CURRENT EVENTS

Ride-hailing Companies Recruiting Saudi Women Drivers

January 11, 2018

Two taxi alternatives are looking to make it big in Saudi Arabia, with women drivers. The Kingdom recently changed decades of law and practice and allowed women to drive. In a decision announced in October 2017, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz said that women could begin achieving a driver's license in June 2018. Now, Uber and Careem, two ride-hailing applications, are recruiting female drivers.

 

China Unveils Longest Glass-bottom Bridge, Again

January 10, 2018 China's longest glass bridge, again

China has built yet another glass-bottomed bridge, this one even longer than the ones before it. The latest spans 1,600 feet over 715 feet of empty air, in between two mountain peaks in the northeast part of the country. A total of 1,077 glass panels that are 1.6 inches thick make up the 13-foot-wide bridge, which is in the Hogyagu Scenic Area, in Hebei Province.

 

Stoves of Jefferson Chef James Hemings Found

January 10, 2018

Archaeologists know a bit more about James Hemings, the enslaved head chef to Thomas Jefferson. Excavations underneath what had for many years been public toilets at Jefferson's Monticello homestead unearthed the remains of the kitchen used by Hemings to cook meals for Jefferson and his guests.

 

Snow Falls on 'Gateway to the Sahara'

January 9, 2018

Snow fell in an Algerian desert town for the second year in a row. The town, Ain Sefra, is known as the "Gateway to the Sahara."

Sahara snow

 

Ancient DNA Points to Newly Discovered Bloodlines

January 6, 2018

After examining the bones of two girls who died more than 11,500 years ago, archaeologists have concluded that they have found a new branch of Native Americans. Dr. Ben Potter, of the University of Alaska, discovered the girls' bones and other remains at the Upward Sun River site in Alaska's Tanana River Valley in 2006. The area was occasionally a stopping point for settlers arriving from Siberia. The girls' remains rested atop a hearth. An extensive DNA search of the remains determined that the girls had different mothers and also found a type of mitochondrial DNA (which passes to a child only through the mother) that is still found in Native Americans living today.

 

Iceland Companies Have to Prove Gender-equal Pay

January 8, 2018

Now in effect in Iceland is a law mandating that companies and government agencies that employ 25 or more people must prove that they grant equal pay for equal roles. The most prominent result is that women will now be paid the same as men for doing the same job. The Althing, the Icelandic government, passed the law in 2017, and the law took effect on Jan. 1, 2018. The country has had an equal-pay law since 1961, but that law required an employee to prove discrimination. The new law makes it mandatory and puts the onus on companies to prove that they are compliant. The government led by Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has granted a four-year grace period. Small businesses and agencies must obtain a certificate from the government that says that the company's pay policies have been reviewed and match the terms of the law, which also aims to prevent discrimination based on ethnicity or orientation.

 

2018 Winter Olympics Digest

2018 Winter Olympics logo

North Korean figure skaters, Russian hockey players, prizes that medal winners will get and more.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

The Transcontinental Railroad
The Transcontinental Railroad was a dream come true for many businesspeople and politicians in America, providing a link for goods and communication from the East Coast to the West Coast. The Golden Spike was struck in 1869, but planning for the coast-to-coast route began much earlier.

The Builders of the Transcontinental Railroad
The labor required to build the Transcontinental Railroad was extensive. The main laborers, the ones who laid the track, did back-straining work for days on end, for not necessarily high wages, in sometimes brutal conditions. This massive transportation construction project also required an entire network of support, including medical staff, cooks, and proprietors of provisions stores and living areas.

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points Speech
The speech that President Woodrow Wilson gave on Jan. 8, 1918, with its Fourteen Points of political and economic delineation, set out a bold vision for the end of World War I and for the League of Nations. Wilson would be successful in some elements and unsuccessful in others. This speech, however, formed the basis for collective security on the international stage for the rest of the 20th Century and beyond.

 

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