Labrador Retriever Most Pup-ular US Dog Breed for 28th Year

Labrador retrievers aren’t letting go of their hold on U.S. dog lovers, but German shorthaired pointers are tugging on the top ranks of doggy popularity, according to new American Kennel Club data.

Labs topped the list for the 28th year in a row. Yet there’s been plenty of movement over time on the purebred pup-ularity ladder. 

Here’s a look at the 2018 rankings being released Wednesday. 

Top top 10

After Labs, the top five breeds nationwide are German shepherds, golden retrievers, French bulldogs and bulldogs. Rounding out the top 10 are beagles, poodles, Rottweilers, German shorthaired pointers and Yorkshire terriers.

Labs smashed the record for longest tenure as top dog back in 2013. Fans credit the Lab’s generally amiable nature and aptitude in many canine roles: bomb-sniffer, service dog, hunters’ helper, dog-sport competitor and patient family pet. 

At No. 9, the German shorthaired pointer notched its highest ranking since getting AKC recognition in 1930. These strikingly speckled hunting dogs are also versatile — some work as drug — and bomb-detectors — and active companions. 

“I think people are learning about how fun the breed is,” says AKC spokeswoman Brandi Hunter. 

The suddenly ubiquitous French bulldog remains the fourth most popular breed for a second year, after surging from 83rd a quarter-century ago.

The numbers

The rankings reflect a breed’s prevalence among the 580,900 puppies and other purebred dogs newly registered in 2018 with the AKC, the country’s oldest such registry.  Some 88,175 of these dogs were Labs. 

AKC says registrations, which are voluntary, have been growing for six years.

Estimates of the total number of pet dogs nationwide range from about 70 million to 90 million.

The consistent fave

Beagles, now No. 6, can boast they’re uniquely beloved. No other breed has made the top 10 in every decade since record-keeping began in the 1880s. 

Why? “They’re a good general family dog,” lively, friendly, relatively low-maintenance and comfortable with children, says breeder Kevin Shupenia of Dacula, Georgia. Beagles also work sniffing out contraband meat and plants at airports, detecting bedbugs in homes and doing their traditional job: hunting rabbits. 

“They have a sense of humor, and they’re just characters,” Shupenia says. 

The rarest of them all

The most scant breed was the sloughi (pronounced SLOO’-ghee). The greyhound-like dog has a long history in North Africa but garnered AKC recognition only three years ago. It replaces the Norwegian lundehund in the rarest-breed spot. 

How did doodles do?

Wonder where goldendoodles, puggles, or cockapoos stand? You won’t find these and other popular “designer dogs” among the 193 breeds recognized and ranked by the AKC.

That’s not to say they never will be, if their fanciers so desire. New breeds join the club periodically, after meeting criteria that include having at least 300 dogs nationwide and three generations. 

Meanwhile, designer and just plain mixed-breed dogs can sign up with AKC to compete in such sports as agility, dock diving and obedience. 

The whys, pros and cons of popularity

Many factors can influence a breed’s popularity: ease of care, exposure from TV and movies, and famous owners, to name a few. 

Popularity spurts can expand knowledge about a breed, but many people in dogdom rue slipshod breeding by people trying to cash in on sudden cachet. 

Elaine Albert, a longtime chow chow owner and sometime breeder, is glad the ancient Chinese dog is now 75th in the rankings, after leaping into the top 10 in the 1980s. Albert recalls that she and other chow rescue volunteers were swamped as people gave up dogs with temperament and health problems, which she attributes to careless breeding.

“I certainly wouldn’t want (chows) to be number one, ever,” says Albert, of Hauppauge, New York. “They belong where they are…. They’re not for everybody.”

On the other hand, aficionados of rare breeds sometimes worry about sustaining them.  

The purebred debate 

Some animal-welfare groups feel the pursuit of purebred dogs puts their looks ahead of their health and diverts people from adopting pets. Critics also say the AKC needs to do more to thwart puppy mills.

The club says it encourages responsible breeding of healthy dogs, not as a beauty contest but to preserve traits that have helped dogs do particular jobs. 

