- -04-29-11 Best Moments of the Royal Wedding in England (CNN News)
“From the walk down the aisle to the vows and kiss on the balcony, we show you the best moments from the royal wedding." 04-11
- 03-16-11 Video of Japanese Tsunami (New York Times)
Provides an amateur video. 03-11
- -001 Latest Developments in Libya (CBS News)
Provides latest developments on the rebellion. 03-11
- -01-05-11 Governor of Pakistan's Punjab Province Murdered (Time.com)
"Three years after former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a gun-and-bomb attack, one of her most prominent supporters has been slain in equally brutal circumstances. Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, was killed in the heart of Islamabad on Tuesday by one of his own armed guards. The assassin, Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, a member of the police's elite force, fired 26 rounds into Taseer before surrendering himself." 01-11
- -01-14-11 Tunisians Overthrow Their Strongman (Time.com)
"All revolutions are impossible, Leon Trotsky once said, until they become inevitable. That transformation was completed in a flash in Tunisia on Friday, Jan. 14, as the country's authoritarian President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali fled the country in the face of a protest movement, demanding jobs and democracy, that violent repression had failed to quell. After trying to calm the nearly monthlong protest wave by promising economic and political reform and democratic change, Ben Ali went a step further on Friday by dissolving his government and calling early parliamentary elections in six months. The rioting raged on, however, and by Friday afternoon Ben Ali had declared a state of emergency. But reports from the streets of Tunis suggested that many soldiers and policemen had crossed over and embraced the protesters. And by day's end, news organizations were confirming that Ben Ali had fled the government, leaving the military and Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi in charge. But the nature of the political changes to come remains unclear — one key difference between Tunisia and revolutions of the type envisaged by Trotsky is that two decades of Ben Ali's relentless repression of political opposition have left few, if any, credible forces ready to step up and run the country." 01-11
- -01-17-11 Is Tunisia a Clue for the Future Arabian World? (Time.com)
"Dahmash, who has lived in Miami and Tampa and earned an MBA from American Intercontinental University in Ft. Lauderdale, says the Arab world wants change. 'But we don't want change to come from abroad,' he adds. 'We want change to come from inside.' The Syrian executive, who asked that his name not be used, agrees. 'I personally have a feeling this event is the beginning of more to come.' Unfortunately, he added, 'it's going to get uglier. I simply don't believe change comes about as a byproduct of peace.' " 01-11
- -01-25-11 Hezbollah Gains Control in Lebanon (MSNBC News)
"Hundreds of angry protesters burned tires and blocked roads across Lebanon on Tuesday after Iranian-backed Hezbollah secured the appointment of its candidate to lead the next government." 01-11
- -01-26-11 Protests in Egypt Continue (Time.com)
"Everywhere, the message was the same: 'The people want the fall of the regime,' the protesters chanted as they marched over broken glass. On the Corniche, Cairo's busy road along the Nile, protesters stopped traffic, setting a dumpster on fire and chanting 'Down, Down Mubarak!' Moments later, they scattered after a charge by over a dozen plainclothes thugs, armed with sticks and knives, who chased them in between cars and onto a nearby bridge." 01-11
- -01-28-11 Al Jazeera's Central Role in Arabian Protests (New York Times)
"The protests rocking the Arab world this week have one thread uniting them: Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based satellite channel whose aggressive coverage has helped propel insurgent emotions from one capital to the next."
"Al Jazeera has been widely hailed for helping enable the revolt in Tunisia with its galvanizing early reports, even as Western-aligned political factions in Lebanon and the West Bank attacked and burned the channel’s offices and vans this week, accusing it of incitement against them."
"In many ways, it is Al Jazeera’s moment — not only because of the role it has played, but also because the channel has helped to shape a narrative of popular rage against oppressive American-backed Arab governments (and against Israel) ever since its founding 15 years ago." 01-11
- -01-28-11 Egypt's Turmoil Continues (Time.com)
"Al Jazeera earlier showed images of crowds welcoming the arrival of an army personnel carrier on a Cairo street: While the police are the target of the protestors' ire, they have been chanting for the army to 'save' them. In Tunisia, it was the army taking the side of the demonstrators against the police that tipped the balance away from President Ben Ali, and Egyptian protestors are hoping to see the same effect. The military remains the cornerstone of the regime, but there are no indications thus far that it will move against the regime." 01-11
- -01-28-11 Mubarak Orders Ministers to Resign but Backs Armed Response to Protests (New York Times)
"President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt appeared on television late Friday night and ordered his government to resign, but backed his security forces’ attempts to contain the surging unrest around the country that has shaken his 28-year authoritarian rule." 01-11
- -01-28-11 U.S. to Egypt: Violence Is Not the Answer (MSNBC News)
"The Obama administration threatened on Friday to reduce a $1.5 billion program of foreign aid to Egypt based on President Hosni Mubarak's response to swelling street protests in Cairo and other cities."
" 'Violence is not the response' to the demands for greater freedoms, said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs." 01-11
- -01-31-11 Egyptian Army Recognizes Legitimacy of Protesters (CBS News)
"Egypt's military promised Monday not to fire on any peaceful protests and recognized 'the legitimacy of the people's demands,' a sign army support for President Hosni Mubarak may be unraveling. Protesters planned a major escalation, calling for a million people to take to the streets to push Mubarak out of power." 01-11
- -01-31-11 Protesters Rally Around ElBaradei (New York Times)
"The announcement that the critic, Mohamed ElBaradei, would represent a loosely unified opposition reconfigured the struggle between Mr. Mubarak’s government and a six-day-old uprising bent on driving him and his party from power."
