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Current Events

Keep up-to-date with current events. Find out what's going on in the world around you.


Miss Piggy, Muppets Join Kermit in Smithsonian
September 24, 2013
The National Museum of American History is now home to dozens of Muppets and props from the televised genius of Jim Henson. Kermit the Frog was already in the Smithsonian, but Miss Piggy is now there as well, as are Ernie and Bert, Grover, Cookie Monster, Count von Count, Fozzie Bear, the Swedish Chef, and several other well-known puppet characters who starred in The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and Fraggle Rock. Miss Piggy made quite a splash in her new venue, wearing the Hope Diamond.

Billionaire Unveils Plans for Chinese Hollywood
September 24, 2013
A Chinese billionaire played host to some of the world's most famous faces in unveiling plans for a Chinese version of Hollywood. Wang Jianlin, widely believed to be China's richest man, announced his vision for a massive film studio complex in Qingdao, a city in the northeast part of the country. The Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis will have 20 studios, including one studio that is permanently underwater.

New Zealand to Land Planes in Antarctica
September 24, 2013
A New Zealand airline has announced that its planes will transport scientists to Antarctica and land on a runway made (of course) of ice. Air New Zealand, the country's flagship air transport company, said that it would fly Boeing 767-300 jets, normally used for transporting passengers. The Antarctic flights would be science-only, although the scientists' support crews would be able to come along.

Giant Rubber Duck Thrills Taiwan
September 20, 2013
A giant duck has captivated crowds of people in Taiwan. Thousands of people, including some dressed accordingly, welcomed the giant art work to Kaohsuing harbor. The duck, which is 59 feet tall and weighs 1,300 pounds, is the creation of Dutch artist Florentjin Hofman. The giant floating rubber art work will remain in Kaohsuing until October 20, and then travel to other Taiwanese cities.

North Korea Stops Family Reunions
September 21, 2013
North Korea has nixed a plan to reunite hundreds of family members separated by the Demilitarized Zone for decades. North Korea and South Korea had agreed in August to give up to 100 people from each country permission to meet September 25–30 at the North's Diamond Mountain resort in what was sure to be an emotional reunion. Some families have remained separated since the end of the Korean War, in 1953. Other families have been separated by intentional distance, as some people have fled the North for the South in the decades since the war, in search of employment and safety.

Egyptian Constitution-writing Panel on Schedule
September 22, 2013
The group writing Egypt's new draft constitution has announced its intention to meet its end-of-November deadline for a referendum. A spokesman for the panel, which is led by former presidential candidate and Arab League leader Amr Moussa, said that the 50-member panel, which began its work on September 6, had approved one-third of the articles of the new governmental blueprint and were on target to finish the other two-thirds in the next several weeks.

College Freshman, 11, Pursuing Quantum Physics Dream
August 29, 2013
A freshman at Texas Christian University this fall is 11. He is Carson Huey-You, and he wants to be a quantum physicist. Being the youngest student in his class is not new for Huey-You. He was co-valedictorian of his senior class at Accommodated Learning Academy in Grapevine, Texas. He graduated with a 4.0 GPA and scored a cumulative 1770 on the SAT (out of a possible 2400).

China Wants to Crack Down on Homework
August 28, 2013
The Chinese Government is going ahead with a crackdown of a different kind. This one is on the amount of homework that Chinese students get assigned, by their teachers and by their parents.

Peru Plans Tramway to Fabled Ruins
August 28, 2013
An aerial tramway is planned to make one of Peru's fabled relics a reality for most travelers. The ruined city of Choquequirao is far less well-known than the famous Machu Picchu, yet the two are remarkably similar. Choquequirao is much harder to get to: Visitors must fly into Cuzco (the former Inca capital), drive four hours over mountain roads that often have floods or landslides, and then, at the end of the road, hike for at least 12 more hours. The number of visitors to this ruins, called the "cradle of gold" is a small handful.

Large Crowd Commemorates 'I Have a Dream' Speech
August 24, 2013
Tens of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

Koreas Agree to Revive Family Reunions
August 23, 2013
North Korea and South Korea have formally agreed to again allow reunions of families who have been divided since the Korean War. The number taking part will not be significant. Only 100 people from each country will be allowed to meet their relatives in person. The reunions will take place from September 25 to September 30 at the Diamond Mountain resort, which is in southeastern North Korea.

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Reports Serious Leak
August 23, 2013
The Japanese government is again under pressure to fix the ongoing problems at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, after new reports of toxic water leaking out of storage tanks. In addition, new spots of high radiation have been reported.

Mubarak Leaves Prison Awaiting Retrial
August 22, 2013
Former President Hosni Mubarak has left prison but perhaps not for good. The 85-year-old ex-president, granted a reprieve from a prison stay, went into house arrest, awaiting another hearing in a court-ordered retrial on charges of corruption and of playing a role in the killing of unarmed protesters in the wake of the pivotal events that forced him from power in early 2011.

