New fears for Timbuktu in Mali conflict

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Timbuktu, in northern Mali, is a UNESCO World Heritage site of huge cultural importance. Pictured is its famous Sankore Mosque, built in the 15th-16th centuries.

As the violence in Mali escalates following France’s intervention to halt the advance of Islamist fighters, UNESCO has issued calls for the protection of the ancient city of Timbuktu, urging armed forces to safeguard the nation’s historic and religious landmarks.

“I ask all armed forces to make every effort to protect the cultural heritage of the country, which has already been severely damaged,” the U.N. agency’s director-general Irina Bokova said earlier this week.

(Via. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/18/world/africa/mali-timbuktu-destruction-unesco/index.html)

Apparently This Matters: iPotty

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Behold, the iPotty. Yep, it’s pretty much what you think it is.

I have a dog. A dog who, as I write this, is curled up quietly on the sofa, probably dreaming about dog things: Chasing squirrels. Riding in the car. His fake doggy girlfriend in California whom he’s never actually met.

And, just like every other night, before we go to bed, I’ll open up the back door so he can prance out into the yard to drop a toaster-sized stinker on my lawn. Which I’ll promptly pick up some time next month. Maybe.

This entire routine required a learning curve that took all of about a week when he was just a puppy.

Via. (http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/18/tech/social-media/apparently-this-matters-ipotty/index.html?hpt=te_r1)

Unemployment in Europe: Is there a solution?

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The fiscal consolidation programs, although necessary in the long term, are making the jobless problem worse, writes Pissarides

The recession in Europe is entering its fifth year and unemployment doesn’t look like it will be returning to normal levels anytime soon.

In the countries with debt problems, especially Greece and Spain, unemployment skyrocketed in the last couple of years and is now at unprecedented levels. One in two young workers is out of a job.

Are we losing a whole new generation of young workers? Are we wasting hard-earned skills?

(Via. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/21/business/pissarides-eurozone-unemployment/index.html?hpt=ibu_c1)

Is this the start of India’s ‘Arab Spring’?

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An Indian activist gets his head shaven in protest against the Dehli gang-rape in New Delhi

The recent school shooting in Connecticut looked like a tipping point in U.S. public consciousness.

Americans have been asking themselves some tough questions: why does this happen so often and so much more in America than in other countries? What does gun violence say about us as Americans and what measures can we put in place to stop it?

A similar bout of public soul-searching was on display in India recently. Across the country, tens of thousands of people took to the streets to express outrage over the rape and death of one unnamed woman.

(via. http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/07/is-this-the-start-of-indias-arab-spring/?hpt=hp_bn2)

Al Jazeera buys Al Gore’s Current TV

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Current TV

The Arab television network Al Jazeera said Wednesday it has acquired Current TV, the U.S. network started by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

The buy will give the network — headquartered in Doha, Qatar — greater access to the U.S. market.

“By acquiring Current TV, Al Jazeera will significantly expand our existing distribution footprint in the U.S., as well as increase our newsgathering and reporting efforts in America,” Al Jazeera Director General Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani said in a news release. “We look forward to working together with our new cable and satellite partners to serve our new audiences across the U.S.”

Via. (http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/02/business/al-jazeera-current-tv/index.html?hpt=imi_c2)

Freedom Group, a gunmaker ripe for an ethical takeover

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Several .223 caliber rounds near a Bushmaster XM-15; the manufacturer’s owner is putting its gun companies up for sale.

In the 1970s and ’80s, when corporate America was plagued with inefficiency, a new class of financially motivated takeover investors emerged to prey on the fattest in the corporate herd and scare the rest into line.

Today, as pockets of corporate America are plagued with immorality, we need a new class of socially motivated takeover investor to prey on the sociopaths in the corporate herd, turn them around and perhaps scare (or shame) others into line.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/27/opinion/macintosh-gun-firm-takeover/index.html?hpt=ibu_c2)

Refugee figures fail to give true picture of Syria crisis

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The U.N. reports that half a million people have registered as refugees from the Syrian civil war — but a recently returned Red Cross worker says the true figure is far higher because those fleeing are too scared to register.

“I don’t want to register as a refugee. I’m afraid this could mean a problem for us when we go back to Syria. I don’t know how, but it could be a problem.”

