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Best of UFC 231


The best action shots from UFC 231 in Toronto.





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Exclusive: Dutch hospitals to drop U.S. body brokers, cite ethical concerns


AMSTERDAM – Two major Dutch hospitals say they will stop importing human body parts from American firms, which they have been doing without any regulation for a decade.

Outside view of Erasmus MC Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands December 8, 2018. REUTERS/Eva Plevier

The hospitals told Reuters in recent weeks they made their decisions on ethical grounds. The move comes amid investigations by U.S. law enforcement into some so-called body brokers – companies that obtain the dead, often through donation, dissect them and sell the parts for profit.

Earlier this year, Reuters reported that one broker under scrutiny by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation – Portland, Oregon-based MedCure – has used a Dutch hub to distribute tens of thousands of kilograms of human body parts across Europe since 2012. U.S. authorities suspect MedCure sold body parts tainted with disease to American and foreign customers, a concern triggered in part by such shipments to Canada and Hong Kong, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Reuters found that importers of U.S. body parts included two Dutch hospitals. The news agency uncovered no evidence body parts used in the Netherlands were infected, but the Dutch hospitals said they would drop the suppliers in response to reporting by Reuters which raised questions about how the brokers acquired body donations.

The country’s largest hospital, Amsterdam’s Academic Medical Center (AMC), said it bought between 300 and 500 heads from U.S. brokers, which in the past included MedCure, to cover a shortfall. The parts, used for research and training courses, were bought as early as 2008 and as recently as Nov. 21, the hospital said.

Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam said it bought knees and shoulders from a U.S. supplier but declined to provide details. The hospital said it used the parts for research and training courses which were not designed to make profits.

The health ministry declined to comment on the hospitals’ decision, and said there is no specific regulatory body which oversees the use of such samples.

From 2012 to 2016, according to manifest records reviewed by Reuters, MedCure shipped body parts valued at a total of more than $500,000 from the United States to the Netherlands. MedCure said it helps connect donors and scientific, research and medical entities. “We are an accredited and regulated institution and adhere to the best-in-class industry standards for safety ethics, and transparency,” the company said in a statement to Reuters.

Dutch laws govern the use of donated organs, the transportation of bodies and cremation, but there are none pertaining to body parts used for training or research, Dutch Minister for Medical Care Bruno Bruins told parliament in April.

The health ministry said it saw no need to regulate the trade in body parts because hospitals take precautions.


In the Netherlands and much of Europe, people who bequeath their bodies to research do so as a charitable donation, with no payment involved. In the United States, many brokers offer donor families free cremation in return for donating a body – a potential saving of up to $1,000.

AMC’s current supplier Science Care, one of the largest body brokers in America, is not under FBI investigation, the company told Reuters; an FBI spokeswoman said policy prevents the agency saying whether a company is or is not being scrutinized. But Science Care’s business model rankles some Dutch lawmakers and doctors.

Freek Dikkers, the professor of ear, nose and throat medicine at the AMC whose department bought the heads, said it was stopping after learning that the company solicits donors at hospices and old age homes and that its former owners earned millions from the trade. Dikkers said that was “unacceptable.”

One frozen head from Science Care that passed through Dutch airport customs belonged to a 53-year-old who died in April 2017 after treatment to remove a brain tumor. Although the declared value of the head on the customs form was $25, the going rate for a human head in the U.S. market is currently around $500, Reuters found. Science Care did not respond to a request for comment about the price of body parts.

Neither of the hospitals would say how much they paid for the parts. The heads were used, sometimes multiple times, to train young doctors before they operated on live patients, said Dikkers.

“It was a rising trend in recent years, initially around 30, and then increasing to 50 (per year), in four shipments,” he said in an interview with Reuters and Dutch TV program Nieuwsuur.

The AMC said documents provided by U.S.-based brokers indicated the heads the hospital bought tested negative for disease. A hospital spokeswoman said it had not carried out its own tests, but doctors always wear protective clothing.

Science Care said it follows all regulations and has been accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). The company uses “an extensive medical screening process for our donors, including testing for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV-1, and HIV-2, to reduce potential risks.” All specimens are packaged and shipped according to international standards, it said.

The Rotterdam hospital, Erasmus, said it imported body parts – mostly sample knee and shoulder joints – for orthopedic surgery courses. It declined to say how long it has imported the parts, which company or companies supplied them, or how many it has bought.

RISE LABS    Even though the hospitals say they plan to stop using the U.S. suppliers, the business of sending body parts through the Netherlands continues.

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Rhenus Logistics, a Dutch company, transported and stored body parts for MedCure between 2015 and 2018. The contract ended this year, said Rhenus spokeswoman Ellen Visser, when MedCure set up its own Dutch distribution hub.

    A month later, a new company was established in the Netherlands: Rise Labs, with three people affiliated to MedCure listed as board members. From two addresses in Amsterdam, it offers “services to donors leaving their whole body and providing services to medical professionals working in the field of anatomical research.”

