- -01 U.N. Votes to Destroy Syria's Chemical Weapons (CBS News)
"The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously to secure and destroy Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, a landmark decision aimed at taking poison gas off the battlefield in the escalating 2 1/2-year conflict."
- -01-12-13 Cancer and Chemical Dyes (New York Times)
"For the last five years I have been writing a history of the chemical industry’s egregious 60-year involvement in the New Jersey shore town of Toms River, which gained unwanted notoriety in the late 1990s thanks to a remarkably well-documented cluster of childhood cancer cases and a long history of often hidden industrial pollution." 01-13
- -01-21-13 Death Count in Algeria Mounts (Time.com)
"As the death toll from Algeria’s hostage massacre rose to at least 69, security experts in Europe and beyond are examining the six-day drama for clues about the evolving terror threat." 01-13
- -01-28-13 Why Islamists Are Destroying Mali's Cultural Heritage (Time.com)
"In the puritanical strain of Islam adhered to by Ansar Dine (and the Taliban), veneration of Sufi saints counts as idolatry, a heretical practice that cannot be tolerated. Militants bearing guns, pickaxes and shovels reduced to rubble the tomb of Sidi Mahmoud, who died in 955 A.D. They have also knocked down tombs of two other prominent medieval saints, Sidi Moctar and Alpha Moya. One Ansar Dine spokesman told the BBC that they plan to destroy every single Sufi shrine in the city, 'without exception'.”
"International outrage has been swift. UNESCO, which designates some of Timbuktu’s mosques and tombs as World Heritage sites, has desperately urged an end to the campaign of destruction." 01-13
- -02-16-12 Abuse of Girls in Afghanistan (MSNBC News)
"Although baad (also known as baadi) is illegal under Afghan and, most religious scholars say, Islamic law, the taking of girls as payment for misdeeds committed by their elders still appears to be flourishing. Shakila, because one of her uncles had run away with the wife of a district strongman, was taken and held for about a year. It was the district leader, furious at the dishonor that had been done to him, who sent his men to abduct her." 02-12
- -02-20-12 Iran Warns U.S. on Syria (New York Times)
"Two Iranian warships docked in a Syrian port on Monday as a senior Iranian lawmaker denounced American calls for arming the Syrian opposition, adding to the international tensions over the nearly yearlong crackdown by the government of President Bashar al-Assad." 02-12
- -03-08-13 Funeral for Venezuela's Leader (CBS News)
"With leaders from five continents on hand, Venezuela prepared for a day of distinctly different ceremonies -- first the formal state funeral of Hugo Chavez, then the controversial swearing in of his anointed interim successor, who the opposition charges has no constitutional right to the job." 03-13
- -03-08-13 How the Conclave for Electing the Pope Works (CBS News)
"On the first day of the conclave, the cardinals will hold no more than one round of voting, in the afternoon. Each round consists of two votes. They have already discussed the merits of each papal prospect during days of "general congregations" at the Vatican, but a deciding vote must see one name garner two-thirds plus-one vote to win -- that translates to support from 77 of the 115 cardinal electors. The now-retired Pope Benedict XVI himself committed that absolute majority rule into Church law just two days before he stepped down." 03-13
- -03-15-11 U.S. Owes China $1.16 Trillion (CBS News)
"China, the biggest buyer of U.S. Treasury securities, owns a lot more than previously estimated."
"In an annual revision of the figures, the Treasury Department said Monday that China's holdings totaled $1.16 trillion at the end of December. That was an increase of 30 percent from an estimate the government made two weeks ago."
"Japan had the second highest foreign holdings, totaling $882.3 billion at the end of December. The revision was only slightly below the original estimate."
"The total foreign holdings of Treasury debt stood at $4.44 trillion at the end of December, according to the new report. That's up 1.5 percent from the estimate made two weeks ago. About two-thirds of U.S. Treasurys owned overseas are held by foreign governments and central banks."
"The U.S. government is selling huge amounts of debt to finance record-high budget deficits. The Obama administration in its new budget released on Feb. 14 projected that this year's deficit will reach a record $1.65 trillion. It would be the third consecutive year the federal deficit has exceeded $1 trillion." 03-11
- -04-09-13 Margaret Thatcher Dies (Time.com)
"As one of the most divisive and polarizing leaders in British political history – from her controversial closure of coal mines to the introduction of a poll tax and the push for privatization – it is no surprise that even in death she continues to divide the country." 04-13
- -04-25-13 White House: Small-Scale Chemical Weapons Used in Syria (NBC News)
"Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday that the U.S. believes "with some degree of varying confidence" the Syrian government has used chemical weapons -- specifically the nerve agent sarin -- against its own people."