"Military helicopters circled Liberation Square through the day, and jets roared across a late afternoon sky. But the army took no steps against the protesters, who cheered as the helicopters passed overhead. In an unprecedented scene, some of them lofted a captain in uniform on their shoulders, marching him through a square suffused with demonstrators that cut across Egypt’s entrenched lines of class and religious devotion." 01-11
- -02-01-11 Jordan Next (Time.com)
"Jordan's Royal Palace says the king has sacked his government in the wake of street protests and has asked an ex-army general to form a new Cabinet."
"King Abdullah's move comes after thousands of Jordanians took to the streets — inspired by the regime ouster in Tunisia and the turmoil in Egypt — and called for the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai who is blamed for a rise in fuel and food prices and slowed political reforms" 01-11
- -02-01-11 Updates on Protests in Egypt (New York Times)
Provides updates. 02-11
- -02-02-11 Mubarak Supporters and Protesters Clash (MSNBC News)
"Several thousand supporters of embattled President Hosni Mubarak, including some on horses and camels and wielding whips, charged into a crowd of anti-government protesters Wednesday, instigating violent clashes as Egypt's upheaval took a dangerous new turn." 02-11
- -02-02-11 Yemeni President Won't Seek Another Term (Time.com)
"Yemen's president has told parliament he will not seek another term in office or hand power to his son — an apparent reaction to protests in his own country that have been inspired by Tunisia's revolt and the turmoil in Egypt." 02-11
- -02-04-11 Huge Crowds Turn Out to Urge Mubarak's Departure (New York Times)
"With signs of fracturing within Egypt’s ruling elite, hundreds of thousands of people packed Cairo’s central Tahrir Square on Friday, chanting slogans, bowing in prayer and waving Egyptian flags to press a largely peaceful campaign for the removal of President Hosni Mubarak."
"On this, the 11th day of the uprising, there were few signs of the violent Mubarak supporters who the protesters said were organized and dispatched by the Mubarak government over the last two days in an effort to capture the initiative. Lurking fears among the opposition that their movement may have lost momentum were banished by the sheer numbers of the protesters and the level of their passion." 02-11
- -02-05-11 Egypt: The Group of Three (New York Times)
"Mr. Suleiman, a former military officer, appears to share power with two close allies, Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the defense minister, and Ahmed Shafiq, the prime minister, a retired general who previously ran the country’s national airline, said Abdel Moneim Qattou, a retired Army general close to all three."
" 'The three of them are military men,' Mr. Qattou said. 'They know each other very well and they are together trying to find a way out of this crisis. They want to do this without spilling blood and without hurting the dignity of Egypt or Mubarak while fulfilling the demands of the masses.' " 02-11
- -02-11-11 People Power Ousts Mubarak--With Military's Backing (MSNBC News)
"Egypt’s military took control of the country Friday as Hosni Mubarak resigned as president after 18 days of massive protests against his autocratic 30-year reign." 02-11
- -02-11-11 People Power Ousts Mubarak--With Military's Backing (Time.com)
"It took Tunisian people power a month to get rid of a dictator. Egypt took 18 days. Now, Egypt is its own example — and a thunderous one to the rest of the Arab world." 02-11
- -02-12-11 Algeria Next? (Time.com)
"Tensions have been high in this sprawling North African nation of 35 million since it saw five days of riots in early January over high food prices. Despite its vast gas reserves, Algeria has long been beset by widespread poverty and high unemployment. Some observers have predicted Algeria could be next Arab country hit by the wave of popular protests that have already ousted two longtime Arab leaders in a month." 02-11
- -02-20-11 Libyan Protesters Seize Military Bases (MSNBC News)
"Protesters have seized control of some military bases and tanks, the son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said in a televised address early Monday morning." 02-11
- -02-20-11 Libyans Rebel (New York Times)
"The son of the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, warned in a nationally televised address early on Monday that continued anti-government protests could lead to a civil war." 02-11
- -02-21-11 Support Crumbles for Libya's Dictator (Huffington Post)
"Deep cracks opened in Moammar Gadhafi's regime Monday, with Libyan government officials at home and abroad resigning, air force pilots defecting and a major government building ablaze after clashes in the capital of Tripoli. Protesters called for another night of defiance against the Arab world's longest-serving leader despite a crackdown." 02-11
- -02-22-11 Estimated Danger from Different Doses of Radiation (XKCD.com)
Provides estimates. 03-11
- -02-24-11 A Country-by-Country Look at Protests in the Middle East (New York Times)
Provides "the latest news on the protest movements and uprisings shaking countries across the Middle East and northern Africa." 02-11
- -02-26-11 Would Gaddafi's Fall Bring Peace? (Time.com)
"Is it the End of Days for Libya? 'Only the south, Tripoli, and Sert are under Muammar Gaddafi's control,' says Mustafa Abd al-Jalil, who, until he quit this week, was Justice minister for the strongman. 'East Libya, Zawiya, Misurata, and the western mountains are now under control of the civilians.' The ex-minister feels that there may only be one way to end the struggle. 'If Tripoli falls, Gaddafi will kill himself, or people close to him will kill him — maybe his guards,' he explains. 'It will be the waning loyalty of [Gaddafi's sons'] forces and Gaddafi's government that kills his regime.' "
"But even that outcome may not guarantee peace for Libya." 02-11
- -03-02-11 The Battle in Libya Continues (Time.com)
"Survivors of the battle, many hospitalized, have begun to sketch out details how the Gaddafi assault on Brega began." 03-11
- -03-08-11 Some of History's Most Rebellious Women (Time.com)
"In honor of International Women's Day, TIME looks at some unlikely revolutionaries, from Joan of Arc to Harriet Tubman and a modern-day mother of three who became a key democracy activist in Yemen." 03-11
- -03-09-11 Tripoli and the Future of Libya (Time.com)
"As Libya's three-week popular revolt morphs into an all-out civil war, this city of about 1.6 million people is poised between frenzied panic and humdrum normality. With no sense of how drastically their lives might be upended tomorrow, the next day or next weekend, there is fear and loathing about the mounting disaster — and yet a sense that the spectacular violence to the west and east of Tripoli is somehow unfolding in another country" 03-11
- -03-10-11 China Controls Most of the World's Rare Earth Minerals (CNN News)
"Accessible supplies of neodymium and 16 other rare earth elements -- which occupy those two orphaned rows at the bottom of the periodic table -- are running short. China, which controls supplies of 97% of these materials, doesn't like sharing them with the West. And the only U.S. mine for rare earth elements went out of production after a radioactive waste accident in the 1990s."
