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Top News (2/20-2/26)

Updated: Mar 15

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.

Biden Unveils Plan to Deter Asylum Seekers at Mexico Border:

A proposal unveiled on Tuesday could bar tens of thousands of migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border from claiming asylum. This would be the most wide-ranging attempt yet by Joe Biden’s administration to deter unauthorized crossings. The new rules would generally deny asylum to migrants who arrive at the southern border without first seeking protection in a country they passed through, mirroring an attempt by the Trump administration that was blocked in court. The measure will be subject to a 30-day public comment period before it can be formally adopted. It would also be temporary and limited to a period of two years, with the possibility to extend it. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) vowed to fight the Biden rule in court, comparing it to the Trump restriction, which was dubbed a “transit ban” by activists.

Mexicans Turn out in Droves to Protest Electoral Overhaul, see Democracy at Risk:

On Wednesday, Mexico's Congress approved a major overhaul of the National Electoral Institute (INE), an independent body which Lopez Obrador has attacked as corrupt and inefficient. The 69-year-old president denies his changes will weaken Mexican democracy. Critics have vowed to take the legislation, which slashes the INE's budget and staff as well as paring back its responsibilities, to the Supreme Court. On Sunday, huge crowds gathered to condemn government moves to shrink the electoral authority as a threat to democracy, in what appeared to be the largest protest so far against President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's administration.

Man Who Didn’t Read or Write Until His Late Teens Becomes Cambridge University’s Youngest Black Professor:

Professor of Sociology of Education at University of Cambridge Jason Arday – SWNS

A boy with autism who could not read or write until his late teens is now the youngest-ever Black professor at Cambridge University 20 years later. As a child, Jason Arday was diagnosed with global developmental delay, which affected his ability to learn how to talk and read. Speechless until age 11, therapists even predicted he would spend his adult life in assisted living, requiring lifelong support. He finally learned to read and write in his teens and became a PE teacher after studying at the University of Surrey. He wrote papers and studied by night while working as a PE teacher by day—eventually becoming an acclaimed professor with two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in educational studies from Liverpool John Moores University. Now, he is 37 years old has and taken up one of the most prestigious professorships in the sociology of education in one of the world’s top universities at Cambridge beginning on March 6th.

Anti-dust Tech Paves Way for Self-cleaning Surfaces:

A nanoscale look at how dust aggregates on this spiky surface. Credit: The University of Texas at Austin/Smart Material Solutions\

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin partnered with North Carolina-based company Smart Material Solutions Inc. to develop a new method to keep dust from sticking to surfaces. The result is the ability to make many types of materials dust resistant, from spacecraft to solar panels to household windows. In tests, the researchers piled lunar dust on top of their engineered surfaces and then turned each surface on its side. The engineered structure was altered structurally to form tightly packed microscopic pyramids, making it harder for dust particles to stick. The result: Only about 2% of the surface remained dusty, compared with more than 35% of a similarly smooth surface.


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