The business is complicated because snails are ‘pests’: On weekdays, Ric Brewer lives in Seattle and works as a communications manager for a disaster-relief nonprofit. But most weekends, he heads to his five-acre spread in Quilcene, among the foothills leading to Olympic National Forest, to check on his livestock. Brewer is the owner of Little Gray Farms, named for his stock in trade, the common garden snail, or petit gris. It doesn’t take more than weekend visits. As many a frustrated home gardener knows, snails can thrive without much loving care on our part. READ MORE
Gene-editing start-up starts Frankenfoods fight: In a suburban Minneapolis laboratory, a tiny company that has never turned a profit is poised to beat the world’s biggest agriculture firms to market with the next potential breakthrough in genetic engineering—a crop with “edited” DNA. Calyxt Inc, an eight-year-old firm co-founded by a genetics professor, altered the genes of a soybean plant to produce healthier oil using the cutting-edge editing technique rather than conventional genetic modification. READ MORE
Turkish lira tumbles on tariff news: The Turkish lira added to its steep losses on Friday, hitting a fresh record low, after President Donald Trump authorized the doubling of metals tariffs on Turkey. The lira traded down 15 percent against the U.S. dollar at 6.38 after Trump made the comment in a tweet. The currency also traded down 20 percent earlier in the day, reaching a record low. Read more HERE, HERE and HERE.
Facebook customers moving to YouTube? Four billion. That, according to a new study by market research firm SimilarWeb, is how many monthly page visits Facebook has shed in the last two years. Among the consequences of such a precipitous drop is the opening it’s given to YouTube, which the study’s data shows is about to overtake Facebook to become the second biggest site, traffic-wise, in the U.S. READ MORE
Fear of border closings lead to surge of Venezuelan migrants: Thousands of Venezuelans overwhelmed the Ecuadorean-Colombian border high in the Andean mountains on Thursday, as fears of border closings led to a sudden surge in migrants from the ravaged OPEC-member country. Impoverished Venezuelans are fleeing food shortages, hyperinflation, and violent crime in their homeland, often taking days-long bus rides across South America because they cannot afford flights. READ MORE
Measles spread from Venezuela: Brazil complained on Thursday that Venezuela was doing nothing to stop the spread of an outbreak of measles in Brazil and other neighboring countries that has been sparked by an exodus of Venezuelans fleeing economic collapse. Since February, four people – three of them Venezuelan – have died of measles in the remote Brazilian border state of Roraima where health authorities have confirmed 281 cases of the disease, mostly among children. READ MORE
Unrest in Nicaragua: The 21-year-old agricultural economics student, nearly two months pregnant, had hoped to escape Nicaragua with her boyfriend, but a police officer on a motorcycle blocked their path as they were getting into taxis with other students to go to a safe house. The couple and their friends joined the ranks of more than 2,000 people arrested in Nicaragua in nearly four months of unrest and official crackdown. At least 400 people are believed to still be held in jails, prisons and police stations. READ MORE
Compound leader son of controversial imam: The is the son of a controversial Brooklyn imam who was on a list of people who “may be alleged as co-conspirators” to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, according to court documents released by prosecutors Wednesday. And the current foster parent of one of the children who was living at the compound has asserted the children were being trained as potential school shooters. Read more HERE and HERE.
Young people drinking less: Alcohol is still a large part of American culture, from happy hour after work to frat parties on college campuses — and so are the tragedies that can result. But researchers have found that young people today are throwing back fewer drinks than their counterparts 10 or 15 years ago. READ MORE