Current Events


'Little Sister' to Join Statue of Liberty in N.Y. Harbor
June 22, 2021
Statue of Liberty Little Sister Lady Liberty is getting a smaller sibling. France has sent a smaller replica of the Statue of Liberty to the U.S. The two will face each other for July 4. Petite Soeur ("Little Sister"), as it is known, is a one-sixteenth size replica of the famous steel and cooper statue that France sent as a gift to the U.S. in the late 19th Century.

2 Claim Prime Ministership in Samoan Constitutional Crisis
May 24, 2021
Fiame Namoi Ataafa
Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Questions of uncertainty and legitimacy surround the Samoan government, as two lawmakers are claiming to be the country's parliamentary leader. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, leader of the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP), has been the prime minister since 1998. The Supreme Court recently ruled on the results of recent elections, giving a majority to Fiame Naomi Mata'afa and her Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party. Tuilaepa and his HRPP allies refused to let Fiame and her FAST allies into the parliament building, and Fiame had herself sworn in during a ceremony under a tent outside.

UofC Shows ACT, SAT the Door
May 16, 2021
It's no more ACT or SAT worry in the Golden State. The University of California, one of the largest higher education systems in the U.S., has discontinued the practice of taking into account results on the two largest collegiate entrance examinations when considering whether to accept students requesting admission. The exams, particularly the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), have come under fire in recent years from critics who have charged that the exams disadvantage students who are nonwhite and/or have disabilities. A coalition of advocacy groups and the Compton Unified School District in 2019 filed a lawsuit along those lines. The announcement by the University of California was part of the settlement of that lawsuit. That settlement requires all 10 schools in the UofC system to ignore American College Test (ACT) and/or SAT scores if they do accompany admissions requests and to not require such scores if a student does not supply them. The timeline for such action is autumn of 2021 and spring of 2025. The UofC system had already agreed to phase out the requirement of such test scores and, indeed, had made the taking of those tests optional for applicants beginning in 2020. The lawsuit targeted the acceptance of such test scores at all.

Medieval Chapel Restoration Includes Masked Stone Figure
May 10, 2021
St. Albans masked figure The now-completed restoration of a century-old chapel shrine includes an update: a masked stone figure. The Shrine of St. Amphibalus is at St. Albans Cathedral, in Hertfordshire, England. The cathedral itself dates to Norman times and is the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in the U.K. A combination of public and private money (including a contribution from the Lottery Heritage Fund) financed the restoration, which begin in 2019 but was halted for several months by the COVID-19 pandemic. Resumption of the restoration work included the addition of a stone figure wearing a face mask.

Poet Angelou, Astronaut Ride 1st U.S. Women on Quarter Coins
May 10, 2021
Maya Angelou on a QuarterSally Ride on a Quarter
Author Maya Angelou and astronaut Sally Ride will be the first two women featured in the American Women Quarters Program, appearing on the reverse of the 25-cent coins, the U.S. Mint announced. Angelou was a poet and civil rights activist perhaps most well-known for her 1969 autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Ride was the first American woman to fly into space, aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983. Those two sets of coins will appear in circulation beginning in 2022. A total of 20 women will similarly appear during the next four years.

Italian Construction Unearths Marble Head of Augustus
May 6, 2021
Augustus marble head Archaeologists in Italy have discovered a marble head of Augustus dated to the time when the first emperor was ruling Rome. While working to repair a medieval wall in the Molise town of Isernia, archaeologist Francesco Giancola found the 14-inch-tall head, which was likely part of a large statue depicting the young Octavian, who became Augustus. Archaeologists have discovered dozens of busts and statues of the famous Augustus through the years. Giancola and others on the team matched their discovery's face and hairstyle to others known depictions of Augustus to make their conclusion.

Farmer Moves Stone, Changing Belgium-France Border
May 4, 2021
Franceo-Belgian border stone The stone had divided Belgium from France for more than 200 years; then, it was gone. Actually, it had been moved. The stone, with the date 1819 carved into it, was part of the Franco-Belgian border established in 1820. A Belgian farmer found the stone to be in the way of his tractor and moved the stone, and with it, the boundary between the two countries.

1,200-year-old Mayan Children's Hand Prints Found in Cave
May 4, 2021
Mayan hand prints An archaeologist has found on a Mexican cave wall dozens of 1,200-year-old hand prints, many made by children. The archaeologist, Sergio Grosjean, announced the discovery of 137 prints, in red and black, in a cave in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula. Grosjean said that the children would made the wall prints as part of a coming-of-age ceremony. The date when the prints were made corresponds to the waning days of the Mayan settlements in Central America. Scientists also found in the cave carvings and sculptures from the same time period, 800–1000.

