News In Focus:
Land, Sea, Cloud And Moon

News In Focus: A Look At This Week’s Most Interesting Stories

Japan: On Thursday at Hiroshima’s Peace Park, some 55,000 people, including representatives of more than 100 countries, commemorated 140,000 deaths from the world’s first nuclear holocaust 70 years ago.

Addressing the audience, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui said: “To coexist we must abolish the absolute evil and ultimate inhumanity that are nuclear weapons. Now is the time to start taking action.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe added to those sentiments, saying that Japan had “an important mission to bring about a world without nuclear weapons,” according to the Financial Times.

At 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, the U.S. B-29 Superfortress bomber Enola Gay dropped the first-ever atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The bomb exploded 580 meters (2,000 feet) above the city, killing 70,000 people in the first blast, and up to 140,000 in its aftermath.

On Sunday, a similar event will be held to remember the second atomic bomb, dropped on Nagasaki. More than 70,000 people died in that attack.

Here is a short documentary clip recounting the Hiroshima bombing:


China: Beijing beat Almaty in Kazakhstan last Friday in the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

With victory secure, the Chinese capital has become “the first city to host both versions of the Games in more than a century of Olympic history,” according to the New York Times.

Before the announcement, International Olympic Committee (IOC) members held a secret ballot at a convention center in downtown Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And when it was all over… Beijing won 44 votes against Almaty’s 40, with one IOC member abstaining.

Venues for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games events will be spread among the capital and two other Chinese sites: one in Yanqing County 90 kilometers (56 miles) northwest of Beijing, and the other in Zhangjiakou, 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the capital city.

The Olympic host must now find ways to please IOC by tackling three important issues: reducing the city’s chronic air pollution; supplying enough artificial snow for the events, and building a winter sports culture in China.

For now, many seem more concerned by the striking similarity between the Games’ official song, “The Snow and Ice Dance,” and the popular Disney tune, “Let It Go,” as demonstrated in the following video:


Malaysia: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed on Thursday that a piece of debris belonged to the Malaysian plane that disappeared 17 months ago.

The Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing on 8 March 2014 while carrying 239 passengers and crew en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Months of multi-national efforts in search and rescue had not found any trace of the aircraft.

But a 2 to 2.5 meter (6.5-8 feet) barnacle-encrusted wing part washed up on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion last Wednesday, giving new hope for those looking for answers.

Malaysian authorities said the debris, known as flaperon, had been identified as being from the same model as the missing plane.

Investigators are now trying to find clues from the debris to locate the remaining parts and the cause of the crash.

Meanwhile, scientists are now focusing on one important key of information: the barnacles, which may give clue to where the lost plane crashed.

For those wondering what’s a flaperon? CNN reports…


Science: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released a video on Thursday showing the Moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of the Earth.

The images were captured between 3:50 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. EDT on July 16 by NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC), which is mounted on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), a satellite orbiting one million miles from Earth.

The images show the fully illuminated “dark side” of the Moon that is never visible from Earth, and that the Moon’s “dark side” lacks the large, dark, basaltic plains that are prominent on the Earth-facing side, NASA says.

The footage, which can be found here, may disappoint UFOlogists and conspiracy theorists hoping to find visual evidence of alien space stations or traces of extraterrestrial activities.

While the images captivate the minds of astronomers, amateur and professional alike… for Pink Floyd fans, nothing is better than hearing a different sound.

Enjoy your weekend, over and out…


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Lead-In Image Courtesy of NASA/NOAA