Watching the World
▪ Over a 15-month period, 82 newborn babies were found abandoned on the streets of Mexico City, 27 of them lifeless.—EL UNIVERSAL, MEXICO.
▪ Studies of caves in two national parks in California, U.S.A., have yielded 27 new animal species. “This just confirms how little we know about the world around us,” says Joel Despain, a cave specialist for the National Park Service.—SMITHSONIAN, U.S.A.
▪ Twenty percent of the world’s population lack potable water. Forty percent lack basic sanitary systems.—MILENIO, MEXICO.
▪ Poachers kill between 20,000 and 30,000 animals per year in the Serengeti National Park alone.—THE DAILY NEWS, TANZANIA.
▪ Studies carried out in Barcelona, Spain, reveal that 1 out of every 3 students aged 16 smokes cannabis regularly.—LA VANGUARDIA, SPAIN.
Germs in the Office
University of Arizona microbiologists measured bacteria in offices in a number of U.S. cities. They found that “the five most germ-contaminated spots were (in order) phones, desktops, water fountain handles, microwave door handles and keyboards,” says the Globe and Mail newspaper. According to the report, “the average desktop is home to 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table and 400 times more than the average toilet seat.”
“Christians Only in Words”
The Philippines has been referred to as the only “Christian” nation in Asia. However, Bishop Efraim Tendero of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches stated: “Most of us are Christians only in words but not in our actions.” As stated in the Manila Bulletin, part of the blame rests with church leaders, who fail “to create awareness and appreciation of the Bible.” Some church sermons are said to highlight politics rather than the Scriptures.
Humans and Animals Fight for Sustenance
“Reports of baboons and hyenas attacking communities in drought-stricken Somalia are becoming common,” states the Nairobi newspaper The East African. One fight over water left several baboons dead and some livestock raisers injured. Bands of monkeys are said to position themselves at “strategic road intersections or on bridges” to raid trucks ferrying provisions to local markets. “The sight of animals making off with bunches of bananas or [large] watermelons is common,” adds the newspaper.
Shipping Affects Coastal Weather
Maritime traffic on busy waterways can affect coastal weather, reports the German newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, analyzed cloud formation over the English Channel. They found that clouds over coastal lands have become thinner, while those over waterways have become denser. The phenomenon is attributed to the exhaust fumes from ships. Soot particles emitted by the ships are believed to function as nuclei for condensation, increasing the formation of water droplets. “In the last 50 years,” says the newspaper, “the fuel consumption of shipping has more than quadrupled.”