First News
Volume:7, Number:50
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THIS WEEK

Madrid Asks Passengers to Stop ‘Manspreading’ on Public Transportation

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Though the phrase was coined in English, that particular way of sitting — legs splayed apart, with little regard for the personal space of others nearby — is a worldwide phenomenon. Now Madrid public transportation officials are targeting the practice, with a new campaign that seeks to dissuade passengers from spreading their legs. Madrid officials this week announced that new signs would go up in its city buses, depicting a seated figure whose open legs are partially blocking the seats next to him. Next to the figure is a large red 'X'. Anti-manspreading campaign was also undertaken in New York in 2014 and Seattle in 2015.

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Edible Nests Made of Bird Spit are a Delicacy in China

Traders in Myanmar town of Bokpyin are cashing in on rising demand for the edible nests from China’s growing middle class. Edible birds nests have become one of the main industries in the town, traditionally known for producing the chewable stimulant betel nut as well as rubber and palm oil. Traders can charge around USD2,000 a viss (equivalent to 1.63 kilograms) for the tiny nests – more than the average person in Myanmar earns in a year. Most of the tiny white nests, which are made from solidified bird spit, are sold to neighboring China. Today the global edible birds nest industry is estimated to be worth USD5 billion, most of it produced in Southeast Asia.

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Guinness World Record Set for Most Piano Keys Hit in a Minute

A Portuguese- American musician has set a new Guinness World Record for the most piano key hits in one minute by playing a note 824 times in just 60 seconds. Domingos-Antonio Gomes beat the previous record by 59 hits, after spending about four months training for the challenge in Portugal. His technique involved using two alternate fingers to hit the same key, allowing him to play the note at the speed of about 13 hits per second. The record was set on an unmodified concert grand piano in a music store in Portugal.

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Seventy Percent of Chinese Companies Fail Air Pollution Checks

More than 70 percent of companies checked by Chinese authorities failed environmental standards during the latest round of air pollution inspections, state media reported on June 11. The findings came after two months of inspections across 28 cities in the notoriously smoggy Beijing-Tianjin- Hebei region and other nearby areas. The inspections found 13,785 companies – or 70.6 percent of those inspected – violated standards, with problems ranging from excessive emissions to insufficient pollution control equipment. The government has thrown its weight behind an ambitious "Jingjin- ji" plan to integrate the three neighboring cities, in part to alleviate the strain on the capital, Beijing, and relocate heavy industry away from major population hubs.

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Australia to Build First Jail for Militants

Australia is to build its first prison aimed at isolating militants and stopping the spread of radical beliefs through the prison system as part of efforts to eliminate terrorism, said the premier of New South Wales state on June 11. The unit will be within a maximumsecurity prison and have capacity for 54 inmates, who will be isolated and intensely monitored, said the state's premier Gladys Berejiklian. There are 33 people within the New South Wales' prison system who have been jailed for terrorist offences. Australia has seen a series of militants-inspired attacks recently.

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