World News

China

After a massive outcry, one of the most popular Chinese social media networks, Sina Weibo, has reversed a controversial “clean-up campaign” that would ban gay content. On Friday, April 13, the platform announced that any posts relating to homosexuality would be taken down. There was a huge outpouring of posts from outraged users protesting the decision, and the ban was reversed on Monday, April 16. (BBC)

Great Britain

Researchers from Britain’s University of Portsmouth and the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory accidentally developed a plastic-eating enzyme that could potentially be used to combat pollution worldwide. The enzyme was inadvertently engineered while conducting enzyme research in a Japanese waste recycling center a few years ago. The findings were published on Monday, April 16, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, and researchers are now working to improve the enzyme to allow it to be used industrially to break down plastics in a fraction of the time. (CNN)

Australia

Three people died in a house fire in Brisbane, Australia on Tuesday, April 17 following reports of an explosion. Two women and a man were found dead after neighbors called authorities about hearing a large explosion. The fire was successfully put out and several nearby residents were evacuated. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but the police are treating it as suspicious. (BBC)

Cuba

Canadian diplomats in Cuba will no longer be accompanied by family members, after a series of unexplained health problems hit the embassy. Symptoms for those afflicted include dizziness, headaches and an inability to concentrate. Twenty-four Americans also affiliated with the embassy in Havana fell ill last fall, prompting the US to recall all non-emergency personnel in September of 2017. There have been no new cases, but the health problems have persisted even among those who left Cuba. Medical researchers at the University of Pennsylvania suggest that the problems could be some sort of “acquired” brain injury, but more research is needed to confirm this. The ailments currently have no source but are being investigated. (NBC)

Compiled by Dannielle Konz

 

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