7-11 Oct Weekly News



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Oct 11, 2019


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Paralyzed man walks using robotic suit

A man who is paralyzed from below his shoulders has been able to walk using a robotic suit. The 28-year-old man could not move his arms, hips and legs after an accident. Doctors fitted him with a special robotic exoskeleton - this is a machine that covered his arms, legs and body. The machine was attached to the ceiling so the man could keep his balance and not fall over. He controlled the machine using high-tech sensors that were implanted near his brain. The man used his thoughts to tell the sensors to move the machine. His brain sent messages to the machine and it moved his arms and legs. He was able to walk a few steps using the machine even though he was paralyzed.

Doctors say they are in the early stages of developing this technology. They believe robotic exoskeletons will help disabled people to live better lives in the future. Technology will be able to pick up signals from the brain to control wearable robotic technology. The next stage is to remove the ceiling harness. A neurosurgeon who co-led the exoskeleton trial commented on the exoskeleton suit. He said it was the first wireless, brain-controlled system to be designed that can move all four limbs. The man was very happy with the test. He said: "I can't go home tomorrow in my exoskeleton, but I've got to a point where I can walk. I walk when I want and I stop when I want."


Saturn now the planet with the most moons

Saturn is now the planet with the most moons. It has overtaken Jupiter as "king of the moons". Astronomers found 20 new moons orbiting Saturn, which now has 82 moons. Jupiter has 79. Each of the newly-discovered moons is at least 5km in diameter. Seventeen of them orbit Saturn backwards. They take three years to complete one orbit of Saturn. The astronomers will now look for moons that are a kilometer in diameter.

An astronomer spoke about the origins of the moons. He said: "We don't think they formed with the planet. We think they were captured by the planet in the past." He thinks Saturn sucked in a mixture of gas and dust to form the moons. He added: "We think these are the last remnants of what formed Saturn." The moons will be named in a competition after giants from Gallic, Inuit and Norse mythology.


UK might ban food on public transport

The United Kingdom's government is thinking about banning all food and drink on public transport. The UK's plan to ban people eating and drinking on trains and buses is not popular with people. They say the government should not control whether or not people can eat and drink on public transport. Many people said the plan was another example of the UK becoming a "nanny state". This is a country that wants to control everything people can and cannot do. The UK's Chief Medical Officer, professor Sally Davies, said the plan was necessary to help reduce obesity. She said it was part of a plan to halve obesity in children by 2030 and to help people make healthier lifestyle choices.

Professor Davies reported that there are twice as many overweight schoolchildren today as there were 30 years ago. She said: "Today's children are drowning in a flood of unhealthy food and drink options." She said this is made worse because of "insufficient opportunities for being active". She said children do not get enough exercise. She added: "We must go further and faster." Ms Davies also wants to stop fast food being sold at soccer games. Many travelers are angry about the plans. A nurse, Nicky Paxton, said the transport ban would make her life worse. She said: "I often work 12 hours without a break and I need a sandwich on the train on my way home from work."


US and Turkey

In a stunning change in US foreign policy, the White House announced last night that US forces would step aside as Turkey plans a military offensive against the Kurds in northern Syria. The move is astonishing because the US-backed Kurdish forces have been America's most reliable partners in Syria and played a huge role in the fight against ISIS. Turkey has long considered the US-backed Kurdish militia YPG as a terrorist group and has wanted to eliminate it. The White House added Turkey would now be responsible for all captured ISIS fighters who are currently being held by US-backed Kurdish forces in northern Syria. The announcement followed a phone call between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. There are about 1,000 US troops operating in northeastern Syria right now.


Homeless men attacked

A man was arrested in attacks on the homeless in Manhattan over the weekend that left four men dead. Randy Rodriguez Santos was arrested and charged with four counts of murder. He's accused of hitting homeless men in their heads with a metal object -- which police believe was a pipe -- while the men slept in the city's Chinatown neighborhood. Right now police say the attacks were random. Santos is also homeless.


California power outage

Almost two million people could be without power for as long as a week in Northern California, if utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric goes ahead with a plan to switch off electricity. PG&E is considering doing this tomorrow in response to strong and dry winds that pose a fire threat in the area. PG&E equipment started the deadly 2018 Camp Fire, a state investigation found, after a power line touched nearby trees. So the extreme measure of shutting off the power is being used to prevent future blazes.


German synagogue attack

A gunman's attack in the eastern German town of Halle was horrifying. But it could have been a lot worse if he'd been able to break down a synagogue's doors. The gunman, who was arrested, killed two people: one right outside the synagogue and one at a nearby shop. But he couldn't get through the doors of the synagogue, and that likely spared the lives of the 70 to 80 people inside for Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. The attack was apparently livestreamed on Twitch, a platform owned by Amazon, and bore a striking similarity to the live video of the Christchurch attack in March in New Zealand.


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