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The Inquisitr offers a constantly updated mix of the latest stories to hit the web, covering news, entertainment, technology, news, sport, health and everything else.

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    Killer whales swimming at Sea World San Diego

    The poisonous chemical Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) has long been banned, but it continues to leak into the ocean. A new study has revealed that the chemical continues to pose a threat, particularly to the apex predators of the sea.

    The new study published in the journal Science suggests that at least half of the killer whale population in the world may be wiped out before the end of the century due to chemical pollution in the ocean.

    PCBs were once widely used in the production of carbonless copy paper and as coolants before they were discovered to be carcinogenic and toxic.

    The production of the chemicals was halted in the United States in 1979 under a 2001 international treaty. Unfortunately, PCBs are still used in many parts of the world. The terms of the Stockholm Convention state that the chemical is not due to be completely phased out until the year 2025.

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    Computer gamers playing

    A sting operation involving “a multi-agency undercover operation” in New Jersey saw 24 child predators arrested after men who were thought to be targeting children on social media for sexual activity were taken down.

    Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced the arrests as part of a sting law enforcement called “Operation Open House,” according to ABC Action News. What the men did not know was that the underage girls and boys they thought they were talking to were actually undercover police officers.

    The sting saw the officers luring most of the men to a house in Toms River, N.J., where they thought they would find the children alone. Dozens of police officers were waiting to arrest them instead. Any and all evidence on the scene was also collected and processed.

    “It is a frightening reality that sexual predators are lurking on social media, ready to strike if they find a child who is vulnerable,” said Attorney General Grewal.

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    Tourist Trampled To Death While Trying To Take Picture Of Elephant In Africa

    A German tourist in Zimbabwe was trampled to death when she tried to take a picture of an elephant and ended up too close to the animal’s path.

    The incident happened in Mana Pools National Park, where authorities said the 49-year-old German woman was part of a group who came across a herd of elephants when they entered the park. As the New York Post reported, the group was warned to stay away from the wild animals, but the woman did not heed the advice.

    “We are always asking people to stay away from wild animals; they should keep a safe distance,” a park spokesman said.

    It was not clear exactly how the woman was killed, but authorities said elephant deaths are not uncommon in Zimbabwe, especially among farmers who often come into contact with the wild animals.

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    Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, sexual assault, Washington Post, Christine Blasey Ford,

    During his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Brett Kavanaugh — Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee — was asked by prosecutor Rachel Mitchell about the July 1, 1982 entry on his personal calendar, a calendar he said that he had maintained as a form of diary and retained for the past 36 years. Kavanaugh submitted the calendar to the Senate, as the Inquisitr has reported, as evidence proving that he could not have attended a party at which Palo Alto University psychologist Christine Blasey Ford accuses him of sexually assaulting her.

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    Senator Jeff Flake. Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh testified in front of the Senate Judiciary committee regarding sexual assault allegations at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill Thursday, September 27, 2018. at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on September 27, 2018 on Capitol Hill. Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland.

    Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, one of the key questions in the confirmation vote of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and key swing vote on the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a statement Friday morning indicating his support Kavanaugh according to Slate.

    In the statement, Flake said that while he found Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony “compelling,” he felt her testimony was met with a “persuasive response from Judge Kavanaugh.” He also said he doesn’t have the “confidence” of some of his Senate colleagues “about what either did or did not happen in the early 1980s.”

    “What I do know,” the statement says, “is that our system of justice affords a presumption of innocence to the accused, absent corroborating evidence. That is what binds us to the rule of law. While some may argue that a different standard should apply regarding the Senate’s advice and consent responsibilities, I believe that the constitution’s provisions of fairness and due process apply here as well.”

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    Rescue workers from Sulawesi prepare for work

    At least one person is dead and extensive damage has been seen on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi following a series of earthquakes in the island, reports the Weather Channel.

    The most powerful earthquake struck just after 6 p.m. local time on Friday night, recording 7.5 on the Richter scale. The tremor’s center was 35 miles away from the town of Donggala, home to 300,000 people and triggered a tsunami warning from the Indonesian authorities. The tsunami went on to hit Donggala along with the neighboring town of Palau but little information about the wave has been gathered by the Indonesian geophysics agency yet.

    What information has been gathered has come from Indonesia’s equivalent of FEMA which reported that houses have been completely swept away by the tsunami and that many people are missing but the timing of the quake at nightfall has hindered rescuers efforts to find the missing.

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    Brett Kavanaugh's Yale classmate says he lied "blatantly" during Thursday hearing.

    Perhaps the most striking of all the responses to Brett Kavanaugh’s Thursday testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee is that of his Yale classmate, Lynne Brookes, who appeared on CNN to contradict his characterization of himself as a not-so-wild drinker, according to TheWeek.

