Watching the World
▪ The warming of earth’s climate system is “unequivocal,” and it is “very likely” that human activities are to blame.—INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE (IPCC), SWITZERLAND.
▪ In Germany, between 1.4 million and 1.9 million people are “addicted to medicine.” The scale of the problem is comparable to that of alcohol dependency.—TAGESSCHAU, GERMANY.
▪ In Britain, babies under one year of age make up the segment of the population most likely to be murdered.—THE TIMES, BRITAIN.
▪ Parts of the border between the United States and Canada are so overgrown that officials “have trouble finding it.” “If you can’t find it, then you can’t secure it,” says Dennis Schornack of the International Boundary Commission.—ASSOCIATED PRESS, UNITED STATES.
The Body Is Made to Heal Itself
“The human organism is able to heal 60 to 70 percent of all ailments on its own,” says Professor Gustav Dobos, senior consultant at the Miners’ Hospital in Essen, Germany. To that end, the body is said to produce some 30 to 40 medicines, such as cortisone and substances to prevent kidney stones. Researchers understand some processes involved in such natural healing, but much remains to be discovered. Scientists discern that “a complicated interaction of hormones, immune messengers, and killer cells is at work,” says the magazine Vital, and “emotions and moods also play a role.” However, it further states that stress and personal problems can “weaken the immune system for months on end.”
Global Wealth Distribution
“The richest 1% of adults in the world own 40% of the planet’s wealth,” reports London’s Guardian. “Those in financial services and the internet sectors predominate among the super rich,” states the newspaper. A UN study finds that 37 percent of the richest live in the United States, 27 percent in Japan, and 6 percent in the United Kingdom. The poorest half of the world’s adult population own barely 1 percent of its wealth. According to Duncan Green, head of research at Britain’s charity Oxfam, “these levels of inequality are grotesque. . . . It is impossible to justify such vast wealth when 800 million people go to bed hungry every night.”
China’s Imbalanced Gender Ratio
In 2005, the gender ratio for newborn babies in China was 118 boys for every 100 girls. In some regions of the country, “the figure has reached 130 boys for every 100 girls,” reports China Daily. The reason for the disparity is selective abortion following fetus-gender testing. Officials concede that the phenomenon is related to China’s family-planning policy, which limits most city-dwelling couples to just one child. “By 2020, there will be some 30 million more men of marriage age than women,” says the newspaper, and this imbalance will “affect social stability.”