Home » Page 55
Categorieslatest

The US is worried about an invasion, but China could take control of Taiwan without firing a shot, war experts warn

The US and its allies are focused on preventing a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.A new report argues there’s a lack of readiness for other ways China could take control of Taiwan.An aggressive Chinese coercion campaign is far more likely than an invasion and already happening, experts warn. With the US and its allies focused on what a Chinese invasion of Taiwan could look like, and how American forces could defend Taiwan if necessary, they’re missing a glaring alternative strategy China could employ to capture Taiwan, a new report argues. Defense experts say that an aggressive Chinese coercion campaign, short of war but still threatening, is more likely than a full-scale invasion and the US needs to prepare for such an event. A new report co-authored by war experts from the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War explores a scenario where China undergoes a “coercion campaign that remains far short of invasion but nevertheless brings Taiwan under Beijing’s control,” identifying such an event as a “significant gap in US strategic thought.” Elements of such a campaign are already underway and include China’s military exercises both in the Taiwan Strait and around the island, which are growing in scale and raising worries about escalation. Economic and diplomatic pressure is notable, and Chinese misinformation operations and the potential to slowly set up a blockade of Taiwan are also concerns. The increasing Chinese military presence around Taiwan, the report says, could exhaust and overwhelm Taiwan’s military and fuel a narrative that it is unable to defend the island, decreasing “trust in the military and feelings of security among the Taiwanese populace.” The report identifies four things key to resisting Chinese coercion. The first is a US-Taiwanese strategic relationship that foregoes concerns that “cooperation directly precipitates further escalation, whereas peace and prosperity are just around the corner if this partnership is halted.” Second, Taiwan’s government must function despite Chinese efforts to undermine it in the eyes of the Taiwanese people through things like “economic warfare, cyber warfare, sabotage, rigorous (and pseudo-legal) inspections of ships carrying goods to Taiwan, air and sea closures, electronic warfare, and propaganda critical of government mismanagement.” These efforts include significantly degrading Taiwan’s essential services, like clean water and electricity. The third point is that Taiwanese people must resist Chinese “cognitive and psychological campaigns” aimed at breaking their rejection of the Chinese government, including “intimidating supporters of resistance, sowing doubt and fear among the population, and generating demands to trade political concessions for peace.” And lastly, there has to be resistance against “widespread information campaigns” that “aim to decrease the US public’s and political leadership’s willingness to support Taiwan.” Such campaigns are already occurring, prompting anxiety that the US public and government may see getting involved in defending Taiwan as heightening risks of war at a significant cost with little to gain. The AEI and ISW experts argue that is not the case. Notably, the report says that “Taiwan is strategically vital to the larger US-led coalition to contain” China, arguing that a US-friendly Taiwan links America’s allies in the northwestern Pacific with US partners and allies to the south.” A China-controlled Taiwan, however, “would become a springboard for further PRC aggression and would seriously compromise the US-led coalition’s ability to operate cohesively.” The authors of the new report present coordinated actions China could pursue to prompt Taiwan and its partners to accept reunification, referring to it as a “short-of-war coercion course of action.” Some of Beijing’s biggest problems are Taiwanese resistance to China, which continues to grow, especially after the historic election of Democratic Progressive Party candidate Lai Ching-te, who is currently the vice president, in January, and continued support from the US and its regional allies. The new report looks at a hypothetical timeline that begins with the inauguration of Lai this month and leads into 2028, imaging how China and Taiwan could, by that point, come to a “peace” agreement. China could ultimately be successful in such a campaign, the authors say, if the US and its allies fail to recognize Beijing’s coercive tactics or strategically plan to deter them. The US must clearly “recognize the possibility and danger of a coercion campaign that is far more intense than the one currently ongoing against Taiwan and develop ways to prevent Taiwan’s isolation through means short of war,” they write. The report’s authors argue that “increased efforts in the information domain will be key to ensuring that the US government and friendly international audiences do not fall prey to [Chinese] information operations intended to reshape the way Americans and key international actors think.” US-Taiwanese relations and concerns about an aggressive China in the Pacific region are often at the forefront of the minds of US officials and experts, but the focus is frequently on hard power elements, even if there is recognition of some of the coercive aspects of Chinese behavior. In March, US Navy Adm. John Aquilano, then the commander of US Indo-Pacific Command, stressed that China was pursuing a massive military build-up not seen since World War II and “all indications” pointed to it “meeting President Xi Jinping’s directive to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027.” He also told the US Armed Services House Committee China’s actions indicated it would ready to unify Taiwan by force, if necessary. Aquilano urged lawmakers to intensify the US’ military development and posturing in the Pacific in order to deter such a fight. And, earlier this month, over a dozen US lawmakers wrote to US Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro and Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, raising concerns about what preparations were being made to harden the US presence in the Pacific and deter military action from China. Of the lawmakers’ concerns, the most prominent appeared to be the lack of active and passive defenses protecting US bases in the area, specifically on Guam and in Japan. “We are concerned about the alarming lack of urgency by the Department of Defense in adopting such defensive measures,” they wrote, adding that “it is apparent that the Pentagon is not urgently pursuing needed passive defenses” to harden US bases and airfields from a vicious, preemptive strike by China’s threatening missile force. Read the original article on Business Insider

