News Briefs

What you need to know locally, nationally and globally



Three UB startups receive federal funding

The National Science Foundation (NSF) distributed large awards to three UB startups, according to UB Now.

Ferric, Contrast Inc., Sunny Clean Water LLC both received $225,000, and Neurovascular Diagnostics, Inc. received $224,000 for research to advance the safety of MRI scans, help alleviate worldwide drinking water shortages and develop early identification of unruptured brain aneurysms, respectively.

Margret Atwood to speak at UB

Bestselling author Margaret Atwood will speak at the CFA Mar. 9, preceding the “Humanities to the Rescue” film festival that weekend.

The author, best known for writing “The Handmaid’s Tale” is the 2017-18 Eileen Silvers Visiting Professor in the Humanities. Discounted student tickets are available for $8.


New monument will honor African American soldiers

A new monument paying homage to African American veterans will be built along the waterfront at the Buffalo and Erie County naval and Military Park this spring. The African-American Veterans Monument of Western New York, funded by a $600,000 state grant, will be the latest addition to the naval park’s Veterans Park walkway, according to WBFO.

Renderings of the monument show a dozen 10-foot black concrete pillars, designed by local concrete company Solid716, each representing one of the major wars U.S. African American soldiers participated in.

Inactivity increases cancer risk

A new study by Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center concludes that physical inactivity drastically increases the risk of lung, neck and head cancers. Rates of lung cancer of the least active patients were doubled and rates of neck and head cancers were tripled.

Hundreds of Roswell Park patients from 1990 to 1998 completed a questionnaire assessing their physical activity through adulthood and compared it with individuals who were cancer free.

Researchers told The Buffalo News small changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and any amount of regular exercise can be protective against cancer.


Space X Heavy Falcon launch

Elon Musk’s company SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket into space on Tuesday. It was the first time a rocket sponsored by a private company –– instead of a government space agency –– headed to space, according to The New York Times.

The rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with Musk’s red Tesla Roadster as the sole passenger. The rocket’s success improves Musk’s track record after past rockets have exploded on the launch pad or failed to reach space.

Steve Wynn resigns as chairman and CEO of his own company

Las Vegas tycoon Steve Wynn resigned as chairman and CEO of his company, Wynn Resorts, Tuesday after numerous accounts of sexual misconduct allegations spanning decades surfaced. The casino mogul also resigned from his position as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee on Jan. 27 due to the same allegations, according to The New York Times.

The allegations have shed light on the poor working conditions for women in the Las Vegas service industry, whose bosses often chose to ignore acts of sexual harassment in fear of losing expensive customers.

Wynn Resorts president Matt Maddox, who has worked for the company since 2002, will replace Wynn.


Kim Jong-un’s sister will attend Olympics

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is sending his younger sister to Pyeongchang for the Winter Olympics, marking the first time a member of the Kim dynasty will visit their southern counterpart.

South Korea’s Ministry of Unification released a statement Wednesday stating 30-year-old Kim Yo-jong will join North Korea’s high-level delegation under Kim Yong-nam, president of the North’s parliament, according to The New York Times.

The announcement comes only days after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced his guest to the Winter Olympics is Otto Warmbier, the father of the U.S. college student who died after being imprisoned in North Korea.

Taiwan hit by earthquake

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake killed at least eight and injured more than 200 Wednesday. Bridges and roads suffered serious damage throughout the Taiwanese city of Hualien on the island’s northeastern shores.

Many people are still unaccounted for and up to 40 people may have been trapped in a dilapidated building. Emergency workers used large beams to prop the building up and temporarily prevent it from falling, according to CNN.

This quake follows a 6.1 magnitude quake that hit the same region Sunday.