Headlines from around the world: 11/25/13

Two men were arrested in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh for offering free hugs. After observing the “free-hug” movements in other countries, Saudi citizen Bandr al-Swed was inspired to start his own. He attempted to brighten people’s day by offering strangers free hugs, believing that it could make the country a happier place. The religious police stated that the practice was “exotic and offending public order.” After the arrest, the two men were obligated to sign a pledge stating that they would not offer free hugs again.

Eye witness reports confirm the flight of an unmanned stealth craft in China. Claims made stated that the drone, dubbed “Sharp Sword,” made a 20 minute test flight in Chengdu. Earlier in the year, Chinese drones were piloted near contested territory in the East China Sea, increasing tension in Japan. These reports have made it clear that China is ready to join the western world with regards to advances in unmanned aerial vehicles.

New tests done on a meteorite, titled Black Beauty for its black, glossy appearance, has been confirmed as one of the oldest Martian meteorites collected. Original tests on the rock aged it at about 2 billion years, but new tests suggest that it may date back further than 4.4 billion years ago. According to scientists, this is during the Red Planet’s infancy. Many igneous rock types can be observed, suggesting that early Martian formation experienced much volcanic activity.

22-year-old Norwegian chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen beats former world champion Viswanathan Anand. Carlsen dominated the tournament competition, only needing a draw against the former world champion to earn the title. Carlsen took home a hefty $2.24 million for his victory.

After two months in prison, five British Greenpeace members were release with bail. The organization was protesting Russian offshore drilling in the Arctic. The members were separated when processed in the prison system, each living with Russian inmates. The activists originally faced charges of piracy, but this was reduced to ‘hooliganism’.

Scientists in Spain have received funding to make another attempt at cloning the bucardo. The bucardo, also known as the Pyrenean ibex, is a species of mountain goat that went extinct in the year 2000. Prior to its extinction, tissue samples were collected and frozen in liquid nitrogen. The experiments will study the viability of tissue samples after extended freezing. Lead scientist Dr. Alberto Fernandez-Arias stated that this is not an attempt to bring back an extinct species; it is just a test on cloning techniques. The cloned cells will be artificially implanted in female goats to test this.

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