"Throw in the fact that rare earth elements are important to all kinds of technologies -- they're the reason smartphones vibrate, why TVs have vivid reds and greens, and how computer hard drives are able to etch data -- and you've got a recipe that scares many technologists and researchers." 03-11
- -03-11-11 Earthquake in Japan Results in Nuclear Crisis (MSNBC News)
"Coolant systems failed at three quake-stricken Japanese nuclear reactors Saturday, sending radiation seeping outside one and temperatures rising out of control at two others."
"Radiation surged to around 1,000 times the normal level in the control room of the No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima Daichi plant, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said. Radiation — it was not clear how much — had also seeped outside, prompting widening of an evacuation area to a six-mile radius from a two-mile radius around the plant. Earlier, 3,000 people had been urged to leave their homes." 03-11
- -03-11-11 Largest Earthquake in Japan's Recorded History Strikes (CNN News)
"The most powerful earthquake to hit Japan in recorded history struck off the island nation's shore on Friday, collapsing buildings, touching off widespread fires and unleashing walls of water up to 30 feet high." 03-11
- -03-14-11 A New Explosion at a Japanese Nuclear Plant (Time.com)
"For the second time in three harrowing days, a hydrogen explosion at one of Japan's crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant blew the roof off a containment building — this time on Monday morning at reactor unit No. 3."
"As grim as the news is, the situation is not yet a calamity. Critically, the fuel rods at Fukushima remain inside their steel containment vessels, and there is no indication that those vessels have been damaged."
"The problem, nuclear scientists say, is that the effort to pump in sufficient amounts of seawater to cool the fuel rods could fail, leading to a partial or full meltdown. James Acton, a nuclear expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says that "anytime you have core melting, you have the risk of a substantial release of radiation." 03-11
- -03-14-11 Consequences of Japan's Earthquake (Huffington Post)
"The estimated death toll from Japan's disasters climbed past 10,000 Sunday as authorities raced to combat the threat of multiple nuclear reactor meltdowns and hundreds of thousands of people struggled to find food and water. The prime minister said it was the nation's worst crisis since World War II." 03-11
- -03-14-11 Emergency Effort at Japanese Nuclear Plant Failing (New York Times)
"Japan’s struggle to contain the crisis at a stricken nuclear power plant worsened sharply early Tuesday morning, as emergency operations to pump seawater into one crippled reactor failed at least temporarily, increasing the risk of an uncontrolled release of radioactive material, officials said." 03-11
- -03-14-11 Japan's Nuclear Crisis Turns Spotlight on U.S. Plants (CNN News)
"The safety of America's nuclear reactors is being questioned as Japanese engineers scramble to avert a total meltdown at two of that country's quake-stricken power plants."
"Like in Japan, some of the 104 nuclear reactors in the United States are situated along the ocean -- some in earthquake-prone areas."
"The government has set aside $18 billion for new nuclear plants, and President Obama wants to spend an additional $36 billion."
"In the United States, perhaps the most vulnerable plants are the two in California built on the Pacific coast near the San Andreas fault."
"Those plants were built to withstand a magnitude 7.5 earthquake, said Robert Alvarez, a nuclear expert at the Institute for Policy studies and a former senior official at the U.S. Department of Energy."
"The San Francisco quake of 1906 measured 8.3, said Alvarez, while Friday's Japanese quake was a massive 8.9. An 8.9 quake is 125 times as powerful as 7.5 quake, according to the United States Geological Survey. 03-11
- -03-16-11 A Meltdown at a Nuclear Power Plant (MSNBC News)
"Experts on nuclear power say that the seriousness of the Fukushima Dai-ichi currently rates somewhere between Pennsylvania's 1979 Three Mile Island incident, in which the reactor's core melted down halfway but was kept contained within the facility; and the 1986 Chernobyl incident in Ukraine, in which a raging, uncontained fire spread radioactive contamination throughout Europe." 03-11
- -03-16-11 Expert: U.S. Not at Risk from Japanese Radiation (CBS News)
"Dr. Glenn Braunstein, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, sees patients with thyroid cancer -- one of the biggest risks from radiation exposure of a nuclear meltdown. He says the 5,500 miles between the U.S. and the nuclear plant in Japan is more than a safe distance." 03-11
- -03-16-11 Symptoms of Radiation Sickness (MSNBC News)
"Radiation sickness (acute radiation syndrome, or ARS) occurs when the body is exposed to a high dose of penetrating radiation within a short period of time. The first symptoms of ARS typically are fatigue, hair loss, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as skin changes such as swelling, redness, itching and radiation burns. Symptoms may present within a few minutes to days after the exposure, and may come and go. This seriously ill stage may last from a few hours up to several months." 03-11
- -03-19-11 The French Attack Gaddafi's Forces in Libya (Time.com)
"Libya's monthlong revolt became an international conflict on Saturday as five French reconnaissance jets roared over the country, in the first foreign military action ostensibly designed to stop Muammar Gaddafi's army from inflicting more damage on rebel strongholds and Libyan civilians. But the likely consequence of such an action was also emerging, that it would be the beginning of a campaign to drive Gaddafi out of rebel-held eastern Libya — and ultimately to force him from office after nearly 42 years in power." 03-11
- -03-19-11 Yemen Police Kill Demonstrators (HuffingtonPost.com)
"A massive demonstration against Yemen's government turned into a killing field Friday as snipers methodically fired down on protesters from rooftops and police made a wall of fire with tires and gasoline, blocking a key escape route."