The company did not respond to requests for comment. A receptionist at one Rise Labs’ address did not open the door when a reporter called for comment. MedCure declined to comment.

Reporting by Anthony Deutsch in Amsterdam and John Shiffman in Washington, D.C.; Edited by Blake Morrison and Sara Ledwith

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Hakeem Al-Araibi, Australian refugee, faces extradition to Bahrain


Hakeem Al-Araibi, who fled Bahrain in 2014, was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok November 27 during a vacation to Thailand with his wife.

The chief of Thailand’s Immigration Bureau, Surachet Hakpal, told CNN that Al-Araibi was arrested on the request of Bahrain when he arrived at the airport. He was given an Interpol “red notice” — an international arrest warrant — which is not supposed to be given to refugees.

Al-Araibi was detained for seven days at the Immigration Bureau’s headquarters in Bangkok. Then, despite the red notice being lifted, Thailand’s Criminal Court extended his detainment for another 12 days on December 4.

It is expected that on Friday, December 7, the court will decide whether an arrest warrant should be issued, and if it’s granted then the extradition process will begin for Al-Araibi, Hakpal said.

Bahrain’s government did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Hakpal said Bahraini authorities knew that Al-Araibi was arriving to the country that day and requested Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs help to detain Al-Araibi. The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affiars informed its Immigration Bureau.

“They may have their own investigation team, I think,” Hakpal said.

Qatar rift: Saudi, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt cut diplomatic ties
Amnesty International released a statement on December 4, calling on Thai authorities to end Al-Araibi’s detention.

“Hakeem’s life will be in danger if he is deported to Bahrain,” Crisis Campaigner for Amnesty International Australia Diana Sayed said in the statement, adding that he will “almost certainly” face imprisonment and torture.

“As a recognized refugee with approved travel documents he should never have been detained. We are pleased to hear reports of the Red Notice being lifted — but despite this — the Thai authorities continue to detain him.”

Bahrain executes 3 men convicted in bombing that killed police

Humans Rights Watch (HRW) said Al-Araibi was sentenced in absentia to 10 years imprisonment during a trial in Bahrain during 2014. He had also been previously arrested and tortured in November 2012, allegedly for his brother’s political activities, according HRW.

“A former player of Bahrain’s national soccer team, he has spoken out about a senior Bahraini official’s practice of torturing footballers who participate in demonstrations,” the statement said.

“He has spoken publicly about his torture stating, “they blindfolded me (… and) beat my legs really hard, saying: ‘You will not play soccer again. We will destroy your future.’ “

HRW also requested that Thai immigration authorities immediately release Al-Araibi.

“Handing him over to Bahrain would be a heartless act that blatantly violates Thailand’s obligations to protect refugees and opens Bangkok up to a chorous of international criticism,” HRW Asia Director Brad Adams said in a statement.

Al-Araibi escaped in 2014, Humans Rights Watch says, and was recognized as a refugee by Australia in 2017.

He currently is a player on Melbourne’s Pascoe Vale Football Club.

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Huawei arrest: Justin Trudeau denies political motivation


Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou attends the VTB Capital Investment Forum "Russia Calling!" in Moscow in 2014Image copyright

Image caption

Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of the company’s founder

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government had no involvement in the arrest of a top executive from Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of its founder, was detained at Vancouver airport on a US extradition request.

China has demanded her release, calling the arrest a human rights violation.

The charges have not been made public. Huawei said it was “not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng”.

She faces a bail hearing on Friday.

The arrest comes at a sensitive time for US-China relations. The nations are locked in a trade war that has seen both impose duties on billions of dollars of one another’s goods.

Ms Meng was detained on Saturday, the same day US President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping met at the G20 summit in Argentina and later reached a temporary truce in their trade battle.

But the arrest has angered China and threatens to inflame tensions with the US.

Earlier reports suggested that Ms Meng’s arrest could be related to a US investigation into a possible violation of sanctions against Iran.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton declined to comment on this when questioned by journalists.

Instead he said that – generally speaking – he had “enormous concerns” over Chinese firms’ business practices and their possible operations as “arms” of the government.

Who is Meng Wanzhou?

Ms Meng is the company’s chief financial officer and the founder’s daughter.

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Image caption

Ms Meng was detained while transferring between flights in Vancouver

Huawei is one of the largest telecommunications equipment and services providers in the world, recently passing Apple to become the second-biggest smartphone maker after Samsung.

What do we know about the arrest?

The details of the charges against Ms Meng remain unknown after she sought a publication ban, which was granted by the Canadian judge.

Her arrest was not revealed by the Canadian authorities until Wednesday, the day when she had her first court appearance.

Speaking to reporters in Montreal, Mr Trudeau said his government was told about the arrest a few days beforehand, but it did not play a role.

