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GM crops: Germany follows Scotland’s lead, opts out of EU approvals

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Following Scotland’s footsteps, Germany has decided to ban use of all kinds of genetically modified (GM) crops.

With the passage of the new rules, individual member states would now be allowed to block farmers from using GM organisms, even if the variety has been accepted on an EU-wide basis.

In a letter seen by the Reuters news agency, Christian Schmidt, Germany’s agriculture minister, said that the country will persist with its previously announced ban on all GM crops.

The EU countries have until 3 October 2015 to inform if they wish to opt out of the bloc-wide approvals.

Scotland’s SNP hailed Germany’s company in the move. “Like Scotland, the German Government recognises the importance of protecting its food and drink sector and keeping its environment clean and green,” said SNP’s Rob Gibson.

In government, the SNP has ensured that Scotland is at the forefront of environmental protection – legislating for world-leading climate change targets, significantly increasing renewable generation and placing a moratorium on fracking. The German decision shows that Scotland is now also leading Europe on GM crops,” the SNP leader further added.

The move by Germany comes despite overwhelming scientific evidence that improving crops by molecular biotechnology techniques is safe, and the practice is widespread across the Americas and Asia.

Scotland became the first country to opt out of bloc-wide GM licence, a move it said was needed to preserve the country’s “clean and green brand”.

The move by Germany and Scotland to ban GM crops brings out the rift caused by divided opinions on their efficacy in Europe.

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#BalochGenocide: An Unfortunate Reality to which the World must Pay Attention to

The United Nations has failed to break the ice. Human right violations have failed to bring the attention of global organizations

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Balochistan Genocide
Pakistan is committing inhumane crimes against its own people in the Balochistan province creating an environment of genocide. Twitter
  • The Balochistan province of Pakistan is going through the worst Humanitarian crisis
  • The atrocities committed by the Pakistani forces as well insurgent groups have resulted in destruction of families of the Baloch community
  • It is important that the world community stands with Balochistan and investigate the human rights violations

Balochistan, August 18, 2017: The Balochistan province of Pakistan is in dire need of help from the international community. Ignored by its government at the center and oppressed by the military, the Baloch community is taking desperate measures to call for help from outside.

Balochistan has been an area of instability. Additionally, the coming of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is estimated to have adverse consequences for Balochistan.

ALSO READ: World Baloch Organisation Activist Azghar Baloch brings Human Rights Violations to the notice of International Community

The United Nations has failed to break the ice. Human right violations have failed to bring the attention of global organizations.

Abductions and murders surround the lives of Balochistan people. The Chairman of Human Rights Commission in Balochistan, Taj Baloch, has blamed the Pakistan army behind the Balochistan Genocide.

In Berlin, exiled Baloch activists and leaders organized an event titled ‘China’s One Belt One Road Initiative – It’s Adverse Impact on Balochistan & the region’ in which speakers expressed their concerns over the economic reform.

Even the World Balochistan organization has made serious attempts in gathering support for Balochistan from foreign nations. Recently, Azghar Baloch, an activist for the organization, made an appeal from outside the White House called on the international community to stand for the human rights of Baloch people.

Nawab Akbar Bugti was a strong opposer to Pakistan atrocities in Balochistan. He was vocal about the need for Balochistan to separate itself from the inhumane behavior of Pakistan. Nawab Bugti was assassinated on 26 August 2006 by the Pakistani military. To commemorate the anniversary of the martyr, Baloch Republican Party has called for a Balochistan wide strike.

This year when the G20 Summit was held in Germany, Baloch activists turned up outside the venue to protest for Baloch genocides and investigation into

– Compiled by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

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Researchers from Germany give new explanation to the extinction of Neanderthals

A new study by German researchers claim to have figured out why really our ancestors went extinct

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Homo Sapiens
Neanderthal. Wikimedia

August 07, 2012: Early modern humans and Neanderthals shared a similar diet – consisting mainly of mammoth and plants – and also competed for food which led to their downfall, new research has claimed.

“According to our results, Neanderthals and the early modern humans were in direct competition in regard to their diet, as well — and it appears that the Neanderthals drew the short straw in this contest,” said Dorothee Drucker, biogeologist from the University of Tubingen in Germany.

Also Read: Was Human Evolution an Accidental Progression?

The first representatives of Homo sapiens colonized Europe around 43,000 years ago, replacing the Neanderthals there approximately 3,000 years later.

“Many studies examine the question of what led to this displacement — one hypothesis postulates that the diet of the anatomically modern humans was more diverse and flexible and often included fish,” added Herve Bocherens from the University of Tubingen.

Previous research suggested that early modern humans had a more varied diet than the Neanderthals. They fished for their food, did hunting and gathering across the plains.

However, the new study showed that our ancestors rarely ate fish but preferred a diet very similar to that of the Neanderthals.

Importantly, the proportion of plants in the diet of the anatomically modern humans was significantly higher than in Neanderthals – mammoths, on the other hand, appeared to have been one of the primary sources of meat in both species.

