An Indian Father is Trying to Ban Junk Food from Schools

junk food

An Indian father filled a lawsuit that looks to ban junk food, fast food, and soft drinks in schools.

Fast food and junk food are big problems nowadays as both adults and children are overweight or obese. This latter is linked to other health problems that could even lead to death. As it is, in India, a father decided to make a difference.

Junk Food to Get Banned from Schools?

Rahul Verma has a son who was born with digestive problems. This is why he visited the endocrinologist office very often.

In doing so, he noticed that doctors are facing a great problem: dealing with obesity and diabetes in teenagers and children. Junk food is considered one if not the primary risk factor for these issues.

The bigger problem here is that Indians are more likely to develop diabetes compared to other people around the world, according to reports.

People living in India need to be more careful with their diet and try to exclude junk food. While adults might be able to control themselves better, kids are more likely to choose fast food. One day, while he was waiting at the doctor, the Indian father decided that he needed to do something about this.

Verma mentioned that there are children born with illnesses which have a hard time all their lives and there are healthy ones who become ill due to specific factors, including inappropriate food choices.

The man decided to draft a petition to stop junk food from being sold in schools and near them. This way, he believes, it would be easier for parents to control what their children eat.

In 2010, he filed a lawsuit at the Delhi High Court. Verma wants to ban all junk food, fast food, and soft drinks around and in all schools in India.

Reports show that the rate of children and adults in India who are obese or overweight has increased to 18.8% compared to 6.4% in 1990. Some believe that junk food is not the problem and they instead place the blame on overeating. Experts mentioned that this might be caused by some of the ingredients they contain.

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North Korea Is Reportedly Tipping Their Ballistic Missiles With Anthrax

A White House report claims that North Korea is currently testing possible ways to load anthrax onto its ICBMs

A White House report claims that North Korea is currently testing possible ways of loading load anthrax onto its ICBMs

The White House released on Monday a report in which they state that North Korea is trying to upgrade its intercontinental ballistic missiles with biological weapons.

“North Korea- a country that starves its own people-has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that could threaten our homeland,” the document said.

This announcement seems to echo a similar claim from a South Korean intelligence source claiming that Pyongyang has tested loading anthrax onto its ICBMs.

Both South Korea and the U.S. have carried out joint military drills within a biological attack scenario. In addition, a Japanese newspaper states that U.S. troop stationed in South Korea have been vaccinated against anthrax for more than ten years.

The same newspaper claims that North Korea is currently conducting heat and pressure tests to see if the anthrax bacteria can survive the potential journey overseas. More so, Pyongyang has focused on making the anthrax bacteria resistant to re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, as the heat that would arise from the missile’s speed and altitude would be over 7 thousand degrees Celsius.

According to the report, North Korea has focused on adding biological weapons to its arsenal mainly because the nation is not yet confident that they have a nuclear warhead that could reach American soil.

Missile expert, Vipin Narang, has dismissed North Korea’s newest addition expressing skepticism about the bacteria surviving re-entry into the atmosphere.

As for North Korea’s version of the events, the nation has vehemently denied the White House report claiming that America has been trying to stir up a conflict ever since Donald Trump was elected president.

President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un have been at odds both on the global stage as well as on social media, at least from Trump’s part. While Trump has antagonized the dictator calling him a “little rocket man”, Kim Jong Un has recently called the president a “coward” and sentenced him to death.

Image Source: Defense.gov

Oscar Pistorius To Stay a Little Longer in Prison

Oscar Pistorius on the sprint track

Oscar Pistorius’ sentence is now at 13 years and 5 months.

On Friday, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal doubled the sentence of South African sprint runner and convicted murderer, Oscar Pistorius. The Olympic athlete is now sentenced to thirteen years and five months in prison.

The former Olympic and Paralympic athlete killed Steenkamp at his home on Valentine’s Day in 2013. Pistorius shot Steenkamp four times through a closed toilet cubicle door with his 9 mm pistol. He alleged the act to have been an accident after he mistook her for an intruder. However, the prosecution called it a deliberate act after the two had an argument.

Pistorius was sentenced in 2015 to six years in prison following the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. While originally convicted of manslaughter in 2014, his conviction was overturned and changed to murder.  The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years. However, this can be lowered by individual judges if they are presented with compelling reasons to do so.

The Supreme Court called the initial sentence “shockingly lenient” as it would have granted Pistorius parole in mid-2019.

“the sentence of six years’ imprisonment is shockingly lenient to a point where it has the effect of trivializing this serious offense.” Reads the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Under the new sentence, the double-amputee runner will be eligible for parole in 2023.

Pistorius was a multiple Paralympic champion and the first amputee athlete to run at the Olympics. He was nicknamed as the “Blade Runner” due to his carbon-fiber prosthetic legs.

A spokeswoman for Steenkamp’s parents said the new sentence was “justice for Reeva” and hopes that “this is the end of the road and that everyone can move forward.”

Supreme Court Justice, Willie Seriti, noted Pistorius’ failure to convince him and his peers saying that the athlete “does not appreciate the gravity of his actions”.

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The Death of Stalin Might Cause Nationalist Uproars in Russia

Joseph Stalin sitting at a desk in March 1935

The Death of Stalin wasn’t as popular with the Russian audience as it was with the Western one

Armando Ianucci’s movie The Death of Stalin was regarded by many as the film of the year, attracting a lot of positive reviews and causing great entertainment among the western audience. However, it didn’t have the same effect in Russia. People were afraid to reopen a heated debate on the role Stalin played in the Russian society, so nobody found the film half as amusing.