 

 

                

From: MeNeedIt

Labrador Retriever Most Pup-ular US Dog Breed for 28th Year

Labrador retrievers aren’t letting go of their hold on U.S. dog lovers, but German shorthaired pointers are tugging on the top ranks of doggy popularity, according to new American Kennel Club data.

Labs topped the list for the 28th year in a row. Yet there’s been plenty of movement over time on the purebred pup-ularity ladder. 

Here’s a look at the 2018 rankings being released Wednesday. 

Top top 10

After Labs, the top five breeds nationwide are German shepherds, golden retrievers, French bulldogs and bulldogs. Rounding out the top 10 are beagles, poodles, Rottweilers, German shorthaired pointers and Yorkshire terriers.

Labs smashed the record for longest tenure as top dog back in 2013. Fans credit the Lab’s generally amiable nature and aptitude in many canine roles: bomb-sniffer, service dog, hunters’ helper, dog-sport competitor and patient family pet. 

At No. 9, the German shorthaired pointer notched its highest ranking since getting AKC recognition in 1930. These strikingly speckled hunting dogs are also versatile — some work as drug — and bomb-detectors — and active companions. 

“I think people are learning about how fun the breed is,” says AKC spokeswoman Brandi Hunter. 

The suddenly ubiquitous French bulldog remains the fourth most popular breed for a second year, after surging from 83rd a quarter-century ago.

The numbers

The rankings reflect a breed’s prevalence among the 580,900 puppies and other purebred dogs newly registered in 2018 with the AKC, the country’s oldest such registry.  Some 88,175 of these dogs were Labs. 

AKC says registrations, which are voluntary, have been growing for six years.

Estimates of the total number of pet dogs nationwide range from about 70 million to 90 million.

The consistent fave

Beagles, now No. 6, can boast they’re uniquely beloved. No other breed has made the top 10 in every decade since record-keeping began in the 1880s. 

Why? “They’re a good general family dog,” lively, friendly, relatively low-maintenance and comfortable with children, says breeder Kevin Shupenia of Dacula, Georgia. Beagles also work sniffing out contraband meat and plants at airports, detecting bedbugs in homes and doing their traditional job: hunting rabbits. 

“They have a sense of humor, and they’re just characters,” Shupenia says. 

The rarest of them all

The most scant breed was the sloughi (pronounced SLOO’-ghee). The greyhound-like dog has a long history in North Africa but garnered AKC recognition only three years ago. It replaces the Norwegian lundehund in the rarest-breed spot. 

How did doodles do?

Wonder where goldendoodles, puggles, or cockapoos stand? You won’t find these and other popular “designer dogs” among the 193 breeds recognized and ranked by the AKC.

That’s not to say they never will be, if their fanciers so desire. New breeds join the club periodically, after meeting criteria that include having at least 300 dogs nationwide and three generations. 

Meanwhile, designer and just plain mixed-breed dogs can sign up with AKC to compete in such sports as agility, dock diving and obedience. 

The whys, pros and cons of popularity

Many factors can influence a breed’s popularity: ease of care, exposure from TV and movies, and famous owners, to name a few. 

Popularity spurts can expand knowledge about a breed, but many people in dogdom rue slipshod breeding by people trying to cash in on sudden cachet. 

Elaine Albert, a longtime chow chow owner and sometime breeder, is glad the ancient Chinese dog is now 75th in the rankings, after leaping into the top 10 in the 1980s. Albert recalls that she and other chow rescue volunteers were swamped as people gave up dogs with temperament and health problems, which she attributes to careless breeding.

“I certainly wouldn’t want (chows) to be number one, ever,” says Albert, of Hauppauge, New York. “They belong where they are…. They’re not for everybody.”

On the other hand, aficionados of rare breeds sometimes worry about sustaining them.  

The purebred debate 

Some animal-welfare groups feel the pursuit of purebred dogs puts their looks ahead of their health and diverts people from adopting pets. Critics also say the AKC needs to do more to thwart puppy mills.

