16-20 Dec Weekly News


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Scientists create plastic that repels all bacteria

A new plastic could stop bacteria and superbugs spreading diseases. Scientists developed a new, plastic wonder-wrap. They say it will greatly cut bacteria spreading in hospitals, kitchens, bathrooms and other places with bugs. Researchers in Canada created the plastic. They say it repels all forms of bacteria and superbugs. The material is like the plastic wrap we use to cover food. It can protect places that attract bacteria, like worktops, door handles, and hospitals.

The researchers got their idea from the lotus plant. They copied how lotus leaves repelled water. Water either sits on the leaves or bounces off. A researcher hoped plastic could do the same. She said: "This material gives us something that can be applied to all kinds of things." Another researcher said his technology could be used in all kinds of settings. It will offer anti-microbial resistance in any future health crisis.


Mariah Carey Xmas hit number 1 after 25 years

American singer Mariah Carey has reached number one in the U.S. music charts with her classic song "All I Want For Christmas Is You". It is not unusual for a festive song to be the best seller at Christmas, but Carey's famous song was first released 25 years ago. When the song first came out in 1994, it was on a record with several other songs. This meant it was not allowed to compete in Billboard's Hot 100 chart. Rules have been changed over the years. Carey's song has got near number one several times since 1994. The singer said she was very happy her song finally hit the top spot. She tweeted: "We did it". The song is also currently the most streamed song in the U.K. on the music streaming service Spotify.

Mariah Carey was born in 1969. She is a singer, songwriter, actress, record producer, and entrepreneur. She is now the solo artist with the most ever number ones in the U.S. chart. She is one behind The Beatles, who had 20 number ones. The Guinness World Records book called her the "Songbird Supreme". She has a unique voice and can sing in five different octaves. Her song "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is famous worldwide. It has become an essential tune at Christmas parties and family get-togethers. Wikipedia said: "The track is an up-tempo love song that includes bell chimes, heavy back-up vocals, and synthesizers....It is the most played holiday song in modern history."


Donald Trump impeached

US President Donald Trump has been impeached. It is the third time for a US president to be impeached. Mr Trump is charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. These are "high crimes and misdemeanors" and could lead to his removal from power. However, the US Congress is Republican-controlled. Removal needs a two-thirds majority. Democrat Nancy Pelosi said: "It is tragic that the President's [unwise] actions make impeachment necessary."

The impeachment comes after a three-month investigation into allegations that President Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. Mr Trump said it was the greatest witch-hunt in history. Republicans reacted angrily. A Republican compared the impeachment to how Pontius Pilate tried Jesus, but said Pilate was kinder. Mr Trump said: "The Democrats...look like a bunch of fools." He tweeted: "They are not after me; they are after you."



A Russian spy ship is making its way toward the US East Coast, operating in what officials call an "unsafe manner." The Viktor Leonov has been sailing off the coast of South Carolina and Florida in the last few days and is using running lights in low visibility conditions and ignoring hails from commercial vessels that are trying to help avoid potential accidents, according to one official. The Coast Guard is alerting mariners in the area, and a defense official said the Navy's USS Mahan was operating nearby. The Russian vessel has patrolled in international waters along the eastern US coast every year since 2015. Its presence there comes as a US Navy destroyer visited Constanta, Romania, yesterday in an effort to bolster US presence in the Black Sea.


Australia heat

Australia experienced its hottest day ever on 18 December, which did nothing to quench the wildfires still raging across the country. The average maximum temperature was 105.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology predicts the heat could get even worse this week as the heat wave continues to spread east into Victoria and New South Wales states. Meanwhile, 100 active fires are still burning, and 54 are not yet contained. The ongoing heat could exacerbate the blazes. Residents are being told to stay indoors, and the greater Sydney area is under water restrictions.



It looks like we better get moving: According to a new study, half of Americans will be obese in the next 10 years if we don't work together to solve the problem. The study casts obesity as a social, rather than individual, issue. Health care experts chimed in, saying the predicted rise in obesity would create untold strain on health care spending through the rise of obesity-related health consequences. But there is hope: Experts say there are some big-picture changes we can make, collectively and individually, to improve the outlook. For instance, communities could improve local public transportation systems, encourage walking instead of driving and keep schools open on weekends and during summers to allow access to gyms and swimming pools. Improving access to fresh produce also could have social and health-related benefits.



The FDA just approved an Ebola vaccine for the first time, and it could help prevent the spread of the deadly virus among some of the world's most vulnerable populations. The vaccine, Ervebo, protects against the disease caused by the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus in people 18 or older. While Ebola cases in the US are relatively rare, the disease regularly ravages developing countries in Africa. An ongoing outbreak of the Zaire strain has killed more than 2,000 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


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