By Carey Gillam (Reuters) - A widely used farm chemical used as a key ingredient in a new herbicide developed by Dow AgroSciences "possibly" causes cancer in humans, a World Health Organization research unit has determined. The classification of the weed killer, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, known as 2,4-D, was made by the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The IARC said it reviewed the latest scientific literature and decided to classify 2,4-D as "possibly carcinogenic to humans," a step below the more definitive "probably carcinogenic" category but two steps above the "probably not carcinogenic" category. IARC's findings on 2,4-D have been awaited by environmental and consumer groups that are lobbying U.S. regulators to tightly restrict the use of 2,4-D, as well as by farm groups and others that defend 2,4-D as an important agent in food production that does not need more restrictions. In March, IARC said it had found another popular herbicide -glyphosate - was "probably carcinogenic to humans." Glyphosate is the key ingredient in Monsanto Co's Roundup herbicide and other products. IARC classifications do not carry regulatory requirements but can influence regulators, lawmakers and the public. Following the glyphosate classification, some companies and government officials moved to limit glyphosate use. Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical Co, has had a particular interest in IARC's review. The company is using both glyphosate and 2,4-D in a herbicide it calls Enlist Duo that received U.S. approval last year. Enlist Duo is designed to be used with genetically engineered, herbicide-tolerant crops developed by Dow. Dow had no comment on the IARC classification, but the company has said 2,4-D is a safe and valuable tool for agriculture. IARC said it decided on the "possibly" classification because there was "inadequate evidence in humans and limited evidence in experimental animals" of ties between 2,4-D and cancer. It said that epidemiological studies provided "strong evidence that 2,4-D induces oxidative stress ... and moderate evidence that 2,4-D causes immunosuppression ..." However, IARC said, "epidemiological studies did not find strong or consistent increases in risk of NHL (non-Hodgkin lymphoma) or other cancers in relation to 2,4-D exposure." Dana Loomis, a deputy section head for IARC, said the most important studies reviewed showed mixed results, and a "sizable minority" judged the evidence as stronger than others did. Among the research presented to IARC was an analysis funded by a Dow-backed task force that found no ties between 2,4-D and many cancers. Some critics of 2,4-D had thought IARC would assign at least the "probably" cancer-causing classification to 2,4-D. But the Dow-backed task force said there was no reason to do so. “Not one health and safety regulator in the world consider 2,4-D to be a human carcinogen," the 2,4-D Research Task Force said in a statement. Since its introduction in 1945, 2,4-D has been widely used to control weeds in agriculture, forestry, and urban and residential settings. (Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
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Recent history shows the opportunity to pass major bills can disappear quickly. What should Democrats’ top priority be?
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Libya’s coast guard intercepted on Friday more than 80 Europe-bound migrants in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the North African country, the U.N. migration agency said. The migrants were returned to Libyan soil, said the International Organization for Migration. “So far this year, some 300 people, including women and children, were returned to the country and ended up in detention,” said the IOM.
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved Avril Haines as the Director of National Intelligence, the nation's top intelligence job, making her the first of President Joe Biden's nominees to be approved. The vote was 84-10, with all the "no" votes coming from Republicans. Both Democrats and leading Republicans issued statements praising the nominee.
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The master tenant of a cluttered, dilapidated San Francisco Bay Area warehouse where 36 people perished in a late-night fire in 2016 is scheduled to plead guilty Friday to the deaths, avoiding a second trial after the first ended in a hung jury. Families of several victims told the East Bay Times last week that prosecutors told them Derick Almena, 50, will plead guilty to 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in exchange for a nine-year sentence. Almena may serve little or none of that term because of time already spent behind bars and credit for good behavior.
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Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) on Wednesday warned fellow Republicans that if they try to “erase Donald Trump from the party, you’re going to get erased.” “I hope people in our party understand the party itself,” he told Fox News hours after President Joe Biden was sworn-in. “Most Republicans like his policies. A lot of Republicans like his style,” Graham said. “A lot of people are disappointed with him personally at times but appreciate the outcomes he’s achieved for our country.” Asked if he thinks Trump will try to start another political party — according to the Wall Street Journal, the former president is toying with the idea of forming a “Patriot Party” — Graham said he hoped Trump does not, adding that he would like to see him “stay the leader of the Republican Party.” He defended Trump’s presidency as “a good four years for judges, for rebuilding the military, for bringing order to the border, for historic peace agreements in the Mideast.” He also commended the former president’s appointment of three Supreme Court justices. “I hope President Trump understands that his legacy and his best future lies with the Republican Party,” he said. He added that removing Trump from the party “would be a disaster … The one way Democrats can survive is for the Republican Party to crack up. The best way for the Republican Party to crack up is try to move forward without Donald Trump.” A number of Republicans have disavowed Trump in recent weeks after a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, leaving five people dead. A handful of House Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach the president for “incitement of insurrection.”
