Elections in France

Presidential elections were held in France on April 23. Eleven candidates stood for the race. However, no one person got enough votes to win. The two people with the most votes were Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. A second round of voting will be held on May 7 to select one of the top two candidates. Here is a video about it.

 

Image Credits: Ecole polytechnique Université Paris for Macron’s image, Foto-AG Gymnasium Melle for Le Pen’s image
Sources: http://www.cnn.com, Newsy

Earth Day 2017

 April 22 was Earth Day, a day to celebrate our Earth and also a day to remind ourselves about things we can do to keep our planet clean and healthy. This year’s Earth Day was marked by marches around the globe in support of science. Marches for science were held in over 600 locations around the globe. Bill Nye the Science Guy also took part in the events. He participated in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. Earth Day is an annual event, and was first held in 1970.

Image Credits: http://www.earthday.org for Science March image
Sources: https://www.washingtonpost.com, http://www.earthday.org

London and Boston Marathons

Almost 40,000 people took part in the London Marathon which was held in London, the capital of the United Kingdom on April 23. The men’s race winner was Daniel Wanjiru (from Kenya) with a time of 2:05:48. The women’s race winner was Mary Keitany (from Kenya) with a time of 2:17:01.

Many folks try and set world records during the London Marathon. This year, 40 new Guinness World Records were made. Some of them were for the fastest marathon dressed as a Mr. Potato Head, fastest marathon dressed as a three dimensional aircraft (Helicopter), and fastest marathon in a toilet roll costume.

A man dressed up as a gorilla walked the London Marathon on his hands and feet like the animal. He started on April 23, and 5 days later, he was still going. He is raising money to save endangered gorillas from extinction.

The Boston Marathon was held in Boston, USA on April 17. Over 27,000 runners took part in the race. Geoffrey Kirui (from Kenya) won the men’s race with a time of 2:09:37, and Edna Kiplagat (from Kenya) won the women’s race with a time of 2:21:52. The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual city marathon and started in 1897.

Both of these races had a running distance of 42.195 kilometers (26.2 miles).

The distance of the marathon race was not fixed and the approximate distance of 40 km was used until 1921. This is when the organizers of the Olympics decided to use the marathon distance of the 1908 Olympics, which were held in London, UK. In those Olympics, the race had started at a castle called Windsor and finished in front of where the country’s royals sat in the Olympic stadium, an exact distance of 42.195 km.

Here is a video showing the highlights from the 1908 Olympic Games.

Image Credits: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com for the Guinness World Records image, https://twitter.com/GorillaSaver for the gorilla image, https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com for the marathon image
Sources: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com, https://twitter.com/GorillaSaver, https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com, http://metro.co.uk, http://time.com, http://www.baa.org, http://www.history.com, https://www.olympic.org

Oldest living person in the world

The world’s oldest known person, Emma Morano, recently passed away. She was 117 years old. Morano was the last known person born on the planet in the 1800s. She was born on November 29, 1899.

Violet Brown, a 117-year-old Jamaican woman (image), is now the world’s oldest person. She was born on March 10, 1900. The world population has grown by over 5 billion people during her lifetime. When Brown was born, Jamaica was part of the British Empire.

Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean Sea. Its capital is Kingston. The famous runner, Usain Bolt, is also from Jamaica.

Did you know?

The oldest known person who has ever lived was Jeanne Calment, a French woman who died in 1997 at the age of 122 years.

Image Credits: https://twitter.com/AndrewHolnessJM for the image of Violet Brown
Sources: http://www.grg.org, https://www.usatoday.com, CIA World Factbook, https://www.census.gov

Some fun videos

A trailer was released for the next Star Wars film. It is called “Star Wars: Episode 8: The Last Jedi” and the movie will be out in December this year.

 

 

 

A flying car? The company Kitty Hawk unveiled its all-electric aircraft. The Kitty Hawk Flyer is designed to fly over water. You don’t need a pilot’s license and it is very easy to use.

 

 

On April 26, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft dove through the space between Saturn and its rings. It is in the process of sending the data it collected to Earth.

You can watch the Star Wars trailer, Kitty Hawk Flyer, and Cassini’s videos here.

 

 


Image Credits: https://kittyhawk.aero for the Kitty Hawk Flyer’s image, http://www.starwars.com for the Star Wars image, https://www.nasa.gov for Cassini’s image
Sources: https://kittyhawk.aero, http://www.starwars.com, https://www.nasa.gov

Missile attack on Syria

On April 6, the United States launched a missile attack on a Syrian airbase. A couple of days before that, there was a chemical weapons attack on a town in Syria. Over 80 Syrians were killed and many were injured. Some nations (including the United States) believe the chemical attack was carried out by Syrian troops. However, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says that his government is not responsible for it. The United States President Donald Trump ordered the missile attack in retaliation to the use of chemical weapons. 