“I can assure everyone that we are a country [with] an independent judiciary,” he said.

Why is Huawei a concern to the West?

Some Western governments fear Beijing will gain access to fifth-generation (5G) mobile and other communications networks through Huawei and expand its spying ability, although the firm insists there is no government control.

US lawmakers have repeatedly accused the company of being a threat to US national security.

Japan is expected to ban government use of products made by Huawei and ZTE, local media reported on Friday, over cybersecurity concerns. It would follow moves by New Zealand and Australia to block Huawei.

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Without making specific reference to Huawei, US Security Adviser Mr Bolton said his country had “enormous concerns for years” about the practice of Chinese firms “to use stolen American intellectual property, to engage in forced technology transfers, and to be used as arms of the Chinese government’s objectives in terms of information technology in particular”.

The gloves are off

By Karishma Vaswani, BBC Asia business correspondent

It is hard to overstate the symbolism and significance of this event. Huawei is the crown jewel of Chinese tech and Ms Meng is effectively its princess.

Even though it’s still not clear what the charges against her are, this is not simply a case about the arrest of one woman, or just one company.

This arrest could materially damage the relationship between the US and China at possibly one of the most sensitive times between the two countries in their long and torrid history.

The gloves are off. Things have taken a dramatic turn for the worse.

Read more from Karishma

What does China say?

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson told reporters: “The detention without giving any reason violates a person’s human rights.”

“We have made solemn representations to Canada and the US, demanding that both parties immediately clarify the reasons for the detention, and immediately release the detainee to protect the person’s legal rights.”

In a statement, Huawei said it had complied with “all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU.”

The company also said in a letter to suppliers: “We believe it is unreasonable of the US government to use these sorts of approaches to exert pressure on a business entity. They are against the spirit of free economy and fair competition.”

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Politics, race, music dominate diverse Golden Globe film nominations


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Movies about race, politics and music dominated nominations for the Golden Globe awards on Thursday, setting the stage for a lively Hollywood awards season leading up to the Oscars in February.

Dark comedy “Vice,” a scathing look at the rise to power of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, led all comers with six nods. It was followed by the Lady Gaga musical remake of “A Star is Born,” British historical comedy “The Favourite” and road trip movie through 1960s segregated America “Green Book” with five nods apiece.

Several expected contenders, including female-led heist thriller “Widows,” were left out in the cold, while moon landing movie “First Man” was snubbed in the best drama race and had to settle for just two nominations.

“Vice” director Adam McKay described his film, which will be released on Dec. 25, as “an amazing portrayal of power.”

“What we tried to do was reflect the times that we are living in, which can be pretty absurd and pretty dramatic and tragic at the same time,” McKay told Reuters on Thursday.

“Vice” also won nods for actors Christian Bale, as Dick Cheney, Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, and Sam Rockwell as former U.S. President George W. Bush. The film is distributed by independent Annapurna Pictures, which led studios with 10 nominations overall.

Actor Christian Bale arrives on the red carpet during the 41st Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), in Toronto, Canada, September 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The Golden Globes, chosen by the small Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), will be handed out at in Beverly Hills on Jan 6 in the season’s first major show business awards ceremony.

The movie line-up includes two films about racial injustice – “If Beale Street Could Talk,” director Barry Jenkins’ follow-up to his 2017 Oscar best picture “Moonlight,” and director Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman.” Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) black empowerment superhero movie “Black Panther” also got a best drama nomination.

“Green Book” star Viggo Mortensen, who was nominated along with Mahershala Ali, said in a statement that the Universal Pictures (CMCSA.O) film asks audiences to “think profoundly about our society’s past and present.”

“Crazy Rich Asians,” the first big Hollywood movie in 25 years with an all-Asian cast, further diversified the Globes contenders with nods for best comedy and best actress for Constance Wu.

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“Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think our movie would be embraced to this magnitude by the audience and now the HFPA,” “Crazy Rich Asians” director John Chu said in a statement.


Music featured strongly with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” starring Rami Malek as late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Malek gave a “heartfelt and humbled thank you to the man this is for and because of, Freddie.”

“A Star is Born,” the Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper remake of the show business romance, solidified its status as a major contender for Oscars, while “Mary Poppins Returns,” a sequel to Disney’s beloved 1964 film, won nominations for stars Emily Blunt and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron’s much admired semi-autobiographical black-and-white film “Roma,” for streaming service Netflix (NFLX.O), was nominated in the foreign language category.

Cuaron, who also won a directing nod, said the film celebrated families “and encourages my belief that the human experience is one and the same for all.”

Briton Olivia Colman won a best actress nod for her turn as a petulant Queen Anne in the Fox Searchlight (FOXA.O) historical romp “The Favourite,” along with supporting stars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.

In television, limited FX (FOXA.O) series “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” about the murder of the Italian fashion designer, was ahead with four nods and helped the FX network take a leading 10 nominations.

