• Dr. Herpy

This Week’s World News

Here is you weekly world news rundown:

On Monday, government wildlife officials report that over 300 elephants in Botswana have been killed by toxin-producing cyanobacteria in waterholes. Botswana ordered a multitude of lab studies to be carried out on the carcasses and worry that climate change will trigger the cyanobacteria as temperatures rise and conditions become more favorable for bacteria to grow. Originally these elephants started to die in May causing many people to assume poachers but, with the elephant tusks still intact they have ruled this idea out. Conservationists are questioning if the bacteria really is the thing killing these elephants because if the bacteria was in the watering holes why would elephants be the only ones affected? If cyanobacteria isn’t the cause then the next theory is farmers. Elephants are known to go seek out crops for food, so farmers are putting poison on their crops to stop this from happening. Conservationists say that this cause is much more likely than cyanobacteria but scientists will continue their tests until they have the true cause. 

On Tuesday, two men in Pakistan have finally been arrested and charged for arson after 8 years of police investigation. On September 11, 2012 the garment factory Ali Enterprises had been set ablaze. Two men affiliated with the MQM, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, set the building on fire because the owner had not paid extortion money. When the fire started there were 500 workers in the building and when it ended more than 260 of them were dead. After the prosecution took evidence from over 400 witnesses the two men were found and arrested and are not being sentenced to death. To this day MQM still denies any involvement with this crime and are still making it up to be an accident from bad safety conditions. Although MQM denies what they did investigators and families know that this was no accident and are happy that justice is finally being paid. 

On Wednesday, company Johnson & Johnson have just now reported that they are starting the final stage of the coronavirus vaccine study. They are now giving patients a single shot vaccination in hopes that it will protect people from this deadly virus. Many other companies have already started stage 3 of their trial but so far Johnson & Johnson are the only vaccine candidates to reach stage 3 while only giving one dose. Johnson & Johnson plan to enroll 60,000 patients to complete their trial but the FDA is currently preparing to announce a higher standard for emergency authorization for the coronavirus vaccine in order to gain public trust. For today’s update on coronavirus, globally there have been 31.6 million cases and 971,000 fatalities in total. 

On Thursday, many schools are now faced with the concerns of outdated ventilation systems. Many schools around the world have inadequate and dirty ventilation systems that cause breathing and air quality problems. Concerns are now heightened due to COVID-19. Since COVID-19 is spread through the air, proper ventilation is vital for good air circulation. As health inspectors walked around schools they noticed that many of these air vents are covered in dust and filth and looked like they have not been cleaned in years. Since air cannot properly circulate that means that germs and bacteria that can hold the deadly virus are trapped in the small enclosed classrooms of the schools. Many administrators say that schools are just not funded enough to fix these problems and many schools say that they just wait until the ventilation systems are completely broken before they worry about the situation. Many teachers and parents are now taking initiative and purchasing air purifiers of their classrooms to help with this problem. Even before coronavirus health inspectors found that 36,000 schools, almost half the schools in the U.S., needed updated heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

On Friday, 70 year old Joseph Hunkele was sent 4 mysterious amazon packages on his doorstep. The packages included 2 massagers, a climbing rope and gloves, and a green alien costume. Hunkele was stumped, he had not ordered these things and when he looked at his account no money had been charged. So, who could have sent these packages to his house? Hunkele then asked Call for Action at The Arizona Republic/azcentral.com for help. Hunkle was informed that he was most likely a victim of a brushing scam. A brushing scam is when companies find your information online and create a fake account with your name. They use this account to write good reviews about their products and artificially inflate sales numbers which can boost a company’s standings in an online search. The good news is that no money was wrongfully taken from Hunkele’s account but this is a good lesson for people to always be careful about what they do on the internet and to never give out too much information.