Air Quality Alerts Residents in 15 States in U.S. due to Canadian Wildfires

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Health officials are urging people to stay inside or to cover face for outdoor exercise or working out on the open field. The Canadian wildfires has led to poor air quality in eastern U.S. in the recent days. Especially sensitive groups, such as children and elders with respiratory health issues have been urged not to stay outdoors and recommended to stay inside to limit their exposures. The poor air quality currently blankets at least 15 states from Vermont to South Carolina.

The New York City public system has cancelled outdoor activities in all public school due to hazardous air quality. New York City and Toronto currently are among the top 7 worst air qualities in Northeastern America.

According to @US_Stormwatch, Collin McCarthy said on his Twitter account, “The Eastern US and Central Canada are suffering through one of their worst wildfire smoke events in recorded history.” displays air quality in your area on the website when you put into your area zip code, and you can see their air quality indication number (AQI).

AQI number over 200 indicates air that is very unhealthy for outdoor activities. Virginia is currently rated between 189 to 200. Virginians ought to protect themselves adequately. AirNow is a partnership of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Centers for Disease Control, tribal, state, and local air quality agencies.

FAA grounded aircrafts at the New York LaGuardia airport due to poor air quality which made airplane operation difficult with such thick air pollution. Please remain safe.

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Former Russia Spy Robert Hanssen found dead in Prison Cell

A former FBI agent, Robert Hanssen (79) was found dead in his prison cell on Monday. Hanssen was a spy for Soviet and Russian intelligence service against the U.S. for 1979-2001. His espionage described by the DOJ (Department of Justice) is “Possibly the worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history and he sold many classified documents to the KGB that detailed U.S. strategies in the event of nuclear war developments in military weapons technologies and aspects of the U.S. counterintelligence program. He was a mole in the FBI and working for Russia with other double agent, Ames, Aldrich who was in the CIA.”

Hanssen was completely hidden and unknown even when Ames was arrested in 1994. The FBI paid $7 million to a KGB agent to obtain a file on the anonymous mole, and finally FBI was able to identify Hanssen through fingerprints and voice analysis.

Hanssen was arrested on February 18,2001, at Foxstone Park near his home, Vienna VA. He left classified materials at a dead drop site that led to his arrest. He was charged with selling U.S. intelligence documents to the Soviet Union and had obtained more than $1.4 million in cash and diamonds for the period of twenty-two years, according to the Chicago Tribune (April 21, 2002).

Hanssen pleaded guilty to fourteen counts of espionage and one of conspiracy to commit espionage charges resulting in life sentence without parole. Hanssen was found unresponsive at the federal correctional complex in Florence, CO and pronounced dead after life-saving measures were attempted. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) director of communications Kristie Breshears’ press release, “Staff requested emergency medical services and life-saving efforts continued. The inmate was subsequently pronounced dead by outside emergency medical personnel.”

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Preteen’ Crime Increases in DC as Evidenced by 11 Year Old’s Arrest

Carjackings are up 49% this year, after rising for the fifth straight year in 2022. As of May 16, 2023, The D.C. crime rate increased the most by preteens according to Preteen crime is seeing a significant increase with armed robberies, assaults, shoplifting along with carjackings.
Metropolitan police announced today that they arrested an 11-year-old boy for a series of robberies across Northwest D.C. The boy was arrested and charged on Saturday.

Police say the first incident happened on Sunday, May 21, around 3 p.m. in the 700 block of Lamont Street, Northwest. According to an incident report, a man was on his way home from riding his bicycle. The victim told police he placed his bike on his porch and went to open his door when one of the boys said, “I’m going to take the bike,” The victim said, “[No] you’re not,” and the boy pulled a gun from his fanny pack and pointed it at the victim. The victim ran inside his house and did not see which direction the boy went, according to WUSA9.

Police found two boys who came together as an accomplice through the surveillance video and investigated this incident and two other incidents (May 24, and May 26) after this. On May 24, at About 2:30 p.m., at the 700 block of Irving Street Northwest, an assault was reported, and the responding officers learned that two unknown suspects on bicycles approached a victim. The victim heard that one of the suspects said to the other, “Get him” and “Get that.” The victim pushed one of the suspects and ran away. While running away, the victim told the police officer they saw one of the suspects pointing a gun in their direction. The victim threw a rock at the two suspects, and they took off, the incident report says.

On May 26, a robbery was reported at the 400 block of Luray Place Northwest. A suspect approached a man in a car and said, “[Give] me your phone or I’ll shoot you.” The victim handed over his phone to the suspect and the suspect hand back the victim’s phone and demanded the victim’s car keys and phone. The suspect reached his fanny pack as if they were armed. The suspect got in the car but they couldn’t move it, threw the phone, and ran away.

On Saturday, Police arrested an 11-year-old boy for the crimes. He was charged with armed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, and robbery.

The D.C. government has been demanding that federal employees return back to work in D.C., but many employees who work from home are concerned with the high crime rates recently becoming more prevalent within the city borders. Could they return safely?