But favorites like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “This is Us” were shut out of the biggest races in favor of newcomers including podcast-adaptation “Homecoming,” starring Julia Roberts, and comedies “The Kominsky Method” and “Kidding.”

Reporting by Jill Serjeant and Lisa Richwine; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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Japan has so many vacant homes it’s giving them away


It’s a spacious, two-story home nestled amid trees on a winding country road in the small town of Okutama, in Tokyo prefecture. Before moving, the couple and their children — two teenagers and a five-year-old — were all living with Naoko’s parents.

“We had to do a lot of repair work (on our new home), but we’d always wanted to live in the countryside and have a big garden,” said Naoko, 45.

A free house may sound like a scam. But Japan faces an unusual property problem: it has more homes than people to live in them.

In 2013, there were 61 million houses and 52 million households, according to the Japan Policy Forum. And the situation is poised to get worse.

Japan’s population is expected to decline from 127 million to about 88 million by 2065, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security, meaning even fewer people will need houses. As young people leave rural areas for city jobs, Japan’s countryside has become haunted by deserted “ghost” houses, known as “akiya.”
It’s predicted that by 2040, nearly 900 towns and villages across Japan will no longer exist — and Okutama is one of them. In that context, giving away property is a bid for survival.

“In 2014, we discovered that Okutama was one of three Tokyo (prefecture) towns expected to vanish by 2040,” says Kazutaka Niijima, an official with the Okutama Youth Revitalization (OYR) department, a government body set up to repopulate the town.

Vacant houses are a common sight across Japan as the country's population shrinks and many young people move to urban areas.

Akiya bank schemes

Okutama is a two-hour train ride west from Tokyo prefecture’s dense, neon-soaked center.

In the 1960s, it boasted a population of more than 13,000, as well as a profitable timber trade. But after the liberalization of imports and falling demand for timber in the 1990s, most young people left for the city. Today, Okutama has just 5,200 residents.

In 2014, it established an “akiya bank” — or vacant house scheme — which matches prospective buyers with aging homeowners and empty properties. While akiya banks are now common across Japan, each town sets its own conditions.

For example, Okutama subsidizes home repairs for new akiya residents, and encourages akiya owners to relinquish their vacant properties by offering up to $8,820 per 100 square meters (1,076 sq feet).

However, it stipulates that those who receive a free home or renovation assistance must be aged under 40, or be in a couple with at least one child under 18-years-old and one partner aged under 50. Akiya applicants must also commit to settling in the town permanently and invest in upgrading second-hand homes.

But even giving away homes is tough in a country where people prefer new builds.

A view over Okutama, 1955. (Okutama Town)

Constructions for Ogouchi dam in 1945. (Okutama Town)

Second-hand homes

Niijima leads the way into a vacant, box-like house with a blue roof and white walls that was built 33 years ago. Though sturdy on the outside, the musty smell inside hints at the decade it has sat empty. The kitchen is in need of a makeover, and the tatami floor is faded.

“It will suit someone who likes DIY,” Niijima said with a grin.

There are 3,000 homes in Okutama, and about 400 are vacant — only half of which are believed to be salvageable. The rest are either too dilapidated or were built in areas at risk of landslides.

In the 20th century, Japan experienced two major population spikes: the first after World War II and the second during the economic explosion of the 1980s. Both created housing shortages which led to cheap, mass-produced homes that were quickly erected in densely populated towns and cities.

These Okutama locals regularly meet to play gate ball.

Fujiko Masuda runs a popular Japanese-style pub.

They remember when the timber trade boomed.

Many of those properties were poor quality, said Hidetaka Yoneyama, a senior researcher at the Fujitsu Research Institute. As a result, about 85% of people opt to buy new homes.

Japanese laws also don’t help things.

In 2015, the government passed a law designed to penalize those who leave houses empty, in a bid to encourage them to either demolish or refurbish their properties. However, akiya owners are taxed more for empty plots of land than for having an empty property, according to real estate expert Toshihiko Yamamoto. This is a deterrent to razing a vacant home.

Urban planning regulations are also weak in Japan, said Chie Nozawa, a professor of architecture at Toyo University in Tokyo, meaning developers can keep building houses despite the glaring surplus.

Kazutaka Niijima inside one of the akiya that Okutama will give away for free in 2019.

Making rural areas alluring

In Okutama, revitalization official Niijima has found families for nine vacant houses so far. They’ve come from places including New York and China — the akiya scheme is not limited to Japanese citizens.

Filipino-Japanese couple Rosalie and Toshiuki Imabayashi, who live in central Tokyo with their six children, will move to the town in early 2019.

“It was getting too cramped for us in Tokyo and we liked that Okutama was within the same prefecture but surrounded by nature,” Rosalie said.

Overgrown vegetation surrounds a vacant house in the Yato area of Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Empty homes are an issue across the country.

