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Jacinda Ardern vows to ban gay conversion therapy in New Zealand

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jacinda ardern vows to ban gay conversion therapy in new zealand

Jacinda Ardern’s Labour party has committed to banning gay conversion therapy if re-elected in New Zealand‘s October 17 election.

In an interview with Express magazine, the 40-year-old Labour leader said she was moved to oppose the practice after watching a Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie.

‘I still remember watching the film Latter Days at the film festival in Wellington some years ago. That film never left me,’ she said.

‘It’s one of the reasons I feel quite strongly about this policy.’

Jacinda Ardern (pictured) plans to ban gay conversion therapy if re-elected on October 17

Jacinda Ardern (pictured) plans to ban gay conversion therapy if re-elected on October 17

Jacinda Ardern (pictured) plans to ban gay conversion therapy if re-elected on October 17

The 2003 movie depicts a secret relationship between a closeted Mormon and an openly gay friend.

Ms Ardern was raised a Mormon but left the church in her 20s in solidarity with gay friends.

Conversion therapy is the medically illegitimate practice of attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender.

It has been banned in the Queensland and ACT, with Victoria also seeking to change its laws to outlaw the practice.

In New Zealand, Ms Ardern has been criticised for not implementing a ban in her first term, given both her Labour party and coalition partner the Greens support it.

A parliamentary report last year recommended against banning the practice, suggesting it could be a breach on religious freedom, as the therapy is most often pushed by conservative religious groups.

Ms Ardern said she was moved to ban gay conversion therapy after watching the film Latter Days starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (pictured)

Ms Ardern said she was moved to ban gay conversion therapy after watching the film Latter Days starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (pictured)

Ms Ardern said she was moved to ban gay conversion therapy after watching the film Latter Days starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (pictured)

Kiwis are overwhelmingly for a ban; a TVNZ poll found 72 per cent in favour of outlawing the practice.

‘We need numbers in the house to pass legislation,’ Ms Ardern said.

‘So what I’m committing to is … our numbers to delivering this and I hope there will other parties in parliament who will support it.’

Opposition leader Judith Collins has also signalled her opposition to conversion therapy.

‘I’m a parent and I have said to my son, and I hope other parents would also say this, “just be who you are”,’ she said.

‘That’s the best thing any parent can do. Not trying to convert your child to anything else.’

If given a second term, Labour will also seek laws to make it easier for transgender Kiwis to change their gender on their birth certificate.

Ms Ardern’s government failed to do so during their first term.

Ms Ardern (pictured voting on the first day of advance voting in Auckland) was raised a Mormon but left the church in her 20s in solidarity with gay friends

Ms Ardern (pictured voting on the first day of advance voting in Auckland) was raised a Mormon but left the church in her 20s in solidarity with gay friends

Ms Ardern (pictured voting on the first day of advance voting in Auckland) was raised a Mormon but left the church in her 20s in solidarity with gay friends

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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‘World’s whitest shade of white paint’ may slow global warming

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worlds whitest shade of white paint may slow global warming

Researchers at Indiana’s Purdue University have manufactured the world’s whitest shade of paint – a creation they believe has the ability to slow the process of global warming

The team, led by mechanical engineer Xiulin Ruan, say the shade of white is so bright that it reflects 95.5 percent of sunlight that hits its surface. 

In a scientific paper published this month, the group proclaim that the bright paint could be applied to rooftops of buildings around the world to keep them naturally cool. 

As the sun would reflect most of its heat back off the top of the structures, buildings would no longer need expensive electrical air conditioners to keep their interiors at a moderate temperature. Air conditioning is often considered a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.  

This process  of the sun reflecting back off of surfaces is known scientifically as ‘passive radiative cooling’.  

