Compelling Stories for the Curious-Minded

  • Putin Backs Biden: As America turns away from its ageing president, Vladimir Putin of Russia has said he prefers Biden to Trump, calling the former an ‘old-style politician’ who is more ‘predictable.’
  • Is ‘Zero’ Pollution Possible? EU countries have said the proposed changes to air pollution targets are ‘not realistic.’ A 10-year extension is being sought to meet the EU’s new goal of zero pollution by 2050. EU policy coordinator with the Health and Environment Alliances, Sophie Perroud, argues that delays will result in ‘increasing health inequalities.’
  • Rise of the ‘Zombie Vapes’: Five London teenagers were recently hospitalised after smoking vapes containing a drug called ‘spice.’ Spice mimics the effects of cannabis, but unlike the latter, it can have serious side effects including vomiting, psychosis and loss of movement, earning it the nickname ‘zombie drug.’ The rise of unregulated vape liquids in the UK is a growing problem.
  • When Ethics Backfires: For almost 50 years, the Body Shop has pioneered ethical branding. Yet its 200 shops have recently entered administration, as the company struggles with sales. High prices and a failure to innovate have been cited as reasons for the beloved UK company’s decline. A failure to show that it cares about ordinary people by collaborating with charities has been suggested as another reason for the Body Shop’s decline.
  • Polar Bears Are Not Grizzlies: A study focusing on western Hudson Bay found that polar bears are not adapting to longer summer periods. Being stranded on land and unable to hunt for seals (that require ice mass), the bears tried different strategies to conserve energy reserves including resting, scavenging and foraging. Nearly all of the bears observed lost around 1 kilogram of weight per day, dismissing the claim that they can adapt to ice-free seasons like the grizzlies. The study concluded that Arctic bears are at risk of starvation and that they are not ‘… grizzly bears wearing white coats.’
  • Fun February Facts: The word ‘February’ comes from the Latin februum, meaning purification. It’s also the most frequently misspelled word.

That’s all from us this week. See you Next Friday!

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