon and if it’s long enough, will usually not cause problems." Doctors had identified a problem with the umbilical cord wrapped round the baby's neck when it was in the womb. But they had no idea that it was wrapped round half a dozen times. They had been able to prepare for what they were about to witness due to a detailed prenatal examination. FULL ARTICLE
  9. A cat trained to smuggle drugs made a daring escape from its detention at a high-security prison in Sri Lanka. The cat was captured after being detected by jail intelligence officials on Saturday inside Welikada Prison, according to The Telegraph. Officials discovered two grams of heroin, two SIM cards and a memory chip hidden inside a plastic bag in its collar. Authorities believe the cat is owned by a group of drug traffickers that use animals to smuggle drugs and other illegal goods inside prisons, The Daily Beast reported. They also believe the group is part of a cartel that was caught using an eagle to smuggle drugs in one of Sri Lanka’s capitals, Colombo, last week. Police took the cat into custody in the hopes that it could lead them to the smugglers. However, the feline managed to escape from its holding room and through a fence after the guards went to feed it on Sunday. Police said they did not search for the cat after its successful escape. FULL ARTICLE
  10. It's hoped the drug could prevent the virus from developing or greatly reduce chances of hospitalisation if taken early. Hydroxychloroquine should not be "ruled out" as prevention for coronavirus, according to researchers studying its effectiveness. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly suggested the antimalarial drug can fight COVID-19 despite mounting scientific evidence that it can not and may be harmful. The nation's top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci highlighted clinical studies concluding the drug is not effective in treating COVID-19 - including ones commissioned by the World Health Organisation and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). While acknowledging the drug has been ruled out as a treatment, a University of Oxford-led study is examining its effectiveness for prevention. The Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) has enrolled 40,000 frontline workers in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America who will receive either chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine or a placebo. It's hoped the double-blind, randomised study will reveal if hydroxychloroquine can prevent the virus from developing or greatly reduce chances of hospitalisation if taken soonafter infection. FULL ARTICLE
  11. Facebook says it is the first time it has removed a Trump post for coronavirus "misinformation". Facebook has deleted a post by Donald Trump - which said children are "almost immune" from the coronavirus - for breaking its misinformation rules on the subject. Twitter also temporarily froze his official campaign account @TeamTrump until the same clip was removed. The offending posts contained a Fox News video in which Mr Trump made the claim during a phone interview on Wednesday. Facebook said it included "false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation". "My view is that schools should be open," Trump said during his appearance on Fox and Friends. "If you look at children, children are almost - and I would almost say definitely - but almost immune from this disease." He added that they "just don't have a problem" and have "much stronger immune systems". Trump campaign spokeswoman Courtney Parella attacked the social media companies and said the president was speaking the truth. "The president was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus," said a statement. "Another day, another display of Silicon Valley's flagrant bias against this president, where the rules are only enforced in one direction. Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth." While children are believed to be less likely to become infected than adults and suffer milder symptoms, "virtually immune" is misleading. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention published a study in April, involving 2,500 children, which found about one in five needed hospital treatment compared with one in three adults. A global review of dozens of studies also said children's role in transmission was unclear but that "it seems likely they do not play a significant role". "COVID-19 appears to affect children less often, and with less severity, including frequent asymptomatic or subclinical infection," concluded the study - done in partnership with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Twitter previously decided a tweet in March by Tesla boss Elon Musk - in which he said "kids are essentially immune" from the virus - did not break its rules and left it up. Mr Trump later repeated his opinion at a White House briefing on Wednesday - but in slightly less robust terms. "Children handle it very well," he told reporters. "If you look at the numbers, in terms of mortality, fatalities... for children under a certain age... their immune systems are very, very strong and very powerful. "They seem to be able to handle it very well and that's according to every statistical claim." Facebook said it had removed a post by Donald Trump before, but that it was the first time it had done so due to coronavirus misinformation specifically. FULL ARTICLE
  12. A 51-year-old Ukrainian woman was recently arrested after it was discovered that she had been digging an underground tunnel near the walls of a prison, with the intention of helping her convicted son to escape. The unnamed woman reportedly hails from the Ukrainian city of Nikolaev and had rented a house near the prison where her son was serving a life sentence for murder. Every night, she drove a silent electric scooter to an empty field near the Zaporizhia maximum security prison and used rudimentary tools to dig a 10-foot-deep tunnel toward the penal colony. She worked only during the night, using an improvised trolley to take the dirt out of the narrow tunnel. She had been working for at least three weeks and had almost reached the prison walls when she was discovered and arrested. The loving mother allegedly stayed inside the rented house during the day, and only came out at night, as to avoid attracting attention or later being identified by the locals. That part of her plan actually worked, as when showed pictures of the woman following her arrest, none of the neighbors recognized her. According to Ukrainian media, at the time of her arrest, the woman had managed to single-handedly dig a 35-foot-long tunnel at a depth of about 10 feet, which even police admitted was pretty impressive. She reportedly carried the dirt near an abandoned garage, close to where the dig site was located. During the three weeks of work, she managed to move three tons of soil. It’s unclear how the woman was eventually caught, but local news sources reported that digging tools were also found inside the rented house and the mother admitted her guilt, adding that she was only trying to break out her son. She has been taking into custody and now risks spending time behind bars. Despite technically committing a crime, the dairing woman’s actions have earned her praises from the Ukrainian public. FULL ARTICLE
