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Author of book on truth about GMO food interviewed by internationally acclaimed National Geographic magazine
25 May 2015 - In his new book, 'Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived The Public', public interest attorney Steve Druker takes the science community, the food industry, and the FDA to task for what he claims are their lax and irresponsible policies. National Geographic writer Simon Worrall talked with Druker during his book tour. (more)

BMW, Nissan to expand green cars plug-in network in South Africa
25 May 2015 - The South African units of BMW and Nissan will build a national grid for electric and hybrid cars to expand sales of vehicles that could reduce pollution in Africa's top auto market. The firms said although South Africa is experiencing severe power supply shortages, their plans would not be affected. (more)

Dutch consumer spending continues to rise
25 May 2015 - Both Dutch companies and consumers are showing increasing confidence in the economy, the national statistics office CBS (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek) said on Friday. (more)

German government to boost organic farming
25 May 2015 - Germany is hungry for organic products. Between 2010 and 2013, While revenue from organic products has enjoyed an annual increase of 5-9 per cent since 2011, the parallel increase in surface area over the past four years has only been 1-3 per cent. Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt hopes to change this. (more)

UK retail sales surge as sun brings out shoppers
25 May 2015 - British retail sales surged in April. Thursday's strong official data suggest a slowdown in the economy seen at the start of the year may prove short-lived. Retail sales volumes rose by a stronger-than-expected 1.2 per cent from March, the biggest monthly increase since November, the Office for National Statistics said. Annual sales growth picked up pace to 4.7 per cent. Britain's consumers have been the main driver of the country's economic recovery which began in 2013. (more)

Canada app aims to help small food producers get their goods to bigger markets
24 May 2015 - An app in the works at Ontario's Greenbelt Fund, a not-for-profit sustainable agriculture group, aims to connect truckers with thousands of the province's small-scale farmers and producers, helping them get their products to bigger markets. Think of it as a ride-share for local food. (more)

Canada: Crowdfunding an increasingly popular tool for launching civic projects
24 May 2015 - At a time when municipal budgets are stretched and urban-improvement projects may not top a city's priority list, community groups, non-profits, and local governments are increasingly turning to crowdfunding to help finance public projects. Crowdfunding websites allow groups and individuals to solicit donations online. A small but growing number of crowdfunding campaigns are looking to finance civic projects such as artwork, and green and public spaces. (more)

Natural plant chemicals could help fight tooth decay, Scotland study shows
24 May 2015 - Oral care products containing a natural chemical that stops bacteria harming teeth could help prevent decay, a study suggests. The study, led by scientists at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, is the first to show how trans-chalcone prevents bacteria forming biofilms. (more)

Signs of strength for Canada economy in 2016
24 May 2015 - Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said the economy is on track to return to full capacity by the end of next year amid evidence the January interest rate cut is working to offset the impact of lower oil prices. Mr Poloz said data including firm creation, business investment, employment, and non-energy exports are showing signs of strength. (more)

Vancouver, Canada tourism expects another all-time record high
24 May 2015 - Last year by land, sea, and air, 8.97 million overnight visitors flooded into Vancouver -- the highest number in the city's history. This year there's every indication that number will be topped, says Ty Speer, President and CEO of Tourism Vancouver. (more)

Wal-Mart's push on animal welfare hailed as game changer
24 May 2015 - Wal-Mart's push to get its suppliers to give farm animals fewer antibiotics and more room to roam is expected to have a big impact on the food industry, experts say. (more)

Canada: Developer Windmill vows jobs and collaboration with Algonquin on 'Zibi' development (+ video)
23 May 2015 - Algonquin construction workers and tradesmen will play a key role in the redevelopment of the former Domtar site on the Ottawa River as part of what is being called a historic collaboration between the Algonquin-Anishinabe Nation and private industry in Ottawa. (more)

News from Sistema Scotland: Positive outcomes across the board
23 May 2015 - News from Sistema Scotland: the first findings of the Glasgow Centre for Population Health's long-term research project into the social impact on children's lives, and the effect on their communities, of the Big Noise schemes in Stirling's Raploch and Glasgow's Govanhill, show positive outcomes across the board. These range from better school attendance to projected whole-life benefits for participants, such as greater community cohesion as well as economic gains over the medium and longer term. The high initial cost of delivering the scheme should be offset by the savings that are projected to accrue from longer-term improved health and educational outcomes. (more)

