UNESCO members (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) overwhelmingly approved Palestinian membership in a 107-14 vote on Monday, although there were 52 abstentions. UNESCO, which is responsible for protecting historic heritage sites and promoting cultural understanding, holds little power on the international stage. But its decision to grant Palestinians membership in the organization is a symbolic victory for the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, who is campaigning for international support for statehood after years of stalled negotiations with Israel. What are the ramifications for the parties involved?
Kate Middleton could be the first British royal in centuries to see an eldest daughter become Queen instead of a younger brother. Under the century-old tradition of male primogeniture, if the eldest child was a girl she would only become queen if none of her younger siblings were boys. Now, with the assent of 16 countries in the Commonwealth, girls will be just as eligible as their brothers, meaning the eldest child will always ascend to the throne. The change in law, which is expected to soon be formalized in the British parliament, also lifts a ban on Catholic heirs – a move British Prime Minister David Cameron and Catholic leaders have praised. Here are five would-be queens who were leap-frogged by their brothers for the throne:
The 2012 car models will soon roll out to dealerships. If you’re looking to buy a car, you've undoubtedly done your research in advance about the right model and trim. The key to affording your dream ride works the same way: Get your financial situation under control before you step foot on the car lot. Here are five crucial steps to take that will help you save thousands of dollars when you buy a car:
“You’re not a real candidate, Pinocchio, if you haven’t written your own book,” Mark Halperin, political director of ABC News, once said. Indeed, these days the one – perhaps only – condition all serious presidential candidates seem to satisfy is publishing their own book, whether it’s a rags-to-riches memoir, a political manifesto, or a motivational manual. While plenty of political lit is ghost-written pabulum, some titles pop with personality, authenticity, or just plain good writing. Here’s our pick of the five best books by 2012 presidential hopefuls.
College seniors struggling with life and love, a newly freed sex offender, and four women living through the Roman conquests are only a few of the colorful characters scattered through the 10 October books that Amazon's editors picked as their favorites. Here are the books the Amazon editors read and loved.
From 1970 to 2010, more than 10 million Mexicans migrated to the US. Now, after decades of rising numbers immigrating to the US, a new demographic trend is playing out: illegal immigration is waning. The Department of Homeland Security said in a 2010 report that the number of immigrants residing unauthorized in the US, 62 percent of whom come from Mexico, has declined from a peak of 11.8 million in January of 2007 to 10.8 million in January of 2010. US Customs and Border Protection also released data showing that the number of those arrested trying to cross the border illegally is is down sharply – by 58 percent since fiscal year 2006. The Pew Hispanic Center, using Mexican government data, estimates that the number of Mexicans annually leaving Mexico for the US declined by 60 percent from 2006 to 2010. Many dispute the reason why. Here are four factors that play a role.
Student loan forgiveness is on the minds of many. The class of 2011 has received the unwelcome distinction of becoming the most indebted graduating class ever and student loan debt overall is expected to hit $1 trillion. Here are five ways the White House and the Department of Education plan to ease the burden:
If only you'd known.... in the new book "Dear Me," edited by Joseph Galliano, celebrities give advice to themselves at age 16. Some of the letters are funny ("Calculus. Trust me. You'll never use it," writes Jodi Picoult) and others are poignant ("Keep listening to that inner voice. It will carry you," Rose McGowan tells her 16-year-old self). Here are some of the best.
For those who browse young adult shelves, the choices may be starting to blur: girl meets supernatural boy, then must choose between two boys. Or – for a little variety – supernatural girl meets human boy, then must choose between two boys. Vampires, fairies, angels – they're all over the young adult section. So, in the spirit of Teen Read Week, here are five gripping young adult titles that manage to keep otherworldly creatures and dramatic love triangles well out of sight.
Steve Jobs, the man who put the "i" in technology, was a fascinating character who continues to inspire and confound. Why the black turtlenecks? How did he foresee (create?) the iPhone revolution? What was the secret to his presentation style? Walter Isaacson's new book "Steve Jobs," which just hit stores, attempts to answer these questions. The 571-page biography released on Oct. 24 to glowing reviews. The author conducted more than 100 interviews for the book – including more than 40 with the Apple CEO himself. Here are five of key excerpts.
Inspired by a provocation in a July blog by Canadian activist group Adbusters, who in turn took their cues from the Arab Spring demonstrations, Occupy Wall Street has taken on epic proportions – and even more epic targets. In the crosshairs of this band of tent-dwelling rabblerousers are nothing less than the pillars of society.
Smartphones are great. Who would have ever thought that you could carry a telephone, address book, computer, camera, and all of your e-mail in just your pocket? However, as with any technology, it's liable to be misused. This isn’t just limited to talking on the phone at the wrong time; typing on the keyboard or sneaking a glance at the latest text messages can get us into a lot of trouble, too. Here are my Top 7 dumbest moments to use a smartphone:
When the Apple iPhone 4S and Amazon Kindle Fire tablet debuted this fall, the tech press blogged breathlessly about how these new devices harness 'the cloud.' Menacing as this hazy tech term may sound, the cloud is actually a regular part of daily digital life. In fact, gadget analysts expect this metaphorical cloud to envelop more of the world in coming years.
“Class warfare:” Lately this old term has been taking on new life as political theater, a way to rebuke Wall Street protestors, and, predictably, fodder for Fox News. According to Google, in just the last month alone, 3,870 articles have been published containing these words. Another way to express the concept of rich vs. not-so-rich is the expression, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” It’s been around for a long time: According to Wikipedia, William Henry Harrison went there in 1840: “I believe and I say it is true Democratic feeling, that all the measures of the government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer.” I’m not going to take a stand on either side of the “class warfare” debate by saying that the rich do or don’t take unfair advantage of the rest of society. This is America, where we all have the potential to become rich. But I will say this unequivocally: The rich do get richer, or at least have the potential to. Let’s count the ways:
Lebanon’s Syria-backed government has tried to distance itself from the upheaval next door, fearful of the repercussions if the violence worsens or if the Assad regime collapses. But the other four countries with that share borders with Syria have reacted in different ways to the seven-month uprising, reflecting their respective regional heft and national interests.
For a man who once said he had majored in math but "never took a course in political correctness," Herman Cain's ascension in the Republican presidential campaign has been, if nothing else, rich with zingers. And if his time in the limelight has been any indication, he's just getting started. Take a look at seven of Mr. Cain's most memorable quotes.
Herman Cain has vaulted into the top tier of GOP presidential candidates with his 9-9-9 tax plan, which would create a new 9 percent federal sales tax. But consumers would have to pay that sales tax on top of existing state and local sales taxes. Here are figures from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation that look at the total sales taxes in every state, adding up the state sales tax, a statewide average of the various local sales-tax rates, and the 9-9-9 federal sales tax.