    Brookes, who was also the classmate of Deborah Ramirez, the second woman who accused Trump’s Supreme Court pick of sexual assault at a dorm party while in Yale, told Chris Cuomo that she was extremely disappointed with how Kavanaugh had tried to evade questions surrounding his alleged excessive drinking habits. Although Kavanaugh admitted that he drank “beers” during his senior year in high school as well as in college, a sharp turn from what we had told Fox News just a few days prior, he was particularly defensive about questions surrounding his drinking habits.

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    The state capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin.

    Kalan Haywood always knew he wanted to be involved in electoral politics, ever since he met Mayor Tom Barrett when he was just 8-years-old during a groundbreaking ceremony for his family’s real estate business.

    He didn’t wait too long to fulfill that desire. Haywood, running as a Democrat in Milwaukee’s 16th Assembly district, won a primary this summer, and faces no Republican opposition for the seat in the general election, according to reporting from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He’s almost assuredly set to be sworn in this January, and at age 19, that will make him the youngest current legislator in the entire U.S.

    “I am not aware of any legislators younger than 20 at the moment, so it is likely that if a 19-year-old was just elected that he would be the youngest state legislator out there,” National Conference of State Legislatures policy specialist John Mahoney said.

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    Close-up photo of box turtle in grass.

    It gives “turtle power” a whole new meaning. An injured wild box turtle was lucky enough to be recently found just outside the Maryland Zoo by a zoo employee, People reported Thursday. The Eastern box turtle was apparently found at nearby Druid Hill Park, with extensive fractures to his shell that required immediate attention.

    In order to allow the turtle’s shell to heal properly, the vet team at Maryland Zoo had to get creative. Apparently, the team carefully created a unique LEGO “wheelchair” for the poor guy, which is basically a shell-support on wheels. With the contraption carefully surrounding his healing shell, the turtle is able to scoot on wheels by using his front legs. Dr. Ellen Bronson, Maryland Zoo’s senior director of animal health, conservation, and research, described the situation in a statement released by the zoo.

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    Sea Turtle is caught in a plastic net

    Oceans are a critical resource that enables life on earth to keep moving forward, yet many people treat them as little more than a landfill. In fact, the Huffington Post reported that an astounding 19 billion pounds of garbage is added to the world’s oceans annually. Even worse, some experts believe this number will hit 38 billion pounds in just seven years.

    This puts hundreds – and perhaps even thousands – of marine life species at risk, and it could also lead to the downfall of the human race. After all, oceans account for more than half of the earth’s oxygen supply. They also absorb carbon dioxide and provide a major resource for food, transportation, medicine, and jobs.

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    a fmaily's halloween decorations depicted a lynching

    An Illinois family’s Halloween decorations that appeared to depict the lynching of an African American family, and the police made them take them down, Northwest Indiana Times is reporting.

    Halloween is coming up in a few weeks, and every year, stories like this make the rounds of the media. One family’s decorations may be graphic and terrifying; another’s may be too spot-on politically and offend the neighbors; and more than one Halloween decoration has been called racist. Such is the case with an unnamed Illinois homeowner.

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    The Air Niuguini Aircraft sits in the Chuuk Lagoon after missing the runway

    An Air Niugini Boeing 737 missed the runway and landed in a lagoon in Micronesia but all 47 people on board managed to survive the incident and swim to safety reports CNN.

    The flight to Weno, the biggest city in the isolated Federated States of Micronesia and the main airport for the country, missed the runway and ended up landing in the lagoon that the city is built around.

    Things were going smoothly for the flight and the approach seemed normal until a sudden storm broke out, bringing heavy rain with it. With the aircraft now in its final approach, there was little the pilots could do to adjust to the changing conditions which ended up seeing the plane land in the lagoon.

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    Facebook private security breach is under investigation.

    Facebook said Friday that an attack on its network led to the exposure of information from nearly 50 million users, The New York Times reports.

    The breach was discovered earlier this week. Internal investigations show that attackers exploited a feature in the social network’s code which allowed them to hack and to take over user accounts. Facebook fixed the security flaw and contacted the authorities.

    The identity and the origin of the attackers is not yet known, according to Facebook.

    This discovery comes amid threats of government regulation, and after the Cambridge Analytica scandal that had already worried users sensitive about their data and privacy.

    “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg said following the Cambridge Analytica data breach, which affected up to 87 million Facebook users. Evidently, the Facebook founder and CEO has failed to deliver on his stated responsibility.

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    A victim blocking the photographer with his hands.

    Adam Rack, an English man who wrote a step-by-step guide that teaches pedophiles how to avoid getting caught, has been arrested and is going to prison.