Categorieslatest

State College superintendent responds to reports of bullying after death of eighth-grade student

State College Area School District’s superintendent updated families Thursday after the death of a Park Forest Middle School student, writing that reports of bullying are being investigated but evidence that a person or incident are responsible has not been found. Eighth-grader Abby Smith died on Sunday, and in the days since the State College community has mourned the death of a girl described as a “kind, bright young woman who brightened the lives of those around her.” In a letter to families on Thursday afternoon, Superintendent Curtis Johnson said that since Sunday, the district has received numerous communications and Safe2Say reports that singled out individuals for bullying. Abby’s family was not aware of her being bullied and do not believe it was the reason for her death by suicide, Johnson wrote. SCASD administration and law enforcement agencies are still investigating. “At this time, we have found no evidence that any one person or incident is responsible,” Johnson wrote. “Additionally, we did not receive any related Safe2Say reports beforehand.” Abby, an eighth-grade student at Park Forest Middle School, has two siblings in the district. A Meal Train donation page has been set up for the Smith family and has raised $48,650 as of Thursday. A percussionist in the Park Forest Middle School band, Abby was looking forward to joining the marching band and taking culinary classes at State High, according to her obituary. She loved to craft with her mother and learned to cook with her father. She was preparing to be a leader in training at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center this summer, the camp she had attended since she was four. “Abby was a loving, creative, fiercely protective, determined old soul with a large group of family and friends who loved her immensely,” her obituary read. The district asked that families not spread any misinformation and that parents talk with students about spreading rumors. Any credible information should be reported to the district or through Safe2Say, the anonymous school safety reporting system. “My hope is this information helps create more understanding, and our conversations turn to remembering Abby as the nurturing and loving young woman she was,” Johnson wrote. “In the coming days, let’s focus on helping each other and caring for one another.” Additional mental health support professionals were brought in to help students at Park Forest Middle School and classrooms throughout the district on Monday. Counselors will continue to be available to students as needed, Johnson wrote. SUICIDE PREVENTION RESOURCES National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: Call or text 988 or chat at 988Lifeline.org Center for Community Resources: Visit 2100 E. College Ave., 24/7

Categorieslatest

Gunman’s family told deputy before Maine’s deadliest shooting that they hadn’t removed his weapons