Colosseum Refit to Restore Center Stage
May 1, 2021
Colosseum visitors Restoration is coming to the Colosseum. The most popular of landmarks in Rome (with an estimated 7.6 million visitors in 2019, the last pre-COVID-19 year), the Colosseum had, for many years, a showcase floor that covered underground chambers inhabited by gladiators and opponents waiting for their time in the arena. Archaeologists in the 19th Century removed that floor in order to excavate beneath it. Visitors today can stand nearly anywhere in the giant amphitheater and see the remains of those underground chambers. Roman officials, however, wanted a floor again and so launched a competition, which Italian engineering consulting company Milan Ingegneria won, and the result, after an expected price tag of 15 million euros (US$18 million), is planned to be a high-tech retractable floor.

Archaeologists Find First-ever Pregnant Mummy
May 1, 2021
Mummy of pregnant woman In a first, archaeologists have found a pregnant mummy from Ancient Egypt. The remains are one of 40 at the National Museum of Poland, in Warsaw. The museum launched a large-scale of the mummies in 2015. While double-checking the pelvis area of the mummy in focus, scientists found an anomaly that they, after further testing, concluded was the leg of a fetus. Even more testing confirmed that the fetus was from 26 to 30 weeks old and that the mother had been from 20 to 30 years old when she died, in the 1st Century B.C.

Census changes House representation for 13 states
April 27, 2021
As a result of the latest U.S. Census, six states will gain and seven states will lose seats in the House of Representatives. The House has 435 seats, all of which are apportioned among the 50 states based on population. The higher a state's population, the higher the percentage of seats in the House that state gets. Texas will gain two seats. Gaining one seat will be Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon. Losing one seat will be California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. (California lost a seat for the first time since it became a state, in 1850.) The initial results were for state-level apportionment only. Census officials said that they would release full data in September.

Archaeologists Find Cabin Lived in by Harriet Tubman
April 21, 2021
Archaeologists are confident that they have found a cabin once lived in by famed Underground Railroad 'conductor' Harriet Tubman. Tubman, once a slave herself, helped hundreds of others escape the bonds of slavery by traveling along the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses and protected passages designed to shepherd African-Americans from slavery in the South to safe havens in the North. Tubman learned many outdoor skills from her father while living in a cabin in the woods. She would have used those skills to help her charges travel on the Underground Railroad to freedom in the 1850s and 1860s. Now archaeologists say they have found that long-lost cabin.

Softball Pitcher Records Perfect Game, All on Strikeouts
April 12, 2021
Hope Trautwein Hope Trautwein made history by striking out every batter she faced, the entire game. Trautwein, who plays softball for the University of North Texas, pitched a complete seven-inning game against the University of Arkansas–Pine Bluff and struck out all 21 batters, without allowing a hit or a walk and her team made no errors. It was the first time in NCAA Division I history that a softball pitcher had achieved such a feat. Her team won the game, 3–0.

Archaeologists Find 3,400-year-old 'Lost City' in Egypt
April 12, 2021
Egypt Lost Golden City Egypt has announced the discovery of what officials say is the largest ancient city ever found in the country. The 3,400-year-old city, termed the "The Rise of Aten," dates to the reign of Amenhotep III. Well-known archaeologist and former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass said that the city is near Luxor and the famed Valley of the Kings, the final resting place of so many of Egypt's pharaohs.

U.K.'s Prince Philip Dead at 99

Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died. He was 99. Philip, whose title was the Duke of Edinburgh, had in the past few years suffered through a handful of illnesses, some of which resulted in his being hospitalized. He was in the hospital in February of this year, undergoing treatment for a pre-existing heart condition. He died peacefully at Windsor Castle, on April 10. He and his wife had been married for 73 years.

4,000-year-old Burial Slab a 3D Map: Archaeologists
April 8, 2021
Saint-Belec Slab A Bronze Age slab hidden away for decades is one of the world's oldest 3D maps, scientists say. The 5-foot-by-6.5-foot rock first came to light in 1900, during excavations of a 4,000-year-old burial ground in western Brittany, in the Finist#&233;re area, in northwest France. In recent years, a team of scientists have studied the slab in cutting-edge detail, using photogrammetry and taking high-resolution 3D scans in order to glean as much of the original details as possible.

22 Mummies Go on Parade in Move to New Museum
April 5, 2021
Mummies moved Nearly two dozen royal mummies moved to a new home in the Egyptian capital. Egyptian officials moved 22 royal mummies from one Cairo museum to another, from the Egyptian Museum to the newly opened National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. Transportation was via specially designed vehicles that looked like winged boats, echoing the method by which the remains of the pharaohs of old made their way to their final resting place after being excavated in the 19th Century. Officials placed the mummies in climate-controlled cases for the Pharaohs' Golden Parade, which was televised. Marching soldiers accompanied manned horse-drawn chariots in providing tight security for the parade.

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David White