"At least 46 people died, including some children, in an attack that marked a new level of brutality in President Ali Abdullah Saleh's crackdown on dissent. Medical officials and witnesses said hundreds were wounded." 03-11
- -03-20-11 Air Strikes Against Gaddafi's Forces Considered Effective (CBS News)
"The U.S. and European nations pounded Muammar Qaddafi's forces and air defenses with cruise missiles and airstrikes, launching the broadest international military effort since the Iraq war in support of an uprising that had seemed on the verge of defeat. Libyan state TV claimed 48 people had been killed in the attacks, but the report could not be independently verified."
"The U.S. military said 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from American and British ships and submarines at more than 20 coastal targets to clear the way for air patrols to ground Libya's air force. French fighter jets fired the first salvos, carrying out several strikes in the rebel-held east, while British fighter jets also bombarded the North African nation." 03-11
- -03-23-11 Tokyo: Radiation in Water Puts Infants at Risk (New York Times)
"Radioactive iodine detected in the capital’s water supply spurred a warning for infants on Wednesday and the government issued a stark new estimate about the costs of rebuilding from the earthquake and tsunami that slammed into the northeast of Japan this month." 03-11
- -03-24-11 Editorial: How Will the U.S. Get Out of Libya? (Time.com)
"In the final analysis, however, the most significant challenge for Barack Obama is to keep America's military involvement limited."
"There were Presidents who managed to keep military missions limited — Dwight Eisenhower — or even withdraw them when they were not working and live to fight another day: Kennedy with the Bay of Pigs; Reagan in Lebanon. They lived with partial success, stayed focused and husbanded America's power and global position. Those who didn't want to be seen as 'losing a country' often ended up losing a lot more." 03-11
- -03-24-11 Radiation and the Japanese Nuclear Reactors Crisis (CNN News)
"Radiation levels at the plant Tuesday were between 100 and 400 millisieverts, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. To put that in perspective, in the United States, a person typically gets a radiation dose of 6.2 millisieverts per year."
"At the higher end of that spectrum at the Japan plant, exposure to millisieverts for three hours would lead to radiation sickness, and eight hours would be fatal, said Ira Helfand of Physicians for Social Responsibility. But in general, in an emergency situation, keeping it below 500 millisieverts is pretty safe, said Nolan E. Hertel, nuclear engineering expert at Georgia Institute of Technology. And the further away you are from a radiation source, the lower exposure you will have." 03-11
- -03-25-11 Rebellion in Syria Turns Deadly (Time.com)
"To date, there do not appear to be widespread calls for the fall of the regime, or the removal of the relatively popular president. Indeed, there were counter-demonstrations in the capital in support of the president, who can claim the backing of Syria's substantial minority groups as well as Syria's small but growing middle-class. Most of the many chants echoing across the country are for freedom, nationalism and peaceful protests." 3-11
- -03-25-11 Truth Hard to Determine in Japanese Nuclear Plant Crisis (Time.com)
"Each day at the stricken Fukushima power plant seems to bring a new piece of troubling news—today, reports surfaced that three workers at the Fukushima plant had been hospitalized after radiation levels reported at the plant spiked to '10,000 times above normal.' There were also reports that the No. 3 reactor vessel had been damaged, which if true would result in a serious leak of radiation at the only reactor at the site that contains the especially-toxic MOX fuel."
"The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists reported that the three hospitalized workers were the first radiation-exposure injuries at Fukushima, contradicting earlier reports suggesting some workers showed symptoms of radiation sickness. The IAEA seemed to confirm this, stating that the number of workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant found to have received more than 100 millisieverts of radiation dose totaled 17 including the three contract workers. Again, 100 millisieverts is not nearly a high enough dosage to cause acute radiation sickness--that requires a dose of at least 1,000 milliesierverts."
"Many outside experts have begun openly criticizing both TEPCO and the Japenese government for the lack of transparency and reliable information about the Fukushima crisis. It's an admittedly frenzied and difficult time for TEPCO and Japanese nuclear safety officials, but it's also difficult to disagree with the sentiment of Najmedin Meshkati, a USC engineering professor who has advised U.S. agencies on nuclear safety issues; he told the LA Times, 'Information sharing has not been in the culture of Tepco or the Japanese government. This issue is larger than one utility and one country. It is an international crisis.' " 3-11
- -03-26-11 Libyan Woman Tries to Tell Journalists Her Story (New York Times)
"A Libyan woman burst into the hotel housing the foreign press in Tripoli on Saturday morning in an attempt to tell journalists that she had been raped and beaten by members of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s militia. After struggling for nearly an hour to resist removal by Colonel Qaddafi’s security forces, she was dragged away from the hotel screaming." 3-11
- -03-28-11 Radiation in Seawater May Be Spreading (MSNBC News)
"Highly radioactive iodine seeping from Japan's damaged nuclear complex may be making its way into seawater farther north of the plant than previously thought, officials said Monday, adding to radiation concerns as the crisis stretches into a third week." 3-11
- -03-29-11 Electrical Blackouts Pose Threat for U.S. Nuclear Reactors (CBS News)
"Long before the nuclear emergency in Japan, U.S. regulators knew that a power failure lasting for days at an American nuclear plant, whatever the cause, could lead to a radioactive leak. Even so, they have only required the nation's 104 nuclear reactors to develop plans for dealing with much shorter blackouts on the assumption that power would be restored quickly."
