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July 18, 2014
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A new study on food security says that if crops around the globe were grown in a more efficient manner, they could feed over three billion more people.

The study — published Thursday in the journal Science looked at the waste the happens while crops are grown and once they make it to consumers. Around the world, more than 50 percent of fertilizer used for crops goes to waste, as does 60 percent of the nitrogen and 50 percent of the phosphorus applied. Eight to 15 percent of water used in irrigation could be saved with more precise watering, and one-third to one half of crops that make it to consumers are squandered due to weak infrastructure in poorer countries and bad habits (like buying extra food that isn't needed) in richer countries.

The study concludes that countries like India, China, the United States, Brazil, and Indonesia need to focus on growing such staples as wheat and rice, and everyone needs to take steps to reduce waste.

Paul West, a food expert at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, hopes that the study will help policymakers improve the way crops are grown. "Sustainably feeding people today and in the future is one of humanity's grand challenges," he told The Guardian. "Agriculture is the main source of water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and habitat loss, yet we need to grow more food." He wants people to focus on crops and techniques with "the most to be gained." Catherine Garcia

1:00 a.m. ET

Cristina Penton boarded her Spirit Airlines flight to Dallas 36 weeks pregnant, and disembarked with a 7-pound baby boy in her arms.

The Phoenix resident was 30 minutes into her flight from Ft. Lauderdale a few days ago when she notified the flight attendants that she wasn't feeling well. Once she realized the baby was coming, the flight was diverted to New Orleans, and two of her fellow passengers — a pediatrician and a nurse — jumped up to help. Before the plane could land, Christoph Lezcano made his debut.

Penton and Christoph were taken to a local hospital to be checked out, and are both doing great. Spirit Airlines representatives visited them in their room, and showered the baby with presents, including one that's perfect for the tiny traveler — free flights for Christoph and a guest to anywhere Spirit Airlines goes, every year on his birthday for the rest of his life. Catherine Garcia

12:25 a.m. ET

On June 14, Leo Varadkar became prime minister, or Taoiseach, of Ireland, after winning an internal race for leadership of his Fine Gael party following the resignation of Enda Kenny. On Tuesday, President Trump called Varadkar to congratulate him on his "great victory." He invited the press to observe the call. Trump began with a nod to the Irish-American community. "We have so many people from Ireland in this country," he said. "I know so many of them, too. I feel I know all of them." Then things got slightly odder.

Trump, perhaps searching for something to talk about, told Varadkar that he had members of the Irish press corps in the Oval Office. "And where are you from?" he asked one, Caitriona Perry, the Washington correspondent for state broadcaster Raidio Teilifis Eireann (RTE), who shot the video above. "Go ahead, come here, come here. Where are you from? We have all of this beautiful Irish press." When she identified herself, Trump said to Varadkar: "Caitriona Perry. She has a nice smile on her face. So I bet she treats you well."

"Thank you for the newspapers, Caitriona," Trump told the TV and radio broadcast journalist. Peter Weber

June 27, 2017
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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said a police helicopter fired shots at the Supreme Court on Tuesday and threw grenades that could have caused "dozens of deaths."

Witnesses say they heard explosions go off in downtown Caracas, Reuters reports, and Maduro vowed that "sooner rather than later we are going to capture the helicopter and those behind this armed terrorist attack against the institutions of the country." For the past three months, the opposition has protested against Maduro, while the pro-government Supreme Court has made several rulings in his favor. At least 75 people have died during the demonstrations.

Maduro wants a July 30 vote for a Constituent Assembly, which could rewrite the national charter and supersede the opposition-controlled Congress, and the opposition is calling for an early presidential election. Some supporters of the opposition, whose leaders have urged security forces to stop following Maduro's orders, believe Tuesday's attack may have been staged by the government. Earlier in the day, Maduro said if a violent revolt should occur and Venezuela is "plunged into chaos and violence and the Bolivarian Revolution destroyed, we would go to combat. We would never give up, and what couldn't be done with votes, we would do with arms, we would liberate the fatherland with arms." Catherine Garcia

June 27, 2017
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On Tuesday, Paul Manafort, a former chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, retroactively filed paperwork showing that his consulting firm received $17.1 million for work done from 2012 to 2014 for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.