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/13/opinion/syria-unreported-refugees/index.html?iid=article_sidebar)

‘Til death do us part: Marriage destroyed by war

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Mohammad Jumbaz and Ayat Al-Qassad were expecting their first child when Ayat was killed

For the third time, Mahmoud Al-Qassab lowers the body of one of his children into the ground. He steps back as neighbors and relatives shovel dirt over his teenage daughter’s grave.

He does not cry or wail.

“I thank God this is my third martyr: Ahmed, Abdullah and now her. I thank God, and I will not say anything against his fate,” Mahmoud told an activist filming the small funeral.

Just a few months ago, 18-year-old Ayat Al-Qassab sang and danced with her mother and aunts as they dressed the bride in her wedding gown. Now, her shattered and bloodied body lies in a grave below the crumbling, bullet-ridden buildings of Homs.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/29/world/meast/syria-newlyweds-death/index.html?hpt=hp_t2)

¿De qué color es el universo?

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Cuando pensamos en el Universo y el espacio sideral, solemos imaginar una masa negra azulada plagada de destellos luminosos. Pero no podríamos estar más equivocados, pues según un estudio de la Universidad John Hopkins, el Universo es de hecho de color beige.

Al principio de los tiempos, el espacio era predominantemente azul  pues estaba plagado con estrellas jóvenes de esta tonalidad.

(via. http://ferriz.com.mx/gadgets/de-que-color-es-el-universo/)

El Bicentenario reducirá la brecha digital en México

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El Bicentenario es el proyecto de comunicación más importante en la historia de México.

El titular de la Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT),Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, aseguró que el satélite Bicentenario permitirá reducir la brecha digital, que es una de las formas actuales de la desigualdad entre personas, comunidades y regiones.

En el marco del lanzamiento del cohete que transporta dicho aparato desde Kourou, Guyana Francesa, el funcionario dijo también que se proporcionarán servicios de telecomunicaciones a diversas comunidades a las que no es posible enlazar por otra vía que no sea la tecnología satelital.

(via. http://ferriz.com.mx/pais/el-bicentenario-reducira-la-brecha-digital-en-mexico-sct/)

Polio workers come under fresh attack in Pakistan

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Polio aid workers killed in Pakistan [VIDEO]

Health workers administering polio vaccinations came under fresh attack in Pakistan on Wednesday, a troubling development in a nation that remains one of three in the world where the disease has yet to be eradicated.

Three workers were killed in separate attacks, a day after five others died in similar circumstances.

All of them were part of a massive vaccination campaign nationwide.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/19/world/asia/pakistan-polio-workers-attack/index.html?hpt=hp_t1)

Las claves de la batalla entre Hello Kitty y Barbie en el mercado chino

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Barbie no representó una buena competencia para Hello Kitty en las jugueterías chinas

A diferencia de Hello Kitty y de Starbucks, Barbie fue incapaz de adaptarse al mercado chino y eso la llevó al fracaso

Hay más de 1,300 millones de personas en China, pero antes de precipitarse al mercado del gigante asiático, las empresas deberían poner atención a la advertencia de Barbie.

Mattel Inc. gastó millones de dólares para abrir con bombo y platillo su tienda insignia de seis pisos en Shanghái y llevar a Barbie a China en 2009. Dos años después, cerró la boutique.

(via. http://mexico.cnn.com/salud/2012/12/18/las-claves-de-la-batalla-entre-hello-kitty-y-barbie-en-el-mercado-chino)

“En el principio Dios creó a…” El ‘Génesis’ original llega a internet

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Los rollos del Mar Muerto fueron reconstruidos con imágenes en alta definición (Israel Antiques Authority/Cortesía).

Las piezas fueron fotografiadas en alta resolución y pueden ser consultadas en la web de la Biblioteca Digital de Rollos del Mar Muerto.

Fragmentos de cientos de textos bíblicos podrán ser consultados en línea a partir de este martes en versiones digitalizadas de papiros publicadas por Google y las autoridades arqueológicas de Israel.

Entre unas 5,000 imágenes de pergaminos y papiros se encuentran partes del Génesis, que narran La Creación, y del Deuternomio, que aborda el episodio de los Diez Mandamientos.