"Hagel could not say whether Syria had crossed the 'red line' laid down by President Obama, who has said evidence that chemical weapons were used would be a 'game-changer' in whether the U.S. intervenes in the Syrian civil war." 04-13
- -05-25-13 Millions Protest Monsanto's Genetic Engineering of Food (ABC News)
"Two million people marched in protest against seed giant Monsanto in hundreds of rallies across the U.S. and in over 50 other countries on Saturday."
" 'March Against Monsanto' protesters say they wanted to call attention to the dangers posed by genetically modified food and the food giants that produce it. Founder and organizer Tami Canal said protests were held in 436 cities in 52 countries."
"Together with Seattle blogger and activist Emilie Rensink and Nick Bernabe of Anti-Media.org, Canal worked with A Revolt.org digital anarchy to promote international awareness of the event. She called the turnout 'incredible,' and credited social media for being a vehicle for furthering opportunities for activism. Despite the size of the gatherings, Canal said she was grateful that the marches were uniformly peaceful and no arrests have been reported." 05-13
- -06-13-13 Supreme Court: Human Genes Cannot be Patented (NBC News)
"The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that companies cannot patent human genes, a ruling that patient advocates said would increase competition and lower the cost of screenings for cancer risk and other genetic tests."
"DNA is 'a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated,' the court said. In something of a compromise, it ruled that genetic material created in laboratories is eligible for patent protection." 06-13
- -06-13-13 U.S.: Syria Has Used Chemical Weapons on Rebels (New York Times)
"American intelligence analysts now believe that President Bashar al-Assad’s troops have used chemical weapons against rebel forces in the civil war in Syria, an assessment that will put added pressure on a deeply divided Obama administration to develop a response to a provocation that the president himself has declared a 'red line.' " 06-13
- -06-13-13 UN: World Population to Reach 8.1 Billion in 2025 (ABC News)
"A new U.N. report is forecasting that the world's population will increase from 7.2 billion today to 8.1 billion in 2025 and 9.6 billion in 2050." 06-13
- -07-02-13 Egypt Faces a Showdown (Christian Science Monitor)
"Egypt is facing a showdown in the streets as President Mohamed Morsi's supporters and opponents alike demonstrate their strength while the country waits to see how a standoff between the military and Mr. Morsi will be resolved." 07-13
- -07-03-13 Egyptian President Removed by the Military (New York Times)
"Egypt’s military moved forcefully to seize power from President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday, deploying tanks and troops in Cairo and other cities, restricting his travel and convening an emergency meeting of top civilian and religious leaders to devise an interim government and lay the groundwork for new elections."
"Security officials said the military’s intelligence service had banned any travel by President Morsi and senior Islamist aides, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, and his influential deputy, Khairat el-Shater." 07-13
- -07-04-13 New Egyptian Leader Not Well Known (NBC News)
"The man who will shepherd Egypt from four days of tumultuous political protests into its highly uncertain future is a little-known judge described by a colleague as fair, reserved and committed to cooperation."
"Adly Mansour, 67, who was chairman of the Supreme Constitutional Court before he was hurried into office Thursday, used his first moments as interim president to cast himself as a servant of the people who is interested in building an inclusive government." 07-13
- -07-14-13 Egyptian Economy in Free Fall (World.Time.com)
"As interim Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy works to fill out his fledgling Cabinet and return the country to something resembling stability, one of his most immediate challenges will be a task he, in theory, should be ably qualified to handle."
"Al-Beblawy, a career economist and former Finance Minister, has assumed the reins of a country in economic free fall." 07-13
- -08-14-13 Egypt Declares a State of Emergency (World.Time.com)
"Early this morning, security forces raided two protest areas in Cairo to clear out supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. At least 149 people have been reported killed and more than 1403 injured.” 08-13
- -08-21-13 International Panel Finds That Climate Change Is Real (New York Times)
"An international panel of scientists has found with near certainty that human activity is the cause of most of the temperature increases of recent decades, and warns that sea levels could conceivably rise by more than three feet by the end of the century if emissions continue at a runaway pace." 08-13
- New Pope Announced (Time.com)
"Habemus Papam Franciscum came the tweet, the first official word from the @Pontifex account, just after the white smoke curled from the copper chimney watched by hundreds of thousands in St. Peter’s Square, by millions and millions on every imaginable 21st century technology around the world. And there it was, old and new, past and present, the arrival of a Pope who for the first time hails from “the most unequal part of the world,” as he once called Latin America, who cooked his own dinners and rode the bus and took his regnal name from the sainted champion of the least among us. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, brings to the throne of St. Peter a concern about the “spiritual sickness” that can afflict a church if it seems to care more for its priests than its people. “I want you to bless me,” he told the crowd, before it was his turn to bless them. He noted that his brother Cardinals had gone “to the end of the earth” to find the new Bishop of Rome. But there was a kind of subtle, rounded—perhaps divine—justice to it all. And by the time his brief debut was over, it was already clear that a profound change had occurred in an institution famously resistant to it." 03-13