US considers sanctions against Ukraine
The US state department says it is considering all options, including sanctions, towards Ukraine after riot police moved in on protesters. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 22:12:57 GMT
Thousands file past Mandela's body
South Africans queue in their thousands to view the body of former President Nelson Mandela, which is lying in state for three days. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:51:46 GMT
Australia court bans gay marriage
Australia's High Court has overturned legislation allowing gay marriage in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), rendering 27 gay marriages invalid. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 03:20:16 GMT
US and UK suspend Syria rebel aid
The US and UK suspend "non-lethal assistance" to rebels in northern Syria - but not humanitarian aid - after an Islamist alliance seizes FSA bases. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 20:37:35 GMT
Cave holds stunning tsunami clues
A cave on the northwestern coast of Sumatra holds a remarkable record of big tsunamis in the Indian Ocean stretching back thousands of years. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 02:06:49 GMT
New sex offences guidance published
Sex offenders found to have abused their position of power could face longer jail terms under new guidelines in England and Wales. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 02:25:20 GMT
GP failings exposed by inspectors
Inspectors reveal a catalogue of failings at some GP practices in England with drugs stored incorrectly and rooms so dirty they had maggots. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 01:01:13 GMT
Review of 'legal highs' launched
A new review of "legal highs" could lead to sweeping changes to UK drug legislation, the Home Office says. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 01:34:38 GMT
Government 'loses £13bn to fraud'
Figures suggesting £13.2bn was written off by the government in 2011 due to fraud, errors and legal claims are "staggering", says a committee of MPs. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 00:09:18 GMT
VIDEO: Pop-up health clinic on a motorbike
A motorbike ambulance and pop-up clinic that can be used to reach remote villages in developing countries have been on show at the World Innovation Summit for Health. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 00:26:55 GMT
Outcry over 'fake' Mandela signer
Sign language experts and deaf viewers complain that the interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial service was a "fake" who was "signing rubbish". Wed, 11 Dec 2013 23:25:04 GMT
Pope named Time's Person of the Year
Time Magazine names Pope Francis as its Person of the Year, saying he has pulled "the papacy out the palace and into the streets". Wed, 11 Dec 2013 18:24:12 GMT
New results from inside the ozone hole
Scientists have revealed the inner workings of the ozone hole that forms annually over Antarctica and found that declining chlorine in the stratosphere has not yet caused a recovery of the ozone hole. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 18:56:56 EST
Ukraine Opposition Rejects New Calls for Dialogue
Ukrainian opposition leaders have rejected a call by President Viktor Yanukovych for talks aimed at ending two weeks of protests against his move to step back from a key trade deal with the European Union, in favor of boosting ties with Russia.Mr. Yanukovych issued an invitation late Wednesday for a national dialogue with religious, civic and opposition leaders, while urging protesters encamped in central Kyiv to avoid "confrontation and ultimatums."... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 21:45:39 -0500
NASA Studies Space Station Cooling Glitch; No Immediate Danger to Crew
NASA says it is assessing a problem with one of two cooling systems aboard the International Space Station, but says there is no immediate danger to crewmen on board.
Spokesman Kelly Humphries, speaking Wednesday, said the problem appeared to be a faulty valve inside a pump on the exterior of the $100 billion research complex, which is traveling about 400 kilometers above the Earth.
Humphries said engineers were trying to determine whether the malfunction was a hardware or a... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 20:48:35 -0500
US Small Businesses Applaud Bipartisan Budget Deal
An advocacy group representing small businesses in the United States has applauded the bipartisan budget agreement crafted by congressional leaders and announced late Tuesday. The deal does not address all the challenges facing small businesses, but, if approved, the two-year agreement could reduce the acrimony and political brinksmanship that have damaged business and consumer confidence.
It’s been hailed as a bipartisan breakthrough - an 11th hour [last minute] deal that Democratic... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 19:35:57 -0500
Kerry Fails to Convince Key Senators to Forgo New Iran Sanctions
A direct appeal by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has not convinced skeptical senators to forgo a push to boost sanctions against Iran. Kerry appears to have changed few if any minds when he told U.S. lawmakers that further sanctions would torpedo delicate international negotiations to limit Tehran's nuclear program.
Secretary Kerry met with a large contingent of senators of both parties behind closed doors at the Capitol. Emerging an hour later, several lawmakers said they heard... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 19:33:35 -0500
China's Hot Messaging App WeChat May be Good News for Censors
The day before China's Communist Party published one of its most important policy statements in a decade, a copy of the reform plans was already circulating on Chinese social media.
The unprecedented Nov. 14 leak fuelled China's biggest stock market rally in two months as it spread on microblogs and passed from smartphone to smartphone on WeChat, a three-year-old social messaging app developed by Tencent Holdings Ltd.