(via. http://mexico.cnn.com/tecnologia/2012/12/18/en-el-principio-dios-creo-a-el-genesis-original-llega-a-internet)

Eagle Eye: The Best Satellite Views of the Earth

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The Skytree, the tallest self supported building in Asia, located in Tokyo

If you really want to know where you are, you need to pull back—way back. DigitalGlobe has rounded up the most amazing satellite images of the Earth created this year, ranging from a glimpse of the desert cauldron of creativity that is Burning Man to a massive copper mine in the South American country of Chile. These images show the surface of our planet as we’ve shaped it.

(via.  http://science.time.com/2012/12/13/eagle-eye-the-best-satellite-views-of-the-earth/)

Mine Kafon: The low-tech, high-design tumbleweed minesweeper

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The Mine Kafon is a low-cost wind-powered mine detonator with the appearance of a giant, spiky-armed tumbleweed.

The Mine Kafon is a low-cost wind-powered mine detonator with the appearance of a giant, spiky-armed tumbleweed.

An Afghan designer and former refugee has developed a low-cost, wind-powered mine detonating device inspired by the toys he played with as a child.

Massoud Hassani‘s Mine Kafon is composed almost entirely from bamboo and biodegradable plastics, with a skeletal structure of spiky plungers that resembles a giant spherical tumbleweed from another planet.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/29/tech/innovation/mine-kafon-tumbleweed-minesweeper/index.html?iid=article_sidebar)

 

Mideast men go under knife for manly mustaches

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Members of Iraq's parliament vote in 2002. Luxurious mustaches became ubiquitous during Saddam Hussein's rule, but have been seen as a symbol of high social status since Ottoman times.

Members of Iraq’s parliament vote in 2002. Luxurious mustaches became ubiquitous during Saddam Hussein’s rule, but have been seen as a symbol of high social status since Ottoman times.

Thick, handsome mustaches have long been prized by men throughout the Middle East as symbols of masculine virility, wisdom and maturity.

But not all mustaches are created equal, and in recent years, increasing numbers of Middle Eastern men have been going under the knife to attain the perfect specimen.

Turkish plastic surgeon Selahattin Tulunay says the number of mustache implants he performs has boomed in the last few years. He now performs 50-60 of the procedures a month, on patients who hail mostly from the Middle East and travel to Turkey as medical tourists.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/29/world/meast/mustache-transplants-middle-east/index.html?iid=article_sidebar)

 

México alista tres nuevos satélites para garantizar telecomunicaciones

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Felipe Calderón inauguró el nuevo centro de control del Sistema Satelital Mexicano en la Ciudad de México

Felipe Calderón inauguró el nuevo centro de control del Sistema Satelital Mexicano en la Ciudad de México

El futuro de las telecomunicaciones en el país está garantizado con tres nuevos satélites que se incorporarán a partir de diciembre próximo al Sistema Satelital Mexicano (Satmex), afirmó este jueves el presidente Felipe Calderón, al inaugurar el nuevo centro de mando del sistema.

“No solo renovamos nuestra red satelital, sino que garantizamos la cobertura del sistema de telecomunicaciones en todas las ciudades del país”, dijo Calderón en uno de sus últimos actos oficiales antes de dejar la presidencia.

(via. http://mexico.cnn.com/tecnologia/2012/11/29/mexico-alista-tres-nuevos-satelites-para-garantizar-telecomunicaciones)

México tiene 40.9 millones de usuarios de internet: INEGI

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El 64.1% de los usuarios de internet en México tienen entre 12 y 34 años, informó el INEGI

El 64.1% de los usuarios de internet en México tienen entre 12 y 34 años, informó el INEGI

En México hay 40.9 millones de usuarios de internet, de los cuales el 64.1 % tienen entre 12 y 34 años, informó este jueves el Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) en su Encuesta en Hogares sobre Disponibilidad y Uso de las Tecnologías de la Información.

La cifra de cibernautas aumentó en un 8.8 % en comparación con 2011, informó la dependencia a través de un comunicado. Y el número de hogares que cuentan con internet también se incrementó a 7.9 millones, cifra que representa el 26 % del total en México.

