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News Roundup: Baseball, Slugs, 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.

G20 Meets in Japan

On Friday and Saturday, the Group of Twenty (G20) met in Osaka, Japan. The G20 is a group of 19 countries plus the European Union. G20 countries were meeting to discuss things like business, money, technology, and the environment.

One result of the meeting is that the US and China have agreed to talk more about rules for buying and selling things between the two countries. This may help slow down the “trade war” that has been growing between the two countries, as each side puts more taxes on products from the other country.

Nineteen of the G20 members agreed again about how important it is to fight the climate crisis.  The US refused to sign that part of the agreement.

Oregon Republicans Run From Climate Bill

Another example of US politicians avoiding the climate crisis comes from Oregon. Republican  lawmakers in Oregon left the state so that Democrats  could not hold a vote on a bill (a planned law) dealing with the climate crisis. Without the Republicans, the Democrats didn’t have enough people in the state Senate to hold a vote. The state’s Democratic governor asked state police to find the lawmakers and bring them back to do their jobs.

The bill would have required polluters to cut back on their pollution and/or pay for their pollution. The hope was that companies would pollute less if they had to pay for it. People who didn’t like the bill thought that the extra charges would be passed on to ordinary people. They worried that the bill would hurt poor people and people who live outside of big cities.

The Republicans only began coming out of their hiding places recently. It seems unlikely that the bill can be passed now.

First US Pro Baseball Game Held in London

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox played the first US professional baseball game ever played in Europe on Saturday. The two teams, which have a long history of strong competition, were chosen to introduce the sport during the “London Series”.

Nearly 60,000 fans came to the event at London Stadium. And they certainly got what they paid for. It was a high-scoring baseball game which ended with a 17-13 win for the Yankees. The game lasted 4 hours and 42 minutes – just three minutes short of a record.

Tiny Slug Cuts Power to Japan’s High-Speed Rail Lines

On May 30, the power went out on a couple of high-speed train lines during rush hour in Kyushu, Japan. The power outage delayed 12,000 passengers and caused 26 trains to be cancelled.

The company which runs the rail lines has recently revealed what caused the outage: a tiny slug about an inch (2.5 centimeters) long. The slug crawled through an opening into an electrical box which helps control the power for the train lines. When the slug touched an electrical cable in the box, it was killed instantly, taking the train lines down with it.



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