    As Yahoo News reports, Rack, 23, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of various sex crimes against children, for which he was sentenced to seven years.

    Police were first tipped off to Rack when authorities detected an upload of pornographic images of children coming from his IP address. Police searched his home, computers, and devices, and found “hundreds” of indecent images of children.

    Further, police determined that Rack had sexually abused a 12-year-old boy over the course of two years — from when the boy was eight until he was ten — according to Detective Constable Andrew Taylor.

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    The second debate between Republican Ted Cruz and his Democrat rival Beto O’Rourke was postponed Friday.

    The debate was set to take place on Sunday at the University of Houston, ahead of midterm election on November 6, The Texas Tribune reported.

    That debate has now been postponed due to the ongoing battle in Washington over Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

    “Senator Cruz will be in Washington, D.C. for weekend votes,” the University of Houston said in a statement.

    The university is yet to announce a new date for the second debate.

    “UH, Univision 45 and ABC-13 are working with the campaigns to find a new date to reschedule,” the statement read.

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    Donald Trump calls Christine Blasey Ford a "very fine woman."

    Donald Trump called Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony “very compelling” even as senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 along party lines to take Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote to Senate Floor, reports The Guardian.

    Trump was speaking with reporters on Friday even as he met with Chilean president Sebastian Pinera for bilateral talks. Saying that he hadn’t been able to keep himself updated with everything that was transpiring in the Senate, Trump nonetheless called his Supreme Court pick’s accuser Christine Ford a “very fine woman” who had provided a “very compelling” testimony on Thursday.

    “I thought her testimony was very compelling, and she looks like a very fine woman to me.”

    “Brett’s testimony was, likewise, really something that I hadn’t seen before.”

    Trump said that he would respect whatever decision the Senate takes in regards to Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote, saying he just wanted it all “to work out well for the country.”

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    Maddox Ritchs Father Speaks Out

    Tragedy struck in North Carolina after the five-day search for Maddox Ritch, a 6-year-old non-verbal boy with autism, came to an end when his body was discovered. The young boy was last seen at Rankin Lake Park on Saturday at 1 p.m. with his father Ian.

    As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Maddox was reported missing after running away from his father and disappearing from sight. Tons of agencies and volunteers assisted in the search for the young boy. Divers were even called in to search the nearby lake.

    Yesterday, Ritch’s remains were discovered in Long Creek under two to three feet of water. The creek is located just a mile east of where the Maddox was last seen before disappearing. According to People, Gastonia fire chief Phillip Welch said it is not possible for Maddox to have been swept from the lake to the creek because of the discharge area.

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    Former lawmaker Brian Joyce.

    An investigation is underway to determine what circumstances may have been behind the death of former Massachusetts state Senator, whose passing this week comes shy of legal proceedings that could have resulted in his imprisonment for federal corruption crimes.

    Former nine-term Senator Brian A. Joyce’s death was reported by his wife, Mary, on Thursday, September 27. Scant detail about the scene — or the condition that Joyce’s body was in when Mary found him lifeless in their Westport home — has been released to the public.

    What is known is that the late father of five was still recuperating from a car crash that he had gotten into one day prior. But so far, while authorities have confirmed that evidence related to Joyce’s health is being taken into consideration, they will only say that they are looking into the possibility that the accident could’ve played a part in Joyce’s early death at age 56.

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    Newborn baby in the arms of a mother.

    Mere hours after a woman gave birth to her child, there was already a bit of drama happening within her family — and at the hospital. Through no fault of her own, a woman named Joii Brown lost the chance of having a deep connection with her baby not long after he was born. A North Florida hospital could be in for a lot of legal trouble after they gave Brown’s newborn son to another woman — who ended up breastfeeding him for a couple of minutes.

    According to WESH, Joii Brown had just had her baby boy earlier in the day at Orange Park Medical Center. After being brought to her room, the nurses came to take the baby away so that he could be circumcised.

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    Julie Swetnick, the woman who claims she was gang-raped in the early 1980s at a drunken high school party where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was present, was sued for sexual harassment by male employees at WebTrends, a web analytics company based in Portland, Oregon.

    In November 2000, WebTrends filed a defamation and fraud lawsuit against Swetnick, claiming she had engaged in “unwelcome, sexually offensive conduct” toward two male co-workers, according to court documents obtained by the Daily Caller.

    Swetnick shot to fame this week after her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, accused Judge Kavanaugh of having been present at several high school parties that she attended when she was in college and Kavanaugh was in high school.

    Swetnick: I Went To 10 Parties Where Girls Were Gang-Raped

    Swetnick has not accused Brett Kavanaugh of raping or sexually assaulting her, but merely being present at several high-school shindigs she claimed she repeatedly attended where drunken gang rapes supposedly took place.

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