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Police have said repeatedly in the aftermath of Maine’s deadliest shooting that officers thought the gunman’s family had been taking his weapons away. Testifying before an investigative committee on Thursday, the gunman’s sister-in-law suggested that law enforcement officers should have known this wasn’t true, because she and her husband, Ryan Card, told a deputy on the phone a month before Robert Card killed 18 people that he still had access to weapons, despite his deteriorating mental health. “My husband will always blame himself, even though it shouldn’t be blamed on him. He will always blame,” Katie Card said. “So I will, always.” The revelation came during the first public testimony from Card’s relatives. One after another spoke of frustrating attempts to get help, and offered emotional apologies to the victims and their family members. The independent commission appointed by the governor already heard from police, victims and their families, and other Army reservists about the deadliest shooting in Maine history. Card, 40, killed himself after opening fire with an assault rifle inside a bowling alley and a bar and grill in Lewiston in October. In the aftermath, the legislature passed new gun laws for Maine, a state with a long tradition of firearms ownership. Among other things, they bolstered the state’s “yellow flag” law, criminalized the transfer of guns to prohibited people and expanded funding for mental health crisis care. Card’s family had kept a low profile after the tragedy, other than releasing a statement in March expressing deep sorrow and disclosing an analysis of Card’s brain tissue that showed evidence of traumatic brain injuries. Card had trained others in the use of hand grenades, and the family blamed the repeated blasts for his mental decline. The commission issued an interim report in March saying law enforcement should have seized Card’s guns and put him in protective custody based on the warnings from family and reservists, using the existing yellow flag law. A full report is due this summer. Police testified that the family had agreed to remove Card’s guns, but the commission said leaving such a task to them “was an abdication of law enforcement’s responsibility.” Katie Card said Thursday that a deputy had applied pressure — to his brother Ryan in particular — to offer assurances that the guns were taken away so that the deputy could wrap up his investigation ahead of a two-week vacation. She said she and her husband “both expressed that day (to the deputy) and multiple times after that we had been unsuccessful.” She said she and Ryan Card, whom she described as a retired Army ranger who is disabled after deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, remain wracked with guilt even though it was unfair for law enforcement to make estranged family members responsible for removing Card’s guns. Other relatives also vented their frustrations, blaming the military, law enforcement and media coverage. James Herling, husband of the gunman’s sister, singled out the Army Reserves for declining to answer the phone or return their calls as they sought help. Card’s ex-wife, Cara Lamb, accused police of ignoring or dismissing warning signs. Nicole Herling, the guman’s sister, said military personnel deserve better protections: “It’s unjust to continue training with explosions and sonic booms until there are protective gear and standards ensuring the safety of all of our soldier’s brains.” “This is not an excuse for the behavior or acts that Robbie committed,” James Herling testified. “It was a wrongful act of evil. My brother-in-law was not this man. His brain was hijacked.” An Army spokesperson said Thursday that Army “is committed to understanding how brain health is affected and to implementing evidence-based risk mitigation and treatment” and that the Army this year is conducting cognitive assessments of trainees that can be repeated to identify changes. As for the mass shooting, the Army Reserves and the Army inspector general are conducting separate investigations into the events and “more details may become available once the investigation is complete.” Lamb said their teenage son was so concerned about Card’s growing paranoia and access to guns that she shared his worries with a school resource officer in May 2023. This should’ve been a “flashing sign that we have a problem here,” she said. Fellow Army reservists witnessed Card’s deterioration, to the point that he was hospitalized for two weeks during training last summer. One reservist, Sean Hodgson, told superiors on Sept. 15: “I believe he’s going to snap and do a mass shooting.” Lamb, for her part, said she herself encouraged officers not to confront her ex-husband for fear of escalation, and harm to her son’s relationship with his father, but now questions that approach. “I keep wondering if the right thing to do would’ve been to say, ‘Damn it all, damn everyone’s feelings and repercussions,’ and go scream at the police — ‘What do we have to do?!’” she testified. ___ Sharp reported from Portland, Maine.