Researchers at Indiana's Purdue University have manufactured the world's whitest shade of paint - a creation they believe has the ability to slow the process of global warming. Research leader Xiulin Ruan is pictured left. The team is seen using an infrared camera to compare the cooling performance of white paint samples

Researchers at Indiana's Purdue University have manufactured the world's whitest shade of paint - a creation they believe has the ability to slow the process of global warming. Research leader Xiulin Ruan is pictured left. The team is seen using an infrared camera to compare the cooling performance of white paint samples

Researchers at Indiana’s Purdue University have manufactured the world’s whitest shade of paint – a creation they believe has the ability to slow the process of global warming. Research leader Xiulin Ruan is pictured left. The team is seen using an infrared camera to compare the cooling performance of white paint samples 

As the sun would reflect most of its heat back off the top of the structures, buildings would no longer need expensive electrical air conditioners to keep their interiors at a moderate temperature

As the sun would reflect most of its heat back off the top of the structures, buildings would no longer need expensive electrical air conditioners to keep their interiors at a moderate temperature

As the sun would reflect most of its heat back off the top of the structures, buildings would no longer need expensive electrical air conditioners to keep their interiors at a moderate temperature

The group’s research has demonstrated that their new shade of white paint – which does not yet have a name – can cool down surfaces by a whopping 18 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The paint is even cool to the touch.   

Prior to the group’s creation, the whitest shade of paint only managed to reflect between 80 and 90 percent of sunlight. 

What makes this paint different is that it features calcium carbonate (CaCO3)  – a chemical compound found in limestone, shells and chalk. 

Calcium carbonate is extremely abundant, meaning that this new white shade of paint is relatively cheap to produce. 

While the painting the surfaces of buildings in this new white paint may not be quite  as environmentally effective as installing solar panels, it will be significantly more cost effective.

An infrared camera image shows that white radiative cooling paint developed by Purdue University researchers (left, purple) can stay cooler in direct sunlight compared with commercial white paint

An infrared camera image shows that white radiative cooling paint developed by Purdue University researchers (left, purple) can stay cooler in direct sunlight compared with commercial white paint

An infrared camera image shows that white radiative cooling paint developed by Purdue University researchers (left, purple) can stay cooler in direct sunlight compared with commercial white paint

Graphs and images show how the group's new CaCO3 stayed cooler during direct exposure to the sunlight

Graphs and images show how the group's new CaCO3 stayed cooler during direct exposure to the sunlight

Graphs and images show how the group’s new CaCO3 stayed cooler during direct exposure to the sunlight 

‘Our paint is compatible with the manufacturing process of commercial paint, and the cost may be comparable or even lower,’ Ruan told Science Daily.

‘The key is to ensure the reliability of the paint so that it is viable in long-term outdoor applications.’

Ruan and his group of researchers say the cooling paint could even be applied to other objects, including cars and telecommunications equipment, such as 5G towers.  

However, there is one catch that environmentalists are still considering.  

The new white paint may be problematic during the colder months of the year if it is applied to rooftops and other surfaces. 

Given that the paint can keep temperatures up to 18 degrees cooler, some critics say heating costs and consumption will rise during winter months, meaning that the positive environmental impacts of decreased air conditioning would be cancelled out. 

The group's CaC03 white paint - which does not yet have an official name - is the whitest shade ever developed

The group's CaC03 white paint - which does not yet have an official name - is the whitest shade ever developed

The group’s CaC03 white paint – which does not yet have an official name – is the whitest shade ever developed 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Heartless dog owner leaves lurcher tied to lamppost with broken leg

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heartless dog owner leaves lurcher tied to lamppost with broken leg

A heartless dog owner abandoned his lurcher Steve leaving him tied to a bus stop with a broken leg.

Two-year-old Steve was spotted by a passerby on the street in Canterbury, Kent. 

They then alerted Dogs Trust, who took him to a nearby vet for emergency treatment. 

Steve was then moved to an RSPCA hospital for an operation to fix his front leg.   

Having undergone his life-changing surgery, Steve is now resting for twelve weeks under the strict supervision of RSPCA staff where he is expected to fully recover. 

RSPCA Inspector Grace Harris-Bridge said: ‘Poor Steve was in a huge amount of pain from his broken leg and was just left alone tied to a bus stop.

