Headlines from around the world: 9-13-10

The San Fransisco suburb of San Bruno, California burst into flames as a gas line exploded on Thursday, killing six people and injuring 50 more. Seven more are missing. Witnesses said that the explosion created a massive crater and shot flames 50 feet into the air. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will take responsibility if it is found that they were at fault.

Christo Javacheff is petitioning the city of Cotopaxi, CO, to allow him to suspend silvery fabric over a 42-mile long stretch of the Arkansas river. Christo, as he is most commonly known, has made himself famous for draping entire buildings and towns with cloth, as a form of art. At age 75, this would be Christo’s last major work.

The Qur’an burning in Gainesville, FL, was called off since pastor Terry Jones claimed his message was received by the media. As a result of the planned burning, however, anti-burning protests were held in Afghanistan and at least two people were killed.

In Thailand, water buffaloes are increasingly being replaced by tractors as the main tool to plow fields. The Thai government is trying to slow that progress by loaning out buffaloes to farmers that would not otherwise have used them, with 33,000 buffaloes currently loaned out across the country.

The U.S. Marine Corps recovered a German commercial vessel in the Gulf of Aden Thursday, boarding and capturing the Somali pirates that had captured her days ago. The Gulf of Aden is an important trade route connecting the Red Sea with the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Since 2008, attacks by Somali pirates have increased, leading to a decision that created a special task force of the U.S. military to combat this threat.

Google came out with a new feature in it’s world-renowned search engine called instant search. The feature uses predictive search already programmed into the search engine and performs a search based on every letter you type, as you type it. While this probably will not increase revenue for Google, it has the potential to dramatically decrease the time it takes to perform searches.

The French are experimenting with a new paradigm in cuisine, dropping prices dramatically and maintaining fantastic quality. A new category known as “Neo-Bistrot” serves good, simple French cuisine aimed at pleasing customers with cheaper dishes that are still well made.

The media research firm Nielsen Co. has come out with a new metric for ranking the most popular NFL team in the nation; by local TV viewers, Internet mentions, and website visits. The rather unsurprising result is that the Dallas Cowboys are indeed America’s favorite team.

A ruling by the U.S. appeals court on Thursday will allow federal funding of embryonic stem research to continue. The ruling by District Judge Royce Lamberth stopped funds as of August 23, and this new ruling effectively overturns that ban, at least until further investigation has been completed.

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