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Friday, August 23, 2013

Ten Things: Did You Know...?

Damascus chemical weapon attacks
Chemical attacks on civilians reported in Syria/August 2013

  1. Bradley Manning, the US soldier with a disrupted family life convicted of handing a trove of secret government documents to anti-secrecy website Wikileaks, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.
  2. UN officials say alleged chemical weapons attacks which Syria's opposition says killed hundreds near Damascus were a "serious escalation", and say the number of children forced to flee Syria has reached one million, describing the figure as "a shameful milestone". Meanwhile, websites belonging to the Washington Post, CNN, and Time magazine have been attacked by supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. (Read more)
  3. There has been a drop in the proportion of GCSE exam entries awarded top grades, for the second year in a row, in England and Wales, while according to published figures, the reading ability of pupils in Wales shows a marked decline between primary and secondary school in recent years.
  4. Schools in Japan are bringing the abacus back to class.
  5. A nuclear expert has told the BBC that he believes the current water leaks at Fukushima are much worse than the authorities have stated.
  6. UK officials are considering banning the sale of small mobile phones designed to resemble car key fobs. The Chinese-made products are being advertised with prisoners in mind - having a mobile in jail is an offence.
  7. Smartwatch Pebble holds the record for the largest amount of money raised via crowdfunding site, Kickstarter.
  8. President Barack Obama has taken delivery of a new Portuguese Water Dog named Sunny.
  9. Europeans had a taste for spicy food at least 6,000 years ago.
  10. Elmore Leonard, the crime novelist who has died at the age of 87, really didn't like exclamation marks.

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