The club says it encourages responsible breeding of healthy dogs, not as a beauty contest but to preserve traits that have helped dogs do particular jobs. 

 

 

                

From: MeNeedIt

Even With Trade Deal, US Tariffs on China Could Remain

U.S. tariffs on China are likely to remain in place for a while even if a trade deal is reached, President Donald Trump told reporters on Wednesday.

“The deal is coming along nicely,” the president said about the ongoing trade talks with Beijing, noting U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be heading to China within days to continue discussions.

“We’re taking in billions and billions of dollars right now in tariff money and for a period of time that will stay,” said Trump.

The president’s remark indicate that even if a trade deal is reached with Beijing, tariffs imposed by Washington could stay in place unless U.S. officials are convinced the Chinese are adhering to the terms of any agreement.

“They’ve had a lot of problems living by certain deals, the president noted on the White House South Lawn just before boarding the Marine One helicopter.

Tit-for-tat tariffs imposed last year ignited fears of a trans-Pacific trade war.

The United States and China, the world’s two largest economies annually trade more than a half-trillion dollars’ worth of goods. Chinese products sold in the United States far outweigh the value of those sent to China and that deficit alone represents about 80 percent of America’s overall in goods.  

A pillar of the Trump presidency has been reducing that huge gap by negotiating bilateral trade deals and rebuilding the U.S. manufacturing base.     

Trump is traveling Wednesday to an area in Ohio where General Motors is planning to shutter a car assembly plant, affecting about 1,500 jobs and undercutting the president’s manufacturing revival message.

Trump on Twitter has called for GM to keep the plant open.

Some trade analysts say Trump’s metals tariffs on Canada and Mexico, however, have hurt U.S. manufacturing, including making auto plants in this company (which also are owned by foreign manufacturers) less competitive.

​Ohio, which Trump won in the 2016 election by eight percentage points, will again be a key battleground state in next year’s presidential election.

Polls in the Buckeye State, where the president relies on a strong base of working-class voters, show Trump’s approval rating slipping since he took office

 At one of Wednesday’s stops in Ohio, Trump is visiting a plant that makes tanks for the U.S. Army.

The General Dynamics facility nearly closed six years after Army officials told Congress they did not need additional M-1 Abrams tanks.

Among those accompanying Trump on trip to Ohio are Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Secretary of the Army Mark Esper.

 

From: MeNeedIt

Even With Trade Deal, US Tariffs on China Could Remain

U.S. tariffs on China are likely to remain in place for a while even if a trade deal is reached, President Donald Trump told reporters on Wednesday.

“The deal is coming along nicely,” the president said about the ongoing trade talks with Beijing, noting U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will be heading to China within days to continue discussions.

“We’re taking in billions and billions of dollars right now in tariff money and for a period of time that will stay,” said Trump.

The president’s remark indicate that even if a trade deal is reached with Beijing, tariffs imposed by Washington could stay in place unless U.S. officials are convinced the Chinese are adhering to the terms of any agreement.

“They’ve had a lot of problems living by certain deals, the president noted on the White House South Lawn just before boarding the Marine One helicopter.

Tit-for-tat tariffs imposed last year ignited fears of a trans-Pacific trade war.

The United States and China, the world’s two largest economies annually trade more than a half-trillion dollars’ worth of goods. Chinese products sold in the United States far outweigh the value of those sent to China and that deficit alone represents about 80 percent of America’s overall in goods.  

A pillar of the Trump presidency has been reducing that huge gap by negotiating bilateral trade deals and rebuilding the U.S. manufacturing base.     

Trump is traveling Wednesday to an area in Ohio where General Motors is planning to shutter a car assembly plant, affecting about 1,500 jobs and undercutting the president’s manufacturing revival message.

Trump on Twitter has called for GM to keep the plant open.

Some trade analysts say Trump’s metals tariffs on Canada and Mexico, however, have hurt U.S. manufacturing, including making auto plants in this company (which also are owned by foreign manufacturers) less competitive.

​Ohio, which Trump won in the 2016 election by eight percentage points, will again be a key battleground state in next year’s presidential election.

