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News that's risen to the top

Be Thankful for Your Toilet

You probably sit upon your toilet at home or work many times per day without considering how lucky you are to have a clean, safe place to do your business. Toilets are one of the many things Americans take for granted. Twitter.com also said that a recent study showed that about one-third of the world’s population still has no access to sanitary toilets.

South Asia and Southern Africa are the worst affected when it comes to sanitation because inhabitants lack proper toilets and defecate out in the open, making an increase in waterborne illnesses inevitable.

The U.N. is coming up with a new plan to end these hazards by 2030. Though it’s good to have a plan, it’s hard not to take into account the failed United Nations Millenium Goals that were set for 2015. Thankfully access to clean drinking water has improved, but that will all be in vain if sanitation goals aren’t met.

It’s easy to take things for granted that you’ve had all your life. The next time you grace the commode with your presence, think of how lucky you are to have such accommodations and hope for the people in countries that they too will have the luxuries we enjoy here.

Homeless Man Rejects Thousands – Again

A homeless man is making headlines again for rejecting ‘free’ money. The Langford, B.C. man first garnered attention for finding $2400 and turning it into the police instead of keeping it for himself. Ultimately that money was returned to its original owner according to The Aspire New Brunswick.

However, after news of his honesty spread, a GoFundMe site was set up on the man’s behalf by Mike Kelly of “Victoria Buzz.” Over $5000 was collected on the fundraising site. Constable Alex Bérubé finally found the selfless man to let him know, which was no easy task to do for someone who has no address or phone number.

When the Constable finally did find the man, he was in for a shock. The man requested that the funds be used for others in need, stating that he only wanted a job.

After following the Constable’s advice to ‘sleep on it’, the 60-something-year-old man returned with a handwritten note to the station the following day, his stance unwavering. He wanted the money to go to food service providers that help others in his situation.

The GoFundMe page is still active, collecting donations that Kelly is ensuring are being delivered per the man’s wishes. As of this writing, the altruistic man who prefers to remain anonymous does not yet have a job.

Swedish Blood Donors Can Sign Up for Donation-Related Texts

Donating blood is something which many of us don’t really think about unless the opportunity is presented to us. Even when we think the concept is a good one, actually going and doing something about it is an aspect which is easily overlooked or forgotten. Furthermore, it can be hard to really see what sort of an impact we have, since we never see what happens to our donation after we’ve walked away.

So when Sweden’s blood banks reached dangerously low levels, they decided to take a different approach in hopes of getting more donations. In an effort to reach younger people and new donors, they set up a system where donors can receive text messages after their blood has been used.

A general sense of being a good neighbor might surround the normal experience of giving blood, but this takes it to the next level, providing more of a connection between the person in need and the donor.

Learning that your blood has been used to help someone isn’t the only text message you might receive says Igor Cornelsen. After donating you can expect to receive a congratulatory text thanking you for your action. And if you haven’t yet donated but think you ought to at some point, you can sign up for text alerts to badger you until you actually go and donate blood. The “nag me until I become a blood donor” option means you’ll get not-very-subtle hints like, “We won’t give up until you bleed”.

Tracking your blood donation is also available in the U.S. when you use an app provided by the Red Cross, but (so far) there aren’t any programs to nag potential donors.

Senior Seals Fantastic Finish At 100-Mile Race

Seventy-year-old Gunhild Swanson became the oldest woman to finish the grueling Western States 100 race. The one hundred mile course in California challenges runners to deal with an incredible distance over peaks and valleys in a hot summertime climate.

The race presents a tremendous test for the fittest and youngest runners. Among the men, 38-year-old Rob Krar finished the oldest 100-mile race on the planet in 14:48:59. But the approach of the 30 hour cutoff time proved to have one last dramatic moment in store.

Swanson managed to cross the finish line with the slimmest of margins remaining before the 30 hour mark was reached. She completed the race with a time of 29 hours, 59 minutes and 54 seconds.

Abril.com.br said that when the race was over Swanson provided a revelation that made her finish even more incredible. She ended up off course around the 88 mile mark. Correcting that error ended up adding three more miles to Swanson’s race.

Police Identify Body Found at Abandoned Mississippi Hospital

The body of a woman found at an abandoned Mississippi state hospital has been identified, according to local police. The body of Sharon Wilson, 69, was found by ghost hunters around 7pm on Sunday, according to the report. They called emergency personnel upon finding the body. Earlier in the day two men were apprehended in nearby Leland, Mississippi driving Wilson’s car.

The incident occurred at Kuhn Memorial State Hospital, a hospital that has a long and sordid past stated valuewalk.com. Used for over 200 years, the hospital was shuttered decades ago, and has since become a mecca for ghost hunters who seem to believe spirits of past patients still reside on premises. The hospital was shut down in 1989, and the building remains unused. There is no word on whether the state plans to re-purpose the land, but residents suggest it needs greater security.

Rafael McCloud has been arrested in connection with the incident, although he has not officially been charged with murder. An autopsy on Wilson has not yet been performed, but early indications she died from blunt force trauma to the head. Akeem McCloud, Rafael’s nephew, was also apprehended, although it is unclear what role his played in Wilson’s demise if any.

