British scientists have recently created a swarm of GM (genetically-modified) fruit flies that are expected to eradicate insect pests on farms.
According to the BBC News, "A type of genetically engineered fly which eventually kills itself off could be an effective method of pest control, according to new research. These male mutant flies have a lethal gene which interrupts female development."
Comedian Robin Williams was plagued by serious money problems before he committed suicide a few days ago.
The Daily Telegraph of London reports that, "Robin Williams was found hanged after telling friends he had “serious money troubles” and had sought treatment for depression in the weeks before his death, it has emerged. The 63-year-old actor, who was once reputed to be worth £75 million, had complained of losing a large chunk of his fortune in alimony payments to his two ex-wives, and had been trying to sell his 600-acre ranch in California to raise much-needed funds."
Africa's youth (under 18) population is expected to swell to approximately one billion by the year 2050.
According to the BBC News, "Africa's under-18 population will swell by two-thirds to reach almost a billion by 2050, a new UN report says. The findings show a "massive shift in the world's child population towards Africa", it says."
BEIJING: China has been dramatically dropping its holdings of U.S. Treasuries.
Yahoo Finance reports that, "According to a government report released in June, China’s (FXI) holdings of U.S. Treasuries (TLT) declined for the third straight month in June 2014. China held 1.26 trillion in U.S. debt as of April 30, 2014, according to the report. This is an $8.9 billion decline from March. This fact is particularly significant given that China (FXI) is the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasuries (IEF). According to data compiled by Bloomberg, analysts have seen this decline in holdings for three consecutive months."
The Israeli government has gotten embroiled in a storm of controversy by declaring Brazil a so-called ' diplomatic dwarf.'
Channel NewsAsia reports that, "Israeli President Reuven Rivlin apologized Monday (Aug 12) to his Brazilian counterpart for a remark by a foreign ministry spokesman calling the Latin American powerhouse a "diplomatic dwarf." The comment in July was made by spokesman Yigal Palmor after Brazil criticized Israel's military campaign in Gaza as excessive and recalled its envoy in Tel Aviv."
A German man, dubbed the 'Autobahn Sniper,' stands charged with firing over 700 bullets at drivers.
According to the BBC News, "A man has appeared in court in the German city of Wuerzberg accused of firing more than 700 bullets at vehicles on motorways over five years. The man, identified as Michael Harry K, 58, had talked of a "war on the autobahn", according to police."
Kansas City is setting its sights on overtaking Detroit as America's new Motor City.
KC Think Blog reports that, "Move over Detroit! Kansas City is gaining recognition as a leader in the automotive industry. Recently coined the second-largest automotive hub in the U.S., following Detroit, the ."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has hired a public relations firm to teach its employees how to talk to Congress.
Russia Today reports that, "The US State Department has approved a $545,000 contract to coach its officials on how to testify before Congress and brief lawmakers. The department had to seek help from a professional firm after a series of embarrassing performances by its staff."
BEIJING: President Barry Obama has deployed the US Navy to patrol disputed waters in the South China Sea.
According to the Daily Telegraph of London, "The United States will monitor actions in the South China Sea to see whether "deescalatory steps" are being taken, a senior State Department official said on Monday, a day after Beijing repelled US pressure to rein in its actions in the disputed waters."
Can the United Nations do anything right? The UN opened a camp for over 40,000 refugees from war-torn South Sudan, but living conditions are so abysmal that families are compelled to sleep in floodwaters.
The BBC News reports that, "At least 40,000 people who fled fighting in South Sudan are staying in horrific conditions at a UN camp, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says."