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Ten noteworthy items that happend over the summer

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | Lifestyles | August 31st, 2009

1. King of Pop; deceased
Eighteen days short of embarking on what fans anticipated to be a concert of a lifetime, Michael Jackson leaves only his legacy behind.

Sadly on June 25, Jackson passed away at the age of 50.

Jackson began his career in 1964 as a member of Jackson 5; his solo career began in 1971.

Jackson is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, has won several awards including one for “Most Successful Entertainer of all Time”.

He leaves behind three children.

2. It's official
Jon and Kate have ended their 10-year marriage with the announcement made on their hit reality show June 22.

Back and forth rumours had millions of fans wondering if rekindling was in the works for the famous reality show couple, but sadly the live national announcement made for a huge hit when the show aired that summer evening.

The couple will share custody of their eight kids with rotating shifts on their hit TV reality show.

3. Fawcett now an Angel
Sadly, a former Charlie's Angel passed away on June 25.

Farrah Fawcett was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2006 and immediately started taking treatment, which included chemo and surgery.

A talented actress and mother she leaves behind her 24-year-old son Redmond.

4. Deadly storm
Typhoon Morakot in Taiwan formed early on August 2, as an unnamed tropical depression. It quickly upgraded to a tropical storm and was given the name Morakot on August 3. The torrential rains that resulted from the storm killed an estimated 107 people in Taiwan, and over 600 persons went missing with an entire village of approximately 1,300 residents buried under. The damage was estimated at roughly $1.4 billion in Mainland China and in Taiwan the storm caused more than $209 million in agricultural damage.

5. Wildfire; 600 saved
Some 600 individuals have been rescued as a result of a dangerous wildfire that spread abruptly across northern California's Santa Cruz Mountains.

The fires began Wednesday August 12.

6. Robber out for money
In a span of four hours several robberies took place in London on the night of Tuesday August 11, which led to a London Police officer firing 19 shots at a suspect, who had crashed a stolen truck in a residential neighbourhood.

7. HIV vaccine ready for human patients
A Canadian HIV vaccine ready for human patients was fittingly announced on July 1. The test vaccine, developed in Canada, is awaiting permission to begin testing in the United States, and is being manufactured in a lab in Maryland near Washington, D.C.

The lab results from this particular vaccine have indicated no adverse side effects or safety risks during immunology tests performed on animals.

The toxicology tests are expected to include 40 to 50 HIV-positive volunteers in the U.S., and will be designed to test whether the vaccine is toxic in humans.

According to a 2008 United Nations report on AIDS, 33 million people were living with HIV in 2007. Two million people died of causes related to the disease that year.

8. Tanning bed causes fire; man survives
A Regina man escaped what could have potentially been a fatality when the tanning bed he was using caught fire. Striking nerves with tanning bed operators the World Health Organization has since stated that indoor tanning does carry an increased risk of skin cancer, skin aging and eye damage. Tanning beds causing fires is extremely rare, but the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the arm of the WHO that co-ordinates and conducts research on the causes of human cancers, has moved tanning beds to its highest cancer-risk category.

A report published in the medical journal Lancet Oncology on July 29 clearly stated that tanning beds are carcinogenic to humans. The use of sunlamps and sun beds was previously classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

To simplify what the research is suggesting, tanning beds are now in the same category as cigarettes, arsenic and plutonium.

9. Deadly asteroids too close to home
NASA does not have the money needed to track asteroids, a report has stated. NASA estimates there are roughly 20,000 asteroids and comets in our solar system that are potential threats to Earth. They are larger than 140 metres in diameter. Presently scientists are certain they know where approximately 6,000 of these objects are located. In a report, NASA stated it has completed about one-third of its assignment with its current telescope system; which needs to be upgraded.

10. Innovative agency improving economy
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on Thursday August 13 the creation of a new agency. The agency is set to boost the economic development in southern Ontario, which will be headquartered in the city of Kitchener and it will support economic development, innovation and diversification.

The agency will have a $1-billion budget over five years.
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