Polls in the Buckeye State, where the president relies on a strong base of working-class voters, show Trump’s approval rating slipping since he took office

 At one of Wednesday’s stops in Ohio, Trump is visiting a plant that makes tanks for the U.S. Army.

The General Dynamics facility nearly closed six years after Army officials told Congress they did not need additional M-1 Abrams tanks.

Among those accompanying Trump on trip to Ohio are Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Secretary of the Army Mark Esper.

 

From: MeNeedIt

WHO: New Oral Treatment More Effective in Combating Multidrug-Resistant TB

Tuberculosis has plagued humans for thousands of years and continues to do so. In advance of this year’s World TB Day, March 24, the World Health Organization is issuing a call to action to eradicate the disease by 2030.  

As part of these efforts, the WHO is launching an oral drug regimen it says can more effectively treat people with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.  

TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious disease, killing nearly 4,500 people a day and infecting 10 million people a year.

 

Despite the grim statistics, much progress has been made in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the disease.  The WHO says 54 million lives have been saved since 2000.  But the WHO also warns the gains risk being lost with the emergence of multidrug-resistant TB or MDR-TB.

 

The current treatment for MDR-TB involves a two-year treatment course of painful injections, which provoke many bad side effects.  

 

The WHO says it is hopeful the new oral treatment program it is launching will be more effective in controlling the spread of the particularly virulent form of tuberculosis.  

 

The director of the WHO’s Global TB Program, Tereza Kasaeva, told VOA the new oral drug treatment the WHO is recommending has far fewer adverse side effects.

 

“Of course, it will be definitely much, much easier and there will not be a need for regular frequent visits of the physicians or health workers for making these injections.  No doubt, as we see from the data, the effectiveness, the treatment success will be definitely much, much higher,” Kasaeva said.

 

The South African government has announced it plans to adopt the injection-free treatment.  Kasaeva said the cost of the oral treatment is around $2,000, which is largely unaffordable for low-income countries.   

 

She said South Africa is engaging in talks with pharmaceutical companies to drop the price to $400.

The WHO says South Africa is one of the 20 countries most affected by MDR-TB.  Others include Russia, China, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Vietnam.

 

From: MeNeedIt

Mexico, Brazil Reach Light-vehicle Free Trade Agreement

Mexico’s government said on Tuesday it had reached an agreement with Brazil on the free trade of light vehicles, subject to a 40 percent regional content requirement, paving the way for more open commerce between Latin America’s two biggest economies.

The agreement takes effect on Tuesday and the content requirement would be subject to current formulas for calculation, the economy ministry said in a statement. The statement did not provide details on the formula.

Mexico has been seeking to diversify trading partners since U.S. President Donald Trump warned of the possible death of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that has underpinned Mexico’s foreign trade for a quarter-century.

The economy ministry said Mexico racked up a trade surplus in the auto sector with Brazil worth $868 million last year, three times the total recorded in 2017.

Brazil’s auto industry is protected by subsidies and import taxes. Antonio Megale, president of automotive sector trade group Anfavea, told newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo he would have preferred to delay the free trade agreement by three years.

Announcing new investments in Brazil on Tuesday, Carlos Zarlenga, General Motors’ top executive for South America, said the Brazilian industry was competitive and benefited from its scale, but noted that taxes were so high that 50 percent of the automaker’s revenue in the country was spent on taxes.

In addition to the Brazil agreement, Mexico has renewed auto trade quotas with Argentina for the next three years, after which there will be free trade, the ministry said.

In the first year the auto trade quota between Mexico and Argentina would increase by 10 percent, followed by a five percent increase in the second year, then another five percent in the third and final year.

Since 2012, Mexico’s fast-growing auto sector has had to contend with curbs in trade with Brazil and Argentina, whose governments have sought to protect local manufacturing.

From: MeNeedIt

Mexico, Brazil Reach Light-vehicle Free Trade Agreement

Mexico’s government said on Tuesday it had reached an agreement with Brazil on the free trade of light vehicles, subject to a 40 percent regional content requirement, paving the way for more open commerce between Latin America’s two biggest economies.