"In one nightmare simulation presented by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2009, it would take less than a day for radiation to escape from a reactor at a Pennsylvania nuclear power plant after an earthquake, flood or fire knocked out all electrical power and there was no way to keep the reactors cool after backup battery power ran out. That plant, the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, has reactors of the same older make and model as those releasing radiation at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, which is using other means to try to cool the reactors."
"And like Fukushima Dai-ichi, the Peach Bottom plant has enough battery power on site to power emergency cooling systems for eight hours. In Japan, that was not enough time for power to be restored." 03-11
- -03-29-11 Japan on "Maximum Alert" (CBS News)
"The contaminated water has been emitting radiation exposures more than four times the amount the government considers safe for workers and must be pumped out before electricity can be restored to the cooling system."
"The discovery of plutonium, released from fuel rods only when temperatures are extremely high, confirms the severity of the damage, Nishiyama said."
"Plutonium is a highly toxic substance which breaks down very slowly, remaining dangerously radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years."
"Safety officials say the amounts are not a risk to humans but support suspicions that dangerously radioactive water is leaking from damaged nuclear fuel rods — a worrying development in the race to bring the power plant under control." 03-11
- -03-30-11 Has the Japanese Nuclear Reactor No. 1 Gone Critical? (Time.com)
"To nuclear workers, there are few events more fearful than a criticality accident. In such a scenario, the fissile material in a reactor core--be it enriched uranium or plutonium--undergoes a spontaneous chain reaction, releasing a flash of aurora-blue light and a surge of neutron radiation; the gamma rays, neutrons and radioactive fission products emitted during criticality are highly dangerous to humans. Criticality occurs so rapidly--within a few fractions of a second--and so unpredictably that it can suddenly kill workers without warning. There have been 60 criticality incidents worldwide since 1945. The most recent occurred in Japan in 1999, at an experimental reactor in Tokai, when a beam of neutrons killed two workers, hospitalized dozens of emergency workers and nearby residents, and forced hundreds of thousands to remain indoors for 24 hours." 03-11
- -03-30-11 High Radiation Found in Japanese Seawater (New York Times)
"Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director general of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said that seawater collected about 300 yards from the Fukushima Daiichi station was found to contain iodine 131 at 3,355 times the safety standard. On Sunday, a test a mile north showed 1,150 times the maximum level, and a test the day before showed 1,250 times the limit in seawater taken from a monitoring station at the plant."
"Iodine 131, one of the radioactive byproducts of nuclear fission, can accumulate in the thyroid and cause cancer, but it degrades relatively rapidly, becoming half as potent every eight days. The risk can be diminished by banning fishing." 03-11
- -03-30-11 Key Libyan Leader Defects (Time.com)
"In a thundering blow to Muammar Gaddafi's standing and the morale of his regime, Libya's Foreign Minister Moussa Kusa defected to London on Wednesday night, in the regime's most high-profile break since the Western bombing campaign began nearly two weeks ago—if not, indeed, the most momentous split in the Libyan government in years" 03-11
- -04-04-11 Youth Protesters March on Yemen Palace (CNN News)
"For the first time since the start of unrest in Yemen's capital, youth protesters numbering in the tens of thousands marched toward the Republican Palace on Monday, eyewitnesses said, in an act of defiance against President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime."
"Witnesses told CNN that security forces made no move to repel the youths, who were marching in support of protests Monday in the city of Taiz, where at least 14 people were killed when security forces reportedly opened fire on demonstrators." 04-11
- -04-06-11 Radiation in Seawater Over a Million Times More Than Safety Limit (New York Times)
"The company that runs Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant announced Wednesday that it had stopped the leak of tons of highly radioactive water into the ocean discovered over the weekend. The news came a day after the company said the levels of radioactive material in the seawater near the plant were measured at several million times the legal limit."
"The announced standards for fish came hours after Tokyo Electric said it had found iodine 131 in seawater samples at 200,000 becquerels per cubic centimeter, or five million times the legal limit. The samples were collected Monday near the water intake of the No. 2 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station."
"The samples also showed levels of cesium 137 to be 1.1 million times the legal limit, according to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK. Cesium remains in the environment for centuries, losing half its strength every 30 years." 04-11
- -04-10-11 Temporary Japanese Workers Do the Most Dangerous Nuclear Jobs (New York Times)
"Mr. Ishizawa, who was finally allowed to leave, is not a nuclear specialist; he is not even an employee of the Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator of the crippled plant. He is one of thousands of untrained, itinerant, temporary laborers who handle the bulk of the dangerous work at nuclear power plants here and in other countries, lured by the higher wages offered for working with radiation. Collectively, these contractors were exposed to levels of radiation about 16 times as high as the levels faced by Tokyo Electric employees last year, according to Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, which regulates the industry." 04-11
- -04-11-10 Editorial: Lessons from Kyrgyzstan (New York Times)
"For Washington and the West there are lessons, if anyone wants to learn them. The key one is that authoritarian regimes are not only unpalatable allies; they are unreliable ones. They block all safety valves — free elections and media, democratic discourse, opposition. Change usually comes in an explosion. Dependence on them is both miserable ethics and poor strategy."