Archaeologists Go Digging for Mona Lisa DNA
August 12, 2013
When is the Mona Lisa not the Mona Lisa? That question might be answered soon, if the results of DNA testing pan out the way scientists want. A group of researchers in Italy have opened a tomb containing the bones of the children of Lisa del Giocondo, who was thought to be Leondardo's inspiration for the Mona Lisa, in order to gain DNA samples from the children's bones and match it to DNA found on a body believed to that of their mother, buried in a different place. A DNA match would enable the scientists to recreate a portrait of Giocondo, which might just match the famous painting.

Doctors Prescribing Fruits, Veggies to Fight Obesity
July 28, 2013
Children's hospitals across the U.S. are prescribing fruits and vegetables in an effort to address an increasing rate of childhood obesity.

Egyptian Unrest Stalls U.S. Jet Delivery
July 24, 2013
The United States has not yet withheld the $1.3 billion annual military aid package to Egypt, but America is delaying the shipment of four F-16 fighter jets. Joint military exercises between the two countries, scheduled for later in the year, might be called into question.

Google to Fund Free Wi-Fi in San Francisco
July 24, 2013
Google will provide fee Wi-Fi to parks and open spaces across San Francisco. The Internet search engine provider will fund the program with a $600,000 grant. The San Francisco Department of Technology and a citizens group will do the installation and network maintenance at the 31 locations across the City by the Bay. The network will be running by spring 2014.

Digital Boosts Comics Sales to Lofty Heights
July 22, 2013
Comic books are alive and thriving, thanks in increasing part to the advent of digital. In a way that coffee table books and technical manuals don't necessarily, comics lend themselves more to a digital presentation. This is borne out by a huge increase in sales of "electronic" comics in the past year.

New King Takes Over in Belgium
July 21, 2013
Belgium has a new king. King Albert II stepped aside on Belgium Day, the country's national holiday, and made way for his son, who became King Philippe I. Albert is 79; Philippe is 53.

Egyptian Constitution Revision Under Way
July 21, 2013
Interim President Anly Mansour's nominees for amending Egypt's constitution are hard at work, with a fast-track transition plan calling for elections within just a few months.

Abe Strengthens Hand in Japanese Elections
July 21, 2013
The Liberal Democratic Party won a controlling majority of the upper house of Japan's parliament, completing a trifecta for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Abe, elected recently for a second time, after an inconclusive few-months rule in 2007, had announced plans for reigniting the country's economic output, which has been dubbed "Abenomics." The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) already had control of the lower house of parliament.

Dueling Protests Punctuate Egyptian Unrest
July 18, 2013
In separate protests in Cairo, Alexandria, and other cities, supporters of the government turned out to show their backing for the interim leaders and supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi turned out to voice their opposition to that new government.

Egypt Interim Cabinet Sworn In
July 17, 2013
Egypt has an interim cabinet, which will be the de facto government until a new consitution is in place and new members of parliament and a new president are elected.

Magna Carta Originals to Commemorate 800th Anniversary
July 17, 2013
To commemorate the 800th anniversary of the approval of Magna Carta, the British Library will display all four surviving original copies of the famous document for three days only, in June 2015. It will be the first time that the four copies have been together since they were created.

Twinkies Return with a Bite Taken Out
July 15, 2013
Twinkies are back on store shelves, the result of a slight downsizing that involved both the owner and the product itself. The production mechanism is leaner, and the Twinkies themselves are a bit smaller than they were before.

Accusations, Protests Further Fragment Egypt
July 13, 2013
The political situation in Egypt continues to be fragmented and polarized, with the interim government floating the idea of pressing criminal charges against deposed President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood campaigning heavily for the reinstatement of Morsi and the elected government.

Sphinx Fragment Found in Israel
July 10, 2013
An archaeological dig in Israel has turned up an artifact and a riddle. The artifact is the feet of Egyptian sphinx. The riddle is how the feet got there.

Egypt Names Top Officials; Money Pours in
July 9, 2013
Egypt is reaping big monetary dividends as it expands the membership in the interim government to replace former President Mohamed Morsi. Saudi Arabia will send $5 billion in aid, in the form of money and products, and the United Arab Emirates will send $3 billion, in the form of a cash grant and a bank loan.

New York Revs Up New Handicapped Sign
July 9, 2013
Guerrilla art in Boston has prompted New York City to change its handicapped sign. The sign, which depicts a person sitting ramrod straight and immobile in a wheelchair, is instantly recognizable. The initial design, in which the person had no discernible head, was created in 1968. The head was added a bit later, but now the sign is getting a bit of a facelift. Two artists in Boston began painting a different sort of person on their city's handicapped signs. In the Boston version, the person is leaning forward, with arms on the wheels, suggesting moving forward at speed.

Twinkies Shelf Life at 45 Days
July 8, 2013
The new owers of Twinkies have boosted the shelf life of the iconic snack to 45 days. The famed spongy yellow cakes will be back on store shelves on July 15.