Manafort worked with the Party of Regions and politician Viktor Yanukovych, who served as president from 2010 until 2014, when he fled to Moscow after protesters demanded he step aside. Manafort's Foreign Agents Registration Act filing did not reveal how much he received personally, but did show that he met in 2013 with a pro-Russia and now pro-Trump congressman, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.). Any American who works in the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government or political party has to register within 10 days of agreeing to conduct the work, The Washington Post reports, and Manafort's spokesman told the paper he started preparing the filing in September.

Last August, Manafort resigned as chairman of the Trump campaign after it was reported that the Party of Regions secretly paid him millions of dollars, an allegation Manafort denies. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking at Manafort as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and he's the second close Trump associate to retroactively file as a foreign agent; in March, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn disclosed that in 2016, he worked with a Turkish businessman active in his country's politics. Catherine Garcia

June 27, 2017
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A Cook County grand jury indicted three veteran Chicago police officers Tuesday on charges of conspiracy, official misconduct, and obstruction of justice, accusing the officers of working together to cover up for their colleague who shot and killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014.

The first police report stated that officers David March, Joseph Walsh, and Thomas Gaffney were "victims" of McDonald, claiming he assaulted them before Officer Jason Van Dyke came to intervene. McDonald lunged toward him with a knife, and that's when Van Dyke shot him 16 times, the report said. One year later, dashcam footage of the incident was released that completely refuted the report, showing Van Dyke shooting McDonald as he walked away. Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder, and pleaded not guilty.

Special Prosecutor Patricia Holmes Brown said in a statement that the indictment "makes clear that these defendants did more than merely obey an unofficial 'code of silence.' Rather, it alleges that they lied about what occurred to prevent independent criminal investigators from learning the truth." If convicted, the officers face years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines, the prosecutor said. March spent more than 30 years on the force, while Walsh and Gaffney were Chicago police officers for more than 20 years. Walsh and Marsh are no longer officers, and Gaffney has been suspended, NPR reports. Catherine Garcia

June 27, 2017
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Sarah Palin is suing The New York Times for defamation, claiming the paper "violated the law and its own policies" in a June 14 editorial that accused the former Alaska governor of "political incitement" before the 2011 shooting of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, the New York Post reports.

Giffords, a Democrat from Arizona, was severely injured, and six people were killed after Jared Jee Loughner opened fire at a Giffords event. The Times editorial, written after the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), mentions a Palin political action committee ad that put "Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized crosshairs." Two days later, the paper issued a correction saying it was actually a "map distributed by a political action committee before the shooting. The map depicted electoral districts, not individual Democratic lawmakers, beneath stylized crosshairs." The correction went on to say the editorial "incorrectly stated that a link existed between political rhetoric and the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established."

The suit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan, and Palin is seeking damages in an amount to be determined by a jury at trial. A spokeswoman for the Times told the Post the paper has "not seen the claim yet, but will defend against any claim vigorously." Catherine Garcia

June 27, 2017
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In less than a week, four people were attacked by bears in Alaska, with two dying from their injuries.

Brown bears are more likely to attack people, and even that's rare, which is why the involvement of black bears in the two fatal attacks is worrying officials. "All of a sudden you have two in the course of two days, it's a lightning strike," wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott told CBS. Alaskan officials are telling residents to carry bear spray or a gun while hiking, running, or biking through bear habitat, and if attacked, to throw rocks at the bear or hit it in the face, rather than run away or play dead.

On June 18, Jack Cooper, 16, was running a race near Anchorage when a black bear chased him and ultimately killed him. The bear was shot in the face by a park ranger, but it escaped, and later, state biologists killed four black bears in the area, including the one they believe attacked Cooper. The next day, Erin Johnson was near a mine southeast of Fairbanks, collecting geological samples, when she encountered a "hyper-aggressive" bear. She died and a colleague was injured, and the next day, the bear was killed by officials. Authorities say on Saturday, two men were bicycling in the woods near Anchorage when a brown bear attacked one of them; the other man used bear spray to repel the animal, which was likely guarding a cub nearby. Catherine Garcia

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