A civil war has been going on in Syria for the last 6 years, and several groups are involved in the fighting. It started in 2011 when Syrians began protests against their president. Assad, who had been Syria’s president for over 10 years at the time, refused to step down. He even used force against the protesters. Rebel groups formed and started fighting against the Syrian government. A group called the Islamic State (IS) also joined the fight. The IS is fighting both the rebels and Assad’s troops. The group wants to control Syria. Assad has support from Russia and Iran. Some of the rebels are supported by the United States and other nations. Both Russia and the United States are against the IS.

Chemical weapons are chemical substances that are produced to kill or hurt people, and are often delivered through devices such as bombs. Chemical weapons were used in Syria in 2013 killing more than 1,000 people. Assad’s government was blamed for it.

Damascus (Syria’s capital) is amongst the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world.

Image Credits: http://www.presidentassad.net for Assad’s image, https://www.defense.gov and Robert S. Price for the missile image, AlienSquid – DeviantArt for the image of the Warning Chemical Weapons sign
Sources: BBC, New York Times

No eating dogs and cats

A new law has passed in Taiwan. The law bans people from eating cat or dog meat. The new law also prohibits people from walking their dogs while driving their cars, scooters, or motorcycles. Taiwan is an island at a distance of about 100 miles (160 km) from mainland China. The status of Taiwan is a controversy. Taiwan has its own government and runs its own economy. However, China considers Taiwan to be a part of itself. Here is a video about it.

Image Credits: https://pixabay.com and ilyessuti for the cat-dog image
Sources: CNN, http://focustaiwan.tw, USA Today

Elections in Ecuador

Elections were held in Ecuador, and a new president was selected. Lenín Moreno won by a narrow margin (51.15% of the vote). He is 64 years old, and has previously held the position of vice president of Ecuador. About 20 years ago, Moreno was shot after being robbed. He lost the use of his legs after the incident, and needs a wheelchair to get around.

 

 

One person is certainly delighted that Moreno was elected and that is Julian Assange. Assange (of Australia) is the founder of the website WikiLeaks, which publishes confidential documents belonging to various countries’ governments, upsetting them. Assange is wanted by some governments around the globe. He was granted asylum by Ecuador. Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, UK since 2012. If he leaves the embassy, he’ll be captured by the British police. Moreno’s opponent had said that he would ask Assange to leave if he won.

Did you know?

“Ecuador” means “equator” in Spanish, and the country is named after the equator which passes through.

Image Credits: Snapperjack from London, UK for the image of Assange, http://www.vicepresidencia.gob.ec for the image of Moreno
Sources: https://www.theguardian.com, reuters.com, New York Times, http://travel.nationalgeographic.com

Some tough foot races

The world’s “coolest” marathon took place at the North Pole on April 8. Piotr Suchenia (of Poland) won the men’s competition with a time of 4:06.34. Frederique Laurent (of France) won the women’s competition with a time of 6:21.03. About 50 participants flew to the North Pole for this race. There is no land at the North Pole. People run on a frozen ice sheet (about 6 to 12 feet thick) floating on top of 12,000 feet of water (the Arctic Ocean). With temperatures around -40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit), it was a very difficult race to run.

On April 9, about 57,000 people took part in the Paris Marathon held in Paris, the capital of France. Paul Lonyangata (from Kenya) won the men’s race with a time of 2:06:10. Purity Rionoripo (from Kenya) won the women’s race with a time of 2:20:55. These two winners aren’t just speedy but also married to each other. The running distance of both the North Pole and Paris marathons was 42.195 kilometers (26.2 miles).

One of the “hottest” running races in the world is the Marathon des Sables, and it is ongoing right now. It is held annually in the Sahara Desert in Morocco. It is a six day race that covers a distance of about 250 kilometers (150 miles). Temperatures can be as high as 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit). The 2017 race started on April 8, and will end on April 17. Over 1,000 runners from all over the globe are competing in the race.

Here are 3 videos – North Pole Marathon, Marathon des Sables, and the Paris Marathon.



 

Image Credits: https://www.facebook.com/npmarathon for the North Pole Marathon image, https://twitter.com/marathonDsables for the MdS image, http://www.schneiderelectricparismarathon.com for its logo
Source: https://www.facebook.com/npmarathon, http://www.npmarathon.com, https://twitter.com/marathonDsables, http://www.marathondessables.com, http://marathondessables.co.uk, https://www.iaaf.org, http://www.schneiderelectricparismarathon.com

International Pillow Fight Day

On April 1, feathers were flying in parts of cities all over the globe. It wasn’t birds going crazy. It was the International Pillow Fight Day and thousands of people gathered in over a hundred cities attacking each other with their pillows. Here is a video of people having a pillow fight in London, United Kingdom.

 

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Image Credits: http://pillowfightday.com for the Pillow Fight image
Sources: http://pillowfightday.com, http://www.independent.co.uk