Community Cooperation Transforms Watershed into Garden, Greenery
July 8, 2013
Volunteers building a community garden are helping transform a once-polluted waterway into a green space full of food and art. The "Healthy People, Healthy River" project targets a 28-mile space in urban Cincinnati that has been home to more pollutants in recent years than the people living in the neighborhood would have liked. The project, coordinated by the community-based nonprofit Groundwork Cincinnati, aims to spruce up the waterway by planting trees, fruits, and vegetables. Other community groups and volunteer organizations are onboard as well.

Army Gives Morsi 48 Hours to Achieve Reconciliation
July 1, 2013
The Egyptian military has issued an ultimatum, instructing President Mohamed Morsi’s government and its political opponents to come to some formal agreement or the generals will step in, as they did in 2011, when Hosni Mubarak fled from power.

Massive Protests Mark Morsi Anniversary
June 30, 2013
Protesters in the hundreds of thousands gathered in Cairo and in many other cities to vent their frustration with the performance of Mohamed Morsi as President. It was just one year ago that he was inaugurated as the first freely elected leader of Egypt in many, many years.

Re-enactment Marks 150th Anniversary at Gettysburg
July 1, 2013
All ended happily, if with a somber tone, at the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. At a National Park Service-backed re-enactment near the central Pennsylvania town that shares its name with the famous battle, hundreds of Civil War buffs played the parts of soldiers involved in the pivotal events of that three-day battle

Twinkies Back on Shelves July 15
June 25, 2013
Newly produced Twinkies will be back on store shelves on July 15, the new owners of the well-known snack have announced. The price of a box of 10 Twinkies will not change. It will still be $3.99.

Smithsonian Claims Full T-Rex Skeleton
June 27, 2013
T-Rex is coming to the Smithsonian, complete. The National Museum of Natural History, a part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., will have a full Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton on display in a new dinosaur hall in 2019. The museum expects a sharp upturn in attendance, already at more than 7 million visitors a year.

Teen's Poem Appears on Irish Stamp
June 26, 2013
A recently issued Irish postage stamp tells its own story, literally. The bright yellow 60-cent stamp appeared earlier this year, to mark the designation of Dublin, Ireland, as a UNESCO City of Literature. The Irish stamp displays the entirety of a 224-word story written by 17-year-old Eoin Moore. The story is of the city itself and describes its historical and literary legacy.

U.S. Tops in Education Spending, Not So Much in Results
June 26, 2013
The U.S. is first in spending on education among developed nations, but that spending doesn't necessarily equate to higher results, a new study has found.

NYC Rolls Out Signs for Pedestrians
June 25, 2013
New York City will install a number of signs to help pedestrians gain their bearings and more easily plan their destinations.

Ancient Roman Concrete Outperforms Modern Equivalent
June 25, 2013
The wonders of ancient Roman concrete continue to amaze scientists, and now the ancient formula is known to modern minds. Researchers in Europe and the United States have found the formula that the Romans used to create concrete that has stood the test of time, by analyzing samples from breakwaters in the Mediterranean basin. The answer is in both the ingredients and the production method.

Mayflower Launch Town Sending Replica for 400th Anniversary
June 25, 2013
The English town of Harwich is building a replica of the Mayflower to send to the U.S. to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the famous trans-Atlantic voyage of the Pilgrims.

Twinkies Back on Shelves July 15
June 25, 2013
Newly produced Twinkies will be back on store shelves on July 15, the new owners of the well-known snack have announced. The price of a box of 10 Twinkies will not change. It will still be $3.99.

Morsi Support Low Ahead of One-year Anniversary
June 25, 2013
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has hit a new low, with public support for the embattled leader at just 28 percent. June 30 marks the one-year anniversary of his ascension to the presidency, as the backup candidate of the dominant Muslim Brotherhood, which also secured a majority in Parliament (in the one house whose members haven't been sent home by the judiciary). But it has been a troublesome year, many insist.

Frederick Douglass Statue Unveiled in U.S. Capitol
June 20, 2013
Frederick Douglass literally stands tall in the nation's capital. Douglass, one of the American abolitionist movement's most fiery voices, has taken his place alongside statues of representatives of America's 50 statues in the U.S. Capitol, representing the District of Columbia.

Jungle-covered Mayan City Discovered
June 20, 2013
A team of archaeologists have found a city once populated by Maya that has remained hidden in the jungle for centuries. The team, led by a Slovenian professor, found the city, which they named Chactun, a dozen miles away from the modern small Mexican town of Xpujil, in eastern mexico, in the central lowlands of the Yucatan Peninsula.

6th Century Mural Tomb Discovered in China
June 18, 2013
Archaeologists have uncovered the tomb of a Chinese military commander and his wife, who were buried nearly 1,500 years ago. The murals are particularly well preserved. Showing scenes from ancient times, the murals fill the walls and even the ceiling of the tomb, with most of the scenes intact.

'You Say Soda, I Say Pop': Maps Show Regional Dialects Persist
June 18, 2013
Publishing at the right time is half the battle, prospective authors say. Such is the case with Joshua Katz, a doctoral student in statistics, whose linguistics research has gone viral in a big way. His recently published aggregated maps illustrating speech patterns by region across the United States have resulted in quick fame and 30 million pageviews in a week.

