World News Briefs: Dec 9

MCPS school rankings
The newest rankings of high schools in the Maryland and D.C. areas was heavily dominated by Montgomery County schools. In the state of Maryland, the top 10 is filled with eight Montgomery County schools. Poolesville is ranked number one, and Walter Johnson and Walt Whitman were two and three, according to bethesdamagazine.com. Bethesda Chevy Chase is five, Richard Montgomery is six, Winston Churchill is seven, Montgomery Blair is eight and this school is 10. In the rankings of schools in the D.C. region, Montgomery County schools took seven of the top 10 spots. Poolesville dropped down to number two, in favor of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA. The only school in the Montgomery County area to drop out of the top 10 was this school. “I think it’s great for the community to have our school acknowledged and to rank high in some of the publications,” Walter Johnson Principal Jennifer Baker said when interviewed by The Guardian. The rankings are based on factors like grades, state test results, ACT scores and various survey responses, according to Niche.com.

New drug found in hopes of curing deadly diseases
A group of students at Sydney High School in Australia have recreated a drug known as Daraprim that can help patients suffering from malaria or AIDS. US Executive Martin Shkreli decided to raise the price of the original drug from $13.50 to $750, according to bbc.com. “It wasn’t terribly hard but that’s really the point, I think, because we’re high school students,” Charles Johnson, one of the students said to BBC.com. The students produced around 3.7 grams of pyrimethamine for $20. The same amount of the drug would normally cost up to $110,000, according to BBC.com. The students claim that the main purpose for recreating the drug was so that more people could afford it. “It seems totally unjustified and ethically wrong. It’s a life saving drug and so many people can’t afford it,” James Wood, one of the students said.

Diesel cars to be banned in near future
Four of the world’s biggest cities are planning to ban diesel cars from their roads within the next decade. The mayors of Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City officially announced plans to take diesel cars and vans of their roads by 2025, according to theguardian.com. This idea stems from a conference of mayors around the world where the main topic was climate change. “Mayors have already stood up to say that climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face. Today, we also stand up to say we no longer tolerate air pollution and the health problems and deaths it causes, particularly for our most vulnerable citizens,” Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said. Research has discovered that there are three million deaths a year because of polluted air, according to theguardian.com. But 2025 is a long time away when you consider the 467,000 premature deaths caused by air pollution in Europe every year,” Alan Andrews, a lawyer at NGO ClientEarth said.

Radley Ellenbogen, news editor

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