Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on stage
Image: © Rick T. Wilking / AP/Press Association Images

Presidential debate, ‘suspended adulthood’, Martian colony. 24-30 September: What just happened?

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump go head to head, young Brits suffer as financial reality bites, and plans announced to colonize Mars. Here's our review of the news over the last seven days

The ‘debate of the century’ sees Clinton trump Trump

US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced each other in a live TV debate for the first time this week, as the American election edges ever closer. There was lots up for discussion including trade, jobs and taxes, which we’ve covered in our round-up, but the ‘debate of the century’ also featured some pretty personal stuff too. Clinton attacked Trump over his business practices; Trump had a go at Clinton’s husband for passing the controversial trade deal NAFTA. Most commentators have Hillary coming out on top. Take a look at the Independent’s assessment here, and also at NPR’s rather useful fact-checking report, which catches out both candidates (but especially Trump) for spinning the odd tall tale.

‘Suspended adulthood’ a reality for many young Brits

People walking on a London street

Million of young Britons are facing despair as financial worries mean life is becoming increasingly difficult, according to a new poll. Large numbers describe themselves as worn down (42%), lacking self-confidence (47%) and feeling worried about the future (51%). It suggests that low pay and lack of work are resulting in a ‘suspended adulthood’ for thousands of young people between the ages of 18-30, many whom have to live (or move back in) with their parents in order to make ends meet. High housing costs - which are leading to many under-30s leaving London - are also contributing to the problem. The charity that organized the poll say that the UK is facing a “generation of young people in crisis”. The Guardian has the full story.

Get your ass to Mars

The martians from Mars Attacks
Ack! Ack! Ack!

Tesla boss Elon Musk this week outlined his vision for a human colony on Mars, with the first flights potentially as soon as 2022. Yes, soon we’ll all soon be able to join Arnold Schwarzenegger and Matt Damon on the red planet, that’s if you can afford the $200,000 ticket. Musk’s plan will employ reusable shuttles carrying 100 passengers at a time, and taking 80 days to reach their destination. The fleet will be funded with profits from his company SpaceX, his own wealth, and other possible investors. He thinks a colony of a million people is possible in the next 100 years. If it happens, that’s an entire new economy to consider. The BBC has more details, and you can also watch the full presentation on YouTube.

Shocking scale of illegal wildlife trafficking revealed

A family of elephants walk through long grass

Organized criminal gangs are making millions from illegal wildlife trafficking, according to a new investigation by the Guardian. It reports that tens of thousands of wild animals, including elephants, tigers and rhinos, are being killed for parts which are then transported from Africa and sold in Asia as part of the market in traditional medicines. Apparently, the trade has very high profit margins, with a pair of rhino horns selling for 400 times in China what they would in some African countries. The whole industry is supposedly worth some $23 billion a year, making it the fourth most lucrative black market after drugs, people and arms smuggling.

In other news…

Iceland v Iceland. The British supermarket Iceland could face a battle to save its name after the government of Iceland (the country) said it’s considering launching legal action. Finally, perhaps mom will stop jetting off to Reykjavik all the time.

No-so Quality Street. There’s been outrage on social media after Nestlé replaced the Toffee Deluxe sweet in their much-loved chocolate brand Quality Street with a Honeycomb Crunch, following extensive “consumer research”. The nerve.

Back to Black. Artist Anish Kapoor has acquired exclusive rights to the world’s blackest ever black. Called Vantablack, it’s apparently the second blackest thing in the universe after black holes. But some other artists are annoyed, saying no one person should have a monopoly over the use of a color.

Monster Trucks, monster problem

The forthcoming film Monster Trucks is already raising eyebrows due to the fact that it’s expected to lose around $115 million. It seems Paramount Pictures is already allowing for the film to be a huge flop, before it’s even released. Could that have anything to do with the fact that it was ‘written’ by a four-year-old? Yep, the former studio president Adam Goldman reportedly let his young son come up with the idea for Paramount’s next major blockbuster. In this case, some monsters that actually live in trucks. Hey presto, Monster Trucks. Who knows, maybe it’s the next Harry Potter. Maybe not. Take a look at the trailer and judge for yourself.

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