The site contains maps depicting responses to 120 questions, including these:

  • Pop, soda, or Coke?
  • Which syllable do you emphasize when you say 'Pecan'?
  • Trash can or garbage can?

Food Waste in U.S. Exceeds 90 Billion Pounds
June 18, 2013
Americans waste 90 billion pounds of food a year, a new study has found, and the consequences are widespread. The study, done by the Natural Resources Defense Council, estamed that the average family of four Americans wastes up to $2,275 of food each year, in food that is bought or prepared but not consumed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that Americans throw away 21 percent of the food that they buy.

Zoo Trail to Extend the Range of the Home
June 15, 2013
Animals at the Philadelphia Zoo are getting to live more like they would in the wild. The zoo, with 42 acres one of the largest in the U.S., has installed a series of caged trails and above-ground walkways that will allow the animals to wander from place to place (watched by zoo staff, of course). When the trail system is completed, in a few years, it will be the first such habitat-rotation system in the world.

Ill Boy Throws Telerobotic First Pitch from Miles Away
June 14, 2013
A teen boy with a rare blood disorder threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game, from 1,800 miles away. Nick LeGrande, an ardent fan of the Oakland Athletics baseball team, has severe aplastic anemia and spends a lot of time at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. Nick and his family live not far away. Nick is a big baseball fan but is not so much a fan of the local team, the Kansas City Royals. His team is the Oakland A's. And he was able to deliver the first pitch at a Yankees-A's game at the Oakland Coliseum, using a telerobotic pitching machine.

Lawsuit Challenges 'Happy Birthday' Copyright
June 14, 2013
The song "Happy Birthday" is under copyright, but that might be changing. Currently, the Warner/Chappell Music owns the copyright to the song, and everyone who sings the song in a movie or television show or TV commercial is required to pay a licensing fee, which is commonly several hundred dollars. However, a production company has filed a lawsuit, alleging that the copyright is well and truly expired.

Thousands Protest as Putin Launches New Party
June 14, 2013
Protesters in Russia again gathered in the thousands, more than a year after their most visible vocal opposition to date, to voice their disapproval of President Vladimir Putin. About 10,000 people chanted "Russia without Putin" in a march through Moscow, the Russian capital, as helmeted riot police looked on in silence. The protesters called for the relsease of activists jailed for their role in the 2012 protests against Putin's inauguration to his third presidential term. The protest ended peacefully, and later Putin took the stage at a separate meeting of the new political group the Popular Front, which has been created to supplant the existing United Russia, now holding a majority in government.

Chinese Ships Circle Disputed Islands
April 24, 2013
Tensions remain high in a dispute over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, with the latest spat incorporating a survey mission from one country and a fleet of ships from another country.Last month, China announced plans to send a team of people to do a survey of the islands. Japan reacted with a warning. The latest dispute was a reverse of roles, with a group of Japanese activists doing their own survey of the islands and Chian sending in eight surveillance ships in response. The Chinese ships crossed into Japanese territorial waters, but the Japanese response was not a "hot" one, despite earlier warnings to the contrary.

Proximity to Parks Boosts Happiness, Study Finds
April 24, 2013
Parks are good for our well-being, a new study has found. The study, to be published in the journal Psychological Science, found that people who lived in area with parks and other areas of greenery experienced a jump in well-being and life satisfaction, much more than people who lived in areas surrounded by concrete or steel.


Syrian Fighting Hits Another Famous Target
April 24, 2013
The ongoing civil war in Syria has resulted in severe damage to another famous building, this one the Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo. The Mosque is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as was the Souk Al-Madina, a wood-and-stone market that has stood since the Middle Ages. A fire caused by the fighting between Syrian government forces and armed opposition forces in Octobet 2012 destroyed much of the market, which had stood since the 14th Century. The mosque, which is near the Souk Al-Madina, was built in the 8th Century. Its minaret, or tower, was destroyed in the most recent fighting.

Morsi, Top Judges Meet Amid Judicial Crisis
April 22, 2013
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has been in emergency session with his country's top judges, after the justice minister resigned in protest of a proposal for judicial realignment.

Barge Traffic Halted on Mississippi River
April 22, 2013
The Coast Guard has suspended barge traffic on one part of the swollen Mississippi River, near Peoria, Ill., and is contemplating shipping restrictions at other points along America's major north-south waterway.

4500-Year-Old Harbor, Papyri Found in Egypt
April 21, 2013
Archaeologists have found remains of a harbor in use in Egypt 4,500 years ago and a fragment of the oldest papryus ever found. The papyri contain references to names of some of the boats moored in the harbor, as well as detailed descriptions of food shipments. One set of papyrus fragments is part of the diary of Merrer, a high-ranking official who was involved in the building of the Great Pyramid.

