Trans-Pacific Partnership succeeds without U.S.

World leaders are pictured at the APEC Summit, which took place during TPP negotiations. (Image courtesy of Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Eleven Pacific Rim countries finalized the core parts of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership(TPP) on 11 November 2017. There were worries about the absence of the United States, who was part of the deal until President Donald Trump decided to withdraw because he prefers country-to-country transactions. His predecessor, Barack Obama, was the driving force behind the TPP and the other countries have been trying to move forward without the U.S. Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation talks also took place this week, which focused on consensus and non-binding statements while the TPP deals will be endorsed and enforced.

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Louvre Abu Dhabi changes tourism.

Abu Dhabi Louvre’s modern architecture attracts people from all around the globe. (Image courtesy of Designboom)

Abu Dhabi attracted international attention on 11 November 2017 as it finally opened its Louvre Museum. The museum holds six hundred works, half of which is loaned from institutions around the world, covering many cultures and periods, including works from Bedouin culture, such as a plaster figure from 6,500 B.C, to works by acclaimed artists like Pablo Picasso. Abu Dhabi initially began planning for the museum to boost tourism after a partnership with Paris in 2007 but was delayed by the global financial crisis and low oil prices. Overall, the project cost over one billion dollars with similar projects on the way.

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Saudi Crown Prince orders arrests on elite.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, centre, attends the Future Investment Initiative. (Image courtesy of The New York Times)

A series of arrests on some of the most influential figures in Saudi Arabia, including eleven princes, took place from 5 to 6 November 2017. Several of the people in custody not only have investments in Saudi Arabia but also other international markets, which may have a significant impact on the financial world. The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman declared the arrests as a crackdown on corruption and by arresting other competitors for the throne or significant figures in the government, is in a position of dominance that has not been seen for decades. He now controls all sectors of security, which was previously distributed among the House of Saud. The prince has shown no patience for the slow pace the kingdom used to operate at. Since his accession to the throne, bin Salman has tried to radically change the Saudi economy and remove rigid moral laws.

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India sprays water to reduce smog.

Commuters cover their faces to avoid breathing in the smog. (Image courtesy of Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images)

India’s capital, New Delhi, is in a pollution emergency with vehicle emissions, crop burnings, and construction dust being the main culprits. Levels of PM 2.5, fine particulate matter declared as hazardous and can cause heart attacks and cancer, are  exceedingly high in the city. The city has tried limiting the number of cars on the road but the smog is expected to get worse. City officials have said the only option is to spray water, which will disperse the dust. India has been battling pollution for several years with over two million deaths last year due to smog.

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Gene therapy creates new skin.

Gene therapy was used to cover over eighty percent of Hassan’s body and saved his life. (Image courtesy of Mirko Wache)

Doctors have recently most successfully used gene therapy to grow sheets of skin, saving a child’s life. The treatment was used on Hassan, who has a genetic condition that causes the skin to be prone to tears and infections called junctional epidermolysis bullosa. As is the case with most junctional epidermolysis bullosa patients, Hassan was not expected to live long, but two years after the treatment, he is still producing healthy skin and has a normal life. The treatment constructed nine square feet of skin, over eighty percent of Hassan’s body. This discovery has been used before with burn victims but has never been used to cover so much area. There are half a million people worldwide with the condition and doctors are currently researching whether it can be manufactured into a general cure.

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