Categorieslatest

Texas governor pardons ex-Army sergeant convicted of killing Black Lives Matter protester

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a full pardon Thursday for a former U.S. Army sergeant convicted of murder for fatally shooting an armed demonstrator in 2020 during nationwide protests against police violence and racial injustice. Abbott announced the pardon shortly after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles announced a unanimous recommendation that Daniel Perry be pardoned and have his firearms rights restored. Perry had been in state prison on a 25-year sentence since his 2023 conviction in the killing of Garrett Foster, and was released shortly after the pardon, a prison spokeswoman said. Perry, who is white, was working as a ride-share driver when his car approached a demonstration in Austin. Prosecutors said he could have driven away from the confrontation with Foster, a white Air Force veteran who witnesses said never raised his gun. A jury convicted Perry of murder, but Abbott called it a case of self-defense. “Texas has one of the strongest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive district attorney,” Abbott said. A Republican in his third term, Abbott has typically issued pardons only for minor offenses, and he notably avoided a posthumous pardon recommendation for George Floyd for a 2004 drug arrest in Houston. It was Floyd’s killing by a white police officer in Minneapolis in 2020 that set off national demonstrations. Abbott ordered the board to review Perry’s case shortly after the trial, and said he would sign a pardon if recommended. Under Texas law, the governor cannot issue a pardon without a recommendation from the board, which the governor appoints. Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza blasted the pardon as a “mockery of our legal system.” “The board and the governor have put their politics over justice,” Garza said. “They should be ashamed of themselves. Their actions are contrary to the law and demonstrate that there are two classes of people in this state where some lives matter and some lives do not.” Abbott’s demand for a review of Perry’s case followed pressure from former Fox News star Tucker Carlson, who on national television had urged the governor to intervene after the sergeant was convicted at trial in April 2023. Perry was sentenced after prosecutors used his social media history and text messages to portray him as a racist who may commit violence again. The sergeant’s defense attorneys argued that Foster did raise the rifle and that Perry had no choice but to shoot. Perry did not take the witness stand and jurors deliberated for two days before finding him guilty. Perry acted in self-defense when confronted by an angry crowd and a person with an assault rifle, Perry attorney Clint Broden said after the pardon. “The events of this case have always been tragic and, unfortunately, Garrett Foster lost his life,” Broden said. “Mr. Perry and his family thank the Board of Pardons and Parole for its careful review of the case and are grateful that the State of Texas has strong laws to allow its citizens to protect themselves.” Foster’s girlfriend, Whitney Mitchell, was with Foster when he was killed. She called the pardon an act of “lawlessness.” “With this pardon the governor has desecrated the life of a murdered Texan and U.S. Air Force veteran and impugned that jury’s just verdict. He has declared that Texans who hold political views that are different from his and different from those in power can be killed in this state with impunity,” Mitchell said. The shooting set off fierce debate in 2020 amid the demonstrations sparked by Floyd’s death, and Perry’s conviction three years later prompted outrage from prominent conservatives. Before sentencing in the case, Carlson aired a broadcast calling the shooting an act of self-defense and criticizing Abbott for not coming on his show. The next day, Abbott said he believed Perry should not be punished and told Texas’ parole board to expedite a review of the conviction. After the verdict but before Perry was sentenced, the court unsealed dozens of pages of text messages and social media posts that showed he had hostile views toward Black Lives Matter protests. In a comment on Facebook a month before the shooting, Perry wrote, “It is official I am a racist because I do not agree with people acting like animals at the zoo.” Perry served in the Army for more than a decade. At trial, a forensic psychologist testified that he believed Perry has post-traumatic stress disorder from his deployment to Afghanistan and from being bullied as a child. At the time of the shooting, Perry was stationed at Fort Cavazos, then Fort Hood, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of Austin. __ This story has been updated to correct that Perry’s conviction was in 2023, not 2022.