The agreement takes effect on Tuesday and the content requirement would be subject to current formulas for calculation, the economy ministry said in a statement. The statement did not provide details on the formula.

Mexico has been seeking to diversify trading partners since U.S. President Donald Trump warned of the possible death of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that has underpinned Mexico’s foreign trade for a quarter-century.

The economy ministry said Mexico racked up a trade surplus in the auto sector with Brazil worth $868 million last year, three times the total recorded in 2017.

Brazil’s auto industry is protected by subsidies and import taxes. Antonio Megale, president of automotive sector trade group Anfavea, told newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo he would have preferred to delay the free trade agreement by three years.

Announcing new investments in Brazil on Tuesday, Carlos Zarlenga, General Motors’ top executive for South America, said the Brazilian industry was competitive and benefited from its scale, but noted that taxes were so high that 50 percent of the automaker’s revenue in the country was spent on taxes.

In addition to the Brazil agreement, Mexico has renewed auto trade quotas with Argentina for the next three years, after which there will be free trade, the ministry said.

In the first year the auto trade quota between Mexico and Argentina would increase by 10 percent, followed by a five percent increase in the second year, then another five percent in the third and final year.

Since 2012, Mexico’s fast-growing auto sector has had to contend with curbs in trade with Brazil and Argentina, whose governments have sought to protect local manufacturing.

From: MeNeedIt

Jordan Peele Dares Everyone to Look at Horrors of ‘Us’

Jordan Peele’s sweet spot as a filmmaker are the “pit in your stomach” moments. That thing that happens when you realize the woman stirring the tea isn’t just there for conversation. When you notice that the help is a little off. Or, as in his new film Us, when you see that the family of four standing in your driveway late at night looks exactly like you.

Peele knows how to get under your skin and stay there, and it’s what made him the must-see horror filmmaker of the moment. Us, out nationwide Friday, is only his second and yet it’s been an event-in-the-making ever since it was announced. That’s what happens when your debut is Get Out.

Get Out wasn’t even finished when the former sketch-comedian started cooking up the idea for his follow-up about doppelgangers, loosely inspired by the Twilight Zone episode “Mirror Image.” Then the wild success of Get Out — four Oscars nominations, one win (Peele for original screenplay), over $255 million in tickets sold against a $4.5 million budget, and general cultural impact — put Peele on another level. So by the time Universal Pictures agreed to make Us, not only did he have a budget over five times higher than his first, but he had his pick of collaborators too.

“Because of Get Out, I was privileged enough to be able to tap the best talent in the industry,” Peele said recently.

Nyong’o and Duke

That goes for stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, who play dual roles as the nuclear American family, the Wilsons, and the terrifying red jumpsuit-wearing and gold scissor-wielding Red and Abraham, as well as the below-the-line talent: Production designer Ruth De Jong (Twin Peaks); cinematographer Mike Gioulakis (It Follows); and costume designer Kym Barrett (The Matrix) among them.

“I had an amazing team on Get Out,” Peele said. “But this group sort of allowed me to stretch a little bit more.”

Duke was impressed by his calm. He knew there were “sophomore pressures” — he had his own set following his breakout role in Black Panther — but said Peele never brought any of that to set.

“Day one, [Peele] said, ‘Before we do anything I just want to let you guys know that I’m here for you. I won’t stop until we get the shot. When I say cut, we got the shot. So trust me, believe in me,”‘ Duke said. “And I was like, that’s all I need.”

Duke and Nyong’o already had a short hand working together. Yes, they had just both been in Black Panther, but they were also Yale Drama School graduates and have seen one another do everything from clown work to Chekov.

“It was great to be able to perform with someone who I value as much more than a friend — I value her as a cohort. I value her as an ally. I went to work every day trying to make sure we could create a space where she could excel. I thought that was my duty,” Duke said. “We had a female lead and in our climate in Hollywood we were doing the work and leading by example.”