(via. http://mexico.cnn.com/tecnologia/2012/11/29/mexico-tiene-409-millones-de-usuarios-de-internet-inegi)

Brain-controlled helicopter takes mental concentration to new heights

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An electroencephalography (EEG) headset is used to measure increases in mental concentration. The toy helicopter, called the Orbit, can then be configured so that the more the user concentrates, the higher it flies.

A toy helicopter controlled by nothing but brainwaves could be available to the public just in time to hover under this year’s Christmas tree.

Currently touted on crowd-funding website Kickstarter — where it has already exceeded its pledge goal twice over — the Orbit comes equipped with an electroencephalography (EEG) headset, capable of reading electrical activity along the scalp.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/23/tech/orbit-brain-controlled-helicopter/index.html?hpt=hp_c3)

Credit card debt churning out bankrupt graduates

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Many university graduates have been declared bankrupt due to heavy credit card spending and failing to settle their loans early on in their working lives.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said statistics showed that there were a 40% increase of bankrupts every five years and by 2020, the number was expected to reach 120,000.

(via. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/11/23/nation/12361423&sec=nation)

In Mexico, racism hides in plain view

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Mexico City, home to 20 million people, represents the paradox of the modern Mexico, the side-by-side juxtaposition — in everything from politics to architecture — of old and new.

Turn a corner, and you’ll see a church that is 300 years old. Turn another, and you can get Wi-Fi in a Starbucks.

life in Mexico comes with more challenges for darker-skinned people

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/20/opinion/navarrette-mexico-racism/index.html?hpt=ila_t2)

After nearly 200 years, Mexico may make the name official

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Outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Thursday submitted legislation to change the country’s official name to Mexico

It’s the one fact about Mexico that you probably didn’t know. The country’s name is not really Mexico, at least not officially. After gaining independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico officially became the “United Mexican States.”

The American independence movement had inspired Mexican leaders of that era and since Mexico, in fact, also was a territory composed of states, the name stuck and became official in 1824.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/22/world/americas/mexico-name-change/index.html?hpt=hp_c3)

 

Which country has the best food? [List:]

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Regular readers will know we love to write about food. We love to celebrate the good stuff and lambast the bad.

But there’s a debate we’ve avoided, if only to save computer screens the world over from the liters of spittle that will fly from the mouths of irate readers as they vent incredulously about our “ignorant, biased, un-researched and unreasoned” choices.

10. United States

9. Mexico

8. Thailand

7. Greece

6. India

5. Japan

4. Spain

3. France

2. China

1. Italy

(via. http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/eat/worlds-best-food-cultures-453528)

How many more Tibetans will sacrifice themselves?

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When a downtrodden Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire in protest after his vegetable cart was confiscated by officials, this desperate act of self-sacrifice was seen as a catalyst for a revolution that became known as the Arab Spring.

Contrast this with China, where almost 80 people — men and women — have self-immolated since 2009 in protest against Beijing’s poor treatment of Tibet, according to rights groups. Yet details of these cases are often sketchy and difficult to verify, such is the stranglehold China has over the region.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/22/world/asia/china-tibet-self-immolations/index.html?hpt=hp_c3)

$800 million biotech business started in a garage

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As one of India’s richest self-made women, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has an impressive resume.

Her business Biocon, worth $800million, is one of India’s leading drug companies and employs more than 6,000 people at its vast campus in Bangalore.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/15/business/kiran-mazumdar-shaw/index.html?hpt=ias_t3)

At last, it’s Zaha Hadid’s time to shine

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Iraqi-born Zaha Hadid is one of the greatest living architects, and the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize

When London’s Olympic organizers needed a knockout venue that would wow the International Olympic Committee and hold the world’s attention, they turned to Zaha Hadid, a provocateur who critics have described as “the Lady Gaga of architecture”.

Iraqi-born Hadid is one of the greatest architects alive. In 2004, she became the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s greatest honor. The year prior, she was awarded the European Union Mies van der Rohe Prize for a tram station in Strasbourg.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/01/business/leading-women-zaha-hadid/index.html?iid=article_sidebar)

Mideast peace starts with talking to Iran

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British EU official Catherine Ashton, front left, walks with Iraq’s Hoshyar Zebari to talks between the P5+1 and Iran.

