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A ruling that blocks President Donald Trump’s order barring funding for cities that shelter illegal immigrants has been labeled as “bananas” by the White House.

A San Francisco judge has placed January’s executive order in limbo, but the White House is vowing to appeal.

San Francisco and Santa Clara County sued in February.

The Trump administration has warned so-called sanctuary cities they could lose federal funds if they do not co-operate with federal immigration officials.

On April 25, Judge William Orrick issued a temporary injunction against the presidential order as the case continues in the courts.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said, in reference to the San Francisco-based appeals court, which conservatives often accuse of liberalism: “It’s the 9th Circuit going bananas.”

Image source Wikipedia

President Trump’s measure cast doubt on the transfer of some $1.2 billion for San Francisco and $1.7 billion to Santa Clara County, home to many Silicon Valley communities.

It is another legal defeat for Donald Trump in his efforts to curb immigration – his plan to curtail travel from seven Muslim-majority nations was twice blocked in federal courts.

Lawyers for the federal government had argued in the sanctuary cities case that only funding related to law enforcement would be withheld.

However, Judge William Orrick said any doubt about the scope of the “vague” order was erased by public comments made by President Trump, such as those calling the measure a “weapon” to use against jurisdictions that disagree with his immigration policies.

Judge William Orrick accused the Trump administration of a “schizophrenic approach” to the order.

The 49-page court ruling added that the plaintiffs challenging President Trump’s order are likely to succeed in proving the order unconstitutional.

The judge wrote: “Federal funding… cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the President disapproves.”

However, Judge William Orrick’s ruling allowed the justice department to follow through with threats made to nine cities last week to cut specific program grants if they do not adequately co-operate with federal immigration officers.

In a press release last week, the department accused sanctuary cities of “crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime”.

There are several sanctuary cities across the US, including Donald Trump’s home of New York.

New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio praised April 25 ruling, saying President Trump went beyond his authority to cut funding to cities that “don’t share his illogical and unconstitutional desire to scapegoat immigrants”.

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Italian politicians have reacted with anger after Cecile Kyenge, the country’s first black minister, had bananas thrown at her during a political rally.

Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge, who has suffered racial abuse in the past, dismissed the act as “a waste of food”.

But Environment Minister Andrea Orlando said on Twitter he felt the “utmost indignation” over the incident.

Earlier this month an Italian senator apologized after saying Cecile Kyenge reminded him of an orangutan.

Congolese-born Cecile Kyenge was speaking at a Democratic Party (PD) rally in Cervia on Friday when an unidentified spectator threw bananas towards the stage, narrowly missing her.

Cecile Kyenge, Italy's first black minister, had bananas thrown at her during a political rally

Cecile Kyenge, Italy’s first black minister, had bananas thrown at her during a political rally

Italian police say they are trying to find the culprit.

Responding on Twitter, Cecile Kyenge called the incident “sad” and “a waste of food”.

“The courage and optimism to change things has to come above all from the bottom up to reach the institutions,” she added.

Italian politicians rallied behind her on Saturday with messages of support and condemnation.

Education Minister Maria Chiara Carrozza praised Cecile Kyenge for her courage and determination in such a hostile climate.

Veneto regional governor Luca Zaia from the anti-immigration Northern League also spoke out against the incident, saying: “Throwing bananas, personal insults… acts like these play no part in the civilized and democratic discussion needed between the minister and those who don’t share her opinion.”

Correspondents say the slurs and threats suffered by Cecile Kyenge have highlighted the extent of casual racism in Italian society.

Senate vice-president Roberto Calderoli, of the Northern League, faced calls to quit earlier this month after making the orangutan remarks.

Roberto Calderoli told parliament he had made a “serious mistake” with his “offensive” comment and he would send Cecile Kyenge a bunch of roses.

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Climate change could lead to bananas becoming a critical food source for millions of people, a new report says.

Researchers from the CGIAR agricultural partnership say the fruit might replace potatoes in some developing countries.