And Peele put them both through the wringer. The days on set as the Wilsons were full of laughter and fun. But the days as the murderous doppelgangers known as The Tethered, Peele said, felt like “a morgue.”

“The air getting sucked out of the room is an understatement. But it was kind of cool,” Peele said. The actors went “pretty method” on those days.

Nyong’o had it especially hard. She’d chosen to affect a strained vocal condition — spasmodic dysphonia — to make Red even more haunting. And she had to do Red’s first big monologue 11 times with that raspy, painful sounding voice.

Horror movie

Us is chock full of pop culture references, subtle and overt: A Jaws T-shirt here, a C.H.U.D. VHS there.  Even the setting, the Santa Cruz boardwalk, is a callback to The Lost Boys. And every reference works “on two different levels and hopefully more,” Peele said. But don’t stress if you don’t catch or decipher them all.

“There are many of these things that only I will ever know,” Peele revealed.

Although one thing is not really up for interpretation: the genre. He tweeted the other day that “Us is a horror movie.”

“I can see the debate already beginning and people are calling it different things. I have a little bit of fun with the big genre conversation,” he said. “But I saw enough little pieces of like ‘horror-thriller,’ ‘horror-comedy,’ ‘social-thriller,’ out there that I just want to make it nice clean and defined: It’s a horror movie.”

Race

Peele hasn’t tired of explaining that Us isn’t about race, either. Though he understands why people might think it would be, considering Get Out.

“I know the way we are, the lack of representation in the industry and genre has led us to this point where it’s almost impossible to not see race in a movie with a black family in the center. And I wanted people to be ready to expand their expectations,” Peele said. “My fear was if I didn’t say anything, that people would take away that this was a movie about black-on-black violence which was not my intention.”

As for whether Peele has felt internal or external pressures to match Get Out’s magic?

“There are, but it’s OK,” he laughed. “It’s just movies.”

From: MeNeedIt

Jordan Peele Dares Everyone to Look at Horrors of ‘Us’

Jordan Peele’s sweet spot as a filmmaker are the “pit in your stomach” moments. That thing that happens when you realize the woman stirring the tea isn’t just there for conversation. When you notice that the help is a little off. Or, as in his new film Us, when you see that the family of four standing in your driveway late at night looks exactly like you.

Peele knows how to get under your skin and stay there, and it’s what made him the must-see horror filmmaker of the moment. Us, out nationwide Friday, is only his second and yet it’s been an event-in-the-making ever since it was announced. That’s what happens when your debut is Get Out.

Get Out wasn’t even finished when the former sketch-comedian started cooking up the idea for his follow-up about doppelgangers, loosely inspired by the Twilight Zone episode “Mirror Image.” Then the wild success of Get Out — four Oscars nominations, one win (Peele for original screenplay), over $255 million in tickets sold against a $4.5 million budget, and general cultural impact — put Peele on another level. So by the time Universal Pictures agreed to make Us, not only did he have a budget over five times higher than his first, but he had his pick of collaborators too.

“Because of Get Out, I was privileged enough to be able to tap the best talent in the industry,” Peele said recently.

Nyong’o and Duke

That goes for stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, who play dual roles as the nuclear American family, the Wilsons, and the terrifying red jumpsuit-wearing and gold scissor-wielding Red and Abraham, as well as the below-the-line talent: Production designer Ruth De Jong (Twin Peaks); cinematographer Mike Gioulakis (It Follows); and costume designer Kym Barrett (The Matrix) among them.

“I had an amazing team on Get Out,” Peele said. “But this group sort of allowed me to stretch a little bit more.”

Duke was impressed by his calm. He knew there were “sophomore pressures” — he had his own set following his breakout role in Black Panther — but said Peele never brought any of that to set.

“Day one, [Peele] said, ‘Before we do anything I just want to let you guys know that I’m here for you. I won’t stop until we get the shot. When I say cut, we got the shot. So trust me, believe in me,”‘ Duke said. “And I was like, that’s all I need.”