President Barack Obama is getting a lot of free advice. Here’s a question, not an answer: With every issue in the Middle East intertwined with every other, like a giant bowl of spaghetti, where do you begin?

In reality, no matter where you begin in the Middle East, each strand connects to almost every other:

Syria? Immediately you must think of the Turks who are harboring refugees and fighters just across the border, and Syrian Kurds, who are beginning to harbor thoughts of autonomy and are increasing contacts with their ethnic brothers in Iraq and Turkey.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/16/opinion/sick-mideast/index.html?hpt=hp_c2)

Brazilian farmers open office in China

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The Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock, the main body representing millions of farmers in Brazil, will open an office in Beijing next Wednesday aiming to increase bilateral agricultural trade and attract Chinese investment in Brazilian infrastructure.

“By 2015, 30 million Chinese are expected to join the middle classes, increasing demand for food. This is a very important opportunity for Brazil,” said the president of confederation, Senator Katia Abreu, who is heading the entity’s delegation in Asia.

(via. http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-11/07/content_15888138.htm)

Starbucks versus tea in India

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India has been a nation of tea drinkers for centuries, but in the past decade coffee consumption has been growing. From Starbucks to Costa Coffee, coffee giants are moving into India, converting consumers from chai to cappuccino.

Last month, Starbucks opened its first outlet in India, partnering with Indian firm Tata.

“There’s a tremendous amount of coffee being sold and served in this market,” Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman and CEO, told CNN’s Mallika Kapur.

(via. http://business.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/09/starbucks-versus-tea-in-india/)

College students turn jihadists

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They were students of a college in the oil palm plantation town of Trolak in Perak. They became friends.

Sometime last year, senior student Mohammed Razin Shaaban, 28, recruited 21-year-old Rafik Mohammed Aaref for a jihad mission.

Razin, who is believed to have links with a top Yemeni al-Qaeda leader, Jamal al-Badawi, and Rafik were arrested in Lebanon as suspected sucide bombers last week.

(via. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/10/29/nation/12240539&sec=nation)

Experts warn of superstorm era to come

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Crowds wait for free gas on Saturday, November 3, at the Bedford Avenue Armory in Brooklyn, New York. The U.S. East Coast is attempting to recover from the effects of floods, fires and power outages brought on by Superstorm Sandy.

Superstorm Sandy was no freak, say experts, but rather a hint of a coming era when millions of Americans will struggle to survive killer weather.

They’re telling us we shouldn’t be surprised that this 900-mile-wide monster marched up the East Coast this week paralyzing cities and claiming scores of lives.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/31/us/sandy-climate-change/index.html?iid=article_sidebar)

 

Israel Medical Marijuana Industry Growing In Scope

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cannabis cigarettes are seen at Tikkun Olam medical cannabis farm, near the northern Israeli city of Safed, Israel. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

Moshe Rute survived the Holocaust by hiding in a barn full of chickens. He nearly lost the use of his hands after a stroke two years ago. He became debilitated by recurring nightmares of his childhood following his wife’s death last year.

“But after I found this, everything has been better,” said the 80-year-old, as he gingerly packed a pipe with marijuana.

(via. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/02/israel-marijuana-industry_n_2066494.html)

British woman returns to Pakistani jail with newborn

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A British woman arrested for drug trafficking in Pakistan, has returned to her jail cell despite concerns for her baby’s life

A British woman who was arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking in Pakistan remains in jail with her child, despite concerns about the baby’s welfare.

Khadija Shah, 25, of Birmingham gave birth to her daughter, Malaika, a few weeks ago at a hospital in the city of Rawalpindi, an hour’s drive from the capital, and was escorted back to jail with the infant only three days later, to the shock and dismay of her lawyer

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/02/world/asia/pakistan-briton-newborn-drug-case/index.html?hpt=ias_c1)

Life of a superyacht chef: Dream job or nautical nightmare?

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Delivering five-star meals to a restaurant of hungry customers is a daunting prospect for any chef.

Now imagine having to create the same top-class dishes in a floating galley just four meters wide, with no staff or a supermarket in sight.