The findings showed that just like the Neanderthals, early modern humans or our ancestors had mainly mammoth and plants on their plates, creating a battle for food that Neanderthals lost, the researchers said.

For the study, appearing in the journal Scientific Reports, the team researched on the dietary habits of early modern man on the basis of the oldest known fossils from the Buran Kaya caves on the Crimean Peninsula in the Ukraine.

They measured the percentage of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the bones of the early humans and the locally present potential prey animals such as Saiga, horse, and deer.

“The results revealed a very high proportion of the nitrogen isotope 15N in early modern humans, which originate but primarily from the consumption of mammoths,” Bocherens noted. (IANS)

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These 10 Weird Museums around the World will Certainly Amuse You!

List of 10 Weirdest Museums in the World

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Museums
These 10 Weird Museums around the World will Certainly Amuse You. Pixabay

August 5, 2017: Not every museum is about art, science, culture, and history, some of them show different sides of the world. A side which has a niche audience as not everyone will be interested to see them. We are talking about the weird museums around the world, which have its own peculiarity, oddities and sometimes downright weird. Some of these can even leave you confused, who would think of creating a museum on this idea or notion? But it can also drive you to dig deeper, to gain more knowledge. As these are not the mundane artifacts.

Plastinarium, Germany

Plastinarium Museum
Plastinarium Museum. Wikimedia

It’s a home of the morbid art of corpse plastination, a technique by which human or animal bodies are preserved. They use this scientific technique and present them in creative positions like an archer. It makes one wonder how intricate the human form is. Gunther Von Hagens perfected plastination (using polymers to preserve human tissue) after many years of studying medicine, dissection, and chemistry.  Visitors of this museum not only learn about the history of anatomy but also witness’s the graphic process of it.  The center also supplies traveling Body Worlds, which they call an original exhibition of real human bodies.

The Mummy Museum, Guanajuato, Mexico

The Mummy Museum
The Mummy Museum. Wikimedia

A popular tourist attraction, this museum has a mystical aura to it and has mummified bodies. The mummies have generated a lot of interest since the time this museum opened as people were already inquisitive about mummies and visiting it will give them a chance to see the mystery unfold in front of their eyes.

Hundreds of bodies were once buried in the Santa Paula Pantheon’s crypts around the mid-19th century. If families were unable to pay a burial tax imposed by the town, the bodies were exhumed.  Later they discovered the bodies had been mummified through a natural process, likely due to the region’s unique climatic factors.  The museum houses more than hundred mummies and a mummy of an infant as well. On June 9, 1865, the mummified body of a French doctor, Remigio Leroy, was exhumed from Niche 214 of the Pantheon’s first series. This is the first and therefore the most ancient of the Guanajuato Mummy Museum’s collection. Going to this museum will calm your curious soul. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, The exhibition has an introductory video about the meaning of death for Mexicans and their way of accepting it.

ALSO READ: “The Museum Within” : Art Exhibition in Delhi dwells on Position and Function of Museums in India
Museum of Torture, Zagreb, Croatia

Museum of Torture
Museum of Torture. Wikimedia

The sinister museum has over 70 historical instruments of torture. Visitors can see, touch and even try out the 1792 guillotine replica, pendulum- a swinging blade that descends lower and lower with each sweep, rack- one of the oldest instruments of torture or iron maiden- the most brutal medieval instrument of torture, scold’s bridle, an instrument used to punish women accused of scolding and gossiping, as well as many other instruments that were used to humiliate, torture, cause injury or execute the victim. This weird museum gives a take on historical means and ways of violence.

It’s a one of its kind experience; there are multi sensory rooms, such as the semi-dark Cabinet of Wonders or the Dungeon. In the Cabinet of Wonders, there is semi-darkness in which the exhibits are bathing in a discomforting sound environment. It will prompt questions about sick human minds, which would let humans suffer such torture. It can make you vulnerable and can also bring back to mind issues of today’s hidden forms of torture, such as bullying or domestic violence. The Dungeon is a miniature cool room in which the visitor can spend a minute of his life in pitch blackness, anticipating the uncertain future…

Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum, Kentucky, USA

Ventriloquist Doll
Ventriloquist Doll. Pixabay

The Museum houses smiling ventriloquist dolls. William Shakespeare Berger bought his first dummy in 1910- Tommy Baloney. By 1947, his collection had grown so large he renovated his garage to house the figures, and in 1962, he had to construct a second building. Vent Haven Museum was officially opened to the public on June 30, 1973, , with the dedication of the W.S. Berger Memorial Building.  Ventriloquist legends Edgar Bergen and Jimmy Nelson performed for all who attended the ceremony.

Vent Haven Museum houses more than 800 dummies, playbills, photos and historical books from Berger’s personal collection. In addition to this, the museum also hosts the annual convention- a ventriloquist meeting attracting many professionals and enthusiasts from all over the world.