"Finally, Kyrgyzstan is not the exception in Central Asia. It is the rule. The region’s other leaders resemble Bakiyev in many respects, and some are worse. All are autocrats and most are extravagantly corrupt. (And all allow their territory to be used for the resupply of allied forces in Afghanistan)." 04-10
- -04-11-10 Nuclear Terrorism a Global Security Priority (ABC News)
"World leaders from 47 countries are descending on Washington, D.C., this week for an unprecedented summit to discuss what is arguably one of the most pressing global security questions: What can be done to prevent a nuclear weapons attack by terrorists?" 04-10
- -04-18-11 The Carnage in Libya (New York Times)
"Asked if he was afraid, Mr. Madhoun’s answer was quick."
" 'Absolutely not,' he said. He added: 'We have a strong connection to God. All of us here know that some day death will come. We know we will die. And we do not care how we die.' "
"He stood quietly as patients were moved by. A refrigerated truck in the lot held rotting remains collected in the morning on the street. He amended his answer. 'It is an honor,' he said, 'to die in defense of freedom.' "
"So many, though, have been wounded or killed defending nothing, resisting nothing, just trying to stay out of the conflict’s way."
"As Sunday’s tallies rose, an aged woman joined the procession of the wounded, as did a wafer-thin 92-year-old man, who was carried into the tent with bloodied face and feet."
"He had been in his home, his son said, when a mortar or artillery round hit it, collapsing the roof." 04-11
- -04-28-11 New Political Leader for Tibet in Exile (Time.com)
“Lobsang Sangay, a 43-year-old Indian-born legal scholar educated at Harvard, was elected prime minister of the Tibetan government in exile after claiming 55% of votes cast by the Tibetan exile diaspora. His victory comes on the heels of the Dalai Lama's announced departure from political life — a move that marks a new phase in the history of the Tibetan exiles' struggle with China.” 04-11
- -04-29-11 Editorial: Syria's Assad Cracks Down on Protesters (New York Times)
"When Bashar al-Assad succeeded his father, Hafez, as Syria’s president in 2000, the United States and many others hoped that Syria might finally stop persecuting its people and become a more responsible regional power."
"That didn’t happen. Now Mr. Assad appears determined to join his father in the ranks of history’s blood-stained dictators, sending his troops and thugs to murder anyone who has the courage to demand political freedom." 04-11
- -04-29-11 Syrian Forces Shoot Protesters (New York Times)
"In the afternoon, residents said, hundreds tried to march to the town, either to break the siege or to bring food and medicine. As they approached, reportedly carrying olive branches and white sheets to signal their peacefulness, security forces opened fire."
" 'There was a lot of screaming,' Mr. Tarif said by phone, citing the accounts of residents there. 'It was a massacre. It was another bloody massacre.' " 04-11
- -05-11-11 Rare Planetary Alignment Now, Not in 2012 (Time.com)
"Beginning today and lasting for a few weeks, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Mars will be visible in the early morning sky, aligned roughly along the ecliptic — or the path the sun travels throughout the day. Uranus and Neptune, much fainter but there all the same, should be visible through binoculars. What gives the end-of-the-worlders shivers is that just such a configuration is supposed to occur on Dec. 21, 2012, and contribute in some unspecified way to the demolition of the planet. But what makes that especially nonsensical — apart from the fact that it's, you know, nonsense — is that astronomers say no remotely similar alignment will occur next year." 05-11
- -05-11-11 Yemeni Forces Fire on Protesters (Time.com)
"Yemeni security forces, including snipers, opened fire on thousands of anti-government protesters marching to the Cabinet building on Wednesday, killing one and injuring at least 40, medical officials and protesters said."
"The protesters demanding the ouster of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh were marching from a main square in Sanaa toward the Cabinet headquarters when they came under fire from snipers on rooftops, plainclothes security forces, and soldiers with anti-aircraft guns mounted on pickup trucks, activists said." 05-11
- -05-17-11 China Facing Energy Shortages (Time.com)
"The amount of new installed capacity is due to fall by 10 million kilowatts next year, compared to this year, while demand continues to climb at double-digit rates, Hu Zhaoguang, vice president of State Grid Energy Research Institute, said in comments posted on the Energy Research Observation Net." 05-11
- -05-23-11 Ash Cloud from Icelandic Volcano Causes Flight Cancellations (Time.com)
"A dense cloud of ash from an Icelandic volcano was being blown toward Scotland Monday, forcing one airline to cancel nearly all its flights, U.S. President Barack Obama to cut short his visit to Ireland and carriers across Europe to fear a repeat of the huge disruptions that stranded millions of passengers a year ago." 05-11
- -05-25-11 China Has Problems with World's Largest Dam as Drought Persists (CNN News)
"In a rare admission, the Chinese government has said the Three Gorges Dam -- the world's largest hydropower plant -- is having 'urgent problems,' warning of environmental, construction and migration "disasters" amid the worst drought to hit southern China in 50 years." 05-11
- -05-30-11 City Under Jerusalem ( CBS News)
"Underneath the crowded alleys and holy sites of old Jerusalem, hundreds of people are snaking at any given moment through tunnels, vaulted medieval chambers and Roman sewers in a rapidly expanding subterranean city invisible from the streets above." 05-11
- -05-30-11 India's Poverty (Time.com)
"Spikes in the prices of onions and other vegetables sent thousands into the streets to protest, a reminder that despite India's 8% growth, it is also home to 64 million malnourished children, nearly half the world's total. India produces enough food for them, but not all their families can afford to buy it. 'There is a very vulnerable section who may not have seen any change in their income levels,' says Kaushik Basu, India's chief economic adviser. 'If income does not change and if prices rise, you're being hit badly.' " 05-11
- -06-02-11 Gaddafi's Rule in Libya Considered Near the End (Time.com)
"With Gaddafi's regime mortally wounded, the question now is how his rule will end. In an effort to end the conflict quickly by offering the Libyan leader alternatives to a war-crimes trial or death on the battlefield, Zuma is believed to have urged Gaddafi to accept immediate exile." 05-11
- -06-03-11 Study: War on Drugs a Disaster (Time.com)
"The Global Commission on Drug Policy, an organization launched by former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia and Mexico (and whose accomplished 19-member board includes former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Pakistani feminist activist Asma Jehangir, and, yes, Sir Richard Branson), declared today that the "global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world." Four decades ago, policy makers imagined creating a drug free world through "harsh law enforcement action" that cracked down on drug production and distribution. But the resulting "vast expenditures on criminalization and repressive measures directed at producers, traffickers and consumers" have only led to an expansion of the trade, higher rates of drug consumption, and has created — as seen in places like Mexico or Afghanistan — deadly, volatile new arenas for an illicit industry to sow mayhem."