A heartless dog owner abandoned his lurcher Steve leaving him tied to a bus stop with a broken leg 

A heartless dog owner abandoned his lurcher Steve (pictured) leaving him tied to a bus stop with a broken leg

A heartless dog owner abandoned his lurcher Steve (pictured) leaving him tied to a bus stop with a broken leg

A heartless dog owner abandoned his lurcher Steve (pictured) leaving him tied to a bus stop with a broken leg

‘It’s absolutely heart-breaking to think someone just discarded him when he was so in need of help.

‘My colleagues at Harmsworth Animal Hospital have also done an incredible job repairing his leg and treating him.’

Staff have tried to identify his owner but haven’t been able to because he doesn’t have a microchip.  

Steve was then moved to an RSPCA hospital for an operation to fix his front leg

Steve was then moved to an RSPCA hospital for an operation to fix his front leg

Having undergone his life-changing surgery, Steve is now resting for twelve weeks under the strict supervision of RSPCA staff where he is expected to fully recover

Having undergone his life-changing surgery, Steve is now resting for twelve weeks under the strict supervision of RSPCA staff where he is expected to fully recover

Steve was then moved to an RSPCA hospital for an operation to fix his front leg. Pictured: Steve’s X-ray

RSPCA Inspector Grace Harris-Bridge said: 'Poor Steve was in a huge amount of pain from his broken leg and was just left alone tied to a bus stop.' Pictured: Steve's X-ray

RSPCA Inspector Grace Harris-Bridge said: 'Poor Steve was in a huge amount of pain from his broken leg and was just left alone tied to a bus stop.' Pictured: Steve's X-ray

RSPCA Inspector Grace Harris-Bridge said: ‘Poor Steve was in a huge amount of pain from his broken leg and was just left alone tied to a bus stop.’ Pictured: Steve’s X-ray

They are now making preparations to find Steve a new home where he can get the love he deserves once he has recovered from his surgery.

Ms Harris-Bridge added: ‘I understand he wasn’t the best patient and understandably seemed very scared and anxious by everything happening.

‘Happily now he has had his operation he’s doing very well and is actually a real sweetie.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Cold case murder of Montana girl, five, is solved 46 years later with new DNA evidence

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cold case murder of montana girl five is solved 46 years later with new dna evidence

The identity of the suspect behind a cold case involving the abduction and murder of a five-year-old girl from Montana has been revealed 46 years later.

Siobhan McGuinness was five when she went missing on February 5, 1974, a few blocks from her Northside Missoula home. She was found two days later having been murdered and sexually assaulted.

Using modern day DNA technology, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office cold case squad identified Richard William Davis – who died in 2012 – as the killer. 

Davis’ identification as the killer was found when crime scene DNA was uploaded to a public genealogy website. The same technology has been used to solve other cold case rapes and murders, including the case of the Golden State Killer. 

His obituary – posted online – says he was a born-again Christian ‘who believed in the word of faith and he was ready to be with Jesus’. It also says he is survived by a wife and four daughters, and was also a grandfather.  

According to the FBI’s website, Davis is also linked to the 1973 attempted abduction of an eight-year-old girl in Bath, New York, and investigators are now looking for similar cases he could have been involved in.

Siobhan McGuinness (pictured) was five when she went missing on February 5, 1974, a few blocks from her north Missoula home. She was found two days later having been murdered and sexually assaulted

Siobhan McGuinness (pictured) was five when she went missing on February 5, 1974, a few blocks from her north Missoula home. She was found two days later having been murdered and sexually assaulted

Siobhan McGuinness (pictured) was five when she went missing on February 5, 1974, a few blocks from her north Missoula home. She was found two days later having been murdered and sexually assaulted

He would have been 32 at the time of McGuinness’ disappearance, with the authorities saying he was passing through the city at the time. 

The FBI says he was known to have traveled cross-country, from New York to Alaska, but primarily resided in Pennsylvania, South Dakota, New York, and Arkansas.

Among the many jobs Davis was known to have worked, the FBI said Davis was a missionary on the Sioux Reservation in the early 1960s as security guard at the Arkansas School for the Deaf and Blind in the 1970s. 