Oldest Printed American Book Up for Auction
April 21, 2013
The first book printed in what is now the U.S. is on tour, heading into auction. The Bay Psalm Book, printed in Cambridge in 1640, has gone on display at Sotheby's, in New York, and will be on public exhibition in several cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, before being put up for auction in November.

Original Basketball Rules Get Permanent Home
April 18, 2013
The rules of basketball will have a new home. The original two-page document containing James Naismith's 13 basic rules sold at auction in 2010 for $4.3 million. (At the time, it was the highest price ever paid for sports memorabilia.) An alumnus of the University of Kansas, where Naismith once coached, bought the rules, which will be displayed at a new center on the university campus.

Huge American Digital Library Unveiled
April 18, 2013
The Digital Public Library of America is online. The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is a massive online collection of materials from libraries, museums, and archives. Viewers can look up all manner of things and see all kinds of images, maps, and the like from years past. The DPLA will also make it data available for developers who want to create software applications (specifically mobile apps).

Thatcher Buried in Grand Style
April 17, 2013
Margaret Thatcher has been buried in the largest funeral production since that of Winston Churchill half a century before. Among the honors accorded to her was a gun salute from the Tower of London every minute, a military band playing, and the silence of the Big Ben bells. Among the 2,000 people who attended the funeral in St. Paul's Cathedral were two heads of state, 11 serving prime ministers, 17 foreign ministers, and many other dignitaries.

Margaret Thatcher biography

Huge Interest in Manned Mars Mission
April 16, 2013
The official application process hasn't begun yet, but many people have expressed strong interest in being part of a crew on the first human mission to Mars. Dennis Tito, the first space tourist, made another pitch for the Inspiration Mars Foundation and its 501-day flyby mission to the Red Planet, planned for January 2018. The mission, announced in February, would send two crew members, a man and a woman, to Mars and back at a time when the Sun is farthest away, so that solar radiation would be at a minimum.

States Cite Rising Cost as Reason for Leaving GED
April 14, 2013
Most U.S. states and the District of Columbia are taking a serious look at the General Education Development (GED) exam because of concerns about technology and cost.

Mubarak Retrial Delayed as Judge Leaves Case
April 14, 2013
The retrial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is on hold indefinitely, pending clarification of a number of issues, including who the presiding judge will be.

Postal Service to Keep Saturday Delivery
April 10, 2013
Saturday mail delivery will carry on, the U.S. Postal Service has announced, following a decision by Congress to prevent such a move.

Shipwreck Confirmed as 400-Year-Old Spanish Treasure Trove
April 8, 2013
The ruins of a ship 1,300 feet below the sea near the Florida Keys have been identified as a long-lost Spanish ship sunk 400 years ago. A hurricane battered the Buen Jesus y Nuestra Senora del Rosario and 27 other Spanish merchant vessels on Sep. 5, 1622. Twenty of the ships made it out of the storm. Eight ships sank, taking with them 500 people and a huge amount of treasure.

Survey: Bigger Plates Mean Bigger School Meals
April 8, 2013
It's the plate size, not what's offered, that determines how much students eat, a survey has found. The survey, published in the journal Pediatrics, reported that first-graders who were given adult-size plates (a 16-ounce bowl and a 10.25-inch-diameter plate) ate more calories than their first-grade counterparts who were given child-size plates (an 8-ounce bowl and a 7.25-inch-diameter plate).

National Spelling Bee to Add Vocabulary Component
April 8, 2013
The 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee will require competitors to prove their vocabulary knowledge as well as their spelling prowess.

New Detention Ordered for Mubarak
April 7, 2013
Egypt's top prosecutor has ordered former President Hosni Mubarak detained for 15 days, pending an investigation on renewed charges of corruption. Allegations are that he took more than $150 million in government funds earmarked for presidential palaces and spent the money instead on private residences for himself and his two sons.

China to Send Tourists to Disputed Islands
April 7, 2013
China is accelerating its ownership claims of a set of islands, despite assertions by other countries that they are the rightful owners. The dispute, not unlike that between Japan and Taiwan and China over a group of islands in the East China Sea, has heightened tensions in the region. The latest announcement from China is that a large cruise ship capable of holding nearly 2,000 passengers was set to sail for the islands, which are called Xisha by China and Hoang Sa by Vietnam.

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Reports More Contaminated Water
April 7, 2013
Contaminated water, more than 120 tons of it, has seeped into the ground from two holding tanks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. The report, issued by the plant's owner, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, was the latest in a long line of setbacks following the twin disasters of the 9.0 earthquake and resulting tsunami that hit the northeast of Japan two years ago.

MLK Center Launches Youth Nonviolence Campaign
April 4, 2013
On the 45th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., a center in his honor announced a new campaign to honor his memory. The King Center, in Atlanta, has launched "50 Days of Nonviolence," a campaign to urge students to choose nonviolence until the end of the school year, if not longer.

British Library to Chronicle Websites, All of Them
April 4, 2013
The British Library has announced plans to chart the Internet – well, the British Internet, anyway. The Library, one of the largest in the world, has made a name for itself in maintaining a copy of just about everything printed in Britain for hundreds and hundreds of years. Now, the Library is turning its attention to the digital world.