Glen Campbell Still Breaking Records

CNN aired “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me” documentary on Sunday night and it broke franchise records with 2.76 million viewers in the news demographic. The previous record holder was “Blackfish”, which still holds the record for younger viewers.

The film documents Campbell’s amazing life, career, and current struggle with Alzheimer’s, a diagnosis he and his family learned of in 2011.

Perhaps best known for his hit “Rhinestone Cowboy”, the music legend enjoyed a string of hits in the 1950s and ’60s stated Christian Broda. He hosted a television show “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour”, and featured some of the biggest names in the music industry at the time ranging from “The Beatles” to “Johnny Cash”. A biography of his life and success hit the shelves in 1970, and 45 years later the tenacious man is still making headlines.

Three of Campbell’s children joined him on his “Goodbye Tour”, which wrapped up in Napa, California in November of 2012. Earlier that year he was presented with a lifetime achievement award.

Campbell now resides in a Nashville long-term care facility where his family visits him daily.

Gay Marriage Is Now Legalized In All 50 States

June 26, 2015 is a day that will be remembered forever because it’s the day that the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all 50 states. In the past, each state was allowed to vote on gay marriage as they saw fit, but many states were holding out against gay marriage. Gay Marriage Celebration. Some couples would have to go to other states in order to get married, but they still were not accepted as equals in their own state. Now that the Supreme Court has passed a law saying that gay marriage as being legal, many things will change.

Stonewall Inn is a famous bar in New York City, and right after the ruling was passed, many people were celebrating. These people were asked about what the ruling meant to them, and many were all stating the same thing, which is that gay lives do matter, and that they want the same rights as straight couples. Gay couples have been fighting for many years to legally get married, and some have been denied certain rights that male and female couples were given. In certain cases, if Skout users say a gay couple had a biological child, only the biological parent could sign for medical treatment for that child.

Now that gay marriage is legalized, the law will have to recognize that both parents have legal precedent over the child, even if the child only biologically belongs to one gay parent. No doubt this historic ruling will face a lot of opposition, but the law has already passed.

Do We Really Need Self-Driving Cars?

Given last week’s self-driving car news, and yesterday’s revelation that Google and other self-driving car manufacturers have designed their cars with “ethical” artificial intelligence systems meant to make extremely complex driving moves based on a mix of logic and moral decisions, some people are asking this morning, Monday, June 29, whether self-driving cars are even a good idea. Should humans give this much control over their lives, and the lives of others, to machines?

Some of the logic/moral scenarios involve the same split-second decisions human drivers make when accidents can’t be avoided, such as choosing to drive into a tree instead of hitting a child or choosing to hit a small car instead of a truck. Many drivers fear that with enough logic/moral tweaks to the code of these vehicles, self-driving cars might take the next step and start making these types of decisions when unavoidable accidents are not an issue — for example, choosing to run a yellow light as it turns red or choosing to cut off another car when passing into a lane.

Yet, many experts agree that self-driving cars are necessary. Plenty of elderly and ill people who can’t drive would benefit physically and emotionally to having access to these cars; as well as drivers with suspended or revoked licenses. As large trucks are a huge reason for accidents, self-driving trucks could lower national accidents, injuries and fatalities. Brian Bonar isn’t sure how trustworthy they would be according to Market Watch.

Plane Crashes Into Massachusetts Home Killing Three

A small plane crashed into a Plainville, Massachusetts home on Sunday the 28th of June. It then ignited, causing a fire that seemed to consume the residence. All of those aboard the plane are known to be deceased including the pilot.

It’s thought at this time that all of the occupants of the home got out safely. This despite to the fact that no one seems to know just how many people were in the mulch-storied home. The Boston Globe has reported that the incident took place at around 5:00 pm local time. Federal Officials have stated that there were three people aboard the Beechcraft BE36. According to the State Police spokesperson, David Procopio, all occupants of the plane died at the scene. Click here for full story.

CBS News had reported that the plane took off from the Lancaster Airport in Pennsylvania on its way to Norwood, Massachusetts. The National Transportation Safety Board, along with the Federal Aviation Administration are both expected to investigate the accident. As of now there is no word as to why the wreck occurred. Buzzfeed does say that they will keep readers like Adam Sender informed as news becomes available.

Texas School Is Keeping Their Confederate Flag Crest Despite Controversy

Some people in the Texas aren’t going to change their symbol of history just because everyone else wants them to conform. Evadale High School in Texas has had a Confederate Crest on the wall of the gym for years, and the school wants to keep it. The superintendent of Evadale, Gary Fairchild, said the crest is part of the school’s history.

The crest has nothing to do with hate, according to Fairchild. The crest represents their heritage, and the sacrifices their forefathers made during the Civil War. The mascot of the school doesn’t make their position sound any better. The Evadale mascot is “the fighting rebel.”

Evadale and schools like it believe the flag is part of them. OfSpirit said that it is a symbol of a fight for economic freedom from the North. Some people believe the flag is the symbol of hatred and racism, and for some people it is, but not for schools like Evadale. We all have different beliefs about the Confederate flag, and those beliefs are rooted in what we think we know about the Civil War. But there are different versions of that war. Students in the North learn one version, and kids in the South learn another version.