The European Union and Turkey pressed each other on Thursday to take concrete steps to improve relations long strained by disagreements over energy, migration and Ankara's human rights record. Turkey, which remains an official candidate for EU membership despite the tensions, is facing the threat of EU economic sanctions over a hydrocarbons dispute with Greece in the eastern Mediterranean, but the mood music between Brussels and Ankara has improved since the new year.
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Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has filed articles of impeachment against Joe Biden the day after he was inaugurated as president. The lawmaker, who has ties to the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, took to Twitter to announce the move against the new president. “I’ve just filed articles of impeachment on president Joe Biden, we will see how this goes," she said.
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Vice presidents since Vice President Walter Mondale have been living in the residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.
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One of former President Donald Trump's last acts in office was issuing a directive extending free Secret Service protection to his four adult children and two of their spouses for the next six months, three people with knowledge of the matter told The Washington Post.It's not just his adult children benefiting — Trump also directed that former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and former National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien continue to receive Secret Service protection for six months, two people familiar with the matter told the Post. This 24-hour security, funded by taxpayer money, is expected to cost millions.Under federal law, only Trump, former first lady Melania Trump, and their 14-year-old son, Barron, are entitled to Secret Service protection now that they have left the White House; while Donald and Melania can receive protection for the rest of their lives, Barron is only entitled to it up until his 16th birthday.The Post notes that presidents have the ability to order Secret Service protection for anyone they want, but it is extremely unusual for an outgoing president to order this type of security for their children who are well into adulthood. It is also unclear if there is precedent for ordering security for former aides. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush requested security extensions for their daughters, who were in college when their presidencies ended. Once former President Barack Obama was out of office, his daughters — one in high school, the other on a gap year from college — received a short extension of security.During Trump's presidency, his adult children took more than 4,500 trips, including vacations and business travel for the Trump Organization, the Post reports. Taxpayers paid millions of dollars for Secret Service agents to accompany them on those jaunts.More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit Biden removes Trump's Diet Coke button from the Oval Office Trump's team fired the White House chief usher right before Biden took office, maybe at Biden's request
A Nigerian court threw out two blasphemy convictions on Thursday that had caused an international outcry, freeing a teenager from a 10-year prison sentence and ordering a new trial for a man sentenced to death. The two had been convicted in August by a sharia court in Nigeria's northern, mainly Muslim state of Kano. Teenager Omar Farouq was accused of making blasphemous comments during an argument, while Yahaya Aminu Sharif was accused of having shared a blasphemous message on WhatsApp.
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In a final swipe at China, the Trump administration’s outgoing U.N. ambassador tweeted that it's time for the world to oppose China’s efforts to exclude and isolate Taiwan, drawing sharp criticism from Beijing. To make the point even more graphic, Ambassador Kelly Craft accompanied the tweet with a photo of herself in the U.N. General Assembly Hall where the island is banned.
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The resistance includes Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham, the two remaining GOP authors of the "Gang of Eight" overhaul in 2013.
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Governor General Julie Payette, the Queen's representative in Canada, resigned on Thursday ahead of the release of a reportedly scathing report on workplace harassment claims levelled against her office. The independent review had been ordered by the government last July when allegations of a "toxic" climate at Rideau Hall – the official residence of the governor general – first surfaced. Canadian media, citing unnamed sources briefed on its contents, said the review's conclusions were damning. "In respect for the integrity of my viceregal office and for the good of our country and of our democratic institutions, I have come to the conclusion that a new governor general should be appointed," Ms Payette said in a statement. And so, she added, "I have submitted my resignation... [and] I have informed the prime minister of Canada of my decision." Current and former staff at the governor general's office had alleged that Ms Payette bullied, yelled at and publicly humiliated staff, some of whom left her office in tears. Ms Payette responded at the time that she took the allegations very seriously. The resignation of a governor general, especially under such circumstances, is unprecedented in Canada's history.
The United Arab Emirates has swung open its doors to visitors betting that the blistering pace of its coronavirus vaccine rollout means it can keep infections in check while giving its economy a shot in the arm. The UAE case rate is still well below Britain with 574 per million, one of Europe's worst hit countries and now in lockdown, but far higher than its neighbours Saudi Arabia with 7 per million or Oman with 33 per million, even as the UAE boasts the second highest level of vaccinations to population on the planet. The UAE has avoided imposing a new lockdown, while some countries in Europe and elsewhere are on a second or third wave of tough restrictions.
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During an event at which he signed executive orders aimed at fighting the coronavirus pandemic, President Biden said “things are going to continue to get worse before they get better,” adding that the death toll will likely top 500,000 in February.
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Indonesian authorities on Thursday ended the search for remaining victims and debris from a Sriwijaya Air jet that nosedived into the Java Sea, killing all 62 people on board. Transportation minister Budi Karya Sumadi said retrieval operations have ended after nearly two weeks, but that a limited search for the missing memory unit from the cockpit voice recorder will continue. The memory unit apparently broke away from other parts of the voice recorder during the crash.
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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., reacted to Amazon offering President Biden help to distribute the vaccine after President Trump left office.