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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Things in April

News nuggets dug up in April:

AprilA digest of news headlines in April*
  1. Vikings are known to have travelled as far as North Africa and Constantinople (now Istanbul).
  2. The Romans were the first to introduce the image of Britannia to coins in Britain and it was reintroduced by Charles II.
  3. The Olympic torch is designed to withstand winds of up to 65 kms per hour and stay alight in rain up to 50mm an hour. Its flame gets its own hotel room and is protected overnight by a flame attendant.
  4. UN investigator Professor Richard Falk into Israeli conduct in the occupied territories has stood by comments comparing Israeli actions in Gaza to those of the Nazis. "If this kind of situation had existed for instance in the manner in which China was dealing with Tibet or the Sudanese government was dealing with Darfur, I think there would be no reluctance to make that comparison," he said.
  5. The term "Killing Fields", used to describe the mass graves caused by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, was coined by journalist Dith Pran, whose story was the focus of the film by the same name.
  6. The number four, according to Western numerology, is associated with the four corners of the earth, home, stability. To the Chinese, it means death.
  7. Coffee may cut the risk of dementia by blocking the damage cholesterol can inflict on the body, research suggests.
  8. Residents living in a graffiti-plagued village in Merseyside are being asked to consider changing its name of Lunt, which dates back to Medieval times, as it has been repeatedly targeted by vandals who change the "L" to a "C".
  9. A turtle can get addicted to nicotine.
  10. A man in the US, who used to be a woman, is pregnant.

* (Pictures from left to right) 1. An American flag flies behind barbed wire at Guantanamo Bay prison camp as a BBC World Service poll suggests a slightly more positive view of the US around the world since Iraqi War; 2. A Cypriot man cuts a barrier next to the U.N.-controlled buffer zone during the opening of a crossing point at Ledra Street in the heart of the island's divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, early Thursday, April 3, 2008. A main shopping street in Cyprus' divided capital that symbolized the island's ethnic partition reopened for the first time in 44 years; 3. Pearl Cornioley, a female agent of World War II who was assessed as "not having the personality to act as a leader", ended up in command of 3,000 French resistance fighters; 4. A study suggests that people's attitudes to relationships could be given away by just the look of their face, with men and women often after the opposite; 5. Animated series the Simpsons has been dropped from morning TV in Venezuela after being deemed unsuitable for children to be replaced by Baywatch, known for its bikini-clad stars; 6. A drawing which depicts Tony and Cherie Blair naked on the steps of 10 Downing Street is the centrepiece of the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition.

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