Avanos Hair Museum, Avanos, Turkey

Avanos Hair Museum
Avanos Hair Museum. Wikimedia

The museum was created by a potter by profession, Chez Galip and is located in the rural Turkish town of Avanos. The story behind the origin of it is that the local potter Chez Galip was bidding farewell to a dear friend of his when he asked for something to remember her by. She cut off a piece of her hair to leave as a reminder. He put it up in his shop and told the story to the visitors and tourists who passed through. Other women who enjoyed the story left a piece of their hair as well and from there started the collection of hair. The museum started in 1979 when a selection was put up for display.

It now features a gigantic collection of hair gathered from more than 16,000 women, and if that isn’t creepy enough. It lies in a small, dark cave. Locks of women’s hair adorn the walls of this weird museum. The museum fills up a section of the shop where the earthen wares are stored. Visitors roam in the cave-like room with hair attached to every available surface. Pencils, paper, pins, and scissors are offered to those wanting to add their own piece to the collection.

 International Cryptozoology Museum, Maine, USA

Skunk Ape
Skunk Ape. Pixabay

Cryptozoology means- the study of hidden animals and involves the search for animals whose existence has not been verified, like the Yeti or Bigfoot (skunk ape). This museum’s collection has specimens and artifacts allegedly related to these kinds of mythical, unverified creatures. It includes everything from the hair samples, fecal matter, and native art. A rather odd collection to be incorporated and maybe it just might turn you into a Bigfoot believer.

The museum was started in 2003.  Loren Coleman who wanted to share the items he collected with researchers, scholars, colleagues, and the general public. He went on to interview eyewitnesses, chronicle the reports, and gather material evidence and cultural artifacts related to cryptozoology. It modestly began with sculptures and paintings created just for it, hundreds of cryptozoology toys and souvenirs from around the world, and one of a kind artifacts. The museum has a life-size, 8 feet tall Bigfoot representation, a full-scale, six-foot-long thousand dollar coelacanth model, 100 Bigfoot, Yeti, Yowie, and other foot casts, fakes like jackalopes, Fiji Mermaid & furred trout.

ALSO READ: Virtual museums to be opened at 50 places in India to accentuate “significant” role of Tribals in Freedom struggle: PM Narendra Modi

 Meguro Parasitological Museum, Tokyo, Japan

 world's longest tapeworm
World’s longest tapeworm. Wikimedia

 Do you know everything about the parasite world? If you’ve ever wanted to know about tapeworms, head lice and plenty of other parasites you’ve probably never heard of. You can see it all at this museum. The collection boasts of around 300 specimens, including a 29-foot tapeworm. Not recommended for anyone with a weak stomach.

On the first floor of the museum, the ‘Diversity of Parasites’ displaying various types of parasitic specimens and accompanying it is educational movies, if you are interested to know more. The second-floor exhibits are ‘Human and Zoonotic Parasites’ showcasing parasite life cycles and the symptoms they cause during human infection. In addition to research, the museum also performs other activities such as education and provides special publications as well. The man behind the museum is Satoru Kamegai.

 The Kansas Barbed Wire Museum, Kansas, USA

Barbed Wire
Barbed Wire. Pixabay

Yes, it’s true. There is a museum dedicated to barbed wires out there in the world. It features more than 2,400 varieties and explores the role barbed wire played in the settlement of the United States. Well, don’t touch any of the displays. The museum was established in 1970. There is an international organization, Antique Barbed Wire Society, committed to collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting the historical heritage of barb wire and barbed wire related item. There is Dioramas of early barbed wire use, a theatre featuring educational films, the Barbed Wire Hall of Fame, the museum archives room, and a research library for visitors.

 The Dog Collar Museum, England

Red Cross dog collar
Red Cross dog collar. Wikimedia

Dog collars are the little piece of accessory that transforms dogs from wild animals to man’s best friend. There is dog paraphernalia that dates back more than 100 years in this museum and inside you can see the history of canine accessories. This place is perfect for people who always wondered what a medieval dog collar may have looked like. In today’s time, dog collars are simple pieces of sturdy, flexible nylon in assorted colors and designs. However, in this Museum, you are treated to some of the fanciest dog collars there are.

This unique collection consists of nearly 100 collars that were collected by Irish medieval scholar John Hunt and his wife, Gertrude. Extended by the Leeds Castle Foundation, the collection has pieces that span history that is from medieval to Victorian times. The royal pet’s had baroque leather embellished dog collars with metalwork and velvet. This unusual place is visited by more than 500,000 dog lovers a year, both local and from overseas.

Le Musée des Vampires, France

Vampire
Vampire. Pixabay

The Le Musée des Vampires is a study of vampires’ place in France’s culture throughout history and today, a small private museum dedicated to vampires and the study of their place in folklore and modern culture. This weird museum has autographs of every actor who’s ever starred as Dracula, a mummified cat from Paris’ famous Père Lachaise Cemetery, and a vampire painting by famous French murderer Nicolas Claux. This is a cool place to be at if vampires fascinate you.

– by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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