Recently in Notable Category

At Least 11 Missing in Oil Rig Explosion

At least 11 workers are missing and seven are critically injured after an explosion on an oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico, CNN said.

The explosion occurred around 10 p.m. CT Tuesday. At the time, 126 workers were on board the oil rig, The Washington Post said.

Helicopters have been sent to look for the missing, and the Coast Guard has sent four cutters to the area, CNN said.

The fire was still burning Wednesday morning, the Coast Guard said.

Documentary on Life of Stalin's Daughter

A new independent film will tell the story of Stalin's only daughter, and how she has resided near Madison, Wisconsin for the past 20 years, the Star Tribune said.

The Soviet dictator's daughter is now 84, and she has fiercely guarded her privacy. The film documents one of the only interviews that she has ever given, the Star Tribune said.

The film, "Svetlana about Svetlana" tells Svetlana Alliluyeva story- how she was married twice, grated political asylum in the U.S. and how she denounced the Soviet government and her father's regime once in America, NBC Chicago said.

The short film will be screened on April 18 at the Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison, NBC Chicago said.

Chinese Oil Freighter Runs Aground In Barrier Reef

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd flew over the Great Barrier Reef last weekend to view the damage that an off-course Chinese coal freighter has done, The New York Times said.

The ship, which is about 7 and half miles out of authorized waters, has been called a "time bomb" by enviormental activists. Its presence poses a severe threat to the coral bed, The China Post said.

The vessel, the Shen Neng I, belongs to the Shenzhen Energy Group, and ran aground at full speed last Saturday, The New York Times said.

Prime Minister Rudd has promised a full investigation to identify those at fault, stating that the ship's captain could face up to three years in prison and the vessel's owners could face up to a $5 million fine, The New York Times said.

Atoms Collide for Evidence on the Big Bang

Scientists near Geneva created thousands of mini-big bang explosions on Tuesday when they successfully smashed subatomic particles together, The Washington Post said.

The experiment, which was conducted in the 17 mile-long Large Hadron Collider, will give scientists new information about the origins of our universe, The Washington Post said.

It took the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) 16 years and $9.4 billion to smash the two beams of protons together, The Wall Street Journal said.

CERN scientists say that the explosions are similar to what happened 13.7 billion years ago when the big bang occurred and led to the formation of galaxies, stars and planets, The Washington Post said.

Californians Will Vote to Legalize Marijuana

California residents will vote later this year on a bill that would legalize marijuana use in the state, Reuters said.

Legalization is being pushed as another way to gain revenue for the state, which is facing a $20 billion budget gap, CNN said.

According to the bill, people would have to be 21 to possess marijuana. It would illegal to use the drug in public.

The petition to put the bill on the ballot required 433,791 signatures. The petition received 694,248 signatures, Reuters said.

California would be the first state to legalize marijuana.

Obama: Reform No Child Left Behind

President Obama said on Saturday that he plans to reform the No Child Left Behind act in order to improve schools and to better prepare the nation's students for college, Los Angeles Times said.

Obama said that America is falling behind, citing low math and science scores and the fact that America is no longer the leading producer of college graduates.

Obama doesn't plan to get rid of the law, only to change the name and rework it. Teachers unions, who have been against the act since it was enacted under former President Bush, have been critical of his decision, The Washington Post said.

Olympic Committee Endorses Heart Screenings

In a controversial new statement, the International Olympic Committee now recommends screening young athletes for heart abnormalities with an electrocardiogram test, said The New York Times.

For 30 years, the Italian Ministry of Health has required that competitive athletes are screened and tracked. The data led to the reduction of sudden cardiac deaths by 89 percent among athletes 14-35 years old, said the Los Angeles Times.

The addition of an ECG to the common physical and health history would save about two years of life per 1,000 athletes, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine said.

The recommendation, which is not mandatory for anyone, is being disputed for cost reasons, said The New York Times.

H1N1 Outbreaks Limited, WHO Meets to Discuss

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have announced that H1N1 is no longer widespread in any state, and the World Health Organization will meet Feb. 23 to decide whether the H1N1 flu pandemic has peaked, The Washington Post said.

WHO has recommended that the H1N1 strain be included in next year's northern hemisphere flu vaccine. This does not mean that the pandemic, declared last June, is over though, Reuters said.

New outbreaks influenza strains are known to occur after the first wave, based on many factors such as human behavior, atmospheric conditions, and competition from other microbes, The Washington Post said.

"We are not at all out of the woods because the virus continues to circulate, but the chances of a very large additional wave are very hard to predict," said Anne M. Schuchat, who is leading the government's response to the H1N1 pandemic at the CDC, to The Washington Post.

Gay Republicans Draw Mixed Reactions

GOProud, a gay conservative group, received mixed reactions this week as it co-sponsors the Conservative Political Action Conference, CNN said.

With a name that combines GOP and gay pride, GOProud describes their organization as "committed to a traditional conservative agenda," focusing on limited government, individual liberty, and free markets, GOProud.org reports.

While the conference expects a strong showing of younger, more accepting attendees, GOProud has received a negative audience from some. Liberty University Law School, founded by late Rev. Jerry Falwell, boycotted the event, an article on Advocate.com said.

At CPAC in Washington, D.C., GOProud is just two booths away form the National Organization for Marriage. GOProud hopes to highlight their similarities during the conference, CNN said.

Former Boy Soldier Heads to Trial

Seven years after he allegedly threw a grenade that killed a U.S. medic in Afghanistan, the youngest Guantanamo Bay detainee is pulling the Obama administration into the debate of putting child soldiers on trial.

Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen, but on Wednesday a spokesman for Prime Minister Stephan Harper said that the the Canadian government will not be requesting his return. This reaffirms the government's position that he will be tried by the U.S. justice system because he is accused of a serious crime, The Vancouver Sun said.

Though U.N. officials, human rights activists, and defense lawyers have all argued that Khadr was an indoctrinated child soldier, the U.S. is standing firm in its decision to try him in a military commission, The Washington Post said.

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