The Michigan Daily – October 18, 2011
University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman was elected chair of the Association of American Universities and will serve a one-year term. The AAU is a nonprofit organization which includes 61 American and Canadian research universities. She has previously served as vice-chair of the organization.
BBC News – October 20, 2011
New research suggests there is no link between mobile phone use and brain cancer, continuing the 20 year debate on the risk of cell phones since their increased use. The study conducted by the Institute of Cancer Epidemology in Denmark looked at more than 350,000 people over an 18-year period. Researchers found that cell phone users were at no greater risk to develop brain cancer. A series of studies have also come to similar conclusions. However, researchers till want to further study the effects of long term cell phone use and the effect of cell phone use on children.
The New York Times – October 18, 2011
A preliminary trial of a malaria vaccine showed encouraging results to protect against a disease that is estimated to kill around 780,000 people per year. GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine, known as RTS or “Mosquirix”, protected 47 percent of the 6,000 children in their clinical trial. Although a 47 percent protection rate may seem low, these results are exciting since a vaccine against this parasite, is incredibly hard to create due to the fact that malaria is constantly changing in the host. Although there are many doubts of the vaccines success, it gives us hope for what is to come.
CNN – October 22, 2011
Qaddafi’s death on Thursday marks the beginning of a “new society” in Libya, with parliamentary and presidential elections around the corner. Now that the National Transitional Council (the interim government that replaced Qaddafi’s regime) has established power, NATO plans to end operations in Libya by October 31st. Although there are still questions concerning Qaddafi’s death and burial, we know that Thursday’s events were the end of a tyrant and a beginning of a possible democratic future for Libya.
NPR – October 19, 2011
Elastec/American Marine, a small company based in Illinois, recently received a $1 Million X Prize award for their innovative oil cleanup technology. Elastec’s new oil skimmer is able to remove oil from an event such as an oil spill at a 90% efficiency rate. This new invention is four times better than the technology that has been used over the past 20 years.
The New York Times – October 21, 2011
President Obama has announced that American troops will come home from Iraq by the end of this year, officially ending our nation’s eight-and-a-half years of combat with Iraq. The Iraqi Parliaments refusal to grant soldiers immunity from legal prosecution eliminates any chance of a substantial troop presence there next year. This decision fulfills one of Obama’s campaign promises. However, opinions vary as to whether this decision was the right one and what implications it will have on future relations between America and Iraq.
BBC – October 21, 2011
In a bold move by the Eurozone Finance Ministers a new plan calling for 8 billion Euros ($11bn dollars, £7bn pounds) was approved to aid Greece in its current debt crisis. This plan still needs still needs the acceptance by the International Monetary Fund, but it is the sole plan in place to aid Greece, and hopefully prevent a chain reaction throughout Eurozone countries. This plan comes at a time when Athens is in a 48 hour strike across all the working classes, riots are breaking out across Greece, and France and Germany struggle to decide the fate of international aid in Europe.
The New York Times – October 20, 2011
Close to 55 million Social Security recipients will be receiving 3.6% or $516 dollars more annually. This move comes from Washington during a very complex time in America’s economy, and will add a significant amount to a federal budget that is too large. This comes at a time when the number of recipients, and therefore the budget, is expected to increase over the next decade. This increase may be nullified by the rise in Medicare premiums, and people living on Supplemental Security Income will also receive a 3.6% increase.
NPR – October 20, 2011
Obama and his Democratic colleagues have made yet another campaign push for re-election with their legislation that would help state and local governments avoid laying off teachers and fire fighters. While the Republicans are opposed and have made it known by not making a positive decision about the legislation, the “republicans don’t have proposals that would help the economy grow of help it create jobs now,” according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Democrats are hopeful however that other aspects of Obama’s lager job bill will pass.
The Guardian – October 19, 2011
Genetically modified (GM) crops have failed to increase crop yield but have led to the growth of “superweeds” and an increase in the use of pesticides, according to a report by 20, Indian, south-east Asian, African, and Latin America food and conservation groups. GM crops, once being thought of as potential solutions to food crises, climate change and soil erosion, are now grown in 29 countries. However, this reports finds that GM crops may not be as beneficial as once thought. “Most worrisome, say the authors of the Global Citizens’ Report on the State of GMOs, is the greatly increased use of synthetic chemicals, used to control pests despite biotech companies’ justification that GM-engineered crops would reduce insecticide use.”