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Earthquake and Tsunami hits Japan

5 May

March 11, 2011, an earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, churning up a devastating tsunami that swept over cities and farmland in the northern of the country and set off warnings as far away the west coast of the United States and South America. Recorded as 9.0 on the Richter scale, it was the most powerful quake ever to hit the country. As the nation struggled with a rescue effort, it also faced the worst nuclear emergency since Chernobyl; explosions and leaks of radioactive gas took place in three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station that suffered partial meltdowns, while spent fuel rods at another reactor overheated and caught fire, releasing radioactive material directly into the atmosphere. Japanese officials turned to increasingly desperate measures, as traces of radiation were found in Tokyo’s water and in water pouring from the reactors into the ocean. A month after the quake, nuclear officials put the crisis in the same category of severity as the Chernobyl disaster.

As of April 25, the official death toll had been raised to 14,133, and more than 13,346 people were listed as missing, although there may be some overlap between the two groups. The final toll is expected to reach nearly 20,000. More than 130,000 people remained housed in temporary shelters; tens of thousands of others evacuated their homes due to the nuclear crisis.
story taken from the New York Times:
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/japan/index.html?scp=1-spot&sq=japan%20tsunami&st=cse

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Osama bin Laden’s Death

3 May

WASHINGTON — Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the most devastating attack on American soil in modern times and the most hunted man in the world, was killed in a firefight with United States forces in Pakistan, President Obama announced on Sunday.
In a late-night appearance in the East Room of the White House, Mr. Obama declared that “justice has been done” as he disclosed that American military and C.I.A. operatives had finally cornered Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, who had eluded them for nearly a decade. American officials said Bin Laden resisted and was shot in the head. He was later buried at sea.

The news touched off an extraordinary outpouring of emotion as crowds gathered outside the White House, in Times Square and at the ground zero site, waving American flags, cheering, shouting, laughing and chanting, “U.S.A., U.S.A.!” In New York City, crowds sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Throughout downtown Washington, drivers honked horns deep into the night.

By PETER BAKER, HELENE COOPER and MARK MAZZETTI of the NEW YORK TIMES

Video of the report can be found at:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Osama_Bin_Laden/

Obama Meets With Tech CEOs

19 Feb

In the latest in a series of meetings involving President Obama and business leaders, a small group of top Silicon Valley executives plans to meet with Mr. Obama at a dinner on Thursday at the home of John Doerr, a prominent venture capitalist.

The list of executives attending, not yet released by the White House, includes:

•John Doerr, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
•Carol Bartz, president and chief executive officer, Yahoo
•John Chambers, C.E.O. and chairman, Cisco Systems
•Dick Costolo, C.E.O, Twitter
•Larry Ellison, co-founder and C.E.O., Oracle
•Reed Hastings, C.E.O., Netflix
•John Hennessy, president, Stanford University
•Steve Jobs, chairman and C.E.O., Apple
•Art Levinson, chairman and former C.E.O., Genentech
•Eric Schmidt, chairman and C.E.O., Google
•Steve Westly, managing partner and founder, The Westly Group
•Mark Zuckerberg, president, and C.E.O., Facebook

The meeting has been shrouded in some secrecy. The White House press office confirmed that Mr. Obama would be in Silicon Valley to meet in private with business leaders. Only his arrival and departure on Air Force One are open to the press. The White House has said that Mr. Obama will travel from California to Hillsboro, Ore., on Friday, where he will visit an Intel plant.

A person familiar with the Silicon Valley meeting said that it will be over dinner at the Woodside, Calif., home of Mr. Doerr.

Article by: Miguel Helft for NY Times, http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/top-silicon-valley-execs-to-meet-with-obama/?ref=technology

Egypt Erupts in Jubilation as Mubarak Steps Down

15 Feb

CAIRO — An 18-day-old revolt led by the young people of Egypt ousted President Hosni Mubarak on Friday, shattering three decades of political stasis here and overturning the established order of the Arab world.Shouts of “God is great” erupted from Tahrir Square at twilight as Mr. Mubarak’s vice president and longtime intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, announced that Mr. Mubarak had passed all authority to a council of military leaders.

Tens of thousands who had bowed down for evening prayers leapt to their feet, bouncing and dancing in joy. “Lift your head high, you’re an Egyptian,” they cried. Revising the tense of the revolution’s rallying cry, they chanted, “The people, at last, have brought down the regime.”

“We can breathe fresh air, we can feel our freedom,” said Gamal Heshamt, a former independent member of Parliament. “After 30 years of absence from the world, Egypt is back.”

Mr. Mubarak, an 82-year-old former air force commander, left without comment for his home by the Red Sea in Sharm el Sheik. His departure overturns, after six decades, the Arab world’s original secular dictatorship. He was toppled by a radically new force in regional politics — a largely secular, nonviolent, youth-led democracy movement that brought Egypt’s liberal and Islamist opposition groups together for the first time under its banner.

Article from New York Times :http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/12/world/middleeast/12egypt.html?scp=1&sq=president%20mubarak%20resigns&st=cse

Uproar In Egypt

1 Feb

Egyptians Rail Againt the Egyptian Government’s Injustices
Their Weapon? The Social Network

The Egyptian Army announced Monday for the first time that it would not fire on protesters, even as tens of thousands of people gathered in central Liberation Square for a seventh day to demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

The extraordinary announcement — delivered on state TV with no elaboration by the Army’s official spokesman — declared that “freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everybody.” Yet, coming from a government dominated by former military officers, including Mr. Mubarak, it raised as many questions as it answered.
From the New York Times, for the entire article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/world/middleeast/01egypt.html?_r=1&hp