Such is the challenge for the superyacht chef, expected to create sumptuous meals around-the-clock for an elite clientele accustomed to the very highest level of culinary expertise.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/22/sport/superyacht-chef-food-job-travel/index.html?hpt=hp_c3)

Harnessing pedal power to light up Africa

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Lighting up rural Africa

When night falls over Rwanda, many rural communities far removed from the country’s electricity grid descend into darkness.

Unplugged from the power lines, households in these areas rely mainly on fuel-based devices such as kerosene lamps for access to light. Such lanterns, however, are polluting and costly: They emit toxic fumes, pose fire hazards and also put a strain on family budgets.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/08/business/pedal-generator-energy-light/index.html?iid=article_sidebar)

Sex worker: I sleep with five men a day just to eat

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We met her in the car park of a small shopping mall on the edge of Mbabane, Swaziland’s capital. She was too shy to get out of the car her friend had brought her in, too nervous of who might see, or what might be overheard.

She told us that she knew an isolated place where we could talk. Ten minutes later we are in scrubland standing by the rubble and remains of someone’s home.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/18/world/africa/swaziland-sex-unemployment-economy/index.html?hpt=hp_c1)

Miracle: Firefighter Gets Trapped in a Burning House and Asks God for Help

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Firefighter Peter Hudson was on the job, and gets stuck in a burning house. He recieved several severe burns while being stuck in the house and was close to death. But, while he was laying on the floor in the house he found his faith in God, and what happens next is a miracle.

(via. http://gnli.christianpost.com/video/miracle-firefighter-gets-trapped-in-a-burning-house-and-asks-god-for-help-6901)

Rick Warren: Work Is Not God’s Punishment for Man Read more at http://global.christianpost.com/news/rick-warren-work-is-not-gods-punishment-for-man-83338/#45k4Ld156pwV0AXb.99

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Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., kicked off a six-week sermon series on the topic of “Doing Business With God” over the weekend, and explained that, contrary to popular belief, Adam and Eve worked in the Garden of Eden and people will work in heaven as well.

“Some people actually think that work is punishment from God. It is not … because there was work for Adam and Eve to do in paradise,” said Warren.

(via. http://global.christianpost.com/news/rick-warren-work-is-not-gods-punishment-for-man-83338/)

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I  am always amazed at how a few simple ideas, offered with compassion, can turn into something extraordinary. A small group of volunteers from Turner Broadcasting recently gave their time and talents to teach refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong about photography. They had no idea that they would make such an impact!

(via. http://www.christianactiondirector.com/imported-20100529140357/2012/10/8/soul-in-a-metropolis.html?utm_source=Siew+Mei%27s+Blog+Newsletter+US&utm_campaign=3f4e915d47-Siew_Mei_s_Blog_Update_5_19_09&utm_medium=email)

Japan scientists win Nobel for stem cell breakthroughs

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Scientists from Britain and Japan shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine on Monday for the discovery that adult cells can be reprogrammed back into stem cells which can turn into any kind of tissue and may one day repair damaged organs.

John Gurdon, 79, of the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, Britain and Shinya Yamanaka, 50, of Kyoto University in Japan, discovered ways to create tissue that would act like embryonic cells, without the need to harvest embryos. They share the $1.2 million prize equally.

(via. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/10/8/worldupdates/2012-10-08T113905Z_5_BRE8970AE_RTROPTT_0_UK-NOBEL-MEDICINE&sec=Worldupdates)

Back from the dead: Philippines’ jeepneys get a makeover

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One fan attempts to revive Manila’s aging road warriors at the recent Jeepney Arts Festival

On a recent afternoon in the busy commercial district of Metro Manila, a parade of 50 jeepneys debuted their new skins.

Portraying vivid scenes and pictures in brightly painted, audacious hues, they were a stark contrast to what’s been seen on the streets of late — bare metal carriages, a symptom of budget constraints and economic hardships that, out of necessity, slowly came to replace the old, colorfully decorated jeepneys famed around the world.

(via. http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/life/phillipines-famed-jeepneys-get-makeover-321881?hpt=ias_t5)

Why China’s rock markets draw a crowd

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From the “greatest stone under heaven” to plain old lucky rocks, Chinese rock hounds are a devoted bunch

Would you spend US$25,000 for a simple rock?

