Your daily knowledge snacks, directly from Wikipedia
- NASA, NOAA and the Met Office announce that 2016 was the warmest year in recorded history, due mainly to anthropogenic climate change.
- U.S. president Barack Obama commutes the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who will now be released in May 2017, instead of 2045.
- An airstrike in Rann, Nigeria, kills more than 50 civilians after a refugee camp is mistaken for a Boko Haram encampment.
- Yahya Jammeh (pictured) calls a 90-day state of emergency, after refusing to step down as President of the Gambia.
- A Turkish cargo aircraft crashes near Manas International Airport, Kyrgyzstan, killing all 4 crew members and 33 people on the ground.
Today in History
- 1607 – San Agustin Church (pictured) in Manila, the oldest extant church in the Philippines, was completed.
- 1795 – A day after William V, Prince of Orange, fled the Dutch Republic as a result of the Batavian Revolution, the Batavian Republic was established.
- 1945 – World War II: Soviet forces liberated the Łódź Ghetto; only 877 Jews of the initial population of 164,000 remained at that time.
- 1972 – The French newspaper l'Aurore revealed that the Nazi SS officer Klaus Barbie, the "Butcher of Lyon", had been found to be living in Peru.
- 2007 – Turkish-Armenian journalist and human rights activist Hrant Dink was assassinated by a Turkish nationalist.
Did You Know?
- ... that the soup and sandwich combination (example pictured) has been a popular lunch dish in the United States since the 1920s?
- ... that David William Pua submitted petitions from the people of the Kingdom of Hawaii asking for the abrogation of the Bayonet Constitution, which had allowed him to be elected to the House of Nobles?
- ... that the broad-tailed paradise whydah parasitises the orange-winged pytilia and mimics its call?
- ... that John Dwyer chaired a government "Quackwatch Committee" whose objective was to tighten controls on wonder drugs and miracle cures?
- ... that a large lake once occupied the Central Valley of California?
- ... that the OVC project supports the education of disadvantaged young people in Adigrat, Ethiopia?
- ... that an Argentine politician was detained while allegedly trying to hide currency worth around US$7 million inside a convent?
Today's Featured Article
Hope is an 1886 Symbolist oil painting by the English artist George Frederic Watts. Radically different from previous treatments of the subject, it shows a lone blindfolded female figure sitting on a globe, playing a lyre which has only a single string remaining. Watts intentionally used symbolism not traditionally associated with hope to make the painting's meaning ambiguous. As reproductions began to circulate in large quantities worldwide, it became a widely popular image. Theodore Roosevelt displayed a copy at his Sagamore Hill home in New York, and a 1922 film was based on the painting. Although Watts was rapidly falling out of fashion by this time and Hope was increasingly seen as outdated and sentimental, it remained influential. Martin Luther King Jr. based a 1959 sermon on the theme of the painting, as did Jeremiah Wright in 1990. Among the congregation for the latter was the young Barack Obama, who took "The Audacity of Hope" as the theme of his 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address, and as the title of his 2006 book; he based his successful 2008 presidential campaign around the theme of "Hope". (Full article...)
Today's Featured Picture
Petra Martić (b. 1991) is a tennis player from Split, Croatia. Beginning her career as a junior in 2006, Martić turned professional in 2008. She reached a career high of World No. 42 in 2012 in women's singles.
Photograph: David Iliff
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