Study: Liquorice helps in fight against tooth decay
23 May 2015 - Liquorice (licorice) could actually hold the key to conquering tooth decay, say scientists at the University of Edinburgh. New research suggests the legume has natural plant chemicals that kill mouth bacteria and prevent the build up of plaque. Past research has revealed that cranberries could help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, showing they prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to the teeth, and so stop plaque from forming. (more)

Wholesale sales rise in March for Canada
23 May 2015 - Wholesale trade in Canada rose in March after two consecutive months of declines, another positive sign for the economy after the fallout fueled by lower crude-oil prices. Canadian wholesalers make up the largest chunk of the country's services sector. They generally act as an intermediary in the distribution of merchandise, and tend to sell goods in large quantities to retailers, businesses and institutional clients. Wholesale trade was expected to be strong in March given the sizable bounce in Canadian factory shipments in March. Five of the seven subsectors tracked by the national data agency recorded gains in March with building materials and supplies led the way. (more)

India continues to lead in global confidence index: Nielsen
21 May 2015 - For the sixth quarter in a row, India continued to lead the global confidence index in anticipation of improvement in the economy through reforms and stimulus announced by the central government, says a report. (more)

Japan economy gathers pace in 1Q as recovery takes hold
20 May 2015 - Japan's economy grew at a faster-than-expected 2.4 percent annual pace in the January-March quarter, suggesting a recovery is gaining traction despite persisting weakness in corporate and household spending. Overall trends for the economy are positive, said Masamichi Adachi, an economist with JPMorgan in Tokyo. 'People's confidence is getting a little better,' he said. (more)

UK: 100 million pound boost to scientific heritage announced
20 May 2015 - Almost 100 million British pounds in funding has been announced for a series of heritage sites that include projects to preserve Britain's rich scientific and technological history. To read about the sites and projects receiving the funding see (more)

UK's Prince Charles meets Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams for first time
19 May 2015 - Britain's Prince Charles shook hands with Gerry Adams on Tuesday in his first meeting with the leader of the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that killed his great uncle in a bomb attack 36 years ago. The latest in a series of gestures of reconciliation between Britain and Sinn Fein, it was the first time Adams has met a senior member of the royal family. (more)

'True face of Shakespeare' appears in botany book (+ BBC video)
19 May 2015 - A 400-year-old botany book contains what could be the only known portrait of Shakespeare made in his lifetime, according to an academic expert. Botanist and historian Mark Griffiths cracked an 'ingenious cipher' to identify the playwright in an engraving in the 16th-Century work. The figure is holding a fritillary and an ear of sweetcorn -- plants which Griffiths says point to Shakespeare's poem Venus and Adonis and his play Titus Andronicus. (more)

British magazine publishes 'new portrait of Shakespeare'
19 May 2015 - A British magazine has published an image of a figure that it says is the first and only known demonstrably authentic portrait of William Shakespeare made in his lifetime. Botanist and historian Mark Griffiths said the discovery had come when he began researching the biography of pioneering botanist John Gerard (1545-1612), author of The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes, published in 1598. 'I began to look at the title page engravings ... and realized it was full of allusions to people who had been involved in the creation of the book and that four of the figures on the title page were in fact real persons.' (more)

European shares return to near multi-year highs
19 May 2015 - European shares rose back to near multi-year highs on Tuesday after a European Central Bank policymaker said it would front-load an asset purchase scheme aimed at boosting the euro economy. The FTSEurofirst has now recovered its losses since the end of April, with some investors saying the past few weeks' volatility linked to a sell-off in bond markets had not altered their positive stance on equities. (more)

US and Cuban sailors in friendly race amid warming relations
19 May 2015 - Competitive sailors from the U.S. and Cuba have been showing off their skills in Havana Bay as the two countries work on restoring diplomatic relations after decades of hostility. Sailors from both countries said they were excited for the rare opportunity to race against each other. (more)

US: Surge in home construction is lifting hopes for economy
19 May 2015 - Builders broke ground on homes last month at the fastest pace in more than seven years. The stepped-up construction is helping boost sales at stores like Home Depot and Lowe's and improving the likelihood that the US. economy will accelerate after likely shrinking early this year. (more)

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