"The commission advocates decriminalizing drug use by those who do no harm to others. Countries that have adopted measures that treat drug users as patients — and not criminals — have, for example, drastically lower rates of HIV-positive needle-users. The public health consequences for decades of ineffective policies are stark and can't be ignored. Governments, the report says, need to stop fretting over false dichotomies of "tough or soft, repressive or liberal" policies and think up a flexible approach that both minimizes "health and social harms" and maximizes "individual and national security." A vital cog of this is decriminalizing and perhaps even legalizing certain drugs, particularly cannabis, and taxing their production and sale." 06-11
- -06-04-11 Success with HIV/AIDS in Brazil (CNN News)
"As we mark the 30th anniversary of the CDC's official reporting of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, it's surprising to see which nation has fared the best in response. It's not the United States; it's not China, India, or even Russia ... It's our good friend to the south, Brazil."
"After several trips to cities throughout the country, interviewing AIDS patients, health officials, and activists, it gradually became clear that the government was indeed fully committed to eradicating AIDS, in turn proving to the world that it had the technical capacity and political commitment needed to do so." 06-11
- -06-07-11 NATO Destroys Qaddafi's Compound (New York Times)
"In a sudden, sharp escalation of NATO’s air campaign over Libya, warplanes dropped more than 80 bombs on targets in Tripoli in an assault that began Tuesday morning and continued into the predawn hours of Wednesday, obliterating large areas of Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya command compound and what NATO identified as other military targets around the capital." 06-11
- -06-08-11 Hitler's Infamous Genocide Letter (Time.com)
"In September 1919, the year after the end of World War I, a German captain named Karl Mayr, who ran a propaganda unit in charge of educating demobilized soldiers in nationalism and scapegoating, received an inquiry from a soldier named Adolf Gemlich about the army's position on "the Jewish question." Mayr tasked a young subordinate named Adolf Hitler to answer. The resulting Gemlich letter, as it is known to historians, is believed to be the first record of Hitler's anti-Semitic beliefs and has been an important document in Holocaust studies for decades." 06-11
- -06-20-11 Many New Domain Names to Be Released (MSNBC News)
"The regulatory body that oversees Internet domain names voted on Monday to revamp the domain naming system for websites, allowing them to end with words like 'apple' and 'orange' instead of suffixes such as '.com' or '.gov.' " 06-11
- -06-26-11 Editorial: In the Middle East, Peace and Good Governance Starts With Them (New York Times)
"If it doesn’t start with them, if they don’t have ownership of a new peace initiative, a battle or a struggle for good governance, no amount of U.S. troops kick-starting, cajoling or doling out money can make it work. And if it does start with them, they really don’t need or want us around for very long." 06-11
- -07-26-11 Murdoch's Role in the World (Truth-out.org)
"Rupert Murdoch has had a profound influence on the state of journalism today. It's a kind of tribute, in some sense, that the general coverage of his current troubles has reflected the detrimental effect of his influence over the years. Right now, the media, by and large, are focusing on tawdry 'police blotter' acts of the very sort that have historically informed Murdoch's own tabloid sensibility, while the bigger picture gets short shrift." 07-11
- -08-12-11 Helping Starving People in Africa (CNN News)
"Twelve million people are facing a hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa, and they are in desperate need of help."
"The United Nations declared a famine in parts of southern Somalia, calling for a widespread international response to end the suffering."
" 'Pledge to Fund-raise' by raising $100 on your own or through social networks by asking 10 friends to donate $10 each. Give through the Facebook Cause page or text 'SURVIVE' to 20222 to donate $10 from the United States." 08-11
- -08-21-11 Rebels Take Tripoli in Libya (New York Times)
"Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s grip on power dissolved with astonishing speed on Monday as rebels marched into the capital and arrested two of his sons, while residents raucously celebrated the prospective end of his four-decade-old rule.” 08-11
- -08-22-11 After Tyranny: How Can Libya Avoid Iraq's Fate? (Time.com)
"Away from the dizzying euphoria on Tripoli's streets, where Libyans have held wild celebrations of the end of Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule, there is a specter that hovers over the scene in the minds of many Libyan officials and Western governments — that of another Arab capital: Baghdad." 08-11
- -10-20-11 Gaddafi Dead (Time.com)
"After being forced out of his fortified bunker and into a life on the lam, Libya's flamboyant former strongman met his end at the hands of his own people." 10-11
- -12-01-11 An Activist Stands Her Ground in Bahrain (New York Times)
"During a protest in Bahrain on Saturday, an American journalist named Matthew Cassel reported on Twitter that he had just witnessed something remarkable: a lone female protester who refused to move as police officers in riot gear charged past her, firing tear gas shells just a few feet from her head." 12-11
- -12-01-11 Syria Now in Civil War (CBS News)
"The U.N.'s top human rights official says Syria is now in a state of civil war with more than 4,000 people killed.”