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Montana Bans Tik Tok

Montana Governor, Gregory Richard Gianforte signed the action of the “TikTok” ban for all residents in Montana today. “Today, Montana takes the most decisive action of any state to protect Montanans’ private data and sensitive personal information from being harvested by the Chinese Communist Party,” Gianforte said in a statement.

TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter didn’t like the decision that it is unlawful and violates the First Amendment rights. “We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue working to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana,” Oberwetter said in a statement.

Lawmakers, the FBI, and officials from other agencies are concerned about this video-sharing app, owned by ByteDance, as it could be used to access information about American citizens. FMR President Trump should be banned due to the use of TikTok could be the collection of personal information by the Chinese Government. President Biden said that TikTok should be sold to America or banned.
Now is the time for the big decision to be made by other states to ban or strong regulations against users. Governor Gianforte stated that TikTok posed a “significant risk” to sensitive state data. It will go into effect on June 1.
Many states follow strong regulations against users who are under the age of 18.

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Ukraine Shoots Down 29 of the 30 Russian Missiless

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Amid the G7 summit held in Japan, Russia fired 30 cruise missiles at all different places in Ukraine on Thursday, and 29 of them were intercepted by Ukraine’s air defense system,  according to AP. Russia claimed that its target was to U.S. Patriot missile system in Kyiv. The U.S. Patriot system was a little damaged but is still working in operation.

One hits the southern part of Odesa, leaving one killed and two injured. Putin threatened the U.K. for backing Ukraine and supports the long-range Storm Shadow missiles which have been successfully used in Ukraine. Russian forces are starting to retreat from the Bakhmut according to CNN.

Russian forces hit focused on the mining field of Bakhmut which was an important center for salt and gypsum mining in the Donetsk region and the most industrial mainstream of the country as known the Donbas. It is also a very important region between Ukraine and Russia in terms of being the stepping stone of Russian expansion toward Ukraine, with two important cities Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in the Donetsk region which are also the cultural, historical, and economic hubs of Ukraine.

“The Ukrainian military and Russia’s Wagner private army both reported further Russian retreats around the city of Bakhmut on Thursday, as Kyiv pressed on with its biggest advance for six months ahead of a planned counteroffensive,” Reuter said. Wegner group is on the front line of this war, how long does it stay in the war zone and how does Zelensky play with allies and get more weapons to repeal them from his country?

President Zelensky needs more missiles and jets to fight against Russia. The G7 Summit will likely seek more and stronger sanctions against Russia.

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DUI Driver Switches Seat with Dog After Police Stop

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A piece of news got the attention of viewers all over the world today, and in a way, its delightfulness helps us with a breather in an otherwise bleak world. This Colorado man made many people smile, and it went viral in many news outlets and media.

A driver in Colorado was pulled over by an officer and the driver was in fact intoxicated at the time of the incident. He quickly swapped his seat with his passenger-side pal, his dog, and he himself sat down passenger seat after being pulled over by the officer. He drove 52 mph in a 30 mph zone, according to CBS, The driver claimed that he was not driving the car.  He ran away from the officer, and he was apprehended 20 yards away from the scene at the end.

The man has two warrants for his arrest in Pueblo, Colorado, and was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, driving while ability impaired, driving under suspension, speeding 20-24 over, and resisting arrest. The incident happened at 11:30 p.m. last Saturday.

He was booked in the Baca County Jail after he was checked with an accompanying officer at the local hospital. His friend will take care of the dog while he is held behind bars in the meantime.

“The dog does not face any charges and was let go with just a warning,” they joked on the Facebook of the Springfield Police Department, Colorado. The department said that the investigation is ongoing and all parties are still innocent until proven guilty.

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WHO Says Don’t Take No-Sugar Sweetener

After the pandemic, many Americans have gained a few pounds of weight, especially those who work from home, which is the most significant change from a few years back. Of course, there are many factors that contribute to this weight gain.

Today, WHO released a new guideline on non-sugar sweeteners (NSS), which recommends against the use of NSS to control body weight or reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

WHO says the use of NSS does not confer any long-term benefit in reducing body fat in adults or children after its findings of a systematic review of the available pieces of evidence. Results of the review also suggest that there may be unfavorable effects from long-term use of NSS, like an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and mortalities in adults.

According to WHO, “Replacing free sugars with NSS does not help with weight control in the long term. People need to consider other ways to reduce free sugars [intakes], such as consuming food with naturally occurring sugars, like fruit, or unsweetened food and beverages,” says Francesco Branca, WHO Director for Nutrition and Food Safety. “NSS are not essential dietary factors and have no nutritional value. People should reduce the sweetness of the diet altogether, starting early in life, to improve their health.”

The most common NSS include acesulfame K, aspartame, advantage, cyclamates, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, stevia, and stevia derivatives. Some exception applies to personal care and hygiene products like toothpaste, skin cream, and medications or low-calorie sugars and sugar alcohols (polyols) which are sugars or sugar derivatives containing calories are not considered NSS.