Categorieslatest

Salt Lake Airport says ‘aloha’ to new airline service

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utahns have a new convenient way to experience a tropical getaway at the Salt Lake International Airport. Beginning Thursday, May 16, Hawaiian Airlines will begin operating out of Salt Lake City, offering daily non-stop flights to Honolulu. The full seven-hour trip will be serviced with an 189-seat Airbus A321neo, offering travelers free high-speed internet and Hawai’i-inspired food, snacks, and drink. “We know the Hawaiian Islands have a special place in the heart of Utahns and for some, a Hawaiʻi vacation also means reuniting with friends and family,” said Brent Overbeek, executive vice president and chief revenue officer at Hawaiian Airlines. “Our new Salt Lake City service comes at the perfect time for travelers planning their summer vacations and we look forward to welcoming them with our warm Hawaiian hospitality.” The flight will depart from Honolulu at 6:50 p.m. and arrive in Salt Lake City at 5:15 a.m. the next day. The return flight to Honolulu will leave Salt Lake City at 7 a.m. and arrive in Hawai’i at 9:55 a.m. giving travelers plenty of time in the day to enjoy the beaches or explore the destination hotspot. “We extend a warm welcome to Hawaiian Airlines as they join the SLC International Airport family,” said Salt Lake International Airport Executive Director Bill Wyatt. “Hawaiian Airlines has a reputation for excellence in hospitality and we look forward to many years of prosperity. Both the Salt Lake City International Airport and Hawaiian Airlines celebrated the new flight by welcoming the first travelers in true Hawaiian fashion. The first fliers were given a “festive gate-side celebration” with a fresh orchid lei, passion-orange-guava juice, cake and live music. If you missed out on the gate-side celebration but still want to celebrate, Utahns are invited to join Hawaiian Airlines for their “31 Days of Lei” celebration at the City Creek Center on Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event is free to attend with live music, POG-flavored cotton candy, hula, orchid hair pins and flower lei. Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Categorieslatest

Steve Hilton blasts UC Irvine for ‘caving to the mob’ over anti-Israel chaos on campus

Steve Hilton, Golden Together founder and Fox News contributor, blasted the University of California, Irvine, for “caving to the mob” after anti-Israel agitators created chaos and stormed buildings on campus. Hilton told Fox News Digital the school failed to protect the rights of the hardworking majority of students. “Our focus has been to call on the leadership of the university, the UC system overall, and the political leadership of the state to guarantee a normal student experience for every student, a majority of whom are law-abiding, hardworking students who don’t want anything to do with this,” Hilton explained. Hilton also raised concerns about how the widespread antisemitism on college campuses is often fueled by outside agitators. DOZENS ARRESTED AT UC IRVINE AFTER ANTI-ISRAEL AGITATORS SWARM BUILDINGS “And, in a sense, worse than that, by enemies of the United States who want to sow division and hate in the country,” Hilton added. “There have been reports of Chinese influence in these protests. You’ve got the Qatari influence, which has been well known and documented to a certain extent. You’ve got the role of the far-left parties.” Hilton questioned how this could be allowed to happen. “How do the people in charge allow something that’s really positive about America — our openness and welcoming character — to be exploited in these ways, to divide us and to cause such disruption to people?” Hilton wondered. CALIFORNIA MAYORS DUEL ON SOCIAL MEDIA OVER LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSE TO UC IRVINE ANTI-ISRAEL PROTESTS Hilton continued to explain that what we are seeing at UC Irvine and other college campuses across the country is a fundamental right and the foundation of the First Amendment, however appalling it is, but that it doesn’t extend to creating destruction, mayhem and chaos for everyone else. “Make your point, but don’t destroy other people’s opportunities while you’re doing it. You’d have thought that was very obvious, and then it would be just the instinct of the people in charge to enforce those values. But we’ve just seen a collapse in that kind of leadership. “And it seems yet again, it’s another example of the range of issues today in America, and especially here in California, where the people who do the wrong thing are rewarded and indulged and protected, and the people who do the right thing are the ones who end up getting punished.” He added that what we are witnessing across the country is a reflection of the “weakness and failures” of the Biden administration. “Biden has been pathetic on this as on everything else. And for the simple reason that I’ve been pointing out since he got into the Oval Office, which is that he is nothing but a weak, unprincipled machine politician who doesn’t have strong convictions, doesn’t really believe in anything other than his own political advancement,” Hilton said. “And so he gets pushed around on every issue, and he’ll just go with where he thinks the political opportunity lies for him. And so you’ve seen him all over the place on this issue, just as on so many others.” ANTI-ISRAEL PROTESTS MAY COST BIDEN ELECTION, SUPPORTERS, JOURNALISTS WARN Hilton said Biden is clearly scrambling to shore up his base because he sees the protests are hurting his support in the upcoming election. “That is the opposite of what a leader should do. He should stand for what he believes in, stand for the right thing, and especially in a situation like this, where the country is crying out for strong leadership. We’ve seen the exact opposite,” Hilton concluded. At least 50 people were arrested after hundreds of anti-Israel protesters swarmed UC Irvine’s campus Wednesday and set up barricades, the university confirmed Thursday. At one point, several hundred protesters entered the school’s Physical Sciences Lecture Hall and began to barricade the building. CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP The university said those arrested violated school policy and state laws and were arrested for failure to disperse and trespassing. UC Irvine could not confirm whether those arrested were students or not affiliated with the school. The university moved to remote operations Thursday. Fox News Digital’s Bradford Betz and Sarah Rumph-Whitten contributed to this report.