He also drove a school bus in Alaska in late 1974 or early 1975, the organisation says.

The mystery of the girl’s disappearance had haunted detectives and the community of Missoula for decades, according to KECI-TV. 

Siobhan’s family said they were extremely thankful to the investigators for their work on the case over the 46 years since her disappearance.

‘Forty-six years is a very long space in time to be in a state of unending grief and immense sorrow for one as beautiful and as amazing as Siobhan,’ her father Stephen, 79, said through tears during a press conference on Monday.

‘I have always known deep inside that it was a stranger,’ he told KTMF-TV. ‘Someone who was here for a very brief period of time. On the move. It’s like the perfect storm. It was just a couple of blocks. 

‘Yep. Couldn’t have been more three. It was dinner time in February. It was dim. Twilight. In the winter, windows are closed. You don’t hear what’s going on outside. It was like the perfect situation for that to happen.’

Using modern day DNA technology, Missoula County Sheriff's Office cold case squad identified Richard William Davis (pictured) - now deceased - as the suspect

Using modern day DNA technology, Missoula County Sheriff's Office cold case squad identified Richard William Davis (pictured) - now deceased - as the suspect

Missoula Police Chief Jaeson White said that Davis died in 2012, and records show he had not been suspected or committed of other crimes.

Missoula Police Chief Jaeson White said that Davis died in 2012, and records show he had not been suspected or committed of other crimes.

Using modern day DNA technology, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office cold case squad identified Richard William Davis (pictured left and right) – now deceased – as the suspect. Missoula Police Chief Jaeson White said that Davis died in 2012, and records show he had not been suspected or committed of other crimes

Oona McGuinness, Siobhan’s half-sister, told NBC Montana: ‘It really means the world. My dad never thought that he would see this happen in his lifetime.

‘It’s a big deal. It’s a really big deal for us, and it’s a huge deal for the Missoula community. This affected almost everybody that lived there at that time and probably still some today.’ 

Missoula Police Chief Jaeson White said that Davis died in 2012, and records show he had not been committed of other crimes.

He added that the department had provided all information to the FBI violent criminal apprehension program to potentially help with other unsolved cases.

The police chief said that they did not know why Davis was passing through Missoula at the time, but that his vehicle matched that of the description given in 1974.

His physical description also matched what was given by two key witnesses at the time, he said. 

Oona McGuinness said in her statements during the press conference on Monday that the Davis family had reached out to hers, and called them kind people.

Police chief Jaeson White said that they did not know why Davis was passing through Missoula at the time, but that his vehicle matched that of the description given in 1974

Police chief Jaeson White said that they did not know why Davis was passing through Missoula at the time, but that his vehicle matched that of the description given in 1974

Police chief Jaeson White said that they did not know why Davis was passing through Missoula at the time, but that his vehicle matched that of the description given in 1974

‘They sent us a very lovely statement to our family from theirs, and they are also experiencing their own new family tragedy,’ McGuiness said. 

‘So I would like to ask that you know anybody who is looking at this case –please also respect their privacy as they are healing right now as well and had absolutely no idea that somebody that they loved would have been capable of such a thing.’ 

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox praised the collaboration between the many state and federal agencies that led to the case being solved, and told the McGuiness family that he hopes the discovery leads to closure.

‘I wish I could embrace you, hug you and cry with you, but we’ll let this pandemic subside and hopefully do that very soon,’ Fox said. 

Kimberly Dudik, a Montana state representative, spoke on behalf of Siobhan’s mother, thanking the Missoula Police Department for solving ‘an unthinkable crime that ripped apart our lives and the lives of everyone in Missoula in 1974.’

Some of Siobhan’s ashes are buried near the ‘M’ sign on Montana’s Mount Sentinel, she said, while others were scattered from the Higgins Avenue Bridge, overlooking what is now Brennan’s Wave.

She added that plans are in the works to create a permanent memorial for Siobhan – a rooftop sculpture garden – as a living remembrance. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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