For most newcomers, though, free homes are not enough. Depopulated areas like Okutama also need a sustainable economic development plan — and community-building activities between locals and newcomers — if they are to thrive.

“If people can find a way of engaging in productive economic activities and supporting themselves, they will come and stay in rural areas,” said Jeffrey Hou, an architecture professor at Washington University.

Kamiyama, a town in southern Japan, added more people than it lost in 2011 after IT companies set up satellite offices there, attracting workers keen to escape city life.

Okutama station was previously called Hikawa station.

Okutama station, October 2018.

The ingenuity of new residents is also a boon for fading towns.

Certified as caregivers for the elderly, the Idas knew they would have job opportunities in Okutama. However, in September 2017 they tried a new venture, buying and converting a second-hand “kominka” — a Japanese house more than 100-years-old — into a roadside cafe catering to roving hikers and bikers.

“The beauty of this place lies in retrofitting something that already exists,” said Naoko, inside the cozy cafe, which brims with vintage objects and local craft work. “Some people like this culture and really like old things but they hesitate about committing to rural life.”

On their quiet street, there is another empty house and the home of an elderly woman. Before the Idas came, wild monkeys kept eating the woman’s vegetable patch — now the area is busier, the animals keep their distance.

Yet while Naoko has found a permanent home for herself in Okutama, she shakes her head when asked whether her children see a future there.

“Actually, my eldest daughter says she can’t wait to leave home and rent a place of her own in the city,” she said.

Photo editing by Jason Kwok.

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Does Bone Broth Break a Fast?


This is a surprisingly common question.

To get it out of the way: Yes, it does. Bone broth contains calories, and true fasts do not allow calorie consumption. You eat calories, you break the fast.

However, most people aren’t fasting to be able to brag about eating no calories for X number of days. They fast for shorter (often intermittent) periods of time for specific health benefits. It’s entirely possible that bone broth “breaks a fast” but allows many of the benefits we associate with fasting to occur.

As is the problem with so many of these specific requests, there aren’t any studies addressing the specific question. The scientific community hasn’t caught up to the current trends sweeping the alternative health community. But we can isolate the most common benefits of fasting and see how bone broth—and the components therein—interact.

Common Benefits of Fasting: Does Bone Broth Help or Hinder?


Fasting is a quick and easy (or simple) way to get into ketosis. You have little choice in the matter. Since you’re not eating anything, and your body requires energy, you break down body fat for energy. And because you’ve only got fat “coming in,” you’ll quickly start generating ketone bodies. If bone broth stops ketosis, it’s probably breaking the fast.

Bone broth doesn’t contain any digestible carbohydrates. Common additions like tomato paste and carrots might add a few tenths of a gram of carbohydrate to your cup of broth, but not enough to throw you out of ketosis.

Bone broth is quite high in protein, especially if you make it right or buy the right kind, but if it’s the only thing you’re consuming during your fast, the overall caloric load won’t be enough for the protein in broth to stop ketosis.

I can’t point to a paper. I know for a fact that I’ve consumed bone broth without affecting my ketones.

Fat Burning

Fat-burning is another important aspect of fasting. Since bone broth contains calories, you’ll probably burn slightly less fat drinking broth during a fast. But the calories come from protein, the macronutrient least associated with fat gain and most supportive of lean mass retention. And at any rate, your total calorie intake on a fasting+broth day will be under 100 calories—plenty low enough to promote fat loss.

Insulin Sensitivity

Over the long term, fasting is an effective way to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Most things that make you better at burning fat and expending, rather than storing, energy—like exercise, low-carb diets, weight loss in general—tend to improve insulin sensitivity over time. But the sometimes counterintuitive piece to all this is that in the short term, fasting can reduce insulin sensitivity. This is a physiological measure the body takes to preserve what little glucose remains for the brain. All the other tissues become insulin resistant so that the parts of the brain that can’t run on ketones and require glucose get enough of the latter to function.

There’s also the matter of sleep, fasting, and insulin sensitivity to consider. Some people report sleep disturbances during fasts, especially longer fasts. This is common. If the body perceives the fast as stressful, or if you aren’t quite adapted to burning fat, you may interpret the depleted liver glycogen as dangerous and be woken up to refuel in the middle of the night. Some people just have trouble sleeping on low-calorie intakes in general, and a fast is about as low as you can get. If that’s you, and your fasting is hurting your sleep, it’s most likely also impairing your insulin sensitivity because a bad night’s sleep is one of the most reliable ways to induce a state of insulin resistance. There’s some indication that total sleep deprivation creates transient type 2 diabetes.

That’s where bone broth comes in. A big mug of broth is one of my favorite ways to ensure a good night’s sleep. It’s a great source of glycine, an amino acid that has been shown in several studies to improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. It may “break” the fast by introducing calories, but a broken fast is preferable to bad sleep and the hit to insulin sensitivity that results from it.