WeChat, or Weixin in Chinese, meaning... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 19:21:38 -0500
This Day in History
Wed, 11 Dec 2013 06:00:00 +0100
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Established (1946)
The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)—now the United Nations Children's Fund—was founded in 1946 for the purpose of providing relief to children in countries devastated by World War II. After 1950, it turned to general children's welfare programs, winning the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1965. Today, it focuses on areas in which relatively small expenditures can have a significant impact. How did its famous "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" fundraising campaign begin? Discuss
One in three children do not officially exist, UNICEF reports
Nearly 230 million children under the age of five have not had their births officially recorded, excluding them from education, health care and social security, the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) today reported. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 00:00:00 EST
Progress in malaria fight despite less funding, UN reports
The number of people killed by malaria has been cut by nearly half in Africa and a slightly lower rate globally, but sustained funding is needed to lower the numbers even more, according to the United Nations health agency which today released its annual assessment report on the disease. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 00:00:00 EST
Wed, 11 Dec 2013 06:00:00 +0100
Max Born (1882)
A prominent German physicist, Born taught theoretical physics at the University of Göttingen from 1921 to 1933, until Nazi policies forced him—a person of Jewish descent—to flee to England, where he continued to teach at the university level. He made contributions to various branches of physics, including solid-state physics and optics, but his most important work was that related to quantum mechanics—work that earned him a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1954. Born was one of 11 signatories to what? Discuss
Check Out Two New Featurettes from Saving Mr. Banks
Walt Disney Pictures has released two new behind-the-scenes featurettes from director John Lee Hancock's Saving Mr. Banks , opening in limited theaters this Friday before expanding wide on December 20. Check them both out in the players below! Thu, 12 Dec 2013 04:39:54 +0100
Lionsgate Plans Jesus of Nazareth Tale, Zealot
Lionsgate announced today that it has acquired the feature film rights to internationally acclaimed author Dr. Reza Aslans provocative New York Times bestseller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth . Thu, 12 Dec 2013 04:39:54 +0100
Check Out More Than 25 New Stills from Grudge Match
Warner Bros. Pictures has brought online more than 25 new stills from director Peter Segal's Grudge Match , starring Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Kevin Hart, Kim Basinger and Alan Arkin. Check them all out in the gallery viewer below! Thu, 12 Dec 2013 04:39:54 +0100
Four More Sit Down for Ouija
As the film gears up to begin production this week in Los Angeles, Ouija has added four new cast members. The Hollywood Reporter today brings word that Vivis Colombetti ( Paranormal Activity 2 ), Ana Coto ( DisCONNECTED ), Erin Moriarty ( The Kings of Summer ) and Bianca Santos ("The Fosters") are set to join the previously-announced Olivia Cooke, Daren Kagasoff and Douglas Smith. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 04:39:54 +0100
Frank Grillo to Topline The Purge 2
Frank Grillo is set to return to the thriller genre. Deadline reports that the The Grey star is set to headline next year's The Purge 2 . Thu, 12 Dec 2013 04:39:54 +0100
British success at SAG nominations
British actresses Emma Thompson and Dame Judi Dench are among the British stars shortlisted for this year's Screen Actors Guild awards. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 15:08:36 GMT
Lost Sellers films to be screened
Two rare films from Peter Sellers' early career will be shown in public for the first time in 50 years, at the 2014 Southend Film Festival. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 05:59:52 GMT
Heathers musical to open in New York
A stage version of the 1988 movie Heathers, which starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, will receive its New York premiere Off-Broadway in March 2014. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 12:27:41 GMT
Elliot and Monty writers team up
Two of Britain's top film writers, Billy Elliot's Lee Hall and The Full Monty's Simon Beaufoy, are writing a script about cricketer Harold Larwood. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 18:55:24 GMT
BBC told to improve peak-time drama
The BBC has been ordered to improve the "quality and distinctiveness" of its peak-time drama and current affairs, it is revealed. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 15:30:18 GMT
Laurie wins NZ best actor honour
British star Hugh Laurie has won best actor at the New Zealand film awards for his lead role as a teacher in Mr Pip. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 09:43:01 GMT
Loser wins Roald Dahl Funny Prize
Children's books I Am Still Not A Loser by Jim Smith and Simon Rickerty's Monkey Nuts are named the winners of this year's Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 10:52:48 GMT
Latitude announces first headliner
Two Door Cinema Club, Billy Bragg and Haim are among the first names to be announced for next year's Latitude Festival. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 12:12:34 GMT
Article of the Day
Wed, 11 Dec 2013 06:00:00 +0100
The chubby, usually naked infants with wings that often appear in Renaissance sculpture and paintings are called putti. Putto is the Italian word for "boy," and the cherubic putti found in artwork are usually male. Putti were seen primarily on sarcophagi of the 2nd century before experiencing a revival in 15th-century Italy, thanks largely to the work of Donatello, and becoming a common feature of Baroque ceiling frescoes. What other artist painted well-known representations of putti? Discuss
Wed, 11 Dec 2013 05:00:00 GMT Noblesse Oblige
The French phrase noblesse oblige means "nobility obliges" and implies that with wealth, power, and prestige come responsibilities. The phrase has been more broadly used to describe the motivation of those who help the less fortunate. The concept has been referenced by diverse authors through the centuries, including Homer, Honoré de Balzac, and William Faulkner, and has even been cited in modern legal writings. What Disney movie directly references noblesse oblige in one of its songs?
