What a Wonderful World
The sexual enslavement of women in brothels is enough of a problem in the United Kingdom that the British government has announced plans to open a special Human Trafficking Centre to coordinate crackdown efforts. A recent task force charged with investigating sexual slavery, Operation Pentameter, led to more than 500 raids and over 200 arrests and liberated 12 girls between the ages of 14 and 17, most of them from Africa. (The Guardian/London)
Norway and several other Scandinavian nations have joined forces to create a “doomsday vault” containing seeds for all crops grown throughout the world. Currently under construction on the remote Norwegian island of Svalbard (located between Norway and Greenland), the facility will preserve an estimated 3 million seeds in a frozen state and under heavy security. (BBC)
Thanks to the boom in cell-phone technology in the more developed areas of Africa, some police officers have reportedly started accepting bribes in the form of airtime minutes. (News24.com/South Africa)
President Bush recently signed off on the creation of a 131,000-square-mile marine sanctuary to the northwest of the Hawaiian Islands. The sanctuary, the world’s largest, encompasses the island of Midway and boasts as many as 7,000 species that are now protected within it boundaries. (NewScientist.com)
Stem cell research promises to yield more than a revolution in health care. A team of Dutch scientists, funded by the Dutch government, has high hopes that they will soon be able to synthesize pig stem cells into artificial pork tissue—effectively “test tube meat.” (Wired.com)
Widespread strikes frequently cripple the Indian state of Kerala, but the state tourism minister has found a way to put a positive spin on that fact. Kodiyeri Balakrishnan recently told a gathering of the state assembly: “Today there are many tourists who come with the hope of experiencing a shutdown.” (IndiaeNews.com)
The panda bear may not be as endangered as previously believed. Using a new technique involving extracting DNA from feces, scientists now believe there may be as many as 3,000 pandas in the wild, more than double the previous estimate.
Press Release of the Week
Press release: News from CPSC, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
BJ Alan Co. Recalls “Thunderstick Rocket” Fireworks for Explosion Hazard
We say: Um...isn’t that the point?
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