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Watching the World

Watching the World

Watching the World

Swab tests reveal that the numeric keypads of city center cash machines [ATMs] around England are contaminated with as much potentially harmful bacteria as the seats of public toilets.​—THE TELEGRAPH, BRITAIN.

“Sometimes, scientists are blindsided by earthquakes [such as those in New Zealand this year and Haiti last year] because they occur along undiscovered faults. . . . That raises a worrisome question: How many major quakes are lurking in underestimated or unknown faults?”​—THE NEW YORK TIMES, U.S.A.

“The world’s four richest citizens . . . control more wealth than the world’s poorest 57 countries.”​—FOREIGN POLICY, January/​February 2011, U.S.A.

The owners of 90 percent of Polish businesses report that they have been the victims of theft or deception by their employees within the last two years.​—GAZETA PRACA, POLAND.

A Catholic church in Brazil now fines brides $300 (U.S.) if they arrive late for their wedding. Couples have to write a check before the ceremony, and it is returned only if they arrive on time.​—G1, BRAZIL.

Pope No Longer an Organ Donor

While Joseph Ratzinger was a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, he was an organ donor, says the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Yet, since being elected pope, Benedict XVI is no longer an organ donor. Why not? “The body of a Pontiff belongs to the entire Church,” explains archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, a member of the Vatican hierarchy. “It is therefore understandable that when a pope dies his body be preserved intact, since it is possible that in the future it will be venerated.”

Life in Exchange for Money?

Would people be willing to trade a year of their life for a million euros? In Germany more than 1 in 4 men and 1 in 6 women would do so, says a survey conducted by the polling institute Emnid on behalf of Reader’s Digest Deutschland. The younger the people polled, the more inclined they would be to accept such a deal​—29 percent of the 14- to 29-year-olds and 25 percent of those aged 30 to 39 would make the exchange. The older people get, however, the more precious they consider life to be. Only 13 percent of the 50- to 59-year-olds and 11 percent of those over 60 years of age could imagine selling a year of their life.