The Week in Stories Around the Globe

String theorist Michio Kaku: ‘Reaching out to aliens is a terrible idea

There are some colleagues of mine that believe we should reach out to them. I think that’s a terrible idea. We all know what happened to Montezuma when he met Cortés in Mexico so many hundreds of years ago. Now, personally, I think that aliens out there would be friendly but we can’t gamble on it. So I think we will make contact but we should do it very carefully.

#Science #Physics #Aliens

The UK’s Vaccine Rollout Is the Latest Reminder We Need Universal Healthcare

While vaccination rates in the United States are increasing, with President Joe Biden promising ​“enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” the rollout looks haphazard by comparison. As of early March, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported just 27% of those 75 and older had received a first dose. For those 65 – 74, it was 28%.

#unitedkingdom #USA #COVID19 #MedicareForAll

Japan’s cherry blossom ‘earliest peak since 812’

“In Kyoto, records of the timing of celebrations of cherry blossom festivals going back to the 9th Century reconstruct the past climate and demonstrate the local increase in temperature associated with global warming and urbanisation,” according to an earlier paper published in the scientific journal Biological Conservation.

#Japan #cherryblossom #climatechange

New Zealand raises minimum wage and increases taxes on the rich

New Zealand is raising its minimum wage to $20 an hour and increasing the top tax rate for the country’s highest earners to 39%.

The changes will be rolled out on Thursday, alongside small increases to unemployment and sickness benefits. The government estimates the minimum wage increase – a rise of $1.14 per hour – will affect up to 175,500 workers, and increase wages across the economy by $216m.

#RaiseTheWage #newzealand #Politics

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