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Top News: (10/17-10/23)

Here are the top stories for this week all summarized so you can stay informed and save time!

All sources are at the end of the post.

US appeals court temporarily blocks Biden's student loan forgiveness plan:

On Friday, a US appeals court temporarily blocked President Joe Biden's plan to cancel billions of dollars in college student debt. This comes one day after a judge dismissed a Republican-led lawsuit by six states challenging the loan-forgiveness program. The 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals decided to bar the discharge of any student debt under the program until it rules on the states' request for a longer-term injunction while Thursday's decision is appealed. US District Judge Henry Autrey in St. Louis ruled on Thursday that while the six Republican-led states had raised "important and significant challenges to the debt relief plan," they lacked the necessary legal standing to pursue the case. Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, and South Carolina said Biden's plan skirted congressional authority and threatened earnings of state entities that invest in or service the student loans.

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, a Republican who is leading the lawsuit, welcomed the temporary stay by saying, "It’s very important that the legal issues involving presidential power be analyzed by the court before transferring over $400 billion in debt to American taxpayers.” The case reaching the 8th Circuit is one of a number that conservatives have filed in hope of halting the debt forgiveness plan announced in August. Biden said the US government will forgive up to $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 a year, or $250,000 for married couples. The policy fulfilled a promise that Biden made during the 2020 presidential campaign to help debt-saddled former college students. Democrats are now hoping the policy will boost their support in the Nov. 8 midterm elections as control over Congress is at stake.

Inflation protests across Europe threaten political turmoil:

People holds banners and placards as they attend a RMT (The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) union train strike rally outside King's Cross railway station, in London, June 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, file)

Soaring inflation across Europe has fueled a wave of protests and strikes. This underscores growing discontent with the spiraling cost of living and threatens to unleash political turmoil. British Prime Minister Liz Truss being forced to resign less than two months into the job after her economic plans sparked chaos in financial markets made the risk to political leaders become clearer as people demand action. Europeans have seen their energy bills and food prices soar because of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Despite natural gas prices falling from record summer highs and governments allocating over $566 billion in energy relief to households and businesses since September 2021, according to the Bruegel think tank in Brussels, this has done nothing to abate protests. The fallout from the war in Ukraine has sharply raised the risk of civil unrest in Europe, according to risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft. European leaders have offered strong support to Ukraine, sending the country weapons. This support forced them to wean their economies off cheap Russian oil and natural gas, but this has not been an easy transition and has contributed greatly to the protests the continent is currently facing.

Cute Dog Walking Around Golf Course has Collected 6,000 Lost Golf Balls Which Are Donated to Charities:

Euronews / YouTube

An eagle-eyed pooch has become an expert at finding lost golf balls in London, so much so that he’s helping provide golf charities with the balls they need to teach kids around the world. Charles Jefferson must have felt he hit a hole-in-one when one day his dog, a cavapoo named Marlo, emerged from the bushes with a pristine tour-grade ball on the puppy’s first visit to a local London golf course. Jefferson, a top-level amateur golfer for four decades who used to work with the European Tour, realized that a retrieved mint condition Titleist Pro V1 retails for around £3.50, and that his Marlo might have a unique ability for finding lost balls. He spent the next six years walking up and down courses with Marlo, watching and chatting, and getting out in the open air. Between Mitcham Golf Club and Wimbledon Common Golf Club, Mr. Jefferson and Marlo filled dresser drawers with golf balls totaling about 600 retrieved balls across all of the courses. Leaning of his advertising abilities, Jefferson reached out and promoted Marlo’s impressive retrieval abilities and caught the attention of The DP World Tour who was looking for second-hand golf balls for charities across the world. While the needs for balls were large at a need of 200,000 balls, Marlo has made a sizable dent with his talent which will go to help those around the world play and learn how to golf without breaking the bank.

Particle physics pushing cancer treatment boundaries:

Facility coordinator Roberto Corsini shows off a 40-metre linear particle accelerator at CERN which could push the boundaries of cancer treatment.

Researchers at Europe's science lab CERN are applying their specialty of particle physics to upend the limits to cancer treatment. The physicists here are working with giant particle accelerators in search of ways to expand the reach of cancer radiation therapy and to take on hard-to-reach tumors that would otherwise have been fatal. In one CERN lab, called CLEAR, facility coordinator Roberto Corsini has worked with researchers to create a machine that shoots very high energy beams of electrons (which produce negative charges) that may help combat cancer cells more effectively. The idea is to use these very high-energy electrons (VHEE) in combination with a new and promising treatment method called FLASH. This method entails delivering the radiation dose in a few hundred milliseconds, instead of minutes as is the current approach. This has been shown to have the same destructive effect on the targeted tumor but causes far less damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. This is mostly due to the high speed of the process which allows for more well-targeted laser cancer therapy to be possible without radiation spreading to other areas. Construction of the prototype for the FLASH machine is scheduled to begin next February, and patient clinical trials could begin in 2025.


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