First News
Volume:7, Number:29
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THIS WEEK

EU May Declare Robots `Electronic Persons’

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Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have voted to propose granting legal status to robots, categorizing them as "electronic persons" and warning that new legislation is needed to focus on how the machines can be held responsible for their "acts or omissions". Sales of robots rose by 29 percent in 2014, the highest yearon- year increase ever, compared to an average of 17 percent per year between 2010 and 2014, according to the report, while annual patent filings for robotics technology have tripled over the past decade.

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Oxfam Says 8 Men as Rich as Half the World

The gap between the super-rich and the poorest half of the global population is starker than previously thought, with just eight men, from Bill Gates to Michael Bloomberg, owning as much wealth as 3.6 billion people, according to an analysis by Oxfam released on January 16. Last year's equivalent report showed that the richest 62 people on the planet in 2015 owned as much wealth as the bottom half of the population.

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Curtain Down on ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ After 146 Years

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced on January 14 it will host its final show in May, ending “The Greatest Show on Earth” after 146 years. Company executives cited high operating costs and declining ticket sales after the traveling American circus retired its popular elephants as reasons for drawing the curtain on a celebrated spectacle that traces its origins to politician and showman P.T. Barnum’s first show in 1871.The final “Circus XTREME” show will take place at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island on May 7, while the group’s “Out Of This World” tour will take place May 21 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.

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Donald Trump to be the First US President with No Pet

Donald Trump might be the first US President in 150 years not to have a pet in the White House after a plan to have him adopt a golden doodle dog fell through. With Trump's inauguration on January 20, many are left wondering if his family will have a pet residing with them at the White House. If not, he could be the first president in 150 years without a pet. The Trump family does not have a history of keeping animals around the house and there is not any indication, at least, not yet.

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Gadget Mountain Rising in Asia Threatens Health, Environment

The waste from discarded electronic gadgets and electrical appliances has reached severe levels in East Asia, posing a growing threat to health and the environment unless safe disposal becomes the norm. China was the biggest culprit with its electronic waste more than doubling, according to a new study by the United Nations University. On average, electronic waste in the 12 countries in the study had increased by nearly two-thirds in the five years, totaling 12.3 million tons in 2015 alone. The study said open burning and unsafe recycling is associated with a slew of health problems for workers and communities near recycling operations. They include infertility, childhood development problems, impaired lung function, liver and kidney damage, inheritable genetic damage and mental health problems.

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