Categorieslatest

Northern Ireland O2 worker settles disability discrimination case for £160,000

A Northern Ireland O2 worker has settled a disability discrimination case against his former employer for £160,000. Eamon Bowen says Occupational Health recommendations to help him back to work after he developed a degenerative condition were not implemented. O2 says they have “apologised to Mr Bowen for any distress caused”. The sales advisor settled his case against Telefonica Ltd with the support of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. Read more: Schoolboy with autism to receive £8,000 payout in case against takeaway They say Eamon, 40, had worked in O2 stores in Belfast and the North West for a number of years before, in 2014, he was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis “a degenerative disc disease which causes him chronic pain, exhaustion, sleep and mobility issues”. In a statement, the Commission added: “Due to his health condition, Eamon had to take periods of sick leave. These were followed by referrals to Occupational Health, who made various recommendations to help him back to work. Eamon was keen to work, he managed his condition and worked from home during the pandemic. “Eamon returned to work in-store following lockdown in June 2020. However, he found this difficult as he spent most of his working day on his feet. Eamon took more sick leave which led to further referrals to Occupational Health. They again made recommendations to help him work including a phased return to work, reduced working hours and use of a support chair on the shop floor. Eamon says the recommendations weren’t implemented appropriately.” The Commission says Eamon “made repeated efforts to discuss Occupational Health’s recommendations with his employer. In the end he felt he had no option but to submit his resignation and left his job in November 2021”. Eamon Bowen said: “I enjoyed my job, I wanted to work. Occupational Health made recommendations time and time again to help me to return to and remain in work, but these were not fully implemented. In the end, without these supports and adjustments it became impossible for me to continue working. “I believe their failure to fully implement Occupational Health’s recommendations and to talk to me about my needs as a disabled person cost me my job. I’m grateful to the Equality Commission for helping me to challenge how I was treated.” Geraldine McGahey, Chief Commissioner, Equality Commission for Northern Ireland said: “This case was settled for a significant amount of money and the company has lost an experienced employee. It is essential that employers carefully consider all recommendations made by Occupational Health and communicate with the person with a disability to ensure they understand their needs. “It’s also important that all staff, particularly line managers, know that the law says reasonable adjustments have to be considered.” The Commission added that in settling the case “Telefonica acknowledged and apologised to Eamon for the significant upset, distress and injury to feelings that he experienced”. They added: “The company also affirmed its commitment to the principles of equality in employment and to ensuring that they comply with equality law. They have agreed to work with the Commission to review the policies, practices and procedures. The case was settled with no admission of liability.” An O2 spokesperson said: “As one of the UK’s largest businesses with a broad and diverse workforce, we have a range of measures in place to support employees who have a disability or specific needs, such as making layout changes for wheelchair users, hiring sign language interpreters for employees with hearing difficulties, and providing specialist equipment where appropriate. “We have apologised to Mr Bowen for any distress caused in this case, and we are pleased to have mutually reached a settlement.” For all the latest news, visit the Belfast Live homepage here and sign up to our daily newsletter here.