Odds are you wouldn’t, but with the economy booming in China, plenty of collectors are eyeing just such treasures.

And at just such gaudy price tags.

More than 300 rock markets and exhibitions are held throughout China annually, according to the China Stone Appreciation Association, generating an estimated RMB 20 billion (US$3.17 billion) each year.

(via. http://www.cnngo.com/shanghai/life/china-nuts-for-rocks-506401?hpt=ias_t4)

 

Study: Retiring at 70 May Still Be Too Soon

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Retiring at 70 May Still Be Too Soon

Research from the nonprofit Employee Benefits Research Institute throws cold water on the notion that working until age 70 will set most Americans up for adequate retirement income.

Jack VanDerhei, research director at E.B.R.I., says some studies have suggested that by working to age 70 — five years past the traditional retirement age of 65 — nearly 80 percent of pre-retirees, including lower-income Americans, could have adequate retirement income.

(via. http://www.cnbc.com/id/49001556/)

Why Your Next Business Computer Should Be a Mac

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I’ve been a fan boy since my friend Bill purchased me an Apple TV. Before you knew it, I had a home full of Macs and my business is now all Macs. Coming from the PC world, there have been some challenges. A couple examples off the top of my head… no macros in Office, no Microsoft Access. That’s a pretty tiny list, though. The advantages of a Mac are turning out to be far greater than the disadvantages of being a Mac in a PC world.

With the latest hardware and software, Apple has been driving home some incredible features that are fantastic for any business.

(via. http://www.marketingtechblog.com/mountain-lion-business/?utm_campaign=mountain-lion-business&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss)

Bionics: From Hollywood movies to life-changing reality

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Long the subject of science fiction novels and Hollywood blockbusters — is now helping paraplegics make walking a reality.

The so-called Ekso, a mechanical skeleton created by California-based company Ekso Bionics, is designed to give paraplegics the power to walk unaided.

The innovation mean the power of bionics, which inspired the hit movie Iron Man and the television series The Six Million Dollar Man, is becoming reality.

Suzanne Edwards, who suffered a spinal chord injury that left her wheelchair-bound, has used the Ekso and told CNN it was an “amazing feeling.”

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/30/business/ekso-bionics-wheelchair/index.html?iid=article_sidebar)

KFC shuts all Pakistan restaurants amid protests

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Brands is shuttering all of its KFC franchises in Pakistan in the wake of anti-American protests there, after a KFC restaurant was attacked in Lebanon last week, the company said Friday.

(via. http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/21/news/companies/kfc-pakistan/index.html?hpt=ibu_c2)

Islamic Fundamentalists in the Kremlin

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The wave of anger in North Africa and the Middle East over the anti-Islam video “Innocence of Muslims” underscores several troubling similarities between anti-Americanism in Russia and the Muslim world. Injured pride is at the top of the list.

(via. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/islamic-fundamentalists-in-the-kremlin/468525.html)

Putin Makes Dam Deals in Kyrgyzstan, Writes Off $500M Debt

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Vladimir Putin prime minister.

Russia agreed on Thursday to write off nearly $500 million in debt due from Kyrgyzstan in exchange for a package of deals that will extend Moscow’s military and energy footprints on the volatile fringes of the former Soviet Union.

As Kyrgyzstan confirmed plans to close a U.S. base used to fly troops in and out of Afghanistan after Washington’s lease expires in 2014, President Vladimir Putin secured a 15-year extension to Russia’s lease on its own base in the country.

(via. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/putin-makes-dam-deals-in-kyrgyzstan-writes-off-500m-debt/468509.html)

Women raped by Sinai traffickers find help

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The Sinai desert is a hub for people trafficking. Many of the refugees from sub-Saharan Africa who get smuggled through here get tortured and blackmailed in the process.

Bedouin gangs – instead of trafficking the refugees straight into Israel – often hold them captive, torture them and force relatives into paying ransoms for their release.

The ordeal is exceptionally bad for women. Many of them are raped by the traffickers and some become pregnant.

(via. http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/21/women-raped-by-sinai-traffickers-find-help/?hpt=wo_c2)

Shoppers face tough choices over Bangladesh


It is hard for American shoppers to avoid buying clothes made in unsafe factories abroad.

