Today’s Top 7s: Big Stories, Global Headlines

By Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac is an editor and reporter who has worked on a variety of topics over the course of her ten years with The Epoch Times, including science, the environment, and local New York news. She is currently working with The Epoch Times edition based in Southern California.
August 27, 2013 Updated: August 27, 2013

Global Headlines to Start Your Day

(See below: Today’s Big Stories)

1. Italy: Venice tightens gondola traffic after fatal crash: ‘Safety serious, but Grand Canal still a road’ says mayor

VENICE, Italy—Venice plans to limit traffic in the Grand Canal, the mayor said Monday, following the death earlier this month of a tourist aboard a gondola that crashed with a water bus. According to Mayor Giorgio Orsoni, the city will soon announce restrictions for boats in the major thoroughfare during peak traffic, and gondolas will be permitted only after a certain hour in the morning.  …



2. Canada: Black bear safari business ‘asinine,’ biologist says
Company endorsed by Department of Tourism, but hand-feeding wild bears ‘crazy,’ says expert

A black bear observation business in Acadieville, N.B., that’s being promoted by the provincial Department of Tourism, is coming under fire by a wildlife biologist.

Richard Goguen gets face-to-face with wild bears as part of his Little, Big Bear Safari. …



3. Germany: Doping, absenteeism rise among Germans

Many take performance-enhancing drugs to meet their jobs’ demands. Germany has seen a paradoxical consequence: An increase in related sick days. Now EU officials are looking for ways to call employers to task.

Before Moritz Erhardt’s death on August 15, 2013, the intern at an investment bank is reported to have worked three nights in a row. …

Deutsche Welle


4. Canada: Aboriginal food experiments investigation urged by ethicists

Ethics experts are calling on the Canadian government to launch an independent investigation into the nutritional experiments on malnourished aboriginal people after the Second World War.

At least 1,300 aboriginal people—most of them children—were used as test subjects in the 1940s and ’50s by researchers probing the effectiveness of vitamin supplements, according to recent research by Canadian food historian Ian Mosby. …



5. New Zealand: Advertising watchdog defends 100% Pure catchphrase

New Zealand’s advertising watchdog is backing Tourism New Zealand’s 100% Pure catch-phrase – refusing to uphold a complaint against the slogan which alleged it was “misleading” and “unsubstantiated”.

Environmental campaigner Dr Peter Nuttall initially lodged his complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority in March.

According to Dr Nuttall, research into the country’s environment showed degradation of its waterways and biodiversity – contradicting the claims made in Tourism New Zealand’s 100% Pure campaign. …

New Zealand Herald


6. Ireland: Woman travelled 25km in baggage compartment of bus

Bus Éireann has confirmed an investigation has started into how a woman was accidentally locked inside the baggage compartment of a coach and carried for 25km in it before being released in a shaken condition.

The middle-aged woman from Co Clare, who does not want to be identified, was travelling to her home in Ballyvaughan from a hospital appointment in Galway. …

Irish Times


7. Iceland: Eyjafjallajökull eruption affected more flights than 9/11

New research has shown that the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland disrupted global aviation operations more than the 9/11 attacks in the US. Although the immediate impact of the 9/11 attacks in 2001 was bigger, with around 200 airports closing down compared to 100 following the 2010 eruption, scientists at the Northwestern University in Illinois have worked out that the eruption had a bigger overall impact. …

Ice News


Today’s Big Stories 


1. International community ramps up for action in Syria after chemical weapons attack investigation. U.N. inspectors overcame obstacles Monday to reach the site of an alleged chemical attack: they were shot at—though no one was hurt, they had to replace their vehicle before proceeding—and there was an explosion near the site. Inspectors found what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called “undeniable” evidence of a large-scale chemical weapons attack in Syria, with intelligence strongly pointing to Bashar Assad’s government—a claim Assad called “preposterous.” The coming days will see what actions the United States and the international community will take with this new evidence of Syria having crossed the red line. Two administration officials said the U.S. was expected to make public a more formal determination of chemical weapons use on Tuesday, with an announcement of Obama’s response likely to follow quickly. The British government said Tuesday its military is drawing up contingency plans for a possible military attack on Syria. Italy, meanwhile, is insisting that any military strike must be authorized by the U.N. Security Council.

