by Tom Bosschaert

Oct. 13, 2012

Tom Bosschaert

As summer draws to an end, this edition of the News Digest captures many recent developments from around the world, including the EU financial crisis, many environmental and technology updates, two inspirational perspectives on future urban environments, and much more...

Global News

  • A militant Islamist leader whose forces have just conquered two-thirds of the West African state of Mali vows to launch holy war against the West.
  • Norway gives 21 years to mass killer Breivik. Court rules Anders Breivik is sane and criminally responsible for the massacre of 77 people in 2011 gun and bomb attack.
  • Armenia says it is severing diplomatic ties with Hungary after the release of an Azeri army officer convicted of murdering an Armenian soldier.
  • Thousands told to evacuate after more WWII bombs found in Germany

Business & Economy

  • American agriculture is steeped in a chemical-intensive system that wastes money and pollutes the environment. But by making use of new technology and innovative approaches, farmers can boost production and profits — while at the same time improving soil quality, enhancing biodiversity, and protecting habitat.
  • Ex-regulators say US banks played big role in causing Europe's financial crisis by writing debt off balance sheets.
  • Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine maker, has recently announced plans to cut 3,000 jobs due to anticipated weak demand in the near future.

Energy & Environment

  • Genetically modified organism could turn carbon dioxide or waste products into a gasoline-compatible transportation fuel.
  • The incandescent light bulb, in use for more than a century, will be officially banned across the European Union on September 1.
  • Japan's Environment Minister Goshi Hosono released a new strategy Friday to boost power generation capacity by more than sixfold for four renewable energy categories by 2030 to make it possible to eliminate all nuclear power plants.
  • Massive forest fires in Siberia due to unusually high temperatures - feeding large amounts of CO2 and worsening the effects that started them.

Science, Technology, & Design

  • Bionic Vision Australia researchers have successfully performed the first bionic eye implant of an early prototype at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne.
  • Unlike Earth Space elevators, plans for a Lunar space elevator may be both feasible and economic.
  • NASA awards $100,000 grant for sideways supersonic plane concept

Urban Environment

  • Once this bicycle highway network is completed, an estimated 15,000 additional people will switch from driving to biking. And that, say officials, will have a direct impact on the environment, public health and finances. The bike highway alone is expected to save Copenhagen's health care system some $60 million a year.
  • From Seattle to Sweden, an ever-growing number of city and regional governments are using roof gardens, specially designed wetlands, and other forms of “green infrastructure” to rein in pollution from countless diffuse sources and to save money. 

Unexpected and Intriguing

  • A 15 year-old boy has gone on trial for murder in the Netherlands for allegedly stabbing a 15-year-old girl to death in a €20 contract killing – after a row that started over comments posted on Facebook.
  • How Hollywood Is Encouraging Online Piracy
  • A 10 year game of Civilization II shows a distopian nightmare... for what it's worth.


This bi-weekly digest is made by assembling items from all of Except’s people. Have questions, comments, or news items to suggest? E-mail Read past Wormfood global news reports here.

Oct. 13, 2012