May 24 - 31 Weekly News

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World's 'first war' was in Sudan 13,400 years ago

Archaeologists believe the world's first war was in Sudan. They examined 61 skeletons that are 13,400 years old. They were initially discovered in the 1960s. For decades, scientists believed they were killed in a massacre. New research has revealed they were killed during a years-long war. The skeletons are now regarded as evidence of the earliest organized warfare. Scientists said the war was probably because of climate change.

The researchers looked into injuries on the skeletons. They said they were from arrows and spears. It is likely they happened during a series of long conflicts. Rival tribes competed for food that was in limited supply because of dramatic changes in climate. Ice covered much of the Northern Hemisphere. Flooding caused major changes to the availability of farmland. A researcher said: "People had to survive these changes, which were brutal."

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2105/210530-first-ever-war-4.html

Bad dream stops climber's record Everest climb

A man from Nepal did not climb Mount Everest because he had a bad dream. Kami Rita, 51, is not an ordinary mountain climber. He is the record holder for climbing Mount Everest the most times. He has climbed the world's highest peak a record 25 times. He told reporters: "I was making my 26th attempt...but the weather turned bad and I had a really bad dream. The gods were telling me not to go and because I really believe in God, I decided to return." He added: "I take orders from goddesses". Mr Rita did not give any more details about his dream.

Kami Rita is a Sherpa and a legend and hero in Nepal. He has the nickname Snow Leopard because of his experiences of climbing Everest. He first climbed it in 1994. He has climbed it nearly every year since then. He will try again in 2022. He said: "I felt the Goddess did not want me to go up again this year. After receiving the signals, I returned to Kathmandu. I will go back again next year to complete my dream." The Sherpa people believe Everest is a goddess. They take part in a religious ceremony to pay their respects to the mountain before they climb it.

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2105/210528-bad-dream-2.html

Dating app asks 'Are you sure?' before hitting send

The Tinder dating app has a new feature to help reduce online harassment. It uses an algorithm to detect possible abusive language in messages created by the user. Artificial intelligence is used to flag up examples of abusive content. After the writer of the message presses 'send', a small box pops up that asks, "Are you sure?" or "AYS?" Tinder is optimistic the new feature will cut the number of abusive messages people send. While testing the app, the volume of such messages fell by 10 per cent. The new feature is now on English and Japanese versions of the app.

Tinder's app lets users anonymously swipe photos and like or dislike the profiles of possible love matches, based on biographies and shared interests. The app matches two users, who can then exchange messages and arrange a date. The app has resulted in many finding love, but it has been abused. Tinder hopes AYS will create a safer online environment. It said: "The early results...show us that intervention done the right way can be really meaningful in changing behaviour and building a community where everyone feels like they can be themselves."

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/2105/210526-tinder-5.html

Blind Man Partly Regains Sight with New Genetic Treatment

Scientists say that for the first time, a new genetic treatment has helped a blind patient partly regain his sight. The treatment is a form of optogenetics, a method that genetically changes cells to make them produce light-sensitive proteins. While the method had long been used in studies of the brain, research related to treating blind patients had not been done. In the new experiments, a blind patient was able to use special eyeglasses to identify and count different objects sitting on a table.

A team of researchers from the United States and Europe recently reported the findings in a study appearing in Nature Medicine. One of the patients in the study was a 58-year-old man who has suffered with retinitis pigmentosa for 40 years. The progressive eye disease destroys light-sensing cells in the eye’s retina and can lead to total blindness. These light-sensing cells, called photoreceptors, communicate visual information to the brain through the optic nerve. But when these cells progressively fail, blindness sets in. The experiments used genetic methods to add a light-sensing protein to the retina’s cells.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/blind-man-partly-regains-sight-with-new-genetic-treatment/5906905.html

Separated at Border, Family Is Building New Life Together

Honduran immigrant Keldy Mabel Gonzales Brebe entered the United States legally this month to join her children in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She had not seen them since 2017 when U.S. border officials separated the family under policy of the former administration of President Donald Trump. Keldy missed celebrating birthdays and holidays together. Her teenagers filled out and grew facial hair. “There were times I thought I would never see them again,” she said.

Keldy fled Honduras with her sons after drug traffickers threatened their lives. She asked for asylum at the U.S. border. Instead, U.S. officials separated her from her children, put her in jail and then sent her back to Honduras. These actions were part of President Trump's policy to arrest all adults entering the country illegally. Her sons were detained temporarily and then permitted to go to live in Philadelphia with relatives.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/separated-at-border-family-is-building-new-life-together/5905498.html

Many American Students Decide to not Take Standardized Tests

Standardized tests are tests that aim to measure a student’s progress in a subject. The tests are returning to America’s schools this spring after the year-long pandemic. But millions of students will face shorter exams that carry less importance. And most families are being given the choice to not do testing at all. With new guidelines from the Biden administration, states are using different testing plans. These plans aim to reduce the stress of tests while still getting some data on student learning. However, large numbers of students will go untested, meaning it will be unclear how much learning has been set back by the pandemic.

Robin Lake is director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington. “We will end up with a highly imperfect set of data,” Lake said. Lake added that the U.S. will have to follow and learn about the issue “for at least the next few years, and maybe the next decade.” The current debate is the latest in a series of battles over school testing among American parents and education leaders. As in the past, parents are divided. Some are demanding tests to get an idea of their children’s progress. Others see no need to put their children through the stress of a test.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/many-american-students-decide-to-not-take-standardized-tests/5905131.html

Graduates Demand US Colleges Make Up for Past Slavery Ties

Some young Black people want their universities to fulfill their promises to help the descendants of enslaved people. They say students and people who live in college communities need to hold the universities responsible. And they say this is the time to do it. Jason Carroll recently graduated from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Shepard Thomas graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. a year ago. They are descendants of enslaved people.

Carroll said, “There’s been a shift in America. We’re at a different place. Just a few years ago, it was controversial to say ‘Black Lives Matter.’” Carroll and Thomas say at least their universities recently identified their ties to the slave trade. But they believe there is still more to be done. Thomas is a member of a group of students who came to Georgetown because of a special program for the descendants of enslaved people.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/graduates-demand-us-colleges-make-up-for-past-slavery-ties-/5903922.html

San Francisco Debates Reopening Streets Closed During Pandemic

San Francisco closed some major roads to cars during the coronavirus pandemic to provide more space for people to safely exercise and socialize. Now, a debate has begun over whether to permanently keep vehicles off some of those roads. Some citizens are pushing to keep cars off some of the city’s much-used streets, like the main road into Golden Gate Park. Others support reopening the roads to traffic, saying the step is a necessary part of returning to normal life. San Francisco closed more than 72 kilometers of neighborhood streets. The closures began in April 2020 after mayor London Breed declared a state of emergency.

City officials are now trying to decide which roads might remain closed permanently. Debate over the issue has been marked by demonstrations on both sides that have centered on safety and environmental concerns. Shamann Walton is president of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors. He has argued against the continued closure of John F. Kennedy (JFK) Drive in Golden Gate Park, a major road. He said closing the street and its free parking spaces will affect low-income families who cannot easily bike or take public transportation to the park.

https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/san-francisco-debates-reopening-streets-closed-during-pandemic/5906474.html

 

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