July 27 – August 2 Weekly News

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Gorilla Glass the most durable ever smartphone screen 

Have you worried about the glass after dropping your smartphone? Glass used to make smartphone screens just got stronger. The glass company Corning makes Gorilla Glass. This has been used in smartphones for many years. It has improved the glass to make it more difficult to scratch, crack, or break. It can survive drops of up to two meters without any damage. It is also two times stronger against scratches than any other glass.

A Corning spokesperson spoke about the new product. He said: "Dropped phones can result in broken phones." He said it was important to make glass that could survive higher drops and be more difficult to scratch. He added that instead of focusing on making the glass better for either drops or scratches, it would be better to focus on improving both. The new glass will debut on Samsung products "in the near future".

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2007/200728-smartphone-glass-1.html

 

A different Hajj takes place in Mecca

A different Hajj takes place in Mecca

The annual Hajj pilgrimage is taking place in the sacred city of Mecca. It is the most important event in the Muslim calendar. It is an obligatory religious duty for adult Muslims, who should attend once in their lifetime. They must be physically and financially capable of going on the journey and must be able to support their family. This year's the number of Muslims attending Hajj has sharply decreased because of coronavirus. The pandemic has postponed numerous events.

The Saudi Ministry of Hajj is limiting the number of pilgrims allowed into Mecca this year. It wants to avoid any outbreaks and lower the risk of infection. Many countries have canceled their pilgrimages. This means Mecca will get a tiny fraction of the two million Hajj pilgrims it usually gets. Just a few thousand Saudi Arabian citizens can attend. A twenty-two-time pilgrim said: "There are plenty of other ways to take advantage of this precious spiritual time."

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2007/200730-hajj-mecca-4.html

 

Australia hotel bans emus for bad behavior 

Australia hotel bans emus for bad behavior 

Two emus have been banned from a hotel in Australia. The emu is the world's second-largest bird and is native to Australia. The two banned emus are siblings. The hotel banned giant birds because of bad behavior. The birds were well known for going to the hotel for biscuits or toast. Recently, hotel guests have complained. The owner put a rope across the stairs to keep the birds out. There is a sign that says: "Please let yourself through the emu barrier."

One reason for the ban is that the emus learned to climb the stairs. They went up to bedrooms and shocked guests. The owner said guests should be careful because the emus will steal your toast. He said: "If you have a barbecue, watch out because they'll take everything." He added: "You don't want to get between an emu and its food. They've got very sharp beaks." He warned guests about the toilet habits of emus and that emus can be messy.

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2008/200801-emu-1.html

 

Plastic pollution flowing into oceans to triple by 2040

Plastic pollution flowing into oceans to triple by 2040

The amount of plastic waste flowing into the ocean could triple in 20 years unless businesses and governments act to reduce plastic production. That warning comes from a new study that appeared recently in the publication Science. If no action is taken, however, the amount of plastic going into the sea every year will rise from 11 million metric tons to 29 million metric tons by 2040, the study said. “Plastic pollution is something that affects everyone. It's not ‘your problem and not my problem’. It’s not one country’s problem. It’s everyone’s problem,” said Winnie Lau. She is one of the lead writers of the study.

The report suggests redirecting hundreds of billions of dollars in plastic production investment into alternative materials. The report also calls for recycling centers and waste collection expansion in developing countries. Such action would require a sharp change in how the energy industry does things. The industry has been building new chemical plants around the world to increase plastic output. The study recommends that governments put in place laws to control new plastic production and provide more financial support for reusable alternatives.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/study-plastic-pollution-flowing-into-oceans-to-triple-by-2040/5516326.html

 

Year-Old Charged with stealing Twitter accounts of famous people

17-Year-Old Charged with stealing Twitter accounts of famous people

A 17-year-old boy from Florida and two others were charged Friday with temporarily gaining control of the Twitter accounts of several famous people. The accounts belonged to former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, Tesla founder Elon Musk and others. Florida state attorney Andrew Warren said suspect Graham Ivan Clark is “a 17-year-old kid who apparently just graduated high school.” He added, “But make no mistake, this was not an ordinary 17-year-old. This was a highly complex attack on a magnitude not seen before.” He called Clark the “mastermind” of the attack.

