Notes and shorts from around the world


Life saver
A device that can stem bleeding from a stab wound in under a minute is the British contender for a prestigious design award. Joseph Bentley,
a 22-year-old product design graduate from Essex, had the idea after two of his friends were stabbed, one nearly fatally. The invention is a drill-sized device that inflates a silicon balloon inside a wound, stopping bleeding and allowing a clot to form. It is designed for first responders such as the police to use while they wait for medical assistance. Current alternatives such as tight gauze dressings are often unable to prevent blood loss and haemorrhaging. The React (Rapid Emergency Actuating Tamponade) device, which is undergoing medical testing, could save hundreds of lives a year. It is the UK entry in the international James Dyson Award, for which a final shortlist will be announced in October.
Celebrity blacklisted
One of China’s most high profile TV actresses has become the latest victim of Beijing’s crackdown on celebrity power and influence. Zheng Shuang, 30, was convicted of tax fraud recently, and fined $64 million. A TV drama she starred in has been withdrawn, and TV stations have been banned from inviting her on to their shows. Zheng’s reputation collapsed earlier this year when she was accused by her former partner of abandoning their two children, born to surrogate mothers in the US.
Wurst is over
Four universities in Berlin have announced that their 34 canteens will in future serve mainly vegetarian and vegan meals to help make campuses more climate friendly. From October, no meat will be served on Mondays, and the vast majority of dishes on other days will also be meat free. According to the UN, farming animals is responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions, and though German cuisine is meat-based, the universities say students had called for more plant-based meals. In one survey, almost half of students in Berlin described themselves as vegan or vegetarian.
Armed and dangerous
A driver found in his upturned car beside the A381 in Devon, UK, told police he had swerved to avoid an octopus. Officers said they had not found an octopus at the spot, some 3.2km from the sea, and arrested him on suspicion of drug driving.
Bons mots
“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” – Will Durant, historian and philosopher, USA

Scroll to Top