Headlines from around the world: 4-4-11

Crews taking samples of the groundwater near the Fukushima Daiichi complex found doses of iodine-131, a radioactive isotope. The levels are roughly 10,000 times that of the level allowed in seawater. The government will be testing again, due to concerns that the readings may have been in error.

India has surpassed the 1.21 billion population mark. The country has added 181 million people in the last decade, which is slightly higher than the registrar general’s projections. The population growth within the county has slowed in this decade, from 21% in 1990-2000 to 17% in 2000-2010. Density in the world’s second-most populace country has increased to 989 people per square mile.

NATO forces took over control of all military operations in Libya last week. There is considerable debate over the extent to which NATO should assist the Libyan rebels, and the final decision by NATO command has been that they will not arm rebels. The arms embargo will be upheld, regardless of the situation.

Republicans in Washington are fighting hard for spending cuts to be passed through congress. Lawmakers must reach a spending agreement before April 8. The proposed spending cuts are as high as $61 Billion, and Democrats are pushing for a much lower $31 Billion.

The recent earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan have caused officials in California to reevaluate how well systems would respond if a quake were to hit in the San
Andreas fault. Estimates of the damage from a 7.8 magnitude quake are that roughly 1,800 people would be killed, 1600 fires would be ignited, and countless buildings would collapse.

The Bronx zoo recently recovered an Egyptian cobra that had escaped from it’s cage late last week. The snake, which is venomous, hid from the zookeepers for four days as it slithered from room to room in the zoo. It was found hiding in a dark corner of the zoo’s reptile house. It had never escaped the zoo grounds, which were closed to visitors while the snake was at large.

The extremely popular and successful film franchise “Star Wars” is being remastered in 3-D. The director, George Lucas, has commented that this will cost more than the original film. He also added that digital film-making is in its infancy, and in the future, 3-D films will be better and more life-like, as well as more widely produced.

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