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Chinese Scientist Claims to Have Created the World’s First Genetically Edited Babies

Chinese researcher He Jiankui recently shocked the entire world after revealing that he had altered the DNA of twin girl before birth, to make them immune to the HIV virus and AIDS. If his claims prove to be true, these twins would be the world’s first genetically-edited babies.

Professor He revealed his controversial genetic editing work earlier this week. In a video posted on YouTube, he claims to have used gene-editing tools to eliminate a gene called CCR5 in order to make a pair of twin girls, called Lulu and Nana, resistant to the HIV virus, should they ever come in contact with it. Speaking at a genome summit in Hong Kong, on Wednesday, the Chinese scientist defended his work and talked about the stigma attached to HIV/Aids in China. However, many of his peers believe that He Jiankui has gone too far, warning that meddling with the genome of an embryo could cause long-term problems not only for the individual, but entire future generations.

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Dutch Church Has Been Holding Service Continuously for Over a Month to Protect Refugee Family From Getting Deported

Over the last month, hundreds of pastors from all over the Netherlands have taken turns holding non-stop service at a Protestant church in the Hague, where a family of Armenian refugees scheduled for deportation has taken shelter. Dutch law prevents police from entering places of worship during prayers, and religious leaders are determined to continue the service for as long as it takes authorities to reconsider their decision.

The Tamrazyan family fled their native Armenia in 2009, after receiving death threats due to the father’s political activism. They sought asylum in the Netherlands and after going through a seven-year application process, a judge granted the family asylum. However, the Dutch Government successfully appealed that decision in court, and in September, Sasun Tamrazyan, his wife Anousche and their three children were officially notified that their asylum status had been lifted. No longer feeling safe in the asylum center they had been assigned to, the Tamrazyan family sought shelter at the Gereformeerde Kerk (GKV) church, in Katwijk, of which they had become members three years ago. They were welcome with open arms.

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Man Uses Fake Police Uniform and Gun to Pick Up Women, Gets Arrested by Real Police

A 21-year-old Indonesian man who used a custom-made fake police uniform and a realistic gun to pose as a police officer and get women to go out with him was recently arrested by real policemen. He still has a scheduled date, only this time it will be with a court judge.

Ari Septian Pratama, a 21-year-old man from the South Sumatran city of Palembang, in Indonesia, reportedly pretended to be a cop for about a month, before his arrest by actual police officers. The young pretender confessed to adopting the alias “Dr. Julian Saputra”, and having a realistic police uniform custom tailored. To appear more believable, Pratama also wore a realistic toy gun and police badge, and even went around telling people that he was the son of Southeast Sulawesi’s regional police chief and that he was a doctor of police forensics. Apparently, he did it all to impress women and get them to go out with him.

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Indian Officials Encourage Farmers to Chant Vedic Hymns to Improve Crop Yields

Authorities in the Indian state of Goa are encouraging farmers to adopt “cosmic farming” by chanting Vedic mantras to their fields for 20 days in order o improve the quality and quantity of their crops without the help of chemical fertilizers.

Promoting organic farming is definitely commendable, but the approach of Goa’s Ministry of Agriculture is questionable at least. According to several news reports, authorities in the Indian state are currently promoting cosmic farming as an alternative to conventional agriculture. This requires farmers to chant ‘Vedic mantras’ to their fields for 20 days, which is supposed to help attract the energy of the universe into the field and help the seeds sprout faster and ultimately provide better yields.

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Online Homeware Store Mocked for Selling Handful of Twigs for $42

American homeware retailer Anthropologie was recently mocked on social media for selling a bundle of 20 birch twigs for the astronomical price of $42. That’s over $2 for a stick you can probably find on the street.

Officially called a “Decorative Birch Bundle”, the handful of twigs tied with two pieces of brown strings was apparently designed for people looking to add a “rustic quality” to their homes, but ultimately did nothing but spark outrage online. Photos of the birch twigs along with the selling price of $42 started showing up on social media this weekend, enraging a lot of people and inspiring some truly hilarious jokes.