  13. A dog that got lost in the streets of Bangkok managed to find its way home after sniffing his way to his vet to ask for help. Khiew Ngern, a four-month-old mixed black bull terrier, wandered off while his owner was working at the Bai Mai Kitchen restaurant on July 7. The pup spent over six hours sniffing around the city until he reached what may be the second-most familiar location to his knowledge: his vet. In a now-viral video, Khiew can be seen lurking around Phuttaraksa Animal Clinic in apparent hopes of catching someone’s attention from the inside. Khiew paced restlessly at the entrance to the clinic. At one point, he seemed visibly eager to enter the premises as some clients exited the door. Eventually, the doctor’s assistant took notice of Khiew and let him inside. They then contacted his owner and the two were reunited. The video of Khiew’s “knocking” has received nearly 800,000 views since its posting on Facebook. FULL ARTICLE
  14. More than 2,700 tonnes of the fertiliser, stored in a warehouse since 2014, is thought to have caused the explosion. If, as seems to be the case, the Beirut explosion was caused by thousands of tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse, the blast demonstrates the deadly potential of this common agricultural chemical. What is ammonium nitrate? With the chemical formula NH4NO3, ammonium nitrate is a naturally occurring, highly soluble white crystalline solid, more commonly known as saltpetre. The largest deposits are found in the Atacama Desert in Chile, from where it was mined. These days almost 100% of the chemical that is used is synthetic, produced by reacting ammonia with nitric acid. What is it used for? Ammonium nitrate is predominantly used in agriculture as a high-nitrogen fertiliser. It's relatively stable under most conditions and is inexpensive to manufacture, making the chemical a popular alternative to other, more expensive nitrogen sources. It is also a key component of ANFO, (ammonium nitrate/fuel oil), an industrial explosive used in mining, quarrying, and civil construction and accounting for 80% of all the industrial explosives used in US. By itself, ammonium nitrate is not regarded as particularly volatile or dangerous, but under certain conditions it can be deadly. Most countries have regulations controlling its storage to make sure it is safe. What makes ammonium nitrate explode? Particular sets of circumstances are needed to turn ammonium nitrate from a stable compound into an explosive, without any fuel or external catalyst. It is classified as an "energetic material", one that produces heat as it decomposes, similar to the way heat is generated by rotting material in a compost heap. If there is sufficient quantity of ammonium nitrate, it can generate enough heat to catch fire and keep the fire going, without the need for an external catalyst such as a flame. As it burns, ammonium nitrate goes through chemical changes that lead to the production of oxygen, precisely what a fire needs to keep going and get bigger. As it heats up the chemical can fuse together, creating a seal or plug. The space behind the plug keeps on being heated and gases form. Hot gas expands, but, behind the plug, it has nowhere to go. Eventually, the gas will break through the seal and the force of that will trigger an explosion. Fertiliser bombs, the terrorist's weapon of choice Because of its low cost and ready availability, fertiliser has been used to make bombs. The ammonium nitrate is like the engine behind the explosion, but it also requires a detonator and fuel. The first thing that happens during a fertiliser bomb blast is the explosion of the detonator. The energy of the detonation wave causes the ammonium nitrate to vaporise - becoming a gas in an instant. The ammonium and nitrate molecules break down, and a large amount of oxygen gas is suddenly formed. The gas released from the decomposing fertiliser is what drives the explosion. The rapid release of oxygen, along with the energy from the detonation wave, ignites the fuel. When the liquid fuel ignites, it rapidly combusts, and even more gas is released. Fertiliser bomb attacks :: The Baltic Exchange building in the City of London was hit by a one-tonne fertiliser bomb planted by the IRA in April 1992. The blast in St Mary Axe killed three people, including a 15-year-old girl. :: Bishopsgate in the City of London was hit with a one-tonne fertiliser bomb by the Provisional IRA in April 1993. One person died and 40 were injured. The bomb - hidden in a tipper truck - left a crater 40ft wide and 20ft deep. FULL ARTICLE
  15. A 42-year-old Florida man managed to dupe dealership staff into letting him drive off in a $140,000 Porsche 911 in exchange for a fake check he had printed on his home computer. Casey William Kelley walked into a Porsche dealership in Destin, Okaloosa County on July 27 and managed to drive off with a brand new, white Porsche 911 sports car. The really impressive thing about that is he only traded a useless piece of paper for it. Kelley had reportedly printed the check for $139,203.05 on his home printer, but staff let him take the car without waiting to see if the check cleared. They must have fallen for the conman’s confident attitude, as he was so proud of himself that he even asked staff to take a picture of him with the car before driving away. The police report obtained by local media showed that the amateur conman didn’t stop at a Porsche 911. After seeing that his method work, he went back home, printed another check for $61,521 and used it at a jeweler in Miramar Beach the next day. Only this time, the owner didn’t let him walk out with the three Rolex watches he had bought until he cashed the check. By the time the jeweler reported the check as fake, the Porsche dealership in Destin had figured that out as well, and Kelley had already been arrested for the first incident. He was taken into custody on Wednesday, July 28, and into the Walton County Jail on a charge of grand theft of a motor vehicle and a charge of fraud. Interestingly, the Florida conman claimed he didn’t understand what he had done wrong. FULL ARTICLE
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