Ladies, please take note. Consuming a high-fibre diet may reduce the risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy, researchers have found. “Simple recommendation to ‘eat real food, mostly plants and not too much’ might be the most effective primary prevention strategy for some of the most serious conditions of our time. The mother’s gut bacteria and diet appear to be crucial to promoting healthy pregnancy,” said study lead author.The recently published study showed that pregnancy outcomes and infant immunity are linked to gut bacteria. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainPlant-based fibre is broken down in the gut by bacteria into factors that influence the immune system. The research team investigated the role of these metabolic products of gut bacteria during pregnancy. The researchers found that in humans, reduced levels of acetate, which is mainly produced by fibre fermentation in the gut, is associated with the common and serious pregnancy-related condition preeclampsia. Preeclampsia occurs in up to 10 per cent of pregnancies and is characterized by high blood pressure, protein in the urine and severe swelling in the mother’s body. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardThe study also found that preeclampsia affected the development of an important foetal immune organ – the thymus. Foetuses in preeclamptic pregnancies were found to have a much smaller thymus than children from healthy pregnancies. The results showed that promoting specific metabolic products of gut bacteria during pregnancy might be an effective way to maintain a healthy pregnancy and to prevent allergies and autoimmune conditions later in life.
NEW YORK — Walmart is suing Tesla, saying that several solar panels that Tesla installed on Walmart store rooftops went up in flames, causing millions of dollars in damage.The retailer says fires broke out at seven stores between 2012 and 2018. Merchandise was damaged, and one store in Ohio had to be closed for eight days.In the lawsuit, Walmart says Tesla’s energy division, formerly known as SolarCity, engaged in “widespread, systemic negligence” and “failed to abide by prudent industry practices in installing, operating, and maintaining its solar systems.”Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Joseph Pisani, The Associated Press
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More than 6,000 fifth grade students (two groups of 3,100 students each) from throughout Los Angeles County immersed themselves in the performing arts at the 47th Annual Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival last week, February 28.Jill Baldauf, Nigel Lythgoe, and Rachel Moore at 47th Annual Blue Ribbon Children’s FestivalCredit/Copyright: Courtesy of The Music CenterThe three-day event will welcome more than 18,000 students and continues on March 1 and March 2, 2017. The event culminated in a synchronized dance on The Music Center Plaza. Upon arrival, students attended a free performance by Ailey II, the celebrated second company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in The Music Center’s iconic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.Following the performance and an alfresco rehearsal on the Plaza, students performed a dance inspired by the Rocka My Soul finale section of Alvin Ailey masterpiece Revelations. For many children, The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival marks their first opportunity to experience a live performing arts event. Multi-award winning producer, performer and co-creator of So You Think You Can Dance and executive producer of American Idol, Nigel Lythgoe, who is also a member of the Music Center’s Board of Directors and who was recently awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire), along with Chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Mark Ridley-Thomas, were on hand to offer special words of encouragement to the students who had spent weeks prepping for their dance routine on the Plaza.As California’s longest continuing free arts education initiative, The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival is presented by The Blue Ribbon, the premier women’s support organization of The Music Center. Founded by Dorothy Chandler in 1968, The Blue Ribbon is committed to giving students access to the best of the performing arts from a young age. Since its inception in 1970, The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival has introduced more than 860,000 young L.A. students to the power and inspiration of the performing arts. More than 125 Blue Ribbon members volunteer over the three-day period to keep the Festival running smoothly.“It is our pleasure to host 18,000 fifth graders at The Music Center to experience a performance of Ailey II and the celebratory dance on the Plaza following the show,” said Blue Ribbon president Jill Baldauf, “We know exposure to the arts is so important to a child’s education and development. The Blue Ribbon is proud to be able to provide this opportunity to experience the arts to our future leaders. We hope they return time and time again to The Music Center and bring their friends and families. The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival may be a once in a lifetime opportunity, but the opportunities at The Music Center are for life.”Countywide, fifth-grade classes from 252 participating schools receive advance standards-based curriculum materials, background on the guest artists and classroom activities designed to prepare students for the performance they will be viewing. Inspired by Revelations, The Music Center’s Tara Cook Davis and Susan Cambigue-Tracey created choreography just for the students and distributed it to the teachers for advance instruction. Students also learn about audience etiquette, what to watch for during the performance, dance history and terminology.“The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival is a shining example of The Music Center’s long-standing arts education programs and a testament to how the arts can inspire and transform the lives of young people,” said President and CEO of The Music Center Rachel Moore. “We are excited to give Angelenos the opportunity to experience Revelations for themselves when Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion this March.”This year, students explored the evolution of the spiritual, including its earliest roots in slavery and its inspiration of various art forms—Jazz, Blues, modern rock, classical, the American musical and dance. Alvin Ailey grew up in the rural American South, and the musical influences of his early life there shaped many of his most memorable works, including the acclaimed Revelations that debuted in 1960 and is now a signature piece in the Ailey repertory.Founded in 1974 by the late internationally renowned choreographer Alvin Ailey, Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. Ailey was a pioneer of programs promoting arts in education, particularly those that benefited underserved communities. Throughout his lifetime, he was awarded numerous distinctions, including the Kennedy Center Honor in 1988 and, posthumously, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.Following their performance, each student received a keepsake book, A Journey through The Music Center, made possible by a generous gift from Blue Ribbon member, Maxine Dunitz. Describing The Music Center’s four theaters and various aspects of live performance, the book is updated and reprinted annually for distribution at The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival.Over the years, students attending the Festival have seen performances by the LA Phil, the LA Opera, American Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Ballet and Diavolo Dance Theater, among others. At the 2015 Festival, participating students set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the Largest ribbon dance for the greatest number of people simultaneously performing the same choreographed dance using handheld sticks with attached ribbons at a single venue.
JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking re-election Tuesday as corruption charges loom over him — and even if he gets another term, the legal proceedings could make it a very short one.Israel’s attorney general has recommended indicting Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges in a series of corruption scandals that have dogged him for years and cast a pall over his future in politics. A potential fourth case emerged during the re-election campaign.Here’s a look at the background and current cases facing the longtime Israeli leader:___BACKGROUNDThe scandals have engulfed Netanyahu’s family and his inner circle, with at least three former close confidants turning state’s witnesses and testifying against him.Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit — a Netanyahu appointee — says he has enough evidence to press charges against Netanyahu in three separate cases, pending a pre-indictment hearing where Netanyahu will be given the opportunity to defend himself. His political opponents say that even if he’s legally permitted to stay in office, he will have lost the moral mandate to lead. Having him serve as prime minister while defending himself in court against series charges would be an embarrassment to the state, they say.Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, have long been known for their penchant for an expensive lifestyle and questionable use of public funds. Mrs. Netanyahu has been indicted for graft, fraud and breach of trust for allegedly overspending more than $100,000 in public funds on private meals at their official residence.___TELECOM TRADE-OFFThe most damaging case involves an influence-peddling scandal in which two of Netanyahu’s closest aides are testifying against him on suspicion of promoting regulation worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Israel’s Bezeq telecom company. In return, Bezeq’s popular news site, Walla, allegedly provided favourable coverage of Netanyahu and his family.Nir Hefetz, a former Netanyahu family spokesman, and Shlomo Filber, the former director of the Communications Ministry under Netanyahu, cut deals with prosecutors after they were arrested along with Bezeq’s controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch, his wife, son and other top Bezeq executives. Former journalists at the Walla news site have attested to being pressured to refrain from negative reporting of Netanyahu.___LAVISH GIFTSPolice recommended indicting Netanyahu over accepting nearly $300,000 in gifts from Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer.Police say that in return for lavish gifts that included jewelry, expensive cigars and champagne, Netanyahu had operated on Milchan’s behalf on U.S. visa matters, tried to legislate a generous tax break for him and sought to promote his interests in the Israeli media market.Police have not commented on what Packer, who reportedly sought Israeli residency status for tax purposes, may have received, and Netanyahu has said all he received were gifts from friends. Longtime aide Ari Harow is a state witness in this case.___MEDIA MEDDLINGPolice have also recommended indicting Netanyahu for supposedly offering a newspaper publisher legislation that would weaken his paper’s main rival in return for more favourable coverage.Netanyahu reportedly was recorded asking Arnon Mozes, the publisher of the Yediot Ahronot daily, for positive coverage in exchange for helping to weaken Israel Hayom, a free pro-Netanyahu newspaper that had cut into Yediot’s business.Israel Hayom is financed by Netanyahu’s American billionaire friend Sheldon Adelson and largely serves as the prime minister’s mouthpiece. Netanyahu has noted that a proposed law to weaken Israel Hayom never passed and that he had even dissolved his coalition and called a new election in 2015 because of his opposition to the proposal. Harow is a state witness in this case, too.___GERMAN SUBMARINESNetanyahu was questioned, but not named as a suspect, in a probe related to a possible conflict of interest involving a $2 billion purchase of German submarines that implicated some of his closest associates.Netanyahu’s personal attorney David Shimron, who is also his cousin, represented the German firm involved and is suspected of using his influence over the prime minister in return for a hefty cut of the deal.But after seeming to escape this scandal, it was revealed that Netanyahu reportedly earned $4 million on a related German submarine sale to Egypt by owning shares in one of the German manufacturer’s suppliers.Netanyahu denies any financial wrongdoing regarding his investments in the Texas-based company Seadrift Coke steel factory, managed by another one of his cousins, Nathan Milikowsky.Seadrift was later acquired by Ohio-based GrafTech International, a maker of materials needed for steelmaking, which was a supplier to German industrial group ThyssenKrupp. The German company later sold submarines to Israel and Egypt. His opponents have made that discovery a central issue in the tightly contested race, with former Prime Minister Ehud Barak even saying Netanyahu’s actions “border on treason.”___Follow Heller at www.twitter.com/aronhellerapAron Heller, The Associated Press