Massive Easter Egg Display Honors Longtime Creator
March 31, 2013
A giant Easter egg display on the lawn of a Lyndhurst, Ohio, home honors the creator of Eggshelland, a tradition that lasted more than 50 years. The collection of brightly colored eggs arrayed into various displays began in 1957, as Ron Manolio decorated his lawn with 750 eggs. Manolio carried on the tradition, making it bigger and better every year until his death last year. This year, his children and grandchildren have carried on the tradition, setting up 21,630 eggs in 24 colors in a large display that includes a 45-foot Christian cross, a giant Easter bunny, a large duck, several flowers, and a massive portrait of Manolio himself.

Snowy Storm Covers Most of Atlantic Ocean
March 31, 2013
The weather system that spawned a huge blizzard that blanketed much of the U.S. and Canada recently is now even larger, covering most of the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Weather Service. The storm, which dumped snow on 44 of the 50 U.S. states, merged with a few low-pressure systems in the western Atlantic, along with a combination of Gulf Stream-powered warm moisture and freezing winds from the far north. And, unlike other storms, this one hit an oceanic high-pressure system that stalled its progress eastward, creating a much stronger and larger storm than would otherwise have been.

Saudi Women Win Right to Form Sports Clubs
March 31, 2013
Women's sports clubs can go ahead in Saudi Arabia, in a further sign of growing rights for women in the Middle Eastern kingdom. The decision is significant given that Islamic clerics in Saudi Arabia warn against the dangers of women exercising at all. Women's exercise facilities, gyms among them, have previously been licensed as "health centers" by the Saudi Health Ministry.

China to Send Survey Team to Disputed Islands
March 14, 2013
China has announced plans to send a team of people to do a survey of the islands as the heart of a three-country dispute. The vice director of the Chinese mapping agency said that the agency would send surveyors to the islands, which the Chinese and Taiwanese call Diaoyu and which the Japanese call Senkaku, and also increase ship patrols of the area around the islands. The surveys would include mapping of caves and other land-based features not currently reflected on satellite images.
Japan's government warned that it would interpret the landing of any person on the islands as a violation of Japanese borders. Further, Japan said, any vessel crossing into the waters directly surrounding the islands would be a similar violation.

Egypt Reports Jump in Tourist Numbers
March 14, 2013
Egypt was more of a tourist destination in 2012 than the year before, but traveler numbers were still below those seen before the revolution. MENA, the state news agency, reported a 17-percent increase in the number of travelers visiting Egypt in 2012. The total figure was 11.5 million. The 2011 figure was 9.8 million. By contrast, in 2010, when Hosni Mubarak was still president, 14.7 million tourists visited the country.

Iditarod Winner Oldest Ever
March 13, 2013
Keeping the winning in the family, Mitch Seavey won the 2013 Iditarod, becoming the oldest winner a year after his son Dallas scored a win as the youngest-ever. Mitch Seavey, 53, reached the finish line in Nome a mere 9 days, 7 hours, 39 minutes, and 56 seconds after the traditional start in Anchorage.

600-Year-Old Chinese Coin Found in Africa
March 13, 2013
Researchers have found a 600-year-old Chinese coin in Kenya, suggesting that trade between the two areas was taking place earlier than has long been thought. The tiny silver and copper coin has a square hole in the middle, so it could be worn on a belt. The coin is of the type called "Yongle Tonbgao," after the 15th Century Ming Dynasty emperor Yongle

Twinkies Back on Shelves Soon, New Owners Vow
March 12, 2013
Hostess will sell Twinkies and other iconic brands to a pair of buyers, who promise that Twinkies will be back on shelves soon.

Bob Hope 'Spaceship' House Up for Sale
March 11, 2013
A futuristic-looking house once owned by legendary American entertainer Bob Hope is on the market. Hope's daughter, Linda, has announced the sale, at $50 million. The 23,000-square-foot house has six bedrooms, 10 bathroom, and three half-bathrooms. The property includes a tennis court, a putting green, a pond, and two pools, one of which is shaped in the profile of Hope himself. An open-air courtyard enhances the look, which resembles a spaceship.

Mummies Had Clogged Arteries
March 11, 2013
Ancient people had clogged arteries, scientists have found. According to a study led by a California neurobiologist, the mummies of people from ancient America, Egypt, and Peru showed evidence of atherosclerosis, or hardened arteries. The study, which utilized the kind of CT scans used on King Tut and other famous past Egyptians, analyzed 137 mummies in all and found strong evidence of calcium deposits that caused the artery-hardening. The oldest of the mummies was 4,000 years old.

Judge Strikes Down NYC Sugary Drink Ban
March 11, 2013
New York City's ban on large sugary drinks is on hold, pending an appeal in state courts. A State Supreme Court judge has halted the ban, a day before it was to take effect, saying that the ban applied standards inconsistently. For example, the judge said, the Board of Health's plan would ban single sales of sugary drinks in sizes larger than 16 ounces but would not stop consumers from buying multiple 16-ounce size drinks. Also, the judge noted, the ban applied to some restaurants but not convenience stores.

