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Top News Stories: (10/18-10/24)

Here are the top stories from domestic news, world news, good news, and science and tech.

It's all summarized so you can stay informed and save time!

All sources are at the end of the post.

China vows no concessions on Taiwan after Biden comments:

President Joe Biden participates in a CNN town hall at the Baltimore Center Stage Pearlstone Theater, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in Baltimore, with moderator Anderson Cooper.

· China on Friday said there is “no room” for compromise or concessions over the issue of Taiwan, following a comment by U.S. President Joe Biden that the U.S. is committed to defending the island if it is attacked. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin reasserted China’s longstanding claim that the island is its territory at a daily briefing after Biden made his comment a day before at a forum hosted by CNN. China has recently upped its threat to bring Taiwan under its control by force if necessary, by flying warplanes near the island and rehearsing beach landings. Under President Xi Jinping, who is also Communist Party leader and head of the armed forces, China has been stepping up military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan. Over its National Day weekend at the beginning of the month, China sent a record 149 military aircraft southwest of Taiwan in strike group formations, prompting Taiwan to scramble aircraft and activate its air defense missile systems. The United States in response to this has reinforced its support for Taiwan through military sales and the U.S. government claims to want deeper ties with the island nation.

Is there a constitutional right to food? Mainers to decide:

Phil Retberg feeds his hogs at the Quill's End Farm, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Penobscot, Maine. AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

· Maine residents are deciding on whether a right to food is a state constitutional right. Depending on whom you ask, Maine’s proposed “right to food” constitutional amendment would simply put people in charge of how and what they eat or would endanger animals and food supplies and turn urban neighborhoods into cattle pastures. Depending on whom you ask, Maine’s proposed “right to food” constitutional amendment would simply put people in charge of how and what they eat — or would endanger animals and food supplies and turn urban neighborhoods into cattle pastures. For supporters, the language is short and to the point, ensuring the right to grow vegetables and raise livestock in an era when corporatization threatens local ownership of the food supply, a constitutional experiment that has never been tried in any state. For opponents like the Maine Farm Bureau, the proposition is deceptively vague, representing a threat to food safety and animal welfare, and could embolden residents to raise cows in their backyards in cities like Portland and Bangor. In the Nov. 2 election, voters will be asked if they favor an amendment to the Maine Constitution “to declare that all individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their choice for their nourishment, sustenance, bodily health, and well-being.”

Anti-Cancer Drug Derived From Himalayan Fungus Clears Early Clinical Trials:

University of Oxford

· An Oxford University study has shown that a new drug NUC-7738, a novel chemotherapy drug derived from a fungus, has up to 40 times greater potency for killing cancer cells than its parent compound, with limited toxic side effects. The naturally occurring chemical known as Cordycepin is found in the Himalayan fungus Cordyceps Sinensis and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years to treat cancers and other inflammatory diseases. The new drug was created by a pharmaceutical company named NuCana and paired with ProTide technology delivery of the drug into the bloodstream, it allows the drug to stay in the system longer which destroys more cancer cells. The drug in tandem with this delivery method allows a wide variety of cancers, even including advanced developments of large tumors. Right now, the drug has passed its first stage in the approval process and is moving on to the second stage in partnership with NuCana, hopefully adding on to the options of cancer treatment available.

Istanbul Improves the Lives of Thousands of Stray Cats with Elaborate Outdoor Cat Houses:

By bluXgraphics (motorcycle design Japan)=Midorikawa

· In Istanbul, a city of 15 million people that’s famous for its relaxed attitude towards stray cats, groups of volunteers build elaborate houses for their feline neighbors. There, cats can find donated food and toys, cushions and boxes to keep them out of harsh weather, and even a new owner if they’re lucky. It all started back in 2008, when, according to one source, an interior architect named Didem Gokgoz regularly passed through a park on her way to work in the district of Sisli—in which there were always stray cats trying to find places to keep warm in winter. Didem came to know others that would help the cats and they formed a volunteer group organization called Podo that is dedicated to building cat homes for strays. The group became extremely popular in Istanbul and even received requests for houses in the three surrounding cities of Alanya, Izmir, and Gaziantep. If one thing is for sure, the thousands of stray cats in Istanbul are happy to have more places to stay for the cold winter months.

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