Meat from horses used in laboratory procedures was illegally sold as fit for human consumption and landed on French dinner tables, authorities said Monday. Police, food safety and veterinary investigators carried out pre-dawn raids in 11 regions around southern France, arresting 21 people. The complex case raised new concerns about how this country, with its rich culinary reputation, polices its food supply. read more
When this story is published, Aliaa Elmahdy will have wiped away the traces of her former life and will be living in a location unknown to us. She will continue to flee and fear the day when one of the men from her native Egypt tracks her down and stands in front of her to take her back.
For the last two years, 22-year-old Egyptian Aliaa Magda al-Elmahdy has been a hunted woman because she used the delayed-action shutter release of her digital camera to take a photo of herself, which she then posted online. She is only wearing stockings and shoes in the photo. read more
One of our supporters notified us that The Advocate (an LGBT publication) has named Pope Francis Person of the Year. The LGBT community has a special appreciation for the Pope because he has emphasized the dignity of each person and insisted that it is not possible to devalue another human being based on our understanding of that person's sins. read more
The musician Roger Waters of Pink Floyd has given an interview to Counterpunch in which he calls Israel a "racist apartheid regime" and said he'll never perform a concert there. "I would not have played in Berlin either ... during the second World War," he said. "The right wing rabbinate is so bizarre. They believe that everybody that is not a Jew is only on earth to serve them and the Indigenous people of the region that they kicked off the land in 1948 ... since they are sub-human. The parallels with what went on in the 30's in Germany are so crushingly obvious." American rabbi Shmuley Boteach responds in a New York Observer commentary, "I've read some heavy-duty attacks on Israel and Jews in my time, but they pale beside the anti-Semitic diatribe recently offered by Roger Waters." read more
U.S. geneticists say a second code hiding within DNA changes how scientists read its instructions and interpret mutations to make sense of health and disease. Since the genetic code was deciphered in the 1960s, scientists have assumed it was used exclusively to write information about proteins, but University of Washington scientists say they've discovered genomes use the genetic code to write two separate "languages." "For over 40 years we have assumed that DNA changes affecting the genetic code solely impact how proteins are made," University of Washington genome sciences professor John Stamatoyannopoulos said. "Now we know that this basic assumption about reading the human genome missed half of the picture. These new findings highlight that DNA is an incredibly powerful information storage device, which nature has fully exploited in unexpected ways." read more