Categorieslatest

Lab-grown meat has a long way to go before mainstream acceptance in Singapore, experts say

SINGAPORE: It was June 2022, and the lab-grown meat industry looked like it had a sizzling future. The largest cultivated chicken meat facility in Asia broke ground in Singapore, with a 30,000 sq ft complex at Bedok Food City, set to produce “tens of thousands of pounds” of meat a year. The company behind this audacious venture was US-based Eat Just, who had plans to sell lab-grown chicken meat under the label Good Meat. Eat Just representatives were joined by Singapore officials, including Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu, at the groundbreaking ceremony. Indeed, in October 2022, the government announced it had set aside fresh funding of S$165 million (US$122 million) to accelerate R&D in sustainable urban food production, future foods, and food safety science and innovation. This was over and above an initial S$144 million of research funding in 2020. Singapore was also the first country to approve the sale of lab-grown meat, with Huber’s Butchery in Dempsey Hill being the only restaurant in the world selling lab-grown meat back in early 2023. But in two short years, the industry appears to be slowing down. In March this year, Eat Just put its lab-grown meat production at the Bedok facility on hold, the Straits Times reported. Huber’s Butchery stopped offering the product in December last year. In the same month, it was reported that Singapore-based lab-grown seafood startups Shiok Meats and Umami Bioworks were merging. And it is not just here that the industry is slowing down. A New York Times article in February detailed the decline of the industry – one which had a bright start with investors pouring over US$3 billion into the industry between 2016 and 2022. However, a mix of unrealistic optimism from investors, followed by the realisation that the science behind the product could not match consumer demand for low prices and higher volumes of production, has left the entire industry in limbo. In Singapore, Shiok Meats co-founder Sandhya Sriram wrote an emotional LinkedIn post last May about the painful process of letting 50 per cent of her staff go in 2023, and the online abuse she endured in the process. She spoke about the enthusiasm investors and the media had for her planned product of lab-grown crustacean meat such as crab and lobster, but her company, like many other cultivated meat firms, soon met the perennial challenge of scaling production. This challenge continues to confound her firm, she told CNA, but it is a challenge it has more confidence in tackling through the merger with Umami Bioworks. The Singapore Food Agency (SFA), the statutory board overseeing food safety and security, said Singapore remains an attractive location for cultivated meat startups. “Our proximity to the large Asia market and the robust food safety regulatory system also draw startups to establish their R&D and pilot manufacturing in Singapore,” said SFA in a joint response with Enterprise Singapore and the Economic Development Board to CNA’s queries. “The conducive environment here allows them to test their technology and demonstrate commercial viability of their products.” Despite the challenges, some cultivated meat firms are not backing down. Eat Just announced on Wednesday (May 15) that it will start selling a hybrid meat, using a lower-cost formulation with plant protein and just 3 per cent lab-grown chicken. One expert believes that the successful scaling and production of lab-grown meat could be a matter of necessity as the current production of meat could become unsustainable in generations to come. “The truth is that the livestock industry is not sustainable … we have to acknowledge this at one point, and so this science will go forward when (lab-grown meat) is globally accepted,” said Associate Professor Alfredo Franco-Obregon from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Institute for Health Innovation and Technology. Assoc Prof Franco Obregon, who is in his 60s, said this mainstream acceptance may not even happen in his lifetime, but he thinks it is inevitable. “It will eventually be realised, because of the urgency of it.” INDUSTRY PLAYERS QUIETLY OPTIMISTIC Lab-grown meat companies here remain cautiously optimistic – and believe that the heyday of the cultivated meat industry is yet to come. Asked about their pause in production, a spokesperson from Eat Just, which the Good Meat label is under, said that it is still business as usual. Ms Carrie Kabat, director of global communications at Eat Just, said: “The pause is part of our normal operations since we began producing and serving in Singapore in 2020. We produce and pause, produce and pause.” She said this is a “campaign-style approach” to producing lab-grown meat. Eat Just’s hybrid meat consisting of 3 per cent cultivated chicken meat went on sale at Huber’s Butchery on Thursday, priced at S$7.20 for a 120g package. Ms Kabat projected that in 2024, Eat Just will produce three times more product than any year before, adding that this is about 10 times what the rest of the cultivated meat industry has produced up to this point.