Things fall apart. Cars, tools, buildings, toy trucks, civilizations. That’s entropy, which dictates that all things are constantly heading toward disorder. And people aren’t exempt. Our cells and tissues are subject to entropy, too, only we can resist it. One of the ways our bodies resist entropy is through a process of cellular pruning and cleanup called autophagy.  There’s always a bit of back and forth between autophagy and our cellular detritus, but it occurs most powerfully in periods of caloric restriction. Fasting enhances autophagy like nothing else because it’s a period of total caloric restriction.  If bone broth destroys autophagy, that’d be a big mark against drinking it during a fast.

Amino acids tend to be anti-autophagy signaling agents. When we eat protein, or even consume certain isolated amino acids, autophagy slows. Bone broth is pure protein. It’s almost nothing but amino acids. The key is: Which amino acids are in bone broth, and have they been shown to impede autophagy?

The primary amino acids that make up the gelatin in bone broth are alanine, glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and glutamine.

Let’s say you’re drinking a mug of strong, really gelatinous bone broth with 15 grams of gelatin protein. How do those amino acids break down?

So it’s a mixed bag. The most prominent amino acid in bone broth—glycine—seems to allow autophagy, but the less proinent amino acids may not. It’s unclear just how much of each amino acid it takes to affect autophagy either way. The absolute amounts found in bone broth are low enough that I’m not too concerned.

What Else To Know…

Okay, so while bone broth technically “breaks” the fast, it may preserve some of the most important benefits. Is there anything else related to bone broth and fasting that deserve mention?

If you’re the type to train in a fasted state and eat right after, you might consider incorporating some bone broth right before the workout. Just like my pre-workout collagen smoothie does, bone broth (plus a little vitamin C to aid the effect) right before a workout improves the adaptations of our connective tissue to the training by increasing collagen deposition in the tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. You’ve already done most of the fast honestly. What’s shaving off a half hour of fasting time by drinking some broth or collagen, especially if you stand to improve your connective tissue in the process? Ask any older athlete and they’ll say they wish they could.

Some spices and herbs that are often added to bone broth can have effects similar to fasting. Take curcumin, found in turmeric. Research shows that it’s an independent activator of mTOR, which in turn can activate autophagy. Ginger and green tea (what, you haven’t tried steeping green tea in bone broth?) are other ones to try. Bone broth with turmeric, green tea, and ginger might actually combine to form a decent autophagy-preserving drink during a fast. Only one way to find out!

That’s about it for bone broth and fasting. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to ask down below.



Xu X, Wang X, Wu H, et al. Glycine Relieves Intestinal Injury by Maintaining mTOR Signaling and Suppressing AMPK, TLR4, and NOD Signaling in Weaned Piglets after Lipopolysaccharide Challenge. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(7)

De urbina JJO, San-miguel B, Vidal-casariego A, et al. Effects Of Oral Glutamine on Inflammatory and Autophagy Responses in Cancer Patients Treated With Abdominal Radiotherapy: A Pilot Randomized Trial. Int J Med Sci. 2017;14(11):1065-1071.

Shaw G, Lee-barthel A, Ross ML, Wang B, Baar K. Vitamin C-enriched gelatin supplementation before intermittent activity augments collagen synthesis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;105(1):136-143.

Zhao G, Han X, Zheng S, et al. Curcumin induces autophagy, inhibits proliferation and invasion by downregulating AKT/mTOR signaling pathway in human melanoma cells. Oncol Rep. 2016;35(2):1065-74.

Hung JY, Hsu YL, Li CT, et al. 6-Shogaol, an active constituent of dietary ginger, induces autophagy by inhibiting the AKT/mTOR pathway in human non-small cell lung cancer A549 cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2009;57(20):9809-16.

Zhou J, Farah BL, Sinha RA, et al. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a green tea polyphenol, stimulates hepatic autophagy and lipid clearance. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(1):e87161.

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NHL roundup: Lightning top Wings in shootout


Nikita Kucherov scored the game-winner during a shootout, and the streaking Tampa Bay Lightning overcame Frans Nielsen’s hat trick to edge the host Detroit Red Wings 6-5 on Tuesday.

Dec 1, 2018; Sunrise, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) skates with the puck as Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle (3) defends in the second period at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay, which has the NHL’s best record, has won four straight and seven of its past eight. The Lightning won the shootout 2-1 after erasing a two-goal, third-period deficit.

Mathieu Joseph had two goals and an assist, and Steven Stamkos, J.T. Miller and Cedric Paquette also scored in regulation for Tampa Bay. Edward Pasquale made his NHL debut as the Lightning’s goaltender. He made 19 saves and two more during the shootout.

Nielsen collected his second career hat trick and the Wings’ first since 2016. Gustav Nyquist scored the other two regulation goals for Detroit.

Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 3 (OT)

Auston Matthews’ goal with less than three seconds remaining in overtime gave visiting Toronto the win over Buffalo.

Matthews capped off a three-point performance with his second goal of the night, taking a drop pass from Kasperi Kapanen and beating Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark to give Toronto its fifth consecutive victory.

After missing more than a month with a shoulder injury, Matthews now has five goals in three games since his return to the ice. He has 15 goals in 14 total games this season. Matthews also scored the game’s opening goal, and he picked up an assist on Patrick Marleau’s game-tying effort in the third.

Jets 3, Islanders 1

Jacob Trouba and Adam Lowry scored in a 22-second span early in the third period for Winnipeg, which capped a perfect Big Apple road trip by beating host New York.

Nikolaj Ehlers scored an empty-netter with 2.1 seconds left for the Jets, who beat the New Jersey Devils 4-3 in overtime Saturday and edged the New York Rangers by the same score in the shootout Sunday. Winnipeg has won four in a row overall.

Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves for the Jets, and Thomas Greiss recorded 21 saves for the Islanders. Anders Lee scored early in the third period for New York to break a scoreless tie before the Islanders scored three times.

Penguins 6, Avalanche 3

Patric Hornqvist’s third-period natural hat trick on a night when Pittsburgh gave away ballcaps lifted the Penguins to a 6-3 win over visiting Colorado.

The Penguins built a 3-0 lead on goals by Jake Guentzel, Evgeni Malkin and Derick Brassard in the first period before Colorado tied it with second-period goals from Tyson Barrie, Carl Soderberg and Matt Nieto.

Hornqvist notched the fastest hat trick in Penguins history, 2:47. He scored on a rebound for a power-play goal at 6:11, on a shot from the left circle at 7:32 and on a shot from the slot at 8:58.

Panthers 5, Bruins 0

Roberto Luongo returned from the injured list and earned a shutout, and Mike Hoffman scored two goals as host Florida routed Boston at Sunrise, Fla.

Panthers winger Jonathan Huberdeau extended his streak to six straight multi-point games. He had one goal and two assists, and he has three goals and 11 assists during his streak.

Mike Matheson and Evgenii Dadonov had Florida’s other goals. Aleksander Barkov had three assists, and Keith Yandle had two.

Golden Knights 5, Capitals 3

Nate Schmidt scored his first two goals of the season, including the game-winner on a power play with 1:25 remaining, and Vegas defeated Washington in Las Vegas in the first meeting between the teams at T-Mobile Arena since the Caps clinched their first Stanley Cup on June 7.

Schmidt fired a wrist shot from the top of the slot past the glove hand of Washington goalie Braden Holtby to break a 3-3 tie, then added an empty-net goal with 6.9 seconds left to seal the victory.

Cody Eakin had a goal and an assist and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Ryan Reaves also scored goals for Vegas, which won for the sixth time in seven games. Jakub Vrana scored two goals and Alex Ovechkin also scored for Washington, which had a four-game road winning streak snapped.

Flames 9, Blue Jackets 6

Calgary’s Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau each recorded two goals and two assists as the Flames erased a three-goal deficit by scoring five times in the second period in a wild victory at Columbus.

Elias Lindholm, Matthew Tkachuk, Noah Hanifin, T.J. Brodie and Austin Czarnik also had goals for the Flames.

Columbus’ Cam Atkinson had a hat trick to extend his point streak to 11 games — the league’s longest active stretch. Zach Werenski, Josh Anderson and Nick Foligno added goals for the Blue Jackets, who lost their second straight.

Wild 3, Canucks 2

Ryan Suter and Jason Zucker scored power-play goals less than a minute apart in the second period as Minnesota defeated host Vancouver.

Zach Parise also scored for the Wild, who went 3-for-3 with the man advantage. Devan Dubnyk made 29 saves for Minnesota, which snapped a season-high three-game losing streak.

Josh Leivo and Tyler Motte scored for Vancouver, which has won just once in its past 13 games (1-10-2). The Canucks’ Anders Nilsson stopped 25 shots but dropped his sixth consecutive start.

Canadiens 5, Senators 2

Max Domi scored twice and added an assist, and Jonathan Drouin had a goal and two assists as host Montreal scored three times in the second period to pull away from Ottawa.

Artturi Lehkonen and Brendan Gallagher also scored for the Canadiens, whose three-goal burst boosted them to just their second win in the past eight games. Carey Price stopped 28 shots for the Canadiens.

Dylan DeMelo and Mark Stone scored for the Senators, who had won their three previous games. Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson made 36 saves.

Coyotes 2, Kings 1

Rookie Adin Hill made 25 saves and improved to 4-0-0 with a .977 save percentage since he was recalled as Arizona extended its winning streak to four games by edging host Los Angeles.

