International / National / News / January 14, 2010

News briefs

PORTLAND, Oregon – On Jan. 13, three U.S. colleges formerly testing the Kindle, an electronic reading device, have decided neither to purchase nor promote it. Unless provisions are made for students with visual impairments say Reed College, Pace University, and Case Western Reserve University, the Kindle will not support mandated use of the product. (Source: Business Week. www.businessweek.com)

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – On Jan. 10, Mexico City legalized gay marriage and adoption for same sex couples. A revision to the country’s civil code will change the definition of marriage to a union between two people, instead of the current version, which specifies a union between a man and a woman. (Source: CNN, www.cnn.com)

CHINA – Google announced Tuesday that it is no longer willing to abide by the filters that the Chinese government demanded on certain searches before allowing Google to operate in the country. Google threatens to leave China after it was victim of “highly sophisticated” hacking. China says Chinese Web users will be the victims if Google leaves. (Source: CNN, www.cnn.com)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – On Jan. 12, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 hit Haiti, resulting in conditions that might produce a death toll well over 10,000. In addition to homes, many governmental buildings and the main prison in the city fell on Tuesday, and aid started being sent out on Wednesday. Amongst the major concerns in the coming days will be getting enough water to the people of Haiti. The U.S. has already sent members of the military to Haiti to quicken the relief effort. Destruction, injury, and death are running rampant throughout the country. It is the most massive earthquake in Haiti in the last 200 years. (Source: The Associated Press, www.ap.org )

MIAMI, Florida – Last week, freezing temperatures swept over Florida and greatly threatened the state’s crops, specifically orange and citrus crops. While the crops did survive, any forthcoming cold weather is now a larger concern for the industry. The temperature only needs to drop below 28 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours for serious damage to happen to crops. The coming weekend will bring more cold weather, a sure test as to whether or not the season will prove difficult or impossible for crop survival. Growers are taking all the precautionary measures they can, though there is no way to provide total security. Other southern states also experienced adverse crop effects due to temperatures. (Source: Reuters, www.reuters.com )

LOS ANGELES, California – On Tuesday, The Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien released a letter to the public stating that if his show slot was bumped back to 12:05 a.m., he would no longer be a part of the Tonight Show franchise. Because of NBC’s difficulties in prime time, it is changing its schedule around and would place the Jay Leno Show at 11:35 p.m. O’Brien states that he has no plans to switch to another network, but that he cannot stay in a network that turns something called the Tonight Show into something that airs at a time which is technically not “tonight.” (Source: Daily News Los Angeles, www.dailynews.com )

SEATTLE, Washington – The list of contraceptive options available to the public at large might soon include a new form of male birth control. Much like the medication made for women, men will soon be able to use forms of hormonal birth control such as pills, patches, injections, and implants. Some participants in clinical studies of the drugs have said that they haven’t had any notable side effects. Most research and clinical trials indicate that these options will become a reality in two to three years, and that funding is a major factor. (Source: MSNBC, www.msnbc.com )

Annie Zak


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