Defiant US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital, risking chaos in the Middle East

US President Donald Trump has recognised Jerusalem as Israel's capital despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of US policy and risk potentially violent protests.

Trump will instruct the State Department to begin the multi-year process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city, US officials said today.

It remains unclear, however, when he might take that physical step, which is required by US law but has been waived on national security grounds for more than two decades.

Palestinian officials have dubbed it the 'kiss of death' for the Middle East. Source: Breakfast

The announcement brought warnings from leaders in the Mideast and elsewhere that this move could cause violent protests and complicate Mideast peace efforts

Kids with fewer toys become more creative, new study finds

A new study in the US has found youngsters are far more creative when they have fewer toys at their disposal to play with.

Researchers at the University of Toledo, also found children played with each toy twice as long when they had fewer of them.

The children also thought up more uses for each toy and lengthened and expanded their games.

And the researchers advice to parents? 

Pack away the toys and just rotate a small number of them regularly to encourage children to become more creative and improve their attention spans.

Researchers at the University of Toledo say too many toys create too many distractions for youngsters. Source: Breakfast



NZ playing key role in US military's research into controlling rats

The US military is investing $6 million in research into gene technology to control the spread of rats, with New Zealand playing a key role.

Researchers want to use NZ's islands for the study, which would see rat DNA "edited" to control breeding.

Conservation Biologist James Russell said the United States is interested in the way New Zealand has eradicated rats from islands.

"They want to have a discussion about how we would work together in the future to get more rats off more islands."

Mr Russell said the current method the Department of Conservation used is poison.

However, if we want to scale up, "we’re going to need to look at new technology," he said.

"What has a lot of potential and a lot of talk at the moment is this gene drive technology, this idea of maybe editing the genes of these test species.

"Say they only have offspring of one sex and eventually breed themselves to extinctions."

He said there are a lot of ethical questions of "different flavours" behind that.

"There are some positive ethics, instead of poisoning rats we are humanely using fertility control so they eventually die out."

"Lots of questions we’ve been thinking about this year."

Mr Russell said they have also been looking at eradicating mosquitoes, a move that would potentially save hundreds of people from malaria.

DOC says the new technology could result in a pest-free mainland. Source: Breakfast