Samsung recalls 2.8 million washing machines in U.S.


A recall of 34 different washing machine models was announced 4 November. (Image courtesy of European PressPhoto Agency)

Following Samsung’s exploding Note 7 smartphone debacle, the company recalled 2.8 million washing machines in the U.S. after reports of injuries. Models made from March 2011 to November 2016 are affected and have been recalled. Samsung received several hundred reports of excessive vibration in the machines and the top of the machine detaching from the chassis. The incidents have resulted in nine reports of injuries such as a broken jaw and injured shoulder.

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Aleppo braces for Russian assault as ultimatum deadline passes.


The Admiral Grigorovich is armed with Kalibr missiles, which Russia has previously used against Syria. (Image courtesy of Reuters)

A ultimatum from Vladmir Putin set a deadline for rebels and civilians to abandon Aleppo by the night of 4 November 2016. Moscow has said that safe passage out of the city will be granted until sunset, after which a bombardment intended to level east Aleppo has been warned to follow. However, Syrian rebels claim the corridors do not exist and that they could not escape whether they wanted to or not. Some civilians have said they would risk death or arrest if they left, but are not threatened by opposition groups. A fleet of Russian warships, the Admiral Grigorovich, the Admiral Kuznetsov, and Peter the Great has also arrived off the Syrian coast in a Russian show of naval power. Three Russian submarines are also reported to have arrived in the Mediterranean. The presence of naval forces in the area supporting the Syrian government’s intention to retake Aleppo from rebel forces may be ominous news for the city.

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Heart-breaking suicide cases of Aboriginal girls in Saskatchewan.

The hometown of the 13-year-old Aboriginal girl who recently committed suicide.

The hometown of the unnamed Aboriginal girl who took her own life last week. She was one of the many Aboriginal suicide cases Saskatchewan has faced. (Image courtesy of Global News)

Suicide cases of Aboriginal females have become an issue in Saskatchewan. Last week, another 13-year-old girl, from an area 250 kilometers north of Prince Albert, took her own life. She was the sixth girl, aged 10 to 14, who took her life in the past few weeks. Brad Wall, the premier of the province claimed that these deaths have been a prime topic of discussion within the government, and they have been working to provide the support needed for the communities. The provincial government has started taking initiatives such as setting up mental health services and creating an emergency phone line in hopes of combatting the issue. The NDP leader, Trent Wotherspoon commented on the need for a long-term strategy, stating that the lack of one is a “real shortfall” of the basic services offered in those communities. Health Canada has been working at the federal level to prevent such tragic incidents throughout the country.

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Millions of children breathing in harmful toxins.

Indian boys sit around a fire in one of the most polluted area in the world. (Image courtesy of Mashable)

Indian boys sit around a fire in one of the most polluted area of the world. (Image courtesy of Mashable)

On 31 October 2016, UNICEF reported on the effects of toxic air on children, including many long term health consequences. They used satellite images from NASA to determine the amount of air pollution caused by areas (e.g., traffic, industry).  PM2.5, which are microscopic sized particles, are the most dangerous air pollutants in the world. According to the World Health Organization, when air contains over 10 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter, it is not safe to breathe. The UNICEF study shows that millions of children worldwide are exposed to air containing six times the amount. Compared to adults, children breathe almost double the amount of air and their airways are more easily obstructed. Newborns exposed to harmful air before birth can have early delivery and low weight. More significantly, it can affect their neural development and prevent them from performing to their best potential during school.

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Effects of the Zika virus on mice raise key questions about human health.

Mice infected by the Zika virus. (Image courtesy of Tech Times)

Mice infected by the Zika virus. (Image courtesy of Tech Times)

Recent experiments showed that male mice affected by the Zika virus have reduced sperm counts and lower fertility due to the damage caused to their reproductive organs. Studies are currently being conducted to whether the virus has similar effects on humans, but regardless, it is known to infect a male’s reproductive system. Unlike the mice, one cannot assume that the damage to humans is permanent. Zika is transmitted through a tropical mosquito and causes mild symptoms, preventing many people from checking in with their doctors. It has been found to cause significant effects on newborns, and thus most health officials are working with pregnant women to constantly monitor them.

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