News Tidbit- 3 things Worth Knowing

  1. It has now been 10 days since the United States government shut down. The government shut down occurred because the Congress and the White House were unable to reach an agreement on the country’s fiscal budget. Much of the debate arose because of President Barack Obama’s controversial health care reform, Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). When a government shut down takes place, not everything will be impacted. The military will still protect citizens, air traffic controllers will still help planes land safely at airports, and letters will still be delivered by the post office. However, many services will stop, such as the issuing of visas, monitoring the spread of disease, public areas like national parks, just to name a few. Watch this video to learn more about the basics of the shut down.
  2. The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons- the international chemical weapons organization (often called the world’s chemical weapons watchdog) that is overseeing the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, primarily poison gas. The Nobel was awarded to OPCW not only for their efforts in this dangerous task (read about the grave dangers of destroying chemical weapons here), but also because of its “longstanding efforts” to eliminate the issue. However, some are skeptical about the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapon arsenal, because they fear that the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, will never give up the country’s chemical stockpile.
  3. According to a study published in Science translational Medicine, British researchers say they have developed a drug in the lab that has stopped degenerative brain diseases in experimental mice. The drug prevents neurons in the brain from being destroyed. Neurons are the working units of the brain as they transmit signals from the brain to the rest of the body. Loss of neurons increases the chances of various brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a disfunction in the brain usually caused by aging, that leads to loss of memory, aggression, behavioral problems, and a loss of thinking ability. If this drug is successful in humans, diseases like Alzheimer’s could be globally eradicated.