Week of 12/12/16-12/16/16
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The University of Michigan and Google have created both an app and a website together with the goal of assisting the residents of Flint, Michigan and the water situation there. University of Michigan computer science researchers on the Ann Arbor and Flint campuses developed the app with the technical and financial support of Google. The app, called MyWater-Flint, is designed to provide information about lead testing results, water testing, where pipes have been replaced and the location of distribution centers for water and filters, as well as predictions for which homes are more likely to have higher lead levels based on age, location, value and size. Another goal the creators of the app have is to repair the relationship between the city officials, who will also be using this app, and the residents, many of whom expressed anger and frustration with the city’s seeming lack of progress to aid the clean water issue.
President-elect Donald Trump is considering selecting Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, who is also the CEO of ExxonMobil. The decision is controversial because Tillerson is a big face of oil companies globally. He also is known for his concerns about climate change and his close business ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump will make a decision midweek.
There has been a bombing at Egypt’s main coptic Christian cathedral. So far, 25 people have been killed and 49 were injured during Sunday’s mass. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Islamic extremists have targeted Christians in Egypt in the past, therefore they are the chief suspects. Regardless of who is behind the bombing, the attack was likely to deal a setback to Egypt’s struggle to regain normalcy and revive its ailing economy since a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak’s regime in 2011.
An American journalist, Austin Tice, went missing in Syria in August of 2012. Texas Sen. John Cornyn believes there is “highest confidence” that Tice is alive in Syria. Five weeks after Tice disappeared, a short video clip appeared online showing him in captivity by “apparent jihadists”, according to his family. Tice is the only American journalist still held captive in Syria.
Paleontologist Xing Lida found the tail of a 99 million-year-old dinosaur embedded in amber, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists. Fragments of dinosaur-era feathers have been found in amber before, but this is the first time part of a skeleton has accompanied it. The amber adds to fossil evidence that dinosaurs were not scaled monsters, but rather feathery creatures.