Duke and Nyong’o already had a short hand working together. Yes, they had just both been in Black Panther, but they were also Yale Drama School graduates and have seen one another do everything from clown work to Chekov.

“It was great to be able to perform with someone who I value as much more than a friend — I value her as a cohort. I value her as an ally. I went to work every day trying to make sure we could create a space where she could excel. I thought that was my duty,” Duke said. “We had a female lead and in our climate in Hollywood we were doing the work and leading by example.”

And Peele put them both through the wringer. The days on set as the Wilsons were full of laughter and fun. But the days as the murderous doppelgangers known as The Tethered, Peele said, felt like “a morgue.”

“The air getting sucked out of the room is an understatement. But it was kind of cool,” Peele said. The actors went “pretty method” on those days.

Nyong’o had it especially hard. She’d chosen to affect a strained vocal condition — spasmodic dysphonia — to make Red even more haunting. And she had to do Red’s first big monologue 11 times with that raspy, painful sounding voice.

Horror movie

Us is chock full of pop culture references, subtle and overt: A Jaws T-shirt here, a C.H.U.D. VHS there.  Even the setting, the Santa Cruz boardwalk, is a callback to The Lost Boys. And every reference works “on two different levels and hopefully more,” Peele said. But don’t stress if you don’t catch or decipher them all.

“There are many of these things that only I will ever know,” Peele revealed.

Although one thing is not really up for interpretation: the genre. He tweeted the other day that “Us is a horror movie.”

“I can see the debate already beginning and people are calling it different things. I have a little bit of fun with the big genre conversation,” he said. “But I saw enough little pieces of like ‘horror-thriller,’ ‘horror-comedy,’ ‘social-thriller,’ out there that I just want to make it nice clean and defined: It’s a horror movie.”

Race

Peele hasn’t tired of explaining that Us isn’t about race, either. Though he understands why people might think it would be, considering Get Out.

“I know the way we are, the lack of representation in the industry and genre has led us to this point where it’s almost impossible to not see race in a movie with a black family in the center. And I wanted people to be ready to expand their expectations,” Peele said. “My fear was if I didn’t say anything, that people would take away that this was a movie about black-on-black violence which was not my intention.”

As for whether Peele has felt internal or external pressures to match Get Out’s magic?

“There are, but it’s OK,” he laughed. “It’s just movies.”

From: MeNeedIt

WHO Panel Calls for Registry of All Human Gene-Editing Research

It would be irresponsible for any scientist to conduct human gene-editing studies in people, and a central registry of research plans should be set up to ensure transparency, World Health Organization experts said Tuesday.

After its first two-day meeting in Geneva, the WHO panel of gene-editing experts — which was established in December after a Chinese scientist said he had edited the genes of twin babies — said it had agreed on a framework for setting future standards.

It said a central registry of all human genome-editing research was needed “in order to create an open and transparent database of ongoing work,” and asked the WHO to start setting up such a registry immediately.

“The committee will develop essential tools and guidance for all those working on this new technology to ensure maximum benefit and minimal risk to human health,” Soumya Swamanathan, the WHO’s chief scientist, said in a statement.

A Chinese scientist last year claimed to have edited the genes of twin baby girls.

News of the births prompted global condemnation, in part because it raised the ethical specter of so-called “designer babies” — in which embryos can be genetically modified to produce children with desirable traits.

Top scientists and ethicists from seven countries called last week for a global moratorium on gene editing of human eggs, sperm or embryos that would result in such genetically-altered babies — saying this “could have permanent and possibly harmful effects on the species.”

The WHO panel’s statement said any human gene-editing work should be done for research only, should not be done in human clinical trials, and should be conducted transparently.

“It is irresponsible at this time for anyone to proceed with clinical applications of human germline genome editing.”

The WHO’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, welcomed the panel’s initial plans. “Gene editing holds incredible promise for health, but it also poses some risks, both ethically and medically,” he said in a statement.

The committee said it aims over the next two years to produce “a comprehensive governance framework” for national, local and international authorities to ensure human genome-editing science progresses within agreed ethical boundaries.

From: MeNeedIt