In today’s edition of Squirrel News, we’re talking about Sierra Leone’s MPs voting unanimously to abolish the death penalty, plans to change the Highway Code in the UK and prioritise pedestrians and cyclists, and a beach buggy which uses AI to scoop up discarded cigarette butts.
Sierra Leone abolishes death penalty
MPs voted unanimously for abolition of the practice, making it the 23rd African state to end capital punishment.
Source: The Guardian
Pedestrians get priority as UK unveils changes to Highway Code
Plans to create “road user hierarchy” are part of £338m package to boost cycling and walking across Britain.
Source: The Guardian
New York bans child marriage
New York has now become the sixth state in the US to ban child marriage, with the legal age of consent to be married to be raised to 18.
Source: CBS News
Walmart will cover 100% of college tuition and textbook costs for its workers
The move by the USA’s largest retailer comes as a result of a drive to improve benefits for workers, and sets a precedent for other companies to follow suit.
Vineyards are set to go high tech and optimise water use with smart systems
The University of Adelaide is developing water sensors, thermal imaging and rovers with AI in order to help winegrowers in South Australia manage their crops and optimise their water usage.
Source: BBC News
High school students build device allowing people in wheelchairs to walk their babies
The WheeStroll Wheelchair Stroller Attachment will allow those with walking difficulties to share in the joy of walking their child, something many able-bodied parents take for granted.
Sri Lanka’s old buses are becoming homes for marine life
The government has begun the process of sinking decommissioned buses and boats at selected sites along the country’s coast, with the intention of repurposing them as fish-breeding hubs.
The ancient practice of prescribed burning is fighting wildfires before they start in California
By employing frequent, low-intensity fires, “burn bosses” are able to control the direction in which the wildfire spreads – potentially saving hundreds of lives and homes.
Source: The New York Times
South Carolina homeless shelter has an on-site lawyer to handle civil legal issues
Jeffrey Yungman is based at Charleston’s One80 Place, a shelter offering social support and services to vulnerable members of the city’s population.
Source: Next City
An AI-driven robot cleans up the beach one cigarette butt at a time
BeachBot is a beach buggy with a big mission: to use AI-based sensors to locate discarded cigarette butts before grabbing and safely depositing them into an on-board storage compartment.