State Park to Honor Harriet Tubman
March 10, 2013
A new Maryland state park will honor Harriet Tubman, the "Moses of Her People." Ground was broken to mark the 100th anniversary of her death. Speaking at the ceremony was Patricia Ross-Hawkins, one of Tubman's distant relatives. Also on the program were a speech by Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, and a stage presentation by a Tubman re-enactor, and songs by a local church choir.

Japan Upgrades Tsunami Warning System
March 10, 2013
To mark the second anniversary of one of the most devastating earthquakes in recent memory, Japan has unveiled an upgrade to its warning system, even as the cleanup continues in Japan and across the Pacific.

Egyptian Cabinet Approves Restrictions on Demonstrations
February 13, 2013
The Egyptian Cabinet has approved a proposed law that puts stark restrictions on public demonstrations. Meanwhile, hundreds of low-ranking police participated in a protest of their own, in multiple provinces. The police protesters warned of a public backlash in the wake of sustained crackdowns on anti-government protesters in Cairo, Alexandria, Heliopolis, and elsewhere.

Sweet: Belgium to Unveil Chocolate Stamps
February 12, 2013
Stamps in Belgium will soon be sweet, chocolate-sweet. Bpost, the Belgian postal service, will issue a limited run of chocolate-themed stamps, beginning March 25. The series will include five different designs, including nutella and chocolate sprinkles.

Wrestling Out of 2020 Olympics
February 12, 2013
The International Olympic Committee has removed wrestling from the 2020 Olympics. The decision includes both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, the IOC said, confirming that the two sports will be on offer at the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro.

Longer School Day Nets Flak in France
February 12, 2013
A French government decree to lengthen the school day has resulted in widespread criticism. The government, in an effort to increase performance of French students, has told schools nationwide to add a half-day of school on Wednesday (the only day of the week on which students currently don't go to school) and to reduce the school day by 45 minutes the other three days, for a net increase of more than two hours in class time.

Christmas Truce Commemorative Soccer Game Planned
February 10, 2013
Among the events being planned to mark the one-hundred-year anniversary of the start of World War I is a soccer game. On Christmas Day in 1914, the warring soldiers laid down their weapons and met in no-man's land for a discussion, in which has come to be known as the Christmas Truce.

'Sequestration' New Term for Government Budget Battles
February 10, 2013
The deal done by Democrats and Republicans to avoid America's going over the "fiscal cliff" resulted in a rise in taxes for some members of the economy but did not eliminate a series of spending cuts that will take effect on March 1 unless Congress acts again. The term now being used to describe these spending cuts is "sequestration," a rather large word that means, basically, "seize and hold." If Congress does not pass a bill by the end of this month and the President does not sign that bill, the U.S. Treasury is under obligation to "sequester" a large amount of funds to help offset the Government's growing deficit.

Alamo Visitors to View 'Victory or Death' Letter
February 10, 2013
Visitors to the Alamo will soon be able to read the famous letter written by the commander of the Texans who died there.

Monopoly Fans Say Cat Hot, Iron Not
February 6, 2013
Furry friends trumped household items in the recently completed Monopoly token contest. Joining the current cast of tokens will be the cat, the choice of 31 percent of people who voted via an online contest. According to Monopoly manufacturer Hasbro, the cat replaces the iron, which received the least support.

No More Saturday Postal Deliveries
February 6, 2013
The U.S. Postal Service will stop Saturday delivery, unless Congress objects. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said that the practice of delivering direct mail and magazines on Saturdays would stop in the first week of August. Donahoe said that the move would save the Postal Service more than $2 billion a year.

Etch-a-Sketch Inventor Dies
February 3, 2013
The inventor of the Etch-a-Sketch® has died. Andre Cassagnes, a French electrician who for years was not listed as the venerable toy's creator, was 86.

Canada Takes Penny Out of Circulation
February 3, 2013
Canada is officially off the penny. The Canadian Mint has stopped circulating the one-cent coin to banks and has issued a recall for all current one-cent holdings. Retailers can still accept pennies, until the supply runs out. However, the Government is encouraging retailers to adopt the new rounding rules.

Oldest Marathoner to Retire at 101
January 31, 2013
Fauja Singh will run his final marathon on February 24. He will be five weeks away from his 102nd birthday.

South Korea Joins North in Space
January 30, 2013
Both North Korea and South Korea can now boast of a successful rocket launch. North Korea's launch took place in December. South Korea's took place yesterday.

Egyptian Curfew Cut Amid Widening Concern
January 30, 2013
The Egyptian Government has announced a reduction of the curfew in three Suez Canal cities, in response to continued violence and the army chief's warning that the Government's future was dire. Meanwhile, President Mohamed Morsi cut short a visit to Europe to return to Cairo, and opposition leader Mohamed El-Baradei reiterated a call for a national unity government.

