Our World in 7 Headlines: Oct. 23

By Ingrid Longauerová, Epoch Times
October 23, 2013 Updated: October 23, 2013

United Kingdom: Northern Ireland happiest place in UK says ONS

People in Northern Ireland were happier than those in any other part of the UK last year, a survey has suggested.

A third of people in Northern Ireland rated their life satisfaction as nine out of 10, said the Office for National Statistics.

England scored lowest on for life satisfaction, while Scotland was rated the least anxious country in the UK.

It is the first time differences between UK nations have been published. …


It’s been ten years since Mannheim’s Pop Academy was founded. While it has yet to churn out any world-famous artists, it’s been the starting point for many careers in the German music industry.

Udo Dahmen, artistic director of Mannheim’s Popakademie (Pop Academy), wants to teach his students how to survive in the tough and cold music business. For Dahmen, that means getting a band or performer’s name out there while dodging the traps of fad-like stardom and of becoming a one-hit wonder. …



New Zealand: Household products make fish unafraid of predators say researchers

Showering, brushing your teeth, and going to the toilet can wash dangerous contaminants into waterways that can disrupt fish reproductive systems and make them unafraid of mortal predators, scientists have found.

A growing array of household products, including soap, toothpaste, moisturisers, drugs, and cleaning products could be unsettling the ultra-sensitive marine ecosystems of New Zealand rivers and coastlines, the researchers say.

The products often contain preservatives, anti-bacterial compounds, or pharmaceuticals that are designed to penetrate living cells.

But when they’re washed into the environment, even minuscule concentrations can upset hormonal signals in organisms bodies, affect reproduction or growth. …

The New Zealand Herald


France: Speeding foreign drivers go unpunished in France

Have you been flashed by a speed camera in France but never received a fine or the usual three point penalty on your license? Well you’re not alone. It appears plenty of speeding drivers are getting away with it in France, particularly foreign ones.

France’s 4,000 speed cameras are expected to pull in an eye-watering €800 million in 2013 to boost state coffers, but it could have been a lot, lot more.

A senate report published this week revealed that almost a third of speeding offences caught on camera by France’s legion of “radars” are never, in fact, punished.

And the rate is even higher for foreign drivers, with 42 percent of offences picked up by speed cameras not being penalised. …

The Local


Norway: Oslo family seeks sender of message in a bottle

An Oslo family is trying to track down a British woman who threw a message in a bottle into the sea back in 1996, after reading about how thrilled another British woman had been when her bottle was found this month.

Mia and Martin Rodal, who are ten and eight years old, found the plastic bottle while out walking with their parents near Rjåneset on Norway’s west coast more than a year ago, the BBC reported. 

The letter, written by a 12-year-old called Loretta Brooks, was very simple, with the writer simply introducing herself as “a girl from England”.  

“I don’t know who you are but anyway… What is your name? Send me a letter,” the letter continued. 

Mia and Martin wrote a letter to the London address on the letter,  almost as soon as they found it. But they have received no response, and now believe that the address may be incomplete. …

The Local


United Arab Emirates: Deaf passengers to ‘hear’in smart Dubai taxis

The new initiative facilitates trips by differently abled people, especially those with hearing impediments.

While rushing to the airport in a cab hoping to catch your flight in time, there will now be another way to ensure it happens rather than simply saying your prayers.

Dubai taxis will soon have the ability for passengers to tap the electronic screen to access the airport’s website or even your airline’s. This is especially handy for visitors without Internet connection for their smartphones or tablets. …

Khaleej Times


Australia: Gold found growing in eucalyptus trees in world-first CSIRO research

Geoscientists in Perth have discovered gold particles in the leaves, twigs and bark of eucalyptus trees, claiming a “eureka” moment which could revolutionise gold mining.

CSIRO researchers believe the trees, sitting on top of gold deposits buried deep underground, suck up the gold in their search for moisture during times of drought.

“We weren’t expecting this at all,” Dr Melvyn Lintern, a research geochemist at the CSIRO and the study’s lead author, said.

“To actually see the gold particles in the leaves was quite a eureka moment for us.”

Dr Lintern said the trees appear to be telling scientists what is happening under the earth’s surface. …