5 Things To Know (19th – 23rd November)

Happy Friday! Here are this week’s news highlights.

  1. Father sues McDonald’s for Happy Meals marketing

Quebec, a heavily forested province in Eastern Canada, has strict laws that prohibit marketing to children under the age of 13. Mr Antonio Bramante, a concerned father of three children, has displayed his frustration against McDonald’s Happy Meals. He is worried about the fact that because of his children’s insistence on ‘completing their set of toys’, he eats at McDonald’s once every two weeks and has spent about a hundred dollars. Mr Bramante has therefore filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s. Mr Zukran, a lawyer, has agreed that ‘Anyone who purchased a McDonald’s Happy Meal in Quebec from November 2013, even if they are not Canadian residents, can request to be part of the class action’.

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     2. Nasa to investigate the possibility of ancient life on Mars

It is believed that the Jezero crater, which is nearly 50 km wide, could have supported ancient microbes about 3.5-3.9 billion years ago. At this time Mars was a much warmer and wetter planet, further suggesting that this hypothesis could be correct. The word ‘Jezero’ means ‘lake’ in some Slavic languages. Ken Farley, a Nasa project scientist, has said, “A delta is extremely good at preserving bio-signatures – any evidence of life that might have existed in the lake water, or at the interface of the sediment and the lake water, or possibly things that lived in the headwaters region that were swept in by the river and deposited in the delta.” This crater has been home to various rocks which have the potential to preserve organic molecules. The 2020 Mars rover, a copy of the 2012 Curiosity robot, will be sent to Mars to collect data. As part of their data collection, Scientists will be investigating rock samples to determine the possibility of ancient life on Mars. 

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     3. Bollywood star clears farmers’ debts 

Amitabh Bachchan, one of India’s best-known actors, has declared that he will clear farmers’ debts worth about $560,000. He stated on Twitter how he felt a “sense of accomplishment” after he had “taken care” of 1,398 farmers. According to BBC, the farming industry in India has been blighted by drought, the depletion of the water table, declining productivity and a lack of modernisation. Bachchan decided to encourage the farmers in his hometown, Uttar Pradesh, by helping them. These debts were owed to the government-owned Bank of India. On the 26th of November, some farmers are scheduled to arrive in Mumbai and collect the bank document. Due to the overwhelming number of farmers, Amitabh Bachchan has decided to welcome 70 of them, for whom he has arranged a train coach. Last year, thousands of farmers protested for loan waivers and better crop prices, for them to earn sufficient revenue. As a response, the Bollywood actor paid off loans of 350 farmers in Maharashtra earlier this year. 

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     4. Dead ‘plastic’ sperm whale washes on Indonesian shore

A dead whale washed ashore in an Indonesian national park. After the investigation, the park officials found at least 6kg of plastic in its stomach. More specifically, “Hard plastic (19 pieces, 140g), plastic bottles (4 pieces, 150g), plastic bags (25 pieces, 260g), flip-flops (2 pieces, 270g), pieces of string (3.26kg) & plastic cups (115 pieces, 750g).”, as tweeted by WWF-Indonesia. Due to its late stage of decay, scientists have not been able to evaluate the cause of its death. Environmentalists are dismayed upon the news and are concerned about single-use plastics. According to a 2015 report, China, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam are responsible for approximately 60% of the waste existing in marine resources. Plastic bags are believed to ‘kill’ hundreds of marine animals each year. Earlier this year, a pilot whale died near southern Thailand because it swallowed 80 plastic bags, clogging its internal systems. In 2017, the UN regretfully declared that up to 10 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in oceans every year.

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     5. Trump threatens to close the US-Mexico border

Donald Trump is threatening to close the Mexican border. He has also warned that he will stop trade between both countries if migrant immigration from Central American causes any disruptions. Troops at the border have the permission to perform lethal actions against immigrants if required. Citizens of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador specifically complain about being the victims of persecution, poverty and violence. As a result, thousands of migrants, or ‘invasion’ according to Mr Trump, have crowded at the border after travelling more than 4,000km. In response to this action, Mr Trump has said, “If we find that it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or where people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control,” he told reporters. The whole border. I mean the whole border. Mexico will not be able to sell their cars into the United States where they make so many cars.” Last Thursday, he declared that the US government might shut down next month if sufficient funds not provided to build a wall between the US and Mexico. 

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Have a great weekend! 🙂

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