July 6 – July 12 Weekly News

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Origin of our teeth dates back 400 million years 

Researchers from Sweden have found how humans got teeth. They say human teeth "first evolved 400 million years ago" from an ancient fish. They studied a fossil of the fish. It was difficult to study because the fish is inside a rock. They used the strongest X-ray machine in the world to look at the fish. They found that the fish's teeth were very similar to human teeth. Humans and 60,000 species of vertebrates on Earth today come from this fish.

 The fish was one of the earliest jawed vertebrates with teeth. A researcher said: "Our findings change our whole understanding of the origin of teeth." He said: "Their jawbones seem to be directly ancestral to our own. When you smile at the bathroom mirror in the morning, the teeth that grin back at you can follow their origins right back to that fish." Another researcher said: "Nobody expected to find teeth so deep on the evolutionary tree."    

 

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2007/200712-human-teeth-1.html

 

A man spent five years too long in prison

An error in the Samoa prison system saw a man spend five years longer in prison than he was sentenced to. SioAgafili should have been released from prison in 2015. In November 2008, he was sentenced to seven years for burglary. A month later he got a five-year sentence for other crimes. In Samoa, a convict with two sentences must serve them together and not consecutively. A judge spotted the error when Mr. Agafili was in court on another charge.

Mr. Agafili described his pain at spending too long in jail. He said: "It's broken me into a million pieces... I lost count of the days... I just know I had to serve my time behind bars." His lawyer spoke about the injustice her client suffered due to his loss of freedom. She said: "He's been imprisoned unlawfully. I've heard of other cases of a similar nature. This is not the first of this type." She said she would try to get compensation for her client.

 

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2007/200710-jail-sentence-4.html

 

A huge financial rescue package for UK arts

The UK will give nearly $2 billion to help the country's arts industry. The money will help theatres, concert halls, galleries, museums, and other venues. It will help actors, writers, composers, make-up artists, and support staff out of work because of the coronavirus. The money is the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture. The cash is a lifeline to vital cultural organizations hit hard by the pandemic. It will help them while their doors are closed.

The UK is world-famous for its arts. People everywhere know and love their cultural icons. They attract millions of tourists. The government said theatre, musicals, exhibitions make the cultural industry "the beating heart" of the UK. It added: "Our arts and culture are the souls of our nation. They make our country great and are the center of our world-beating and fast-growing creative industries."

 

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2007/200708-the%20arts-1.html

 

Scientists change how we calculate dog years

Dog lovers have been using the wrong method to calculate their pet's age. Researchers say the practice of finding a dog's age in human years by multiplying by seven is incorrect. They have come up with a new formula that exactly finds out a dog's age. The new method needs more than simple mental arithmetic. It compares the changes in the DNA of dogs and humans. Scientists say DNA analysis is the best way to measure the aging speed of dogs.

Researchers tested blood from 105 dogs. After some number crunching, they created a graph to show dogs and people age at different rates. A one-year-old dog is similar to a 30-year-old human, while a four-year-old dog is like a 52-year-old. A researcher said: "A nine-month-old dog can have puppies, so we already knew that the 1:7 ratio wasn't an accurate measure of age." He added that different breeds of dog age at different speeds.

 

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2007/200706-dog-years-4.html

 

US Faces Growing Criticism For WHO Withdrawal

The United States is facing increasing criticism for its withdrawal Monday from the World Health Organization (WHO). For months, Trump has criticized the WHO’s effort to deal with COVID-19. He accuses the organization of surrendering to Chinese pressure to mislead the public about the disease. The president’s supporters agree that the WHO has had failings in the COVID-19 crisis. But, not all necessarily support Trump’s decision to withdraw. American lawmaker Lamar Alexander agreed that the WHO’s COVID-19 actions should be examined. But he added, “the time to do that is after the crisis has been dealt with, not in the middle of it.”

U.S. health experts called the president’s decision shortsighted and damaging of international cooperation in fighting all diseases. Thomas File Jr., president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said the withdrawal leaves the U.S. at greater risk of COVID-19 as it will not be part of international efforts to “develop and access vaccines.” He said the U.S. would also face greater danger in future pandemics without WHO membership.

 

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/us-faces-growing-criticism-for-who-withdrawal/5495116.html
 

Southwestern Japan Takes Steps to Deal with Flooding, Coronavirus

Boxes of face coverings, bottles filled with anti-bacterial agents, and a sign saying “Please wear a mask” mark the entrance to a recreation center in Yatsushiro city. The building serves as a shelter for people who have fled floodwaters in southwestern Japan this week. Inside the building, pieces of cardboard separate sleeping areas for over 200 men, women, and children. Another sign tells those staying there to take their temperature each morning. Such measures show the difficulties Japan is facing as it deals with natural disasters in the time of coronavirus.

Residents have been urged to seek shelter with friends or family members, if possible, to avoid overcrowding in evacuation centers. City official Takanobu Ono said the evacuation center was limited to 300 people. It can hold up to 500 people. “Some of (the residents) have just been saved by the skin of their teeth,” he said. “The reality is that coronavirus is less of a concern for them... So we’re taking the measures we have to but we haven’t been so strict about it.” Close to 60 people have died from floods and landslides caused by heavy rains across the area since Saturday.

 

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/southwestern-japan-takes-steps-to-deal-with-flooding-coronavirus/5494826.html

 


Disney World Re-Opens, Welcoming Guests and the NBA

Two of Walt Disney World’s four theme parks in Florida are reopening Saturday. The other two are preparing to reopen four days from now. Return visitors will find new rules in place and probably notice some major changes at the parks, near the city of Orlando. Missing will be the usual nightly fireworks show above what Disney officials call “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” Officials also have delayed Disney World’s beloved parades. Officials have taken steps to avoid all events that lead people to crowd together closely.

The company hopes the changes are enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among Disney World visitors and employees. The new rules require that people get temperature checks before entering the park and use face covers while on site. Visitors also will not be seeing any live performances for a while. Disney World’s performers are in a dispute with the company about their demands for a virus testing program. Unlike other park workers, singers and dancers cannot wear face masks or social distance while on the job.

 

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/disney-world-re-opens-welcoming-guests-and-the-nba-/5498156.html

 

Dubai Reopens for Tourists

Dubai announced this week it has reopened for tourism. But it remains unclear how many foreign visitors will return as many nations still struggle to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Dubai officials are seeking to bring visitors back to the area’s beaches and modern shopping centers. They hope to create interest now that could keep tourists coming through the important winter season. The government has promised measures aimed at keeping tourists safe. Industry workers will be armed with thermometers, face coverings, and hand sanitizer.

“I think that will give people confidence— when they’re ready to travel — to come to Dubai,” said Paul Bridger. However, many countries tourists come from are still struggling to contain the coronavirus, said Rabia Yasmeen, with the market-research firm Euromonitor International. Visitors who do come to Dubai will be under new rules. To travel, tourists must take a COVID-19 test within 96 hours of their flight. They must show the airline results of the test. Without that proof, visitors will be tested upon arrival.

 

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/dubai-reopens-for-tourists/5493403.html

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