Slideshow (3 Images)

Lawson Crouse scored a short-handed goal in the first period, and Nick Schmaltz added a power-play goal in the second for the Coyotes. Alec Martinez ended Hill’s bid for his second shutout in five days when he scored off a backhand feed from Anze Kopitar at 14:15 of the third period.

The Kings briefly thought they tied the score with 55.4 seconds left, but it was immediately ruled that Dustin Brown played the puck with a high stick. Jonathan Quick made 18 saves for Los Angeles.

—Field Level Media

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DoubleLine’s Gundlach says Treasuries point to an economy ready to weaken


NEW YORK (Reuters) – Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive officer of DoubleLine Capital, said on Tuesday that the U.S. Treasury yield curve inversion on short-end maturities was signaling that the “economy is poised to weaken.”

Jeffrey Gundlach, Chief Executive Officer, DoubleLine Capital LP., speaks at the Sohn Investment Conference in New York City, U.S. May 4, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Gundlach, known on Wall Street as the Bond King, told Reuters that the Treasury yield curve from two- to five-year maturities is suggesting “total bond market disbelief in the Federal Reserve’s prior plans to raise rates through 2019.”

U.S. two-year Treasury yields rose above three-year Treasury yields on Tuesday for the first time in more than a decade as traders piled on bets the Fed might be close to ending its rate-hike campaign. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down nearly 800 points, or 3.10 percent, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell over 90 points, or 3.24 percent.

“If the bond market trusts the Fed’s latest words about ‘data dependency,’ then the totally flat Treasury Note curve is predicting softer future growth (and) will stay the Fed’s hand, said Gundlach, who oversees more than $123 billion in assets.

“If that is indeed to be the case, the recent strong equity recovery is at risk from fundamental economic deterioration, a message that is sounding from the junk bond market, whose rebound has been far less impressive,” he said.

Yield curve inversions are seen generally as precursors of a recession. An inversion of the two-year and 10-year yields has preceded each U.S. recession in the past 50 years.

So far, there has been no inversion of the two-year and 10-year. The 10-year yield clung to an 11-basis-point margin over its two-year counterpart, although it was the smallest one in over a decade.

Gundlach said Fed policymakers will need to be especially careful in its choice of words when they meet on Dec. 18-19 to deliver on their promised rate hike.

“There can’t be another screwup like last time, when they dropped ‘accommodative’ but simultaneously characterized the Fed funds rate as ‘a long way’ from neutral, Gundlach said.

However, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reversed his tone last week, when he said that the U.S. central bank’s policy rate is now “just below” neutral, a level at which rates neither boost nor put the brakes on the economy.

Overall, Gundlach said there are bear markets in equities of homebuilders, autos and banks. “Keep it simple…Quantitative Tightening is bad for stocks.”

Reporting by Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Leslie Adler

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Main migrant shelter in Tijuana closed ‘due to health issues’


Pictures posted to the Facebook page of the Tijuana mayor’s office showed officials with face masks cordoning off the entrance of the Benito Juarez Sports Complex on Friday.

The complex, which had become Tijuana’s main facility for sheltering migrants trying to reach the US border, was closed “due to the poor sanitary conditions,” a statement from the office of Tijuana’s mayor, Juan Manuel Gastélum read.

CNN crews visiting the complex last week found squalid conditions, including open sewage drains.

Rodolfo Olimpo, a representative from Baja California state’s Special Committee on Migration Issues, told CNN last week the complex was more than three times over its capacity.

Since Thursday, Mexican officials have been transferring migrants from the complex to a new shelter that is further away from the border in the eastern part of the city in an area known as El Barretal.

Most of the migrants staying at the complex had left as of Sunday, but CNN crews there observed several dozen migrants staying in tents outside the gate.

New shelter

A Human Rights Watch researcher said “better” accommodations at the new shelter included a “roof and a dry floor.”

“Much better installations at the new shelter in #Tijuana. Migrants will have a roof and a dry floor to sleep tonight. But 45 minutes away by car from the border,” researcher Jonathan Pedneault tweeted late Thursday along with two stills of an empty facility.

He followed that by saying “Less funny [sic] for the single men in the new #Tijuana shelter however – no lights,” along with another photo of men gathered in a covered space lit with what appeared to be only flashlights or portable lights placed on the floor.

Thousands of migrants have arrived in Tijuana in recent weeks. Many are traveling as part of so-called caravans, large groups that trekked from Central America, largely on foot.

Tensions flared last Sunday when a group of migrants rushed the border and US authorities fired tear gas. Since then, the situation has calmed.

But Tijuana’s mayor says his city is still facing a humanitarian crisis as migrants camp out awaiting the chance to make an asylum claim in the United States.

Human rights groups have accused US authorities of creating a crisis by limiting processing at ports of entry.

US officials say limited resources and capacity mean they can only process a fraction of cases on the waiting list daily.

CNN’s Leyla Santiago reported from Mexico City. Duarte Mendonça reported from London and Deb Bloom reported from Atlanta.

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