Cassava and the little known cowpea plant could play increasingly important roles in agriculture as temperatures rise.

People will have to adapt to new and varied menus as traditional crops struggle say the authors.

Responding to a request from the United Nations’ committee on world food security, a group of experts in the field looked at the projected effects of climate change on 22 of the world’s most important agricultural commodities.

They predict that the world’s three biggest crops in terms of calories provided – maize, rice and wheat – will decrease in many developing countries.

They suggest that the potato, which grows best in cooler climates, could also suffer as temperatures increase and weather becomes more volatile.

The authors argue that these changes “could provide an opening for cultivating certain varieties of bananas” at higher altitudes, even in those places that currently grow potatoes.

Dr. Philip Thornton is one of those behind the report. He said that while bananas also have limiting factors, they may be a good substitute for potatoes in certain locations

“It’s not necessarily a silver bullet but there may be places where as temperatures increase, bananas might be one option that small holders could start to look at.”

The report describes wheat as the world’s most important plant derived protein and calories source.

But according to this research, wheat will face a difficult future in the developing world where higher prices for cotton, maize and soybeans have pushed wheat to marginal land, making it more vulnerable to stresses induced by climate change.

One substitute, especially in South Asia, could be cassava which can tolerate a range of climate stresses.

But how easy will it be to get people to adjust to new crops and new diets?

Bruce Campbell is program director of the climate change, agriculture and food security research group (CCAFS) which co-ordinates work among leading institutions around the world. He said that the types of changes that will happen in the future have already happened in the past.

“Two decades ago there was almost no rice consumption in certain areas of Africa, now there is. People have changed because of the pricing, it’s easier to get, it’s easier to cook. I think those sort of shifts do occur and I think they will in future.”

One of the big concerns among researchers is how to tackle the need for protein in the diet. Soybeans are one of the most common sources but are very susceptible to temperature changes.

The scientists say that the cowpea, which is known in sub-Saharan Africa as the “poor man’s meat” is drought tolerant and prefers warmer weather and could be a reasonable alternative to soya. The vines of the cowpea can also be used as a feed for livestock.

In some countries, including Nigeria and Niger, farmers have already moved away from cotton production to growing cowpeas.

There are also likely to be developments animal protein sources says the report including a shift from to smaller livestock.

This is an example of something that’s happening already,” says Bruce Campbell.

“There’s been quite a shift from cattle keeping to goat keeping in southern Africa in face of droughts – when the farmers see the problems they are having with production, they really are willing to shift.

“Change is really possible. It’s not just a crazy notion.”

 

A preliminary study has found that taking Vitamin B-6 may not only give people more vivid dreams but also help in remembering them the next morning.

While we supposedly all have 4-6 dreams a night it is often hard to recall them, especially in their entirety.

Vitamin B-6, which is found in meats, whole grains, vegetables, nuts and bananas, has long been thought to help recall dreams and enhance their lucidity but this was based on theory rather than a concrete study.

However, a small study done back in 2002 has come to light which seemingly goes some way to proving the familiar theory.

In the study twelve university students were given varying amounts of the vitamin over a period of five days.

Four participants were given 100 mg, four were given 250 mg, while the remaining students were given a placebo.

The participants who were given the biggest dose of Vitamin B-6 had a higher rate of dream salience as determined by vividness, bizareness, emotionality, and color.

Taking Vitamin B-6 may not only give people more vivid dreams but also help in remembering them the next morning

Taking Vitamin B-6 may not only give people more vivid dreams but also help in remembering them the next morning

It is believed that Vitamin B-6 has this effect because it converts amino acids into serotonin, which wakes the brain up during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, a stage of sleeping where our dreams are most vivid.

But hold back on those bananas as too much of the vitamin can mean you won’t get to sleep at all as it can cause insomnia, as well as heart palpitations, cramps, high blood pressure, and panic attacks.

While this study into dreams was just preliminary, supplements of Vitamin B-6 have been given to treat nausea and vomiting in the early stages of pregnancy for decades.