The movie is a dark satire on Post-Stalinist Russia

The Death of Stalin documents the political situation of Russia soon after the death of the communist leader in 1953. Steve Buscemi plays the main character, Nikita Khrushchev, who was the successor of Stalin, while another important role is embodied by Simon Russell-Beale.

This other character is no other than the cruel chief of secret police, Lavrentiy Beria. Despite the dark tone of the character and the entire movie, Beria is often made fun of, contributing to the entire comedic twist of the production. This is precisely what made the movie so highly acclaimed among the western critics and watchers.

Russian nationalists say the movie is an offense

However, the Russians found nothing entertaining in the movie. In fact, it might have threatened to reopen a spicy problem in the Russian society, especially with this year’s celebration of 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution. Nikolai Starikov, a Russian history writer and party leader, didn’t have any kind words to say about the movie.

“The death of any person is not a subject for comedy, and even more so the death of a head of state and a great leader.”

Starikov leads a nationalist party, and is a great supporter of Stalin. He wrote many books on the history of Russia, and most of them presented Stalin as a great leader of the people. The man regarded this movie as offensive, and a hostile act coming from the former allies of Stalin.

As a result, The Death of Stalin hasn’t yet received a license to be displayed across Russia. A representative of the country’s Ministry of Culture said she couldn’t tell if the movie would be banned, but a future screening might lead to unwanted reactions from the nationalists.


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Egyptian People Arrested After Waving Rainbow Flags During a Concert

People waving rainbow flags at a parade

Seven people who waved rainbow flags during a concert in Egypt got arrested

Last week, seven Egyptian people decided to raise some rainbow flags during a concert in Cairo. This turned out to be a bad decision, as the police decided to detain them for promoting ‘unnatural’ sexual behaviors. These people are currently under arrest, but they haven’t received an official accusation yet.

People waved rainbow flags for a gay artist

The Egyptian police came into the possession of some images taken during the concert of Mashrou’ Leila. The band’s singer, who is coming from Lebanon, is really open about his sexuality, and does not refrain from admitting he’s gay. Therefore, some fans decided to support him, and wave several rainbow flags during their concert in Cairo.

However, Egypt is not the right place to promote homosexuality. Although it is not strictly forbidden by law, gay people often avoid being open about their sexual orientation. If the police suspect some people of engaging on this kind of sexual relationships, they don’t hesitate to accuse them of immoral behavior or blasphemy, and arrest them.

Police always intervenes in open homosexuality cases

Therefore, in a conservative regime like the one in Egypt, waving a few rainbow flags is a rare instance of support for the LGBT communities. Unfortunately, it is also an act which attracts attention and, automatically, police intervention.

The rainbow flag images ended up on social media, where they reached the eyes of several politicians. This led to them openly blaming them, and report the act to the authorities. Now, apart from arresting the people responsible with waving the rainbow flags, they want to ban the band from ever playing in Egypt again.

On the other side of the conflict, the LGBT supporters blame the attitude of the authorities. Although they saw this act as a direct attack on the country’s traditions, the feminist writer Mona Eltahawy finds it a bit extreme to arrest someone for waving rainbow flags. Also, arresting people for having a certain sexual orientation is a bit extreme.
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18 Years-Old Girl Dies From Snakebite While Under Chhaupadi

women doing the chhaupadi dance

An 18 years old girl died after being bitten by a snake as was under chhaupadi.

An 18 years old girl original from a remote area of Nepal died after being bitten by a snake but not treated on time as she was under chhaupadi.

This is a tradition linked to Hinduism which holds that, while menstruating, women are impure. They are also believed to be a bad omen. As such, menstruating females are forced to leave their homes and go to a “menstruating hut” during this period of the month.

While it lasts, they are not allowed to enter their homes or even their courtyards. They also cannot take part in usual family activities.

Tulasi Shahi, the 18 years old girl in question, followed this tradition every month, as she went to stay in the shed in which her uncle tied up his cows. This time though, the young woman was bitten by a poisonous snake on Thursday night. Early Friday morning, she died as a result of the snakebite.

“She survived for seven hours after the snake bite but died because medical treatment was delayed” stated Surya Bahadur Shahi, the local mayor.

Reports state that, after being discovered, the girl was first taken to a shaman that failed to remove the poison. The delayed and possibly lacking help at a medical clinic came too late for Tulasi Shahi.

Chhaupadi Led to the Death of Other Two Girls and Is Already Officially Prohibited

This latest unfortunate event tied to chhaupadi occurred in Dailekh, a district of Nepal. Another young woman because of the very same reason some six weeks ago. A 15 years old, living in another part of the country, is believed to have died because of smoke inhalation as she was in trying to light a fire in the menstruation hut.

The Supreme Court of Nepal already ordered an end to this tradition since back in 2005. However, this is still respected in some remote villages, reportedly particularly in the west of the country. A bill, still pending in the Parliament, is looking to formally criminalize the custom. International organizations are also trying to abolish the practice.

As they practice chhaupadi, women are exposed to a number of risks. These include the heat or cold, wild animals or intruders in the hut.

Image Source: Flickr