The Global Recap: Earthquakes, tobacco and a common humanity

by Ore Fakorede

Cutting across science and technology, events, entertainment and sports, The Global Recap is a witty, dynamic and concise résumé of the topmost top stories that have dominated news media around the world in the past 24 hours. YNaija will bring you up to speed on world news in the short time it’ll take to read this piece.

Third Explosion At Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Plant Raises Radiation Levels

The effects of the massive earthquake that rocked Japan last week seem to be more potentially disastrous than the quake itself. Following two previous explosions on Saturday and Monday at the first and second nuclear reactors of the Okuma-located Fukushima plant which is operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), another explosion ripped through the second reactor earlier today. The buildings covering the reactors were compromised by the blast, leading to a leakage of radioactive hydrogen into the atmosphere. Japan’s prime minister Naoto Kan has since instructed citizens living within thirty kilometres to remain in their houses while a thirty-kilometre radius no-fly zone has been set up over and around the plant.

According to Yukio Edano, chief spokesperson of the Japanese government, the “radiation level at the front gate (of the plant) was 8227 this morning (but) it has since come down to the level which can do no harm.” That reading was reported to be 400 times the annual legal limit, yet, the government and Japanese media have consistently played down the hazard this represents, stating that the risk of radiation poisoning is minimal.

Is this foolishness, self-destructive behaviour or what?

Microsoft stops production of Zune Player, releases Internet Explorer 9

In a questionable move that will no doubt further reinforce Apple’s dominance of the portable media player market, Microsoft has decided to halt further production of its Zune player, choosing instead to concentrate on developing Zune software for smartphones. Although the computing technology giant has not made any official comment, financial website Bloomberg reported that Microsoft is still “committed to supporting (our) devices in North America.”

Excuse us, but what about the rest of the world?!

Launched in November 2006, the Zune’s sales figures were paltry compared  to those of the acclaimed and trend-setting iPod Classic and iPod Touch. The Zune HD was a veritable successor to the Zune, offering excellent sound, a stunning OLED screen and a slick user interface.

The Zune Pass music store could however not match the popularity and depth of Apple’s iTunes Store. This, along with the shortage of applications and games on the Zune software platform, kept the device miles behind Apple’s premium gadgets where consumer appeal was concerned. Evidently, this marks the untimely passing of the only serious, howbeit underachieving competition to Apple’s iPod devices.

Adieu beloved Zune, our eyes and ears will surely miss you. *sob*

In a bid to raise our heavy spirits, Microsoft has announced the release of the latest installment of the popular Internet Explorer web browser. With several aesthetic and under-the-hood upgrades, IE 9 is Microsoft new weapon to be deployed in the bloody browser wars that are raging across computer systems worldwide.

Take that Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera…. and others!

Nigerian Senate passes Tobacco Control Bill

A monumental victory has been won by passive smokers and the aggrieved parents of active smokers across Nigeria as the nation’s Senate unanimously passed the National Tobacco Control Bill into law today. The bill was sponsored by Senator Olorunimbe Mamora who represents Lagos East Senatorial District in the Upper House.

The Tobacco Control Bill is structured to domesticate the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) instigated by the World Health Organisation. The FCTC, which has since been signed and ratified by Nigeria, represents a global standard for tobacco control.

The passage of the bill repeals the largely ineffective Tobacco Control Act of 1990. It also offers a legalized and more structured way of reducing deaths associated with smoking besides the hackneyed and trite statement: ‘smokers are liable to die young’.

From now on, bans on the sale of individual sticks of cigarettes, the sale of cigarettes to persons under the age of 18, smoking in public places including airports and schools as well as regulations on the manufacturing, distribution and marketing of tobacco products in Nigeria are expected to be enforced.

(Bad) boys (and girls) are definitely not smiling.

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