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Cruel Boss Dunks Employee’s Face in Boiling Hotpot as a Joke

A 23-year-old man has filed a criminal complaint against his ex-boss for dunking his face into a scalding hotpot at an office party, as a joke, causing severe burns to his face that required over a month to heal.

The shocking event reportedly took place at a company party on December 20, 2015, but was made public just last week, after a couple of videos recorded on mobile phones went viral online. One of the clips shows a group of people sitting around a table in a Japanese-style restaurant. In the center of the table is a “nabe”, a pot of boiling water used for cooking meat and vegetables over an open flame. At one point, a man whose face is not shown in the video grabs the one of the people around the table by the back of his head and dunks his face into the nabe, holding him down for a couple of seconds before he manages to wrestle free, knocking over the pot.

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Chinese Teacher Isolates Cancer-Suffering Student at the Back of the Class for Fear That He Might Be Contagious

A primary school teacher in China was recently dismissed for discriminating against a child suffering from cancer, by making him sit alone at the back of the class and not allowing him to take exams like everyone else.

The languages teacher is said to have complained about the boy ever since he transferred to the Liancheng Primary School, in Quanzhou, Fujian province, in September, in order to be closer to his parents while receiving chemotherapy treatment for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He reportedly thought that the child’s condition could be contagious, and he wasn’t the only one, as Chinese media reports that several children were withdrawn from the school following the sick 13-year-old’s transfer. Since then, he had gone out of his way to make the boy, named only as Zhou feel like an outcast, making him sit all by himself at the back of the class and even forbidding him to take exams.

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Man Endures 5 Years of Chemotherapy for Cancer He Never Had

A Colorado man claims that he was on intense chemotherapy and painkillers for five long years, after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer by multiple doctors, a cancer that he recently learned never existed.

The living nightmare of James Salaz, a resident of Montrose, in Colorado, began five years ago, when he went to a hospital to have an intense pain deep under his armpit investigated. His doctor told him that tests revealed two abnormalities inside his left lung. After undergoing a couple of open lung biopsies, Salaz was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, a rare form of cancer that causes cells to build up in parts of the body, damaging tissues and ultimately leading to death. Devastated by the news, he visited doctors in Montrose, Delta, Grand Junction and Denver, and they all confirmed that he had Langerhans. It turns out they were all wrong.

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Grateful Patient Gets Back Tattoo of Doctor Who Saved His Life

A young cancer survivor from Argentina recently surprised the doctor he credits for saving his life with a very unusual display of gratitude – a large back tattoo of the surgical oncologist next to the hospital he works at.

A few months ago, Nano Salguero, a native of Alejo Ledesma, an Argentinian town located 333 kilometers southeast of the regional capital of Córdoba, was diagnosed with colon cancer by a local oncologist. He was  immediately referred to the Hospital de Clinicas in the regional capital for emergency surgery, where he was operated on by Dr. Paul Lada, a surgical oncologist with 42 years of experience under his belt. Nano’s operation was a success, and even though he is technically still in recovery, he recently showed his gratitude to Dr. Lada by sending him a photo of a large tattoo of his smiling face next to the hospital he works at that he had inked on his back.

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11-Year-Old Chinese Girl Is Already 6ft 7in (2.10m) Tall

Seeing Zhang Ziyu towering over her classmates at the Cultural East Road Primary School, in Jinan, China, it’s hard to believe that they are all in the sixth grade. The 11-year-old already measures 6ft 7in (210 cm), and many believe she is the tallest girl in the world.

Zhang’s parents are both former professional basketball players, and they are both over 2 meters tall, so it’s pretty clear that genetics played an important role in her physical development, but reaching 210 cm by age 11 is still very unusual. Zhang has always been taller than all the other children, and one of her colleagues remembers that in the first grade, she already stood at 1.6m (5ft 3in) tall. That’s already considerably taller than the average Chinese sixth-grade girl (4ft 6in or 1.38m).

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Christian Missionary Killed by Reclusive Tribe After Going to Their Remote Island to “Declare Jesus”

A young Christian missionary has been killed after venturing to North Sentinel Island, a protected island in the Indian Ocean home to a 30,000-year-old tribe known to aggressively repel outsiders, in order to “declare Jesus”.