Au Revoir to Hashtag in France
January 30, 2013
One person's hashtag is another person's sharp word. That's the case in France, where the Government has officially banned the word "hashtag" from online transmissions, most notably Twitter. Instead, French speakers are encouraged to use "mot-dièse," which is the rough equivalent of the English "sharp word."

Smog Readings Off the Charts in China
January 30, 2013
The Chinese Government has announced plans to address a persistent smog problem in Beijing and other cities, in the wake of an off-the-charts air quality reading in the capital on Tuesday.

Mobile Libraries Roll Through Still-devastated Haiti
Three years after a devastating earthquake rocked Haiti, killing more than 200,000 people and leaving 2 million homeless, the country is struggling with recovery. It was already one of the world's poorest nations when the earthquake hit; and although aid from around the world approached $10 billion, recovery has been slow.

Social Security Checks Go Electronic
Social Security payments will be electronic beginning March 1. In a move announced in 2011, the U.S. Treasury will stop sending benefit checks in the mail to nearly 5 million Americans and require recipients to provide information for electronic deposits, in a bank account or on a Treasury-issued debit card.

Money Tips for Teens, Parents
A new publication from the FDIC is full of money tips for teens. The primer, titled "For young adults and teens: Quick tips for managing your money," is 12 pages of information that many teens and their parents will find helpful in terms of paying for college or a car, saving money in the short term and the long term, building and keeping a solid credit record, and avoiding monetary fraud.

Russia Reinvigorates Lunar Missions
January 15, 2013
Russia has announced renewed efforts to send an unmanned probe to the Moon, the head of the country's space agency said. The Luna-Glob announcement follows a report from December 2012 that Russia had set a target of 2030 for the completion of a manned mission to the Moon, along with a space station orbiting the Moon and the dispatch of robotic craft to Venus, Mars, and Jupiter.

3-month Grace Period for NYC Sugary Drink Ban
January 15, 2013
New York's food sellers will get three months of warnings before having to pay fines for violating the city's ban on large sugary drinks.

Texas Library to Offer Only E-Books
January 14, 2013
Readers in a Texas county will have to borrow electronic books from this fall, when the library rids its shelves of printed books completely.

Japanese Leader Warns China over Disputed Islands
January 14, 2013
Japan's new prime minister has spoken out against Chinese actions in regard to a group of islands in the East China Sea, as the Japanese cabinet approved an increase in defense spending for the first time in a decade.

Mubarak Wins Right to Retrial
January 13, 2013
An Egyptian judge has ordered a retrial for former President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak, who is serving a life sentence after being convicted in June 2011 of conspiring in the killing of protesters, has suffered from failing health, and his lawyers hope that the retrial judges will take that into account.

5 States Move to Longer School Year
January 13, 2013
Students in five states will go to school longer this year than their counterparts in the rest of the U.S., under a pilot program launched by the Department of Education.

Island Rises Out of North Sea near Germany
January 13, 2013
A new island has appeared off the coast of Germany. Named Norderoogsand, the island, which is 16 miles off the North Sea coast of Germany, has an area of 34 acres. It is home to more than 50 species of plant and several species of sea bird.

Egyptian Cabinet Shakeup Complete
January 6, 2013
Egypt's government includes 10 new ministers, the result of a Cabinet-level shakeup promised by President Mohamed Morsi after the approval of the country's constitution.

Fans to Choose New Monopoly Token
January 13, 2013
The lineup of Monopoly tokens will change, and the public will have something to say about it.Hasbro, makers of the iconic property accumulation game, have announced that it will replace one of the game's iconic playing tokens, the ones that represent players as they move around the board. Online voting will continue until February 5, after which the announcement will be made
.

Harsh Weather Continues to Threaten after Hottest Year on Record
January 9, 2013
Harsh, dry weather continues to affect the U.S., with record highs in temperatures and record lows in water levels and crop conditions. The U.S. Government has a declared a natural disaster area in large parts of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, making the major wheat-growing states eligible for low-interest emergency loans. Between them, the four states grow one-third of entire wheat crop of the country.

Barge Traffic to Continue on Mississippi River
January 7, 2013
The Mississippi River will remain open to barge traffic, but only just. The river, which routinely sports some of the largest numbers of barge transports in the U.S., is at record low levels following the harshest drought in decades.

Egyptian Cabinet Shakeup Complete
January 6, 2013
Egypt's government includes 10 new ministers, the result of a Cabinet-level shakeup promised by President Mohamed Morsi after the approval of the country's constitution.

Interest Rising for Wonder, Other Hostess Breads
January 6, 2013
Hostess looks to have buyers for its Wonder and other bread brands. A newspaper has reported that Flowers Floods and Grupo Bimbo are in discussion with Hostess to purchase Wonder, Nature's Pride, and other of Hostess bread brands. None of the three companies had public comment, but the report, from the Wall Street Journal, said that an announcement could come this week.

Graphics courtesy of ClipArt.com

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