That’s because just about all, or 98%, of clothes sold in the U.S. are made overseas, according to the Apparel and Footwear Association. Also, companies don’t tell consumers if any of their suppliers violate safety standards.

The recent spate of deadly accidents in garment factories in Bangladesh has caught international attention. Last week, more than 400 workers were killed when a garment factory building collapsed. The tragedy follows two more factory fires in November that killed and injured more than 100 workers.

(via. http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/01/news/companies/bangladesh-garment-factory/index.html?hpt=ibu_r1)

U.S. diplomat died ‘doing what she loved’ in Afghanistan


U.S. diplomat died 'doing what she loved' in Afghanistan

Anne Smedinghoff lived inside a heavily secured compound.

But the public diplomacy officer for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul was always pushing to get out.

“We thought she was relatively safe in the embassy compound, but as it turned out, Anne really wanted to do a lot more,” her father, Tom Smedinghoff, told CNN.

(Via. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/07/us/diplomat-killed-profile/index.html?hpt=hp_c3)

How my brother tried to kill me in ‘honor attack’


It’s cold and raining in Kabul and the pothole-filled dirt roads have turned into a sea of mud. We drive up to the gateway of a high-walled compound. A soldier brandishing an AK-47 stands guard outside the building. We’ve come to a women’s shelter to meet Gul Meena — a 17-year-old girl from Pakistan who shouldn’t be alive.

My crew and I are ushered into a room and sitting on a wooden chair slouched over is small, fragile Gul Meena. Her sullen eyes turn from the raindrops streaming down the window outside and towards us as we enter the room.

(Via. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/04/world/asia/afghanistan-honor-killing-survivor/index.html?hpt=hp_c3)

Chinese travelers the world’s biggest spenders


Chinese travelers are now the top source of tourism cash in the world, according to a new report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Boosted by a rising Chinese currency, Chinese travelers spent a record US$102 billion on international tourism in 2012, a 40 percent rise from US$73 billion in 2011.

The results fall right in line with China’s outbound tourism growth over the last 10 years.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/05/travel/china-tourists-spend/index.html?hpt=hp_c5)

Coca-Cola probed over mapping in China


The government of a remote province in western China says it is investigating Coca-Cola over allegations that it illegally mapped parts of the province, as China and the US engage in an escalating war of words over cyber espionage.

The Yunnan Geographical Information Bureau of Surveying and Mapping said the US drinks company had been “illegally collecting classified information with handheld GPS equipment”, according to a Yunnan government website.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/13/business/china-probe-coca-cola-mapping/index.html?hpt=ibu_c1)

Spaced out: As rents rise, cool shared work spaces boom


Starting a company can feel like a lonely business. But for a little more than $100 a month, Hong Kong resident Ken Chan can develop his start-up, network with like-minded people and relax with a game of ping-pong — all under the same roof.

He is one of a growing number of go-it-alone entrepreneurs and freelancers in Asia leaving their apartments and cafes, and settling into “co-working” spaces.

(via. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/09/20/business/co-working-spaces-asia/index.html?hpt=ias_bn2)

Bras offer lifeline to rescued slaves


Tashina was trafficked for sex when she was 15-years-old. Ofelia, when she was 12.

Tashina finds it helpful to talk about it. “We lived in darkness,” she said. For Ofelia, talking about the past is too painful. She just winds up crying.

But both women smile broadly as they talk about their future. A future filled with promise and hope, thanks to the kindness of a complete stranger half a world away from their home in Mozambique.

(via. http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/12/bras-offers-lifeline-to-rescued-slaves/?hpt=us_t4)

Selling little girls to pay back debt


The mother of a little Afghan girl cannot even turn to face her daughter. She looks down in shame as she explains why she must hand the girl over to drug lords.

The father of the girl has done what many Afghan farmers must do to finance their opium farms: borrow money from drug traffickers. But the Afghan government and international forces’ attempt to halt the opium trade has quashed the father’s poppy business, and with it, his ability to pay back the lenders.

The drug lords have taken him hostage to extract a payment.

(via. http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/25/selling-little-girls-to-payback-debt/)

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