27-year-old John Allen Chau is believed to have been killed by a volley of arrows shot by members of the Sentinelese tribe shortly after encroaching on their remote island. He had been trying to make contact with the reclusive natives for years, and on Saturday he paddled to the island in a kayak, despite the warnings of several fishermen he had paid to take him close to it. According to eyewitnesses, Chau was hit by an arrow shortly after reaching the island, and his body was later dragged deeper inland and buried. In a journal he left fishermen before venturing to North Sentinel Island, the young explorer wrote that he knew he risked being killed but that it was “worth it to declare Jesus to these people”.

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Colombian Town Enforces Curfew to Protect Young People from Evil Spirits Spreading Through WhatsApp

The mayor of Parajito, a town in northern Colombia, recently announced a curfew forbidding the transit and gathering of minors under the age of 17 in public places between 7 in the evening and 5 in the morning, to protect them from evil spirits that have allegedly been spreading through the popular messaging app WhatsApp.

Since the beginning of this week, authorities in the Catholic town of Parajito have reported at least 14 cases of teenagers exhibiting strange behavior, including threats of jumping off bridges, self lacerations, convulsions, fainting and unexplained changes in their voices. Like most youths these days, all of the victims were reportedly using the popular messaging app WhatsApp, and rumors started going around that evil spirits spreading through the app were responsible for the unusual behavior. To protect the children from themselves, mayor Inocencio Perez decided to enforce a curfew that allows youths under 17 to leave their homes only under the supervision of their parents or custodians.

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Single Mother Has Been Paying an Actor to Pose as Her Daughter’s Father for the Last 10 Years

In an effort to spare her young daughter from being ostracized by other children for not having a father, a Japanese single mother made the controversial decision to hire an actor who has been posing as the girl’s father for the last 10 years.

Megumi was only a baby when her parents separated and he father disappeared from her life. The mother, Asako, remembers that the girl started asking where her father was very early, but that her father’s absence didn’t seem like a big deal until she was about 10-years-old. That’s when Asako noticed a change in her daughter’s behavior; she stopped talking to her, became withdrawn, and eventually stopped going to school. Her mother soon learned that she wasn’t just blaming herself for her father’s absence, but she had also become a victim of bullying at school, as it often happens with children of single parents in Japan. Asako was heartbroken, and after appealing to Megumi’s teachers for help, she also decided to give her daughter the thing she wanted most, even if it meant lying to her.

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Woman Eats Only Instant Noodles for Three Weeks Straight to Save Money, Ends Up in the Hospital

A young university student who ate only instant noodles for three weeks straight in order to save money for Singles Day – China’s version of Black Friday – ended spending all of her savings on medical bills after her unusual diet made her sick.

Instant noodles are standard fare for many university students. They’re cheap, easy to cook and they fill your stomach, but they’re definitely not the most nutritious meal. One young woman recently learned the hard way that surviving on instant noodles alone is not the smartest thing you can do, even if it means saving some money in the short run.

Hong Jia first made news headlines in China at the start of November, when it was revealed that she had been eating only instant noodles since October 15, in order to save a bit of money for Singles Day, the largest online and offline shopping day in the world. In a viral Pear video, Jia said that she had managed to save 749 yuan ($108) by switching to the ultra cheap diet, money that she planned to spend on the November 11 shopping extravaganza.

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Rare White Lion To Be Auctioned Off to Hunters Looking for Easy Trophies

The South African Government has sparked outrage around the world after it was reported that it plans to auction off a confiscated white lion to raise funds for the country’s nation conservation department. Animal activists claim that the buyers will likely be wealthy hunters looking for easy trophies or businessmen involved in the lion bone trade.

Mufasa the white lion was confiscated as a cub from a private owner three years ago, and placed in the care of WildForLife, an animal rehabilitation charity in northern South Africa. Despite numerous requests to have Mufasa relocated to a wildlife conservation sanctuary which offered to care for Mufasa and his companion, Suraya, free of charge for the rest of their lives, government officials refused. To make matters worse, a few months ago WildForLife was notified by the South African Government that the rare white lion was going to be auctioned off to private buyers in order to raise funds for the nature conservation department. The charity has been involved in a legal battle to save Mufasa ever since.

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