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Warm Weather Threatens Ice Festival
Warmer than expected weather has melted some beautiful ice sculptures at the Chinese city's annual ice festival. It's a celebration that goes back nearly 1,400 years to the Tang Dynasty, with a fine tradition of carving elaborate sculptures and having them on public display for a celebration of the country, its arts, and its winter.

Lawmaker Tests Solar Home Himself
Give Frank Wagner credit. The Virginia state senator is living in a solar-powered house for an entire week to promote alternative energy. He's also attempting to see if the house will survive a week of his energy needs.

Mouse Traps Cat
Mindy the cat was chasing a mouse and thought she had it cornered. The mouse had other ideas, scurrying into a jar and hoping that the cat couldn't fit inside. The mouse's hopes were realized, as Mindy the cat got her head inside the jar but got stuck. She couldn't reach the mouse, and she couldn't get her head out.

No Proof Found of King Tut's Murder, Officials Say
Two months after the initial set of 1,700 CT scans were performed on the mummy of Egypt's famous King Tutankhamen, archaeologists have announced that they have found no evidence that the Boy King was murdered. They did not, however, announce that they had discovered the cause of death.

Steve Fossett: Another Record
Steve
Fossett, the millionaire who holds world records in many different transportation pursuits, has become the first person to fly around the world in a single-engine airplane without stopping.

Bead-covered Mummy Discovered
A secret door in an Egyptian tomb has led archaeologists to a spectacular find: a very much well-preserved mummy covered in beads that are intact 2,500 years after they were attached.

Israel OKs Settlement Pullout
For the first time since it seized the lands in the 1967 Middle East war, Israel has agreed to dismantle a large handful of settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, disputed territory also claimed by Palestinians. The Israeli Cabinet voted on Sunday to approve Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw the settlers as part of an overall agreement with newly elected Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to try to seek a peaceful resolution to the land conflict that has divided the region for many years.

Electronics Big Focus at Toy Fair
The big new focus at the American International Toy Fair, which opens February 20 in New York, is electronics. More than perhaps any other year, toy manufacturers are focusing on using gadgets and gimmicks to endear kids to their toys.

Mideast Truce Approved
Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestine Authority, and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon have agreed to a truce, both sides reported after a one-day peace summit in the Egyptian port town of Sharm-el-Sheik.

Checking for Cheaters
A Utah-based company named Caveon has signed contracts with Delaware, North Carolina, and south Carolina that call for Caveon to monitor data from standardized tests, in particular looking for signs of cheating by the students who took the tests or the teachers who administered those tests. The company is also negotiating with several other states.

Computers to Grade Essay Tests
Michigan will soon begin a pilot program that will feature, in part, electronic grading of essay tests. State education officials hope that the idea will catch on enough that it will save time and money for teachers and also increase writing skills of students.

Confusion in Internet Search, Study Finds
A recent study has determined that many people do not know the difference between paid and unpaid Internet Search results. The danger in this can be that Internet users confuse legitimate Search results with "ads."

San Francisco Ponders Tax on Grocery Bags
The City of San Francisco is considering whether to place a 17-cent tax on plastic and paper bags at the city's grocery stores. The idea is to promote recycling of such grocery bags and also the use of reusable cloth bags. The city's Deparment of the Environment has voted unanimously to approve the tax. Next up is approval by the mayor and Board of Supervisors; that is expected within the next six months. If they vote to approve the tax, it would not take effect likely for another year, pending an economic impact study and a city legislative review.

New Food Guidelines Released
The U.S. Government has issued new guidelines for nutrition, part of an effort to counter the trend toward most Americans being overweight and eating food that is mostly bad for them.

Pledge of Allegiance Under Fire Again
Noted atheist Michael Newdow, who lost a fight last year to get the words "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance, has filed suit again, this time on behalf of eight other people.

Abbas New Leader of Palestinians
Mahmoud Abbas, who succeeded Yasser Arafat as leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, was elected president of the Palestinian state on Sunday. Abbas received more than two-thirds of the vote in an election punctuated by rocket attacks and security checks.

King Tut Scanned by Computer
Scientists have successfully performed a computerized CT scan on the mummy of the "Boy King," Egypt's King Tutankhamen. A total of 1,700 images were taken in a 15-minute scan designed to try to determine just how King Tut died.

Tallest Skyscraper Opens for Business
A building that is 1,679 feet tall has opened in Taiwan. Called Taipei 101, it has 101 floors, the world's fastest elevators, and is officially the world's tallest building.

School Milk to Come in Plastic Bottles
American schools will more and more serve milk in plastic bottles, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it just plains looks better than a clunky, old cardboard carton.

New Dominoes World Record Set
A
team of people in the Netherlands has set a new world record for the number of dominoes downed at one time. In a stunning piece of design and achievement, the group, led by a man known only as "Mr. Domino," toppled a group of dominoes that numbered nearly 4 million.

Locust Swarm Moves to Egypt
A swarm of locusts that has been eating everything in sight in western Africa has been blown across the Sahara Desert area of northern Africa and is now threatening Egypt. The swarm numbers in the millions and might have a population of 1 billion before it has finished ravaging the countryside.

PLO Leader Yasser Arafat Dead
After a long and controversial life, Yasser Arafat, the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization and one of the world's most recognized figures, has died. He was 75.

Scientist Claims Proof that Cyprus Was Atlantis
A scientist states that he has found ocean-floor proof that the Mediterranean island of Cyprus is the ancient Atlantis described in the writings of the Greek philosopher Plato.

Modern Technology Helping Explore Ancient Egypt
Through the use of high-resolution satellite photography, computerized scanning equipment, and the vast storage and sharing capacity of the Internet, scientists and researchers are shedding new light on ancient Egypt and the Valley of the Kings.

Cell Phone to Help Save Ancient Language
Ethiopic, an ancient language that is dying out from lack of use, could be on the rebound, thanks to modern technology used on cellular telephones.

What's All the Fuss About California?
California voters elected a new governor on October 7, 2004. The winner was movie star and bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger. How did they get there? This article explains it all for you in easy-to-understand language.

Mr. Rogers: Friend to Children and Adults
Mr. Rogers, a gentle TV host for 34 years, has died. Find out more about this extraordinary man, who was a friend to both children and adults.

In Fond Memory of Columbia
Find out more about the Columbia tragedy and the space shuttle in general.

What's All the Fuss about North Korea?
The news these days is full of talk about North Korea. Why is that?
Well, that question has a short answer and a long answer. This informative, easy-to-read article includes both.

China's New Leader Is a Mystery Man
China has a new leader, and not too many people know anything about him.
Hu Jintao, a former engineer, is now the head of China's Communist Party and is now, in effect, the country's leader. He was vice president for several years before being named general secretary.

Steve Fossett: First Solo Balloon Flight Around the World
Steve Fossett has become the first person to fly all the way around the world by himself in a balloon. Find more about this amazing man and also about other voyages around the world.

The Pledge of Allegiance: Is It Illegal?
A federal appeals court has ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional because it contains the words "under God." Find out more about this decision and what it might mean.

Stonehenge to Get Protection
A new plan would close roads and move parking areas in and around Stonehenge, preserving some of its ancient beauty.

World Trade Center
Find out more about the World Trade Center, the attacks on it, and the aftermath of the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

Harry Potter
Check out these helpful Harry Potter resources. Read articles, see movie reviews, play fun games, and much more!

Dying Language Gets New Life
The government of China has agreed to spend a large sum of money to keep an ancient language alive. That language is Nu Shu, which is spoken only by women. In fact, only a handful of women still understand or can read the language.

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