Featured

Cancer Moonshot: A Call to Action

How can we tackle the world’s biggest killer – cancer? This is the mission of US Vice-President, Joe Biden, who has called for a “moonshot” to find a cure for the disease. The Vice-President recently penned a piece for the Forum’s blog platform,Agenda, about the moonshot campaign. He has, of course, been touched personally by the disease – his son Beau Biden died of brain cancer in 2015, aged just 46. Here’s an excerpt from the article, which you can read in full here: “It’s personal for me. But it’s also personal for nearly every American, and millions of people…
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Art & Life

On Balmy, Below-Zero Day at South Pole, There’s Work to Do

After a month at the South Pole, you begin to adapt to the frigid conditions. Your body becomes more efficient at generating heat and your metabolism shifts into overdrive — every calorie you consume is burned. As your tolerance of the polar environment changes, so do your perceptions of warm and cold. My first week on station was mind-numbingly chilly, temperatures hovered around minus 42 Celsius (minus -45 Fahrenheit). This week has been delightfully balmy, with highs between minus 23 Celsius and minus 20 Celsius (minus 10 Fahrenheit and minus 4 Fahrenheit). SOUTH POLE JOURNAL Refael Klein blogs about his…
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US News

Stranded Cuban Migrants Begin Arriving in US

VOA News The first of several thousand Cuban migrants stranded in Costa Rica have crossed into the United States under a plan agreed to among Central American leaders. The migrants arrived in Miami Sunday, after 180 of them first crossed the border late last week at Laredo, Texas. The deal allows the migrants to be flown from Costa Rica to El Salvador, before being taken to the border by bus. This pilot effort will be evaluated by the Central American governments before it is expanded to allow all the Cubans to leave for the FILE - A Cuban woman migrant…
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Entertainment

‘Spotlight,’ DiCaprio win at Critics’ Choice Awards

AP LOS ANGELES—The investigative journalism dramaSpotlight won the top prize at the Critics' Choice Awards on Sunday, while awards favorites Brie Larson and Leonardo DiCaprio won the top acting prizes forRoom and The Revenant. Both actors won Golden Globe Awards and are considered front-runners for the Academy Awards, too. Mad Max: Fury Road was the most nominated film of the evening with 13 nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics' Association. While it lost out for the top prize, it did win a number of awards, including Best Director for George Miller, best action movie, and best action movie actor and…
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World News

Funding shortfall threatens UN efforts to counter El Niño-exacerbated drought in southern Africa

With 14 million people facing hunger in southern Africa as the El Niño weather pattern, the worst in over three decades, exacerbates drought, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned today that it faces critical funding challenges in scaling up food and cash-based aid. “The number of people without enough food could rise significantly over coming months as the region moves deeper into the so-called lean season, the period before the April harvest when food and cash stocks become increasingly depleted,” WFP said in a news release. “Particularly vulnerable are smallholder farmers who account for most agricultural production.” The…
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World News

UN Security Council removes Iranian bank from sanctions list

The United Nations Security Council announced  that it has removed Iranian Bank Sepah and its international subsidiary from a sanctions list, following yesterday's announcement of a UN report confirming that Iran has completed necessary preparatory steps to start the implementation of a plan of action aiming to resolve the nuclear issue. The report was submitted to the 15-nation Security Council after UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors on the ground verified that Iran has carried out all measures required under what is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to enable “Implementation Day” to occur. In July,…
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US News

US Looking for 3 Americans Reportedly Kidnapped in Baghdad

VOA News The United States is looking for three contractors who were reportedly kidnapped in Baghdad. Iraqi and officials say the company for whom the three are working went missing two days ago. There are no details on their identities or what their jobs are in Iraq, but many different companies are working in Iraq on both security and civilian projects. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Sunday "We are working with the full cooperation of the Iraqi authorities to locate and recover the individuals." Dozens of foreigners have been kidnapped in Iraq over the last few months by terrorists…
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Politics

British Lawmakers Debate Banning Trump

VOA News British lawmakers debate Monday a petition signed by more than 500,000 people seeking to ban Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump from Britain. Last month Trump, a billionaire real estate developer and frontrunner among Republican candidates, prompted international outrage by calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States "until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on." He proposed the ban after a December 2 mass shooting that killed 14 people in California by two Muslims whom the FBI said had been radicalized. The debate, called by the Petitions Committee of the lower house…
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News

At Debate, Democrats Praise Iran Deal, Spar Over Domestic Issues

Chris Hannas The Democratic candidates running in this year's presidential election agreed Sunday that the implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran and release of citizens represent a positive step in relations, while also calling on countries in the Middle East to do increase their role in the fight against Islamic State. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said more needs to happen before moving rapidly toward normalizing relations with Iran, and the needs to pressure Iran further on "bad behavior" in the region such as its actions in Syria. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has been gaining on Clinton…
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Art & Life

SpaceX Rocket Landing on Ocean Platform Fails

VOA News An unmanned rocket placed a $180 million climate-monitoring satellite into orbit Sunday, but then failed in an attempt to return to a platform floating in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX rocket blasted off Sunday morning from a airbase in southern California, with a satellite designed to measure how global warming and sea level rise impacts coastal wind speeds and currents. A short while later, officials from Musk's California-based Space Exploration Technologies said on Twitter that the first stage of the 22-story rocket appears to have broken a landing leg while…
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