Here are the top stories from domestic news, world news, good news, and science and tech.
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All sources are at the end of the post.
What we learned from the 2nd week of the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial:
Kyle Rittenhouse (left) listens to his attorney Mark Richards as he takes the stand during his trial on Wednesday in Kenosha, Wis.
In August last year protests erupted in the city of Kenosha Wisconsin following the police shooting and injuring a twenty-nine-year-old Black man. On August 25, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse went to the city from his home in Antioch Illinois with the self-proclaimed intention of acting as a medic and protecting private property. While there, he shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and then shot Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz minutes later, killing Huber and injuring Grosskreutz. He is now on trial for his actions where he maintains that he acted in self-defense while the prosecution argues that his reckless actions led directly to the violence. The case appears to favor Rittenhouse as video-evidence shows Rosenbaum aggressively chasing him and the state’s witnesses offering testimony that weakens the prosecution’s case, with the worst moment for the prosecution coming during the cross- examination of Grosskreutz. Defense Attorney Chirafisi said, “It wasn't until you pointed your gun at him — advanced on him with your gun, now your hands down, pointed at him — that he fired, right?” after which Grosskreutz replied, “Correct.” The prosecution is now asking that the Jury be allowed to consider lesser charges in the hope of landing a lesser version of the first-degree homicide for the killing of Huber, Rittenhouse’s most serious charge.
Europe becomes COVID-19's epicentre again, some countries look at fresh curbs:
Europe has again become the epicenter of COVID-19 outbreaks. The continent accounts for over half of the average seven-day infections globally and about half of the most recent deaths. European countries are taking up and planning measures to slow the spread among fears that the pandemic will derail economic recovery. Virologists and public health experts say that low vaccine turnout in some regions, waning immunity among those with early inoculations, and complacency over mask-wearing and social distancing are primarily to blame. Most EU countries are focusing on getting extra shots to the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. Central and Eastern European governments have taken more drastic action to combat the spread. Latvia, one of the least vaccinated countries in the EU, has been especially strict as its parliament voted on Friday to ban unvaccinated lawmakers from voting on or discussing legislation.
One of Britain’s Last D-Day Veterans Returns From France Completing His ‘Final Mission’ – and 68 Years of Charity:
One of Britain’s last surviving D-Day heroes returned home from France after completing his ‘final mission’ and got straight back out collecting for the 68th consecutive year. 96-year-old Harry Billinge has completed what he described as his ‘last duty' to pay tribute to his fallen friends who died on the Gold Beach during the landings in 1944. After collecting at least £50K ($67k) towards the construction of the memorial, he said he was incredibly moved to see the names of his fallen friends carved in stone during the unveiling last month. Instead of coming home to St Austell, Cornwall, to put his feet up, Harry has already been out collecting again to help maintain it and build an education center on the site. He has now spent an incredible 68 years raising money for military charities and said his newfound ‘celebrity status’ meant people were queuing this week to put money in his tin.
For stem cells, bigger doesn't mean better:
MIT biologists have answered an important biological question: Why do cells control their size? A new study examining blood stems cells suggests that the larger a cell is the higher the decline in function of stem cells. The researchers found that blood stem cells, which are among the smallest cells in the body, lose their ability to perform their normal function replenishing the body's blood cells as they grow larger. However, when the cells were restored to their usual size, they behaved normally again. The researchers also found that blood stem cells tend to enlarge as they age. Due to this discovery, many other studies examining cell growth in the intestinal tract and examinations studying DNA damaged cells have qualified the idea that smaller is more efficient. New drugs like Rapamycin, a drug that can inhibit cell growth, are now being used to treat cancers and prevent organ transplants due to their ability to extend the lifespans of other organisms. This new relationship between cell size and stem cell efficiency has opened up new doors to the treatment of disease and presents new opportunities for the human lifespan to become longer than it ever has been.