27th April 2018

Other Stories - 27th April 2018

Photo: Amy Harris/Invision, via Associated Press

Scientists created a mutant enzyme that eats plastic by accident. The discovery has resulted in findings that could represent a breakthrough for the global plastic pollution crisis. The research was prompted by the discovery of a bacterium in Japan which had naturally evolved to eat plastic at a waste dump. While researching the structure of the enzyme that caused it to behave this way, the team found that they had inadvertently made it better at doing it. The enzyme has the potential to break plastic down to its original components, reducing the need for oils and other key components of plastic. The Guardian

Vodafone has been voted the UK’s worst rated mobile provider. The latest annual survey from Which? has found Vodafone languishing in last place for customer satisfaction for the seventh year in a row. Joined by the likes of other leading providers, including EE, O2 and Three, all their services were judged to be average and disappointing by consumers. Smaller provider Utility Warehouse was among the higher ranked providers for its value for money, incentives and customer service. BBC News

Could the Korean war finally be coming to an end? It may have seemed unthinkable, but after 65 years of conflict, it is hoped that meetings between North and South Korea this week could result in the end of military hostilities. Though an armistice between the north and south was signed in 1953, they have technically remained at war since. In the long term this could potentially result in the decommission of the ‘demilitarised zone’, a 250-kilometer patch of land dividing the two nations. Bloomberg

Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize. While the prestigious award has been handed to musicians since 1943, Lamar’s win for his album ‘DAMN.’ represents the first time a hip-hop artist has been recognised in the category. He is therefore the first winner who is not a classical or jazz musician, which has been heralded as a big moment for the musical genre. The panel described the album as “a virtuosic song collection,” and explained that it captures “the complexity of modern African-American life.” NY Times

A 12-year-old Australian boy flew to Bali on his own following a row. The boy reportedly used his parents’ credit card to book flights and accommodation in Bali when his parents decided to cancel their holiday there. Australian police are currently reviewing how he was able to travel on his own. The boy had been reported missing for nine days when he was found in Bali on 17th March. "It was great because I wanted to go on an adventure," he explained. The Telegraph

The ‘Selfie Monkey’ can’t sue for copyright. We’re filing this one under ‘blindingly obvious’, but a US court has nevertheless ruled that Naruto, the macaque that famously took a photo of itself cannot sue for copyright. We’re not really sure why it would want to, but the ruling comes after photographer David Slater was forced to fight for control of the photo by an animal rights group who claimed that Naruto should own the copyright. Slater subsequently reached a deal with PETA whereby he would donate 25% of the revenue he receives from the image to charities that protect macaques like Naruto. Huffington Post

Fact of the week

Up to a third of millennials will be renting their entire life. That’s the finding of a new report by the Resolution Foundation, a think tank who found that 40% of respondents born between 1980 and 1996 reported that they were still living in rented housing by the age of 30. This represents almost twice as many as those born between 1965 and 1980. The report calls on the Government to do more to help ‘generation rent’, including more affordable housing and better protection for renters. BBC News


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