Clark was arrested Friday in Tampa, Florida. He will be charged as an adult under Florida law. Federal officials from California also charged Mason Sheppard, a 19-year-old Briton, and Nima Fazeli, 22, of Orlando, Florida in the nationwide investigation into the attack. Warren told reporters at a news conference Friday, "Clark hacked into the Twitter accounts of famous people and celebrities, but they were not the primary victims.” He said Clark took “over $100,000 in Bitcoin in just one day.” Florida officials said Clark is facing 30 criminal charges.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/year-old-charged-with-seizing-twitter-accounts-of-famous-people/5526162.html

 

Singapore Spy Case stoked fears of China looking for intelligence agents
Singapore Spy Case stoked fears of China looking for intelligence agents

For years, Singapore has won trust among Western countries while keeping on good terms with the Chinese government. Today the island nation is closely following the case of one of its citizens caught spying for China in the United States. The arrest has stoked concerns over China asking Singaporeans to help with intelligence-gathering. Jun Wei Yeo admitted guilt in a U.S. court last week to acting as an illegal agent of Chinese intelligence. Yeo is a 39-year-old academic who also uses the name, Dickson Yeo. Singapore’s home ministry said in a brief statement that it had known of Yeo’s case since his arrest by U.S. officials in November.

The Chinese offered to pay him for political reports and other information. Yeo was told to find people with non-public information about politics, economics, and diplomacy. Using the business networking website LinkedIn, Yao reached out to people who had financial or work problems. China denied knowing anything about Yeo’s case. It accused the United States of using the spying charges to hurt China. Relations between the two countries hit a new low during the past week.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/singapore-spy-case-fuels-fears-of-china-seeking-intelligence-agents/5522173.html

 

US Economy shrinks at the sharpest rate since the Great Depression

US Economy shrinks at the sharpest rate since the Great Depression

The United States economy shrank at a yearly rate of 32.9 percent between April and June of this year. The recession came as the coronavirus pandemic pushed many businesses to close for the second time in many parts of the country. The closures have left millions of Americans out of work. The U.S. Commerce Department released the economic numbers Thursday. Its estimate of the recession in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the worst since the government began keeping such records in 1947. The economy officially entered a recession, ending 11 years of growth, the longest on record in the country.

The record-setting recession resulted from a fall in consumer spending, which makes up about 70 percent of economic activity. The drop in GDP shows the “unprecedented hit to the economy from the pandemic,” said economist Andrew Hunter. He added that “it will take years” for the economy to recover. Yet with the rate of confirmed coronavirus cases rising in many states, more businesses are being forced to either cancel their reopening or close down again. Many economists say the economy cannot fully recover until the coronavirus is defeated.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/u-s-economy-shrinks-at-sharpest-rate-since-great-depression/5523992.html

 

Scientists solve the mystery about Stonehenge

Scientists solve the mystery about Stonehenge

British scientists say they have solved a mystery involving Stonehenge, the world-famous stone monument in Wiltshire, England. The scientists reported this week that they have identified where many of Stonehenge’s large stones, called megaliths, came from. Thousands of years ago, people used such stones to build markers, monuments, and other structures. The researchers said part of one megalith helped solve the mystery. The small piece of stone had been kept in the United States for over 40 years. Chemical testing suggests that most of Stonehenge’s megaliths, known as sarsens, came from an area called West Woods. It is about 25 kilometers away from the ancient monument, the researchers said on Wednesday.

David Nash of the University of Brighton said that researchers still do not know how people moved the stones to Stonehenge. “Stonehenge also has smaller stones, called bluestones. Experts believe these stones came from Pembrokeshire in Wales, around 250 kilometers away. It was similar to sandstone found at West Woods and all but two of the Stonehenge sarsens. Nash said he hopes the finding will help people better understand the hard work that went into building Stonehenge.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/scientists-solve-mystery-about-stonehenge/5524136.html

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