3-7 Feb Weekly News


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Travel ban

The Trump administration has expanded its highly controversial travel ban to include immigrants from Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria. In addition, Tanzanian and Sudan citizens won't be outright banned, but they will no longer be able to apply for the green card lottery. Nigerians in particular are furious about the new restrictions. Nigeria boasts Africa's largest economy and is the most populous country on the continent. It also has strong ties to the US: The two countries have been allies in fighting terrorism and cyber crime in Nigeria, and the US has been Nigeria's main trading partner for 60 years. The extended ban does not affect tourism, business or student travel, but could make it hard for US citizens to reunite with family living in those countries.


Critics unimpressed by U.S. Space Force uniform

The USA has shown off uniforms for its new Space Force. The U.S. Space Force (USSF) was created in December alongside the U.S. Space Command. The uniforms were designed for Space Force personnel. The design has created quite a stir on social media. It is the regular green, black and brown army camouflage. It is not camouflaged for space. The Space Force Twitter account said the uniforms had "touched down in the Pentagon".

The USSF is the USA's first new armed service since its Air Force started in 1947. President Trump said it would help stop aggression from, "the ultimate high ground". He said: "Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital." Many people think the uniform should be black to blend in with the dark of space. The military said new uniforms would waste taxpayers' money. No soldiers will go into space any time soon.


Soybean products may help you live longer

There are many reasons why Japanese people live longer than the rest of us. One reason might be soybean products like tofu, natto and miso. Scientists from the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Tokyo conducted a study into the health benefits of soybeans and their products. They found that people who regularly ate tofu, natto and miso were 10 per cent less likely to die from common killers than people who ate no soybean products. Researchers said eating soybean-based food lowered the risk of death from heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular problems. They said: "A higher intake of fermented soy products was associated with a lower risk of mortality."

Soybeans and fermented soybean products are superfoods. They are rich in protein, fibre and unsaturated fats. They are also a source of potassium and other minerals. Soy fibre can help to lower cholesterol and boost weight loss. Soy is an important part of the cuisine of East Asia, especially in Japan. People in Asia have eaten soy since ancient times. The most common types of soy products are tofu (soybean curd), natto (fermented soybeans), miso (a fermented soybean paste added to soups) and soy sauce. Some scientists say miso is high in salt. The researchers said salt in miso does not put people at risk of high blood pressure. Soybean products are becoming more popular around the world.


Worst locust invasion in East Africa in 70 years

Millions of farmers' lives in Africa are at risk from locusts. Swarms of locusts have destroyed large areas of farmland and crops in Somalia, Kenya and Uganda. The locusts are spreading and could go to other countries. The United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organisation say swarms have been seen as far away as Oman in the Gulf. It is the worst locust invasion in 70 years. Some say it is like a scene from the Bible.

The invasion affects over 12 million people. Many of these have little food due to poor harvests and no rain. The locusts will make things worse. Locusts are very hungry pests. One locust can eat its body weight in 24 hours. A small swarm could eat enough to feed 35,000 people for a day. A worried farmer said: "We depend a lot on this season and we worry that the locusts will destroy our harvest. We will end up...hungry through the rest of the year."


Climate crisis

It's no secret the world's glaciers are melting at a worrying rate. Now, scientists have concluded that it's not just warmer air that's wearing them down. They found that warm ocean water is flowing under the massive sheet of ice in Greenland, causing it to melt faster. Mass loss from Greenland's ice sheet is currently the single largest driver of sea level rise globally, and that one sheet alone holds enough water to raise global sea levels by 24 feet. Currently, it's melting seven times faster than it was in 1992.



Wildfires are still plaguing wide swaths of Australia, but a spell of much-needed rain is providing firefighters and residents with some relief. Heavy rains have knocked back the number of active wildfires in New South Wales by almost a third in one day. A large part of Australia's southeastern coast could see even more rain in the coming days. The wildfires have killed more than 20 people, destroyed millions of acres of land and wiped out about a billion animals across the country since they started all the way back in July.


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