NEWS BRIEFS: On Campus, Across the Nation & Around the World

Typhoon causes many to evacuate
Typhoon Haiyan has traveled across the Philippines and has caused major damage to the country. According to CNN, this is the strongest storm they’ve ever had, with 157 mile-per-hour winds. As of Nov. 11, 1,200 deaths were confirmed, but 10,000 deaths were predicted. The storm, referred to as Yolanda in the Philippines, has caused the streets to flood, with water as high as 10 feet in areas. The power was down, leading 125,000 people to evacuate. According to The Social Welfare and Development Department, 4.28 million people have been affected by this storm in 270 towns across the Philippines. CNN has stated that the storm  hit northeastern Vietnam on early Nov. 11.

FDA banishes trans fats
The Food and Drug Administration is now requiring food companies and restaurants to ban the use of trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated oil. These fats give processed foods a longer shelf life but raise the risk of heart disease, according to NBC News. They also raise bad cholesterol while lowering good cholesterol. In 2006, the FDA required companies put trans fat warnings on their labels, causing many cities to ban the selling of trans fat products and fast food places to reduce the amount of trans fat in their foods. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg believes this change will prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths a year. While there is no set time table for when the trans fats will be completely taken out of foods, the FDA said it will be a slow process that should be completely achieved in the next three years.

Common Core crumbles
Bias political statements have been found in the Common Core English lessons for elementary school students. The Common Core is a U.S. education plan implemented this year to align all 50 states’ education levels. The lessons allegedly ask students to edit heavily political sentences for grammar and spelling errors. Many of the sentences in these lessons also discuss the jobs of the three branches of government. However, the jobs that are listed are incorrect. According to Fox News, editors at Pearson Education, who published the Common Core worksheets, said that what is important is what the students are editing in the sentences and not the substance of the sentences.

ImmuGene receives investment
The San Fernando Valley Business Journal reported that ImmuGene, a biotech firm in Thousand Oaks that develops anti-body proteins to create cancer-fighting drugs, received $9 million in funding this week from Ally Bridge Group, an investment group in Hong Kong. The Ally Bridge Group’s chief executive, Frank Yu, will sit on the ImmuGene board of directors. ImmuGene plans to use this funding to advance their research and begin the clinical trials for their first drug within the next 12 months.


Obama to raise minimum wage
U.S. President Barack Obama has changed his position on the minimum wage raise that he originally suggested in his State of the Union address in February. According to The Huffington Post, Obama originally sought a minimum wage of $9, but now supports the Democratic proposal of raising minimum wage to $10.10. The last time minimum wage was raised was in 2009 to $7.25, although many states have their own higher minimum wage. Obama hopes that raising the national minimum wage will improve the lives of those living under the poverty line.


Caitlin Dimmitt
Staff Writer
Published Nov. 13, 2013