20-24 Jan Weekly News


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One in five deaths worldwide due to sepsis

Everyone knows the names of big killers like cancer, heart disease and stroke, but few people are aware of one of the biggest killers - sepsis. Sepsis is a life-threatening condition. Doctors say it is responsible for one in five deaths worldwide. Sepsis happens when our body's response to an infection injures our own organs. Our body normally releases chemicals into the blood to fight an infection. Sepsis occurs when the body releases too many of these chemicals. The chemicals overload our organs and damage them. This damage can lead to organ failure and death. Doctors have traditionally called this blood poisoning. More than half of the sepsis cases reported worldwide occur in children, many of whom are newborn babies.

A study into sepsis was published on January the 16th in the medical journal "The Lancet". Researchers estimated that over 50 million people a year develop sepsis and over 20 per cent die from the illness. This is more than double the percentage previously estimated. The researchers said sepsis kills more people than cancer. Professor Mohsen Naghavi, a senior author of the research, said: "We are alarmed to find sepsis deaths are much higher than previously estimated, especially as the condition is both preventable and treatable." He said more research is needed to stop sepsis killing newborns. Doctors can treat sepsis with antibiotics if the condition is found early.


China plans to reduce single-use plastics

China has big plans to reduce single-use plastics by 2025. It is fast-tracking measures to cut the production and use of plastics in the next five years. By the end of 2020, non-biodegradable plastic bags will be banned in major cities. Food delivery and takeaway services, which use a lot of plastic, will stop using single-use plastic straws and cutlery. These will be banned nationwide. They will use alternative things, like biodegradable shopping bags.

Single-use plastics are a big source of pollution. They are a part of our daily life and throwaway culture. China wants to reduce overconsumption to reverse our use of plastics. Previous regulations on plastic use, in 2008, cut the production of 67 billion bags. The United Nations said all countries needed similar policies. It said the world cannot cope with the amount of plastic waste we generate, We must rethink how we manufacture, use and manage plastics.


China coronavirus heightens global alarm

Nations around the world are preparing for a possible major outbreak of a new deadly virus. The coronavirus, which started in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has already killed 17 people. It has spread to the USA, Japan, Korea and Thailand. More than 540 people have caught the virus and are in hospital. The World Health Organization (WHO) is meeting to decide whether the outbreak is a global health emergency. China is urging people not to panic ahead of the Chinese New Year next week. Millions of Chinese will be travelling across the country to spend the holiday season with their families. Meanwhile, the city of Wuhan has suspended its public transport systems to help stop the spread of the virus.

The new coronavirus is suspected to have come from illegally traded animals in a Wuhan market. The virus mutated and spread from an animal to a human. There are fears it could mutate and spread further. Scientists say the virus is contagious and can be passed from person to person through the air. Dr Linfa Wang, a virologist at the Duke-National University of Singapore, said the new coronavirus is in the same family as SARS, but it's different from SARS. He said people needed to look for pneumonia-like symptoms, such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Fu Ning, a 36-year-old woman from Beijing, said: "I feel fearful because there's no cure for the virus."



President Trump kicked off his appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, by touting America's oil and natural gas production and calling climate activists "prophets of doom." It wasn't exactly the kind of speech one would expect at a conference centered around the effects of the climate crisis. Every company represented at Davos is being asked to commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and many have come to the conference armed with talking points on what they're doing to combat the climate crisis. Trump, however, asked the global community to put such provisions on the back burner, embrace optimism, and look to technology and innovation to solve the world's problems. Speaking of problems, yes, there's a whole impeachment process going on back home, but Trump and his team agreed making an appearance at the Forum would be good for his image.



Boeing has temporarily halted production of its beleaguered 737 Max jet amid uncertainty over the model's future. The pause has been planned since December, but it's going into effect at a vulnerable time for the company. Boeing executives just announced that the existing 737 Max fleet, which has been grounded since last March following two deadly crashes, will not be approved to fly until the middle of this year. These two announcements will cause major setbacks for Boeing. The longer the planes stay grounded, the more costly and difficult it will be for Boeing to get them flying again. Also, while the company doesn't expect to lay off any workers due to the production halt, the pause will cause painful ripples in supply chains and could hurt America's economic growth.



Three American crew members have died after a firefighting water bomber crashed in the Australian state of New South Wales. The aerial firefighting company that owned the craft said the tragedy was a sobering reminder of the dangerous conditions firefighters are facing in their mission to contain Australia's devastating blazes. The US has announced it will send two more 20-person firefighting crews to fight the bushfires that are still burning out of control. So far, more than 200 American staff members have been deployed. The Canberra airport was forced to close yesterday as fires approached the area. As if the fires weren't enough, Australia's southeast has also been battered by strong winds, dust storms and giant hail.


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