News in brief

UNITED STATESA Sept. 19 report from National Public Radio reports that the Corn Refinery Associations have decided to rename their most profitable product: high fructose corn syrup. This gold mine, which made up 35.7 pounds of the average American’s diet last year, will soon begin to show up on food labels as “corn sugar.” After documentaries such as Fast Food Nation and King Corn, the ingredient has become less popular among U.S. consumers. The new name is an initiative to make the product more appealing to an evolving American market, according to NPR.


Portuguese researchers have discovered a bacteria – known as the “superbug” – spread by yellow-legged Caspian sea gulls, according to a report in the BBC. After analyzing 57 samples of sea gull droppings, scientists have found that one in 10 of these birds carry a bacteria resistant to common antibiotics and can spread hard-to-treat infections. These infections have been increasing in U.K. hospitals, and are seen as a threat to U.S. inhabitants due to the migratory nature of the birds. The major concern is that these sea gulls could pass on their resistance to other bacteria which could, in turn, result in complications with antibiotics and lead to infections more difficult to treat.


According to Al Jazeera, on Sept. 18, two fatal attacks took place in Southwest Germany resulting in at least four deaths and a wounded police officer. The first event took the form of an explosion in an apartment, killing a small girl and a middle-aged man, according to Joachim Langanky, a spokesman for the German police. Al Jazeera also reports that Loerrach prosecutor, Dieter Inhofer, stated that a woman was seen fleeing the scene of a hospital that same day, after having opened fire and killing a hospital worker. She then opened fire on police officers and was killed in the exchange. German law enforcement believes the events were linked.


Representatives of the Bangladeshi organization Grameen Shakti have announced plans to offer loans and assistance to impoverished people that will enable them to install solar power in their homes. This is the first time that most of these families will have electricity in their homes. Grameen Shakti has installed more than 110,000 solar- powered systems in homes across the country. The company has also made a point to hire women to install and maintain the system, which has served to empower Bangladeshi women and raise their standard of living. In addition, solar power used in Bangladesh has increased at a steady rate, and this trend is projected to continue in the future.