What’s Up World? #35

Published on MTV’s international pro-social website MTV Voices on 10.07.13

What’s Up World?
Between the cracks of the world’s news headlines

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School of rock

We’ve all been desperate to get out of a class at some time or another, but this is taking things a bit too far…

Two cases have been reported over the past week of students drugging teachers in high schools in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

An English professor from the National High School Aguirre Abad says she was drugged three times with a hallucinogenic substance spread across her desk, causing dizziness, numbness and sleepiness and preventing her from teaching. Another teacher from Tola High School was also drugged – three students have been arrested after a police investigation.

The presence of drugs in Ecuadorian schools has been a major issue for some time, due to the cheap availability of class A substances and the country’s location as a ‘cocaine corridor’ between the USA and Europe.

Losing Nemo

A new animated short film is drawing attention to the overfishing of the world’s oceans.

Presented by The Black Fish ocean conservation movement, Losing Nemo explains that of the 80 million tonnes of seafood harvested each year (that’s 2 trillion individual animals!) 40% is unwanted by-catch –  which means it’s thrown back into the ocean either dead or wounded.

According to the serious-disguised-as-cute short film, an astounding 90% of all large fish have disappeared from our oceans since the 1950s, and fishing continues at the same rate we could have an empty ocean by 2048. Scary stuff!

You can watch Losing Nemo here.

Cows for girls

The young ladies of South Sudan are not happy.

In someparts of the country the dowry prices paid for brides have doubled twice in the last two years. Child marriage is commonplace in South Sudan, and as the prices families charge for their daughters get higher and higher, they’re encouraged to marry them off younger and younger – many of them against their will.

Girls as young as 12 are being exchanged for hundreds of cattle, increasing the rate of female school dropouts. Many say the families who must pay the inflated dowries find themselves in danger of going bankrupt and link increasing bride prices to deadly cattle raids.

Around half of South Sudanese girls aged between 15 and 19 are married and the government who are now mulling over a law to cap dowries at a more appropriate rate.

Just a heads up

Neuroscientist Dr. Sergio Canavero from Torino, Italy, has announced to the world the possibility of the first full human head transplant.

For an estimated 13 million dollars, Dr. Canavero is confident he could reduce the temperature of two bodies to around 18*C (64.4*F), sever their heads with an ‘ultra sharp blade’ and fuse the donor head with the recipient’s body using a special glue.

Some specialists say the Head Anastomosis Venture (code-named HEAVEN) “opens a brand new field for contemporary medical science”. Others say “the whole concept is bizarre”. I say this could take the concept of the face lift to a whole new level…

Something brewing in your part of the world? We want to know about it. Tweet @its_alicia or @mtvvoices using the hashtag #WhatsUpWorld

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