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News Roundup: Singing Seals and Other News

This summer, will be trying out a new feature – weekend news roundups. The roundups will be short summaries of several interesting or important stories that we have been watching but haven’t covered. As always, links to articles with more detailed information will be included in the Sources box.

Longtime Apple Designer Jony Ive Will Leave Apple

Jony Ive is a designer who helped shape the look of Apple’s computers and other devices for 27 years. He was a huge part of creating the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. His opinions have guided the look and feel of almost all the projects that Apple has created since the iMac.

Mr. Ive is leaving to start his own design company. It is not yet clear how Apple plans to fill the huge hole left by Mr. Ive.

Scientists Teach Seals to Sing Star Wars Music

Scientists at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland trained three young gray seals to sing. The researchers were able to train the seals by giving them a reward for imitating sounds that were played to them. Over time, the scientists played more complicated patterns and added notes of different pitches. Before the seals were released into the wild at one year old, they could sing the first ten notes of the music to Star Wars as well as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

The scientists were studying how seals make noise because they want to learn more about how seals communicate.

San Francisco Makes Selling Electronic Cigarettes Against the Law

San Francisco has become the first city in the US to make it against the law to sell electronic cigarettes. The new law was made because politicians were worried about the huge numbers of young people who have begun smoking e-cigarettes or vaping. Many young people do not realize that vaping is dangerous. Though e-cigarettes may be slightly safer than regular cigarettes, they still contain many chemicals that are harmful. And once a person starts vaping, it can be very hard to stop.

Many people disagree with the new law. Some people believe e-cigarettes can help people who have smoked cigarettes for a long time stop smoking. Others say that the new law affects poor people more than rich people.

Phone Problem in Netherlands Sends Police Into the Streets

Last Monday, the Netherlands was hit with a phone problem which took out the country’s emergency number. In the Netherlands the emergency number is 112 and it’s similar to 911 or 999 in other countries. But the service was not working for four hours, for reasons that were not clear.

To try and keep people safe, police were spread out along streets across the country. The police kept in touch with each other using walkie-talkies and radios. People who had medical problems were told to drive directly to the hospital.



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