Stranded bakers make bread for fellow hurricane victims

Stranded bakers make bread for fellow hurricane victims

A group of bakers decided to help their community when they saw that they were stranded due to the waters of hurricane Harvey.

Four bakers of the El Bolillo Bakery in Houston, Texas, were about to head home from a late shift when they saw they couldn’t leave safely due to flooded streets. Rather than worry, the bakers decided to keep the ovens going and bake hundreds of loaves for the hurricane victims.

The bakery’s electricity lasted through the day and night, as they baked Mexican pastries and breads particular to the shop’s specialty. The bakers used over four thousand pounds of flour by the time rescue workers arrived.

After baking all that bread, the El Bolillo distributed the bread to emergency shelters all around Houston.

YouTube Reveals New Strategy to Fight Terrorist Recruitment Videos

YouTube Reveals New Strategy to Fight Terrorist Recruitment Videos

YouTube recently announced how it intends to combat terrorist propaganda and rhetoric on their website: they will redirect the users looking for those things. Users who search for such content will be shown to videos that depict clerics refuting violent religious narratives. They will also be directed to videos that show victims of terrorists.

“When people search for certain keywords on YouTube, we will display a playlist of videos debunking violent extremist recruiting narratives,” YouTube said in its blog post last week that explains this new change. “This early product integration of the Redirect Method on YouTube is our latest effort to provide more resources and more content that can help change minds of people at risk of being radicalized.”

Multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google have been eager in their response to the deluge of propaganda that has been surfacing on their platforms, where it can be accessed by anyone, including those with a habit of violent behavior. YouTube already prohibits its users from uploading videos that are comprised of violent or racist content; however, users can get around the website’s sharing rules by posting hundreds of links. Propaganda videos are often uploaded as “unlisted,” which means that users can’t find them through a search but the videos can still be posted on social media or shared with direct links.

The Redirect Method was conceived and developed by Jigsaw, a company owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet. The Method is intended to target ISIS-focused videos and was constructed with research partners who had explored the major avenues and narratives the group used for recruiting.

YouTube, aside from announcing the Redirect Method, also stated that it would be expanding product functionality to a wider set of search queries in languages other than English and would be using machine learning to update search query terms. It also intends to work with expert NGOs on creating new video content to counter violent extremist messages and to collaborate with Jigsaw to expand the Redirect Method in Europe.

“As we develop this model of the Redirect Method on YouTube, we’ll measure success by how much this content is engaged. Stay tuned for more,” YouTube said.


New Oregon Law Changes Car Seat Requirements

New Oregon Law Changes Car Seat Requirements

Oregon governor Kate Brown recently signed a new mandate into law that requires children age two and under to ride in rear-facing car seats. This requirement previously ended when children turned one. Anyone who fails to follow this mandate will be fined up to $250. Oregon is the sixth state to implement rear-facing car seats for children two and under.

In an interview, Dr. Bend Hoffman explained the dangers of young children sitting in forward-facing car seats. “What’s going to happen is they’re going to be thrown forward, the arms and legs are going to go forward, head and neck forward. What’s going to stop the child are the harness straps. All sorts of horrible things can happen from paralysis to death.” Dr. Hoffman is a professor of pediatrics at OHSU’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

When the car seat is rear-facing during an accident, it absorbs the shock and the child’s spine, head and neck stay aligned.

“We know that kids rear-facing, between the age of one and two, are over five times less likely to be injured in a crash compared to kids facing forward,” said Dr. Hoffman.

Parents like Adrianna Morales are grateful for the change in the car seat laws. “I’m happy, really happy. I think it’s the best choice they made for our little ones, we need to protect them.”

Doernbecher and Legacy Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland provide free car seat installations by appointment.

Teal Pumpkin Project helps kids with allergies enjoy Halloween safely

Teal Pumpkin Project helps kids with allergies enjoy Halloween safely

Trick-or-treating is difficult for children with allergies to nuts, chocolate, or milk. Fortunately, there is a movement called the Teal Pumpkin Project that can help make Halloween safe for the 6 million children who suffer from food allergies.

The Teal Pumpkin Project began as an allergy awareness project run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee. The organization, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), launched the national program in 2014. It has since grown into a worldwide movement, spanning all 50 states and 14 countries. The initiative also helps children with diabetes and other dietary conditions.

Anyone can participate in the project through two simple requirements. First, participants must place a teal pumpkin outside their doors or hang up a sign explaining what the project is. The sign is available on FARE’s website. Second, participants must provide a non-food treat for trick-or-treaters with allergies. Common non-food alternatives include glow sticks, stickers, bubbles and novelty toys.

Miranda Andrew, a resident of Rapid City, South Dakota, has joined the project. “The majority of the candy we collected my son couldn’t have because of his food allergies,” she said. “Then we found out that there was a way to recognize which houses have something that was safe and we definitely wanted to be one of those houses for kids, too.”

Many parents see the importance of the Teal Pumpkin Project. Some have used this initiative to teach their children about allergies and empathy by asking them to imagine what it is like to have a food allergy. “This is a great way to include all children in the Halloween festivities,” one parent said.


Organization seeks to stop sex trafficking before it starts

Organization seeks to stop sex trafficking before it starts

Nhu grew up in a shanty town in Cambodia. Like other little girls and boys, she attended a Vietnamese school, and was supported by her grandmother. A school teacher told her about God, and she accepted Jesus as her savior.

But Nhu was only fourteen when her life took a horrific turn for the worse.  Nhu’s grandmother sold her to a local man for three nights. Later, she was sold again to the same man.

Remember Nhu’s founder Carl Ralston first heard young Nhu’s striking story in 2003, at a conference put on by the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Cambodia. He was struck by Nhu’s story, and felt led to find her and make a difference in the horrible world of child sex trafficking.

Carl says, “When I heard Nhu’s story of being sold into the sex trade, God impressed upon my heart, ‘Remember Nhu!’ I immediately broke down, overwhelmed by the thought of this young girl being raped up to 15 times per day. That day Jesus wrecked my life in a great way!”

After taking six trips to Cambodia looking for Nhu, Carl finally met her in 2006, and he and his wife adopted her. Nhu helped to open the first Remember Nhu home for children who are at risk of being sold into the sex trade. Now there are 37 of these “Homes of Refuge” all over the world.

The children in these homes are identified as kids who are at risk of entering sex trafficking and are sponsored year-round. In these homes, children are protected and learn vocational skills. Remember Nhu seeks to stop sex trafficking before it starts.


Nhu and a young friend share a hug

As Carl Ralston states on the Remember Nhu website: “We believe the innocence of childhood is an inalienable right. Once lost, it can never be restored. Our children come to us before they are exposed to the horrors of the sex trade and mature into the happy, healthy young adults they were intended to be.”

To learn more about Remember Nhu you can visit their website here.