5 Stories: Iron Man-like jetpacks, Russian rugball and other stories you missed

PBS NewsHour’s “5 STORIES” serves up the most interesting stories from around the world that you may have missed.

On this week’s episode:

Women combating explosives

Fourteen Iraqi women have joined forces to become the first all female landmine clearing team in their region. And in doing so, they’re working to break down gender norms while making their home a safer place to live.

Together, the women help demine thousands of acres of land in and around the city of Basra, an area still peppered with explosives from the Iraq-Iran and Gulf wars.

Whitest paint ever created

Purdue University engineers have created the whitest paint ever.

The ultra-white paint is made with Barium sulfate, which reflects all wavelengths of sunlight. Most white paints use titanium dioxide as a pigment, which does reflect visible and infrared wavelengths but absorbs UV rays.

The new paint reflects 98.1 percent of sunlight and could reduce the need for air-conditioning and help combat climate warming.

Russian rugball gets renewed attention

Rugball isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a combination of basketball, rugby and wrestling that first began in Russia in the 1990s.

Rugball received official recognition as a sport in Russia in 2003. Today, only eight or nine teams compete in the Russian Rugball Federation’s annual championship tournament, but enthusiasts hope a recent increase in public attention will help the sport become more mainstream.

Giant googly eyes reduce bird deaths

Giant googly eyes are being placed on buoys to help reduce bird entanglements. British and Estonian researchers put giant googly eyes, called “looming eyes buoy,” on buoys to act as floating scarecrows.

Fishing nets kill at least 400,000 seabirds each year. That’s one of the reasons the species group is one of the most threatened in the world.

In a new study published in the journal, Royal Society Open Science, the research team says, good ole loomey-eyes can reduce the number of seabirds killed in a fishing net by up to 30 percent.

Iron Man-like jetpacks

The British Royal Marines test Iron Man-like jetpacks that can fly up to 80mph and climb 12,000 feet off the south coast of the UK.

The Royal Marines teamed up with Gravity Industries to test the 43,000 dollar suits. The jetsuits can be used to successfully board an in-motion military ship for rescue missions and as a quick option to board a ship taken over by pirates.

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