The Daily Moth 2-12-2019

February 13, 2019

Trump and Beto Host Rallies in El Paso; 400-Year Old Bonsai Tree Stolen; Michelle Carter Jailed 15 Months In Texting Suicide Case; Ultraprocessed Foods Accelerates Risk of Death, According to Study; Top Stories Briefs: El Chapo Found Guilty; Mark Kelly Announces AZ Senate Run; Deaf Moths Evolves Sound-Production To Warn Bats

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, February 12. Ready for news?




Trump and Beto Host Rallies in El Paso


Last night there were two political rallies in El Paso, Texas — one hosted by President Trump and another hosted by popular Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who is from the city.


Their rallies were a mile apart, both attracted over 10,000 people each.


Trump said the border wall at El Paso has made the city safer. He said we need the wall and that it has to be built fast. People chanted, “Build that wall!” and “USA! USA!” There was a large banner that said, “FINISH THE WALL.”


When Trump was speaking, a man wearing a MAGA hat shoved and sweared at a BBC cameraperson. Another man, also wearing a MAGA hat, restrained him. Security removed him.

Trump stopped his speech and checked to see if the news crew was okay and gave them a thumbs up before continuing.


Beto said the city was already safe before the wall was installed 10 years ago. He said it was fine before. People at Beto’s rally chanted, “Make tacos, not walls!” There were many signs that said, “Beto 2020.” Many want him to run for president. Beto said he was considering it and will make a decision at the end of this month.


There were ASL interpreters onstage for Beto’s rally. [Video]


It is not clear if there were interpreters for Trump’s rally as none were seen onstage. [Video]


During the rallies, Congressional negotiators in Washington, D.C. announced last night they have reached an agreement in principle on border security funding.


The deal includes $1.3 billion for physical barriers. Fox News reported that this would fund 55 miles of new wall construction in the Rio Grande Valley.


President Trump said today that he was not happy with the deal, but did not say he would veto it. He said he didn’t want another shutdown, but if there was one, it would be the Democrats’ fault.


If Trump doesn’t approve this deal, it could lead the U.S. into another shutdown at midnight Friday.




400-Year Old Bonsai Tree Stolen


In Japan, a bonsai tree that is over 400 years old was stolen from a property owned by a bonsai master and his wife.


There were several other bonsai trees stolen. The property had about 3,000 bonsais, and the most valuable ones were stolen.


This tree is a Shimpaku Juniper and is worth about $127,000. This tree was said to be taken from a mountain hundreds of years ago by the bonsai master’s family who shrunk it, passing it along their descendants.


The owners posted on Facebook saying they were very sad. They asked the thieves to please be sure to water the trees. They said they treated the trees like their children.


The wife said she suspected professionals stole the trees because they knew which ones were the most valuable.


Bonsai is considered an art form.




Michelle Carter Jailed 15 Months In Texting Suicide Case


Michelle Carter (22) will go to jail for 15 months for encouraging her former boyfriend to commit suicide in 2014.


ABC News reported that she was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2017 and sentenced to 2.5 years in jail with 15 months to be served with the rest suspended.


Carter has been out of jail all this time while her case was appealed in Massachusetts courts. The Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld her conviction last week.


A judge ruled that she must go to jail for 15 months. Her attorneys said they would continue to fight by appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.


The former boyfriend, Conrad Roy, killed himself by carbon monoxide poisoning from locking himself in his truck. He was 18.


Carter, who was 17 at the time, was in touch with Roy when he was in the truck. He did get out of the vehicle because he was scared, but Carter texted for him to get back in, telling him that he needed to do it.




Ultraprocessed Foods Accelerates Risk of Death, According to Study


A scientific study in France showed that if an adult ate a 10% increase in ultraprocessed food, it would bring a 14% higher risk of early deaths.


The study classified ultraprocessed food as “food that are manufactured industrially from multiple ingredients that usually include additives used for technological and/or cosmetic purposes.”


Examples are snacks, desserts, ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat meals.


The researchers studied dietary habits and health reports from over 44,000 adults aged 45 or above for two years.


They believe that ultraprocessed food negatively affects health because of the additives, chemicals in the packaging, and the processing itself.


An American researcher who was not involved in the study told CNN that “ultraprocessed” is a huge category of foods and because so many things are lumped together, the researchers cannot pinpoint exactly what is causing the negative health effects.


This researcher suggested people to look at the ingredients list of food they buy. She recommended people to buy products with the least number of ingredients and with ingredients they understand.




Top Stories Briefs: El Chapo Found Guilty; Mark Kelly Announces AZ Senate Run


Here are two top stories briefs.


The first — Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was found guilty on all ten counts of drug trafficking by a jury in a New York City federal court. He faces life in prison.


Prosecutors accused him of smuggling 200 tons of cocaine into the U.S. and of killing other people to protect his turf. He was jailed twice in Mexico but escaped both times.


The second news — Mark Kelly, a retired astronaut and the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who survived a shooting in 2011, announced he would run as a Democrat for a Senate seat in Arizona in 2020.


That seat belonged to John McCain until he passed away. The Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey appointed Martha McSally to fill that seat. She will have to campaign against Kelly to continue in that role.




Deaf Moths Evolves Sound-Production To Warn Bats


A study from the University of Bristol in the U.K. found that there is a genus of deaf moths that has evolved to develop an “extraordinary sound-producing structure in its wings to evade its primary predator the bat.”


Researchers found that a group of British ermine moths, who are naturally deaf, makes clicking sounds whenever they fly.


The sounds are “warning sounds” that are “very similar to sounds produced by larger moths, such as the tiger moths, which warn bats of the moth's distastefulness or toxicity.”


The study explained that other species of moths that can hear, if they hear bats making echolocation calls, will create sounds to confuse bats, “jamming” their signals.


The sounds are important at nighttime because there are some moths that have bright colors to warn predators they taste terrible, but when it’s dark, bats can’t see the colors and are instead warned by sound.


This deaf moth is able to mimic the sounds those other moths make, but it is not known exactly how they create the sounds.


Researchers explained that other moth species have tymbals, thin areas of cuticle, on their body that buckles to produce clicks.


But this deaf moth has tymbals in its wings, and researchers have not yet found out exactly how they emit noises. They are studying this.


This is the second group of deaf moths that I’ve reported about.


In November, scientists found that many deaf moths developed fur on its body to absorb bats’ echolocation. Bats wouldn’t be able to bounce off sounds and locate them.


It’s cool that those moths are naturally deaf and can thrive in the wild.




That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!



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