5 Things to Know (5th February – 9th February)

Quite a lot has been going on in different parts of the world and these are just a few highlights for the week. Continue reading if you’re interested in knowing more :))

North Korea’s Highest Ranking Official To Visit South Korea: North Korea will send the nominal head of state, Kim Yong-nam, to visit South Korea between 9 to 11 February, as evident from the message sent by North via a cross-border communication channel. He will lead a 22-member delegation to the South starting from Friday, according to the South’s Unification Ministry. Kim is the highest-level North Korean official to visit the South after Hwang Pyong So who was sent during the time of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. Kim, who turned 90 this month, is a former minister of foreign affairs, and is frequently observed on state TV making speeches filled with propaganda and foreign dignitaries from leader Kim Jong-un. However, before Kim would watch the ceremony, North Korea will be staging a massive military parade that will feature long range missiles and submarine launches to “scare the hell out of the Americans.”

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Space X to launch the “world’s most powerful rocket”:  SpaceX  launched the biggest rocket in the world, Falcon Heavy, which is a 230-foot-tall three booster launcher. It was scheduled to blast off on Tuesday between 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Elon Musk, a South African-American inventor and engineer, wanted this launch to take place in 2013, though he reckoned that it may end up in an explosion. Instead of placing a “mass simulator” atop Falcon Heavy, Elon Musk’s personal 2008 cherry red Tesla Roadster will be placed on top of the rocket. This stunt is supposed to demonstrate how the company is capable of delivering people and other payloads into space. The car will be about 400 million km away from Earth and will orbit at the speed of 11km/s, which will last for several hundred million years, possibly even a billion. Built to be reusable, it comprises of booster cores that can generate over 5 million pounds of thrust and carry 140,000 pounds of cargo into low-Earth orbit.

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2 Infamous British ISIS Fighters Captured: Syrian Kurdish fighters have captured two British men that played an important role in the imprisonment, torture and killing of Western hostages, being a part of the Islamic State, as declared by American officials. The men belonged to a group of four Islamic State militants called the “Beatles” due to their British accents. The men were identified as Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh and were the last two members remaining. The ringleader, Mohammed Emwazi, was killed in the 2015 airstrike in Syria while the fourth man, Aine Davis, is currently imprisoned in Turkey for charges of terrorism. All four of them lived in West London and were known for their brutality. Kotey is of Ghanaian and Greek Cypriot background and Mr. Elksheik’a family fled Sudan during the 1990’a. Both men have been labelled as foreign terrorists by the US. They have beheaded hostages that were kept imprisoned in Raqqa, Syria, which os the Islamic State’s self declared capital, and have also subjected them to mock executions and waterboarding. Moreover, Mr. Emwazi killed American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Overall, the group was responsible for the beheading of over 27 hostages. It is doubtful whether the Justice Department would prosecute the men or the US military would take custody of them.

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Human Eggs Grown in Laboratories: Scientists are now able to replicate the process where egg cells mature in the ovaries on the exterior of the body, which could lead to the unlocking of future fertility treatments. By utilizing strips of ovarian tissues removed in a biopsy, it demonstrates an advance on IVF (in vitro fertilization), in which a mature egg fuses with a sperm in the lab, and the embryo that is fertilized is further implanted. Currently, this approach which was published in the journal Molecular Human Reproduction, still needs improvement due to the fact that only 10 % of the eggs completed their journey to maturity. Moreover, they have not been fertilized thoroughly making it uncertain of how viable they are. According to Darren Griffin, a genetics professor at Kent University in the UK, if the safety rates ameliorate, it could help cancer patients to preserve their fertility while undergoing a chemotherapy treatment.

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Tokyo School to Adopt Uniforms Designed by Giorgio Armani: A public elementary school in Japan planning to introduce uniforms that cost over 80,000 yen ($730, £525) each. The Taimei Elementary School sent a letter to the parents in November 2017 where the principal claimed that this change is necessary to better reflect its status in the form of a “landmark” in Ginza, as evident from Huffington Post Japan. According to a tweet, a parent asserted that school uniforms were invented so that families from different classes would not face discrimination. Another user was caught saying that wearing branded clothing would not make a child more developed. The Education Minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi, also declaimed that the school should’ve discussed the matter with parents prior to making this vital decision. Therefore, the school principal later “accepted criticism” and promised the parents that he would provide a genuine explanation regarding the issue.

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