"Syrian President Bashar Assad has been trying to crush an 8-month-old revolt against his autocratic rule." 12-11
- -12-02-11 Islamists Dominate in Egyptian Election (Time.com)
"The Muslim Brotherhood is Egypt's political mainstream, and its most significant challengers are the more extreme Islamists of the Salafi movement rather than the secular liberal forces that dominate the Tahrir Square protest movement. That appears to be the not-exactly-surprising verdict of the electorate, according to reports from the first two days of voting in Egypt's protracted parliamentary election."
"The Muslim Brotherhood is Egypt's political mainstream, and its most significant challengers are the more extreme Islamists of the Salafi movement rather than the secular liberal forces that dominate the Tahrir Square protest movement. That appears to be the not-exactly-surprising verdict of the electorate, according to reports from the first two days of voting in Egypt's protracted parliamentary election."
"The official announcement of results from the nine (out of a total of 27) provinces has been delayed until Friday or Saturday, but the New York Times reports that the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party looks to have garnered some 40% of the vote, while a further 25% could go to the even more conservative Salafist al-Nour party. Despite the apparent Islamist majority, Brotherhood leaders hastened to reassure Egyptians Thursday that they have no intention of seeking a coalition with the Salafists, seeing secular parties as the more natural ally for their vision of a democratic Egypt. If anything, the Islamists' share of the vote is more likely to grow than shrink, considering that the electoral districts that voted this week were the most urban, middle class and liberal." 12-11
- -12-07-11 Wheeler, Rachael: Builder of Homes in Haiti (MSNBC News)
"The 12-year-old Florida resident has done more to aid others than many grown-ups do in a lifetime."
"Three years ago, when she was only nine, Rachel tagged along with her mother to a very adult meeting about charity work in Haiti. She listened as Robin Mahfood, from the aid agency Food For The Poor, describe children so hungry that they eat cookies made of mud, so poor that they sleep in houses made of cardboard." 12-11
- -12-18-11 Kim Jong-il, North Korean Leader, Dies (New York Times)
"Kim Jong-il, the reclusive North Korean leader who has been battling ill health following a reported stroke in 2008, has died, the North’s official news media reported on Monday." 12-11
- 01-26-11 China Plans World's Largest City (Time.com)
"Some ambitious apparatchiks in southern China want to combine 9 cities to create an urban area the size of New Jersey and Vermont combined."
"The plan, announced in state media, would unite several existing cities in the prosperous Pearl River Delta region, including Guangzhou (12 million), Shenzhen (8.6 million), Dongguan (6.9 million) and six smaller cities. Together, these cities already account for about 10% of China's economy, the Telegraph notes." 01-11
- 02-17-11 How Egypt Is Different From Bahrain (MSNBC News)
" 'Nationally, Bahrain is a very poor country and the wealth that does get created is concentrated in the hands of the rulers and the influential,' he said. '… I’ve never seen wretched poverty like I’ve seen in Bahrain.' " 02-11
- 02-19-11 Thousands Reclaim Pearl Square in Bahrain (New York Times)
"A brutal government crackdown on pro-democracy protesters here on Thursday not only killed at least five people but, once again, placed the Obama administration in the uncomfortable position of dealing with a strategic Arab ally locked in a showdown with its people." 02-11
- 03-15-11 Nuclear Containment Vessel Fails in Japan (Time.com)
"The breach of the containment vessel at unit No. 2, as well as the fire at unit No. 4, led to a spike in the radioactivity levels around the plant to dangerous levels, as a grim-faced Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan acknowledged in a brief nationally televised speech this morning. 'The reading seems very high, and there is still a very high risk of further radioactive material coming out,' Kan warned."
"It is unclear as of yet whether the apparent breach at reactor No. 2 will lead to a catastrophic release of radiation." 03-11
- 03-18-11 Gaddafi's "Ceasefire" Complicates U.N. Resolution (Time.com)
"So who will be the sharp end of the spear enforcing the U.N. Security Council resolution that demands an end to the Libyan regime's assault on civilian population centers -- a squadron of French Mirage fighters? British Tornadoes? A couple of F-16's from the United Arab Emirates Air Force, to emphasize Arab participation? None of the above. It's more likely to be a phalanx of U.N.-appointed diplomats heading to Tripoli and Benghazi to figure out truce terms."
"That's because the Libyan regime has responded smartly to the Security Council resolution, declaring on Friday that it would halt all military action and implement the cease-fire demanded by the international community." 03-11
- Tantawi and Military Council Take Control in Egypt (ABC News)
"As thousands in Egypt celebrate the end of Hosni Mubarak's 30-year reign today, authority in the North African nation has shifted to Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi, a man experts and some protestors said is undoubtedly a member of the old regime, but clean of the human rights abuses the plagued the state's intelligence and police agencies." 02-11
- Wael Ghonim, Revolutionary (Time.com)
"But in spite of his career achievements and comfortable life, he chose to be part of a hidden, more dangerous world — one in which he sought to activate change in his homeland. After he returned to Egypt, that work thrust him into prison for more than 10 days. When he emerged, he was hailed by some as the leader of the faceless group of young revolutionaries who are credited with getting the uprising against President Hosni Mubarak off the ground." 02-11