The WHO guideline on NSS is for establishing lifelong healthy eating habits, improving dietary quality, and decreasing the unnecessary health risk of NCDs worldwide.

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Microbes may help Plastic Waste Management at Certain Temperature

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Plastic pollution is one of the biggest headaches on this planet, as it covers from the tip of mountains to the bottom of the ocean. Every day, more than 60 million plastic waste bottles are sent to landfill or incinerated, and 10 million bottles go to the sea. Many scientists from countries have been seeking solutions to the “Plastic Problem.”

Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research WSL recently discovered that we have some help. They buried pieces of plastic in the Alps and the Artic and found that certain temperatures may be key to solving the problem. The scientists posted the study and discovery at

In their studies, there are certain microbes in the Arctic and the Alps that eat up certain types of plastic left in their environment. Using microbes to break down plastics at as low as 59 degrees Fahrenheit is more cost-efficient compared with other microorganisms to eat up plastic at required temperatures of at least 86 degrees Fahrenheit to process.

As part of the research, Dr. Joel Rüthi from WSL and their team took samples of 34 types of microbes – 19 types of bacteria and 15 types of fungi – which were found growing on plastic that had been kept in the ground for one year in Greenland, Svalbard, and Switzerland. They then let these tiny organisms grow in darkness at temperatures of 15C in a laboratory before seeing if they would be able to break down plastic.

The plastics they tested included: Polyethylene (PE) – which is non-biodegradable – polyester-polyurethane (PUR) – which is biodegradable – as well as two other biodegradable plastic mixtures, polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT) and polylactic acid (PLA), according to BBC.

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The “Title 42” Ends Worrying US-Mexico Border Cities of Illegal Immigrants

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Migrants from South American countries to the southern border of the U.S. and Mexico are surging rapidly, due to the “Title 42 expulsion” (which is preventing communicable diseases spread to the US thus migrants from the southern borders are sent back to third countries instead of processing to legal entry to the US.) which ends on Thursday. Officially ending the pandemic by CDC, May 11, 2023, is a big day for the border crossing migrants. Like flooding water demolishes a dam with power, the influx of people from the southern border is expected to bring another disaster to many states, some warn.

During the pandemic, migrants from the southern border moved to NYC and Washington D.C. and showed cities as not having enough facilities to handle the migrants moved into such cities from Texas. D.C. Mayor Bowser cried out to the federal government to get aid for the migrants through buses sent by the Texas Governor, Greg Abbott.

Many criticize Texas Governor Abbott, however, just as many Americans are blaming the Biden administration for the immigration law since he took office, which has not differed much from the Trump administration. During the presidential election debate, Biden criticized Trump’s immigration policy as being ineffective.

US Customs and Border Protection has already seen an uptick in migrants crossing the border with Mexico, with more than 8,000 daily encounters, according to a Homeland Security official – a number that officials predict could reach 10,000 once Title 42 is lifted. There are around 25,000 migrants in custody, the official said, straining processing facilities that are already over capacity. “I think that there is no question that this is going to be extremely challenging,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Friday in Brownsville, Texas, according to CNN.

The end of “Title 42” means alternative immigration law reform will be needed to control or maintain the influx of people from the southern border to the US. Recently, the Biden administration sent 1,500 troops to the southern border, and lawmakers are seeking solutions for this “humanitarian war.” Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I- AZ) introduced a bipartisan bill to extend Title 42.

In the meantime, more than 700,000 people on the Mexico side border are going to seek a way to cross over into the U.S. border. Many Americans worry about the flooding of migrants from the southern countries to the US which might worsen living conditions for many of the low-income families already struggling under the current economic climate.

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“Persona non grata” between China and Canada

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly declared China’s diplomat Zhao Wei “persona non grata” (In Latin phrase for unwelcome person) and ordered her to leave Canada on Monday, May 9, 2023. China also ordered the removal of Jennifer Lynn Lalonde, Canada’s diplomat in its Shanghai Consulate in China as countermeasures on Tuesday, May 10, 2023. Both diplomats have 5 days to leave their respective countries.

The China diplomat Zhao Wei is accused of collecting Mr. Michael D. Chong (MP)’s family and relatives information in Hong Kong. Mr. Chong has criticized China’s Uyghur genocide in Xinjiang that abuses human rights. In 2020, Canada imposed sanctions against people in connection with the Uyghur genocide. In response, the People’s Republic of China government also imposed sanctions against Mr. Chong with countermeasures.

Canadian government imposed sanctions against many Russian officials after Russia went on invasion in Ukraine in 2022. Mr. Chong was sanctioned by the Russian government as a countermeasure.

“China reserves the right to further react,” Beijing said in a statement, according to BBC, “Diplomatic relations between the two countries have been strained since the detention of Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou, held in Canada on US fraud charges in 2018, and Beijing’s subsequent arrest of two Canadians on spying charges. All three were freed in 2021.” It seems China is abusing diplomatic tactics as retribution for what could be just human rights action from other nations.

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