News Roundup: March 16

Ah! I am a little bit late, so many apologies there, but today is Thursday, 16 of March and these are the stories that interest me!

The Netherlands are having their national election today, and it seems that Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s centre-right party is leading in exit polls. Accordingly, it looks like his party will capture 31 seats of the parliament putting the party in the drivers seat in forming government. The turnout for the election looks to be at around 81%, leading many to believe pro-EU people came out for the vote. Geert Wilders, whose “Party for Freedom” had been leading in the previous weeks looks hold 19 seats. The biggest movement of the night seems to be coming from the LeftGreens party, who has jumped from 4 seats to 16, making them a contender for a coalition government. Several European countries have congratulated the Prime Minister in calls, and the French President saying that the Netherlands has “Stemmed the tide of the far-right”

In a World’s first, the New Zealand Parliament is set to pass a bill granting a river Human Legal status. The Whanganui River (Pronounced- “Fong-a-nu-e”) has long been targets for protection by the Maori iwi (tribe) for decades, wanting to preserve the area and protect it from development and over usage. The new law would work just like a charitable trust or an incorporated society, with trustees for the river legally required to act in its best interest. The legislation also recognises the deep spiritual connection between the Whanganui iwi and its ancestral river and created a strong platform for the river’s future.

Scientist have announced that they have been able to create a embryo completely from stem cells, and not from an egg and sperm.  The mouse embryo, is a major step toward creating synthetic embryos that closely resemble natural one, and will help in understand the early development of real embryos. The goal is to not make a new mouse from the embryo, but rather understand better what communication happens between cells at the beginning stages of fertilisation.


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