Watching the World

“More than half of Russians think bribing officials is the best way to ‘solve problems.’”​—REUTERS NEWS SERVICE, RUSSIA.

“A survey showed 17.5 percent of Chinese adults are suffering from mental disorders . . . Women are more likely to suffer from mood disorders and anxiety disorders than men.”​—CHINA DAILY, CHINA.

“At least 28% of all traffic crashes in the U.S.​—or 1.6 million crashes each year—​are caused by drivers using cell phones or sending/​reading text messages, according to new estimates by the National Safety Council.”​—UC BERKELEY WELLNESS LETTER, U.S.A.

“An Uncomfortable History”

“The Report of the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse reveals an uncomfortable history of Ireland,” says The Irish Times. According to the newspaper, this report uncovers a history stained by the systematic abuse of children in Catholic religious institutions, ranging from “beating children whose crime it was that lice had infested their heads” to sustained sexual abuse. The abuse was ignored because of misguided loyalty to “the absolute authority of the Catholic Church,” says the paper. “Shame on You, Government and Church,” said a headline in the Times, quoting the words of one who sympathized with the victims.

Water on the Moon

Scientists who crashed a two-stage rocket into the moon’s surface say that they detected water in the plume of dust created. The cloud was examined by spectrometers​—instruments that analyze the composition of materials by isolating the wavelengths of light that they absorb or emit. “We’re unlocking the mysteries of our nearest neighbor and by extension the solar system,” stated Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. More recently, a moon probe revealed that there are millions of tons of water at the moon’s north pole.

Gold Bars From a Vending Machine

In several places around the world, gold bars can now be added to the long list of products available from vending machines. For example, a hotel in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, has installed a machine that dispenses 320 items, including gold bars with a weight of up to 0.322 troy ounce (10 g) and customized gold coins. Gold prices are updated every ten minutes, using a computerized link to international markets. At first, the machine accepted only local currency, but a credit-card option was planned. The location for this initiative was chosen “because of the region’s high demand for gold,” says a Reuters report.