World in brief: Nov. 10, 2010

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland
Scientists at St. Andrews University in Scotland have developed a material called “Metaflex”, which may in the future provide means to create an invisibility cloak. The fabric is scientifically complex, where special “membranes” behave unnaturally in order for the material to manipulate light, rendering itself invisible for prolonged wavelengths of time. The product is still in testing stages.

Early this month, San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a law banning the giveaway of toys in accompaniment with food purchase, cracking down on various fast food chains city-wide. Dubbed the “Happy Meal Ban,” the decree requires that meals must meet a specific nutritional guideline before it can be sold in unison with a toy. Passing with a majority vote on the board, officials claim the ban helps discourage unhealthy meal choices for children.

PERTH, Australia
A 19-year-old dive tour leader survived an attack by a ten-foot long great white shark, escaping with 200 stitches to her legs. The young woman was leading a group up Australia’s coastline and never saw the shark coming, letting it sink its teeth into her legs. One of the thirty-three swimmers Trevor Burns took action, physically grabbing the shark’s tail to free its grip on the woman’s body and leading her to the surface where a helicopter waited. She is now being treated in hospital.

YANGON, Myanmar
The country, which had not seen an election since 1990, finally allowed citizens access to voting stations across the nation earlier this week. 40,000 polling stations were opened for approximately ten hours, showing citizens the first federal election in 20 years. However, much criticism arose due to circulating belief that the rare appearance of the ballot was fixed to favour the existing military rule. There are those who believe that regardless of the outcome, change will ensue.

LONDON, England
Facebook has officially gone Royal – Buckingham Palace has announced Queen Elizabeth II’s Facebook fan page, where millions of users can now “like” the British monarch. Although the Palace makes it clear that one cannot add the Queen as a friend, or virtually “poke” her as they would other friends, they will receive live updates of monarchial activity in their news feed.

—Compiled by Leeza Pece