Newsworthy – Sep 27th, 2019

The bottom of the Great Lakes is full of microplastics, ghost guns are a new challenge for crime-scene investigators, the cost of employer-provided health coverage rose.

These, and more, are the newsworthy stories from this past week.

Science and Environment

  • Anxious about their future on a hotter planet and angry at world leaders for failing to arrest the crisis, masses of young people poured into the streets on every continent last Friday for a day of global climate protests. Organizers estimated the turnout to be around four million in thousands of cities and towns worldwide.

    From The New York Times
  • A major new UN climate report warns of the risk to Earth’s oceans, threatening everything from the ability to harvest seafood to the well-being of hundreds of millions of people living along the coasts.

    In the report’s worst-case emissions scenario, where greenhouse gases continue piling up unchecked in the atmosphere throughout the century, sea levels could keep rising at a relentless pace for hundreds of years, potentially reaching 17 feet or higher by 2300.

    From The New York Times
  • New research from the University of Western Ontario reports that the sediment lining the bottom of the Great Lakes is chock-full of microplastics.

    From ZME Science
  • A new study found that pet cats form both secure and insecure bonds with their caregivers, similarly to canines, as well as human infants. This means that the cats are much more attached and socially attuned to humans than many have given them credit.

    From ZME Science

Health and Society

  • Biology assignment exposes sushi restaurants for using false ingredients.
    Food fraud is a $50 billion annual industry.

    From ZME Science
  • The number of confirmed or probable cases of vaping-related illness has risen to 805 across 46 states and one U.S. territory, as health authorities urge people to stop using electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices while the link is investigated.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • 3-D printed ‘ghost guns’ pose new challenges for crime-scene investigators.

    As 3-D printers improve and costs come down, some experts worry that more people will decide to print guns.

    From Science News Magazine
  • Average scores dropped on the SAT this past test-taking cycle, with a greater percentage of high-schoolers not ready for college-level work.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • The devastation left behind by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas is staggering. Total property losses have been estimated at $7 billion. At least 53 people are dead—and more than 1,300 still missing. Survivors are trying to pick up the pieces.

    From The Wall Street Journal

Business and Economics

  • McDonald’s will test the PLT — the plant, lettuce and tomato burger — for 12 weeks in 28 restaurants in Canada.

    From AP
  • The average total cost of employer-provided health coverage passed $20,000 for a family plan this year, a landmark likely to resonate politically: Health care has become an early focus of the presidential campaign.

    Annual family-plan premiums rose 5% in 2019, continuing to outpace both overall inflation and wages. Employees’ share of the cost rose at an even faster 8% clip.

    From The Wall Street Journal

Government and Politics

  • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro defended his country’s sovereign right to develop the Amazon, in a defiant speech before the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, accusing global leaders and the media of spreading lies and treating indigenous people as if they were cavemen.

    European leaders have accused Mr. Bolsonaro of accelerating deforestation and endangering one of the planet’s best natural defenses against climate change.

    From The Wall Street Journal

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