Headlines from around the world: 4/28/14

Following a federal appeals court ruling that struck down Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed rules to guarantee a free and open internet, the FCC has announced it will propose rules that would allow internet content providers to pay for special lanes to deliver content faster. Consumer advocacy groups are attacking the proposal on the basis that prices for service providers that can afford the fast lanes such as Disney or Netflix would probably be made to raise prices, while at the same time, smaller start-ups will be unable to afford the lanes which would stifle creativity and innovation online.

Japanese rail operator JR Tokai has announced that it would not charge the US to license its proprietary ‘Maglev’ technology in hopes that the technology will be used on a proposed rail line between Baltimore and Washington D.C. The technology allows trains to hover four inches off their track and travel at speeds exceeding 300 mph. In addition to the removal of the licensing fee, the Japanese government intends to finance half of the cost of construction through the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

In retaliation for a London hair salon running a flyer for a sale on men’s haircuts which implied that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un had a bad hair cut, North Korea has written an official letter of complaint to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK. The formal complaint came after a North Korean embassy official came in person to M&M Hair Academy to demand the “disrespectful” poster be removed from their shop window. A spokesperson from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has noted that the letter was received and “[the office] will respond in due course”.

For the first time, scientists will be able to directly observe planets outside of the solar system after construction on the European Extremely Large Telescope. The telescope is being made in Europe and will be transported and assembled in Chile after the top of the mountain Cerro Armazones is removed with dynamite. The location was chosen based on the air being as dry as possible in the area, and this will prevent water molecules from obscuring the view from the telescope as this normally occurs to ground based telescopes.

The Food and Drug Administration is proposing a change to laws regarding spent grain making it so that companies which distribute spent grain to be used as animal feed would be classified as animal feed manufacturers. The proposal has outraged brewery owners and farmers as spent grain from alcohol production is usually sold as animal feed, but as of now does not have to be dried or packaged first. This would force breweries to either spend several million dollars on equipment to prepare the grain for feed or dispose of it in a landfill, possibly raising prices for consumers.

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