2. Bo Xilai’s stage-managed trial concluded in China; family secrets revealed, but Communist Party left untouched. “The trial was like a play,” said Liu Zhengqing, a civil rights lawyer based in Guangzhou, in a telephone interview with Epoch Times. “Bo is a tyrant. If he became China’s leader, he would be even worse than Mao Zedong.” Liu pointed out that at the trial Bo was only charged with three transgressions, whittled down from the six that were originally brought against him by the authorities after his arrest last year. Aside from that, “the trial didn’t even touch the issue of organ harvesting, the coup attempt, or the antimafia and ‘singing red songs’ campaigns,” which Bo launched in Chongqing, Liu said.


3. Pennsylvania girl, 10, going home after two controversial lung transplants. The six-month hospitalization of a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl whose need for new lungs sparked a national debate on how transplant recipients are prioritized is about to come to an end. Sarah Murnaghan’s mother has posted a message on Facebook saying she would be going home on Tuesday from the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania. Sarah received two sets of lungs this summer as she struggles with the effects of end-stage cystic fibrosis.


4. Widows of Fort Hood slain describe lost moments. One of Angela Rivera’s saving graces after her husband was gunned down at Fort Hood was his voicemail greeting. For years after Maj. Eduardo Caraveo was killed in 2009, Rivera had his cellphone kept active so she could call it and hear his voice telling her to leave a message. Then, one day, it disappeared when the cellphone carrier upgraded its systems and required users to tape a new greeting. Rivera was among a dozen widows and soldiers who provided a picture of overwhelming grief and attempts at recovery, as military prosecutors began to try to persuade a jury that Maj. Nidal Hasan deserves a death sentence. As many as seven more people will get their chance Tuesday to tell jurors how Hasan changed their lives forever.


5. Williams sisters start US Open with lopsided wins. A decade or so ago, Serena and Venus Williams ruled tennis together, swapping the No. 1 ranking and meeting in Grand Slam final after Grand Slam final. Serena, the younger of the two, still holds a spot at the top of the game. Venus has not been there for quite some time. So there was a turn-back-the-clock feel to Day 1 at the 2013 U.S. Open, when both sisters were about as good as can be, dropping a combined four games in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Venus, now ranked 60th, beat 12th-seeded Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 6-2 Monday afternoon, and then Serena reduced 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone to seeking comfort from a ball boy’s hug during a 6-0, 6-1 runaway under the lights at night.


6. Crews report progress against Yosemite fire. Crews are finally gaining ground on a massive wildfire burning near Yosemite National Park as fire officials expressed optimism even as the blaze grew larger while containment jumped to 20 percent. As flames lapped at the edge of the main reservoir that supplies San Francisco, fears that the inferno could disrupt water or power to the city diminished. “It looks great out there. No concerns,” Glen Stratton, an operations section chief on the blaze, said of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Nearly 3,700 firefighters battled the roughly 252-square-mile fire, the biggest wildfire on record in California’s Sierra Nevada.


7. Missing Arizona teen found dead in Oregon. The father of an Arizona teenager whose body was found near his abandoned SUV in the woods of southern Oregon said his son was “a young man who had a broken heart.” The body of Johnathan Croom, 18, was found Monday evening about 1,000 feet from where his vehicle was found abandoned last week, Douglas County sheriff’s spokesman Dwes Hutson said in a statement. Hutson said the Apache Junction, Ariz., youth’s death was being investigated as a suicide but he provided no additional information. He didn’t return a call for comment. In a telephone interview from Oregon, David Croom said his son was grieving the end of a recent relationship with “someone back in Phoenix.” “He was a young man who had a broken heart and headed out to try to find himself,” the elder Croom said. “We’re looking forward to finding out exactly what happened.” The teen had talked with his parents about the book “Into the Wild” and told a friend he wanted to run away.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac is an editor and reporter who has worked on a variety of topics over the course of her ten years with The Epoch Times, including science, the environment, and local New York news. She is currently working with The Epoch Times edition based in Southern California.