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Friday Digest: Van Gogh, Ai Weiwei, Ban Ki-moon


This is our new Friday Digest! Every Friday, this weekly news round-up gives us the occasion to share with you news from various topics: politics to arts, entertainment, media, science, sports, fun and less fun news…

This digest is a list of news published this week on the Internet (Friday to Friday), selected by the Sama Team, and it is by no means exhaustive. If you want to suggest a news to be added in the next Friday Digest, contact us.

 

Japanese ‘K’ Computer Is Ranked Most Powerful
In the rankings of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, a Japanese machine has earned the top spot with a performance that essentially laps the competition. The computer, known as “K Computer,” is three times faster than a Chinese rival that previously held the top position, said Jack Dongarra, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville…

Sudan pursues peace in Abyei; war in South Kordofan
In a rare declaration of good news, Khartoum and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement reached agreement Monday on a plan to deploy an armored brigade of several thousand Ethiopian peacekeepers to the disputed area of Abyei, Sudan, where they will replace troops from the rival camps and keep the peace. Last month, Khartoum’s army, backed by pro-government militia, seized control of Abyei…

Greek Banks Feel Hostage to Debt Crisis
A whiff of tear gas still lingered outside the downtown headquarters of Piraeus Bank last week, a souvenir of clashes between the police and demonstrators in front of the nearby Parliament building. It was a fitting metaphor for the way that Greek financial institutions have been trapped in the middle of their country’s turmoil. Unlike their government, Greek banks were seen as well managed and prudent…

Ban Ki-moon elected for second term as UN leader
The assembly unanimously backed the former South Korean foreign minister. His second five-year term will start on January 1 and run through to 2016. A smiling Ban bowed to ambassadors and diplomats gathered at UN headquarters who backed the reappointment through applause without a vote. Outspoken in faulting the leaders of Arab countries facing protests, but criticised himself by some human rights groups…

Artist Ai Weiwei released on bail by Chinese police
China has released world-famous artist Ai Weiwei on bail after more than two-and-a-half months of detention and a sustained international campaign calling for his freedom. “I’m back with my family,” Ai told the Guardian. “I am very happy. I’m fine.” He said he could not comment further on his detention as he had been released on bail, adding “please understand”. Beijing police said they had released…

Painting thought to be Vincent van Gogh self-portrait is actually of his brother Theo
The Van Gogh Museum said Tuesday its experts now believe one of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings previously thought to be a self-portrait actually depicts his brother, Theo. If true, it would be the only known painting of Theo, although Vincent made several sketches of his brother, who supported him financially and was his lifelong confidant and friend. “People have often thought it was funny that there were…

Marine life facing mass extinction, report says
Marine life is under severe threat from global warming, pollution and habitat loss, with a high risk of “major extinctions” according to a panel of experts. These are the conclusions of a distinguished group of marine scientists who met at Oxford University, England, in April to discuss the impact of human activity on the world’s oceans. The meeting, led by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean…

France Endorses Obama’s Afghan Plan
France moved rapidly on Thursday to endorse President Obama’s announcement of accelerated American troop withdrawals, contributing to a growing sense of the tide turning in the Western military commitment to Afghanistan. The Élysée said that France would begin a phased pullback of the 4,000 soldiers it has contributed to the allied effort but set no timetable for the withdrawals, saying they would follow…

Seized Phone Offers Clues to Bin Laden’s Pakistani Links
The cellphone of Osama bin Laden’s trusted courier, which was recovered in the raid that killed both men in Pakistan last month, contained contacts to a militant group that is a longtime asset of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, senior American officials who have been briefed on the findings say. The discovery indicates that Bin Laden used the group, Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen, as part of his support network inside the country…

The 17 Most-Visited Sites Of 2011 Ranked By Google
The sites are ranked in terms of unique viewers, based on data gathered by DoubleClick Ad Planner. Google explains how this advertising service determines a website’s weight: “DoubleClick Ad Planner combines information from a variety of sources including anonymized, aggregated Google Toolbar data from users who have opted in to enhanced features, publisher opt-in anonymous Google Analytics data…




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