Tue, 10 Dec 2013 05:00:00 GMT
Though they appear to take flight, most "flying fish"—found worldwide in warm waters—actually only jump out of the water and then glide above its surface with their enlarged fins. This unusual behavior is primarily a way to escape predators, and the strongest fliers can travel as much as 600 feet (180 m) in a single glide. The characin of the Amazon basin, however, is the rare flying fish that achieves true flight by buzzing its winglike fins. What country is nicknamed "the land of flying fish"?
India turns back clock with gay sex ban
India's Supreme Court has reinstated a ban on gay sex in the world's largest democracy, following a four-year period of decriminalisation. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 18:47:00 +0200
Cameron laughs off 'selfie' criticism
British Prime Minister David Cameron has laughed off criticism that he had acted inappropriately by taking a "selfie" at Mandela's memorial service. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 15:22:00 +0200
DAMASCUS - The US and UK have suspended all non-lethal aid to northern Syria after Islamist fighters seized Western-backed rebel headquarter and weapons warehouses, highlighting fears that supplies could end up in the wrong hands. The Islamic Front forces seized headquarters and warehouses belonging to the Free Syrian Army's Supreme Military Council (SMC), according to a U.S. Embassy spokesman ... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:57:23 -0500
RENO, Nevada - A man, his girlfriend and four children, missing in a snow bound Nevada mountain range with temperature 21 degrees below zero, were found alive two days after they went missing during an outing to play in the snow on Sunday, authorities said Wednesday.
They were found Tuesday huddled in their overturned vehicle after rescuers first saw what looked to be children's footprints in ... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:48:25 -0500
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan deal reached Tuesday by Congressional budget committee would end nearly three years of partisan stand-offs between Democrats and Republicans and prevent another government shutdown if approved by the House and Senate this week. The proposed deal, though modest in spending cuts, has been brokered just days ahead of the Friday deadline. It reduces the federal deficit ... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:40:27 -0500
US suspends non-lethal aid to Syria
The Obama administration has suspended non-lethal aid to northern Syria after a rebel group seized bases and warehouses from the Western-backed Supreme Military Council (SMC), the US State Department said Wednesday. Spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said Washington was "obviously concerned" about the Friday move by the forces of the Islamic Front, a new coalition of six major Islamist rebel groups, ... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 21:20:01 -0500
Athletics will never be drug free says Michael Johnson
Athletics will never be free of drug cheats and, without the Olympics, the sport would be dead, American four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson told a packed Doha Goals Forum here Wednesday. "Athletics has a zero tolerance policy with drugs and, in a way, we have kind of suffered because of that," Johnson was quoted as saying by Xinhua. "Since we control it more than most sports, we have ... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 07:50:01 -0500
Is It a Church, a Mosque, or a Museum?
Hello again, and welcome. I’m Jim Tedder in Washington. Today we travel to the beautiful and mysterious city of Istanbul, Turkey. A famous building there is the center of a dispute about what it should be! No doubt you have seen the large ancient structure in photographs. If you did not know, what would you guess? Is it a church, a mosque, or a museum? We will provide details about what it was, is, and what it might become.
Then... Thu, 12 Dec 2013 00:30:18 +0000
Whigs See a Chance to Defeat President Van Buren - The Making of a Nation No. 50: Martin Van Buren Part 2
From VOA Learning English, welcome to the Making of a Nation, our weekly program of American history for people learning American English. I’m Steve Ember.
Last time, we talked about Martin Van Buren. He was sworn in as the eighth president of the United States in 1837. Not long after he took office, the United States suffered an economic depression. It lasted six years.
The depression was the major problem during Van Buren's presidency, but not the only problem.
In... Thu, 12 Dec 2013 00:30:07 +0000
Burkina Faso Scientist Wins Award for Mosquito Research
From VOA Learning English, this is SCIENCE IN THE NEWS. I’m Faith Lapidus.
And I’m Christopher Cruise. Today we take you to the West African nation of Burkina Faso. A scientist from Burkina Faso recently won an award for his research on mosquitoes and malaria.
Later on our program, we will tell you how doctors in Burkina Faso are using a simple, low-cost method to test for cervical cancer. And finally, we tell how women... Tue, 10 Dec 2013 00:30:52 +0000
Protests Threaten Thai Travel Industry
From VOA Learning English, welcome to As It Is. I’m Steve Ember in Washington.
Today we tell about how continuing disputes between protesters and government supporters in Thailand may affect the country’s travel industry.
Then we turn to Pakistan to hear about a film that has brought new life to the country’s movie industry. But critics say it may add to existing tensions with Pakistan’s neighbor, India.
Our first stop today is Thailand’s... Tue, 10 Dec 2013 00:30:11 +0000
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