March 1 – 7 Weekly News

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Countries wondering whether to have vaccine passports

Governments may create "vaccine passports" to open up society. The passport will show if you have had the COVID-19 vaccine. Businesses such as restaurants might ask people to show their passport. Supporters of the passports say they would make overseas travel easier. The World Health Organization is looking at a possible international passport. Countries will have to agree on what kind is necessary.

Opponents of vaccine passports say they are unfair. They say the passports will create inequality. Many people do not want the vaccine. They say it goes against their religion, or it is unsafe. Israel's health minister said those who do not get the job will be "left behind" in life. Also, not everyone in the world can get the vaccine. A human rights professor said: "For many low-income countries, most people won't be vaccinated for many years."

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2103/210301-vaccine-passport-1.html

 

Dog theft on the rise worldwide

There is a new crime that is worrying about dog owners. Criminal gangs are engaged in the profitable but illegal business of dog theft. Last week, the dog walker of pop singer Lady Gaga was shot in the chest as thieves stole her two dogs. There is a sharp rise in dog theft in the UK. Lockdowns have led to a boom in pet sales. People bought "pandemic puppies" as companions. Criminals are now stealing dogs, often attacking their owners, and selling the canines.

Dog owners should not post pictures of their pets on social media. They should take their pets for a walk with a friend and not leave them alone. People should ask background questions when buying a dog online. A Change.org petition said the punishment for dog theft is the same as for a stolen smartphone. It said: "Dognapping has almost the same effect on a family as kidnapping... It is time the law reflected this in the sentencing of offenders."

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2103/210303-dog-theft-4.html

 

The UK criticized for cutting aid to Yemen

The UK is being attacked for cutting aid to Yemen. It will cut humanitarian aid by more than 50 per cent. Three weeks ago, The UK said Yemen was a "priority country". Yemen is one of the world's least developed countries. The UN reports that Yemen is the country with the most people in need of aid. There are about 24 million people who need help. This is about 85 per cent of its population. It ranks second-worst in the Global Hunger Index.

There could be a humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Millions of people have no food. Famine could make the crisis worse. A refugee expert said: "We are seeing a possible famine that the world hasn't seen since the 1980s." The UN said: "More than 50,000 people are starving to death and 16 million will go hungry this year." It added that the UK cut in aid is very sad. A UK newspaper said: "Yemenis aren't starving, they are being starved."

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2103/210305-yemen-aid-1.html

 

Rare Piece of Chinese Art Found at US Home Sale

A small bowl bought for $35 at a home in Connecticut turned out to be a rare piece of ancient Chinese art. The bowl is worth between $300,000 and $500,000. It will soon go up for sale at an auction – an event at which things are sold to the people who offer to pay the most. The white bowl has blue paintings of flowers and other designs. It is about 16 centimetres across.

The company holding the auction, Sotheby's, says the object was found at a yard sale in the New Haven area last year. A collector of old objects, or antiques, saw the bowl at the sale and thought it could be something special. Angela McAteer and Hang Yin, the auction house’s experts on Chinese art, said, “The style of painting, the shape of the bowl, even just the colour of the blue is quite characteristic of that early, early 15th century period of porcelain.” The piece is one of only seven such bowls known to exist in the world.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/rare-piece-of-chinese-art-found-at-u-s-home-sale/5801584.html

 

WHO Warns 2.5 Billion Will Have Hearing Problems by 2050

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that 25 per cent of the world’s population, or 2.5 billion people, will have hearing problems by 2050. The warning came from the first-ever report on hearing from the United Nation’s health agency. The report found that many of the causes of hearing loss are preventable. They include infections, disease, birth defects, too much noise and lifestyle choices.

To fight hearing loss, the report suggests measures that, it says, could cost what is equal to $1.33 for every person each year. WHO director-general Tedros Adhonom Ghebreyesus said the cost of doing nothing is very high, an estimated $1 trillion. The U.N. researchers estimate that one in five people around the world already has hearing problems. But the report warned the number may increase to 2.5 billion people during the next 30 years. And 700 million would require some kind of treatment for hearing loss by 2050.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/who-warns-2-5-billion-will-have-hearing-problems-by-2050-/5799966.html

 

Japanese Companies Use Technology to Fight Food Waste

Companies in Japan are increasing their use of technology to reduce food waste and cut costs during the coronavirus health crisis. They are using artificial intelligence, or AI, to help those efforts. The businesses are also looking to increase their sustainability efforts. Government information from Japan shows that it throws away more than 6 million tons of food waste each year.

The cost to handle this food waste is estimated at $19 billion. This means Japan wastes more food for each of its citizens than any other Asian country. For this reason, the Japanese government has enacted a new law. Its goal is to cut the costs of food waste by 50 per cent from levels in 2000. The government wants to reach this goal by 2030 and it is urging companies to find ways to solve the problem. Japan’s shoppers are known for being very fussy. But even they are showing signs of agreeing. This is especially true as the coronavirus health crisis hurts people’s incomes.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/japanese-companies-use-technology-to-fight-food-waste/5797580.html

 

Are 'Rage Rooms' Good Mental Health Treatment?

After nearly a year in pandemic lockdowns, many people have experienced stress. There are many different ways to reduce stress. Some people might choose to walk in nature or do another kind of exercise. But some people have found a much different way to beat stress – by breaking things into a million little pieces. Places have been set up to permit people to destroy things legally and safely. The places are called rage rooms. A rage room is a private business where you pay to break things.

 The family therapist Yashica Budde sees her rage rooms as valuable therapy. Other therapists have also been sending patients to her rooms, called Smash Rx. Some therapists, however, thinks smash therapy is not a healthy form of treatment. “I don’t know of any therapist who would actually prescribe going to the rage room as a form of therapy,” said Kevin Bennett, a professor of psychology at Pennsylvania State University. He compared it to sending a person with a gambling problem into a casino for treatment.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/are-rage-rooms-good-mental-health-treatment-/5794509.html

 

Iceland has 18,000 earthquakes in a week

Iceland had 18,000 earthquakes last week. Most were too small to feel. The largest was a magnitude of 5.6. This activity suggests that a volcano in the southwest of Iceland may erupt soon. Volcanoes in this area have been dormant for 800 years. Iceland is a volcanic island and is used to tremors. However, the recent quakes have worried people in the capital city Reykjavik. Scientists say despite a large number of quakes, there has been little damage.

Iceland sits on top of 100km-thick plates that are deep in the earth. The plates below Iceland are moving apart and pushing North America and Eurasia away from each other. A Reykjavik resident spoke about his anxiety. He said: "I have experienced earthquakes before, but never so many in a row. It is very unusual to feel the Earth shake 24 hours a day for a whole week. It makes you feel very small and powerless against nature."

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2103/210307-iceland-earthquakes-4.html

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