Categorieslatest

Man convicted of killing 4 people at ex-girlfriend’s home near Denver

Castorena and Serrano, who was not injured, have two children together. Their children were out-of-state with family at the time of the shooting, police have said. Castorena was arrested over a month after the shooting in Mexico and extradited back to Colorado. Prosecutors alleged that Castorena broke into the home and waited inside with a gun until family members returned home. When Serrano arrived at about 2 a.m., she noticed Castorena’s keys in her bedroom and called police to report that she thought her ex-boyfriend was in the house and that he was not supposed to be there. Shots were fired as she spoke to dispatchers, prosecutors said. A week before the shooting, Serrano sought a court protective order, saying that Castorena had held a gun at her and threatened to kill her. She also claimed he held her in his car and would not let her go home. Castorena faces a mandatory life sentence for each of his four first-degree murder convictions when he is sentenced on Sept. 3.

Categorieslatest

Judge grants detransitioner’s lawsuit against doctors to proceed in court: ‘Sufficient’ allegations

Detransitioner Prisha Mosley and her lawyers won a significant legal victory earlier this month for her case against “gender-affirming” health providers. The Independent Women’s Forum, where Mosley works as an ambassador, shared documents with Fox News Digital on Thursday that revealed Mosley’s lawsuit will move forward despite defendants’ motions to dismiss. “[T]he Court has determined as a matter of law that the allegations of Plaintiff’s Complaint, treated as true, are sufficient to state a claim upon which relief may be granted,” North Carolina Superior Court Judge Robert Ervin wrote. Mosley’s case is the first detranistioner lawsuit that has been allowed to proceed in court, according to her attorney, Josh Payne. DETRANSITIONING WOMAN LEFT ‘HEARTBROKEN’ AFTER IRREVERSIBLE SURGERY: ‘I WAS MANIPULATED’ “This is the first substantive ruling we are aware of in which a Court has held that a detransitioner’s case against her health care professionals is legally viable. We are honored to represent Prisha as she pursues justice for herself and her family and tries to prevent what happened to her from happening to others,” Payne said in a statement. Mosley remarked, “I am grateful that the Court has recognized my case has merit. The legal process can be daunting. I am encouraged by the Court’s ruling in my favor, and I am determined to see the case through to a final victory. Young people struggling with their mental health, like I was, deserve better. They need compassionate support. They do not deserve to be lied to and misled into life-altering medical procedures that only cause harm.” Mosley sued multiple doctors and health facilities on seven counts of fraud, facilitating fraud, breach of fiduciary duty rising to the level of constructive fraud, civil conspiracy, medical malpractice, negligent infliction of emotional distress and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Judge Ervin granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the charges of breach of fiduciary duty, medical malpractice, negligent infliction and unfair and deceptive trade practices. The charges of fraud and civil conspiracy still stand. Mosley filed her original lawsuit back in July 2023, accusing her doctors of encouraging “gender transition” as she was treated for multiple mental disorders. DETRANSITIONER CHLOE COLE ANNOUNCES LAWSUIT AGAINST HOSPITALS ‘FOR PUSHING HER INTO MEDICAL MUTILATION’ “They told me that changing my body to look like a boy’s body would cure my mental health problems. They told me that injecting large amounts of testosterone into my female body would be good for me. They also encouraged me to undergo surgery to remove my healthy breasts,” Mosley wrote in a Fox News op-ed. Over the past few years, multiple detransitioners have filed lawsuits against their medical providers for allegedly pushing “gender-affirming” care onto them at a young and vulnerable age. In December, one detransitioner announced a lawsuit against the American Academy of Pediatrics claiming it “prioritized politics and ideology over children’s safety, health, and well-being.” CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Verified by MonsterInsights