First News
Volume:8, Number:04
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More Countries View China as World

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China's economic might is catching up to the United States – or is seen to be catching up. That is according to a new report from the Pew Research Centre, which released results of a 38-nation survey on July 13. While the majority of those polled still correctly believe the US is the world's biggest economy, 12 nations – including Canada, Russia, and most of Western Europe – believe China has the largest economy in the world. Pew detected a dramatic shift: only six nations said Beijing possessed the world's strongest economy when the question was asked between 2014 and 2016. Since then, the number of countries that view the US as playing second fiddle to China has doubled.

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Black Cab Turns Green as All-new Electric London Taxi Launches

The maker of the London black cab has unveiled the new, electric design of the car, which will hit the capital’s roads in November and which it hopes to sell to pollutionblighted cities worldwide. Known as the London Taxi Company since 1948, the firm will rebrand as the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) to export the new model, which runs for about 70 miles off a battery before switching to a petrol engine for up to 400 miles. Chris Gubbey, the chief executive of the firm, hopes to have up to 150 of the TX cabs on the capital’s streets by the year’s end, after the first deliveries begin in November. Combined with an age limit for the cabs of 15 years, that means the last diesel ones should disappear from London by 2032.

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Colonization of Mars Not Possible by 2030s, Admits Nasa

The colonization of Mars has long been a dream, and Nasa has openly spoken of its desire to send humans to the red planet by the 2030s. However, these celestial plans have had a very earthly spanner thrown in its works — money. The chief of Nasa’s program on human exploration of space, William Gerstenmaier, has said that with its current budget, the agency cannot afford the cost of propelling a manned spacecraft to Mars. The agency has landed several unmanned exploratory vehicles on Mars, with the most recent one — the Curiosity rover, which landed in August 2012 — costing an estimated USD2.5 billion. According to Gerstenmaier, a manned mission to Mars would weigh 20 times what the rover weighed, meaning a 20-fold increase in costs.

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Number of Fatal Terrorist Attacks in Western Europe Increasing

The number of terrorist attacks resulting in fatalities in Western Europe increased in 2016, despite an overall drop in the number of incidents taking place, according to data released by the Global Terrorism Database. The data shows that there were 30 such attacks resulting in fatalities in Western Europe in 2016 and 23 in 2015. This compares with two attacks across the region resulting in fatalities in 2014 and five in 2013. In addition, terrorist attacks have become more deadly, with 26.5 people on average being killed in 2015 and 2016, up from an average of four a year in the preceding three years. The deadliest incident recorded in Western Europe was the series of coordinated attacks on Paris in November 2015 that resulted in the deaths of 130 people and was claimed by Islamic State.

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Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan at Record High in 16- year War

The number of civilian deaths in the Afghan war has reached a record high, continuing an almost unbroken trend of nearly a decade of rising casualties. The number of deaths of women and children grew especially fast, primarily due to the Taliban’s use of homemade bombs, which caused 40 percent of civilian casualties in the first six months of 2017, according to UN figures released on Monday (July 17). Child casualties increased by 9 percent to 436, compared with the same period last year, and 1,141 children were wounded. Female deaths rose by 23 percent, with 174 women killed and 462 injured. US and Afghan airstrikes also contributed to the surge in civilian victims, with a 43 percent increase in casualties from the air, the figures showed.

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